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Target for Tonight: Flying Long-Range Reconnaissance and Pathfinder Missions in World War II

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The posthumous memoirs of a World War II Pathfinder pilot and Distinguished Flying Cross recipient who flew target-marking missions in enemy territory. Denys A. Braithwaite was born of a well-to-do Yorkshire family and joined the Auxiliary Air Force on his eighteenth birthday in 1939. On the occasion of Chamberlain's speech to the British nation on September 3, the situatio The posthumous memoirs of a World War II Pathfinder pilot and Distinguished Flying Cross recipient who flew target-marking missions in enemy territory. Denys A. Braithwaite was born of a well-to-do Yorkshire family and joined the Auxiliary Air Force on his eighteenth birthday in 1939. On the occasion of Chamberlain's speech to the British nation on September 3, the situation changed dramatically and from being a "super weekend club," his squadron was assigned coastal patrol duties. In October he was posted to Peterborough to learn to fly with the regular RAF. There followed a period of convoy protection flying Blenheims and then flying with the meteorological flight based at Bircham Newington on the Norfolk coast. Here he flew a Gloster Gladiator with a flight that had the reputation of "flying even when the birds wouldn't." Now a Squadron Leader, Braithwaite became acquainted with the legendary de Havilland Mosquito and flew long-range weather reconnaissance flights (PAMPA) under the control of Coastal Command. These patrols involved a lone aircraft flying deep into enemy territory to observe the meteorological conditions in advance of bombing raids or naval action. PAMPA Flight 1409 moved to Oakington and transferred to Bomber Command and operated under the command of Air Commodore Donald Bennett and became one of the elite Pathfinder units. Braithwaite's lengthy and successful tour included many exciting episodes described here in thrilling detail. After being transferred to the United States, Braithwaite was posted to India where he contracted a tropical disease that ended his flying career. The recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, Braithwaite died before being able to see his memoirs in print.


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The posthumous memoirs of a World War II Pathfinder pilot and Distinguished Flying Cross recipient who flew target-marking missions in enemy territory. Denys A. Braithwaite was born of a well-to-do Yorkshire family and joined the Auxiliary Air Force on his eighteenth birthday in 1939. On the occasion of Chamberlain's speech to the British nation on September 3, the situatio The posthumous memoirs of a World War II Pathfinder pilot and Distinguished Flying Cross recipient who flew target-marking missions in enemy territory. Denys A. Braithwaite was born of a well-to-do Yorkshire family and joined the Auxiliary Air Force on his eighteenth birthday in 1939. On the occasion of Chamberlain's speech to the British nation on September 3, the situation changed dramatically and from being a "super weekend club," his squadron was assigned coastal patrol duties. In October he was posted to Peterborough to learn to fly with the regular RAF. There followed a period of convoy protection flying Blenheims and then flying with the meteorological flight based at Bircham Newington on the Norfolk coast. Here he flew a Gloster Gladiator with a flight that had the reputation of "flying even when the birds wouldn't." Now a Squadron Leader, Braithwaite became acquainted with the legendary de Havilland Mosquito and flew long-range weather reconnaissance flights (PAMPA) under the control of Coastal Command. These patrols involved a lone aircraft flying deep into enemy territory to observe the meteorological conditions in advance of bombing raids or naval action. PAMPA Flight 1409 moved to Oakington and transferred to Bomber Command and operated under the command of Air Commodore Donald Bennett and became one of the elite Pathfinder units. Braithwaite's lengthy and successful tour included many exciting episodes described here in thrilling detail. After being transferred to the United States, Braithwaite was posted to India where he contracted a tropical disease that ended his flying career. The recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, Braithwaite died before being able to see his memoirs in print.

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