The Big Show
Pierre Clostermann earned his pilot’s license in 1937 at the age of 16. When war broke out in 1939 he was studying engineering in the USA. He volunteered for the Free French forces and joined No. 341 ‘Alsace’ Squadron of the RAF. He ended the war commanding a flight of Tempests and with nearly 30 ‘kills’. He won the DSO, DFC and Bar. After the war, Clostermann went into politics and worked for Dassault and Cessna and founded his own aviation company. He returned to action for 18 months during the Algerian war. Today, he is France’s most highly decorated officer.
This is absolutely the best fighter pilot memoir of World War II. Pierre Closterman was a Free French fighter ace and his account of the air war over Britain and France has justly become famous. It contains everything one could wish for: wonderfully observed descriptions of wartime Britain, frighteningly evocative stories of in-the-cockpit action, an amazing cast of characters, and all the drama and bravery of a man fighting a desperate war thousands of feet above the ground. An undeniable classic and a true page-turner.