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This is one of the rarer first hand accounts of the Battle of Britain to find with a signature. The book is in excellent, clean condition and the dustjacket is bright with no fading. A small amount of light creasing at the top of the dustjacket prevents it from being listed as fine but it is difficult to see beneath the plastic protector covering. The book has been Remarqued with an original pencil drawing of a 264 Squadron Defiant by Steve Teasdale. The book has a forward by Peter Townsend, whose wedding Bailey attended.

This is a lovely copy.

Called up on 1st September 1939, he went to No. 1 ITW Cambridge in November and on 30th December he was posted to RAF College FTS Cranwell on No. 7 Course.

Bailey completed his flying training at 5 FTS Sealand and then went to No. 1 School of Army Co-operation at Old Sarum. On 10th June 1940 he was posted to 5 OTU Aston Down and after he had converted to Defiants he joined 264 Squadron at Duxford on 19th June.

In late August Bailey took part in 264's last day-fighting engagements. On the 28th his Defiant was severely damaged in combat with Me109's of JG26. He made a forced-landing at Court Lodge Farm, Petham. Both he and his gunner, Sgt. OA Hardy, were unhurt. Before being shot down they damaged a He111.

On 22nd October Bailey joined 85 Squadron at Castle Camps, as it went over to night-fighting. He was with the squadron until July 1941, when he went to 1452 Flight, then forming at West Malling with Turbinlite Havocs. Soon afterwards, at his own request, he returned to 264 Squadron.

On 1st January 1942 Bailey moved to 125 Squadron at Fairwood Common, as a Flight Commander. Flying a Beaufighter on 20th September 1942, he damaged a Ju88 and on 10th November shot another down east of Montrose.

When his tour was completed Bailey was attached to the 415th Night Fighter Squadron USAF on 1st April 1943 as a Liaison Officer. In July he went to 54 OTU Charter Hall as an instructor. He later moved to RAF Honiley to help form 60 OTU for night-fighter pilots, and he was appointed CFI.

Bailey was posted to Italy in November 1943 and joined 600 Squadron at Monte Corvino on 3rd December. During the night of 29th February/1st March 1944 he shot down a Ju88 near Rome, on 2nd/3rd June a Ju87 and a Me110, on 6th/7th July another Ju88 and on the 10th/11th another Ju87.

Bailey completed his tour and was awarded the DFC (gazetted 8th September 1944)

Battle of Britain First Hand Account Defiants Jim Bailey Signed & Remarqued

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