About The Book

Under a Bomber’s Moon is the true story of a New Zealand navigator-bomb aimer with the Royal Air Force and a German night fighter pilot as they fight for success and survival over night time Germany during the bitterest years of the Second World War. In early 1944, after completing one tour of operations and winning the Distinguished Flying Cross for his exploits, the New Zealander, Colwyn Jones, was killed during a raid on Berlin.

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About The Night War Over Europe

During the Second World War the night sky over Europe was one of the most lethal places to wage war. By 1945 almost half of the airmen who flew with Bomber Command and a third of the Luftwaffe night fighter crew pitted against them had been killed. Many German cities became moonscapes of rubble, their inhabitants the first to experience the reality of ‘total war’ – itself a glimpse of the destructive potential of the nuclear age about to explode in the Far East.

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Third Account of North Sea Ditching Comes to Light 70 Years Later

A third account of Col Jones' June 1942 ditching in the North Sea has now come to light, nearly 70 years later. Through reading Under a Bomber's Moon, the families of the skipper and front gunner of their doomed Stirling made contact with the author.

Roger Whitney and Faith Cox, son and daughter of skipper Eric Whitney DFC, knew of the incident but had heard only a poor quality recording of their father's BBC account of the episode (audio is under 'Ditching Excerpt' on website home page). Whitney remained with the RAF after the war, serving in Burma, then completed his prewar training and became a vet.He died in 2001.

Hugh Martin contacted me after learning of Under a Bomber's Moon. His father Les 'Paddy' Martin served as front gunner in the Stirling the night it ditched. His brief account of the dramatic episode can be read in the website bonus material for the chapter 'Ditching'.

Col was a good friend, and was Best Man at his wedding in September 1942. Martin completed 35 ops with 149 Squadron before transferring to 51 Squadron. His Halifax MH-B was shot down over Berlin on 22 November 1942 and crashed at Grunewald, near where I lived from 2004-2008. Martin describes his experience in detail in the website chapter 'On a Wing and a Prayer'. Martin was blown clear of the aircraft and fell from 22,000 feet, somehow deploying his parachute despite being knocked cold. He came two after hitting trees and cutting his leg badly. He eluded capture until the next day, then was taken POW by a partol and sent to Stalag Luft I at Barth, near the Baltic city of Stralsund. He was one of only two survivors from the Halifax. Martin remained with the RAF until 1968. He died in 2005, aged 90.