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.

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

Discovery of Jones' letter to Dead VC Hero's Mother

When an Australian friend and 149 Squadron comrade, ‘Ron’ Middleton, was killed on 28 November 1942 after an heroic feat of airmanship that won him a posthumous Victoria Cross, Col Jones wrote to Middleton’s mother on behalf of other friends on the squadron. Jones’ reference to this letter is on page 137 of Under a Bomber’s Moon.

I tried to trace the original of this letter through the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, but with no success.

Then I bought a second-hand copy of an anthology of “incredible stories of the World War II airmen in their own words” – Voices in the Air, edited by Laddie Lucas.

Luck can sometimes better careful research, as when I chanced upon a CD with a BBC recording in which Jones’ skipper recounts the ditching episode in chapter 2 of my book.

And so it proved again. Lucas’ anthology contains an excerpt from the letter, after recapping Middleton’s self-sacrificing act of shepherding his mauled Stirling back from Turin to England to enable his crew to bale out, despite having lost an eye and sustaining serious wounds to his body from flak.

Middleton then flew out to sea to avoid the risk of crashing into housing.

The excerpt of Jones’ letter to Middleton’s mother can be found in the bonus material for the chapter 'Coping with Loss' in this website.