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You are invited to the
BOOK LAUNCH
for Palembang and Beyond
by Mike Roussel
on Saturday 14th April 2018
at the Museum of Army Flying
Middle Wallop, Stockbridge, SO20 8DY
The book launch will be held in the Blackburn Beverley room starting at 2pm

Please RSVP – see details at end of post

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 Palembang and  Beyond

– a fascinating record of the British Pacific Fleet during the closing years of the Second World War.

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Rt. Hon Julian Lewis MP writes:

‘Mike Roussel recounts many of the operations mounted, in most hazardous circumstances, against Japanese-occupied territory – particularly Operation MERIDIAN, the decisive raids on the Palembang oil refineries, in Sumatra, in early 1945. In doing so, he draws upon the personal testimony of three Fleet Air Arm veterans, all of whom served in 849 Squadron.’

Mike Roussel spent many hours interviewing and recording

the stories of Fleet Air Arm Squadron 849 veterans:

Dr Arthur Page, Avenger pilot,

Norman ‘Dickie’ Richardson, TAG (Telegraphist Air Gunner),

and John ‘Buster’ Brown, also an Avenger pilot.

Dr Arthur Page, Avenger pilot, 849 Squadron.

Norman ‘Dickie’ Richardson, TAG , 849 Squadron.

John ‘Buster’ Brown, Avenger pilot, 849 Squadron.

Their recollections show the intensity of months and years of training and relentless military action, the close bond built between air crews and supporting naval personnel, and the great losses that they suffered.

.. …….They were young men then, it was an experience they felt lucky to survive, and one which shaped them for the rest of their lives. ‘Dickie’ described his reaction when the war was over, ‘I was on HMS Victorious off the coast of Japan. My friend, Paddy Ruttle, and I cried on each other’s shoulders, ‘What are we going to do now that the war has ended?’ I was only 22 years old.

………They made the transition to ‘civvy’ life, and so did many others who served with the Pacific Fleet, notably Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier, who because of their ability to crash aeroplanes were known to their fellow airmen as ‘Pranger Richardson’ and ‘Super Pranger’; and most notably, the First Lieutenant on HMS Whelp, HRH Prince Philip, who years later on meeting Norman Richardson remembered ‘fishing him out of the drink’.

………This book is a tribute to them all, survivors of the war and those who lost their lives in the Pacific region, in particular the Palembang Nine, who were shot down during an air attack on the oil refineries at Palembang and captured by the Japanese, to be illegally executed by their captors after the declaration of victory over Japan.

………ln the heartfelt message of Jack Edwards, a British World War II soldier and POW:  ‘None of us should forget them.’

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You are welcome to arrive at the Museum early. When you arrive please let reception know you are guests for the book launch so that you can go into the museum to look around (free entry for all guests) and eat at the café if you wish.
Tea, coffee and biscuits will be served at the book launch.

RSVP please to Jenny@LittleKnollPress.co.uk
or ring or text to: 07768 630 393.

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