CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Pilot Magazine today CLICK HERE

Book review: One of the Few, by Johnny Kent

PUBLISHED: 13:25 10 January 2017

One of the Few, by Johnny Kent

One of the Few, by Johnny Kent


£20. Published by The History Press, 272 pages, black & white illustrations

One of the Few: a Story of Personal Challenge Through the Battle of Britain and Beyond, by Johnny Kent

Originally published in 1971, this is Johnny Kent’s memoir of RAF service. A Canadian national, he learned to fly before coming to the UK, where he joined the RAF in 1935. His illustrious service history during World War II included fighting in the Battle of Britain and commanding the Polish 303 squadron — to name but two significant highlights.

After the war his postings included chief test pilot at Farnborough, a stint in the USA, and command of stations such as Tangmere.

While it is always interesting to read a personal account of aerial warfare, this new edition contains a foreword and endword by Johnny’s youngest daughter Alexandra, putting additional context on her father’s origins and life after the war. Some years junior to her siblings, she was still young when her parents separated (in 1969), largely due to her father’s heavy drinking, attributed partly to the stress he underwent during the war, and she saw little of him thereafter.

He died in 1985. It was only when she read Richard King’s book 303 ‘Polish’ Squadron Battle of Britain Diary and discovered references to a woman called Janet, that she discovered her father had been married previously, during the war, and she was inspired to learn more about her father’s early life and to balance the decorated war hero with the father she knew and his rather more difficult life after he left RAF service in 1956.

More from Gear

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

How air-brained are you? Test your general aviation knowledge on matters including safety, history, training or anything related to flying! Compiled by James Allan

Read more
Monday, September 17, 2018

I see you… But do you see me? Part two of our series on electronic conspicuity focuses on the capabilities – and compatibility – of the existing technology

Read more
Thursday, September 13, 2018

What is electronic conspicuity, how does it work and what aircraft equipment is available? – Part one in a new series | By Philip Whiteman

Read more
Monday, July 30, 2018

We’re offering one lucky pilot the chance to win a Yaesu FTA-750 Spirit air band transceiver worth £380

Read more
Friday, May 11, 2018

The online user portal launched in January by NATS promises to make it easier to cross controlled airspace. We put it to the test. Words by Colin Goodwin, photos by Philip Whiteman

Read more
Monday, April 23, 2018

The IC-A25NE is the latest 8.33 handheld from leading manufacturer Icom. Stylish and packed with features including Bluetooth connectivity and the ability to display navigational information from flight plans uploaded from Andriod or iOS devices, it is designed to ‘change the way pilots fly’

Read more
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Bose has introduced its new active noise cancelling headset for the flight deck, the Bose ProFlight Aviation Headset, a headset described as lightweight and comfortable with three levels of user selectable active noise cancellation

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Pilot weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most Read

Subscribe or buy Pilot Magazine