DENNIS 'HURRICANE' DAVID

Dennis David enjoyed a very long and varied RAF career. The Hurricane in his name comes from his passionate support for the aircraft he fought in and loved, and which he quite rightly feels is overshadowed in the minds of the public by the more glamorous Spitfire.

Dennis David enjoyed a very long and varied RAF career. The Hurricane in his name comes from his passionate support for the aircraft he fought in and loved, and which he quite rightly feels is overshadowed in the minds of the public by the more glamorous Spitfire. Born in 1918, he joined the RAF in 1937 and was posted to his first fighter squadron in 1939, flying Hurricanes. His squadron took part in the Battle of France, during which he was awarded a DFC and bar. Returning to England after Dunkirk he took part in the Battle of Britain, by the end of which he had a total of eleven kills to his credit.

Then came spells in various training units followed by postings to the Middle and Far East. After the war he was posted back to England where he became for a time aide-de-camp to Lord Trenchard. After Lord Trenchard's death, David was sent to Hungary as Air Attaché to our Legation there, and was there throughout the uprising in 1956. On returning to England he became commanding officer at Tangmere, after which he went to a NATO post in Naples.

His career can only be described as an extremely interesting one, and through it he came to meet so many people, ranging from King Abdullah of Jordan to Chuck Yeager. Many were brief meetings at official receptions but some became friends for life, and a possible explanation for his luck in being posted to so many interesting places is the fact that he had so many friends, some of whom achieved high office. The offer of his appointment as aide-de-camp to Lord Trenchard, for instance, came in a phone call from Dicky, an old friend who just happened to be Chief of Air Staff!

The one niggling thing about this book is the constant metric conversion of every measurement and weight. Someone of the author’s age would be expected to say that he was six feet tall, and to have (183 cm) written after it struck me as ridiculous. The only measurement the publisher missed converting was the 0.303 inch machine gun! That apart I found it a very interesting book, giving an insider's view of many important historical events of the last sixty years. Ernie Hoblyn.