The Luck of the Draw: Horses, Spitfires and Kittyhawks

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Media: BOOK - hardcover, 196 pages
Author: E. Sly
Year: 2003
ISBN: 9781876439873
Other: b&w photos, sketches, maps, appendixes, glossary
Publisher: Australian Military History Publications

Ted Sly, the author, is a descendant of long line of colonial families, the best known being that of explorer and builder, Sir Thomas Mitchell. Although a city boy, Ted Sly's youth involved life with horses and work on an outback cattle station, that instilled in him a love of the rural lifestyle.

When war came, he joined the 7th Light Horse, but was soon persuaded to get away from the dirt and dust and join the RAAF. After training in Rhodesia he went to England and the 452 RAAF Squadron commanded by the famous Australian Ace, Keith 'Bluey' Truscott.

Next came the Middle East where he flew 22 operational sorties in Kittyhawks with 450 RAAF Squadron. Ted was next posted to 92 RAAF East India Squadron that was forming the first Spitfire Wing with the 8th Army in the Western Desert. He played a part in the El Alamein battle as his squadron followed Montgomery's offensive, ending in Tunisia.

After several more postings until the end of the war, he came home and was married and returned to farming.

This book, primarily written as a biography of the author's life as a record for his family .. is also in part, a family history of the Sly family from New South Wales and those connected to them.

Illustrations and Maps

Part 1: The Explorer Connection
1. Colonial Forebears

Part 2: The War Years
2. Service Life
3. England and Spitfires

Part 3: Combat
4. Kittyhawks and Action
5. A New Squadron
6. Benghazi and Beyond
7. The Glamour of Air Combat?
8. Malta and Instructing
9. Home and Another Squadron
10. Island Flying

Part 4: France
11. Peace
12. Farming in the Islands
13. Retirement
Appendix 1. Glossary and Abbreviations
Appendix 2. Colonials in the Family
Appendix 3. The Miley Speech
Appendix 4. Brothers at War
Appendix 5. A Famous Poem
Appendix 6. Charles Simouelle
Index: Names
Index: Places and Units

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The Luck of the Draw: Horses, Spitfires and Kittyhawks


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