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New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force (Vol. I)


page vii


By Marshal of the Royal Air Force Lord Tedder, GCB

I HAVE often wondered whether anyone who was not in very close touch with our Air Forces during the War even began to realise the fantastically high standard of personal skill, determination and courage demanded of every air crew, or the skill, technical integrity and perseverance demanded of the ground crews by the daily round, the common task. Countless were the acts of almost superhuman determination and bravery which passed unknown to all but a handful or, if known, were taken for granted and passed unrecorded. The New Zealander, perhaps more than most, has a way of regarding such things as all in the day’s work. One is therefore especially glad to see here a factual record of some at least of the matchless deeds of New Zealand airmen. But the reader must, in this as in any written account of air operations, read between the lines much that cannot be expressed in words if he is to get a true impression of the spirit which made New Zealand airmen such grand comrades working with their colleagues from the other Dominions and the Home Country.

page viii