Following the D-Day landings, Battle of Britain hero Tom Neil was assigned as an RAF liaison to an American fighter squadron. As the Allies pushed east, Neil commandeered an abandoned Spitfire as his own personal aeroplane. Erasing any evidence of its provenance and stripping it down to bare metal, it became the RAF's only silver Spitfire.
Alongside his US comrades, he took the silver Spitfire into battle until, with the war's end, he was forced to make a difficult decision. Faced with too many questions about the mysterious rogue fighter, he contemplated increasingly desperate measures to offload it, including bailing out mid-Channel. He eventually left the Spitfire at Worthy Down, never to be seen again.
THE SILVER SPITFIRE is the first-hand, gripping story of Neil's heroic experience as an RAF fighter pilot and his reminiscences with his very own personal Spitfire.
Out of print for more than half a century, her book has been brought up to date by Daniel Ford, author of the AVG's definitive history, Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers. What's more, Ford explains for the first time where Olga and Harvey Greenlaw came from, how they became caught up in the saga of the Flying Tigers, and what happened to them after their tumultuous year with the AVG.
Covering their war are a handful of foreign reporters, including novelist Daniel Ford. Armed with a camera and a notebook, he wanders the country on foot and by military transport--helicopter, jeep, landing craft, junk, armored personnel carrier, and an Air Force flare ship--from the Mekong Delta to the Central Highlands. Once or twice a week, or whenever he is reunited with his Hermes portable, he types up an account of what he has seen and done. Here is that journal, 50-odd years after it was written. It is a freeze-frame picture of the Vietnam War before it became a quagmire. "How good-hearted we were!" Ford says of himself and the men he met in his travels. "And how badly it all turned out."