From Spitfires to Vampires and Beyond


Owen Hardy left home at 18 bent on joining the RAF and by 1942, aged only 20, he was at Biggin Hill with 72 Squadron under Brian Kingcome.  D-Day found him flying over the Normandy beaches with 485 (NZ) Squadron.  That he survived the war unharmed owed much to luck as it did to his ability as a fighter pilot.  Unable, though, to settle in civilian life afterwards, he returned to the RAF for the second phase of a remarkable career.

Converting to jets, Hardy went on to command 71 Squadron, leading a Vampire aerobatic team with considerable success across Europe – dodging MiGs at the same time!  Previously stimulated by the wartime environment and still passionate about flying he was less enamoured with staff jobs.  Then a fateful decision led finally to disillusionment.

Hardy pulls no punches in this forthright and refreshingly honest autobiography.  From the heat of North Africa to the uncertainties of the Cold War, it’s a unique and enthralling tale.


In stock

This large hardback book is written by Owen Hardy and edited by Air Marshal G.A. ‘Black’ Robertson.  It contains over 230 pages, and a selection of black and white photographs.