Author(s): Norman L.R. Franks
This is the captivating story of the four Raw brothers, all of whom served with the Royal Air Force. The eldest three flew during WW2 and all three died. The youngest, not old enough to see wartime flying, flew night-fighters in the post-war years, ending up flying Spitfires with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. The eldest brother, John, was killed in a flying accident just as he was starting a job as a flying instructor, in 1941. Peter was a fighter pilot, flying Typhoons with 609 Squadron, winning the DFC. Sadly he was killed in action with 183 Squadron in 1944. Tony flew Hampden and Lancaster bombers, received the DFC and AFC, but was also killed in action in 1944. Their father had been a naval officer, serving mainly in destroyers in WW1, winning the DSC. He remained in the navy post war to become a commander but then became a barrister at law before his untimely death in 1932. All four boys kept up a healthy and loving correspondence with their mother, right from their time at Wellington School, until their passing. This book tells of their lives through these letters, written at a time when people wrote almost daily to each other if only a few lines. It is a touching memorial to four young men who served their country and its air force well. Sadly too, Michael, whose RAF career brought him the AFC, died of cancer in 1986, but all four left living testaments to their young lives and gallantry as RAF pilots in war and peace.