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Matt Poole


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I would like to bring to your attention a new Fonthill Media book: RAF LIBERATORS OVER BURMA, subtitled FLYING WITH 159 SQUADRON, by Bill Kirkness DFM and myself. The hardcover edition is 224 pages, with 53 black-and-white photographs. Please be mindful that the main title happens to be the subtitle of another Fonthill book, B-24 BRIDGE BUSTERS, by Colin Pateman.

A synopsis can be found on most bookseller sites, such as fonthillmedia.com and amazon.co.uk.  (Of these two, only the Fonthill site has the correct cover, where authorship is '...and Matt Poole'.  Same cover, otherwise.)

This book is the heartfelt, and at times heartrending, offering of a thoughtful and dedicated ‘everyman’ – just a bloke from Horsforth, near Leeds. As a wireless operator/air gunner, he was fortunate to survive a tour of 32 ops (including his harrowing last op, which ended in a crash), unlike some of his crewmates and others with whom he trained and flew, and about whom he wrote.


For modellers, specifically, there are photos of:


>>A colourised (cover) and black & white shot of a Mk VI Liberator taking off

>>A burned-out Wellington in Malta

>>Two photos of pranged Mk II Liberators

>>A nice shot of engine repairs on a Mk II Liberator

>>A shot from the outer port wing of a Mk II Liberator wing, looking towards the fuselage

>>An interior shot of a beam gunner manning his .303-inch guns on a Mk II Liberator

>>One shot showing men in front of the No.2 engine and another showing the forward fuselage, both the same Mk III Liberator

>>A photo from the outside showing the .5-in port beam gun protruding from an open hatch

>>Armourers ‘bombing up’ a Liberator (from the bomb trolley)

>>A pranged Mk III Liberator

>>Close-up nose art shots

>>A taxying Mk III Liberator

>>A crew portrait in front of a Mk VI Liberator

>>A view of engine fitters working on a Mk VI Liberator’s No.2 engine

>>A forward fuselage view of another Mk III Liberator with nose art, and

>>A pranged Mk VI Liberator.


The written descriptions of the different model Liberators could be of use to modellers, as well.


EDIT:  Incidentally, Bill's skipper on his tour and in Liberator training back in the UK was John Gauntlett (4th from the left on the cover).  John's second tour on Liberators started with 159 Squadron again before finishing with 99 Squadron.  His 159 Sqn Liberator from that second tour, KH283, was the subject of a limited edition 1/72 scale Eduard kit, now out of production.



Edited by Matt Poole

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On the wall outside the new Bomber Command memorial building,

just to the South of Lincoln, is a large banner which has a picture of

a Liberator crew standing by the bomb bay. 

I knew Lib's served with Coastal Command and a few with Bomber Command

in the UK but I'd forgotten about the far East Lib's.

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I'll be keen on this, I've got kit & decals for one of these, maybe after this, I might need some other decals. :)


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I`ve got the book Matt and was very impressed,......good job!



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Thanks, Tony!  Glad you were pleased with the book.  The Liberator is a uniquely fascinating behemoth from that period -- of great value especially in the Far East, where distances were so great to and from targets (and Drop Zones, for the Special Duties Libs).

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I recently talked on Skype for nearly three hours with Angus Wallace, webmaster of ww2podcast.com, where you will find an archive of his many audio interviews with book authors on a broad range of WWII subjects. He offers these at no cost to the public.

The result of my chat with Angus went on-line this week as a 51-minute interview. We discuss the book, and also my research into RAF 159 Squadron. The full link to my interview is:

61 RAF Liberators Over Burma: Flying with 159 Squadron

It's not a perfect interview -- I can find fault with some of my blabbing -- but I'm mostly satisfied with it.

For those who donate to keep Angus up and running, via www.patreon.com/ww2podcast or through paypal, he will offer, in gratitude, a 31-minute bonus interview, culled from additional material recorded with me back on 31 January. Supporters will also be similarly rewarded with extra audio material from future author interviews.

I hope some of you will listen and enjoy.



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