The story of one of the most remarkable – and feared – British aircraft of the Second World War: the de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito fighter-bomber.
In November 1940, a remarkable prototype aircraft made its maiden flight from an airstrip north of London. Novel in construction and exceptionally fast, the new plane was soon outpacing the Spitfire, and went on to contribute to the RAF's offensive against Nazi Germany as bomber, pathfinder and night fighter. The men who flew it nicknamed this most flexible of aircraft 'the wooden wonder' for its composite wooden frame and superb performance. Its more familiar name was the de Havilland Mosquito, and it used lightning speed and agility to inflict mayhem on the German war machine.
From the summer of 1943, as Bomber Command intensified its saturation bombing of German cities, Mosquitos were used by the Pathfinder Force, which marked targets for night-time bombing, to devastating effect. Mosquito Men traces the contrasting careers of the young men of 627 Squadron, including that of Ken Oatley – last living member of an illustrious group – who flew twenty-two operations in Mosquitos as a navigator. David Price's atmospheric narrative interweaves the human stories of the crews of 627 Squadron with events in the wider war as the Allies closed in on Germany from the summer of 1944.
Mosquito Men is rich in evocative and technically authoritative accounts of individual missions flown by an aircraft that ranks alongside the Spitfire, the Hurricane and the Lancaster as one of the RAF's greatest ever flying machines – and perhaps the most versatile warplane ever built.