An Average Pilot

The Story of a World War II Swordfish Night Mission over the Strait of Sicily

On 11 November 1941, four Fairey Swordfish of the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm took off from Hal Far base in Malta to fly a mission over the Strait of Sicily. Their plans quickly went awry, turning their story into one of skill, determination and grit that is only now being fully told.

This book, inspired by a photo of an aircraft upside down on Cefalù beach in Sicily, led to years of meticulous research by the authors to uncover the full story of the men and aircraft of the mission.

Their research is brought to life through historical facts, technical details, recreated conversations, and a rich array of photographs and illustrations, many from the night of the mission itself.

Rated as an “average pilot”, it is clear that the man who piloted the plane into enemy territory as well as the crew of this mission were anything but ordinary. Like so many of their generation, these exceptional men still have much to teach us.

Buy on Amazon

A riveting read from start to finish, utterly captivating. It brings alive the events of  November 1941 in a way that makes you feel you were there. Weaving a gripping tale brimming with humanity, Bev and Luca tell a very personal story that transcends time. They put us in the cockpit of a rickety flying ‘Stringbag’, connecting nine young men who risked their lives on a dark’s winter night with our modern world and a sun-kissed beach in Sicily.

– Captain T M Stockings RN – Ex FAA pilot and Captain Naval Aviation

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.