Academic journal article Air & Space Power Journal

Pilot: A Tale of High Adventure

Academic journal article Air & Space Power Journal

Pilot: A Tale of High Adventure

Article excerpt

Pilot: A Tale of High Adventure by Joe Patient. Leo Cooper, 190 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H8JL,1997, 241 pages. Joe Patient was a lOth child, born in 1917 in London's East End. Perhaps his parents did not have time to teach him about boundaries. Eighty-one years later, Joe has drafted a shallow memoir of his life as a pilot-one that might be more accurately subtitled A Tale of High and Low Adventure. The main features of the story are lying, cheating, gambling, smuggling, adultery, and flying. I wish I could be more positive, because I love to read, and the cover led me to expect a deep and riveting story of operating the plywood bomber in hostile skies. Joe quit school at age 14 and worked at 20 different jobs before joining the Royal Air Force (RAF). His skill as a pilot earned him an officer's commission. At some point, he married Lucy and fathered two children, but he gives no names or details of them. To his credit, he earned a Distinguished Flying Cross during 59 missions over Nazi Germany in the Mosquito, a light bomber. He reached the rank of squadron leader and served in the Middle East after World War II.

Joe Patient left the RAF in 1948 and began a roller-coaster career, generally involving aviation in the postcolonial turbulence of the Middle East and Africa. Near the end of the book, he gives only the names of three more children that were born to him. Some readers might conclude that the legitimate hero of the story is Lucy Patient, Joe's wife, although he offers very little explicit detail of her life or his feelings for her. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.