Gerald is ‘Missing Feared Killed!’ Would he ever get home now he’d lost his lucky mascot, but did he even want to?
Gerald Davies, the eponymous hero of the book has a difficult childhood. His mother, suffering from epilepsy, is forced into an asylum by his father who has taken up with a woman half his age. Unknown to Gerald, the person he knows as his aunt is his real mother.
It's 1936 and to escape, Gerald walks the short distance to the local RAF base and joins up. He trains to be a pilot observer and is eventually attached to 211 Blenheim Bomber Squadron. He is sent to the Western Desert campaign and afterwards sees action in the Greco-Italian War. He dices with death daily and on one occasion famously goes missing for several days, having been shot down over the Ionian Sea. His family think he is dead. Meanwhile, Gerald and crew are being wined and dined by the people of Corfu during which time he meets Spiro Amerikanos, who famously befriended Gerald Durrell and his family before the Second World War broke out in Europe.
At one stage, Gerald is injured and taken to hospital in Alexandria where he meets Pilot Officer Roald Dahl, who has been injured in a crash flying his Gloster Gladiator.
Things get worse when Germany declares war on Greece on 6th April 1941. On Easter Sunday tragedy strikes, when all six Blenheims sent to tackle the German advance pouring into Greece are shot down.
This is a true story based on the life and exploits of the uncle of the author. The book contains images from the time together with an account of the author's momentous trip to Corfu in 2020, when he was presented with the original compass from his uncle's downed aeroplane.
A truly unforgettable and tragic tale which will keep you reading to the bitter end.
Foreword to book by Sir David Jason.