Hullo Russia, Goodbye England
“You’ve got to be demented to want to fly,” Flight Lieutenant Silk of 409 Squadron Royal Air Force tells Air Commodore Bletchley in 1943, just after surviving two near misses as he completes sixty consecutive missions in two tours of duty, defending his country by flying Lancaster bombers out of RAF Kindrick, Lincolnshire, on bombing raids over Germany. Now twice decorated, he lives for the day, taunting his superiors with his sardonic humour.
Silk is ordered to Washington to spearhead a morale-boosting tour of industries, where he charms many influential people. He accepts dangerous covert flying operations for the Central Intelligence Agency, then ends the war instructing new US Army Air Force recruits.
After marrying a wife who becomes a Member of Parliament, Silk re-enlists, and being unflappable in a crisis, agrees to fly the nuclear Vulcan bomber. Silk is thrown when his wife appears to be privy to information concerning Vulcan missions. Tensions between them escalate at the same time as the Cuban missile crisis.
Social history, period detail, fitting language, and detailed comparisons of flying Lancasters and sleek Vulcans are contained in this adventure. Spiffing!