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PILOT ON THE RUN is the story of an ordinary New Zealander, coping with apparently insuperable difficulties in a peculiarly Kiwi manner.

Flight Sergeant L.S.M. (Chalky) White was shot down over northern France one evening in August 1943. He is a man whose education would not, today, be considered to be even elementary, yet he became a Spitfire pilot. He found himself in a foreign country, with which he was unfamiliar, whose language he did not speak, and which was occupied by the Germans. He had only the uniform he stood up in, a set of escape maps on Europe, printed on silk, and two small pocket compasses. An additional danger was the fact that he is of part Jewish descent, and looks it.

Chalky White was caught by the Germans within half an hour of crash-landing. Within a further three quarters of an hour he had laid out an armed guard and escaped making it imperative that he did not fall into German hands again.

He walked, took trains, received help from French people, avoided one attempt to betray him, and made his way through Paris to the south of France, Vichy France, without any assistance from the Underground. The only other man to escape without Underground help was Air Marshal Sir Basil Embry.

A smuggler assisted Chalky to cross the border into Spain, which involved him in a gun battle with German soldiers, and a climb over the Pyrenees wearing espadrilles (rope soled sandals). In Spain the smuggler deserted him and he eventually reached the British Consulate in Barcelona where he was locked up on suspicion of being a spy. He eventually got home via Gibraltar.

Chalky White's escapade was carried through in a spirit of "give-it-a-go", a combination of raw courage, determination, enterprise and luck. Please click here to ask a question
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  • Seller location: Waitakere City, Auckland, NZ

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