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This is a biography of Leonard Trent VC, DFC, and what a fantastic read it is. I'd had no idea before reading this how much Trent did in life.

I really recommend the book. It is a very good read. I'd always known about Trent as a VC winner and national hero, but knew nothing about his life before or after the sad raid on which he won his VC. He was in France flying Battles from the outbreak of war, then switched to Blenheims when the Blitzkreig erupted, luckily. He fought through the Battle of France, and then became an instructor.

He briefly flew the first Douglas Boston (W8363) to arrive in the UK and escaped death in it when it burst into flames on take-off - something he said was his scariest moment ever. He however came to love the type, so when he became a founding member of No. 487 (NZ) Sqn he and others were bitterly disappointed that they were equipped with the much inferior Venturas. He flew with 487 for some time till being shot down on that raid in Amsterdam where he won the VC for his persistance (the whole squadron was shot down except for one plane that had returned early with engine trouble).

Trent then went to Stalag Luft III, and was involved in preparartions for The Great Escape (as it became known). I discovered that it was Len Trent who had just emerged from the tunnel, and was halfway between the tunnel and the trees, face down in the snow, when the lucky German sentry stumbled onto him. Bad timing maybe, or good luck - as he could have become one of the unlucky 50 men who were murdered as retribution.

Trent wrote a diary from the time the Allies began to move into Germany and the Gerries made the prisoners go on the "death march", which he describes in detail and with the skill of a very good writer. This is all in the book.

Trents post war RAF career i- Valiant Command s covered up to retirement back in NZ
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  • Seller location: Waitakere City, Auckland, NZ

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