After many years of holding on to the precious, very personal, war time diaries of his father, Granville Allen Mawer has taken the courageous step of publishing them in the spirit of historical importance.
Australian Flying Officer Allen Mawer (1919-1943) at 21 in 1941, flew the most famous aircraft ever built, the Spitfire, powered by a Merlin V12 engine and armed with four 20mm Hispano cannon, fought the Germans over the English Channel. He spent his evenings partying in London. He experienced the perils of aerial combat and the hazards of wartime romance in the same day.
Later, 1943 at 23, he lived in a swamp airstrip south of Darwin. The Japanese came over so infrequently that he felt he was going troppo. He left several women behind in London and Sydney who he thought had given up on him. Most of his mates were dead. There was no beer. War was hell and he was reckless.
All this and much more Flying Officer Allen Mawer confided to his diary, a candid and sometimes disconcerting record of his conquests in the air and on the ground. The highs and lows of his war, and how it ended, offer a lively and poignant insight into the human cost of armed conflict.
Granville Allen Mawer, historian, is the author of several books including his book Ahab's Trade, short listed for the Queensland Premier's History Prize 2000 and the NSW Premier's History Prize 2001. He is a contributor to the Australian Dictionary of Biography and sometime reviewer of maritime books for The Times Literary Supplement. His most recently published work is Diary of a Spitfire Pilot, over the English Channel and Over Darwin (Rosenberg Publishing 2011).
Copyright Granville Allen Mawer II, 2011.
First published in Australia in 2011
by Rosenberg Publishing Pty Ltd
PO Box 6125 Dural Delivery Centre NSW 2158
ISBN: 978 192 171 9189 (pbk)