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Our Father's War [Kindle Edition]

Julie Thomas , Hal Thomas
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $0.99

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Book Description

In 1939 a 21 year old joined the N.Z.R.A.F. as a reservist. When World War II was declared he was called up and sent to Woodburn training camp in Blenheim and taught to fly. In August 1940 he sailed from New Zealand for England and went to war. As the sea voyage progressed from holiday cruise to deadly dangerous, he kept a diary and then gave it to a steward to post home from LA.

He was a foundation member of 485 NZ Spitfire Squadron. He watched his best friends die before his eyes, was shot up twice and made it back to his aerodrome and killed a man for the first time. And he wrote letters home.

In December 1941 he sailed for the Middle East and, after a spell as an instructor, he requested a transfer back to active duty. Only four of his training course of 21 men survived and came home. He was one of them. Many years later he wrote notes about his war time experiences in preparation for the memoir that never happened.

In 1991 he died at the age of 74 after an 11 month battle with cancer. He was my Dad and I inherited the box of letters and notes. It is time we all heard about his war and I have complied this as much for the younger members of my family who never knew this brave and modest man, as for anyone else. World War II, from the air and the ground, in his own words.

Product Details

  • File Size: 205 KB
  • Print Length: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Julie Thomas (October 3, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005SGYPG6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #568,811 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A personal view of WWII October 5, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
As a topic, World War II has been brought to the public countless times and through every form of media. What we easily miss, however, are those accounts which come from a truly personal and honest source.
The authors, for whom these documents were functional correspondence or personal records, are those whose involvement in the War now provides a window through which younger generations obtain a glimpse into the reality of this period in history.

Harold Thomas' letters are an expression of this very reality; at the same time they maintain an eloquent simplicity, through which the young pilot's character appeals first-hand to the reader.

These letters are well edited and presented.
Their message is as important now as it was at the time of their composition.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating WWII Remembrances.... February 25, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I so enjoyed this book. The synopsis is well done elsewhere so I won't repeat here. As a WWII buff, it was a pleasure to find still another personal account with the bonus unique perspective of a New Zealand volunteer who tells a bit of the not very well known story of his country's contribution to the war as well as his own experience. It is impressive to read of the dedication of this man and his fellow New Zealand pilots who fought for England long before the Pacific war threatened New Zealand itself. Hal Thomas seems to be a modest man who performed heroically as did so many others whose names are not in the history books. Well edited and very moving. Many thanks to the family of Hal Thomas for sharing this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful February 17, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a wonderful book. Being a die hard Spitfire nut, with books about them and pictures and models of them all over my house
I jumped right on this book. To actually get to read letters from a pilot that got to fly and fight in them was just a dream come true for me. I learned so much from the letters, it was like I was there. Thank you so much for letting us read the letters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Letters home January 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"Our Father's War" is a collection of letters sent home from Europe and the Middle East by a WWII air force pilot. That pilot, Hal Thomas, was a young New Zealander, originally stationed in England and later assigned to duty in Egypt. The letters are a fascinating glimpse into the day-to-day life of a combat pilot. The danger of his missions is apparent, as is his effort not to let that danger alarm his family back home. Although many letters emphasize his time spent relaxing and catching up with friends while on leave, the numbers speak volumes about the risks that Flight Lft. Thomas faced. Among the 21 reservists who trained together in New Zealand, he was just one of four to survive the war.

This e-book is a very quick read. It's the equivalent of 90 printed pages, so you can easily complete it in one sitting. I found the book to be well edited, with just enough introductory and concluding material to provide sufficient context to the letters themselves. "Our Father's War" is well worth the download, providing an interesting first-hand perspective from the front lines of the second world war.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really well done December 9, 2011
By Jetpack
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a World War II buff, I was happy to download this collection of letters of a fighter pilot during the war.

Flight Lft. Hall Thomas was a Spitfire pilot in Great Britain and the Middle East and his daughter has published a collection of his letters, letters written to him and at least one official report from an engagement during the war. The letters really bring Lft. Thomas to life. You can feel his intensity to fight, as learns for himself what the British have been going through, his disgust at those who have been shirking their duty, his joy at hearing from his family and his pain as his friends die or disappear. It's very interesting that censorship seems to be much higher in the Middle East, then it was in Great Britain. The letters also show how normal soldiers were during the era. They like girls and want warm socks, just like the rest of us.

The author was lucky to have such a collection of letters to draw upon. My father was a Marine in Korea, and almost never talked about it. I wish I had something similar to understand better what he went through and the price he paid.

Easy recommendation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I want More August 3, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading this book of letters. What a wonderful window into the life of a man and family during WW2.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars These young chaps made a real sacrifice August 30, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was at high school during the war and my father was in the New Zealand Army and I had an uncle who was killed in the airforce in England. It very interesting to learn a little of what these young chaps did and suffered. We should we very grateful for their commitment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Our Fathers War August 13, 2013
By Jillian
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an interesting story written by the daughter of a Pilot in WW11.
Taken from his diary during the war.
It is simply written, but I enjoyed it. Very easy to read.
Brings to life his time in the war, the good and bad times.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Waste
Published 2 months ago by Stephen Waller
5.0 out of 5 stars Letters and diary written by actual participants in we 2 give a...
Letters and diary written by actual participants i n ww2 give a feel and view of the times not found in history books. we are fortunate that some have been saved and published. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Philip Saxton
3.0 out of 5 stars This is not bad. But
This is not bad. But, reader, be aware, it is a reprint of a personal diary. It is not ghost written or embellished. It should be in a museum as an historical document. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mike3746
2.0 out of 5 stars A Diary
This book is more of a diary of events and places visited during WWll than a personal account of experiences.
Published 7 months ago by Bolt
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
WAs kind of boring at times, but i did finish reading it, if you want to read go to the library and borrow the book
Published 12 months ago by joanne k. anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars most interesting history of air crews from a personal view
I enjoyed reading this book as it gave me another picture of my late husband's experience as a pilot during the second world war. It was descriptive and honest
Published 19 months ago by jeanette jones
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Ware Hero
This was a lovely rendition of Julies fathers life as a war hero. These memoirs are precious not only to Julie but to others who can relate to the information shared by her dad. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Kim Ostermeyer
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me!
I don't like the way this book was written. I stayed confused all the time and most of the time was trying to remember names, places, etc.. Not my cup of tea!
Published on March 25, 2013 by Belle
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story about an ordinay man
This is the story of an ordinary man who leaves his home to do his duty in time of war
Published on March 2, 2013 by Sid
5.0 out of 5 stars great read if you like true stories
thanks for sharing your dads experiences during the war , you tend to get the true stories from these types of reads
Published on January 22, 2013 by glenn keay
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More About the Author

My first creative writing consisted of short stories and the first chapters of many novels when I was about eight. They centred around pre-revolutionary Russian princesses who rode through the snow on troikas and were called Tatiana. I suspect I was heavily influenced by "Doctor Zhivago" and I shudder to think what happened to my princesses when the revolution came.

After years in the media I 'semi-retired' and settled down to write!

My novel "The Keeper of Secrets", has been published as a trade paperback under the William Morrow imprint and also as an ebook.

I have three other books on Amazon now: a book of quirky short stories "Stirred, Not Shaken" and a non-fiction book of my Dad's letters home during the war (he was a Spitfire pilot in England and the Middle East)called "Our Father's War" and I have the first novella in a crime trilogy called "In Vino Veritas." It is about wine, crime and love amongst the vines!

For the last two years I've lived in the gorgeous town of Cambridge, about two hours south of the city of Auckland (where I used to live) in the North Island of New Zealand.

Apart from writing and reading, my other passions are family, music of many sorts (especially opera and musical theatre - you can see my influences in "The Keeper of Secrets"), travel, theatre, cooking, my beloved and highly intelligent cat and sport.

Welcome to my world, I hope you enjoy my work.

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Topic From this Discussion
World War II letters
Thanks for that. If you go to Smashwords and search for it (not sure I can put the link on here) you will find it free and downloadable in all formats, including PDF for computers. You can also get a Kindle Cloud free and then download whatever you like and read it using the Cloud programme... Read More
Nov 29, 2011 by Julie Thomas |  See all 2 posts
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