From 1939 to 1945 thousands of young airmen met terrible ends not at the hands the enemy’s machine guns or because of the murderous flak of anti-aircraft fire, but in catastrophic accidents and training crashes. Incredibly, these incidents accounted for the lives of over 8,000 men. All over the world training flights and cargo transport journeys all sometimes ended in disaster.
Perhaps it’s not so surprising that, amid the weight of the human costs of the air war against Germany, these ‘hidden’ losses have been forgotten; but all the men in the aircraft which never returned signed up for the same war, and they were all someone’s father, brother or son. The same letters went home to every family.
Luckily, there are some who believe those brave men should not be a footnote in military history. They are the World War 2 air crash detectives and now, for the first time, they have agreed to let us join them.