Your chance to own a unique World War II 'book of heroes'


A small leather-bound book that powerfully evokes 'the few' of World War Two's Battle of Britain, goes on sale at Bonhams' militaria sale in Oxford, UK on August 2.

Listing 107 signatures of RAF flying officers, this item is sure to attract interest from militaria collectors looking for a piece of world war two history of real value.

Collected by Norman Phillips, a mess steward at RAF Marklesham Heath in 1941, the little book's leather cover was apparently cut from a mess chair by Group Captain Douglas Bader, whose remarkable story - flying again after losing both his legs - was the basis of the film 'Reach for the Sky'.

This unique item is estimated to sell for £6,000 to £8,000.

The book is contained in a brass mounted glass casket, which has suffered some slight damage. It is inscribed with a plaque on the lid.

A unique reminder of 'the few'

Winston Churchill, in a conversation with Douglas Bader, referred to the book as "not a book of names, but a book of heroes.

"God forbid it should ever be lost," he added.

In addition to British personnel, there are also signatures from American Volunteers, 71 American Eagle Squadron, and other Canadian, Australian, Polish, and Czech pilots, many of who did not survive the war.

Second World War collectibles can also be found on the private markets, such as these rare photographs of Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb, signed by two of the crew.

A signed 10 x 8 photograph by eight of the 10-man crew of Bockscar, which dropped the second, and final, atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, on August 8 1945, is also currently on offer.


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