RAF Special Duties

Unique Sorties of the Second World War

During the Second World War, the RAF employed Special Duties pilots and aircrew on operations across a wide range of extraordinary and daredevil missions. In many instances, specially selected and trained crews flew specific sorties, seeking out small targets of utmost importance to the war effort. A number of these operations were filmed by cameramen and RAF Special Duties: Unique Sorties of the Second World War enables their stories to be told for the first time.

The various exploits in this exceptionally well-researched and gripping book are supported, in many instances, by ‘Flying Logbooks’ and other materials stemming directly from the pilots themselves. These men were true originals – undertaking hugely dangerous missions against the odds, and often operating as individual aircraft in completely unknown conditions.Accounts in the book include:

  • Cameramen flying on special raids to film precise low level Mosquito sorties, including on the Gestapo HQ in Copenhagen.
  • A Mosquito pilot flying a single aircraft into Germany to cause disruption by setting off air raid sirens
  • A Stirling pilot flying with radar-jamming equipment to disguise the D-Day invasion
  • Mosquito pilots attacking targets identified by British SAS units in France
  • Experience as a wireless operator flying in Churchill’s personal aircraft
  • Dropping supplies over Burma


RAF Special Duties By Colin Pateman, Books Jacket Cover