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"Airborne for the Duration"

The Odyssey of the Ruptured Crab

By Warrant Officer Eric Barfoot DFC

The Book Eric Barfoot who was at Lewes County School just before the 1939-45 war has recently written an account of his RAF experiences all over the world as a Warrant Officer pilot.

ERIC BARFOOT was only 18 years old when he enlisted in the RAF as a pilot in 1940 and, after a year of training, found himself on operations in the Middle East. Like so many of the unsung heroes of the Second World War, Eric was thrust into a situation that demanded a maturity and strength beyond his years. How many nineteen-year-olds of today would cope with four years away from home without leave, risking life and limb practically every day to keep the war effort supplied and operating smoothly?

With the support and comradeship of his fellow RAF crews Eric Barfoot came through those four years with many a tale to tell, some sad, some breathtaking and many hilarious. Airborne for the Duration is a hymn of praise to the many ordinary men and women in the Second World War, and an absorbing account of one man's war in a truly authentic voice.

Eric Barfoot was born in Seaford, Sussex in 1922 and went to school in Seaford and Lewes. He enlisted in the RAF as a pilot in October 1940 and underwent training in England until October 1941 at Torquay, Sywell, Kidlington and Harwell. He then spent four years overseas, without any home leave, on operational tours in Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Morocco, India, Italy and Burma flying 14 aircraft types.

After the war he married his pre-war sweetheart Kitty and worked for his father in Seaford before rejoining the RAF in 1951. He served in Supply, Air and Sea Movements and Education branches in England, Egypt, Aden and Borneo. From 1967 to 1969 he attended Bletchley Teacher's Training College before embarking on his third career as a teacher of mathematics, physics and technical drawing. Eric Barfoot lived in Bedfordshire. He had a daughter and two sons.

The Book

Eric's book can be obtained through any bookseller or by writing direct to The Book Guild in Lewes. Your webmaster has been sent a complimentary copy and has read it right through. It is a good story told with much humour and is illustrated by eight photos from the period. For those who have spent time in the services and especially in 37, 70, 216 or 267 Squadron it will bring back vivid memories of the humour, cameraderie, dangers and absurdities of service life in war and peace-time.

Eric Barfoot's book (ISBN: 1 85776 856) is published by
The Book Guild, 25 High Street, Lewes, BN7 2LU
as a hardback of 210 pages at £16.95

Eric Barfoot died 26th August 2007