Saturday, September 01, 2012

His story told, pilot at peace

A CHANCE meeting has led to buried memories being unearthed - and a new book.

Never Been Hit tells the story of Rye man Les Streete and his experiences as an Australian flying officer with the RAF during World War II.

He was one of the many thousands who journeyed to Canada to train as a fighter pilot, later joining 66 Squadron RAF in Belgium at the end of November 1944.

Mr Streete's logbook became a lasting record of his war service, but preferring to forget the often painful memories, on his return to Australia he put the journal away. 

More than 60 years later, during a casual meeting with peninsula aviation enthusiast Peter Fitton, he was encouraged to lay some demons to rest and talk about his experiences.

Fitton says Never Been Hit, his first book, is the remarkable story of a country boy from New South Wales who found himself involved in defence of Britain and Holland against a German onslaught.

He was a part of the infamous Battle of the Bulge, Germany's last stand against the Allies and the defeat of the Russian army. 

The book details Mr Streete's flight training and combat experience and includes photographs and campaign maps.

Fitton said writing Never Been Hit had not only brought peace to Mr Streete, but given new generations the opportunity to learn more about Australia's war history through an extraordinary memoir.

"Writing this book has been a challenge and a privilege," he said.

To purchase a copy of Never Been Hit, call 1800618969 or go to amazon.com, xlibris.com.au or barnesandnoble.com.

Source:  http://www.peninsulaweekly.com.au

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