A previously unpublished diary by a Royal Air Force chaplain to Battle of Britain pilots barely out of their teens casts new light on the lives of the young men who fought the conflict. The journal to be published later this year to coincide with the RAF’s centenary commemorations records Rev Guy Mayfield’s posting at RAF Duxford in Cambridgeshire as dogfights raged over southern England and losses mounted among his flock.
His account includes depictions of airfield life ranging from high jinx in the mess to relentless scrambles to intercept enemy aircraft, as well as his interviews with young fighter pilots.
Carl Warner, a historian at the Imperial War Museums which is publishing the journal for the first time as ‘Life & Death In The Battle Of Britain’ said it was ;one of the finest accounts of a fighter station at war’. He said: ‘It is full of insight into the mind of a man who made an enormous, unsung contribution to victory and into those of others on the station whose mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing he cared about so deeply.’