Anyone else who saw the movie/read the book “First light” of George Wellum? He was a decorated Spitfire pilot and ended up battle fatigue victim.
His poignent and excellent book is based on his memoires and the continuous stress of RAF training and flying. Wellum joined the RAF in 1939 and went solo (fly by yourself) in his 10th hour on September 1st 1939 (still in peacetime which elated him).
However he is also very open about the massive stress of getting the “bowler hat”(kicked out of flight training and back to civvies), the chance of getting killed in training and the continuous challenges of (trainee) pilots. There is always a next challenge and in a single crew airplane there is little room for error and you ARE on your own.
This was my favorite quote"Airplanes cost money and there are plenty of you"
I found it one of the best books/Movies ever and the book is not so much about airplanes but the human side of being caught in the war and continuously being under unimaginable stress. Not a happy book but a real addition to the body of history from a first hand source.
Movie (which skips the flight training and starts in May 1940). The best thing, Geoffrey Wellum plays his older self in this movie. Sadly he passed away
Geoffrey Wellum, First Light