I am pleased to announce that Vic Jay’s, efforts, initially through his blog, about his Father’s time in the Squadron have now borne fruit in the the form of “The Mallon crew” – a 200 page book on the crew and on Vic’s journey through the piecing together of the stories of the boys that flew with his father, Bob Jay.
The book maps out Vic’s early research and as it develops, he begins to re-connect with the relatives of the rest of the boys in the crew.
As Vic says at the beginning of the book:
“The Mallon Crew’ is the extraordinary result of four years research. My decision in 2012 to write a blog about my dad’s war-time experiences as the flight engineer of a Lancaster bomber took me on an incredible voyage of discovery and unearthed some remarkable stories of courage, sacrifice and betrayal.
As a child growing up in the 1950s I never tired of asking my dad what he did in the war. I wanted to know all about his role, what flak was like and even how aircraft were able to fly. By the time I left primary school my interest had started to wane and, when he died in 1974 at the age of just fifty five, I thought I had lost any chance of discovering more about this period of his life. I couldn’t have been more mistaken.
Nearly forty years later, with just a handful of photographs, his log book and the name of his New Zealand pilot, Bill Mallon, my modest research project into ‘Bob Jay’s war’ uncovered more tragedies than I could have imagined possible and connected me with the families of all but one of my dad’s crew. It even gave me the opportunity to talk to a man of ninety four who had flown with my dad and to discover a photograph of his crew’s aircraft flying to its last target.
This book is not about a squadron, nor is it about individual acts of heroism, it is about a small group of unremarkable men thrown together briefly during the last few months of the war and the amazing way in which their stories have unfolded seventy years later. They survived the war but their lives would never be the same again. I defy anyone not to be moved by their experiences or to marvel at the power of the internet to bring people together”.
All credit to Vic for making the time and putting the effort into moving his research from the blog to a book and I wish him every success with it.
You can click here to buy your copy of “The Mallon crew”