This book is a comprehensive history of the Royal Air Force over the period of World
War 2 and its defeats and victories during the many operations it conducted. It shows
how close to defeat Britain was in 1940. The author who served with the RAF from
1940 to 1946 as a flying instructor, was familiar with the many RAF operations and
weaponry which are disclose in this book, he writes about the Battle of Britain,
Bomber Command, Battle of the Beams, the terrible time of the Blitz etc.
It is well written comprehensively covering detail descriptions of little known facts.
It includes excerpts of the actual RAF diaries as events unfold along with photographs
and takes the reader into the events. The contribution by the RAF scientists is also
documented along with some of the special operations. Kenneth wrote it to keep memories
alive of the extraordinary sacrifices made both in the services and also by the ones
left at home during those years of conflict.
Kenneth Henley was born 15th April in Mixenden a small village four miles north of
Halifax. Kenneth was educated in the village school and was offered a place in the
grammar school but lack of funds meant he could not attend. Instead he took an apprenticeship
with a machine tool company as a fitter. In 1940 one year after the War declaration
and against his fathers wishes he joined the RAF reserve as a Pilot and his exploits
are described within this book.
When being demobilised in 1945 he was offered a position as a Pilot with British
Overseas Airways Company but turned it down in favour of a profession as a Mechanical
Engineer. He joined a Steam Turbine SALES & manufacturing company and continued his
studies to get a Mechanical Engineers qualification and was promoted to Draughtsman
and then an Engineer.
1948 he rejoined the RAF reserve for five years for part-time flying weekends and
two weeks summer holiday, to assist on the Berlin Air Lift, running supplies into
the Berlin population cut off by Russia.
1958 he moved to London to advance his work prospects. After working for British
Oxygen and Atomic Power Constructors Kenneth got a position with The Fluor Corporation
who built Refineries and Chemical Plants. He was one of the early persons to become
the nucleus of the companies European Operations. He helped to build the Fluor England
Company from 30 personnel when he joined to 2,500 when he retired. Over those years
many Plants costing between $1000,000 to $4 Billion were constructed.
As a Manager of Projects Kenneth retired 1983 to a bungalow set into a golf course
and threw himself into Golf in a happy retirement. That is until his wife died in
2007.As he became less mobile he moved to Southport and got remarried. Then
built up his interests outside joining three groups: Probus, Phoenix and Long Life
Learning and started to give presentations. After a talk on WW2 he became aware of
the lack of knowledge on how near we were to being occupied by German troops. This
was the time that Kenneth decided to write his book on the history the War and the