LONDON, July 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Lord Ashcroft's new book, Heroes of the Skies, will be published by Headline Review on September 13 2012.
The book tells the remarkable stories behind the world's largest collection of medals for gallantry in the air that were awarded to more than 80 British, Commonwealth and other Allied airmen.
Heroes of the Skies uses new material from pilots' log books, eyewitnesses, letters, citations, interviews and other sources to tell the stories of air combat, bombing raids and other bravery displayed by airmen as long ago as the First World War and up to the on-going conflict in Afghanistan. The bulk of the stories are from the Second World War and they include some of the greatest fighter aces from the conflict.
The Foreword to the book has been written by Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Michael Beetham GCB, CBE, DFC, AFC, a distinguished and decorated Second World War bomber pilot and now President of the Bomber Command Association.
Lord Ashcroft has established himself as a best-selling author with his Heroes series and Heroes of the Skies will be his fourth book on bravery (and his seventh in all). As well as being a military historian, Lord Ashcroft in an international businessman and philanthropist. He has built up the world's largest collection of Victoria Crosses (VCs), Britain and the Commonwealth's most prestigious award for gallantry. The decorations, more than 170 in total, are now on display at the Lord Ashcroft Gallery at the Imperial War Museum in London.
Lord Ashcroft has decided that all author's royalties from Heroes of the Skies will be donated to the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. The fund is the RAF's leading welfare charity, looking after serving and former members of the RAF and their partners and dependent children. Lord Ashcroft is particularly keen to support the charity because it recently became the custodian of the new Bomber Command Memorial in central London.
The book has been written in conjunction with a six-part Channel 5 televisions series, also called Heroes of the Skies, which will be screened in the autumn of 2012. Four airmen featured in the television series (including the legendary Douglas Bader), whose medals are not in Lord Ashcroft's collection, also feature in the book.
Lord Ashcroft's previous books in the "Heroes" series are: Victoria Cross Heroes, Special Forces Heroes and George Cross Heroes, first published respectively in 2006, 2008 and 2010.
Lord Ashcroft, along with some of the medal recipients whose stories appear in Heroes of the Skies, will be available for interview in the run-up to publication. Those who feature in the book include Edward Maslen-Jones, a decorated Second World War reconnaissance pilot, who is now 92 years old.
- Heroes of the Skies by Michael Ashcroft is published by Headline Review and can be pre-ordered on http://www.amazon.co.uk. It will be available in all leading bookshops from September 13 2012. For more information about Lord Ashcroft visit: http://www.lordashcroft.com