books
 

The Books


bk4
About Wartime Teesside

(Dalesman Publishing, 1989) 67 pages. 90 photographs and illustrations. Softback.
ISBN 0-85206-981-2. Price £5.00

A photographic glimpse into the dangerous and occasionally exciting times of WWII, when ordinary people were sometimes called upon to do extraordinary things. The photographs are supported by extended paragraphs of explanatory text.

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Press comments on Wartime Teesside

Relates the feelings of Teessiders on the Home Front. Personal experiences of courage and tragedy from both sides combine with the pictures of the impact of war and the stoicism of the people left behind.  [Northern Echo, Darlington, 1 September 1989]



bk6
About Wartime Teesside Revisited

(Published by Bill Norman, 2004). 106 pages. 100+ photographs and illustrations. Softback.
ISBN 0-9547325-0-2. Price £9.95
 
A photographic record of Teesside and its environs during World War II. A much revised and significantly expanded version of the author's Wartime Teesside, published by Dalesman Publishing in 1989.

This volume covers a wider range of incidents and includes many photographs that did not appear in the first volume. The photographs are supported by extended paragraphs of explanatory text.

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Press comments on Wartime Teesside Revisited

An excellent read and is a 'must' for all who are interested in local history.
[Now & Then magazine (Teesside), No. 29 2005]

A fine and fitting record. [Northern Echo, Darlington, 7 June 2005]

A pictorial insight into life in the area from 1939-45...Graphically portrays the devastation of bombing raids.. [Darlington & Stockton Times, 30 April 2004]



bk2
About Luftwaffe over the North

(Leo Cooper/Pen & Sword Books, 1997). 208 pages. 100+ photographs and illustrations. Softback.
ISBN 0-85052-529-2. Price. £9.95
 
Recalls 24 episodes in the air war over northern England during 1939-1945 and tells the stories of people who were witnesses to destruction some 60 years ago. Six of the occurrences deal with air attacks on Teesside; the rest are concerned with air operations over a much wider geographical area and embrace the three northern counties of Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland.

Air raids, air battles, damaged aircraft ditching in the North Sea—and the recorded memories of ex-Luftwaffe crews and ex-RAF pilots who once opposed each other in the skies over northern England. A softback reprint of a hardback copy first published in 1993.
 

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Press comments on Luffwaffe over the North

This is one of those excellent books which takes a look at a small portion of the Second World War and makes the parts played by ordinary people come alive. [Yorkshire Gazette & Herald, York, 16 December 1993]

A moving record of the waste as well as the heroism of war. [Northern Echo, Darlington, 14 September 1993]

Every so often a book is published which illuminates wartime days with ordinary sunlight instead of spotlights and permits a glimpse of reality. Such a book is 'Luftwaffe over the North.’ [Sunderland Echo, 6 September, 1993]

Relates how the war was brought home in deadly fashion to the citizens of the region. [Newcastle Journal, 25 August, 1993]

Shows exactly what it was like to experience the air raids. Also includes dramatic first-hand stories of German pilots who came to grief over the Yorkshire coast. [Angus County Press, Scotland, 14 October 1993]

Will bring back many memories of the period for many people. Very well written in a style that has not over-dramatised the events but has certainly given the human aspect of the actions that took place. [Aviation News magazine, November 1993]



bk2
About Failed to Return

(Leo Cooper/Pen & Sword Books, 1995). 208 pages. 100+ photographs and illustrations. Hardback.
ISBN 0-85052-474-1. Price. £17.95

Lists the Yorkshire memorials to the Bomber Command crews of No.4 Group RAF and No.6 Group RCAF, as well as providing details of the units and the grievous losses they sustained, both in operations and in training.

Readers are encouraged to ’look beyond the stone’ and to realises the multiplicity of dangers faced by bomber crews. To this end, the details of each memorial are accompanied by at least one tale of a ‘dicey’ trip or a crew lost. A number of ex-bomber crews gave help in the writing of this book.

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Press comments on Failed to Return

Tells the poignant stories that lie behind the statistics. [Yorkshire Evening Press, York, 7 December 1995]

A moving testament to the courage of ordinary people who did extraordinary things. [Evening Gazette, Middlesbrough, 29 November 1995]

A treasure-trove for students of the air war and a fitting tribute to those who volunteered to take the war to the night skies of Germany. [Bradford Telegraph & Argus, 2 December, 1995]

These stories of airmen, their squadrons and their airfields have great poignancy. [Air Mail magazine, April/June 1996]

This is a record of the bravery of airmen which will outlive us all. [Air Clues magazine, February 1996]




bk1
About No.640(Halifax)Squadron, RAF Leconfield

No. 640(Halifax)Squadron, Leconfield. (Privately published 1999). 282 pages in A4 format. 100+ photographs and illustrations. 30 pages of appendices. Softback.
ISBN 1-900604-08-6. Price. £16.00

 A full operational history that describes every operation undertaken by this bomber squadron in the sixteen months (1944-1945) of its existence.

Includes the recollections of 73 ex-640 Squadron aircrew. Every man who flew with the squadron will find his name listed.

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Readers' comments on No.640(Halifax)Squadron, RAF Leconfield

This book was written primarily for the members of the No.640 Squadron Association, who asked the author to write it. The Association officials made all of their files available and 73 members provided recollections of wartime days on the squadron. The book was not offered to the Press for review. However, the following sample of comments from Association members suggests that they were pleased with the final result.

Received my book. Terrific! I would like to purchase another copy.. [Al. Perry, Navigator, Canada]

First class and a very fine and fitting tribute to 640.. [JB Pridding, Bedford, whose brother failed to return from operations with 640 Squadron]

Most impressed with the detailed record and the accuracy of the events portrayed. Please send me another copy. [Ron Wakeman, Pilot, Exmouth]

..so well presented and very interestingly written [Ken Grantham, Wireless Operator, Reepham]

Excellent …I constantly refer to it.. [Sid Wright, Navigator, Ramsden Heath]

An excellent history of 640 Squadron...a meticulously researched book with many appendices.. All Halifax and 4 Group buffs need a copy. [A/Cdre Graham Pitchfork, Archivist, The Aircrew Association ( in Intercom, Autumn 2003) ]



bk2
About Broken Eagles (Luftwaffe losses over Yorkshire, 1939-1945)

(Leo Cooper/Pen & Sword Books. Spring 2001.) 224pp.c.90 photographs. 7 appendices.
ISBN 0-85052-796-1. Price £19.95
 
The first volume of a two-volume work recording the Luftwaffe losses over the North of England from the Humber to the Tweed during WWII.

At least 72 German aircraft crashed in Yorkshire or off its coastline during the 1939-1945 conflict and 282 German airman became casualties of war. 25% of those were captured, the rest were either killed or listed as 'missing in action'. This book records the losses of both aircraft and personnel and gives details of the circumstances of each loss.

The text is supported by some 90 photographs, many of which were made available to the author by ex-Luftwaffe men who also provided reminiscences that have been integrated into the text.

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Press comments on Broken Eagles

A thorough and interesting record of dramatic events, told from both sides of the conflict. [Whitby Gazette, 30 October 2001]

Using testaments from local eye-witnesses and British and German servicemen, Broken Eagles graphically recounts how Luftwaffe aircraft met their doom over the North East… [Evening Gazette, Middlesbrough, 17 January 2002]

Bill has penned more than a few articles for FlyPast, so readers will be aware of his flowing style and his thorough research…This work is up to his usual high standards, a chronicle of the air war over the county from either side of the gun sights. [FlyPast magazine, April 2002]

With meticulous precision, the author combines information from German and British sources to give details of the Luftwaffe losses over the east coast area from the river Humber to Middlesbrough. The reports by German crews and British personnel make the book an exciting read and (will) stir the memories of those who took part…Appendices give details of all aircraft lost as well as listing crew losses in alphabetic order and by date…Although the book deals with only a small sector of the Front, it gives a very good insight into operations over England. [Luftwaffen-Revue, Germany, June 2002]





bk6
About Luftwaffe Losses over Northumberland & Durham (Broken Eagles 2)

(Leo Cooper/Pen & Sword Books, November 2002.) 223pp. c.60 photographs. 4 appendices.
ISBN 0-85052-913-1. Price £19.95

The second volume of a two-volume work recording the Luftwaffe's losses over the North of England from the Humber to the Tweed during the Second World War.

At least 64 German aircraft crashed in Northumberland and Durham or off their respective coastlines during the 1939-1945 conflict and 256 German airman became casualties of war. 29% of those were captured, the rest were either killed or listed as 'missing in action'.

This book, like its predecessor, records the losses of both aircraft and personnel and gives details of the circumstances of each loss.

The text is supported by some 60 photographs, many of which were made available to the author by ex-Luftwaffe men who also provided reminiscences that have been integrated into the text.

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Press comments on Luftwaffe Losses over Northumberland & Durham (Broken Eagles 2)

As fascinating and as detailed as the last book...with everything we have come to expect from the series..Thoroughly recommended reading..[The Circuit (East Cleveland free newspaper) 20 Nov. 2002]
 
Does exactly what it promises to do in the title... It records the losses of both aircraft and personnel, as well as recounting the circumstances in which the planes came down, with eyewitness accounts to bring the stories to life. Exploits are illustrated with a variety of photographs, including some made available by Luftwaffe aircrews. [Evening Gazette, Middlesbrough, 29 Nov. 2002]

Bill Norman's descriptions of action make it exciting enough for the general reader, while the technical detail should satisfy aviation enthusiasts...His meticulous research has been helped by former German airmen.. [Sunderland Echo, 13 Dec. 2002]

A fascinating history… of interest to both serious historians and the casual reader…vividly recounts the circumstances under which losses occurred. [Nothumberland Gazette, Alnwick, 19 December 2002]






bk1
About Halifax Squadron (The wartime bombing operations of No. 640 Squadron, Leconfield).


A full operational history that describes every operation undertaken by this bomber squadron in the sixteen months (1944-1945) of its existence.

Includes the recollections of 80 ex-640 Squadron aircrew. 303 pages in A4 format. 220+ photographs and illustrations. 60 pages of appendices. Softback. (stiff card cover). Published under Bill Norman’s own imprint. A quality softback edition.
ISBN 0-9547325-1-0. Price £27.50 (post free)

 
This book is a revised and expanded edition of the author’s No.640(Halifax)Squadron, Leconfield, which was published in 1999, primarily for members of the No.640 Squadron Association.

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Press comments on Halifax Squadron

A great addition to the 'library' of the RAF's wartime bomber offensive. [FlyPast magazine, July 2005]
 
A well-researched and well-written book which will please many historians.. [Aviation World magazine, Air Britain Pubs. Summer 2005]
 
An outstanding history.....Having reviewed many squadron histories over the years, I can confidently say that this is one of the very best. [A/Cdre Graham Pitchfork, Intercom (Aircrew Assocn) Summer 2006 ]

Any surviving veteran is sure to say: "Yes, this is what it was like". Readers of a later generation will be moved - and humbled - by the unhesitating heroism...Complete with a wealth of pictures, excellently reproduced and displayed, this is a magnificent record, easily worth the hefty price. [Northern Echo, Darlington, 18 July 2006]




bk6
About South Bank Dornier (South Bank, Cleveland, 15 January 1942)

64 pages in B4 format. 43 b/w photographs and illustrations. Softback. (stiffcard cover). Published under Bill Norman’s own imprint.
ISBN. 978-0-9547325-2-3. Price £3.95

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Press comments on South Bank Dornier

Bill Norman, a gifted aviation historian, has pieced together the full, fascinating story of this wreck. The absorbing narrative is distinguished by the keen feeling for the tragedy of war that Bill brings to all his wartime researches. [Northern Echo, Darlington, 10 June 2008]



bk10
About Air Raid Diary - The Luftwaffe attacks on Tees-side, 1940 - 1943

(Published by Bill Norman, 2010). 280 pages . 144 b/w photographs. 34 other illustrations. Softback. (stiff card cover).
ISBN. 978-0-9547325-3-0. Price £12.50

During the period 1939-1943, the Luftwaffe dropped a total of at least 473 high explosive bombs and a much larger number of incendiaries on the wider Teesside area over a period of 107 separate occasions. These raids demolished some 500 domestic and commercial properties. Available official records compiled at the time show 280 persons killed; 358 seriously injured and 1,133 slightly injured.

Air Raid Diary records all of these attacks and, with the help of eye-witnesses, tells the stories that lie behind the statistics. The book also lists the names of all air raid fatalities in the hope that it will serve as a memorial to those who lost their lives during those dangerous days.


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Press comments on Air Raid Diary

This, his latest offering, is arguably his most painstaking work so far - nearly a complete record of every German air raid from Hartlepool to Whitby.. Based on German as well as British sources, Bill's research is helped by abundant illustrations and builds up an engrossing picture of an industrial region under attack..(He) presents a tabulated record of every Teesside raid - well over 100. Separately, he describes them in a running diary.

The biggest raids are given even fuller accounts and from the carnage (he) draws telling individual cameos. He places his roll call of Teesside's 305 dead at the head of his book. (He) says that he hopes the book will serve as a memorial ' to those who lost their lives in those dangerous days'. It does so triumphantly. Teesside is fortunate to have its war in the air recorded with such skill, dedication and compassion. [Northern Echo, Darlington, 28 October 2010]


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