The first Air Ace Picture Library, issue No. 1 'TARGET TO SECRET' January 18th 1960 with the last issue No. 545 'AIMING POINT' November 16th 1970.

Air Ace Picture Library was merged with War Picture Library December 21st 1970.



August 15th 1960



August 15th 1960



October 17th 1960



May 21st 1962

On a deceptively quiet morning in August of 1941, a force of Blenheim bombers set out to bomb railway yards in Nazi dominated France. Such attacks had been steadily mounting over the past weeks, causing a teasing disruption to the enemy's railway movements. The role of close escort to this typically audacious raid was entrusted to the crack 501 Spitfire squadron based at Coltswell aerodrome in Kent.

Captained by a pilot who welded its members into a skilled and deadly striking unit, each heavy bomber crew worked as a go-ahead team. Yet one of their members always looked back … from an isolated position in space where danger was his only companion. He was the tail-gunner - on whose courage and vigilance the safety of the whole bomber often depended!

Late May 1940 - Dunkirk! From open beaches in France the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force began in the face of merciless aerial attack by Heinkel and Dornier bombers. Over-whelming enemy power threatened the gallant evacuation fleet of strangely mixed craft which bridged the calm waters of the Channel, and against the Luftwaffe's superior numbers Spitfires and Hurricanes flew from British bases in desperate counter- attacks!

Meet Brady - tramp pilot without a friend - until the Japs came!

Some men went to war to sate an unconquerable lust for action. Others sought it as an escape from the dull routine of peace … The majority chose to fight and face death for what they believed to be right… But in the savage jungles of Burma, a war correspondent discovered a man who fitted none of these categories.



September 16th 1963



July 20th 1964



September 21st 1964



November 16th 1964

Their destination was the heart of occupied France … their mission - top secret!

Westland Lysander aircraft of the R.A.F., flown by men of a score of different nations, carried out many of the most valiant missions of World War Two. But few men had better training for this kind of work than Jacko Burns and Bluey Martin, who before the war had run a one - plane freighter service in Northern Australia

Death or glory was the reward for the gallant crews of the British bombers.

Dawn was brightening the eastern sky as the Halifax bombers of 704 squadron approached the east coast of England after an all night raid on military targets in Germany.

The powerful, 4-engined aircraft known as B-BERTIE had suffered a good deal of damage, but it had carried out its mission successfully, and all its crew had escaped death or injury. The pilot was Squadron Leader Paul Redhouse, a skilled, experienced and popular flight commander. As usual, his crew consisted of Kevin Fenton - co-pilot, Bill Pike - navigator-bomb-aimer, Sparks Crowther - radio operator, George Brown - front gunner, Matt Stevens - mid-upper gunner and Tiny Williams - tail gunner.

The British Wellingtons hit hard to halt the advance of the Japanese invaders!

When after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese drove south for Australia, they gambled on their air power being able to sweep the weak forces of Britain and Australia from the skies. But it was then that brave men in old aircraft showed that the skies belong to the courageous, not to the most numerous.

The huge slow-moving flying-boats seemed to be easy targets but …!

During World War 2, packs of submarines were sent out by Germany to prevent vital supplies reaching Britain from overseas. Ships crossing the mighty oceans faced destruction from torpedo attacks. But the U-boats themselves also faced deadly peril - deadly peril from the Coastal Command aircraft of the Royal Air Force … huge flying-boats, laden with bombs or depth charges, and armed with machine-guns, prowled above the waters in search of the enemy.

Big, heavy and slow though they were, the Sunderlands did great work in hunting down the U-boats. But the job required skill, courage and … patience.



March 15th 1965



July 21st 1965



October 18th 1965



July 18th 1966

A torpedo is launched from the air. The target - a Japanese aircraft carrier

Never before in the long history of warfare had there been such a lightning advance as the Japanese occupation of the Pacific. In a few short months, the yellow invaders swarmed from Singapore to the Philippines … almost to the shores of Australia. Then the Allies struck back, island-hopping to Tokyo. Each island regained provided an advance base for our fighter and bomber aircraft. The flyers called it … 'The hard way back'.

Could Germany's deadly new weapon be destroyed before it gained the British lines?

Because its pilots hailed from many lands, it was known as the R.A.F.'s 'League of Nations' squadron - 'L.O.N.,' for short. It was equipped with American built Republic Thunderbolt fighter planes - and it made its mark when the Allied forces landed in Italy to drive out the German army.

The enemy fighters were waiting - then they pounced!

Whenever the R.A.F. were called upon to soften up a heavily-defended fortress during World War 2, they knew they were in for a hard battle. This was especially true in the Italian campaign, where many a good pilot crashed in the valleys and on the peaks of the mountains. This is the story of one airman who, by sheer luck, plucked triumph from near disaster.

Like flying battleships came the mighty bombers to drive the Japs from the Pacific.

In 1944 in the Jap-dominated Pacific, the once defeated Allies were now hitting back with swift and vengeful power for the first time the little yellow men were feeling the scorching breath of shame and defeat.



June 19th 1967


Battler Britton and the


February19th 1968


Battler Britton and the


August 19th 1968


Battler Britton


February 17th 1969

A handful of pilots against an all-conquering enemy.

Burma 1942, the Japs were trying to win the battle for the eastern skies with their deadly Zero fighters. Matched against them was a sorely depleted fighting force of Hurricanes pledged to stem the enemy might…

The jaws of death gaped wide…

By September, 1942, the Arctic supply route to Russia was suffering crippling losses at the hands of enemy U-boats, despite the vigilance of the British Navy, the merciless attacks from the undersea killers went on …

He was no coward, yet he refused to fight.

On the night of 26th - 27th May, 1942, Rommel's Afrika Korps moved against the Allied armies in North Africa. It was a blow that sent the Allies reeling. And it was not until the 1st July that the retreat ended - at El Alamein

Thwarted ambition can drive a man to disaster.

Westland Several times a day during the Battle of Britain, squadron leader Frank Cabot's 'Cougar' squadron had been in the thick of the fighting. But as he landed safely again, at Denninge airfield, the Canadian's anger was turned not against the enemy but against one of his own men …



May 19th 1969



June 16th 1969



July 21st 1969



July 21st 1969

By all the rules, he should never have flown.

Too little has been written of the Fleet Air Arm … the men who took off from their tiny floating airfields into a waste of sea and sky, hampered by elderly, unsuitable aircraft until finally, the navy was equipped with aircraft that enabled them to "find, fix and strike" the enemy in all parts of the globe.

This story begins when the Fleet Air Arm was gathering strength, flexing its powerful new muscles before hurling itself anew at the arrogant enemy. It is also the story of Philip Chapman, a man with a secret, and Hugh Russell, a man with a grudge…

The Pathfinder dare not fail …

With an earsplitting roar, like a tremendous thunderclap, they hurled down from the clear blue sky over the Pennines - a squadron of ultra-fast English Electric Lightnings, practising the spectacular 'Bomb-Burst' formation…

With every landing he re-lived that moment of tragedy.

In the battle-crazed sky over war-torn Germany, only two aims were prominent in the airmen's minds as the Wellingtons weaved and twisted in the muderous anti-aircraft fire…to destroy their target, and to live to fight again … But on the long, dark journey home terrors far worse than the conflict in which they had risked their lives, returned to torment some of them.

Their bomber seemed to be the target for every enemy gun.

Even now, so many years after the war, many live on with their memories. A fragment of conversation, a snatch of music, an unusual sound will be enough to bring to many a man's mind a battle-field, an operational flight, or some personality he once knew and fought with

© Fleetway Publications

Vic Whittle 2005