"THE SILVER SPITFIRE" is one of the most delightful and colorful Second World War memoirs I've ever read. It begins with the author, then a young RAF squadron leader leading a group of Spitfires on a training flight in November 1943. Shortly thereafter, he (Neil) is transferred to serve (temporarily as a liaison) with the 100th Fighter Wing of the 9th Air Force, United States Army Air Force (USAAF). There he was "tasked with negotiating and overcoming the countless culture clashes that existed between the two allies." And what clashes there were! Neil managed to get on rather well with his American colleagues. He shares with the reader a number of interesting, and at times, amusing, experiences.
Neil also had the opportunity of flying a variety of American military and civilian aircraft during his time with the Americans. He has an unerring way of making the reader feel that he's in the cockpit with him. Those are among some of the most engaging parts in this book.
Later, in the aftermath of D-DAY, the 100th Fighter Wing is deployed to Europe as the Germans are being pushed back towards the frontiers of the Reich. While in France, Neil comes across an apparently abandoned Spitfire. Subsequently, Neil had it restored to full vigor and flew it extensively. He had the Spitfire stripped of its war paint, and thus it stood out in its pristine silver state.
Eventually, questions would arise about the Spitfire's origins. Neil realizes that something will have to be done with the Spitfire. But what? To find out, read this book and you'll find yourself back in the world as events unfolded (from the perspective of a 20-something RAF fighter pilot) between late 1943 and 1945.