Ralph Barker - Headline Publishing Group

Ralph Barker

Ralph Barker joined the RAF in 1940, serving as an air gunner and wireless operator until 1945. He was fortunate enough never to end up 'down in the drink' himself, though his Beaufort was hit a few times, and he survived a crash on take-off in which his pilot and navigator were killed. After the war, he worked in civil aviation for a short time, before rejoining the RAF, to work in the secretariat until 1961. DOWN IN THE DRINK (1957) was his first book to be published. It launched a successful career as a writer, in the course of which he has written over a dozen books on the RAF, books on terrorism and war at sea, and hundreds of feature articles for the Sunday Express. He celebrated his ninetieth birthday in 2007 - fifty years after the first publication of DOWN IN THE DRINK, shortly after attending a party celebrating its republication.
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Down in the Drink

Ralph Barker
Ralph Barker

To crash or be shot down into the sea is a terrifying experience. And to escape to tell the tale is a rare and remarkable achievement. But that is precisely what each of the World War Two heroes described here has done; they have come 'down in the drink' and miraculously survived. In doing so, they have all qualified for the 'Goldfish Club'. Ralph Barker tells the hair-raising and inspiring stories of eight such air crews. There is the tale of the Beaufort that ditches in the North Sea, the Wellington crew stranded in the Bay of Biscay and the Mosquito fighter-bomber trapped in the sea off Burma, keeping afloaton the wreckage of his fuselage,concussed, his bones broken, withonly a flask of whisky to keep him going. In DOWN IN THE DRINK, the accounts of heroism and endurance match any from that historic time. They are stories of men from all corners of the British Commonwealth fighting for survival against unimaginable odds. No one could read of their experiences without being stirred by the proof they give that there is no limit to human courage.