\'The most valuable pilot in the RAF\'
The Life of Maverick Ace Adrian Warburton
Adrian Warburton (known to all as Warby)
was one of the most highly decorated pilots
of World War II.
A below-average misfit with 22 Squadron of
Coastal Command Warby was sent to Malta to
avoid trouble in the UK. Known at first as a
loner, when given his head, the spectacular
results he achieved enabled his unconventional behaviour to be overlooked.
With his glamorous girl-friend Christina, the two became part of
Malta’s legend, symbols of the island’s resistance.
Still in Malta, Warby later became CO of first 69 Squadron and then 683
PR Squadron. After contributing to the success of the Sicily landings, for
which he was personally thanked by General Alexander, he commanded
336 PR Wing in North Africa. Fearless in the air, the maverick ace shot
down nine enemy aircraft and won fame in Malta for his invaluable photo
reconnaissance work at Taranto, Sicily and North Africa.
On 12 April 1944 Warburton departed in an American aircraft on an
unusual mission over Europe. Both plane and pilot disappeared
without trace, giving rise to a host of rumours that his disappearance
was intentional. For almost 60 years the mystery remained unsolved,
until a painstaking international search unearthed the truth.
Based on interviews with nearly 150 of Warby’s colleagues, and updated
by historian Chris Goss with recently unearthed information, Warburtons
War paints a picture of a fascinating man, who with 350 operational
missions from Malta alone became a living legend and an enigma
amongst the aces of WWII.
Dimensions: B Format
Photos/Illus: 20pp b&w photograph section