18 February 2010

Favourable Winds - free book to download

Favourable Winds - A Twentieth Century Odyssey tells the personal story of Gerry O'Neill, who sadly passed away last year.

Gerry was a member of the Merchant Navy during the Second World War, and while this book covers his entire life, the chapters relating to his wartime experience are of particular interest. I have extracted these from the table of contents to indicate a flavour of the content of Favourable Winds.

Growing Up in North Dublin and Going to Sea 1925-41

Canadian Pacific Steamships, 1941-42
  • R.M.S. Empress of Asia
  • Escape from Singapore
Irish Shipping Limited, 1942
  • s.s. Irish Larch (ex Haifa Trader)
  • The Matriculation Examination
British Merchant Navy, 1942-43
  • s.s. Lornaston
  • Air Raid on London Dockland
  • Invasion of North Africa
Ministry of War Transport, 1943
  • North Africa – Interpreter, Algiers and Oran
  • Spared by a German Airman
  • Danke Schön, Fritz, Für Unserer Leben, und Guten Reisen
Marriage and a Brief Honeymoon, 1943
  • Another Welcome Respite from the War
  • Du Bist Mein Ganzen Herz
Special Exercises, 1943
  • Operations Mincemeat and Cockade
  • We bury "The Man Who Never Was" at Huelva
  • An Abortive Invasion Attempt
  • Liaisons Dangereuses
Canadian Pacific Steamships, 1943-44
  • R.M.S. "Empress of Australia"
  • A Passage to India and the East
  • A Venture into the Carpet Trade
The Loneliest Christmas I Ever Spent, 1943
  • A Bleak Day in Belfast
  • No Room at the Inn
Stranded in Cork, 1944-
  • A Most Opportune Football Match
Farm Labourer, 1944
  • A Welcome Break from Hostilities
  • A Few Peaceful Days in Bangor, North Wales
Further Episodes on the R.M.S Empress of Australia, 1944
  • Encounter with a Hurricane
  • Momentous First Visit to New York
Russian Convoy, 1944
  • Repatriation of Soviet Prisoners from French Labour Camps
  • Inability to Save Lives at Sea
  • Libera Nos a Malo
Flower Class Corvettes
  • North Atlantic Convoys
North Atlantic Convoys, 1944-45
  • The Toss of a Coin and the Loss of a Friend
  • A Great Personal Tragedy
  • Non Nobis sed Vobis
Off to War in the Pacific, 1944
  • A Frightening Passage through the Panama Canal
  • Russian Roulette in New Guinea
The Battle of Leyte Gulf, 1944
  • The Most Incisive Battle of the War against Japan
  • “War is too important to be left to the generals” - Winston Churchill
The Battle of Iwo Jima, 1945
  • A Hard-Fought Encounter with the Japanese
The Last and Costliest Battle of the War – Okinawa, 1945
  • Fortunate to Survive a Near Fatality
Sojourn in Honolulu, 1945
  • Experience of U.S. Care and Attention
Favourable Winds is downloadable free of charge in PDF format, or you can purchase the print edition from Lulu.

A Desert Rats Scrapbook: Cairo to Berlin 1940-1945

In 1940 Ted Fogg and Ernest Webster joined The Desert Rats, one of the most famous divisions to fight in the Second World War. They were posted to the Western Desert and fought with the 7th Armoured Division against Mussolini's soldiers and Rommel's Afrika Korps. They were at Beda Fomm, Alamein and Tripoli, finally driving the Axis from Africa at Tunis. Next came Salerno and the Italian Campaign before withdrawal to Britain in readiness for D-Day. Moving through France, Belgium, Holland and on into Germany itself, they were both present at Luneburg Heath when Montgomery took the final surrender of the German Forces in north-west Europe. Eventually they took part in the great Victory Parade in Berlin in 1945.

The Desert Rats Scrapbook is the story of these two young men, told through over 180 photographs, many from the personal collection of the late Trooper Ted Fogg who was attached to TAC HQ, and the recollection of Sergeant Ernest Webster who was a tank driver and later was attached to HQ as a planner. Their friendship continued until Ted Fogg's death in 1986. Ernest Webster, at the age of 92, lives on at his home in Derbyshire. Roger Fogg, who painstakingly collated this unique record, is Ted's son.

Available from:
The History Press