Book Review: Bolts From The Blue – From Cold War Warrior To Chief Of The Air Staff
By Sir Richard Johns GCB KCVO CBE FRAES
This long-awaited autobiography offers a fascinating insight into the distinguished RAF career of a Cold War pilot who rose to the very top. He was commissioned at RAF College Cranwell in 1959 after completing flying training on Piston Provosts and Meteors. He served as an operational fast-jet pilot with Javelin night fighters and then Hunters operating from Aden and Oman among his steeds. Thereafter he qualified as a flying instructor, initially on the Gnat, and then the Jet Provost as a squadron commander at Cranwell. In his last year as a flying instructor he taught The Prince of Wales to wings standard.
During the 1990s, Sir Richard held a succession of senior national and NATO appointments. In the first Gulf War he was the director of operations in the National Joint Headquarters for all British forces deployed to the Middle East. Later, as a NATO C-in-C, he was responsible for training and bringing to full operational capability the new Regional Command of Allied Forces, North West Europe. He was appointed Chief of the Air Staff in 1997. His views in the book are forthright and thought-provoking – and essential reading.
Publisher: Grub Street https://grubstreet.co.uk
ISBN: 9781911621096. Hardback: 320 pages. RRP: £25