“Fascinating, highly informative, and unbearably moving…beautifully written and meticulously researched.”

“If one was looking for an account of how it was for RAF Bomber Crews, this is as good as it gets…a wonderful and beautifully written publication, probably the most engaging account of an ‘ordinary’ bomber crew member and his comrades that this reviewer has ever had the privilege of reading” -Andy Saunders, for History of War Magazine.

Book cover Above Us The Stars
Book cover, Above Us The Stars

Over 55,000 young Bomber Command airmen made the ultimate sacrifice; thousands more of their comrades survived one of the bloodiest and most controversial campaigns of the Second World War, but never spoke about their experiences after the end of hostilities.

Above Us The Stars tells the story of one of those men, 20-year-old wireless operator Jack Clyde. Through contemporary documents, Jack’s own notes, Squadron records, family testimony, interviews with Bomber Command veterans and German civilians, the author pieces together not only the story of Jack and his 10 Squadron Halifax crew, but also that of the family he left behind in the Durham mining town of Seaham Harbour.

a young man in RAf Uniform  Above Us The Stars

Why did so many men like Jack remain silent? Why were they unwilling or unable to tell their stories? How did the families of the “Bomber Boys” cope? How did these young men deal with the death and destruction they wrought upon German civilians, and the loss of so many of their comrades?

The author explores the answers to these questions and more, and casts a new perspective on the RAF bombing campaign, in this vivid account of wartime in North East England, and of the experiences of the “Silent Heroes” of Bomber Command.  

Illustrated with original photographs, this factual account provides an intimate glimpse into the everyday lives of a Halifax bomber crew, and the horrors faced both by the airmen and German civilians “on the ground”.

The impact of the war – rationing, air raids, separation, grief and hope – upon the Clyde family (Jack’s sister Lydia, father John and little brother George) and their friends and neighbours in the Durham mining town of Seaham Harbour is described in heartbreaking detail.

Air Raid Seaham Harbour May 1943
Aftermath of an air raid on Seaham Harbour, May 1943

Interviews with family members and citizens are interwoven with a detailed analysis of contemporaneous historical sources, and of 10 Squadron’s operations from the commencement of the Battle of the Ruhr in the late Spring of 1943, until the end of hostilities.

With only a 20% chance of surviving their first five of thirty scheduled raids, Jack and his crew – Reg, Bill, Freddie, Ken, Roy and George – faced not only the steepest of odds but also their own mounting fears and trauma.

Ground crew and Air Crew
The Pennicott crew and technicians (Jack standing second left)

You can watch me talking to WW2TV on Youtube about the Handley Page Halifax , Jack and the Pennicott crew here : WARNING – CONTAINS SPOILERS!

You can listen here to a podcast interview I did with Home Brew History in the United States all about Above Us The Stars, and here for my interview with the Khaki Malarkey military history podcast.

Available Now

Above Us The Stars was published on 3rd September 2020.

You can buy a signed copy now by clicking here or navigating to the store page on the main menu. An ebook version is also available for Kindle here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Above-Us-Stars-Squadron-Operators-ebook/dp/B09S6WLG8L/ref=sr_1_2?crid=22N46MLHPLLYL&keywords=above+us+the+stars&qid=1644776403&s=digital-text&sprefix=above+us%2Cdigital-text%2C119&sr=1-2

If you’re outside the UK (USA, CANADA, AUSTRALIA), you can buy the book via print on demand on Amazon, or upload the ebook).

Above Us The Stars is also available from all good booksellers, including Waterstones, Foyles, Barnes & Noble, and internationally.


  1. David Leitch January 22, 2021

    Just finished reading this – what a fantastic read! I sometimes think I’d like to write a book like this about my uncle Aubrey who was a WOP/AG with 106 squadron and failed to return from a Berlin op in November 1943. He enlisted in 1938 as a musician in the Cranwell College Band, it’s so poignant that he volunteered for aircrew and gave his life.
    I was intrigued to read your descriptions of the crew’s post-war lives, it made me wonder what my uncle would have been like. In our memories he’s still 23….
    Thank you again for a wonderful book.
    Best wishes, David

    • Jane January 22, 2021 — Post author

      Hello David, thank you so much for taking the time to get in touch. I’m so glad you enjoyed Above Us The Stars. I think it’s so important that we remember those who failed to return , and those who survived but who had to live with the consequences. I do hope that you write about your uncle’s story. Best wishes, Jane

  2. Alan davis February 2, 2021

    Hi Jane how can I order a signed copy of above us the stars please best wishes alan

  3. David George Mullinex February 19, 2021

    Hi Jane.
    My father served with 10 Squadron as a wireless operator from November 1943 until August 1044 before moving on as an instructor.
    I look forward very much to obtaining your book.

  4. Robert McClements November 15, 2021

    Dear Jane
    The book looks excellent, by all accounts. You met my father yesterday at Melbourne. He would very much like to read your work. what is the best way for me to arrange that for him?
    Thank you
    Robert McClements (Junior)

  5. David Poissant January 18, 2022

    I tried, unsuccessfully, to get this book earlier (I’m in Canada). Very happy to see it now available via Amazon; I’ve ordered it. Pity I cannot get a signed copy.

  6. Harry Bartlett February 22, 2022

    I am the Secretary of the 102 (Ceylon) Squadron Association and known to Mike Westwood. I would like to speak to you about the ‘talks’ you do.
    I am planning our Reunion Weekend and Annual Dinner in June and the link with 10 Squadron and 4 Group is a theme I would like to discuss.
    Please use the email below if you would like to contact me. I will then give you contact details.

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