Frank Dell's experience as a Second World War pilot with the Royal Air Force's Light Night Striking Force takes an even more dramatic turn when his Mosquito is shot down over Germany on the night of 14/15 October 1944. In Mosquito Down Frank recounts his escape from the disintegrating aircraft, his descent by parachute, and how, battered and bruised, he finds himself in a field adjacent to a German V2 rocket launch pad. Determined to avoid capture Frank crosses Nazi Germany and finds refuge in Holland with a Dutch Resistance group. A schoolboy when the conflict broke out, Frank Dell's extraordinary war takes him from a Home Guard unit defending the English coast against enemy invasion in 1940, to a tragic incident leading to the execution of Dutch civilians only weeks before the end of the hostilities. Frank's observant eye gives insight into what it is like to train and fly operationally with RAF Bomber Command, followed by the even greater challenges he confronts as he narrowly escapes capture while on the run from the Germans. Through compelling narrative Frank Dell shares his unique story with honesty and candor, finding humor and camaraderie. He emerges from his traumatic experiences with heightened respect for the courageous Dutch families who risked death to shelter him and other Allied airmen.
Francis (Frank) Humphrey Dell was born in 1923, joining the Home Guard in 1940 while still at school. He served in the RAF between 1941 and 1946, and then flew for BEA in Cyprus before returning to the UK in 1954, where he flew Viscounts, Vanguards and Tridents, retiring in 1976 as British Airway's Chief Pilot (Technical). After retirement Frank served as a member of the Board of the Civil Aviation Authority, and held the post of Master of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators in London. Frank is married to Isabel and they have three children, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Frank and Isabel now live in Sydney, Australia.