The authoritative biography of the WWII ace fighter pilot, hero of the Battle of Britain and author of the classic wartime memoir The Last Enemy.
As both a legendary flying ace and an accomplished author, Richard Hillary achieved a unique kind of immortality during his tragically short life. Born in Australia and raised in England, he attended Oxford University before joining the Royal Air Force at the outbreak of World War II. Flying Spitfires in the 603 Squadron, he became an ace in the Battle of Britain.
Though he managed to survive being shot down in September 1940, he suffered severe burns to his face and hands. It was during his long and painful recovery that Hillary wrote his masterpiece, The Last Enemy. Then, anxious to return to flying, he died when his Bristol Blenheim bomber crashed in ‘mysterious’ circumstances in 1943.
Cutting through myth and misinformation, biographer David Ross draws on extensive archival research, including from the Richard Hillary Trust Archive in Oxford, as well as interviews with Hillary’s contemporaries. This complete biography also features many previously unseen photographs.