This is the remarkable story of Lancaster pilot Sidney ‘Stevie’ Stevens DFC AE*. After serving as an ARP Controller in London and witnessing his family home obliterated by German bombing during the Blitz, he vowed to become a Bomber Pilot, joined the RAFVR in April 1941, and completed his initial pilot’s training at Carlisle.
In January 1942, Stevie was posted to America, and did his advanced flying training in California near Hollywood, rubbing shoulders with film stars. After gaining his Wings, he returned to the UK and learned to fly Lancasters. In May 1943 he was posted to 57 Squadron at RAF Scampton, in time to watch the Dambusters take-off on their historic mission.
By the end of October 1943, when the survival rate among Bomber Command aircrew was one in five, Stevie had completed a full tour of Operations as the captain of a Lancaster, been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, and met his future wife, WAAF Corporal Maureen Miller, who talked down Guy Gibson and his pilots from the control tower at Scampton on their return from the Dams raid.
In 1947, after nearly four hazardous and eventful years instructing on Wellington bombers, Stevie left the RAF, settling in Norwich with Maureen and their son Adrian. He became an innovative and much-loved Maths teacher. When he and Maureen passed away after 74 years of marriage, they were both given lengthy obituaries in The Times.
This book has been a labour of love for all concerned and is designed and printed to the highest standards using full colour throughout. It will be officially launched on Monday 30th August 2021 at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, Stevie’s old RAF station of East Kirkby, as part of their Lanc, Tank and Military Machines weekend. There will be Lancaster and Mosquito Taxi runs, and I have secured a Flypast by the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (subject to weather/serviceability). We hope to see you there and will be a fitting tribute to Stevie and his comrades!
RRP: £20 (plus p&p)
The book is a 256 page Hardback designed and printed in the highest standards using full colour and images throughout.
Copies, including those signed if so wished, are available directly from myself – please just use the Contact/Order form to get in touch with your details.
Online orders can otherwise be placed directly with the publisher website via Wing Leader at www.wingleader.co.uk/shop/tomorrow-may-never-come