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There's Freedom in the Air: The Official Story of the Allied Air Forces From the Occupied Countries
Page Count
Word Count
His Majesty's Stationery Office
Publication Year
Document Types
Organizations, Writings on Behalf of
Original Typescript (tss)
Pilots, War

London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1944 (March).
"Prepared for the Air Ministry by the Ministry of Information."

The pamphlet "tells the stirring and ennobling story of the achievements of our European allies flying and fighting side by side with the Royal Air Force." Bates, whose name does not appear on the publication, honors Poles, Czechoslovakians, Norwegians, Dutch, Belgians, French, Greeks, and Yugoslavs, working chronologically from the war between Poland and Germany in September, 1939 onwards.

Liberally supported with photographs, Bates relates the battles with Germany that led to airmen escaping to England, often by harrowing and circuitous routes, their training in the English language and English aircraft, their service in British squadrons in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Britain, and their dedication to fighting a common enemy.

Bates intersperses battle history and inspiring anecdotes (some of which found themselves into the plots or at least dialog of Bates's fictional pieces, such as a brief version of the tale captured in "The Three Thousand and One Hours of Sergeant Kostek"); he ends with a vision of a peace built upon the collaboration of soldiers from many countries, their exposure to British culture, and their influence on the insular life of Britain. According to Eads (1990, p. 54), citing a government publication, 399,900 copies were printed.

A typescript is held at the National Archives in Kew (AIR 20/4875)