Renegade Hero: The True Story of RAF Pilot Terry Peet and His Clandestine Mercy Flying with the CIA

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Pen & Sword Aviation, 2011 - History - 264 pages
Cold War helicopter ace Terry Peet lived for flying. He was a "go anywhere, do anything", Royal Air Force pilot with a reputation for "sheer guts". Whether ferrying troops to remote jungle landing zones or snatching casualties from makeshift clearings surrounded by two-hundred-feet high trees, he willingly pushed himself and his primitive Sycamore helicopter to the limit. During two years in the hot spots of Malaya and Borneo with the RAF, he repeatedly cheated death and earned a Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air. Then suddenly he disappeared without trace, apparently drowned tragically while on a recreational scuba dive off the North Wales coast. Six years later he dramatically reappeared in a back-from-the-dead drama worthy of fiction. The media hailed him enthusiastically as a renegade hero and "Flying Pimpernel" when the story of his mysterious disappearance and subsequent extraordinary double life unfolded. In fact he had been recruited by the CIA for a clandestine air force involved in paramilitary operations in the former Belgian Congo. He was told that his departure from the RAF had to be "covert". The summary presented in his eventual court martial crucially omitted this. It also failed to disclose that his employment as a mercenary, or "contract pilot" to use the CIA's more inoffensive terminology, received the tacit approval of British intelligence. Moreover, a claim that the RAF had not seen or heard anything of him following his disappearance in Anglesey was completely untrue. This book is the true revelation of an entirely mysterious affair as told to the author by Terry Peet. SELLING POINTS: * A remarkable true story of British and American intrigue. * Full of revelations about the politics and leaders of the new Independent African states. * A riveting story of mercy flying and espionage. AUTHOR: Michael Hingston was a press reporter who covered the disappearance of Terry Peet in the so-called diving accident and later went on to cover the results of the court marshal when he returned to the UK six years later. Having become fascinated by the story he travelled to France to interview Peet who eventually revealed his story. ILLUSTRATIONS: 60 images *

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About the author (2011)

Michael Hingston is an author and historian.

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