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The FlyerBritish Culture and the Royal Air Force 1939–1945$
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Martin Francis

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199277483

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199277483.001.0001

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A Darker Blue

A Darker Blue

Chapter:
(p.131) 6 A Darker Blue
Source:
The Flyer
Author(s):

Martin Francis

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199277483.003.0007

This chapter is dedicated to broken flyers (those disabled or disfigured in combat), flawed flyers (those with psychological problems), and false flyers (men who passed themselves off as airmen to facilitate their nefarious purposes, as spies or sexual predators). In contrast to the image of the carefree, debonair flyer which had so captivated the public, it deals with darker imaginings of the men in blue, whether real or fictionalized. It presents the badly burnt airman William Simpson, who is spurned by his wife at first sight of his grotesquely misshapen face; the emotionally stunted ex-fighter pilot Freddie Page in Terence Rattigan's play The Deep Blue Sea; and Neville Heath, the sadistic serial killer who passed himself off as a dashing wartime group captain.

Keywords:   disability, spies, serial killers, William Simpson, Freddie Page, The Deep Blue Sea, Neville Heath

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