From Sapper to Spitfire Spy

The WWII Biography of David Greville-Heygate DFC

Sally-Anne Greville Heygate

Date Published :
November 2015
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Hardback
ISBN : 9781473843882

Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stockPages : 240
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David Greville-Heygate was one of the few men who served in both the army and the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, but it was in the sky that he really earned his stripes. Stalking the skies flying photo-reconnaissance missions with No. 16 Squadron over Northern France, he was to win the illustrious and highly coveted Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC). Another highlight saw him in action in the skies above the French coastline in preparation for the D-Day landings, taking photographs that would provide the allies with essential intelligence upon which to base their plans. Based in Holland in December 1944, David flew armed recess with No.168 Squadron then transferred to No.2 Squadron where he reported on troop movements behind German lines. During the course of a dynamic and eventful career, he flew a wide variety of iconic wartime aircraft including Lysanders, Mustangs, Typhoons and Spitfires in England, the Netherlands and Germany.

Although there have been many stories about the Battle of Britain there has been less published about the life of a photo reconnaissance pilot during this time. David's thrilling exploits in the sky and the part he played within the context of the wider war are enlivened here to great effect by his daughter, Sally-Anne Greville Heygate, herself a professional photographer. Using snippets from diary entries, letters, logbooks, squadron records and other documents, she has managed to construct an engaging history of a talented photo-reconnaissance pilot and the war in which he fought.

About The Author

Sally-Anne Greville-Heygate is a professional freelance photographer, teacher and a member of the Society of Authors. She has had photographs and articles published in a variety of books and magazines and gained an MA in Writing for Children from Winchester University. She lives in Salisbury and has two children at University. She is currently working on her next book about the life of a Victorian soldier in the Royal Engineers.


"a detailed report of daily life between the war days. The book is illustrated with a lot of pictures. These are mainly ‘family pictures’ of his squadron crews."

- Aviation Reviews

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