Author(s): Roald Dahl
Young Roald Dahl leaves England in 1938 for a job with Shell Oil in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, and travelling around East Africa, he comes to love the beautiful and perilous country. Then, with the outbreak of World War II, he decides to sign up with the Royal Air Force and learn to fly. After six months of training, Dahl is ready to join 80 Squadron but is given the wrong directions and crash-lands in the western desert of Libya. He recuperates for half a year in Egypt and takes to the air again, meeting up at last with his squadron in Greece. Though he has no combat training, and minimal flight experience, he and 14 other pilots make up the entire RAF in that theatre of war. On April 20, 1941, this band must take on the German Luftwaffe in the battle of Athens. Dahl recounts the exhilaration of flying, the camaraderie of his fellow pilots and the exotic beauty of his African experience.
Roald Dahl, the best-loved of children's writers, was born in Wales of Norwegian parents. After school in England he went to work for Shell in Africa. He began to write after "a monumental bash on the head", sustained as an RAF pilot in World War II. Roald Dahl died in 1990.