Under a Bomber's Moon: The True Story of Two Airmen at War Over Germany
They were the best of enemies - dedicated, skilled and deadly. In the night skies above wartime Germany an RAF navigator-bomber from New Zealand and a Luftwaffe pilot seek out their targets, testing the gap between success and their own destruction as they cross each other's paths. The odds are heavily against either of them making it through the war, but as this sobering realisation displaces their initial exuberant adventurism, both come to see in their youthful sacrifice the survival of all they hold dear. Under a Bomber's Moon reaches across the divide of years, of geography, of nationality to tell their story largely in their own words - describing both the breathtaking clashes in the air and the camaraderie, humour, patriotism and personal tragedies that became their war. Stephen Harris began his journey of discovery because he wanted to know the truth of his great-uncle Colwyn Jones' fate. With Col's vividly written letters and diaries as a starting-point, he set out to discover what really happened on the night Col's extraordinary luck ran out. Little did he know that his quest would lead him to a meeting with a former Luftwaffe pilot who might well have engaged with his great-uncle in the skies over Germany. Otto-Heinrich Fries proved to be both co-operative and articulate, eventually allowing Harris to tell his story in this book. The result is a unique and personal account of two highly successful airmen from opposing sides.
Stephen Harris is a career diplomat. After completing a six-year assignment at the New Zealand Embassy in Berlin, he returned to New Zealand with his family late last year and is now Deputy Director in the Middle East and Africa Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Wellington. This is his first book.