24 July 2010

Commander RM 'Mike' Crosley DSC*, RN - RIP

It was with considerable sadness that I read of 'Mike' Crosley's passing today. While he died on June 20, the Telegraph obituary has only just been published.

As regular readers of ABR may remember, Crosley was the author of the superlative They Gave Me A Seafire which I reviewed in January (check the blog archive for 2010) and is a book that is as much a study of the FAA's wartime development as it is an entertaining and informative memoir of a remarkable pilot.

After publishing the review here I was honoured to be contacted first by a family friend and, secondly, by Mr Crosley's wife, Joan. For the past seven years Joan had been looking after her husband who was suffering Lewybody Dementia. Only recently had Mr Crosley been placed in a nursing home so it would seem remarkable and dedicated people are attracted to each other. While Mr Crosley's poor health and passing is a sad end to the life of a very clever man with a marvellous sense of humour, his astounding legacy lives on in his five children and in writing that can be favourably compared to 'classics' such as Geoffrey Wellum's First Light. May he rest in peace.

Photo courtesy The Telegraph.

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