11 September 2011

Tiger Cub - Christopher Yeoman and John Freeborn

Beginning in 2007 the book jumps back to 1938 with Freeborn arriving at Hornchurch not very sure of himself. The ensuing chapter describes Freeborn’s start as a fighter pilot. The Battle of Barking Creek is covered with Roger Bushell [of Great Escape ‘fame’] appearing. The chapter seemed short though.

After Freeborn’s Dunkirk adventures Yeoman writes as if he is writing a 74 Squadron diary with short stories of Freeborn in between. One of the things that surprised me was that this book has only 25 pages about the Battle of Britain. A bit of a disappointment. An interesting surprise was the way Yeoman compares 74 to 92 Squadron.

The final verdict is this (a slim 130 pages) doesn’t quite do Freeborn justice. If you’re looking for something like 74’s 1939-41 record this is your book.

Jim Balasch, Ontario - winner of ABR's second anniversary mini-review competition.


  1. Hi Jim, thanks for taking the time to read my book and for posting a review, I really appreciate it. I'm sorry to see you were disappointed in some areas but I would just like to clarify that the Barking Creek chapter is fairly short because basically that is all the information there is about it. Also I made an effort not to drift too far away from John's personal story which is why I didn't detail the Battle of Britain history any further. There are thousands of books already detailing the Battle of Britain from start to finish and so I didn't feel I had anything new to add to it, instead I just focused on John's experiences during that time. The book is focused soley on John's time with 74 Squadron - a conscious decision from the both of us because there is already a book called 'A Tiger's Tale' by Bob Cossey which documents the rest of John's career. I hope this doesn't seem like I am on the defensive, but I just wanted to explain the reasons behind the points you have made on here. Once again, thanks again! - Chris ( I do think this does Freeborn justice, but that's just me ;)

  2. Hi Chris

    Many thanks for taking the time to post here and follow up on Jim's review. I really appreciate the added context you've provided for the book. Looks like I'll have to add both this and the Cossey book to my wishlist.

    Are you working on any new projects?

    Kind regards and thanks again

    Andy Wright

  3. By the way, congratulations on the oustanding success of Portraits Of The Few and your involvement in Bomber Command: Failed To Return.

  4. Hi Andy, thank you, I appreciate that! Kind of you to say :)

    I have a book sitting with a publisher now which hopefully will be out next year. It is concentrated on 10 of the Few.

    Great blog by the way!


  5. Thanks, Chris. I've had a quick couple of visits to your blogs and will be back for a proper read over the weekend.

    Happy for ABR to promote any of your work so feel free to ask if you are so inclined. Drop me an email if you like - aircrewbooksATiinet.net.au . Always keen for a gasbag about books!



  6. Thanks for your interest in my review Chris, Andy here talks to the authors all the time but this is a whole new thing for me! Thanks again, am looking forward to your next work.