Born in 1894, Lee joined the Royal Army in 1915 at the Sherwood Foresters, a line infantry regiment. He transferred to the Roayl Flying Corps and learned to fly at Filton Airfield, 10th Central Flying School, near Bristol. On May 1917 he was posted to No. 46 Squadron RFC, La Gorgue, France where he flew Sopwith Pups and Camels for about eight month until January 1918. After that he served as a flying instructor for RFC. He retired from active service at the rank of a RAF Vice Air-Marshal after the WWII in 19146.
After his military carreer he started a new civil career as writer. One of his autobiographic books is Open Cockpit.
In 18 Chapters Lee describes his way from the flying school at Filton to the Western Front in Flanders. With a lot of detailed descriptions of places and people, his several sorties, personal experiences and fears he draws a detailed picture of what it meant to be a fighter pilot in WWI at the Western Front. It’s a first hand source, and despite the fact that he sometimes may exaggerate things a bit, I would consider it as a reliable and reasonable source – a good and recommendable read in any way.
Author: Arthur Gould Lee
Publisher: Grub Street Publishing (August 19, 2012)