Former RAF pilot releases memoir

Michael Napier with his new book Tornado Over the Tigris. NNL-150723-171542001
Michael Napier with his new book Tornado Over the Tigris. NNL-150723-171542001

A former RAF pilot from Great Rollrightwho flew Tornado jets over Germany during the height of the cold war has made his third sortie into the world of literature.

‘Tornado Over the Tigris’ is Michael Napier’s personal account of ten years of flying the GR1 strike craft over continental Europe and Sardinia and later his involvement in actions over Iraq after the end of the Gulf War.

Earlier this year the 55 year old released Blue Diamonds, a history of the 14 Squadron from the Second World War to today and this year celebrates its 100th anniversary.

Now the married father of two is still flying over Europe, as a pilot for British Airways and he said he wants to give readers a taste of what it’s really like to fly a Tornado at speeds in excess of 450mph.

The book charts Mr Napier’s progress from a struggling ‘first-tourist’ to a flight commander leading air-strikes against Iraqi air defence installations during Coalition operations in the country.

“Flying gives you a side of the world most people never get to see,” said Mr Napier. “You have this tremendous sense of freedom.

“I found the whole experience of writing the book was like reliving it. It brought it back so vividly.

“I will always remember the cold war, when we really did believe the Russians would be coming at any minute and we would be the first line of defence.

“In part the book is also a dedication to the sacrifice of the many airmen who served in these conflicts.”

The elder son of an army officer, Michael Napier joined the RAF in 1978 and served with 14 Squadron as a Tornado pilot in the late 1980s and again in the early 1990s.

These two tours engendered a deep interest in 14 Squadron’s distinguished history. He was appointed as honorary secretary of the 14 Squadron Association in 2003 and since then has carried out extensive research into the squadron’s heritage.