A Dabber’s War book cover (1)

Local historians Mark A. Potts and Tony Marks have written and published their new book called “A Dabber’s War”, writes Jonathan White.

It chronicles the service record of Flight Sergeant Joseph Wheeler 1943-1944.

The 25th July 2023 marked the 79th anniversary of the loss of former Nantwich Air Cadet Joseph Wheeler, born in Nantwich.

He did not return from a raid on Stuttgart in the small hours of 25th July 1944, on what was his 34th operational flight.

Through his flying log book and RAF documents, the authors have chronicled his service from training days to his operational record, which included six raids on Berlin and another on D-Day.

However, following the failure of his aircraft to return to its base, nothing was heard for months regarding where his Lancaster had crashed or what had happened to the crew.

It would be years before the final details were unearthed.

The 104-page book is published by Mpire books and will be available to buy from 26th August 2023.

The price of the book is £10 and any profits will be used to purchase a special ‘Joseph Wheeler Memorial Cup’ which will be presented to 100 (Nantwich) Squadron Royal Air Force Air Cadets to award annually.

The book will be available to buy from Nantwich Bookshop on High Street and Nantwich Museum on Pillory Street.

Mark said: “There are many unsung war heroes commemorated on the Nantwich War Memorial, and Joseph Wheeler was certainly one of them.

“When he joined Bomber Command in 1943 as an air gunner at the age of just 19, his chances of surviving to witness peace were slim, with 55,000 Bomber Command aircrew losing their lives, of which 20,000 were air gunners.

“On 34 occasions he braved freezing conditions, flak batteries, night fighters and collisions in the air, before his luck finally ran out.

“It is a remarkable record and story of bravery, devotion to duty and heartache for his family.

“Hopefully the book gives an insight into what he endured in his short but eventful service.”

A Dabber’s War book cover

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