Invited to a War
by Air Vice Marshal Alan Reed AO

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Invited to a War by Air Vice Marshal Alan Reed AO
 
Product details
Paperback: 314 pages
Publisher: Alan Reed
ISBN: 9781922270306
Trim size: 234 x 156 mm
 
Synopsis   
Family circumstances dictated that Alan Reed leave school before his sixteenth birthday.  He was employed in a Chartered Accountants office until “called up” for National Service Training in the RAAF. Becoming airborne for the first time in a Dakota DC3 changed his life forever and he applied for and was accepted by the RAAF as a Trainee Pilot.  Graduating as a Sergeant in 1954 he progressed through the ranks completing his career as an Air Vice Marshal leading RAAF Support Command, an organisation of more than twelve thousand people:  one of Australia’s largest institutions at the time.
His initial posting was to a Maritime Reconnaissance Squadron flying the Lincoln initially called the Lancaster Mark IV. He was very fortunate to not be with his crew when they were killed carrying out a mercy mission at night in an attempt to save the life of a seriously ill “blue” baby. Moving to jets, Alan and his navigator became the first RAAF Category A crew on the  Canberra bomber and he completed a circumnavigation of the world with two other Canberra aircraft to represent Australia at the Nigerian Independence celebrations in 1960.  In 1967, he was selected as an Exchange Officer with the United States Air Force flying the Phantom, one of the highest performing aircraft in the world then holding fifteen aviation records. His job was to train American pilots and navigators to fly this aircraft and to be combat proficient in the esoteric world of reconnaissance.  Recognising his limitations in this job without having the experience he felt he needed, he requested approval from the Australian and US Governments to serve in Vietnam.  Approval from both Governments finally came through and because he was a foreign national, the USAF did not have the authority to order him to war. They issued him with “Invitational Orders”. He thus claims to be one of the very few people in the world to receive an invitation to a war and hence the title of his book “Invited to a War”.
Subsequent postings included command of a RAAF Phantom squadron; faculty member at the Joint Services Staff College; senior officer flying the F111C while responsible for all air operations on Australia’s largest Air Force base; command of the degree conferring RAAF Academy;  Air Attaché Washington and after promotion to Air Vice Marshal, command of RAAF Support Command. He was recognised by the Queen with the award of a Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air; awarded the USAF Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster and appointed as an Officer in the Order of Australia in 1989 in recognition of his contribution to the RAAF.
On retirement from the RAAF in November 1990, Alan established a successful consultancy business.  He has two sons and five gorgeous granddaughters. Life has been and remains good.
 
22/12/2020
Name : Raymond Lewis
Location : Australia
Title : recommend this book to anyone with a with a feeling for aviation history
Review : Alans book is an acute and honest record of a remarkable personal life, and of those around him who helped make it possible. His book focused on an illustrious military career as a RAAF pilot and eventually as an Air Vice Marshall, and member of the Air Board. He was a lucky man at times, when such was needed to survive things coming unstuck in the air. It is a RAAF pilots story written in high detail, and might I say, some humility. He had the good fortune of a having a very capable wife, Aileen, who built a strong family around him. They came through a most adventurous and international life as a thoroughly decent couple who made lifetime friendships worldwide. I recommend this book to anyone with a with a feeling for aviation history and a sense of adventure.

22/12/2020
Name : John Schmoll
Location : Australia
Title : Terrific author, accomplished man
Review : Great read.

22/12/2020
Name : Louise Wilson
Location : Melbourne
Title : ‘Invited to a War’ is a real boy’s own adventure
Review : "I believe I am one of the very few people in the world ever to have been invited to participate in a war." So says the author about his role as an Australian Squadron Leader assisting the Americans in the Vietnam War in 1968. Spoiler alert - we are spared any gory details. ‘Invited to a War’ is a real boy’s own adventure, reminiscent of those ‘Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines’. The author's fascination with flying Tiger Moths conjured up an image of Biggles and his numerous ‘cat with nine lives’ experiences and quirky sense of humour frequently brought a smile to my face. Being 'a lucky man' or luck playing its part in being 'in the right place at the right time' is a constant theme throughout the book. It’s a great history of an important era for the Royal Australian Air Force post World War 2 and a highly entertaining memoir of an impressive and exciting career. An excellent family history component is seamlessly woven in, with the author's boyhood in Western Australia especially interesting.

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