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Rosé tales led to £60,000 for charity

Tales told after a few rosé wines beside a swimming pool in a Toulouse garden have raised more than £60,000 for UK Armed Forces charities after the funny but scary stories were turned into a series of books on RAF life.

Called Out of the Blue, the series started at Chris Long’s home in Toulouse in 2009 when he and long-time RAF friends Dim Jones and Ian Cowie were chatting about their time and laughing at the ridiculous adventures and narrow escapes they had.

Dim and Chris were already working with aviation publishers Halldale Media and thought the little-known tales deserved a wider circulation while helping a good cause.

All now retired, the three friends decided proceeds would go to charity and split money between the RAF Ben­ev­ol­­ent Fund, The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.

The first book, Out of the Blue, featured tales such as the Hunter pilot who flew under Tower Bridge in London while the second, Out of the Blue: The Sometimes Scary and Often Funny World of Flying tells of an idea to use a bombing range from both directions with jets flying at different heights.

The latest – and final – book Out of the Blue: The Final Landing will be available on Amazon and the RAF Benev­ol­ent Fund website and has 110 stories about RAF flying ranging from the Second World War to the Balkans war.

Several anecdotes come from former RAF people in France. It also includes a thought- provoking story on the French Air Force squadrons integrated into the RAF flying Halifax bombers at Elving­ton during the Second World War.

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