Night after Night

Night after Night

28 Mar 2022

Night After Night is the fascinating WW II story of William Meyer, a man who kept a startling secret from both the RAF and his crew.

Determined to serve his country and become a pilot, William Meyer leaves the comparative safety of a ‘reserved occupation’ and volunteers. Following training in the USA and Scotland he joins RAF (IX) Squadron flying Lancasters. He and his crew become known for their outstanding performance.

Facing the unique stresses and strange duality of life in Bomber Command. William Meyer is caught between two worlds: the terrifying nights in the skies over Germany and ‘normal’ life on the ground. And always, at the back of his mind, the insistent thoughts of what tomorrow night may bring.

The author tells the remarkable tale of how she traced William Meyer’s time in the RAF and how his startling secret was discovered. Finally she describes the unexpected results of this search in present day Germany, and the shock as a last poignant link to the past is discovered there.

William Meyer’s fascinating story was pieced together through research in archives in the UK and Germany and Squadron records, log books, wartime diaries and letters.

Interviews with Bomber Command veterans, the families of crew members and German civilians give an intensely personal perspective to the story while detailed analysis of historical sources reveal how strategic aims shape the demands made on Bomber Command and the resulting human cost to those serving in it.  

Night After Night relates how such demands resulted in mounting pressure on the men of Bomber Command reaching a peak during the winter of 1943/44 when men, already coping with immense physical and mental demands saw their chances of survival rapidly diminishing/vanishing.

How did men cope with the enormous physical and mental demands of nights spent in hostile skies knowing that, even when they did get safely back, they would have to face it all again, possibly the very next night, or the night after?  Whilst there is still debate as to exact numbers the odds of surviving a first tour of 30 operations have been calculated to be one in six while for surviving a second tour the odds lengthen to one in forty. The book looks at what made it possible for them to continue in the face of such odds, and what happened to those that could not. 

The Afterword moves this remarkable story into the present day describing the excitements and disappointments encountered as the author searched for details of William Meyer’s life and time in the RAF.   While there were many surprise discoveries it was the startling secret that William Meyer had carefully kept from his crew that gave a totally new perspective to this story. 

Illustrated with original photographs the author interweaves military, social and family history to give a vivid feel of what life was like in Bomber Command in wartime Britain.  

£12.99

Available from the following retailers

WHSmith

Blackwells

Waterstones

Troubador Publishing Ltd

ISBN: 9781800465091
ISBN-13: 9781800466814
Available in the following formats:
  • Paperback
  • eBook

Meticulously pieced together...

Reviewed in Aeroplane Magazine October 2022

The result of much research and investigation by Langevad.   Meyer's wartime career has been meticulously pieced together... this is a most intereesting story that reads well..

An outstanding book

Reviewed on Netgalley June 2022

An outstanding book about a Bomber Command pilot, William (Bill) Meyer, and his crew members during the Battle of the Ruhr in WW2. The author has clearly put a lot of effort into researching the histories of the main character and the men that he flew with, on his terrifying operations into Germany and occupied Europe.

I have a massive amount of empathy for the bomber crews, my Father served as a Wireless Operator in a Lancaster during the same campaigns as Bill. He only just survived his designated tour, after many near fatal operations, which I discovered in his log book. Like most veterans, he hardly ever spoke about his missions, but his stories of the RAF selection process and life off-duty totally aligned with the author’s descriptions.

Luella Langevad, the author, is a skilled, passionate, writer who fully understands the bravery of these extraordinary airmen who risked their lives on a nightly basis. She puts a human sensitive touch into her descriptions of the crews.

I wont reveal Bill's secret, because it my spoil the plot!

A great account that should be read by all.

Ron B

What a riveting account of what the RAF Bomber personnel endured during the war. The horrors and terrible conditions they were able to overcome was inspirational. A great account that should be read by all.