By: Tony Gaze .
The story of Squadron Leader Tony Gaze OAM DFC*** Australian Spitfire Ace & Grand Prix Racing Car Driver. It reads like one of those ‘Boy’s Own’ adventure stories of days gone by, but the story of this remarkable Australian is fact, not fiction. Tony Gaze has a litany of remarkable achievements to his credit resulting from his two careers: as a fighter pilot with the Royal Air Force during World War II and as a racing driver afterwards.
Tony Gaze flew Spitfires almost exclusively during the war and ended it with 12.5 confirmed combat victories to his credit and another four ‘probables’; he flew with and was highly respected by luminaries such as Douglas Bader and Johnnie Johnson and was rated by them and others as an exceptional fighter pilot.
He has the rare distinction of being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross three times; he was the first Australian to fly jet aircraft operationally; he was the first Australian pilot to shoot down an enemy jet aircraft; he escaped from occupied France with the help of the French Resistance; and he was the first Allied pilot to land in France after D-Day.
Then there’s Tony Gaze’s motor racing career after the war: the first Australian to compete in World Championship Grand Prix motor racing; the driving force behind the establishment of the Goodwood motor racing circuit in England and a racing career that saw him competing in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in openwheelers and sports cars.
Tony Gaze also represented Australia in the 1960 World Gliding Championship in Germany and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the 2006 New Year’s Honours List. By any measure, Tony Gaze’s life has been an extraordinary one and his list of achievements remarkable.
This book captures the drama and excitement of that life in detail and has been written with the full co-operation of Tony and his family.