South Atlantic Safari

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South Atlantic Safari is a vivid and entertaining look at the workings of the secret World War II air operation of the RAF Ferry Command. Captain Don McVicar, a flying legend, puts readers right in his cockpit on the B-26 ‘Widow Maker.’ This is a story that soars with thrills and adventure, and it’s a fitting tribute to these heroic airmen.”

William VanDerKloot
Producer/Director, Flying the Secret Sky: The Story of the RAF Ferry Command

In 1981, Captain Don McVicar, KC, OBE, published Ferry Command which described his dangerous flying adventures in the service of the Royal Air Force Ferry Command, a secret organization based at Dorval airport, near Montreal, Canada. It was the first of thirteen well-received volumes of his turbulent life in the Golden Age of Aviation. When Ferry Command sold out, its publisher, Airlife in Great Britain, did not print a second edition, so Capt. McVicar divided it into Ferry Command Pilot and South Atlantic Safari adding new material to both, and self-published them in 1990.

While Ferry Command Pilot is a tale of the Arctic and brutal flying over the frigid North Atlantic, South Atlantic Safari floats over the warm Caribbean, the jungles of South America, the equatorial South Atlantic, touching down on the burning deserts of Egypt. Capt. McVicar must master the sleek but dangerous B-26A Marauder which had earned the nickname “Widow Maker” due to its high accident rate. He is charged with delivering the first American-built bomber to the battle front of the RAF in Africa.

Capt. McVicar’s writing style was very much cherished by aviation enthusiasts from all walks of life, who often remarked that they felt as if they were right there in the cockpit with him, wrestling the temperamental aircraft to keep it from falling from the sky.

This edition marks the return of the second half of this classic tale of a secret but vital wartime organization to the world. Ferry Command Pilot was published by Words on Wings Press in June 2015 to commemorate what would have been Capt. McVicar’s 100th birthday.

The foreword is written by the navigator of that historic B-26 Marauder delivery to Africa, F/L E.E. “Ted” Biss, RCAF.

The addition by the author of little-known histories of three other ferrying organizations – the British Air Transport Auxiliary, Consairways, and Pan American Air Ferries – adds even more historical value to this tale, as does a comprehensive index compiled by the editor, Donna McVicar Kazo, along with a list of all RAFFC aircrew and groundcrew mentioned in the book.

Some photographs were supplied by William VanDerKloot, producer/director of Flying the Secret Sky, The Story of the RAF Ferry Command” as the tale of his father, Ferry Command Capt. William VanDerKloot’s service as Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s pilot is interwoven with Capt. McVicar’s.

0692515763 / 9780692515761
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6″ x 9″
Black and White
Related Categories:
History / Military / Aviation

To learn more about this fascinating aviation pioneer, please visit Capt. McVicar’s Page on our website: