He watched the 'Battle of Britain' from the tennis court at home, and when he turned eighteen he volunteered for the RAF.
He learned to fly in the USA and was posted to a Spitfire squadron. Some of the story depicts the wild life enjoyed by the young fighter pilots between sorties, as each day could always have been their last one on earth.
The squadron was in Malta covering the invasion of Sicily when he was shot down. He crash-landed in a tiny field and set off to get back to the beach to try and get a lift back to Malta. After two skirmishes with the enemy he was finally captured and because of mistaken identity was shot as a spy. Seeing what was about to happen he made a run for it and although hit five times lived to tell the tale.
He finally escaped by jumping from a moving prison train in Italy and joined the partisans to make maps for the dropping of arms. He took them over the mountains to Switzerland. He was awarded the D.S.O.
He returned to England and joined a jet fighter squadron. After the war he became an actor, doing plays, TV, music hall, cabaret and a few films.
He toured Africa and America doing a one man show on piano and guitar, and has been performing at his own restaurant on a tiny island in the Caribbean for 37 years. His inspiring wife produced wonderful meals.
Anthony Snell, the author of 'Spitfire Troubadour' will be appearing on the television program 'David Jason's Greatest Escapes' on Armistice day November 11th. It will be shown on ITV3 at 9.p.m.