Ted Sly, the author, is a descendant of long line of colonial families, the best known being that of explorer and builder, Sir Thomas Mitchell. Although a city boy, Ted Sly's youth involved life with horses and work on an outback cattle station, that instilled in him a love of the rural lifestyle.When war came, he joined the 7th Light Horse, but was soon persuaded to get away from the dirt and dust and join the RAAF. After training in Rhodesia he went to England and the 452 RAAF Squadron commanded by the famous Australian Ace, Keith 'Bluey' Truscott.Next came the Middle East where he flew 22 operational sorties in Kittyhawks with 450 RAAF Squadron. Ted was next posted to 92 RAAF East India Squadron that was forming the first Spitfire Wing with the 8th Army in the Western Desert. He played a part in the El Alamein battle as his squadron followed Montgomery's offensive, ending in Tunisia. He then flew Spitfires for a period in Malta before being called back to Australia. He flew with 457 RAAF Squadron finishing the war with the Sqn in Morotai.