Review in The Canadian Aviation Heritage Centre Newsletter

From The Canadian Aviation Heritage Centre Newsletter:
“Surviving Victory”
BOOK REVIEW by Bruce McLeod

“Surviving Victory” is an awe inspiring story of a young man overcoming many obstacles to become a successful a fighter pilot during World War II and to carry forward that success with careers in the arts, following the war.

Written in his own words by the late Philip (Bockman) Vickers, this book reads very well and flows nicely, through his difficult childhood growing up in Oklahoma with a physically and mentally abusive father, his attempts to evade that difficult life by seeking out new adventures, his enrollment in the RCAF, and finally embarking into an acting career and becoming a famous sculptor.

Of special interest to our members will be his enlistment in the RCAF and his flight training under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) more specifically, his training in the Province of Quebec. We live through his many adventures in the air and on the ground, until finally being posted to a Spitfire Squadron overseas, where he would complete 102 missions by the end of the war.

Having survived the war, he embarked on an acting career in England and legally changed his name to a less Germanic sounding name than Bockman. What better name to assume than “Vickers” (the manufacturer of his famous fighter). Not having achieved enough after a successful acting career, he then became a famous sculptor in the Southwestern USA and author.

I would highly recommend this book for all those interested in true stories about real people facing and overcoming adversity and of course to all of those WW II aviation buffs!

If any members are interested in purchasing a copy of this book, please contact me directly.

There is also a website available at

Bruce McLeod
Executive Secretary
Canadian Aviation Heritage Centre
Ste-Anne de Bellevue, Quebec

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