A new book will illuminate the fascinating life of an Albany war hero when it officially launches on Sunday.
More than five years in the making, Murray Maxton: Strike Hard Strike Sure, is the third book from Albany author Ian Beeck and celebrates the life of World War II veteran Murray Maxton.
The biography will chronicle Mr Maxton’s journey from childhood near the Kalgan River to the skies over nazi-controlled Germany, where he served as a Lancaster Bomber pilot in the same crew as his brother, Eric.
Together, the brothers survived 30 flying operations in Bomber Command, with Murray as the pilot and Eric a wireless operator.
They were believed to be the only brothers allowed by the RAAF to fly combat missions together in WWII.
Murray died at the age of 97 in 2017, two years after his younger brother, Eric.
Once, while flying over Dusseldorf, their plane was unarmed and Murray was forced to perform a corkscrew manoeuvre at 350kmh to avoid a German Messerschmitt as it closed in.
“The book starts off with his 27th mission where they’ve just dropped their bombs and they’re coming back and the Messerschmitt blows out their solenoids so they’re unarmed,” Beeck said.
“That chapter took a good three or four weeks to get everything out … it took time to unpack it all.”
But alongside these captivating accounts of war, the biography will also delve into the values and moments that defined Maxton over nearly a century.
Beeck said part of the process of writing the book was gradually understanding the stories behind the man.
“Because he was such a humble guy he would tell stories, but not so much about himself, and this was his biography so it’s all about him,” Beeck said.
“People of that era were so humble, full of integrity. It was never about them, it’s about everyone else.
“The whole time it was like being in the presence of royalty. It was a really humbling experience.”
Murray Maxton: Strike Hard Strike Sure will launch at Retravision Stadium from 4pm on Sunday. Attendance is free and open to everyone.