Monday, September 2, 2019

Two More Derek Mason Aviation Books for My Sentimental Library

Mike Slicker, Proprietor of Lighthouse Books in St. Petersburg, is still having his 50% off Moving Sale, so I met Florida Bibliophile Society member Carl Nudi at the bookstore last Friday.  And Carl and I lessened the number of books Mike will have to move to his new location in Dade City sometime in the next six months.

Mike had several bookshelves full of aviation books from the Derek Mason Aviation Collection he had bought several years ago.  And I found two more of Derek Mason's aviation books to my liking for My Sentimental Library Collection. That makes seven books formerly owned by Derek Mason that I now own.  And that number was enough for me to create a Derek Mason Collection in my Library Thing Catalogue.

I wrote about the first five Derek Mason aviation books in my May 2019 post, A Sentimental Airman's Second Aviation Collection.   And now,  I just have to write about these two books as well!

I  "introduced" Derek Mason in my May 2019 post, with most of the information coming from his obituary, which was published online.  He was an RAF bomber pilot, flew for British Airlines and Singapore Airways after the war, and then worked for the United Nations.  Just today, however,  I found more information about Derek Mason.  A military enthusiast from Dublin, with the user id of Noor, posted the information on the Gentleman's Military Interest Club website.  Derek Mason was the test pilot for an in-flight program to determine the minimum amount of de-icing fluid required to keep an aircraft free of ice without reducing the safety factor.  He was also a pilot trainer for the Comet and then trained pilots in their conversion from flying Comets to flying 707s.

Derek Mason (1922-2012)

One of the two Derek Mason books I bought last Friday was Bomber Pilot 1916-1918 by C. P. O. Bartlett, which was first published by Ian Allan in London in 1974.  Charles Philip Oldfield Bartlett (1889-1987) was a World War One flying ace who kept a daily diary.  The diary included notes about his air battles as they occurred.   Bomber Pilot is, in essence, a publication of his diary.

Derek Mason read Bomber Pilot and wrote Bartlett that he enjoyed reading it.  He asked Bartlett if he would autograph his copy of the book for him.  Bartlett did one better!  He sent Mason two gummed signed labels, along with a two-page letter dated 13/9/76.

The second Derek Mason book I bought last Friday was The Shape of the Aeroplane by James Hay Stevens, first published in London by Hutchinson and Co. in 1953.

James Hay Stevens (1913-1973), was a pilot, an aviation journalist, and an illustrator.  He was the  editor of Aircraft Engineering Magazine from 1945 to 1957.  In his book,  The Shape of the Aeroplane, Stevens provided illustrations of 280 aircraft.   The basis of his book was that the purpose of an airplane's mission determined the shape or design of an airplane.

Laid in under the front cover of the book were three Christmas cards Stevens sent to Mason in the 1960s.  Judging by the notes Stevens wrote on the cards, I would say that Stevens and Mason were friends.

And so I add two more Derek Mason Aviation Books to My Sentimental Library Collection.

1 comment:

Alex said...

Hello. Thank you for posting about books with ex Libris Derek Mason plates. In 2017 I bought a copy of Duncan Grinnell-Miln’s ‘An Escapers Log’ signed by then author, with Derek Mason’s book plate. I purchased the book from Lighthouse books, FL. It is still with me in the UK, alongside it’s sister publication, ‘The Wind in the Wires’.
I was interested to read about Derek Mason, I had no idea who he was.