This website covers some of my key interests in World War Two and its aftermath. Nearly all my RAF research can now be found at the RAF Pathfinders Archive, of which I am Chairperson, but there are still some favourite RAF items here.
I began my RAF research in 1995, a year after my father’s death. He had once been a wireless operator in Bomber Command’s elite Path Finder Force. After publishing my book, FIRE BY NIGHT, on him and his crew on the disastrous night of 16/17 December 1943, I began running what eventually turned into three websites on various aspects of life in the Pathfinders. These would be consolidated into one shortly before the RAF Pathfinders Archive was founded in 2017. In 2021 my work with the Archive led to the publication of my book PATHFINDER AIRCREW.
in 2007 I began researching the life and mysterious disappearance of Anthony Cotterell after the battle of Arnhem. I was very fortunate to meet up with Geoffrey Cotterell, his brother, and we went on two unforgettable trips to Arnhem and other towns and villages connected with Anthony’s disappearance. My research culminated in two books: MAJOR COTTERELL AND ARNHEM and THIS IS WAR!
With Geoffrey Cotterell at Enschede, 2009, in the cemetery where Anthony is reputed, probably incorrectly, to be buried.
In 2016 I completed my doctorate at the University of Exeter, my thesis being on the British and their dead servicemen in North-West Europe during and after the Second World War. This included the intensive work that the RAF undertook to trace their thousands of missing aircrew, nearly all of whom were from Bomber Command. Some of the doctoral research can be seen on this website, but there is also a lot of new material on memorials, graves, and wounded, dead or missing servicepeople.
Jennie Mack Gray
My main books on the history of the Second World War are:
– “Fire By Night, The Story of One Pathfinder Crew and Black Thursday, 16th/17th December 1943” (Grub Street)
– “Major Cotterell and Arnhem: A War Crime and a Mystery” (Spellmount)
– “This is WAR! The Diaries and Journalism of Anthony Cotterell, 1940-1944” (Spellmount)
– “Pathfinder Aircrew: Courage, Love and Loss in Bomber Command’s Elite Force” (Perardua Books)
The first three books (and my doctoral thesis) were published under the name of Jennie Gray. I have since changed my pen name to Jennie Mack Gray.
In a previous incarnation I was Founder and Managing Editor of the Gothic Society, writing, editing and designing publications such as ‘The Goth’, ‘Udolpho’, and many others too numerous to mention.