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Michael Haygarth releases new book call From the Cold War to the War on Terror that follows his journey from RAF armourer to bomb disposal




A new book charts an RAF veteran’s career from starting out as a teenage armourer to commanding a team of bomb disposal experts in wars.

Michael Haygarth, who has lived in Helpston for 20 years, wrote From the Cold War to the War on Terror.

The book, which was released in November, is his memoirs of a career that began in 1977 and ended in 2015.

Michael Haygarth with his new book
Michael Haygarth with his new book

After spending 19 years as an armourer, father-of-three Michael was commissioned as an RAF engineer, specialising in bomb disposal.

He served in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo where he was in charge of all UK bomb disposal operations in and around Pristina.

He was also Squadron Leader of 5131 Bomb Disposal squadron based at RAF Wittering.

Michael, 59, who is originally from Bishop Auckland in County Durham, said: “When I retired from the RAF, I left just before my 53rd birthday and I started writing a diary from memory.

“I think I’ve visited 34 countries all over the world and I just thought I’ve got quite an interesting story to tell.

“Seeing the book when it was published was a very proud moment for me because I don’t think a lot of people get books published.

“There are a lot of books about pilots, spitfires, the First World War and subjects like that but nothing detailing how someone went from an armourer to bomb disposal.”

A highlight of book, which took more than two years to write, is Michael's recollection of being driven around Basra in the back of a beaten-up taxi in plain clothes with a pistol in his waistband.

He also talks about his memories of being driven in a speeding convoy around Baghdad looking for unexploded bombs.

From the Cold War to the War on Terror costs £19.99 from Walkers Books in Stamford, Pen and Sword publishers and Waterstones.

Bomb disposal expert retires from RAF Wittering

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