A PROFESSOR from Kidmore End has published a book about an African adventurer.
Dan Remenyi, of Tokers Green Lane, is the author of Captain Jack Malloch — The Life and Times of a Rhodesian Entrepreneur.
The book tells the story of the pilot, who was born in South Africa and set up his own airline, Air Trans Africa, in Rhodesia in 1965.
It also charts the history of Britain’s imperial ambitions in Africa, including the Rhodesian declaration of independence, the Nigerian Civil War and the Rhodesian Bush War.
Prof Remenyi, who specialises in research methods at several universities including Henley Business School, worked with Capt Malloch during his six years as a secretary at Air Trans Africa.
He said: “When I worked at the company it was such an interesting place and people always said ‘someone should write a book about this place’. Forty years later, I thought I had better do it.”
Capt Malloch, who was a Spitfire pilot during the Second World War, flew illegal items into Rhodesia, circumventing the economic sanctions put in place by Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
He also delivered weapons and ammunition to the Biafrans during the war with Nigeria in the late Sixties.
Prof Remenyi said: “It was very controversial and very dangerous. A lot of money was paid to the company and the pilots became very wealthy from that type of work.”
In 1978, Capt Malloch began restoring an old Spitfire which had been abandoned at an air force base in Harare, now the capital of Zimbabwe. He was killed while flying the plane during a storm on the last day of filming a documentary in 1982. He was 62.
Prof Remenyi said: “He was an extraordinary adventurer and flew aeroplanes into war just as happily as he flew them from one airport to another.
“When I knew him he wasn’t very well known but he went on to become a household name in Rhodesia and around the world.
“He was a very nice man. The people who knew him liked him a lot and he should have been able to live to a graceful old age rather than die in a horrific accident.”
• Captain Jack Malloch — The Life and Times of a Rhodesian Entrepreneur is available to buy from www.academic-bookshop.com