Do you know why my personal blog is called NightHawk?

It has nothing to do with my sleeping habits which fortunately are excellent. It is in fact a reference to a Second World War night intruder ace whom the media dubbed ‘the Czech Night Hawk’. He was Flight Lieutenant Karel Kuttelwascher who was my wife’s father and I wrote a biography of him which was titled “Night Hawk” and published by William Kimber in 1985.

Amazingly, some three decades later, another publisher – Fonthill Media – now wants to reprint the book. The problem is that they need a digital copy of the text and the book was written before the age of personal computers when we all used typewriters. So Fonthill has taken a copy of the original book and produced an optical character recognition version of the text.

However, the transposition is far from perfect, especially when Czech names and Czech accents are involved. So one of my summer projects is to read slowly all 70,000 words of the OCR text and make all the necessary corrections. Fonthill reckon that this will involve up to 40 hours of careful reading. I’ve made a start …

The new version of “Night Hawk” will be published in 2017 but, in the meanwhile, you can read a short account of KK’s exploits here.



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