North Wales author, journalist and former sportsman Don Hale has launched another fascinating true-life paperback book.
The one-time Bury, Blackburn Rovers, Shrewsbury Town and York City footballer is also a multi award-winning writer.
His latest book is based on years of extensive research that finally reveals the facts about the colourful life and mysterious death of Lionel ‘Buster’ Crabb, one of Britain’s most highly-decorated war heroes, who often doubled as a spy, an expert diver, and a dedicated bomb and mine disposal expert, who later came to prominence during the ‘Cold War.’
Commander Lionel Crabb was author Ian Fleming’s favourite real-life spy, whose daring exploits eventually became the main inspiration for his fictional character ‘James Bond.’ Crabb was a drinker and a gambler, who loved women, fast cars and gadgets.
A British naval frogman, and bomb disposal expert, he worked directly under Fleming during WW2 at Naval Intelligence. He also worked on many covert operations for both the Secret Intelligence Services (SIS), and MI5, throughout the war years and afterwards.
Certain extracts from his dangerous mission reports, and from his eccentric lifestyle, were later incorporated within Fleming’s varied Bond novels.
Crabb even discovered the real ‘Odd-Job,’ later of ‘Goldfinger’ fame, together with his deadly steel-brimmed hat, whilst working as a bodyguard in the Far East.
And his underwater battle with enemy divers, whilst investigating a mysterious plane crash in shallow waters, later became a crucial scene in ‘Thunderball.’
His innovative inventions also sparked the role of ‘Q,’ and the famous ‘Miss Moneypenny’ character, was originally based on Crabb’s aunt, Kitty Jarvis, who worked at the Intelligence Services with both Fleming and Anthony Blunt, complete with her bizarre hat-stand, with her private phone number also ending in 007.
Crabb disappeared in 1957 following a secret dive beneath a Russian warship which had brought Soviet leaders Khrushchev and Bulganin to Britain.
A year later, a decapitated and handless body was found, sparking a major row between the government, the secret services and the Admiralty that still smoulders today.
Award-winning writer Don Hale has painstakingly discovered who sanctioned Crabb’s final dive in a case which claimed the jobs of Admiralty top brass and many notable Intelligence officers, and contributed to the downfall of Anthony Eden.
This fully revised and updated edition includes fresh evidence and crucial additional information, in addition to many exclusive WW2 photographs and drawings from the late Lt Noel Cashford, who both trained with, and knew Crabb well.
About the author
Don Hale is a successful author, and a former investigative journalist.
He has also edited five regional newspapers and won numerous regional and national awards including the ‘Journalist of the Year’ prize on three separate occasions, including the prestigious ‘What the Papers Say’ award.
In 2001, he was voted by readers as the Observer ‘Man of the Year.’ And in 2002, he was awarded an OBE for his extraordinary campaign journalism.
Don has written several ‘best-sellers,’ including “Murder in the Graveyard,” a true account of his extensive campaign to overturn the conviction of Stephen Downing, a man jailed in 1973 for a murder he did not commit.
Don helped to quash the conviction and has since worked on three other successful miscarriage of justice cases.
Another popular book of his, includes the true pre-war, dramatic story, of the famous steam locomotive ‘MALLARD,’ and how the blue streak broke the world steam record, defeating the powerful Nazi regime during their rise to power.
*BUSTER CRABB – Ian Fleming’s favourite spy. The inspiration for James Bond. By Don Hale OBE.
Copies are available via: https://www.bookdepository.com/Buster-Crabb-Don-Hale/9780750993784