Nigel J Parker was born in Kent and initially lived in Surrey, close to the RAF station at Biggin Hill. His interest in military aviation was nurtured at an early age, initially in the making of model aircraft construction kits. On moving to Oxfordshire he became involved in the research and recovery of crashed aeroplanes across the country along with collecting and researching related artefacts, building up a large and unique collection as he did so. When he saw the film Zeppelin in 1971, his interest in airships was stimulated and he subsequently built up an extensive library on military aviation. At the age of eighteen he was introduced to what was then the Public Records Office, now the National Archives, Kew a place that has now almost become a second home. Through his interest in military aviation he was fortunate to be the editor of the Bomber Command Association Newsletter for seven years. Having spent a career in engineering and finally running the Cryogenics department at Oxford University for twenty-three years, he chose to concentrate on his writing and continue his ground breaking research into the aviation history of the twentieth century.