I bought a book today called "Disaster in the air" which is very interesting, being written by a retired commercial pilot - i.e. not a journalist trying to scaremonger on the basis of incomplete knowledge!
Anyway, this pilot, Jan Bartelski, is Polish and started flying in August (!) 1939 for the Polish air force. Now that career came to a fairly early close, for obvious reasons, and he then moved to London, joined the RAF, and after the war ended up in KLM, continuing with the carrier up until 1978, when he retired as a DC10 captain. Now, THERE'S an interesting career.
Anyone want to share others you've heard about?