Following his training as an RAF pilot, in 1940 Roald Dahl is posted to Libya
In 1940 Roald is posted to 80 Squadron, Libya to fly "Gloster Gladiators against the Italians in the Western Desert of Libya," as he says in Going Solo. "The Gloster Gladiator," he goes on to say "was an out-of-date fighter biplane with a radial engine."
In September 1940, Roald's Gladiator crashes in the Western Desert of North Africa and he receives severe injuries to his head, nose and back. He later writes about the experience in the short story A Piece of Cake - originally published as Shot Down Over Libya - and again in Going Solo.
Following the crash, Roald is taken to the Anglo-Swiss Hospital in Alexandria, Egypt. He spends around six months recovering from his injuries, under the care of the hospital staff.