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Townsend spent much of his later years writing non-fiction books.His books include Earth My Friend (about driving/boating around the world alone in the mid-1950s), Duel of Eagles (about the Battle of Britain), The Odds Against Us (also known as Duel in the Dark) (about fighting Luftwaffe night bombers in 1940–1941), The Last Emperor (a biography of King George VI), The Girl in the White Ship (about a young refugee from Vietnam in the late 1970s who was the sole survivor of her ship of refugees), The Postman of Nagasaki (about the atomic bombing of Nagasaki), and Time and Chance (an autobiography).
He also appeared in the PBS video, The Windsors: A Royal Family (1994). After the divorce, Townsend proposed marriage to Princess Margaret, who was initially inclined to accept him.Part of his citation reads: Townsend oversaw the conversion of No.85 Squadron to night operations at RAF Hunsdon during early 1941.The wing shape took the form of an eagle and the monogram became RAF.
The design of the flying badge was the first of its kind in the world.This is the third success obtained by this pilot and in each instance he has displayed qualities of leadership, skill and determination of the highest order, with little regard for his own safety.