Biggles of 266 was first published in November 1955 by Thames Publishing (Kingston Library). After a number of variant reprints, the books was also reissued by Dean and Son in the 1960s and again in the 1970s and finally by Deans International in 1985.
The book comprises some of the Biggles R.F.C. era short stories previously published in The Modern Boy between 1934-1935 and subsequently gathered in Biggles in France. There is also one story previously published in Biggles Learns to Fly.
In some cases the text was edited e.g. to remove passages considered objectionable by the 1950s. Johns also added a short foreword to introduce the Biggles character and the nature of air combat during World War 1. Other than this, the stories are largely identical to those in France and Learns to Fly. For this reason, purist collectors do not consider 266 a separate Biggles book. But Biggles in France had only been published once, in 1935 and had become exceedingly rare in the 1950s. Until Red Fox republished it in 1993, there was no other way for many readers to enjoy the R.F.C. era stories in it other than from 266.
The book comprises 9 short stories, not in the same order as they appeared in Biggles in France. Some stories from Biggles in France had been adapted into a World War 2 setting and published in Spitfire Parade. These were largely left out of 266. The last story came from Biggles Learns to Fly and there is a short paragraph explaining that the events were set in 169 Squadron before Biggles joined 266.
|Chapter Title||Original Modern Boy Title||Title in Biggles in France|
|A Ride to Remember||Biggles Goes Ballooning||1. Down to Earth|
2. A Desperate Chance!
|The Camera||Biggles and the Flying Camera||11. The Camera|
12. Thumbs to Noses!
13. What a Bullet Did
|The Prize||Biggles' Paperchase||18. A Sporting Offer!|
19. Getting a Gramophone
|Humbugs||Biggles' Flying Wardrobe||20. Twelve Thousand Feet Up!|
21. Returned Unknown
|The Turkey||Biggles Carves the Turkey||16. Turkey Hunting|
17. Biggles Gets the Bird
|War in Hot Blood||Flying Crusaders||22. "He Shot Him to Bits!"|
23. "Written Off"
|Reprisals||Biggles' Borrowed Plumes||24. Under Open Arrest!|
25. "The Laugh's With Us!"
|The Challenge||Biggles and the Runaway Tank, first part only||3. One Bomb and Two Pockets|
4. "Stand Clear--I'm Coming!" was not used as it had been adapted into Taffy Trundles In for Spitfire Parade.
|The Pilot Who Lost His Way||Spy in the Sky||This came from the 1935 edition of Biggles Learns to Fly. It is not clear why this story was included, presumably it was to pad up the length.|