THE CREW CHIEF - (submitted by Shaun Edley, 317th Sqn)
"Captain, just what have you done to my beautiful plane", hollered the crew chief.
"Don't blame me, chief, the Krauts just don't seem to like us much", Montague replied.
"Well, that may be, but it doesn't stop you from being a lot more careful. Do you have any idea the kind of rework I'm gonna have to do to that wing root, or the hassle of getting another set of twin guns after the two lots for your tail, and not to mention the holes I'm gonna have to cover, and . . ."
"Chief, when you're done whining, let me know how long it's going to take you. Better yet, if it's gonna be such a schlep for you, why don't you bitch at the Engineering officer to Cat E her and get a new ship?"
"You know, Cap, that might not be such a bad idea. I'll have to catch him in a good mood for that one to work, though."
"You do that, chief." Montague stood looking at the hard stand. Strange that we're the first plane back this time, he thought. He reckoned he'd go write a letter for Mrs. Harris back home and let her know that her only son was fine and that he'd be home soon. Strange how he was yelling that for once he had guns to shoot at the enemy and then he gets shot like that. Very ironic. Harris of course had plenty more to say on irony but Shamus had to censor most of it out.
Well, time to get the paper, a root beer, some sandwiches, a deckchair, and wait for the boys to come back in. Hope it wasn't a roughy like theirs had been. Too many good boys had gone already. Pity Forrest couldn't just be gone, but then he'd as likely take his crew with him. That onnery sumbeech only liked to share his misery and misfortunes, nothing good. Maybe that's why Shamus hated him so much that he'd ended up giving his squadron away for it and the bottle.
Muttering the classic Yeats' poem, he headed off towards the O-Club in pursuit of his paper and root beer.
HERE'S EDDIE - (submitted by Shaun Edley, 317th Sqn)
John Simons met Eddie Levine at the Personnel office and took to his billet. Eddie had been shipped out fresh from training and was nervous as hell. John looked at him with not much sympathy. Problem with getting to know people in this outfit was that if you said, "Good morning," they probably wouldn't be around long enough to give an answer. Life was short and sharp. The skipper giving up booze didn't help. He was cranky as anything and he could be seen anywhere because of the clouds from his cigar smoking. At least they were good quality stogies. John had swiped a few.
"Come on, Eddie. Time to meet our sky boss. He's alright except for two things . . . Don't mention booze and don't try to lecture him about smoking. That is, if you want to not have to eat steak through a straw for the rest of a short and painful life."
With that, John lead Eddie to Montague's quarters. Easy to see by the amount of smoke pouring out of the windows. "By the way, Eddie. Stay out the way of Pencildick Forrest. He gives a whole new dimension to chickensh*t. He'll try and tell you a bunch of war stories about single-handedly bombing the krauts when everyone knows he's a jerk with a yellow streak a mile wide. Amoore, the squadron CO, took over from our boss a while ago. We're still trying to figure him but so far he's okay. You'll get a chance to impress soon though, we'll be flying in the next day or so."
Eddie swallowed hard. He was plain scared. Scared of letting the team down, scared of not fitting in, scared of not being liked. Scared of being shot but right now, that seemed a better bet than this crowd.
WAKE UP - (submitted by Paul O'Connor, 317th Sqn & Mike Cox, 399th Sqn)
It is 0330 and Corporal O'Brian, a squadron orderly, makes his way through the various squadron tents. He finds one of the many tents he will need to enter this morning where its four occupants are sound asleep.
“Captain O'Connor, sir? Wake up, sir. It's a maximum effort today, sir.”
“Thanks, Corporal. We're up and at 'em,” O'Conner replies.
“Lieutenant Ulm. Time to get up, sir. Breakfast is at 4. Briefing at 5.”
“Lieutenant Dennis? Mission today, sir. And it's a big one today, sir.”
Abernathy? Please get up, sir. You got ten Mark-43s today to
delivery to the Germans. And give 'em Hell, sir.”
is 0331 and Corporal Smythe, another squadron orderly, makes his way through the
various squadron tents. He finds one of the many tents he will need to
enter this morning where three of its occupants are sound asleep. The fourth man
who normally occupies
the tent, Lt. Shelley, is currently recovering in the Infirmary.
“Lieutenant Mershon, sir? Wake up, sir. There's a maximum effort on for today, sir.” Mershon groggily nods his head and begins the AM routine. He hadn't slept much anyhow. He watches Smythe go about his business waking up the rest of his tent mates.
“Lieutenant Cook. Time to get up, sir. Breakfast is at 4 . . . Briefing at 5.”
“Lieutenant Lovering? Mission today, sir. And it's a big one today, sir.”
Satisfied that the three men are awake, Smythe leaves to go find their bombardier, Lt. Mullalay.
AT ONE OF THE MANY TENTS OF THE 316th BS - (submitted by Jim Pink, 316th Sqn)
As the MG sped down the old English country road, Wil Wilcox's heart races to near bursting. Again he has been at the local pub while on leave and again he had fallen asleep drunk by the Victrola. He was going to be late; Colonel Lamb was going to bust him this time for sure. Wil looks at his watch; it has been stuck at 6:07 since he left the pub some twenty minutes ago. What time is it? Turning the corner around the grove of century old oaks he can see the base some quarter mile away when all of a sudden there is a loud crack. Now there is a pungent smell of petrol coming from the MG. A quick glance at the petrol gage reveals that Wil was not going to make the base, he was losing fuel fast. Once the engine started to sputter, Wil noticed the cliff that he was heading towards at breakneck speed. While the MG and Wilcox plummet over the ridge, he sees water below . . . “Lieutenant Wilcox, sir,” . . . coming up too rapid to believe ...“Wake up, sir,” It was becoming obvious this was the end and . . . “maximum effort”. . . “today, sir,” . . . Bam! Corporal Johnson has abruptly awakened Lieutenant Wilcox.
“You okay, sir?” the Corporal asked.
Wilcox replies, “Yes, Yes, just dreaming of the girls in town.” Yet the soaking wet bedding and shaking hands betrayed his comment. This getting up a 3:30 am is going to kill, thought Wilcox
CONTROL TOWER RADIO RECEPTIONS - MISSION 16
Somewhere Over Yugoslavian Air Space:
"THIS IS COWBOY FIVE . . . THIS IS COWBOY FIVE . . . AM AT ZONE FOUR CHECK
POINT THREE . . . REPEAT AM AT ZONE FOUR CHECKPOINT THREE . . . AM BEING
ATTACKED BY FOUR FW-190s . . . REPEAT . . ."
The other planes in formation begin to see debris falling off the Divine Wind as they see one of the FW-190s making a walking hits along fuselage of the plane.
Approaching the Klagenfurt aircraft factory target area before bomb run.
"Joker Leader . . . This is Joker five . . . Joker Leader . . . This is Joker five."
"We've taken a hit to the port wing. Looks like it is near the outboard fuel tank. I'm having the radio operator keep an eye out for flames. We may have to bail out. Will try to make it across the Austrian border. Joker Five out."
"Fireball Three to Fireball Leader . . . Fireball Three to Fireball Leader . . . Engine Two Out . . . Prop Feathered . . . Am starting Bomb Run . . . Oh Sh** . . . Lost Engine Three as well . . . Bombardier, jettison bombs now!"
"Fireball Leader, Fireball Three is aborting . . . Fireball Three is aborting . . . See you back at the barn . . . Fireball Three out."
Leaving the Klagenfurt airfield target area.
"Buckeye Leader, this is Buckeye Four -- Number 2 engine is out, and the prop won't feather -- we'll be a bit late back at the barn . . . Buckeye Four out."
With extra drag caused by the unfeathered propeller, the Frisco Kid II slowly falls behind the rest of the formation. Soon, Captain Moody and his crew are all alone in the sky, a straggler who must now fight their way home.
Leaving the Klagenfurt aircraft factory target area.
After reaching the Rally Point after the bomb run on the Messerschmitt aircraft factory in Klagenfurt, an attacking ME-110G-2 scores five 20mm shell hits starting from the bomb bay to the tail on the lead plane, the Full House II.
Within seconds, flames and smoke is seen coming out from the waist openings. After the attack is over, the fire is quickly over and the group receives the following transmission:
"Joker Leader to Joker Four . . . You've got the lead . . . Bring them home . . . Joker Leader out."
Full House II is last seen descending to 10,000 feet.