Short stories of "The Few"

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Better yet, I'll bring it direct:


“Our day in a fighter squadron started one hour before dawn and went on to one hour after dusk. This meant that we were on duty from about 3.30 am during the summer and autumn of 1940 and stood down at about 10.30 in the evening. That is of course, when we were not called upon to fly throughout the night, which occasionally happened.”

On the morning of the 15th September 1940, Tom Neil was shaken from his sleep and scrambled with his fellow pilots of 249 Squadron. Leaving the grass airfield at North Weald, the Hurricanes lifted off and began to climb away from the aerodrome.

With tired eyes, the pilots rigorously scanned the arena for the opposing Hun. Flying as Yellow 2, Neil watched as Bf 109s flew over several thousand feet above. Soon after, Ack-ack began to thump into the air at the approaching formation of Dornier 17 bombers. The Squadron turned towards them to attack. Neil positioned himself slightly below and dead astern to the nearest aircraft. With the gun button set to ‘fire’, Neil closed in and sprayed the port side of the Do 17. After putting in a second burst, Neil fell back to maintain his position and watched in amazement as two large objects were flung from the Do 17. In a flash, Neil looked up as the two men passed over his Hurricane with undeveloped parachutes. The crew had bailed out and almost collided with their startled attacker. Suddenly Neil was in the presence of hungry 109’s looking for trouble. After some intense manoeuvring and fighting, Neil looked around to find he was alone. The action had disappeared as quickly as it had started.

Neil kept his head turning in all directions, knowing full well that there could be hidden bandits skulking in the vast amounts of cumulus cloud. Sure enough, he spotted a Dornier slightly above him. Neil opened up the throttle and set after it. Flying high above the Thames, he quickly caught up with the Do 17, realising that he wasn’t alone. About 200 yards on Neil’s left was a Spitfire, chasing after the bomber in front. Hurricane and Spitfire flew line abreast and watched as the Hun took cover in the large cotton wool clouds. Quickly re-emerging, it took evasive action and began to dive towards the Estuary. Neil and his companion began astern attacks, taking it in turns to fire short bursts into the Dornier. With smoking engines the aircraft turned eastwards towards the sea. After a final attack, the Hurricane’s guns fell silent. Neil watched the Spitfire deliver the remainder of its ammo and then pull away. The stricken aircraft lost height and grazed over the convoy of ships below. Exhausted, the Dornier’s tail slumped and collided with the North Sea. Leaving the Hun to submerge in the waves, the RAF’s finest veered away.

Flying inland together, the Spitfire pilot gave a wave from the cockpit and pulled away, leaving Neil to head back for North Weald.
Thank you Soundbreaker, I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

Soon after, Tom discovered that the Spitfire pilot was Pilot Officer Eric Lock of No. 41 Squadron, and they later went on the radio to talk about this action to boost morale.

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