Not Many Wise -

Faith and spirituality in a modern world


COOKIES: This website uses cookies to improve your experience of this website. No personal info is collected. See more info.

[2] WW2 dogfight – Before the Safari days

A damaged Dornier 17 with a lone parachutist
A damaged Dornier 17 with a lone parachutist

Joe’s Journal 1940
No diary this time: mid morning, Tuesday, September 25th, 1940.
Pale blue sky, streaked with Mares Tails (Cirrus). This was a WW2 dogfight unfolding before my eyes.
At the age of ten, WW2 scenes are vivid and memorised forever, but not the date, which is researched from books.
The location: West Wiltshire.

At the sound of the siren, we all dispersed from school hut to a row of cottages, four boys to each house.
Our hostess always gave us a pack of playing cards, installed us under the stairs and carried on.
I lost two games, then interest and escaped into the garden.

The droning was not British!
A quick scan and I became pack leader on spotting them: twenty plus Dornier 17’s, heading for Bristol.
Beautiful blue undersides paled into the matching autumn sky, but black crosses stared from the wings.

Crackle of gunfire revealed just three Hurricanes weaving around and between; (probably 87 Squadron).
Definitely not fair!
Feeling of anger and injustice!

More gunfire, drowned by my triumphant yell: “Eee … ees gottim!”
The pack followed my finger.
Smoke trailed from the starboard engine as it banked away, down clear of the formation.
None too soon, four black dots fell out and below, but three parachutes opened.
Triumph faded to silent sadness – (that ain’t fair either) and compassion – (hope it’s quick for him).

In spite of strict security, the word got around.

A grave with a rough wooden cross His landing was a half built stack of new hay.
He asked someone to ease his belt – and lived for another hour or so. “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those …” I did immediately!

The last enemy to be conquered is death”
1 Corinthians 15:26

The books and pictures that sourced my schoolboy aviation ‘expertise’ have long gone, but I still have the Bible that shared their box.

Politicians promise it won’t happen again; historians insist it will – forgive them also.

This autumn, forgive the trainee pilots their engine noise and remember the ‘few’, but an enemy’s onslaught is a real test of our Lord’s Prayer.

Let those of us old enough to remember, give thanks for the ‘few’ who gave all; those of us too young, spare a thought, or better still, a prayer for the future ‘few’, yeah, even as they disturb our siesta!

Joe Lucas October 2006
Joe’s next article: [3] A Gift of Marbles

Joe Lucas

October 2006

Explore these related themes Tags:

Related Posts[6] Christine Reason: real life story 1939 to 1940 1940 Arch and Rene Ellis with Christine.

In my real life story, after the September 1939 wedding, we did not return to Woodford, supposedly because of the threat of the German Luftwaffe bombing London, and I was sent down to Rye in Sussex to live with my Aunt Rene and Uncle Arch by myself.
They were childless at this time…

[7] Christine Reason: real life story 1940 to 1941 1941 Naphill Bucks 5 children from the Whitehead family side.

Continuing my real life story 1940, during the Spring of that year, because of the air battles over the Channel and the threat of invasion by the Germans, as France had fallen to the enemy quite quickly, it was thought expedient to send me back to my grandparents in Bucks…

[8] Christine Reason: real life story 1941 to 1942 1941 Grandma Haydon with baby Andrew Brown.

Continuing my real life story 1941 I went in for the Scholarship exam, but failed it, so I sat for an Entrance exam to attend the High School for girls at High Wycombe, and passed, so I was able to go there, paying a fee of £5.00 per term…

[9] Christine Reason: real life story 1943 to 1944 1944 Guide Camp showing 6 guides including Christine & Beryl.

During my real life story 1943 and 1944 American Forces were stationed nearby, and we often used to get several of them attend Sunday services.
Occasionally, my Grandparents invited them home to Sunday lunch.
They were charming men and often very homesick for their loved ones back in the States…

[10] Christine Reason: real life story 1944 to 1945 1946 The cast of Alice in Wonderland - Christine as the White Rabbit.

In my real life story 1944 my faith was severely tested eighteen months later when my Mother, who had been ailing some time, died of breast cancer, aged 51 years…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *