The siren sounded. In what for the first time in three hours? And the last four had been false alarms, their planes just went over head, high overhead.
This time Jack could see them, lower this time. They were going to be in for it. Then the airport siren sounded.
He got undercover, fast.
He jumped into the slip trench and landed on someone, then someone landed on him. Always the same. Why was he in the middle of the heap?
Their planes dropped whatever they dropped he didn't know.
Napalm and HE. Much more of a punch than the big raids of the Jerries. That was for sure. At least the ack-ack had open up. Maybe they would get some of them this time.
When they, if they shot one down where would it end up? The middle of town, over Teversham, Milton? As long as he wasn't under it, well sometime better not to dwell on things.
The all clear.
It was not as bad as he had thought. The far end of the strip was the only thing he could see that had been hit. It had been napalm.
They let it burn, no good trying to put that stuff out. The more you tried, the more it spread.
Jack ran, again.
This time to bring in a P-51 into one of the armored hangers. Maybe the word armored was not the best way to put it. Just a congregated iron roof and wooden sides with many layers of sand bags around them, still more than enough to keep any damage away from the planes stored within them. They where also were dug into the ground a few feet. Duck boards helped and even better were the Marsden strips the Yanks had made to reinforce grass strips. It was still causing a few problems, with all the rain they were getting. Better wet feet than no head.
Apart from a direct hit they were fine.
The bombing had caused havoc to many airfields to the south and the aircraft had no where to go. Each time the pilots had to fly farther away from their basses to land. Others were stuck at their bases unable to take off. The RAF and other NATO forces had shot down a hell of a lot of Russians. But for each one they downed other two seemed to pop up and attack what was left of the allied forces. Most of the radar stations where damaged or destroyed. Sector stations were another big target.
The one ace, they did have up their sleeves was the flying radar, like the Wellington Jack had worked on, as well as quite a number of other type of planes.
Some from the navy even.
Jack wouldn't know one if it stood in front of him, he hoped the ack-ack gunners would though. They were flying over the West Country and even over Wales. These had proved invaluable to NATO, as there ability to see the enemy when they took off in France gave the sector stations enough time to organise what was left to fly, and to get to where they were needed.
The Empire and other pilots were doing their best the overwhelming odds against Stalin's men. Any Red pilot that bailed out landed in England was left in England The reformed Home Guard soon rounded them up and shot them on the spot if they didn't give up at once. Something else different from the last time round with this war.
Another fighter came, in this time a Spitfire. One of the new Mk 21's, if Jack wasn't mistaken.
As it landed it veered towards one of the dug outs coming to a stop just yards away. Jack, Tom and the others ran towards it swinging it around so the tail faced the open front.
It took two goes.
As the first time the port wing wedged between a layer of sand bags. Still it only took 90 seconds to get it in.
He turned around to see Wilhelm standing at attention, with a look of almost awe on his face. Jack recognized the man.
Adolf Galland walked up to him and offered his hand. Jack took it. 'Well done Mr?'
'Well done Mr Smith and thank you.' then a smile 'Could you tell me who is in charge here?'
'I should think that it would be you now sir. You are a general' answered Jack, a bit confused. 'But best check at the office.'
Galland nodded 'Don't forget that I am President of Germany. As well as a general'
'Er, should you be up fighting, thought it would be bad thing to let them shoot you.'
'Whose going to tell me no?'
Jack was at a loss, so he just nodded.
'How about we make our little secret?' with that he walked back to Wilhelm and spoke more German. They both walked towards what was left of the office buildings.
Galland turned back 'Is it all right to borrow this young man?'
Again Jack just nodded and waved them away.
I was just about dark by the time Galland strode up the outside steps of the control tower. He had been unable to find anyone in the offices, and Wilhelm had said that was the only other place he could think that anyone could be. He opened the door.
'Any news on the other airfields, Sir Keith?'