BOB User Stories: A Nasty Surprise Final Episode

A Nasty Surprise Final Episode

Read A Nasty Surprise: Episode II here.

Werner and his men in their agile 109s are climbing out to head triumphantly for home after delivering a surprise attack upon an unwary British airfield somewhere near the southern coast of Britain. At this precise moment, a dozen vengeful Spitfires fall mercilessly upon them. Werner and his flight are taken completely by surprise. Someone screams Spitfires! A split second later there is chaos in the sky to rival that created by the attack on the ground below.

Down on the smoking field, several other pilots and I are finally getting a few more undamaged crates into the air. I had been on convalescent leave recuperating from wounds received in a near fatal crash the previous week. Not yet cleared to fly again this emergency was an excellent excuse to ignore that minor formality. Into the raging fray we hastily climbed. Our teeth were set our duty clear. We must get there in time to help our mates.

High above the swirling furball the rest of Werner’s 109s were just now beginning to drop in on the avenging Spitfires who were giving the outnumbered Werner and his five comrades a rough time. Red Three had already gone down and most of the other 109s had been hit many times. Werner’s 109 was struck hard but not fatally as he desperately called to his men he knew were circling somewhere high above. His call would not go unanswered.

This was becoming a day full of surprises. Just when our Spitfires were overconfidently counting the new German hides they would be nailing so easily to the ready room door they also received a very unpleasant surprise. From high above and to their left came tracers lacing lazily past their cockpits. If there had been any smug looks of over confidence they were replaced now by fear and surprise. Our Spitfires were suddenly outnumbered and the tables had taken a nasty turn against the British.

Into this raging melee of tracers, smoking engines and certain death my eleven Spitfires and three Hurricanes climbed. It looked as if we might be too late for as I grimly took note there were only eight Spits still in the battle against at least twice as many 109s. Four ugly dark streaks dangled across the blue sky in sorrowful evidence that four of ours had already fallen to the enemy.

Anger filled my heart as I instructed my boys to make a slow climbing turn to the West that would take more precious time but would also bring us into battle out of the burning sun. This I hoped would surprise the Germans and place them in that awkward position that a luckless piece of ham finds itself in between two slices of bread. Taking the part of the upper slice of bread and the hungry diner as well, we were just itching to take a big ravenous bite out of the powerful, yellow-nosed invaders.

Surprise was complete and utterly devastating for the German flyers. Luck was in short supply today. It was already too late for Werner and his men by the time that they saw the new Spitfires falling out of the sun. He and his brave men were low on fuel and nearly out of ammunition. There was no hope save to flee for their very lives. Werner shouted commands to his shredded survivors as he and his trusted wingman darted into a convenient cloud and sped toward France on little more than prayer for courage and vapor for fuel.

As our flight of fourteen fell out of the sun upon the unsuspecting enemy it was all over in seconds. The outnumbered 109s were caught between the accurate blasts of our .303s and those of our angry comrades below. As two more Germans fell splintered into tattered pieces and belching great, greasy black smoke we turned to grimly finish off the stragglers who were now sprinting for the Channel. Several 109s trailed white smoke and lost altitude swiftly. These would crash or be picked off easily enough.

I noticed two 109s enter a large cloud as they fled the carnage. My wingman and I rolled over in hot pursuit. Shortly, the swirling gray mists of the great cloud surrounded us like a rolling blanket and all else was shut out from our straining eyes. Perhaps this was not such a grand idea after all? One could run blindly into big solid things in cloud, I coldly reminded myself. This was in fact how I came to be injured the week before. It was now that I began to notice the pain from my injuries again. There was bright red blood on the bandage inside my flying blouse. It would have to wait. I had more important business.

On we plunged through the mist to come out the other side of the cloud suddenly into bright, blinding sun. We blinnked our stinging eyes and searched the sky. Before us and just above flew the two German fighters. They seemed totally unaware of our close pursuit. Well, let’s give them a truly nasty surprise, I thought.

And we did.