Some passing quips with aircrew friends



Some passing quips with aircrew friends


A poem about a bombing operation



Four typewritten sheets


IBCC Digital Archive


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Some passing quips with aircrew friends
As round the field our lorry wends
Briefing done, we’re all prepared
Laughing now but somewhat scared

Some we shall not see again
Few will reach three score and ten
At our dispersal, we alight
In F for “Freddie” we’ll make our flight

The ground crew wave as we leave our berth
To wait our turn to leave the earth
The runway stretches far ahead
The Aldis flashes Green not Red

Brakes released, the engines roar
Bags of boost before we soar
And leave the safety of our Base
For unknown dangers yet to face

Full forty minutes to reach our height
With not another plane in sight
But slipstream bumps we now endure
Confirm us in the stream for sure

In the darkness we cannot see
But keep on course with thanks to Gee
But jamming causes such a mess
We have to switch to H2S

[page break]


Talk and banter grow less and less
The air is filled with fear and stress
Burst of flak now rock the kite
And bring the thought - Whose turn tonight?

Some miles ahead, the flares go down
Cascading green on a hapless town
We travel down the final track
Maintaining course despite the flak

The target comes within our sight
The crucial moments of our flight
Left - Left - Steady - Steady, Bombs Gone
Check for hang ups - there are none

Bombs away, controls more light
We start to turn, the layman’s right
Flames spew out from a kite below
Crew got out? We’ll never know

Mid-Upper screams “Corkscrew Port”
We hold our breath - nerves all taut
The Skipper dives - his turn is tighter
Flying skill defeats the Fighter

Common sights on every “OP”
Crews and Kites both get the chop
The flak gets less as we progress
Another “Lineshoot” for the Mess

[page break]


In just two hours we reach the sea
Eat our grub and drink our tea
We gain some speed on losing height
on what has been a thrilling night

On H2S, a silvery glow
Halts the conversation flow
Nav to Skipper - Its land I see
I’ll take you into Base on Gee

Minutes later, Base Beacon flashes
Its homing sign of Dots and Dashes
Permission to land is our request
Circle the field and join the rest

This we do, twice in all
Before we hear the controllers call
You are clear to land on Runway two
Wind on starboard - Back to you

Roger and Out is our reply
As we prepare to leave the sky
Our IAS is One Two Five
As we complete a shallow dive

Inner Marker flashes past
Terra Firma - Ours at last
Wheels hit tarmac with little screech
Wizard landing - What a peach

[page break]


Tea and Rum the Padre serves
Settles down our fragile nerves
Then our “Bumph” on table laid
We tell the story of the raid

Of Bomber Command, a lots been said
We never forget the thousands dead
Many of our critics - not then born
Speak of us with spite and scorn

They gave their lives at what a cost
Ensuring all we cherish was not lost
I trust someday we’ll meet again
Free from sorrow, free from pain



“Some passing quips with aircrew friends,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 23, 2022,

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