By Warne Wilson
Read by Kevin Harty
Setting: Skies of World War 2
At nearby High Wycombe Air Base, in the blacked out mess hall, Air Commodore Waldron cast a weary eye over his assembled aircrews. He recognised the signs of fatigue in them. Heightened laughter. The fidgeting with cigarettes. White faces. Introspective, dark circled eyes.
He hated having to send them out again, under strength after the heavy losses of the last few nights. He needed crews and machines. Lancaster replacements were arriving; planes were not the problem, it was the aircrews. Even with fast tracked training in England it was taking too long. Canada, Australia, South Africa and other countries were training aircrews too, but the losses were greater. His men badly needed a break, but they were inflicting massive damage on Germany; and he had his orders. Just ten aircraft would fly from High Wycombe tonight – each with its crew of seven.