The sirens wailed as the spitfires blasted off. Everyone looked at us in admiration while the captain waved goodbye. Our engines roared to life as we flew into the air.
‘Last flight Charlie,’ the sergeant radioed me. ‘Don’t get yourself blasted.’
We formed into victory formation, scanning the sky casually for jerries. It was something we had done a million times, why would this be any different?
‘Hard to get killed in the beast,’ I joked. ‘Guns loaded, engine full, formation ready.’ But right at that moment it dawned on me that I had forgotten to activate the radar. While I fumbled with the switch, it felt like I was writing my death wish. The radar flashed on the screen. Over twenty terrifying red dots were closing in like torpedoes. We were sitting ducks.
The eruption of engines burst out. The death rattle of machine guns sliced my eardrums.
‘Ambush,’ I screamed into the radio.
Fire billowed out of the plane next to me. The sky turned into a battle field. My heart pounded against my chest. I could see the bullets inch past my fighter, taunting me. My hands felt glued still.
‘Charlie, come in,’ the sergeant bellowed. I snapped out just in time to pull up from a near collision. I lurched forward, banging my head against the throttles.
‘Roger,’ I groaned.
‘Get out of…’
That was when I saw two Germans flank me and I knew it was over. In the back of my mind I wanted to go to sleep to stop all this, but I knew I couldn’t. In the corner of my eye I saw a whole squadron of British fighters zoom through the air. They were my saviours. They both unleashed heavy fire at the same time, but a bullet found its mark on my shoulder. Blood oozed out and I started to slip away slowly. Then black.
My eyes flickered open, my head pounded and I couldn’t move, but when I looked up I saw my friends smiling at me with shocked doctors. I knew I was safe.