Battle Order 204 by Christobel Mattingley

By Christobel Mattingley

David's boyhood desires of flying led him to England for months of teaching to be a bomber pilot in global warfare II at age 19, yet his ultimate flight was once a nightmare. Seconds after the bombs have been published, David used to be wounded in 5 areas and his fellow pilot puppy used to be hit. Flying steel slashed his correct knee, thigh, and shoulder; the tendons and artery in his correct hand have been severed; and shrapnel ripped via his thick leather-based helmet, fracturing his cranium as his plane went right into a dive. This riveting actual tale takes kids throughout the occasions of a tender WWII pilot’s heroic trip and his braveness and patience within the face of terrifying conditions.

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Drew, the bomb aimer, chuckled to see Aggro for Adolf. ’ crowed Birdy the rear gunner. And they all laughed at seeing the supremely confident You’re history, Hitler. ‘That one’s for you, Skip,’ they joked, knowing their skipper’s passion for history. indd 42 2/4/07 3:16:02 PM David and the crew in D Dog waited tensely on the airfield perimeter for the go signal. At 1230 hours on 29 November, they took off with a bomb load of fourteen 500-pound clusters, two containers of sixty 4-pound incendiaries and one cookie, a massive 4000-pound bomb.

So David learned every part of the Tiger Moth and how it functioned, and studied some of the more sophisticated aircraft he would fly later. Night after night he sat on his bed studying, determined to do well in the final exams. Flying lessons were the highlight of each day and he awaited his slots eagerly. They were always at different times to allow each trainee to experience varying conditions. After the initial flight as a passenger, for the first week all were with an instructor, practising take-off into wind, powered approach and gliding.

Full uniform had to be worn at all times, even when on leave. This included the field service cap, with its coveted white flash denoting aircrew trainee status. On the station, long-sleeved overalls, known as goonskins, and jumper and beret, all blue, were to be worn in cold weather; khaki shorts and shirt in summer. Kit included blankets, towels, razor blades, shoe-cleaning gear, clothes brush and cutlery. Each man also received a sewing kit, essential for sewing the badges of rank onto his uniform.

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