Night Skies

An American pilot joins the Royal Air Force during the early years of World War II. After an important mission, he and his crew realize they just want to get back home.

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Ted Miller looked at his watch and shook his head slightly.  No time to phone his wife.  He’d told her he would try, but she knew what it was like being married to a Royal Air Force pilot.

They’d met last Christmas, when they’d all been a lot more optimistic about the future.  The war had just begun, and they’d had no idea how much England would be challenged by this fight, but he and Alison did have something to celebrate this year.

“Come on, Ted,” Jimmy said, slapping him on the shoulder.  “We’re finally getting payback for Coventry.”

“Did you hear the good news?” Roger asked as he joined them.  “Seems our Yank friend here is going to be a father.  Although, I still don’t know how he convinced my wife’s sister to marry him.  I thought she had more sense than that.”

“Congratulations!” Jimmy said, shaking Ted’s hand.  “Don’t you worry, we’ll get you home in one piece.”  Jimmy smiled.  “Then, it’s drinks all around!”

“Excellent plan,” Roger said as they walked outside.

It was dark and overcast, but there were reports the skies would clear when they got across the Channel.  They walked out to the airfield together, then Roger and Jimmy went to their own planes and crew.

“Dave, Nigel, good to see you,” Ted said as he walked up to greet his navigator and gunner. 

“I was just telling Nigel this is going to be a piece of cake,” Dave replied. 

Nigel had recently finished his training, and this was his first mission.  “There’s a reason they put you with us,” Ted assured him.  “We’ve never lost a gunner.”

“Really?” Nigel asked.

“Only to transfers,” Dave assured him.  “And these Blenheim beasts aren’t the sturdiest to go one-on-one with the Germans, but it’s fast and our pilot knows how to dodge bullets.”

“Leap tall buildings?” Nigel asked, smiling.

“Okay, you two…let’s get going,” Ted said. “Wheels up in five.”