For the most part they where doing quite well. Some were better than others, but they were going in the right direction.
'Well boys I'm going to the canteen now, but you can carry on. If you have any questions just ask Tom. Tom was thought of something of an expert even though he was nineteen. A limp kept I'm out of the forces.
Tom took over as soon Jack left the hanger.
The canteen served quite good food and Jack took advantage as much as he could, not only was he not the worlds best cook, it meant he could give some for his ration coupons to his family in Wilbraham. When walking back to the hanger he was called over by a flight Sargent.
'Jack we need to have another talk about tools'
'All right what's happened now?'
'Shall we go the the hanger and get it sorted?' asked the Sargent.
They went to the main hanger. More engines were there than a few weeks ago. The Meteor now had Merlin's fitted. It was not as fast as it had been, but had a longer range. It was still more than a match for most Russian planes.
They had also been joined by a number of bods, as Jack called them from the R.A.E. And they were working on the P-80. Jack didn't like this kind of thing. This was his hanger not theirs. They didn't care.
The Sargent was walking behind him and then stopped.
'This is what I mean look at this tool box!' he said quite peeved.
'What do you mean “this tool box”?'
'All these tools are mixed up. Some of them are Air Ministry. Look A.M. Stamped on them.'
'That not Air Ministry. Said Jack 'A.M. is for Archie Marshall.'
The Flight Sargent was about to argue but didn't get the chance. The air raid siren had started up. It's high pitched wail pulsating though the air. All those in the hanger rushed to the slip trenches. Jack landing on young Wilhelm as he jumped in. Then young Tom landing on Jack. Then they all got as small as they could.
The aircraft they had on stand by started up. Mostly Spitfires with a few P-51's. They were airborne within two minutes of the alarm going off.
There was no real need by the time they were up the Russian re-con plane had been shot down. Maybe by the P-47's from Duxford. May be from planes from North Weld. Or maybe from one of the airfields in Kent.
No matter it was down. There were far too many of them lately as far as Jack thought. And another thing.
'Bugger me Tom, get your foot off my head.'