WORRALS ON THE WAR-PATH
A Worrals of the W.A.A.F story
by Captain W. E. Johns
This story is, in many ways, a sequel to 'Worrals Flies Again' and is the first “Worrals” book to feature Air Commodore Raymond. It also has an introduction that tells us far more about Worrals’ background than we have been told in the previous books.
A WORD ABOUT WORRALS
In one and a half pages, Johns explains how Worrals became involved in espionage. “Because her father had been in the Diplomatic Service, she had lived, and gone to school, in both France and Germany, at the age when learning is easy. Consequently she spoke both French and German fluently. Later she had learned to fly at her own expense”.
In two pages, Johns sets out some details about the Cévennes in Central France.
I. WORRALS HAS AN IDEA (Pages 11 - 23)
Flight-Officer Joan Worralson, W.A.A.F., better known to her friends as "Worrals" and her best friend, Betty Lovell, more often known as “Frecks” are trekking in French mountain country late at night. Worrals thinks back over the last three weeks, when she approached Squadron Leader Marcus Yorke of the Air Intelligence Service and her own Commanding Officer, Wing Commander McNavish, with an idea. Knowing that Malta desperately needed fighter aircraft which were usually sent by sea, as no single-seater fighter had the fuel capacity to fly direct, Worrals had the idea of flying them there with a refuelling station in France. France is partially occupied by the Germans, but in the unoccupied part there is an area called the Cevennes. Here can be found high and lonely plateaux where a secret landing ground could be set up. Worrals is familiar with the area from before the war. Worrals says she is an ideal candidate for the job as she has the necessary qualifications. An intimate knowledge of the district, an ability to speak French and a broad grasp of air pilotage. Yorke takes Worrals to see Air Commodore Raymond (a leading character from the ‘Biggles’ books, making his first appearance in a ‘Worrals’ book). Worrals explains to Raymond that she spent a month holidaying in the area and had the benefit of a local guide named Louis Capelle, who lived in La Malene. Raymond thinks she would need assistance from a Frenchman. Worrals suggests Lucien, the Vicomte Delarose (who played an important part in helping her in “Worrals Flies Again”). Ten days after this meeting, Flying Officer Bill Ashton, who had been bought into the scheme as a ferry pilot, flies Worrals and Frecks to a specific area of France where they bale out. Sleeping by day and travelling by night, the girls had spent four days in France. They wore their uniforms, hidden beneath drab coloured raincoats as they headed towards their objective, a mountain rendezvous with Lucien.