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
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
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.