by Captain W. E. Johns



XV.  BLITZED  (Pages 183 – 192)


“Worrals shouted a warning and there was a wild rush for cover”.  The Mitsubishi has returned with three dive bombers and all four planes bomb the island.  They don’t appear to be going for the Scud aircraft, but they concentrate their attentions on the ‘Annie’, Billy’s boat.  It is hit and sunk. “Billy stood up.  “There goes my ship,” he said in a flat dull voice.  “There goes little ‘Annie’”.  Considering the bulk of the man, this last remark sounded childish; at least, so thought Worrals, and she looked at him sharply, wondering if he were joking, although, admittedly, it seemed no occasion for humour.  She never forgot the expression on his face.  Tears were rolling down his weatherbeaten cheeks.  He made no attempt to check them.  Nor did he appear to notice the questioning eyes that were on him.  He was oblivious to everything except the ship”.  The sinking has a fortunate consequence, in that the dugong oil tanks must have been holed and the oil bubbles up to the surface and calms the lagoon.  Jimmy suggests that some people had better stay behind as with Billy and the two natives there are now seventeen people to get aboard.  (This seventeen consist of Worrals, Frecks, Harry, Rama, Vandergroot, Uleeft and Pam plus the six other girls they collected, plus Jimmy, Billy and his two natives).  Worrals says firmly “We all go or we all stay”.  All equipment not needed is thrown out of the aircraft and it taxis to the lagoon.  Worrals takes as long a run as possible on the oily surface and the aircraft manages to “unstick” just in time, before they hit the reef on the other side.  An hour and a half later they sight the coast of North Australia.  The entire airfield turns out to watch them land, including Dan Lynch, and Worrals hands over her human cargo to him whilst she and Frecks go and get some sleep.  Two days later they are given a celebratory dinner.  Worrals recommends Harry for the Distinguished Flying Medal and he gets it and Billy Maguire is given command of a new anti-submarine corvette.  “Worrals and Frecks took ten days’ leave, and as guests of the Commonwealth Government spent a memorable holiday seeing the many fine sights that Australia has to offer”.  They then make the long journey back to England by sea with those they rescued.  “At the finish Worrals and Frecks agreed that, taking one thing with another, it had been a good show”.