Engine snarling, throttle to the wall, you clear the end of the strip. Automatically you operate the undercart, adjust the flaps, slam the canopy shut, already clearing a thousand feet, the beach, the palms, fading below, the ocean glittering.
Noise fills your world, noise, vibration, the great bellow of the engine dragging you higher, higher into the air.
22nd swings left, 30 strong, settling at 7000 feet, driving south as fast as it can
You swing eyes left, right, above, seeking, seeking.
You do not think of your flying, to have to think, well, that is for rookies.
And up here, already dead men.
No, your eyes seek, and look, a nd you tuck in hard on your wingman, and fly as automatically as you breathe
You glance, oh so briefly, below, at the giants there, carving great rivers of white in the blue, blue, sea.
there have been rumours, terrible rumours of the carriers sunk................
The radio crackles......Fuchida, terse, crisp...'Bombers.....030, attack!"
Stick back, a zooming, zooming climb, then flinging over, whheeling, almost onto her back, screwing around, and down, the Liberator growing, growing, you fire, the cannons banging, you flash past, wheel, breathe, wheel again, fire, twist, dive, ......
and the battle, brutally, appears done
But 4 will attack the giants