Arts & Crafts Magazine

Lucky Crew, Though Not Very Good at Dead Reckoning Navigation

By Bertyc @bertyc
lucky crew, though not very good at dead reckoning navigation
Returning from a Nickeling mission over Warsaw the night of October 15th-16th, 1939, the AW Whitley “L-Love” of 77 Squadron was running low on fuel and, thinking they had reached the French border, put down in a field. Although an AA gun had fired a single shot at them, turning on their navigation lights and putting the wheels down had ended further fire, and they assumed nothing was amiss.
Exiting the plane and walking out, they were greeted by a group of curious villagers who, after a stilted conversation in some poor quality French, informed them they were actually in Germany. Realizing their mistake, the crew bolted for the plane some 200 yards behind them, and had the engines started before the German military patrol reached them and opened fire. There was enough fuel left to make it the remaining dozen miles to France.
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