Angels One Five (1952) Script

Hello, filter room.

I have a new track here, Range of 4-5 miles, Bearing 1-2-0.

No height.

Here's another track.

Hostile 2-4.

Sugar 1-5-2-5.

12-plus aircraft.


Hostile 2-4. Sugar...


Hostile 2-4, Sugar 1-5-2-5.

12-plus aircraft.

Fighter 7-8, 12 at 16, "Q" Queenie 7-7-7-3 south.

Hostile 7-5.

100 at 16.

"S" Sugar 3-5-8-5, east.

Hello, Neethley.

Group controller here. Your controller, please.

Is that you, Moon?

Have a look at Raid 24.

12 aircraft leaving Boulogne.

Looks as if they're after Tango Convoy passing Dover.

What's the form?

Red Section of 22-70 Squadron are patrolling over Tango, sir.

No. They're about due for recall.

They won't have enough petrol left if they have to mix it.

White section are on their way to relieve them.


I quite agree, sir.

I'll get 13-20 Squadron off right away.

Neethley serial 5-4...

Get Pimpernel Red and Yellow Sections in the air, Bonzo.

Dover 15,000 feet.

Angels 15, ok.

Turn that ruddy thing off!

Scramble Red and Yellow sections, Dover, Angels 1-5.

Scramble, chaps, Red and Yellow, Dover, Angels 1-5.

Red and Yellow, Dover. 15,000 feet.

Come on, Batchy. Customers waiting.

I'm coming with you.

Nice work, Skipper!

Identity card and password, please, sir.

You know who I am.

Yes, sir.

Then you don't need to see my identity card.

I'm sorry, sir. Sergeant gave me orders to let no one in without examining his identity card and obtaining the password.

I give the orders on this station.

I know that, sir.

Very well.

I happened to have left my identity card in my office.

I'm sorry, sir. I can't let you pass.

Oh, so you're more scared of your sergeant than you are of me, huh?

It's not that, sir.

I happen to know you well, sir.

But there might be a new man on this job.

Quite right.

Well done, Thompson.

I'm glad to see you're not shaken.

I'm sorry I bullied you.

That's all right, sir.

Thank you, sir.

Well, what is it now?

You haven't given me the password, sir.

Good man. You've got your wits about you.

The word is "crocus. "

Thank you, sir.

Think I'd fall for that one?

Group Captain Tiger Ruddy Small.

The Tiger.

Hello, Sapper, Sapper, Beeswax White One calling, in position. Hello.

Hello, White One, Sapper answering.

Ok. Ok. Out.

Hello, Beeswax, Red One.

Red One. You may pancake, Vector 2-8-5. Over.

Hello, Sapper, Sapper.

Beeswax Red One answering.

Thank you, Sapper. Out.

Put Hostile 2-4 on the screen, please.

Good afternoon, Peter.

Afternoon, sir.

What's going on?

The usual stuff. They're after a convoy.

So I see.

Serial 5-6.

Red and Yellow Section, 13-20 Squadron.

Intercept Raid 24.

If only they'd stick to convoys.

Hello, Pimpernel Leader, Pimpernel Leader, Sapper calling.

What are your Angels now?


Got any special information, sir?

No. But it can't be paying them much of a dividend, can it?

Hello, Sapper.

Leader answering.

Angels 1-5. Out.

It's not likely to as long as we have a few Hurricanes airborne.

Hello, Sapper. Pimpernel Leader calling.

I'm in position. Out.

The same idea must be dawning in the mind of Reichsmarshal Goering.


Hello, Pimpernel Leader. Sapper calling.

Vector 1-3-5, Bandits ahead of you, ahead of you, Angels 1-5. Over.

Well, obviously, sooner or later... sooner is my guess... he'll employ some of the 3,000 aircraft he has at his disposal to prevent our Hurries being airborne.

It's up to 3,000, is it, now?

Yes, he's got something like that between Brest and Amsterdam.

I reckon that makes the odds about 5 to 1.

Well, more than that if you discount our squadrons tied down in the north.

Well, call it 6 to 1, sir.

We can cope with that.

Hello, Sapper, Sapper. Pimpernel Leader calling.

Tally ho, tally ho!

Nice work, Peter.

Thank you, sir.

Sometimes I think Bill Ponsford could find a Jerry in a fog without my assistance.

Been getting any flying lately?

A few circuits and bumps in the station maggie, just to remind myself what it feels like to be airborne.

As air attache in Turkey, I didn't get much chance to fly modern type fighters.

I realize that.

You must get yourself up in a Hurricane, Peter.

It's time you caught up with the rest of us.

There's nothing I should like better.

But I don't want to use the hours when we're so short of aircraft.

Oh, never mind about that.

Oh, by the way, there are 3 replacement aircraft due in this afternoon.

One of the pilots is joining us, a chap named Baird.

A volunteer reservist, I believe.

Very good, sir.

And don't forget, Peter... get yourself up in a Hurricane.

Don't worry, I will, when I can find the time.

You must make the time, Peter.

Get Clinton to take on more of your work.

He should be capable by now.

Oh, Barry Clinton's all right, sir.

All he wants is a little more experience to gain confidence, that's all.

Tell Squadron Leader Clinton for me that he won't gain experience by digging in his garden.

Barry? Oh, Barry, darling.

Hello? Please come in.

What's the matter, dear?

Come here.

It's that flaming policeman, darling.

He won't stop bullying me about the blackout in the top landing window.

But didn't you tell him why we keep the curtains open?

Of course I did.

But he won't take it from me.

Come on.

Ah, good afternoon, Constable.

Well, what seems to be the trouble?

Trouble, sir?

It's a matter of your blackout.

Front window blazing at night.

Hardly blazing, old man. It's only a 40-watt bulb.

Well, I understand it's possible to see a naked light.

You manage to make it sound quite indecent.

Didn't my wife explain that our house faces the end of the runway, and we keep the light on to help the pilots landing after dark.

Well, she has, sir, but that's as may be, it's still contrary to the regulations.

But, my dear chap, it's done at the express request of Group Captain Small, the station commander.

You're not trying to incite me to disobey my superior officer, are you?

No, sir. I wouldn't want to do that.

But you see how it is, sir.

Isn't there something else you could do?

Hang out a red light, for instance.

Well, it's an interesting idea.

Fighter 1-2 "R" Robert 0-5-9er-1 west.

Who might that be, do you suppose?

Some senior officer stooging around, I expect.

Thank you, sir.

Group, sir. It's the first of our replacement aircraft, call sign Elfin One.

A ruddy fine time to arrive with Pimpernel due back any minute.

Hello, Pimpernel Leader. Pimpernel Leader.

How are you getting on? Over.

Hello, Sapper, Sapper, Pimpernel Leader answering.

Bandits have turned away.

We are returning to base. Over.

Hello, Sapper. Hello, Sapper.

Elfin One calling.

Are you receiving me? Over to Sapper.


Hello, Elfin One. Sapper answering.

Yes, I am receiving you.

Steer 2-4-0. Over.

Hello, Sapper. Hello, Sapper.

Elfin One calling. Elfin One calling.

I can see base. I can see base.

Have I permission to land?

Is this understood?


Hello, Elfin One. Sapper answering.

Get down as quick as you can. Over.

Hello, Sapper. Hello, Sapper.

Elfin One answering.

Elfin One answering.

Your message received and understood.

Listening out. Listening out.


That's what I call a really conscientious type.

Warn the practice flight, Bonzo.

Look out!

Hello, old man.

Dropped in for tea?

Thought there'd be more room at the end of the runway.

Well, our guests do usually park their aircraft up there, I'll admit.

Hurt your neck?

It's nothing much.

I think I must have strained my ligamentum nuchae.

Your what?

It's the big tendon at the back of your neck which keeps your head up.

You must have noticed it in cows.

No, I'm afraid I haven't. Should I have done?

We haven't introduced ourselves.

I'm Barry Clinton, sector controller, lowest form of life. This is my wife Nadine.

How do you do, ma'am? My name is Baird.

I've been posted to this station.

I was bringing in a replacement aircraft.

A replacement?

Something tells me you're not going to be very popular.

It wasn't my fault, sir.

Another aircraft cut right across in front of me.

It was a mercy we didn't collide.

It certainly was.

Hello, men. Hello, Barry.

What have we here?

One pilot, one Hurricane, both slightly bent.

Hi, Doc.

Let me introduce you... Pilot Officer Baird.

Hate to disappoint you, but I don't think you'll need your blood wagon.

All right, Casey, I shan't be needing you.

No bones broken?

No, sir?

You're a lucky chap.

No strains, sprains, pains, or blains?

He's got a ligamentum whatsit.

She means ligamentum nuchae, sir.

I think I've strained it.

What makes you think that?

I'm a medical student, sir.

Or at least I was till the war started.

It's nothing much.

All the same, I think we better have a second opinion, don't you?

Let's have a look at it.

I'll give you a lift back to sick quarters in the ambulance.

I'm sorry to have caused you all this trouble, sir.

That's all right, old man. See you in the mess, I hope.

Good-bye, Mrs. Clinton.

Batchy! You old pirate!

Batchy! Where have you been?

I thought you bought it.

So did I, Skipper. So did I.

I saw you go down after that 1-1-0, but I was too busy myself to see what happened.

Oh, that one.

Another Jerry crew will be swimming back to base this evening.

Good show. Whizzo, Batchy!

Did you get shot up?

Only a teeny-weenie one in my glycol tank.

And another in my radio.

So I decided to fizz back to base while I still had some height.

Glad you made it.

And that ends our bedtime story for tonight, kiddies.

Hold it, chaps!

You haven't heard the half of it.

I'm putting meself down nice and comfortable on dear old Neethley when an angry great Hurricane comes roaring at me down the runway.

"This is it," I said to meself.

Silver handles and hello, Saint Peter.

What did you do?

What could I do, you twerp?

I just shut my eyes and the whole of my past life loomed up before me.

What a shocking experience.

And when I opened them again, this other chap had hopped over me back like a flea on a dog's tail.

# They were only playing leap frog #

# They were only playing leap frog... #

Shut up!

What a copper-bottomed ape.

Who was it?

Oh, some ferry type with a replacement Hurrie, so they tell me.

A replacement? Where is it now?

Standing on its prop in Barry Clinton's garden, I believe.

By heaven, if he's written it off, I'll tear him apart.

Where is he? Doc took him down to station sick quarters.

He'll be sorry he didn't write himself up by the time I'm through with him.

Oh, now, wait a minute, Skipper.

He didn't prang me and I was landing cross wind.

What the hell has that got to do with it?

This is an operational station.

Pie-eyed ferry types should know darn well they've got to keep out of the way.

Might have slaughtered an experienced pilot.

As it is he's written off an invaluable aircraft.

God, how we need them.

Hello, Bonzo? This is Bill Ponsford.

I want to speak to Peter Moon.

Oh, hang it all, Skipper.

He put up a pretty good show, really.

I mean, he must have had his finger out to hop over me like that.

Shut up, Batchy! I mean that.

Hello, Peter.

Hello, Bill. What's eating you?

Steady, old man. I know how you feel.

Yes, yes, I grant you, Batchy is more valuable than a thousand non-operational types, but...

Look, let me speak, will you?

"A" and one, Batchy came in at naught feet and we got no warning.

"B" and 2, this sap is not a ferry pilot, he's an operational type, or soon will be.

He's posted to your squadron.

What? I won't have the damn fellow near my outfit.

And you can tell that to the tiger.

I sympathize, old man, but you can tell the tiger yourself.

Bring me a pint, will you, Price?

Very good, sir.

Hello, Baird.

Settling in all right?

Yes, thank you, sir.

Good. Made your number with the Old Man yet?

He wasn't there when I reported to the adjutant.

Oh, he's in the anteroom now.

Have a drink.

Not just now, thank you, sir.

Oh, well, if you're not drinking, I'll toddle off home.

You see, I have a lonely wife that needs company.

You'll find Squadron Leader Ponsford in there.

He's the squadron C.O.

I should make myself known to him.

Oh, thanks, sir, I will.

Good. Cheerio.

Good night, sir. Cheerio.

I spy strangers.

Are you looking for someone, old chap?

I'm looking for the C.O. Of 13-20 Squadron.

Well, hold on a minute.

Are you down there, Bill?

Yes, I'm down here.

What is it, Batchy?

An air force officer wishes to hold converse with you.

Well, I'm Ponsford. You want me?

I've been posted to your squadron.

I'm Pilot Officer Baird, sir. T.B. Baird.

T. B?

Sounds a bit Septic to me.

So you're the type who nearly wrote off my best flight commander and pranged a replacement aircraft.

I'm sorry about that, sir.

It wasn't really my fault.

What do you mean, it wasn't your fault?

The other chap came in bang across wind without making a circuit.

The other chap was a squadron aircraft returning from operations.

Well, that may be, sir, but I had permission to land.

Permission? What permission?

There's no such thing.

Operations told me to get down at once.

Well, what if they did?

That doesn't give you the right to go barging around like a blind bull in a china shop.

My name is Small.

I'm the station commander.

Oh, that's all right. There's no need to stand on ceremony.

This is where we relax, as you may have noticed.

Thank you, sir.

You look as though you could do with a drink.

Come along. I'll get you one.

You're a volunteer reserve, I see.

Something of a novelty in these parts.

Yes, sir. I joined my university squadron At the time of Munich.

What were you reading?

Medicine, sir.

And you chucked up that to join the air force?

Naturally, sir.

Why naturally?

I'd learned to fly.

The war's won by pilots, not by doctors.

You think so?

Don't you, sir?

Oh, I suppose I should.

I'm a professional fighter.

Perhaps my views are a bit narrow.

What will you have to drink?

I think there are a few Scotch Ales left.

Thank you, sir.

How's the neck?

Oh, fine, sir.

A wee bit stiff, but that will soon wear off, sir.

As a medico, you should know.

Yes, sir.

Do I join the squadron tomorrow, sir?

Well, we won't talk shop now. This is my play time.

You'd better come and see me in my office in the morning.

I'll be there, sir. Skol.

Now pay attention, all of you!

You've been sent here to guard this aerodrome, and guard it you will, against all unauthorized persons, saboteurs, and assaults from the enemy.

And while you're here... you will uphold the traditions of the army before the R.A.F., being punctilious and paying respects to their officers.

Now, a word of warning.

Their sergeant majors, what they call warrant officers, and of which they have a great multitude, dresses very like the real officer.

We don't want no accidents.


You don't salute me, so you won't salute them.



For your information, that was a pilot officer.



At ease!

Come in.

What can I do for you?

I have an appointment with the station commander, sir.

He's busy this hour.

Better take a seat.

He asked me to come and see him.

I daresay he did.

You're not our only customer, you know.

Sit down.

The Old Man's ready to hear the charge now.

Accused, count off!

Witness escort accused, party... attention!

Right turn! Quick march!

Left, right, left, right, left, right, left wheel...

Party, right!

Hello, Baird.

I gather you're joining me in the hole for a while.

The hole, sir?

It's what the irreverent call the operations room.

Operations room?

But I'm a pilot.

So, if you observe closely, am I.

I realize that, sir, but it's not quite the same thing, is it?

Why not?

Well, I mean, you're a squadron leader, sir.

Which might suggest that I'm the more experienced pilot than you, mightn't it?

You don't get the point, sir.

Perhaps not, but I'm not going to argue the toss.

If you're sent to the hole, that's where you'll go.

Believe me, it has its uses.

Even for pilots.

Has it ever occurred to you, Wailes, that using a crib in a trade examination is a very stupid offense?

It doesn't help to win the war, it doesn't help the air force, It doesn't even help you in your work, does it?

No, sir.

Do you know whom you're serving?

Yes, sir. You, sir.

No, you're not, any more than I'm serving the air officer commanding a group.

We're both serving the king.

Pulling on the same rope, part of the same team.

Do you understand? Yes, sir.

Cribs won't help us.

Supposing I'm flying an aircraft, it gets into a spin.

Christmas daisies, where's my crib?

And before I can find the right piece, There's Saint Peter tap tapping on my fuselage demanding my soul of me.

Think that one over.

Admonished. March out.


Witnesses escort accused, right turn!

Wake up!

Right wheel.

Quick march!

Left, right, left right, left right, left.

Pilot Officer Baird is waiting to see you, sir.

Oh, yes. Send him in.

Come in, Baird.

All right, relax.

How's the neck this morning?

Pretty good, sir.

The M.O. Seems to think it'll take 2 to 3 weeks to get right.

He's a very cautious man, sir.

That's a quality I approve in doctors.

Sir, is it because of that you're sending me to the operations room?

Oh, Squadron Leader Moon's told you, has he?

Yes, that's the reason.

But I can fly perfectly well, sir.

If you mean aviate around the sky, I've no doubt you can.

But that's not what we're here for, Baird.

Operational flying's a very different matter.

I'm sure I'd be all right, sir.

Ever heard of the Messerschmidt twitch?

No, sir.

It's a nervous complaint contracted by fighter pilots.

It comes from constantly looking over your shoulder to see if there's a Jerry on your tail.

You'd find that a bit difficult, wouldn't you?

I'll risk that, sir.

Understand this, Baird.

I'm not in the least interested whether you get shot down or not.

All I'm interested in is the efficiency of the squadrons under my command.

The squadron is a team.

Each member must have complete confidence in every other in attack or defense.

It takes quite a time to build such a team.

And I'm not going to jeopardize one of the finest squadrons in fighter command just so that you can poop off your guns.

Is that clear?

Yes, sir.


Now I suggest that you get along and report to the operations room.

If you've got any sense and you keep your eyes and ears open, you could learn a lot.

If I had my way, all pilots would do a spell in there.

Thank you, sir.

Good luck, Baird.

Now, don't try and rush your fences.

You've got a good report up to now.

Just ease back and... take things in for a bit, hmm?

Yes, sir.

Squad Leader Ponsford to see you, sir.

Ah, come in, Bill.

Morning, sir.

Morning. Have a cigarette.

Oh, thanks very much.

You want to talk to me about Baird, I suppose.

Well, yes, I did, as a matter of fact.

Well, don't worry yourself.

He's not fit for operational flying yet.

In fact, it's just as well, anyway.

I'm posting him non-effective to Moon in the operations room.

Thank heaven for that.

Poor old Peter.

Oh, don't underestimate that boy.

He's keen, and from his record, an above-average pilot.

Well, he started here with a big enough black.

Yes, I know how you feel about it.

I was going to tear him off the strip myself, but it's not the right treatment.

He just doesn't understand what squadron espirit is about, and... anyway, he's suffering from a big enough sense of injustice already.

Hello, Baird. I was expecting you.

Make yourself at home.

We rather pride ourselves on our hole.

Not quite such a gin palace as some of them, but it has its exclusive features.

That glass wall map, for instance, where we stick our own fighters and any raids we're especially interested in.

Ops "B" with his lines to squadron dispersal.

Ops "A" in touch with her counterpart at group.

Our brown colleagues, ack-ack and searchlight liaison.

And, of course, the beauty chorus.

Every girl hand-picked.

You don't seem to approve of our domestic activities.

It's not that, sir.

A bit surprised, that's all.

You know, it's a peculiarity of the female that she can only relax by being busy.

I suppose it is.

You don't seem very impressed.

Group controller on the line, sir, about Raid 7-5. Wants to talk to you.

There, see? That's what comes of nattering to you.

Clear the deck, Soss.

Serial 9-6...

Ok, I'll take it on this phone.

2 sections, 22-70 Squadron.

Neethley Control here, sir.

Patrol Ramsgate 12,000 feet.

Yes, sir, we've got 2 sections on patrol over Ashford, sir.

Ok, sir.

Scramble Beeswax blue and green, Tom.

Ramsgate 12,000 feet.

Hello, Beeswax dispersal. Scramble Blue and Green...

Morning, Tom. Morning, sir.

Wotcher, Septic, you old assassin.

So this is where you hide.

..."R" Robert 9-7-2-9...

Well, don't look so boot-faced, old boy.

No offense meant.

But after all, you did very nearly land on my cockpit cover, you know.

You were coming in cross wind.

Oh, absolutely, old boy.

Shocking display.

Quite second 11.

Trouble was, some Jerry with evil intent had perforated my glycol tank.

You mean you were shot up?

Nobody told me that.

I'm very sorry, sir.

Think nothing of it, Septic, my lad.

Happens every day.

Only some of them aren't lucky enough to find a runway to park down on.

Things are beginning to hum.

I have a feeling our absence might be acceptable.

Come down to dispersal and meet the boys.

I can't leave here, I'm afraid.

Good idea. I can't see the table through the back of your head, anyway.

Thanks, sir.

Come on.

I must say, I thought it rather raw myself.

But the Skipper's apt to be a bit touchy about his replacement aircraft.

Pity you didn't open up and go around again.

Well, I tried. Of course I tried. She wouldn't pick up.

A habit they have if you do it too quickly.

Well, it had to be quick. There wasn't much time, you know.

Oh, absolutely, old boy. A thoroughly shaky do.

I say, look here, I wouldn't take the C.O.'s outbursts too much to heart if I were you.

He's a desperately keen type.

A wizard squadron C.O. And all that sort of thing.

But he's apt to be a bit touchy sometimes.

He's been at it an awful long time.

But he's pure gold when you scrape down.

Absolutely pure gold.

Do mind if I have a look over Jemima while I'm here?


How's it going, Wailes?

Sliding a bit easier now, sir.

Give me an hour, sir, and I'll have it running like silk.

Good show. I hear they nearly clapped you in the cooler this morning.

It won't do, Wailes. No, sir.

How the hell do you expect me to fly if me rigger's in chokey?

Very sorry, sir.

You're a clot, Wailes.

Yes, sir.

Now, that's a good tip, Septic.

Never get into a kite until you're sure you can get out, pronto.

There's many a keen type not here now because his cockpit wouldn't open up in time.

I'll remember that.

We've come to readiness, sir.

Good-o, Pete. Thanks very much.

That's Peter Haddon.

Quite a good type.

He's got 4 already.

Gentlemen, and others of Pimpernel Squadron, meet our latest recruit.

Pilot Officer T.B. "Septic" Baird, The celebrated leap-frog man.

Wotcher, Septic. Welcome, stranger.

Welcome to Coney Hatch.

Make way for the stunt man, chaps.

And may all his bogies be bandits.

Come into our parlor and inspect the gallery.

On my left is squadron homework.

And this bedraggled streak is Pilot Officer Mortimer, our faithful tail-end Charlie.

Tail that wags the dog.

This is Wally.

This is Nobby.

Meet Septic, the celebrated Highland flyer.


And this is Jacko.

Would this be a bomb sight of a Junkers 87?

Bang on! Good for you, Septic.

Actually, it's our earliest trophy.

And this is the rudder off a J.U. 87.

And that's a bit of wing off a J.U. 88.

Quite a Junkers shop, in fact.

Tactful pilots usually laugh at this point in my conducted tour.

And this bit...

This is the driving stick off an M.E. 1-1-0.

See? Look here.

"August naturen gesellschaft. "




And here... yes, now... now, here we have an exhibit of especial interest to the young pilot.

The most highly derogatory order of the irremovable digit.

What's it for?

Slinging around the neck of types who land with their undercarts up.

Taxi into other aircraft, overshoot on landing, or otherwise blacken the fair record of the squadron.

No doubt you all think it's I who should be wearing it now.

Squadron scramble, chaps!

Hastings, Angels 1-5!

Sorry to drag you over from Gravesend, Richard, at this hour of the night, but it's the only time I can be sure of getting all my squadron commanders on the ground together.

Oh, well, that's quite all right, sir.

Well, gentlemen, I was over at group this afternoon, and I thought perhaps you might like to know what the A.O.C. Had to say about the way things are going and are likely to go.

Oh, thank you, sir.

Yes, well, you keep your thanks until after you've heard what he said, Richard.

Very briefly, intelligence believes that the Jerries have just been probing so far...

Testing our defenses.

At any moment now, the real shenanigan may start.

I've often wondered why the much-boosted Luftwaffe hasn't put up a better show.

For the old reason, Bill...

The strong always underestimate the weak.

But we're not as weak as all that, sir.

Do you know how many squadrons there are in fighter command, John?

About 50.

Yes, 50 to defend a whole country.

22 in this group.

On the same basis, the Jerries have

120 squadrons of bombers, and 80 of fighters from Brest and Amsterdam alone.

Makes you think, doesn't it?

It makes me pray.

Yes, well, you'll be wasting your prayers but for 3 things...

We've got better aircraft, better pilots, and perhaps, most important of all, we have radio location and ground control.

That's where Peter and his boys in the hole come in.

Hear, hear.

Any idea what the next move of the Jerry will be, sir?

Yes, I'm coming to that.

You can bet your shirts that he's got all our ops rooms and sector stations neatly ringed on his maps.

If he can flatten our fighter defenses... then all the rest of it is a piece of cake to him, invasion and all.

So you'd better get your emergency ops room on the top line right away, Soss.

Yes, sir.

Meaning that we can expect some unwelcome visitors any time now?

Exactly, Peter.

Oh, yes. And talking of visitors, much as I regret it, I think we shall have to curtail our social activities here.

I don't like risking wives, sweethearts, and also-rans on the aerodrome under the circumstances, So I'm afraid next Sunday's cocktail party will have to be the last.

So, let's make it a memorable praznik, huh?

Have some sherry.

Thank you.

I don't think you've met Groucho Carfax's sister Betty, sir.

How do you do? How do you do?

I'm sorry your brother can't be here, Miss Carfax.

He's one of the unlucky ones. His squadron is in readiness.

Beeswax Red were taking off just as we came in, sir.

Were they? It's too bad the way operations interfere with our modest pleasures.

Perhaps he'll be back in time to join us.

I hope so.

In the meantime, I'm sure that Pilot Officer Raynes will look after you.

Don't let him bore you with a lot of shop.

No. Not likely, sir.

Bill, where's Baird?

He ought to be here helping us to entertain our guest.

I don't know, sir. Batchy, do you know?

Yes, he was squatting in the ante-room as I came past, sir.

Got his head stuck in one of the Sunday heavies.

Then go and dig him out.

And tell him from me, his presence would be acceptable.

Shall be done, sir.

May I introduce my mother and father, sir?

How do you do? How do you do?

How do you do, sir?

It's very good of you to let us come here.

Oh, don't thank me. We enjoy entertaining, don't we, Falk?

I'm only sorry that we have to restrict it to relatives and close friends owing to security reasons, and even that's got to stop now, I'm afraid.

We've heard so much about you from Dennis, Captain.

Not much to my credit, I fear.

Yes, indeed. He says...

I mean, that is, he...

Have you got a family, sir?

About 2,000, at a guess, including the 2 satellites.

What a nice way of putting it.

Come out from behind that barrage, Septic.

Why, your presence is demanded in the lady's room.

You don't expect me to fall for that gag, do you?

What gag, old man? I'm not trying to be funny.

Well, perhaps you'll be good enough to tell me who is demanding my presence.

Well, actually, old man, it's no lesser a person than the... than Nadine Clinton.

Well, that's different then.

Why didn't you say it was she?

Mind you, I don't know if I approve of all this social stuff in war time.

I'd talk to the Tiger about it, if I were you.

You know I'll do no such thing.

A man's entitled to his own opinions all the same.

Isn't he?

Absolutely, old man.

Seems to be quite a flap on.

There's 3 sections of Beeswax up already.

I bet Barry's got his coat off in the ops room.

And thinking rude thoughts about our sherry drinking.

Now stop talking shop, you controller types.

I want a word in Mrs. Clinton's charming ear.

Look, I...

This is very sudden, Group Captain.

Now, look, I'm serious, my dear.

It gets more and more flattering.

Don't make things more difficult.

I'm scared enough already.

You? Scared?

I can't even frighten my own tame squadron leader.

Look... I want you to leave your bungalow.


You see, we believe that at any moment, the Jerries are going to start bombing the fighter stations.

Well, now, when that happens, they'll throw in everything they've got to try and wipe us out.

I don't know want the responsibility of having civilian women around.

Well, I've been called a great many things in my time, but civilian woman.

You must excuse my crude service jargon, but you do understand?


And you needn't have apologized.

And you needn't have got so worked up about it all.

Thank you, my dear. I knew.

'Cause I'm not going.

I've rounded up our shy pilot, sir.

He came like a bomb when I told him Miss Clinton was pining for him.

Oh. Oh, yes.

You see, Septic, I didn't want you to miss our last Sunday party with so many beautiful girls around.

You're wasting your talents in solitude.

I'll introduce you to some. Come on.

Astonishing woman.

Absolutely, sir.

Betty, I want to introduce you to Pilot Officer Baird, a newcomer to our ranks, Miss Carfax.


How do you do, Miss Carfax?

Being a V.R., Pilot Officer Baird probably has a wider range of conversation than us regular types.

Will someone get me a drink?

Tony, there's someone I want you to meet.

I suppose you're a Pimpernel or you wouldn't be here.

Yes, that's right.

My brother's in Beeswax Squadron.

They're pretty busy this morning.

Yes, he's off now.

I expect you wish you were, too.

Indeed, I do.

That is... I didn't mean that...

You mean, you'd rather be flying than making dull conversation with a strange girl?

I didn't mean that at all, Miss Carfax.

Yes, you did.

And I quite agree with you.

It must be wonderful.

There's nothing like it.

Power and speed and whole sky to yourself.

But you've got a squadron, Bill.

Yes, granted, I've got a squadron, Peter.

Thank you. In the long run, you pukka Cranwell-trained laddies but you all have short-term commission, chaps, when it comes to the plum jobs.

Sitting on my backside is not my idea of a plum.

Attention, everybody. Attention, everybody.

Pimpernels to readiness.

Hell! That is all.

Batchy, what a ghastly way to drink good sherry.

I shall savor mine later with proper respect.

And heaven help you, Peter, if it's not there when I get back.

What about you? You're a Pimpernel, aren't you?

Yes, but you see, my neck.

I'm not flying at present.

Oh, come on, we can see them off, anyway.

Come on!

Come on, come on!

Oh, how I wish I was a man at this moment.

Some people have all the luck.

Let's go back and finish our drinks.

The party's not over yet.

Yes, let's.

You've never flown on operations yet, have you?

Who told you that? You did.

I did?

It's true, isn't it?


I was shooting a terrible line, I'm afraid.

No, you weren't.

I guessed as much when I saw that look in your eyes just now.

I remember my brother when he first joined the squadron.

You must be a very sympathetic kind of sister.

Oh, I don't know.

Being a useless female makes it easier to understand how you feel.

Hardly describe you as useless, Miss Carfax.

Well, useful enough to drive an old ambulance about, I suppose.

Somebody swiped our drinks.

Oh, that's easily remedied.

You two seem to be getting along fine.

Miss Carfax is a very understanding young woman, Miss Clinton.

Yes, so I can see. Now that she's cut me out, I shall have to seek solace with my aging husband.

Let's see if I can tune in on him.

Should be about here.

Pimpernel Leader, Sapper calling.

Patrol "C" for Charlie, Angels 1-8, 1-8, over.

So Pimpernel are off already.

Hello, Sapper, Sapper.

Pimpernel Leader answering.

Understand point "C" for Charlie.

Angel 20, out.

Oh, hello, Peter.

Sorry to drag you away from your Sabbath pleasures.

That's all right, sir.

Rotten luck, Bill Ponsford buying it like that.


Difficult man to replace.

Impossible, I should say.

Well, that's up to you, Peter.

You're going to take over Pimpernel.

Me, sir?

But I've no operational experience.

You have lots of other experience just as valuable.

What about the other pilots?

They respect you as a person, and that's what matters most, Peter.

But surely Batchy...

You can let Batchy lead until you find your feet.

I want to keep my team together and group agrees with me.

I don't know what to say.

Then don't say it.

I take it you're happy about handing over the ops room to Barry Clinton?

Oh, yes, sir, he's absolutely first class now.

Good. He'll need to be, if our guess is right about the next few weeks.

Struth, had any luck, sir?

No, not even one.

There were thousands of blighters.

Nearly got bounced, myself.

Thank heavens you weren't, sir.

Don't thank heaven, Wailes.

Thank Squadron Leader Moon.



I'm losing my grip, Skipper.


Every time I think of you flying as my Red Two, I go into a stall.

Forget it. You're teaching me a lot.

Now, get inside and get some sleep before you lose your beauty.

What you reckon they're doing up there?

Haven't you heard?

We're getting so perishin' short of aircraft, they're building that platform so's Old Man Tiger hisself can stand up there and punch the Jerry pilots in the nose as they fly past.

Go on.

Not perishin' likely.

One of us poor ruddy erks gotta sit up there like a broody crow and count the Jerry bombs as they drop on the airfield.

Cor! Chase me 'round the hangar.

I must say being senior controller hasn't improved your manners, darling.

If you gobble your food like that, you'll get hiccups in the middle of a raid, and we shall lose the war. Sorry, darling.

Group seems to think I live on the end of that phone.

I must get the emergency ops room tested.

Are the boys still flying?

One section of Beeswax.

I must turn on the light.


Another bulb's gone.

This war's getting expensive!

Now don't you worry, darling. The government pays.

Bless you.

Name your poison, Septic.

Pipe down, Batchy, I'm in the chair.

Good evening, Mr. Moon. Good evening, Mr. Salter.

Good evening, sir.

Good evening, Aunt Tabitha.

I trust we find you well.

I can't complain, not for one of my age.

You'll be taking your usual, I suppose?

Yes, I will.

Bitter? Yes, rather, please.

What about this gentleman?

This is Pilot Officer Baird, Aunt Tabitha.

"Septic" to his intimates.

What are you drinking, Septic?

Oh, thank you, sir.

Do you think I could have a drambuie?

I'm sure you could.

Oh, dear. I've only the one bottle.

The one I keep for Mr. Mortimer.

I don't think Mr. Mortimer will be wanting drambuie anymore, Aunt Tabitha.

You can never be sure, though, can you, sir?

I'll keep it on one side all the same, sir, just in case Mr. Mortimer calls in.

You were lucky to get it back, Peter.

Oh, she'll be all right, sir.

Take more than that to knock out Daisy.

I'm not so worried about the aircraft.

At a pinch, we can go after them in Tiger Moth armed with hand grenades.

It's the pilots we need so desperately.

Well, the O.T.U. S are turning out good stuff, sir.

The last 3 V.R. S I had are shaping well.

I'm glad to hear it, but it's not enough, Peter, it's not enough.

The output isn't making up for the wastage.

You're six short, Beeswax are four, and the Spitfire boys are almost as bad.

Then what's the answer?

Make better use of what we've got.

The M.O. Says that Baird will be fit for operations in a couple of days.

That'll give you one more.

Nice work.

Well, he had an excellent report from his O.T.U.

When he first joined me in the hole, I wanted to kick him in the backside.

Most of us did. Too much of the walking textbook about him.

You ever owned an aberdeen terrier, sir?

No, I can't say that I have. I don't like small dogs.

I had one once.

Obstinate, independent little hound.

Always ready to answer back, But full of guts.

Baird reminds me of him.

They even look alike.

I've got an odd soft spot for that awkward cuss.

I thought the occasion demanded our last bottle of port.

You shouldn't be wasting it on me, Barry.

Speak for yourself, Septic.

Hear, hear. I've been trying to prize that bottle of port out of Barry for the past 6 months.

I raises my glass and looks toward you, Septic.

May your deeds with Pimpernel Squadron resound through the halls of fame.

To Septic and the Pimpernels.

Come on, Septic, speech.

I'm no hand at that sort of thing at all.

No funking, Septic.

I just think you should all have your heads tested.


I mean that.

Makes no sort of sense.

First of all, I plough up your front garden.

Then I make an ass of myself all over the station.

Barry has to put up with my stupidity in his ops room, and now... now you're filling me up with beer, and crack open your best bottle of port.

I don't know what you're trying to do to me, but I must say it feels pretty good.

You're being launched, Septic.

I'm only sorry the housekeeping money didn't run to champagne.

Ha ha.

Before you celebrate too much, don't forget you haven't got rid of me yet.

There's still a couple days to go.

It's 9:00.

Time for the news.

Feeling happy now, Septic?

Never knew the world could feel so good.

It's heaven occasionally to stop worrying; just sit back and accept it all as it comes.

I think sometimes a little laziness is quite a good thing.

That sounds like very immoral advice to me.

Does it?

It's true, all the same.

I'm feeling rather pleased with myself, Barry.

I'll give you credit for most things, darling, but this time, mother nature does deserve a small share, don't you think?

You were going to be a doctor, weren't you?

Well, I still hope I will be.

Yes, of course.

What do you want to be, a G.P. Or a surgeon?

Neither, as a matter of fact.

My idea was to specialize.

Ear, throat and nose, probably.

I see.

Yes, I think you'd make a good specialist.


But what makes you say that?

Well, to begin with, you're the painstaking type, I should think, who comes to very clear and precise conclusions about things.

All good doctors need to do that.

Yes, I know, but you wouldn't be so good as a G.P.

Indeed. Why not?

There you go.

Quite relentless, aren't you?

I don't know why.

I just have a feeling you'd be a bit too determined, If you know what I mean.

No bedside manner?

Yes, if you like.

Anyway, it's much more comfortable to be a specialist.

Who wants to be dragged out of bed at all hours of the night?

Is that some more of your immoral advice?

Very wicked, aren't I?

I don't think so.




Would you come out with me one evening?

Of course I would.

I'd love to.

Alone, I mean.

Darling old Septic, I don't go around chained to a chaperone, you know.

We could go over to Maidstone and have dinner, just the two of us.

Oh, I'd adore that. When?

Well, not just for a bit, maybe.

Oh. Why not?

Well, you see, I'll need to settle down with the squadron first.

They'll expect me to... Oh, of course.

Stupid of me not to realize.

You're a grand girl, Betty.

Hostile 7-6, 100 aircraft, 16,000.

Fighter 161, "Q" Queenie, 8740...

Looks as though things are boiling up.

Never a dull moment. A gay life.

And by the look of things, short one.

Serial 7-6... Yes, here we go, boys.

2 squadrons, patrol point "B" for Beer, at 15,000 feet.

Get Beeswax and Nutmeg into the air, Septic.

Beeswax dispersal?

Good, stand by.

Nutmeg dispersal? Good.

Order for both squadrons...

Serial 7-6. Both squadrons patrol point "B" for Beer at Angels 1-5.

Understood, Nutmeg?

Understood, Beeswax?

Now bring Pimpernel to readiness.

Attention, everybody. Operations room calling.

Pimpernels to come to readiness.

I repeat, Pimpernels to come to readiness.

That is all.

"S" Sugar, 2-6-2-0, west.

12 Spitfires taking off.

Initial letter, "P" for Peter.

Ops room, please.

Controller? Hello, Barry. It's small speaking.

Anything special?

Look, I don't want to bother you.

But tip me off if it looks like developing our way.

Ok, sir.

Tiger's getting restless.

This promises to be quite a party.

Well, we've time for a cigarette before the fun begins, anyway.

It's all right.

It'll take Nutmeg and Beeswax 101/2 minutes to reach their objective.

2 squadrons of Hurricanes against 200 Jerries.

Doesn't make much sense, does it?

Woman: 1-5-0, "Q" Queenie, 9-3-1-0... Hello, Bob.

Haven't wasted much time.

I gathered from Septic the flap was pretty fierce.

Serial 9-3, 13-20 Squadron.

Patrol Ashford at 18,000 feet.

Get Pimpernel into the air, Septic.

Pimpernel dispersal? Squadron scramble.

Ashford Angels 1-8.

You heard the form.

Group will place Raid 1-2-4 on our plate.

I'll look after them with Nutmeg and Beeswax if you'll take on Pimpernel. Ok.

That means we've got all our squadrons airborne at once.

I know, old man. Presumably, group know what they're doing.

Put Raid 1-2-4 on the screen, will you?

Hello, Beeswax and Nutmeg Leaders.

Beeswax and Nutmeg Leaders, Sapper calling.

Vector 1-5-0, 1-5-0.

100 bandits are approaching you from the east.

From the east. Angels 1-8.

Up to angels 1-8, over.

12 Hurricanes taking off.

Initial letter, "U" for Uncle.

3 minutes dead.

Pimpernels, airborne.

It's pretty hot, even for Pimpernel.

Practice flight want to do an air test, sir.

Definitely no.

In fact, we'll have the red light on.

We gotta concentrate.

Sorry, old boy, no joy.

Try again in a week's time.

Good Lord, your turn already?

You better skip while the going's good.

Serial 9-6.

13-20 Squadron.

Intercept Raid 1-2-7.

I think I'll hang around.

This looks like the biggest show yet.

Stick Raid 1-2-7 on the screen, please.

Hello, Sapper, Sapper.

Beeswax Leader calling. Tally-ho, tally-ho, out.

Well, that's Beeswax and Nutmeg engaged, anyway.

Hello, Pimpernel Leader.

Vector 2-1-0, 100 bandits to the south, Over.

Hello, Sapper, Sapper.

Pimpernel Leader answering.

Understood, out.

Hello, Sapper, Sapper.

Pimpernel Leader calling. Tally-ho, tally-ho, over.

Hello, Pimpernel Leader. Sapper answering.

Watch out for hawks. Out.

Well done, Pimpernel.

Carve 'em up, carve 'em up.

That's all 3 squadrons engaged.

Where do we go from here?

Take a look at Raid 1-3-2.

8-0-8-2 west.

If they held that course much longer, they'll be dropping in here for a drink.

Looks rather sinister to me.

Let's see what group thinks.

Hello, Neethley. Yes, I'm watching it.

Hornchurch is trying to intercept Raid 1-3-2 now, but I'm not too hopeful.

I'm trying to send reinforcements to you.

Meantime, do whatever you can.

Good luck. Nice to have known you.

Thank you very much, sir.

Seems we're on our own now.

Get the Tiger on the blower, Bonzer.

Gun, now's your chance to show what you can do.

You better take the Spiders out of your battles.

Station commander, please.

Hello, Sapper, Sapper.

Nutmeg Blue Two calling.

Can I come back and rearm? Over.

Hello, Nutmeg Blue Two, Sapper answering.

No, you may not come home yet, out.

Tiger on the phone, sir.

I see.

Well, that's what I expected.

Yes, certainly.

Anything that flies, and you better be quick.

Attention, everybody. Attention, everybody.

Operations calling.

Every available pilot, report to practice flight immediately.

Take off independently and patrol base at Angels 1-2, 1-2.

Officer in charge of practice flight to put every possible aircraft into the air.

This message to be treated as urgent.

That is all.

It's pretty futile. They'll never make height in time, but it's all we can do.

At least they won't find much on the ground to bomb.

Hostile 3-8, "M" Mother, 1-5-0-2, east.

Attention, everybody, attention, everybody.

Operations calling.

Action stations, action stations.

Hello there, partner. Come up where I can see you, will you?

5 assorted aircraft all taking off, all shapes and sizes.

Hostile 1-3-2, "Q" Queenie, 9-08-0

Battle bowlers, everybody.

Close the blast-proof doors.

Attention, everybody. Operations calling.

All personnel not engaged on operational duties take cover.

Take cover.

Hello, Sapper, Sapper. Pimpernel Leader calling.

Shall not be home yet.

Have dealt with bandits, but am engaging hawks. Over.

Hello, Pimpernel Leader. Sapper answering.

Message understood. Out.

Just our luck to be caught with both pairs of trousers at the cleaners.

Guns, see that your boys don't poop off at any of our lads coming home.

All right. Leave it to us.

Hello, Sapper. Hello, Sapper.

Septic calling. Septic calling.

I am airborne.

Well, I'll be! Have you any instructions for me?

Over to Sapper. Over.

Hello, Septic! Sapper answering.

Make Angels as fast as you can, over.

Hello, Sapper. Septic answering.

Receiving loud and clear.

Strength 9. Listening out.

Hello, Sapper. Septic calling.

Tally ho, tally ho. Bandits ahead and above me.

Here I come!

25 enemy bombers approaching from the southeast.

Height about 10,000 feet.

They look like JU-88s to me.

This is where we learn to take it.

Order the squadrons not to land back at base.

Here, give it to me.

Oh, some blithering idiot's left his transmitter on.

Enemy aircraft are now bombing the aerodrome.

You're telling us!

Atta boy!

Let 'em have it, chum!

Enemy aircraft being attacked by fighters!

Here, leave me alone. I've got a job of work to do!

Don't be a perishing fool!

Who do you think you are, Joan of Arc?

Perishing hangar's on fire!

Test all the lines, Bonzo.

Sergeant? Yes, sir?

What casualties?

No one killed, sir.

One of the R/T operators copped a nasty one, and one of the girls doesn't seem to good.

We're doing the best we can for them.

They'll have a rescue squad here soon.

Yes, sir.

I'm sure there was one that didn't go off.

Well, let's hope it's a dud.

All the lines are dead.

Right. That settles it. I'm going to evacuate.

Sergeant, muster the crew and get them out of here.

Yes, sir.

The emergency option should be functioning by now.

Can't be done, sir.

The doors are all jammed or blocked with rubble.

Hell. We shall just have to stay here and wait for the bomb to go off.

I hope to God Nadine got into the dug-out.

Tea, sir?

It's a bit gritty, I'm afraid, sir.

Foster, that's an inspiration.

Remind me to have you promoted.

Yes, sir.

Did you ever see anything like it?

Oh, never mind, duck.

Wasn't really so much of a little house, was it?

The whole place is certainly pockmarked.

Yes! Just like old Jerry to sneak in and plaster everything while our backs are turned.

Speaking for myself, I'm glad I wasn't here.

They didn't have it all their own way, you know.

We managed to put up an odds and sods section.

Good show! Any joy?

One Messerschmitt 110 certain, fell just outside the perimeter, and a couple of probables.

What about you chaps? That's what I'm here to find out.

Well, there were about 50 Dorniers.

We came in above and behind them.

7 went down. All confirmed?

Absolutely, old boy. I followed each one down personally.

Oh, have a heart. I've got to fill in a claim.

You make it 7, old boy.

And after that, a swarm of M.E. 109s came out of the sun at us, and things got a bit hectic.

Any casualties? Yes.

3 unaccounted for so far.

Matthews might have got down at Hawkinge.

What happened here?

We're pretty lucky, on the whole.

One shelter hit, unfortunately, and the ops room bought it.

Barry Clinton?

They all got out alive all right.

Where's this M.E. 110?

In a field behind the Red Lion.

Come on, chaps. Into the truck!

Hey! Damn it! I've got to get a report!

Hello, Baird.


Ever seen one of these before?

Oh, quite a few.

It was me who shot down this bird.

You, was it?

I didn't know you were flying ops.

Well, I got caught up in a scramble.

I see. Nice work anyway.

Do you think I might have a wee bit, just for a souvenir?

You'll get me shot! It's against regulations.

Well, just something for the squadron's gallery.

Oh, well, as it's your first.

I'll look the other way.

How about a nice little altimeter?

What a prang!

Wotcher, Septic. Pinching enemy property?

I'm surprised at you, Plumber, encouraging the lad.

Well, why not? He shot it down.

What! You never!

What a horrible lie!

I went up from the practice flight.

I was lucky, that's all.

Well, I'll be transmogrified.

Our own Septic's got himself a Jerry.

Let's do something about this, chaps.

Here we are! Chair the victor! Come on, types!

Come on, you types.

Hey! Put that tail fin down!

# Oh, a brave aviator lay dying #

# And as on his deathbed he lay #

# Now, this is the end of our flying #

# And this now is all I could say #

# Take the connecting rod out of my backbone #

# Take the crankshaft from out of my brain #

# Take the sparking plugs out of my kidneys #

# And assemble the engine again #

# So raise up your glasses steady #

# Here's a toast to the men of the sky #

# 3 cheers for the dead already #

# Hoorah for the next man to die #

# Oh, Septic's got a Jerry in mobile, in mobile #

# Oh, Septic's got a Jerry in mobile, in mobile #

# Oh, Septic's got a Jerry #

# And the Pimpernels are merry #

# For Septic's got a Jerry in mobile #

Choose your site, Septic.

Come on. He must have the place of honor.

Let's shift the derogatory finger.

Here, give us a hand, one of you louts.


Come in here a moment, will you?

Shut the door.

I've just been over inspecting my kill, sir.

I didn't call you in here to congratulate you, Baird.

I know that, sir.

You're still a member of this squadron, even if you are non-effective.

Of course, sir. That's why I was hanging my piece of 110 on the wall, sir.

Stop nattering about that 110.

It's been done before, you know.

You come bursting in here, grinning all over your face.

Did you report to intelligence?

I'm sorry, sir.

In the excitement, I must have forgotten.

This is an operational squadron, not a flying circus.

We've no time for personal jamborees.

We've got a job to do. I realize that, sir.

Perhaps you also realize that you left your radio on transmit the whole time you were in the air.

I did, sir? Yes, you, the textbook pilot who knows all the answers.

You jammed the channel so that operations couldn't speak to any pilot on your frequency...

Pilots returning from a grueling action, shot up, short of juice, not even knowing that their base had been bombed.

How did you know it was me, sir?

'Cause your aircraft was the only one in practice flight with a serviceable radio.

Thank God those that got back landed safely.

Otherwise, I'd run you off the station with my own hands.

Let's face it, Baird.

You may know the training manuals backwards by heart.

But until you've had operational experience, you aren't worth your rations to this squadron.

It shan't happen again, sir.

Once is too often.

I will not have this squadron made a laughingstock.

For that reason, as far as I'm concerned, your black won't be published outside these walls.

That is all.

Well, go on, go and hang your trophy on the wall.

What ails you, Septic?

You look a trifle parboiled.


I'd rather not discuss it, if you don't mind.

Ok, old man, if that's the way you feel.

Where's your trophy, Septic?

Come on, old boy, you must stick it up.

It's squadron property.

We can't have private looting, Septic.

Listen, chaps. I made a mistake.

I haven't had much experience yet, you see, and, well, I've been a mutt.


That 110... I'm not so sure now.

Perhaps it wasn't mine after all.

What's that? Come off it, Septic.

What's the big idea?

This modesty is most unbecoming.

Attention, please.

Will Pilot Officer Baird report to the station commander immediately.

That is all.

What've you been up to, Septic?

You'd better put some blotting paper in your trousers, old man.

I shall decide whether you're going to be any use to us after I've had a talk with your squadron commander.

Meanwhile, I hope you've learned a lesson, Baird.

Discipline and procedure are just as important as courage and skill.

Every man and woman on this station has a part to play and a strict set of rules to play it by.

I've warned you before that we don't take kindly to people who break the team's rules.

The others are only trying to help you do your job, and it's up to you to help them do theirs.

Yes, sir.

All right. You can go.

Baird, come here.

Have a cigarette?

No, go on.

Thank you, sir.

Sit down.

I called you back because, well, because you weren't the only one who let his personal feelings get the better of his service training today.

I'm just as guilty myself.

You, sir?

Yes. In the middle of the bombing, I lost my temper and grabbed hold of a Lewis Gun and started pooping off at the Jerry planes.

Well, a very natural thing to do, sir.

Natural, perhaps, Baird, but wrong all the same.

I'm a station commander, not an ack-ack gunner.

But then, you see, there's nobody here to tear me off a strip.

That's not fair, is it?

But you're the station commander, sir.

Exactly. That's what makes it all the more inexcusable.

Yes, and another thing...

You didn't see me when you were running to the practice flight, did you?

No, sir.

Well, I was racing for that last Hurricane, but I stopped and let you win.

You let me win, sir?

Well, you don't imagine I couldn't have beaten you to it?

I was a pretty good sprinter at school, sir.

Well, we can soon settle that argument.

We'll have a race... 220 yards flat along the perimeter track in full flying kit.

That will show you who'd have got to that Hurricane first.

All right, sir. Now, sir?

No, not now. I need a drink.

I daresay you're feeling a bit dry, too.

But we'll fix a date for that race.

Don't forget to remind me.

I won't, sir.

Excuse me.

Anything to oblige, old boy.

Oh, it's you, Septic. Peter Moon was asking for you just now.

Squadron Leader Moon? Well, where is he?

He's over there by the bar nattering to the Tiger.


Of course, it's for you to decide, sir, but that's what I strongly recommend.

Very well, Peter.

I didn't intend to take any action, but if that's the way you want it, I will.

Oh, there you are, Baird.

I've been looking for you high and low.

You're flying as my Yellow Two tomorrow.

Readiness first light.

# I don't want to join the air force #

# I don't want to go to war #

# I'd rather hang around Piccadilly underground #

# Living on earnings of a high-born lady #

# I don't want to lose my tail plane #

# I don't want my rudder shot away #

# I'd rather stay in England #

# In merry, merry England... #

I reckon she must have dived in there to take cover.

What's the use, anyway?

We heaves her out and tidies her up, and back come the ruddy Jerries.

Have to start all over again.

Don't worry, chum. Another couple of days of this, and there won't be any perishing station left to tidy.

Got a fag?


I wrote to your wife this morning, so I expect she'll be coming to see you in hospital.

All you've got to do is to get fit as quickly as you can.

If there's anything you want, you let me know, will you?

Good luck. Is that the lot now?


Been seeing anything of Septic lately?

He's giving me dinner at Maidstone tonight.

Oh, quite an occasion!

Isn't it? I'm very thrilled about it.

It's certainly an achievement. So long, my dear.


Good afternoon.

And how's our lady of the lamp?

If you're referring to the Clinton bungalow beacon, that's still under control.

I was referring to your activities amongst our sick and wounded.

You look tired.

Aren't we all.

It's a marvel to me how those boys go up time after time.

No proper rest, few comforts left.

Well, how do you manage?

Me? Oh, that's quite different.

It isn't, you know.

We keep going because, well, we've got to keep going.

Isn't that it?

Yes, I suppose so.

I'm a bit worried about Barry.

He's feeling the strain badly.

Well, I was just on my way down to emergency ops.

He worries so dreadfully.

He seems to take responsibility for every single casualty.

I'll try and talk some sense into him.

Thank you. So long, my dear.

Bored with her, Dusty?

It's not that, old man. I want to get some sleep.

Tell us about your love life, Septic.

That will put us all to sleep.

He's a dark horse. Aren't you, Septic?

I don't have to titivate my senses with paper substitutes, if that's what you mean. Who is she, Septic?

Is she a braw Scots lassie?

Tell us a real bedtime story, Septic.

Come on, Septic. Don't be bashful.

Well, since you all take such a kindly interest in my affairs, I may as well tell you that... well, I've got a date with a very beautiful girl in Maidstone this evening.

Well, blow me down. Who'd have thought it!

Good old Septic, a very parfait gentle knight.

Are you ready for a game of chess, sir?

I don't mind if I do, Provided you let me win for once.

Fan me! 5 sorties, and then chess?

Your mother might not have known it, Septic, but what she gave birth to was a wonder child.

What's the form, Barry?

Nothing much on the table at the moment, sir.

I don't like it.

Why not?

We could all do with a bit of a rest, couldn't we?

It's unlike Jerry to lay off, sir, just when he's got us rocking.

Sufficient unto the day.

You worry too much, Barry.

You're losing weight.

It's the smell of a boot, sir.

Interferes with digestion.

Here they come.

"H" for Hostile, 7-5-"S" for Sugar 3-9-1-9.

12 aircraft, no height.

"H" for Hostile 7-6, 3-0-0-6.

Get Pimpernel off, Bonzo.

6 aircraft's about all they can muster, sir.

They've done 49 sorties today already.

Well, it's getting late. It may fizzle out.

I'll wait and see how it develops.

Hello. Pimpernel dispersal?

Patrol Dover Angels 1-8.

Dover Angels 1-8.

Don't forget, Septic, you're flying as my Black Two.

Here we go again. Poor perishers.

Haven't you got that ruddy blower working yet?

Hello, Pimpernel Leader, Sapper calling.

Make Angels as quickly as you can.

Bandits approaching from the southeast. Over.

Ok, Sapper.

What Angels are bandits? Over.

Don't know. Can't see them from here, over.

You funny little man. That will cost you a drink. Out.

Close up, Black Two.

I'm going to climb. Keep your eyes skinned.

"H" Hostile 7-6. "R" Robert...

Hello, Pimpernel Leader. Sapper calling.

Watch out for bandits above and behind you.

Above and behind, over.

Hello, Sapper. Pimpernel Leader answering.

Ok. Out.

Hello, Leader, Black Two calling.

109s above at 4 o'clock, over.

Ok, Black Two. I can see them. Prepare to break.

No, hold it. They're Spitties. Over.

Hello, Pimpernel Leader. Sapper calling.

Bandits ahead of you. Ahead of you.

Will cross from starboard to port.

Starboard to port. Over.

Hello, Sapper. Pimpernel Leader answering. I see them.

Tally ho! Tally ho!

Hello, chaps. Leader calling.

Prepare to break. Line astern. Line astern.


Nice work, Septic.

Your bird, sir.

Sounds as if Septic had winged one, sir.

Yes, good boy.

"H" for Hostile 7-6, "R" Robert 7-2-6-2.

Now, how the hell did that get there?

It puts them up sun, now, sir, to our boys.

Hello, Pimpernel Leader. Sapper calling.

Hawks in the sun. Hawks in the sun closing in on you rapidly from the southwest. Over.

Watch your tail, Leader. Watch your tail.

Hello, Septic, Are you all right? Over.

Hello, Leader. Septic answering.

Yes, I'm all right.

Trouble is, can't open hood.

Chin up, Septic. You don't sound too good.

Better park down on Manston. I'll lead you down.

Try and keep height. Over.

Hello, Leader.

Septic answering.

Your message received and understood.


See if you can get their position. Maybe we can help them.

Hello, Pimpernel Leader. Sapper calling.

Over to button "B," button "B" and transmit for fix. Over.

Hello, Sapper. Pimpernel Leader answering.

I will transmit for fix.

Please keep channel free for me to assist Black Two down on to Manston. Over.

Ok. Ok. Over.

Tell the D.F. Stations to concentrate on Pimpernel Leader.

Get through to Manston. Tell them to have the crash tender and the ambulance on the top line.

All stations concentrate on Pimpernel Leader button, "B."

Has Squadron Leader Clinton left yet?

Not yet, ma'am. Is the squadron still up?

I believe so, ma'am.

That means some of the stragglers will be landing in the dark.

I must hurry.

Good night. Good night.

Hello, Sapper, Sapper. Pimpernel Red One calling.

We've disengaged and are returning to base, over.

Hello, Pimpernel Red one. Red one.

Ok. Ok.

Have you seen Leader or Black Two? Over.

Hello, Sapper. Red One answering.

Not for some time. Anything I can do? Over.

Hello, Red One, Red One. Sapper answering.

We are trying to help them home.

Please, keep R/T silence unless urgent. Over.

Hello, Sapper. Ok, absolutely. Out.




Pimpernel Leader.

"R" Robert 8-0-7-4.

Get all the pilots you can on Fighter 6-2.

Well, they ought to make Manston if he's height enough.

Who was it said that waiting was the worst part of war?

I don't know.

Hello, Septic, Peter Moon here.

Try and make some height, old man.

Try and make some height, over.

Hello, leader. Septic answering.

Doing my best.

No power.

Can't seem to get her nose.

He sounds in a bad way, sir.

Hope he remembers to switch over to receive.

He will. He's learned that lesson.

Hello. Where are you off to?

Just off to the bungalow.

Some of the boys are still airborne.

Is Septic with them? I don't know.

Very probably, I should think.

I'm just dashing home to change.

I got held up at the hospital.

I hope he's not down yet.

I don't want to be late for our first assignment.

You'd better hurry, then.

Yes, bye. Be seeing you.


Hello, Sapper. Hello, Sapper.

Elfin One calling.

Elfin One calling.

Are you receiving me?

Are you receiving me?

Elfin One over to Sapper, over.

That was his call sign when he first came in to Neethley.

Hello, Sapper, Septic calling.

Septic calling.


tell the Tiger... our race... will have to be postponed... indefinitely.


Hello, Septic. Hello, Septic.

This is the Tiger answering.

Your message received and understood.