No Mission Tonight by Andreas Mueller

Capt. John Davis and Bombardier Lt. Carl Thompson are walking passed their bird to meet the rest of the boys for a few beers. Both can faintly hear music and laughter of men spilling from a tent near the end of the runway. Davis looks back into the setting sun, listens to the big radial engines still ticking from an earlier test flight. The distinct smell of burnt oil still lingers in the air.
“God I love that smell” he thinks to himself.
He gazes down upon the puddles of oil underneath the port and starboard engines.
“Hey, does it look like engine one is leaking more than usual?” John asks, turning to Carl who had his half smoked cigarette in the corner of his mouth.
“It’s been leaking more since Frankfurt”, Carl replies.
“Frankfurt? Yeah, I think you’re right”. Davis can still hear the screams of the waistgunner, when the shrapnel tore through the entire port side.
“Poor Sammy, he never had a chance”, Davis says.
Carl didn’t reply, just walked quietly next to John, the setting sun throwing long shadows onto the tarmac, making them both look like giants.
Both men knew that tonight they indeed feel larger than life, because there is no mission tonight.

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  • Kevin  Kroeker
    Kevin Kroekerover 6 years ago

    Beauty shot Andy! I love the beam of sunlight across the image. Well done!

  • Yeah, I like that as well, was going to clone it out, but then thought it really belonged there.

    – Andreas Mueller

  • Varinia   - Globalphotos
    Varinia - Gl...over 6 years ago

    Wonderful light streaking across, great shot !

  • Basia McAuley
    Basia McAuleyover 6 years ago

    Excellent composition and processing but totally LOVE the light and that 1 sun ray,, magic!

  • Lance Leopold
    Lance Leopoldover 6 years ago

    Stunning light ,Andy,love it!!!

  • DaveU
    DaveUover 6 years ago

    Excellent work … a stunning image.

  • velveteagle
    velveteagleover 6 years ago

    Perfect Andy.. Such a wonderful image.. And story that takes one away to a time seeming so far from memories..

  • savosave
    savosaveover 6 years ago

    great shot Andy

  • Robert Goulet
    Robert Gouletover 6 years ago

    Fantastic shot Andy. Love the colours and the sun burst aswell. Not to mention the subject is pretty cool too:)

  • Michael  Bermingham
    Michael Bermi...over 6 years ago

    “Hey buddy, where do you think you’re goin?”
    “I need to see Captain Davis urgently”
    “Well, you cant go in there its the officers mess”
    “I know it is… But I need to see him NOW”
    “All right keep your hair on little man….I’ll go get him”

    “What the matter Sergeant Lyle?”
    “Sir….its the Port Outer Sir!…”
    “Calm down son…. What exactly’s wrong with it?”
    “I noticed the pressure on her was a little lower than the others Sir… Well…”
    “Spit it out Sergeant”
    “I’m sorry sir….it seems…..It seems I may have missed something earlier sir… after the Frankfurt raid”
    “Go on”
    “Well…after removing the cowling… I followed the oil trail… and I found it sir”
    “Found what Jimmy?”
    “An extremely large hunk of shrapnel Sir….It….It’s partially severed the Hydraulic line…and…and its cracked the engine housing Sir”
    “Thats not your fault Jimmy, It could’ve…”
    “Begging your pardon Sir…but it is. We’ve been working 18 hours a day Sir…And, what with all the raids.. we’ve been dead on our feet.”
    “But, you dont repair battle damage Jimmy….thats the fitters job”
    “Yes Sir, but I’m chief flight mechanic…and its my job to OK the Aircraft for Ops "
    “We all make mistakes Jimmy”
    “Yes Sir…but if that hydraulic line had failed … you would’ve been without Ailerons or flaps…you wouldn’t have even been able to lower you landing gear except manually”
    “listen Sergeant, I’m not going to hold you responsible OK? Nothing happened, we’re all fine. Just go and fix it now and that’ll be the end of it”
    “But…thats what I came to tell you Sir… The Hydraulic line is no problem…but the engine housing is beyond repair… and we have no spares Sir.
    “Well, when will one become available?”
    “What do you mean NEVER?”
    “The WingCo has just ordered me to…to…. Scrap her Sir. He said we’d be able to use her parts to shore up the other Ships "
    “W ……What?”
    “She’ll………….She’ll…. never fly again……..I’m sorry Sir”


  • Love it Michael, very nicely written, such a sad ending though (but surely not uncommon back in the day ..)

    – Andreas Mueller

  • nancie
    nancieover 6 years ago

    nicely done Andy!!!!

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