Tex Killeen uses cow wrangling tactics in a dog fight-- and amazes even the Germans!
Nobody in the Fifth Pursuit Group knew that if the war had ended four months before, Lieutenant Tex Killeen wouldn’t have got into it at all. Nobody guessed within two years of his age. He was so large that he looked several years older. He’d just got under the wire and had a commission because his dad was senior senator from the state of Texas. All they saw when he reported for duty, was a lank, drawling chap, with wind-tanned cheeks, and squinty eyes that plainly were accustomed to looking over vast distances into the face of a burning sun. To them he was a kid who had just got to the front along with whispers that the war wouldn’t last another five months.
To be absolutely fair to the Fifth Pursuit Group, they had been through hell. During the last month or two the Germans had been fighting with their backs to the wall, and that fighting was bitter and fierce. And the Fifth Pursuit had got more than their share of it.
Germany, losing steadily in the war, nevertheless held supremacy in the air in the sector over which the Fifth Pursuit Group flew. When the gray legions on the ground lost a few kilometers to the increasingly confident Allies, the Germans in the air redoubled their efforts, took greater chances with their lives, with their ships.
As a result, a Yank flyer who’d been two weeks with the Fifth was an aged veteran. A round dozen, some of them old-timers, had gone down in flames during the last three weeks. Desperate, bitter fighting had etched lines on the faces of survivors. The cracked glasses on the mantel, each one a silent reminder of a final toast to a fallen wingmate, were almost a solid row from end to end.
The Road Runner
Publication date: 19/10/2015
Tex Killeen uses cow wrangling tactics in a dog fight
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