627 Squadron in retirement

 

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At First Sight
Contrails - Andy Denholm

“At the end of every contrail there has to be an aircraft”, said the Luftwaffe night fighter instructor - in German, of course.

With the highly accurate navigation (line for navigators) of 627, it was often  possible to be in each others contrails or to see them close by (they were the ones in Red, White and Blue). The one difficulty was knowing at which end of the contrail one would find an aircraft, with an even more difficult question to answer - “Who would it belong to - them or us?”

On one such occasion on a bright moonlit night we were returning somewhere in the area North of the Ruhr, following in someone’s contrail, when suddenly another aircraft appeared doing the same thing as we were. The problem in this instance was that he was going in the opposite direction! He flashed over our cockpit – I’m sure we both must have ducked - then realising that he was going in the wrong direction I could see him in the moonlight doing a right hand turn to try to catch up with us. Fortunately, those lost seconds, our speed, and a move away from the contrail prevented this happening!


Copyright 1943-2012 627 Squadron in Retirement or as credited