Biggles Gets the Bird

The pilots' view as they came in to land.  the farm with the turkey pens is off to the top left in this picture.  Capt Biggles worth chose the field to the top right and Capt Frickenbakker the one bottom right.  Because of the morning mist neither could see the other. The field Biggles chose was frozen solid and so were the mole hills!  A bit of bad luck meant that he broke the undercarriage.  After spending a little time tightening the wires he was satisfied that the Camel  was ready.  He had taken some extra money, Belgian Francs, in his pocket to pay for the turkey.
In his field Eugene landed well and checked his pockets.  He had a couple of loaves of bread and some Belgian Francs.  The bread for barter and the money for a small bribe! In the mist the pilots suddenly become aware of each other.  Neither is very sure of who the other is ... this side of the line it could just be a German after all. A cautious greeting and they see that they are allies.  In the war that is .. not in the turkey chase!
Both pilots try to sneak up on the turkey cages.  They are empty.  Only one remains, all the others have been sold at market. After an exciting chase in which Biggles catches the bird and Eugene pays the farmer in bread and cash they agree that they will share the turkey on Christmas Day at the 266 Squadron Officers Mess.  A small German patrol passes by and Eugene wrings the turkey's neck to prevent it giving them away.
On his way back to his Nieuport, Eugene is challenged by a Hun patrol.  The soldier, seeing a Luftwaffe Officer in flying kit snaps off a smart salute and Eugene wishes him a good day and a Happy Christmas. Biggles reaches his Camel and swinging the propeller the engine roars into life.  The Camel rolls forward and tips on its nose, the undercarriage is giving problems.  Fortunately the propeller is not seriously damaged.  Biggles jumps up on the tail of the Camel and brings it back on its wheels.
The noise of the two aircraft starting up attracted the attention of a patrol.  This patrol was lead by the Officers who had come to collect the turkey.  They threatened to shoot the farmer until they saw the footprints in the light snow leading to and from the copses where the engine noise was coming from.  Eugene roared down his Vickers guns spitting death. Other patrols emerge from the nearby farms and start shooting at the two aircraft.  Biggles turns the Camel into the wind and starts his take off run.  He realises that controlling a Camel while sitting on top of a large dead bird is not easy!  Especially as rifle bullets are whipping past.
Eugene dives to the attack again, after all, he has an investment to protect.  The Germans take cover. Once the planes stop firing, the Officers get and watch helplessly as they roar off with their Christmas dinner.
Eugene's Nieuport Biggles (left), Eugene (right) and the turkey (centre) at the 266 Squadron RFC Officers Mess at Maranique.


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