This is a true story.
One night, an American B17 bomber, having dropped its bombs on a German industrial estate, was returning to its base on the English countryside, when the probing fingers of German searchlights picked up its silhouette. Within seconds, the powerful anti-aircraft batteries had opened up sending a barrage of shells towards the homebound plane.
The first thud rocked the aircraft sending a sickening apprehension through the crew. On nights like this it wasn’t unknown for less than half the squadron to return. More thuds, the plane trembled, and then one hit the fuselage. The young men clenched their teeth, waiting for the inevitable explosion. It never came.
The bomber made it back to base. Mechanics and support staff swarmed on to the runway, and within minutes an engineer emerged from under the belly of the plane. He had found a dozen or more unexploded shells. The one lodged in the fuselage was carefully dismantled but to the amazement of the crew and engineers it contained no explosive charges. It was empty, except inside they found a piece of paper, hastily written and in Czechoslovakian. It read: ‘This is all we can do for you for now.’
Somewhere in a Munitions factory in Germany, Czech slave labourers, who knew full well the penalty for sabotage, had, in an effort to help the Allies, made non-exploding shells.
It’s all about having the courage to persevere when the going gets rough, isn’t it?
It’s all about doing your bit – even if that means staying at home and co-operating with the rules and regulations to prevent the spread of the virus.