by Iain Dick, c.1949
It had been a gin-clear late winter afternoon and we had been drifting round the Zone in an 8-ship enjoying ourselves hugely in a most pleasant way.
Returning to base, Wunstorf, for landing, eagerly looking forward to tea and a relaxing bath, we discovered that some thoughtless farmer had lit a huge bonfire right off the upwind end of the runway and the stream of thick black smoke completely obliterated that welcoming strip of concrete.
One of the formation was split off to go down and see if a landing was practicable but he soon radioed back that any thought of recovery was absolutely OUT. A diversion to Buckeburg was quickly arranged amid a welter of mutterings, at which airfield we had to wait for a bus to take us home.
Back at Wunstorf there happened to be, that evening, two Avro Lincoln visitors, one just a ‘hack’ stooging through but the other was a ‘Special’ ECM equipped monster which necessitated a heavy guard of Regiment bods and SPs with dogs. The next morning we were treated to a ride in the stooger to Buckeburg to collect our toys and return, in formation of course – we had to complete the mission as ordered… However, on landing, we learned that the overnight guard had, indeed, been guarding the WRONG Lincoln! Mind you, what an excellent way to throw any possible spy off the track by heavily guarding a ‘tame’ aircraft!