This is our tribute to the courageous men and woman involved in the most invaluable and secretive work of the RAF 100 Group.
It also has to be remembered the work of the ground crew, without their devotion to the planes and their essential maintenance some crews may not have ever made it home. They worked tirelessly, dedicated to the cause, and became affiliated to the planes on which they worked, watching them fly out, never knowing if the plane or the crew would ever make it home. They saw the battered and bruised planes in many cases barely make a landing and worked around the clock to repair the damage ready for another day. They saw pilots some for the very last time and they felt the pain of loss for those forever gone.
We also have to remember the work of the WAAF who played a pivotal role. They also got to know well the many pilots, transporting them ahead of their most vital missions, often counting the planes in on their return, probably one of the first to realise when some didn’t make it home. They witnessed and suffered first hand the true horrors of war being ever present when our home airfields were attacked. Their work should also never be understated.
We sincerely thank you all….
Many so young said their life began as an adventure, simply no fear of the unknown,
Just a desire to recreate the acts of aces who had previously flown.
A desire to fly high in the sky, where eagles dared to soar,
However, they didn’t realise they would see horrors they had never seen before.
In the midst of an operation, flak would fly high,
Jostling and vibrating their bird in the sky.
Mission after mission they would fly,
Upwards into a moonlight sky.
Running the gauntlet fighting to survive, finding a path through the flak,
Never knowing if they would ever make it back.
Jostling and jamming into the flight track,
Window a dropping into the black.
A sigh of relief that they made it through the flak,
Only to find an engine hit by gunfire on the way back.
A German night-fighter sees the stricken plane and attacks,
They fight them off, they pray but everywhere there is ack-ack.
The rear gunner confined to the rear,
The mid gunner raised in mid-air.
The navigator locked in his windowless room,
The rest of the crew so active and vital too, sometimes sadly this would be their final tomb.
RAF 100 what can we say,
With your electronic warfare, you really saved our day.
I can only know from reading,
So can never understand the true feeling.
Though you really should have had recognition, standing proud on memorial parades,
However sometimes a secret world stands in the way.
It is vital now that we really should care,
When you the brave boys flew for us in danger with no fear.
So, our tribute to you, those who laid your fearless souls bare,
Some of us really do care.
We say thank you for all you have done,
As without you, really what would we have become…
We will always remember you….