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The perfect Bivvi

The perfect bivvi will be level and flat

  • ssduncan3

A Just War?



A black and white photo in my father’s wartime album

Written above, in decorative script, the title-

‘Celebrating the ‘hundreth hun’ at the Dorchester, April 1944’.

For 605 squadron have destroyed.100 German planes.

Something to celebrate.


All the aircrew lined up for the camera.

Three rows. Cross-legged, sitting, and standing.

A flying elite wined and dined, happy and relaxed.

So many handlebar moustaches, waxed and twirled.

My dad never could grow one.

Nice smooth skin my mother always said.

Later, my dad drew ball point halos over joyful heads.


Look! There’s my dad, left hand third row, smiling with the rest.

But he’s wearing strange spectacles,

It must be that doodlebug that blew up in his face.

“Protecting London’ from cruise missile attack.

Diving from 10,000 feet.


Mitch and Stanley, Les and Willie, Jack and Mike and the rest

They didn’t make it.

Some, chasing doodlebugs, came out of their dive too late.

Others were caught in enemy crossfire.

Some risked all in hunting medals.

A few just flew drunk.

My dad drew their halos.


Night intruders, deep in Germany

Flying Mosquitos, a deadly war machine.

No chivalry, no one to one combat, no honour

Just waiting until a hun returned to base,

Landing slow and level, runway lights turned on.

A sitting duck.

They knew my dad was out there, somewhere in the dark.

Then full speed behind and ‘open up with all you had‘.

Bits flew off the ambushed plane, it crashed, or burst into flames.

Did they get halos?


He had lots of wartime jobs, my dad.

He managed the squadron wine cellar.

He followed stricken bombers.

He trained new recruits.

He managed squadron funerals.

He stopped mourning mothers looking at their lost boy’s body.

For there was no body.

Just bits if you were lucky.

But my dad gave them halos.


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