by Captain W. E. Johns



IV.                   THE RAID  (Pages 36 – 48)


At precisely 10.00 pm, Biggles taxis out in the Willie-Willie, (its name now painted on the side) and flies south, taking the machine up to 20,000 feet.  Biggles reaches a dark land mass and knows that Kiel will be subject to a black out.  The canal connects the Baltic with the North Sea and Biggles sees it in the moonlight.  Biggles is gliding in, with his engine ticking over and, about a mile away from the ammunition dump, a dozen search light beams criss-cross around him.  Biggles dives on the target with the throttle forward as a furious air barrage takes place around him.  Finding the shed, he drops his bombs and then turns at right angles to race away.  He feels the explosion as his plane is shook by the blast.  Caught in a search-light he cannot shake off, Biggles flies down the beam and shoots until it goes out.  He turns towards the sea.  Biggles then hears what must be Algy’s attack on the target, although Algy misses the sheds and sets some adjoining buildings on fire.  Ginger follows Algy’s aircraft in and his mouth turns dry as the first archie shells lacerate the air dangerously close to him.  Something strikes him on the cheek and Ginger feels blood.  Having gone through all this danger, Ginger tells himself desperately “I’m going to get those sheds or bust”.  Ginger’s altimeter is nearly on zero.  He drops his bomb and zig-zags away.  His aircraft, the Dingo, is thrown around by the blast and Ginger is temporarily blinded and half stunned by shock as the bomb goes off.  Ginger misses flying into a wireless mast by inches.  He doesn’t bother to climb for height, but sets off on course directly back to base.  Ginger returns to Bergen Ait and sees the three green flashes of light as a signal to land.  Briny, in a motor boat gives frantic signals for Ginger to hasten and he tows him in.  Ginger is then told by Biggles that he, Ginger, was sinking as he must have had a float holed.  Biggles notices the blood on Ginger’s face and says he needs medical attention but all Ginger wants is his supper.