By Captain W. E. Johns



V.                    SUICIDE PATROL  (Pages 46 - 55)


Just before dawn, Biggles is awoken by the five remaining Hurricanes of 818 Squadron going off on a bombing raid.  Biggles decides to follow them to see what happens and takes Tug with him.  They set off in a Mosquito with Biggles as the pilot and Tug sitting beside him.  The Hurricanes are going to bomb a bridge over the Manipur River.  They reach their target and carry out their mission and then set off back again.  Biggles is surprised and says "One would have thought that if the Japs could have stopped them, they'd have done it on the way out, before the bombers reached their target".  Fifteen minutes later, a Hurricane is observed to move out of position, then sideslips down and crashes into the jungle below.  Tug "cursed through bloodless lips".  "No use swearing, Tug," said Biggles evenly. "That doesn't get anybody anywhere".  Biggles decides to bale out and examine the crash as no one has had a chance to do that.  Tug takes over as pilot and they agree a rendezvous point on a river bank by a distinctive island.  Biggles says he will make a smoke signal when he is safely on the ground.  He jumps out and Tug waits to see the smoke signal before flying away.