by Captain W. E. Johns



XI.                   WUNG LING RECONNOITRES  (Pages 123 – 129)


A month later, Ginger and ‘Cub’ Peters (from the Gimlet books) are waiting for the return of Wung Ling, known as Wung.  (This appears to be wrong as Chinese surnames come first, so he should actually be called Ling.  But then again, it was not uncommon to call men by just their surnames in the 1950s).  The Biggles team and the Gimlet team have flown out in a Scorpion flying-boat, originally a military development of the Sunderland.  This prototype had been on the establishment of the Royal Air Force Communication Squadron and was made available under a reciprocal arrangement between the Air Ministry and the Air Police.  It is powered by four Bristol ‘Hercules’ engines and has accommodation for sixteen passengers.  (The Scorpion aircraft is fictional; the Hercules engines are not).  A fortnight has been spent on the journey to the Far East and mooring arranged at Kungching in South Korea (a fictional location).  On arrival Biggles had arranged with the R.A.F. officer in charge for aerial photographs to be made of the Kratsen area (also fictional).  The photos show several buildings and Biggles is sure that one is used to hold the deserting soldiers as prisoners.  As much more information on the layout and numbers of people there is needed, Wung Ling had been parachuted in, posing as a Chinese Coolie by Biggles flying a “small machine”.  Wung had been given three days before he was due to be collected.  Ginger and Cub see Wung appear suddenly through the mist.  They take Wung to where Bertie waits with a dinghy and then Biggles flies them all in the Scorpion on a south-westerly course back to base.