“War is 99% boredom and 1% sheer terror”

There is an old saying: “War is 99% boredom and 1% sheer terror” and here we see exactly that – aircrews sitting around waiting for instructions, once up in the air, literally in an hour or two they will be in full combat with all the stressors involved in it for only a quarter of an hour or so.

Here aircrews of No. 16 Squadron South African Air Force  and No. 227 Squadron Royal Air Force sitting in a dispersal at Biferno, Italy, prior to taking off to attack a German headquarters building in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia. A Bristol Beaufighter Mark X, armed with rocket projectiles stands behind them. 14 August 1944.

The Bristol Beaufighter (often referred to simply as the “Beau”) is a multi-role aircraft developed during the Second World War by Bristol Aeroplane Company in the UK. It was originally conceived as a heavy fighter variant of the Bristol Beaufort bomber. The Beaufighter was a versatile aircraft used in service initially as a night fighter, and later mainly in the maritime strike and ground attack roles; it also replaced the earlier Beaufort as a torpedo bomber.  This tough and versatile fighter bomber served in almost all the major Allied forces of the war: Britain, The United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Image and caption copyright Imperial War Museum Collection, additional references Wikipedia.

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