“Let´s Add a Little Oil to the Fire“
The Autobiography of navigator
Colonel Jaroslav Novák.,
The book has 208 pages and 230 historic photos from Childhood, Flight to the Undeground, Disappointmet in France, Army in GB, RAF, The Bitter Taste of Victory, A new Home in Australia.
In the middle of the Bay of Biscay, shortly after midnight, we spotted firing on the water in the distance. A little later, the radar operator announced that he could see five blips on his radar screen. We pressed on not knowing what to expect to expect. I, somewhat bravely, said to Jarda Friedl, “Let’s go and add a little oil to the fire!” When we had approached to a distance of about ten miles, I gave the wireless operator our exact position.
He then put it in code and sent it back to base in case of an emergency, such as to report the presence of the enemy craft or if we were shot down. I darkened my cabin, prepared my bombsight, switched the depth charges to “ready” and directed the pilot towards the target. But the night was too dark. I lay on the bombsight and when we were quite close, perhaps half a mile away and still descending, I asked the mechanic to drop a flare through the flare chute. The flare was usually attached to a small parachute and normally started to burn immediately on leaving the plane to brightly light up the entire scene.
We were at a height of approximately five hundred feet, still in descent and apparently directly over our target, when the flare illuminated the space below us. To our horror, we saw that we were above four German destroyers accompanying a submarine that was protected in their middle. The convoy opened up at us with all its armoury. It was hell, with tracers flying everywhere and exploding shrapnel drumming on the metal body of the Liberator.
Our only reason for surviving was the fact that by then we were too low, in the middle of the formation and that some of the anti-aircraft guns were unable to deflect to such a low angle.
|Translated by:||Alena Jirasek|