December 13, 2004

"He had a good war"

Ever hear that phrase? "He had a good war"? The British use it to describe someone who was decorated or otherwise distinguished himself, usually during WW II. It also means someone who did something dashing and in the best traditions of not letting the war inconvenience your life, too much. You don't hear it much today. Today, people don't talk like that.

I was reminded of the phrase by the following extract from a British obituary.

Shortly afterwards Carey, painfully aware that "the parlous state of our Hurricanes was showing" and that communications with Calcutta had broken down, attempted to reach the city in a broken down Tiger Moth. But he got only as far as Akyab, where he hitched a ride as spare pilot in a Vickers Valencia transport and arrived in Calcutta, and went down with malaria.

By then he had started to attract press attention in Britain as the RAF's cockney pilot. His recovery was aided when he was awarded a second Bar to his DFC and was charged with forming a defence wing for the city.

As enemy raids increased Carey turned the Red Road, the main thoroughfare across the city, into a fighter runway. "One advantage," he recalled, "was that it was quite possible to sit in Firpo's, the city's fashionable restaurant, and take off within three to four minutes. I managed it on several occasions."

Can't you just see it? Stop in the fashionable boite to have a quick bite and a drink, hop in the plane and off within minutes back to the war. Makes you think he had a good war, doesn't it?

Posted by Random Penseur at December 13, 2004 09:05 AM

Good luck today!

Posted by: Elizabeth at December 14, 2004 11:14 AM
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