Volume 2, Chapter 3
Xu Jun was looking at the ground and was approximating their height.
“3000 meters, 2900, 2800, 2700, 2600, so fast! Ah, 2500, 2400, Don’t give up on me! Come up!”
Suddenly, the whistle of the plane stopped. Followed by the gentle, uniform roar of the engine. The nose started to slowly raise, allowing Xu Jun to finally heave a sigh of relief.
“Come on, you can still do it.” Xu Jun patted the stick. At this time, he heard a cheer from the cabin.
“My Deputy, you were great, you saved us all! I didn’t know that you were such a good pilot, you are really the pride of the Empire! I…”
Xu Jun went to interrupt the endless praise, “First report, what’s the situation?”
“Yes, the fighter plane also hit the rear cabin, the shortwave radio was destroyed. the long-wave radio can still be used. However, the range is only 50 kilometers. The two officers and the two soldiers were not hurt. While the rear machine-gunner suffered minor injuries. Randolph and I have already bandaged him. The pilot’s head hit the upper dashboard, knocking in out. He just recently woke up, while still suffered some injuries. Major Hans and the two soldiers are taking care of him right now.”
Xu Jun nodded then said, “Tell everyone to prepare for forced landing!”
“A forced landing? Is that necessary?”
“We’re leaking fuel.” Xu Jun pointed to the flashing oil warning lights and said, “The fact that there was no fire is already a miracle. Also, the tail rudder is also unresponsive, it seems that the cable was broken. We won’t be able to stay in the air for long.”
“Is that so? I’ll tell them right away.” Dorgen was about to return when the roar of several aircraft came from nearby the bomber. Both Dorgen and Xu Jun grew anxious.
Then Dorgen happily cried out, “It’s ours, my God, it’s the Me110’s!”
“Yes, it’s our escort squadron. But more importantly, you still need to inform everybody of the emergency landing! Now with the help of escort planes, we may have a better success rate.”
“Yes, Deputy.” Then, Dorgen ran back to the main cabin.
Then the several escort aircraft circled around and re-formed around the He111. Xu Jun looked around, seeing the squad leader’s plane, he reached for the control panel. Preparing to establish radio contact with the escort.
Just as he opened the communications channel, he heard the Me110 Captain anxiously call out. “Red 3 calling Green 1, Red 3 calling Green 1, please respond, please respond, what is your situation?”
Xu Jun quickly replied, “This is Green 1. I repeat, this is Green 1. Our situation is bad, we require assistance.”
“Who are you? You’re not Hillman, please state your identity.”
“I am Brigadier General Reinhardt von Straud. Hillman has been killed, only the pilot and the rear machine-gunner survived. Now I’m piloting.”
“Ah, it is the General, I am Luftwaffe Lieutenant Colonel Wolfe. What can I do to help you?”
”My plane is spilling fuel, the warning light is constantly blinking. I may be able to continue for another 10 minutes. My altimeter has been damaged, I need you to get me your exact flight data. Also, tell your pilots to see the extent of my plane’s damage.”
After a while, Wolfe reported to Xu Jun, “General, your situation is not very good, although your plane much damage in other areas, but your right wing is constantly leaking fuel. Your tail rudder was damaged severely, it could fall off at any time. Right now the height is 3000, speed 320 km/h. (~200mph) I would suggest you hurry and land, your plane could break apart very soon. However, there is a problem, General, if you want to land then we should turn your heading right now. Currently, we are over enemy territory. Our army is behind us, in Arras.”
“What? Arras? Did the British catch up to us? Speaking of that, where are they?
“As your plane began to fall, they all withdrew. We also circled back and were relieved when you finally pulled up the plane.”
“Well, Lieutenant Colonel Wolfe, you lead, I’ll follow you. Our time is running out, God knows how long this guy can persist.”
With the Me110 taking the lead and then turned gently. With Xu Jun following quickly. The few other Me110’s tightly guarded the damaged bomber. Xu Jun began to feel that it was becoming increasingly difficult to control the aircraft. The broken rudder shook against the wind, although there was the hydraulic power system, the stick still felt heavy like a stone.
“Don’t tell me the hydraulic system is about to give out too?” Xu Jun muttered while tightly grasp the stick, hoping to quickly reach friendly territory.
Xu Jun called to the escort leader, “Lieutenant Colonel Wolfe, long-range radio has been damaged. I need you to contact the ground forces and report our situation. How far longer? My hydraulic system has almost failed.”
Wolfe replied, “I have called the nearby army for rescue, but I can’t be sure if they received the message. The radio chatter is very active right now. We are now flying to the nearest ground forces. Right now, the closest to us seems to be the 7th Panzer Division. From our reports, they should be in the vicinity today. We will arrive in two minutes.”
“The… The 7th Panzer Division… Arras…” Xu Jun almost stumbled out of the seat when he heard that.
Xu Jun could not help but think of the phrase, “Bloody Battle of Arras”