Early on the morning of September 27th, 1943, the distinctive baritone thunder of a Merlin engine rose over the base of No.410 Night Fighter Squadron RCAF, at Coleby Grange, Lincolnshire.
This was a Mosquito base, so the sound of a single Merlin was nearly always bad news. A Mosquito was difficult enough to land with both turning. But the crew of this particular Mk.II NF, serial DZ757 and wearing squadron codes RA-Q, had even bigger trouble on their hands.
Flight Lieutenant M A Cybulski (RCAF) was managing to keep his engine-out twin on course with almost the entire fabric covering of his rudder burnt away. To all appearances, there simply wasn’t enough surface left to resist the off-centre power of the remaining Merlin. What’s more, the fabric covering the wooden fuselage, the inner port wing, the starboard wing underside, and the port tailplane had been severely burnt…
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