Lacy ribbons of vapour trails criss cross the morning sky,
Tracing the path of fighter planes and young men born to fly,
They took off at dawns first light and climbed into the heights,
Eager to see the Hun come into view, in the cross hairs of their sights.
From Tangmere and Coltishall, from Northolt and Biggin Hill,
The fighters of Eleven Group the skies began to fill,
They climbed high into the sun, to patrol their allotted space,
And with straining eyes, they scanned the skies, both novice and fighter ace.
The early warning radar picked up the approaching force,
And directed the waiting fighter planes to an interceptor course,
From fifteen thousand feet they started their attack,
And hurled themselves with fury headlong into the bomber pack.
The escorting enemy fighters with Swastikas embossed,
Were no match for their hungry guns and many of them were lost.
The bombers now exposed to the fighter planes attack,
Had no stomach for the fight, and in vain attempted to turn back.
But the vengeance of the fighters after many months of loss,
Was pitiless toward the enemy bearing the Iron Cross,
The skies above the Kentish Weald became a hunting ground,
As Spitfire met Messerschmitt and chased it like a hound.
Before the sun had run it’s course and claimed it’s nightly rest,
The Fighters of Eleven Group had passed their stiffest test,
Now sixty years have passed and Winston’s words ring true,
To paraphrase his famous quote, “we are grateful to the Few”.