The First Jet第一架喷气
1.It was just noon on that 25th day of April 1945. I had gone through my first minutes of combat. The 456th Bomber Group, based in Italy, had gone into Austria. They had hit the railroad yards at Linz along the Danube River.
2.My job was to drop chaff. They were the little bundles of tin that confused enemy radar. Through the 3-inch-square chaff chute, I could see the enemy shells exploding just below us.
3.Just after "bombs away," a sharp blow rocked our plane. An enemy shell had ripped a hole in the floor of the airplane. It was about a yard from the engineer's feet.
4."Engineer to pilot," his voice said, "we’ve been hit."
6."Don't think so. It missed the control cables-went out through the top."
7.No more talk. It was over. But it left a shaky feeling. We knew that the war was almost over. A guy’s chances of getting home were good.
8.Each of us was thinking the same thing. If that shell had hit us half a second sooner, it might have hit the pilot. Three inches to the left and it would have cut some cables. A tiny instant later, and it would have hit one of us.
9.The bomb run ended. The bomb bay doors slid shut. Suddenly we were in the clear open sky.
10.We let ourselves feel a bit safer now. We had the three-hour flight home. It was across part of Yugoslavia. Then came the voice of our nose gunner.
11."Fighter. Eleven o'clock low. Coming in fast."
12."Whose?" somebody said.
13."Not ours," came the answer, forward. "Never saw anything like it. it's closing in now……fast……fast……never saw anything so fast."
13、“不是我们的，”从前方传来回答，“从来没有见过像这样的东西。现在它正在接近，太快了，太快了，从来没有见过任何东西这么快。” 转贴于：职称英语考试_考试大「责编:lq 纠错」
14."I see him!" the left waist gunner said.“ It’s a jet-one of those new Me 262’s!"
15."Can’t even hold him in the sight," the gunner said.
16.If one of their new jets hits you, just start shooting and hope that you hit him. You won't get a chance to aim. That's what we had been told. The enemy had a fighter so fast we couldn't even hold a sight on it. It was something we had never heard of. Something they called a "jet."
17.And now the jet came at us! Our nose turret turned wildly to follow it. The electric motors of the turret hummed. The gunner tried to bring his guns around.
18.Looking over the other waist gunner’s shoulder, I saw the enemy jet. Saw its shining green nose and its high rudder. It knifed through the spring air toward our plane.
19.In seconds the jet's cannon would fire. In seconds it would all be over. Our bomber would fold. It would streak down to smash in the mountains below.
20.In seconds……Then I noticed that it had not yet fired a single shot. All of us stared. We were ready for the blow. But no one fired!
21.The jet was in range. Its shining nose was on us as it closed in for the kill.
22.Then the unbelievable: the enemy jet leveled off. It flashed below us and was gone.
23."Close!" somebody said. “Too close!"
24.Then we went back to the business of getting home. I guess most of the crew forgot about that jet that had us in its sights. But I have never forgotten it.
25.Was the German pilot out of ammunition? Did his guns jam at the last second? Or was it more than that? Was he tired of killing?
26.I'll never be sure. I don't know what held the fire of our own gunners. But the sky changed from a rain of hate to a blue sky of hope.