"tally ho!" and other communications

   singing in
We were to intercept about twenty enemy fighters at 25,000 feet. I glanced across at Stapme and saw his mouth moving. That meant he was singing again. He would sometimes do this with his radio set on 'send', with the result that, mingled with our instructions from the ground, we would hear a raucous rendering of 'Night and Day". And then quite clearly over the radio I heard the Germans excitedly calling to each other. This was a not infrequent occurrence and it made one feel that they were right behind. I switched my set to 'send' and called out 'Halt's Maul!' and as many other choice pieces of German invective as I could remember. To my delight I heard one of them answer: '"You feelthy Englishman, we will teach you how to speak to a German!".
At that moment Sheep yelled 'Tallyho!" and dropped down in front of Uncle George in a slow dive in the direction of the approaching planes. We saw them at once. "OK. Line astern." They must have spotted us at the same moment, for they were forming a protective circle, which is a defence formation hard to break. "Echelon starboard" came Uncle George's voice. We spread out fanwise to the right. "Going down!" One after the other we peeled off in a power dive.

Richard Hillary, The last enemy (1943)

"tally ho!"

   more singing

We slant into the clean sky. We climb across Beachy Head and swing to the starboard to cross the Channel and head towards the French coast. Although we are sealed in our tiny cockpits and separated from each other, the static from our radios pours through the earphones of our tightly fitting helmets and fills our ears with reassuring crackles. Some pilot has accidentally knocked on his radio transmitter and croons quietly to himself. He sounds happy and must be a Canadian, for he sings of 'the Chandler's wife' and the 'North Atlantic Squadron'. He realizes his error and we hear the sudden click of his transmitter, and again the only sound is the muted song of the engine.

From the Tangmere ops. room Woodhall breaks the silence: "Dogsbody, from Beetle. The beehive is on time and is engaged." -"O.K."
"Fifty-plus about twenty miles ahead of you," from Woodhall. -"Understood," replies Bader. "Thirty-plus climbing up from the south and another bunch behind them. Keep a sharp look-out," advises the group captain. "O.K. Woodie. That's enough," answers the wing leader, and we twist our necks to search the boundless horizons. "Looks like a pincer-movement to me," comments some wag. I suspect it is Roy Marples' voice, and again the tension slackens as we grin behind our oxygen masks.
I can see them. High in the sun, and their presence only betrayed by the reflected sparkle from highly polished windscreens and cockpit covers. 'They're coming down, Dogsbody. Break left.'

Johnnie Johnson, Wing Leader (1956)
        Dogsbody: code-name for Douglas Bader
        beehive: bomber formation with fighter cover

"tally ho!"

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