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​Winkie

This song is by Big Big Train and appears on the album Folklore (2016).

Part 1

So, World War I is won
The NPS days are done
The MOD say that radio is the way
Pigeons have had their day
But Major Osman believes
Radio is still in its infancy
He can still see the need
To get the NPS back on its feet

Part 2: Sortie

February 23rd 1942
A Beaufort bomber returning home
With a four man crew
Major Osman believes radio
Is still in its infancy
So Bomber Command issue
This rule which states that
'Two pigeons accompany each crew'
If the radio can't be used
Because pen pushers need their proof

Part 3: The North Sea

With one engine down
They had to ditch into the sea
The radio operator had time
To send an SOS
But radio contact went down
Upon the impact
The SOS it is received
But there is nothing more
No coordinates, no way to know
If the crew are still alive

In pitching waves, fuel and oil
A pigeon is released
Neu40 nsl
'Winkie', starts her flight
She takes to the sky

Part 4: Winkie's Flight

Air Sea Rescue search
But it's a hopeless task
With no coordinates
The search area is just too vast
In a life raft they must wait and pray
The crew have one hope to survive
Fly safely home, Winkie
God's speed be with you
God's speed be with you, Winkie

Part 5: RAF Leuchars

At dawn the very next morn
Sgt. Davidson sees that
Winkie has flown home
He phones the information through
Gets the message to Air Sea Rescue HQ
The time she'd taken to fly back
Calculating wind speed
And the condition of the bird
Considering her fatigue
They could narrow down the search

Part 6: Winged Saviour

Air Sea Rescue heed the call
'New information... try once more'
Where once before they'd
Searched in vain
They must venture out again
Now there is hope where
Chance was slim
But thank God, fifteen minutes in
The crew are found, safe and sound
Thanks to their winged saviour

Part 7: 'We Also Serve'

You flew safely home Winkie
Hey, the inaugural recipient
You flew straight, flew true
Winkie