The road did prove to be easier going. And the grin on the nurse’s face was worth the cranky servicemen. They had reached a rise in a recently clear-cut area just as dark began to fall. One of those clearings had come to the sky, a hole in the dense clouds that stretched just to the visible horizon giving about ten miles of clear sky in all directions. To the west stretched the vast rolling Pacific; dark, ominous, and uneasy in the approaching night. Freeman suppressed a shiver, they had taken out Hitler’s sea wolves, there was no need to fear the dark waters anymore. To the east the patchwork of timber forest that had fed the needs of a nation at war. Above them shone the rain cleansed night sky with Polaris twinkling as it ever had, no matter the madness of the men beneath him. They tramped on, trying to reach the crash site they had been sent to locate and begin the probably futile search for the missing crewmen. Suddenly the still of the night was broken with a hoarse cry of fear when one of the men shouted and pointed to the northwest. Without pausing to think Chief Petty Officer Freeman barked orders for the men to seek cover. He was vaguely aware that, much to her disgust, the nurse was swept up and carried off to safety as the battle hardened warriors found shelter in the stumps and fallen trunks. The most experienced private crouched beside him already with a note pad and pencil handy. The airman had his compass out and up and lined up even as he tossed his wrist watch to the private.
All traces of his accent were gone as he called out the bearing.
Freeman snapped out the numbers not bothering to check on his assistant. The younger man knew what was needed from long hours in the European theater tracking the Luftwafta roaring towards their targets.
“Two fists over the horizon exactly,” one seaman shouted out and the recorder deftly added that information to the current bearing and time.
“Father in Heaven it is like liquid gold,” the nurse murmured reverently from where she crouched in the debris. “Like the course of an angel.”
“More like a V2 coming in over London,” growled one of the privates.