Author's note: I thought I'd continue with my theme leftover from Hurricane Jerry, about an American family caught up in the land and events leading up to the Battle of Britain. I'm terribly sorry about the "unintelligible" marks in the prologue below…the recording I took it from is the original "Lord Haw Haw" broadcast and although I did get the reference to Gallipoli, I was quite unable to make out the other names.

For those historically fascinated:), William Joyce alias "Lord Haw-Haw" was a big propaganda broadcaster for Hitler—the peak of his popularity occurred around late 1939/early 1940 when as many Britons were tuning in to him as they were the BBC. Although the Brits liked to think of him as a traitor and eventually condemned and hung him in their own country, he was actually an American citizen, having been born in Brooklyn, New York. His English connections were obtained in the form of a passport shortly before moving to pre-war Germany. Although many laughed at him, his explicit knowledge of raids and British specifics convinced almost as many and was successful into striking fear into the hearts of the citizens of Britain, although it was actually illegal to listen to his broadcasts.


Open to show a newsreel—Hitler making a propaganda speech.

Cut – to show a Hurricane maneuvering over the channel at sunset near the white cliffs of Dover. Music starts up and the title fades in:

Title:

31 Band, Station Syrinx

Fade out and then fade in to a quaint English farm nestled under the stars. Horses standing in various sheds and stalls munch hay contentedly. One of them lifts his head, the faint glow from the cottage distinguishing his glossy coat and keen, interested expression.

Cut to the INT (interior) of the house. A family of seven is gathered in the living room, listening to the radio. Granny is in the rocking chair with her knitting needles, two young boys are playing with trucks on the floor, Mother is seated with Father, Effie is laying with the dog and Maryls is sitting in another chair with a cup of tea.

Radio

(splutters)

Mr. Winston Churchill knows today, that he has no longer any chance of repeating his exploits of ---, ---, (unintelligible) Gallipoli and --- ; that versatile and agile amateur strategies is at least up against a leadership and a defense force of a people keyed up to a maximum of activity; and having achieved the acme of technical perfection.

Granny frowns.

Granny

Why that rascal!

Everyone Else

(simultaneously)

Sshhh!

Radio

They do not have to discuss the blitzkrieg as a theoretical problem, because they are the human embodiment of that cleansing atmospheric phenomenon—the thunderstorm, which dispels the sultry atmosphere of intrigues and conspiracies—of political crime and of indifference to human suffering.

Father shakes his head and reaches to turn the radio station. It slips into a rhythmic background sequence.

Radio

Run, Rabbit, run, Rabbit, run, run, run…

Father

(comments)

I think we stumbled across Station Bremen.

Granny

(shakes her head as her knitting needles click furiously)

I couldn't understand a word that varmint said.

Effie

Me neither!

Granny

(adds)

But whatever it was, I disagree!

Maryls

(smiles)

It is beautiful speaking, though. Isn't it illegal to listen to Lord Haw Haw, father?

Father

(nods)

Granny

And who's makin' the rules?

Tommy

(looks up)

The Brits, I reckon.

Granny

(shakes a finger at him)

Well, I ain't abidin' by those freedoms stealers! They came by sea and tried to whup us!

Maryls

That was nearly two hundred years ago, Granny.

Granny

Aye, but they still bear watchin' today!

Father

(chuckles)

Take your pick then, Granny. They're on all sides of us.

Granny

Oh so they found us, eh? Well they can't get away this time!

Johnny

(innocently)

We're living in Britain, Granny.

Granny frowns.

Granny

Do they tax us?

Father

Yes, but only because—

Granny

(breaks in)

I knew it. To Concord everyone! Git your guns!

Maryls is laughing, but Mother does not look very amused.

Mother

(irritated)

Let's talk about something else.

Father

Good idea, mother.

Granny

(mumbles)

I still think we should whup those dirty baddies. Takin' our money and making us pay tribute. Hmmph!

Maryls

(still smiling)

The indefensible bumf the Nazi regime unwarrantably casts at a hoi polloi montage of listeners is a dispirited fallow presently under control, but with the offing of developing into a behemoth of questionable legitimacy and disquiet.

Granny

Sing it to 'em, marm! That's the way it goes!

End Scene


Fade out and then fade in to show a young man in the uniform of the RCAF and suitcase in hand, gazing in awe at the lights of London. This is Duane Cavanaugh.

Duane

Wow.

He moves on.

Cut to show him entering a rowdy restaurant and pub. He approaches the bartender.

Duane

I'll have a beer…please.

The bartender nods and moves off and Duane looks around curiously. A young man is staring at him from across and the room and Duane tries to smile.

As Duane looks back, the man moves toward him. From his uniform, we can see he is an RAF pilot.

Pilot

You Canadian?

Duane

(surprised)

American.

Pilot

(stares)

Duane

I volunteered for duty in Quebec with the RCAF.

Pilot

(shrugs)

You reported to your new commander yet?

Duane

No, I figured I had at least a couple hours. I mean, it's late…

Pilot

(breaks in)

Yeah, well you'd better do it right away.

At Duane's surprised look, he continues.

Pilot

We're going to be attacked anytime.

Duane

(stares)

Pilot

(explains sarcastically)

By the Germans.

He moves off, leaving a rather perplexedDuane behind him.

End Scene


Open to show Duane standing at the edge of a grass airfield the next morning.

He walks toward the nearest officer and snaps to a salute.

Duane

Duane Cavanaugh reporting for duty, sir.

The officer looks him over.

Officer

So you're one of the new chaps from Quebec.

Duane

No—yes sir. I mean, yes sir.

Officer

Mmmm.

Duane

Sir, which craft will I be piloting?

Officer

Today? None. Once all my recruits have reported, we will discuss drilling.

Duane

But, sir, I've trained already, sir. I flew in the States and theyworked us goodin Canada too.

Officer

How many hours in a Hurricane?

Duane

(stammers)

Well, I—

Officer

I thought so.

He walks away, leaving a dumbfounded Duane staring after him.