Stocky awoke to see a beautiful woman in a white veil bending over him.  In a raspy voice he hardly recognized croaked “Am I in Heaven?” The woman smiled and said, “ Don’t worry, you’re with friends.”  Her lips kept moving but he couldn’t hear her and was gone again. The next time he woke up his head felt much clearer. The woman was with him again, and this time he recognized her as a military nurse.  The veil was part of her uniform. By chance someone had seen him come down: the rugged man from a Gurkha gun battery high in the mountains. They made their way to Stocky and took him down the mountain on a stretcher to a field hospital set up in an old farmhouse.  It took 13 stitches in the back of his head and eleven over his right eye. He had bruises all over his body and a black eye that wouldn’t fade for months.

Adapted from:  Hehner, Barbara. Desert Hawk: The True Story of Stocky Edwards, World War II Flying Ace (Kindle Locations 59-61). HarperCollins Canada. Kindle Edition.