One Of Our Aircraft Is Missing

Shine the light, shine the light

Headed for the stars shining bright

Shine the light, draw my sight

To the glow on the horizon, shine the light


One engine going down on a wing and a prayer

Tail shot away landed god knows where

I’m pulling out a Mae West and a distress flare

Just keep on shining that light


Gremlin’s in the engine and he’s turning back the dials

Radio’s gone dead, they’ve stamped missing on my file

No one’s packed a parachute and I’m all out of air miles

Just keep on shining that light


Lost out in the wild blue hills

A little smoke then all is still

Out among the stars tonight

See me in the comet’s flight

See me gold upon the sea

See my smoke trail blowing free

See my scarf caught in the slipstream

See me in a passing dream


Got me in the searchlight and I’m pinned against the sky

The mission no one wanted now I know the reason why

God would’ve given us wings if he’d meant us to fly

Just keep on shining that light


Years they turn, seasons pass covering all trace at last

Wood and water shift so fast underneath each new spring grass

Life upon the air is cast – sparks upon the wind that dance

Just keep on shining that light


Gorse and hawthorn round the metal

Flaking paint and flower petal

Lost beneath the endless sky

Listen to the buzzard’s cry

Sleeping where the border winds moan

Wandering fox and lonely sheep roam

Far across this hill country

Gazing timeless to the sea

Short and sweet, brief and bright

See me shining in the light


I once met a volunteer who spent his weekends searching for and recording the details of aircraft and aircrew lost over the mid Wales hills during the war. More than fifty years afterwards he was still locating lost crash sites and their victims.

It seemed to me remarkable that in such a small country lives and machines could be so completely lost in an instant.

This song is for one of my companions in the school RAF Cadet Corps who went on to make flying his career and was lost in the same way aged just 22