Series Guide










Poor Splendid Wings

" ."

Time: 1943

Foreign Titles: German

Engaged to a beautiful American actress, Michael Owens finds his planned life complicated not only by the perils he faces as a member of a bomber crew during World War II, but also by his attraction to a lovely English widow.

Alternate Synopsis:
The American born son of European parents, Michael Owens' love for Britain and his detestation of the Hitler regime drove him to enlist in the Eagle Squadron long before the United States enters World War II. He transfers to the U.S.A.A.F. and heavy bombers when the first Flying Fortresses arrive in England. Engaged to a beautiful American actress, Owens' life is complicated by an encounter with a charming English widow.
The war has brought tragedy to Victoria Craig-Bell but with quiet courage she copes with the many challenges that come her quiet way, and tries to keep what is left of her family together. Victoria falls deeply in love with Owens, and he soon reciprocates her feelings, but he is a lead pilot during the darkest days of the war, and he knows his chances of survival are slim. The responsibility for bringing his crews safely home from missions dogged by staggeringly heavy losses is crushing. He is accustomed to the risks on the ground -- the blackout, the sirens, the enemy air attacks, but now he must deal with his fears for Victoria's safety.
When the ambitious and ruthless Cynthia Stuart refuses to free him from their engagement, Owens faces a different kind of battle. He thinks he has all the burdens he can carry, but gradually it becomes apparent that a new danger is looming: a danger that threatens not only his life but his honour, and appears to involve the woman he loves. His crew and friends support him loyally, but the web that closes around him is so cunningly contrived that there seems little hope of proving his innocence, even if he survives the second strike at a target dreaded by all combat fliers.

Main Characters:
Michael Owens
Victoria Craig-Bell
Joe Lane
Lisa St. Andrews
Sally St. Andrews
Roger Ewing

Rating: (out of 5)



Title Significance:
"Poor splendid wings
so frayed and soiled and torn" A Ballad of Francois Villon, Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909)

  • Located below is a picture of the Dirty Duck in Stratford, England. This old pub was where the RAF pilots used to hang out during WWII and I thought as such it merited inclusion to Veryan's Poor Splendid Wings page.


Recommended Reading:
A Piece of Cake by Derek Robinson
High Flight by John Gillespie McGee, Jr.

Recommended Viewing:
Memphis Belle
A Piece of Cake with Tom Burlinson