World: Near Tragedy of Errors

The British Navy, which has occasionally fired on its own planes, claims: "It's an aircraft's job to identify itself." Last week an R.A.F. squadron in the Middle East reported a case of multiple mistaken identity:

During the present campaign a British tanker was making its nervous way through the Mediterranean. A Messerschmitt appeared. No fire was exchanged. The ship's skipper thought the plane must be British. The pilot of the Messerschmitt thought the tanker was Italian, hovered protectively above it for four hours. Then an R.A.F. Blenheim appeared. The puzzled Blenheim pilot swooped...

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