Study Guide

Code Name Verity Part 1, Chapter 2

By Elizabeth Wein

Part 1, Chapter 2

Ormaie 9.XI.43 JB-S

  • The narrator complains that the ink doesn't work and she wants her pencil back.
  • Thibaut interrupts the story with a note that says, "The English Flight Officer is telling the truth" (1.9.XI.43.3).
  • This really riles the narrator up because she is Scottish, not English. This explains all the William Wallace references.
  • The narrator describes her daily companions as "Underling-Sergeant Thibaut and On-Duty-Female-Guard Engel" (1.9.XI.43.5), which helps us understand their roles a bit better.
  • Apparently, von Linden finds her account interesting.
  • We learn that the narrator is forced to watch the interrogation of other prisoners, and also that the other prisoners hate her because she is the only one who has given their captors any information.

The narrator titles the next section, "The Civil Air Guard (Some Figures)."

  • We're about to hear more about how Maddie came to fly the narrator into France in 1943. But to do that, we have to go back to 1938 first. Duh.
  • Maddie wants to learn to fly, but the training costs far more than her grandparents can afford.
  • Fortunately, though, Oakway Airfield opens up near her home, so she spends as much time as she can helping the mechanics there.
  • In October 1938, Britain starts the Civil Air Guard, and because Maddie already knows so much and so many people at the airfield, she is accepted for flight training against high odds.
  • Maddie earns her basic pilot's license in February 1939, six months before Hitler invades Poland on September 1, 1939 and Britain declares war on Germany on September 3.
  • Just before the war begins, Maddie flies Dympna's Puss Moth far up the Northumbrian coast, the journey the narrator used to take by train from London to Edinburgh while at school and university. Maddie sits in the cockpit weeping after she lands because she knows it will be so long before she gets to fly again.
  • Later, Dympna tells Maddie there will be opportunities for women to fly during the war, delivering aircraft and taxiing pilots.
  • Dympna adds that she has her own name in the ring for the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA). Maddie isn't qualified for that, but Dympna swears not to forget her.
  • Dympna also promises to take Maddie to the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) recruitment station the next day.
  • Women in the WAAF are trained to do many of the jobs normally done by men, and Maddie joins and becomes a radio operator.

The narrator titles the next section "Some WAAF Trades."

  • The narrator thinks Maddie's WAAF training must have been like boarding school, which Maddie never attended—she went to a grammar school in Manchester instead.
  • Maddie is stationed at Oakway in late 1939 and early 1940, during what the narrator calls, "The Phoney War."

The narrator titles the next section, "Telephonist."

  • The narrator describes how Aircraftwoman First Class Brodatt is working as a switchboard operator when the chief flight instructor for Oakway's RAF squadron gives her orders to move to the radio room, which is how Maddie becomes a radio operator.

The narrator titles the next section, "Radio Operator."

  • The narrator relates a story about how Maddie guides in a lost crew in a Wellington bomber. It's a bit funny because Maddie is still transmitting when she thinks no one can hear her commentary.
  • That afternoon, the squadron commander stops Maddie to tell her the crew owes her their lives and to ask about her training.
  • When he finds out she has a pilot's license and has seen the runway from the air—and at night—he says he thinks it would be a good idea if she got a view of the runway from the cockpit of a Wellington bomber.
  • He offers Maddie a flight, which is right up her alley.

The narrator titles the next section "Stooge."

  • This section describes Maddie's joyrides in Wellingtons in the spring of 1940.
  • It isn't totally illegal for Maddie to be aboard, but it isn't totally legit, either, so everyone's a little jumpy about it.
  • When the Wellington is fired on by trigger-happy antiaircraft gunners at another airfield, Maddie has to be lifted out of the plane by the crew because she's shaking so badly—Maddie hates gunfire.
  • Maddie is glad she's not the one flying into Europe.

The narrator titles the next section "Signals Branch."

  • The narrator relates how Maddie is offered secret training and has to say yes before she's told what she'll be doing.
  • The narrator confesses she is making up the names of the people Maddie works with and jokes that at least she doesn't have scurvy thanks to the prison cabbage.

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