The "Wimpy Song" was a long standing tradition of 205 Group. Sung to the tune of "Lili Marlene" it had, by all accounts, literally hundreds of verses created for it over the years. It would generally be sung by air and ground crew alike in the Mess with a verse modified for each pilot in the Squadron. It was sung as a "send up" for those crews about to go on ops.

The song "Lili Marlene" was of German origin, but came to be sung by both sides during the war. The "Wimpy Song" was first created when 205 Group was part of the Desert Air Force (DAF) driving Rommel out of North Africa. Billy Kilmister who served on 150 Squadron of 205 Group recalled some details about the song as it was sung in Africa:

"While Benghazi was never a target for 330 Wing [of which 150 Squadron was a part], it was part of the regular 'mail run' for 205 Group Squadrons operating out of Egypt and Libya in support of the 8th Army. As the main port for supplies for Rommel's Afrika Korps it was a hotly defended target and not a favourite of the crews. This song was probably picked up by ground crew from other ground crew in 205 group and passed on and modified."

A verse from the African Campaign was:

Squadron Leader Boxwell, leader of our band,
Couldn't find the target, too much bloody sand
He dropped his bombs out in the blue,
And so would you, too blooming true,
If you could see Benghazi
If you could see B.G.

The format was slightly changed after the Group moved to Foggia in Italy, with the last two lines changing to "It’s dicey flying Wimpys around Italian skies", as reflected in the verse modified for MacIsaac as pilot:

Now here’s W/O MacIsaac, he’s on ops tonight,
Swinging down the runway in someone else’s kite
He’ll shoot the shit when he gets back,
Of how he bombed through ten-tenths flak
It’s dicey flying Wimpys
Around Italian skies

The song would generally begin with traditional verses with the last two lines modified to fit the current theater of operations, such as:

See the mighty Wimpy loaded up for ops,
Exasperated aircrew turning both the props
Six times around we turn the blade,
As hopes of scrubbing begin to fade,
We're off to Bomb Benghazi
We're off to bomb B.G.

Belting down the runway, throttles opened wide,
See the mighty Wimpy swing from side to side
If you're lucky you'll leave the deck,
And if you're not you'll break your neck
It’s dicey flying Wimpys
Around Italian skies

The following three verses were provided by Ian Barrow as taught to him by his grandfather, Bomb Aimer Joshua Frances Victor Barrow of No. 150 Squadron and No. 104 Suadron:

See the mighty wimpys all lined up for ops
See the gallant aircrews pushing on the props
Six times round they shove those blades
Then as the chance of scrubbing fades
They’re off to bomb Benghazi
They’re off to bomb B.Z.

Our Navigator he hasn’t got a clue
But when he gets to B.Z. he knows just what to do
Drops all his bombs out in the blue
And so would you, too blooming true
If you could see Benghazi
Benghazi by the sea

Our flight commander he knows just what to do
He does all the ground work and leaves the opps to you
Why doesn’t he jump in the luft
And go and take a crafty shuft
A shufti and Benghazi
A shufti at B.Z.

Unfortunately, these verses are the only ones I have been able to discover. There are many more, but memories of them 60+ years later are very hard to come by, and very few of the men who sung them are still alive. If you have any more verses to add please feel free to send them to 37squadron [at]

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