Squadron Leader Rex (no other name given) served as Commanding Officer of Hornet Squadron for the first half of Piece of Cake, taking over three days after the death of The Ram. He remained in command until his death in action in 1940, when he was succeeded by 'Fanny' Barton.
When Rex first arrived at RAF Kingsmere to take command of Hornet Squadron, he was dressed in civilian clothing, prompting acting CO 'Fanny' Barton - who had just received a summons for damage to farm property inflicted by some of the pilots - to mistake Rex for a representative of the National Farmer's Union.[N 1]
After explaining the circumstances leading to the loss of the Bristol Blenheim accidentally shot down by Hornet Squadron, and dispatching Barton to apologise to the Blenheim squadron's Commanding Officer, Rex took steps to sort out the shortage of spare parts in time for the squadron's move to France.
- "The French think they invented flying, wine, and sex. A quick course in aircraft recognition might come in handy. They have some very strange aeroplanes. No matter how tempting they may be, please, please, don't shoot them down. They're on our side. As for wine, the French are appalling alcoholics. If somebody offers you a drink, take it. You'll be doing them a favor. Sex? The ladies are staggeringly attractive. You are officers and gentlemen. If you must fornicate, at least take off your shoes and socks."
During his stint as Hornet CO, Rex contributed half of the cost for each pilot's Mess bill.
He was regularly accompanied on the ground by his pet dog Riley, who was adopted as the official Squadron Mascot. Following Rex's death in action, Riley was shot in the back of the head to stop him howling for his lost master.
- ↑ In the TV adaptation, Rex responded by stating that he did farm, before revealing himself as the new CO.