Fullofit, those are some great shots. What's your experience of the DH5? I haven't flown it yet.
Corderoy was up only once today, but it was a good day...
Diary of Capt. Geoffrey Corderoy, RFC Part 37: 7 November 1917
7 November 1917 – Poperinghe
Mixed sun and cloud today. I attach myself to Sigismund’s flight again, taking the lead this time. Wing has given us the job of bombing a jail junction and yard just outside Lens, so it’s an early morning for the armourers who had to rig and set our bombs. The wind is out of the southwest, so we take off towards the hangars and skim the rooftops, climbing steadily and turning to the south-southeast. It is a cold morning. Even though we break through to bright sunshine, we are no warmer. I am glad for my new Sidcot, which is already gaining a comfortably experienced-looking coat of oil.
It takes a little more than twenty minutes before the giant slag heaps of Lens appear to the east, looking like the pyramids of Giza in ebony, and catching the morning sun peeking through the cloud. We turn east and are welcomed by desultory Archie. In a couple of minutes the target appears just left of dead ahead. I signal the attack and begin a half-power dive to approach from the south. A train is stationary beside some sheds. It becomes the aiming point. My first bombs strike the rear of the train and the later ones scatter across the yard. The other Camels are close behind. I climb to the northwest, chased by Archie and flaming onions and lazy whips of tracer. The target is a mass of flames and brick powder. A white flare is the signal to re-form.
Now we are on our own time, having done the King’s business. We fly north-northeast, staying a few miles deep in Hunland and regaining height. By the time we approach Haubordin aerodrome, near Lille, we are back at 8000 feet. A very large formation of scouts passes overhead a couple of miles east of us, heading south. They have the advantage of height, outnumber us, and have the sun behind them. I let them pass and they seem not to have seen us. There is a glint off to the east, not too much higher than our little formation – there are six of us in total: Sigismund, Aldred, Howsam, Hobson, Seth-Smith, and me. I turn to investigate, continuing to climb.
The Huns spot us and approach, only slightly above. Albatri. The first passes over me and is quickly engaged by Aldred and Howsam. The next passes off to my left. I’d been told that the Camel turns sharply to the right and sluggishly to the left, but I have not found that to be true. To the right it noses down, so naturally keeps its speed. To the left it noses up, but it turns nicely if you give it some serious fug-boot on the rudder to keep the nose down (although one needs to keep a close eye that the speed stays up). I swing the machine around to the left and find my Hun in a turning battle with Seth-Smith. It takes little effort to get behind him. Two longish bursts send him diving into some wispy cloud below.
The sky is suddenly empty, it seems. In the distance, two Camels are pursuing a Hun. The other Albatri have broken off, it seems. I circle and search for the others. After a minute I spot a lone Albatros that seems to be preparing to land at Haubordin aerodrome. He is well below me, but not so low as to put me in great danger of ground fire. I cut power and drop onto the unsuspecting Hun. It is necessary to get below him and then climb, blipping the engine to cut closing speed. I approach to well within a hundred yards before I fire. The yellow and purple German machine jerks up and to the right, and then flips erratically into a right-hand spin, streaming black smoke. I lose sight of the Hun but am sure I have bagged him. After several minutes, I fire a green flare to signal any of my flight to re-form. Only Sigismund and Howsam respond.
"The yellow and purple German machine jerks up and to the right, and then flips erratically into a right-hand spin, streaming black smoke."
We set course for home. En route we acquire Seth-Smith. Approaching from the southeast, I make out two distinctive country homes, both damaged from shelling. They are distinct and lie about two miles southeast of Poperinghe aerodrome. In seconds I see the field and am overjoyed to see two Camels moving on the grass by the hangars.
We are all here, happy with the morning’s show, and we crowd into Lieut. Gregg’s office, laughing and joyfully shouting obscenities at one another. Aldred claims two, one of which is vouched for by Hobson. I claim mine, which Sigismund has seen crash just at the edge of Haubordin field. This is #33, my third confirmed Hun in the past week.
In the evening I take Sigismund with me and we collect Molesworth from 29 across the way, then drive to visit Patrick’s gang at Ste-Marie-Cappel. They introduce me to Calvados, a devil’s brew from Normandy. Molesworth drives home.
 There are five giant slag heaps, or terrils, around the commune of Loos-en-Gohelle, just at the north edge of Lens. Two of these are 146 m high (480 ft). I took the picture of them below from the walkway in front of the Canadian memorial at Vimy Ridge, which is more than 6 km (about 4 miles) away. There are more than 350 such terrils in northern France, the residue of centuries of coal mining. Mining in the Lens area stopped only in the late 1990s. The terrils of Loos-en-Gohelle have been made UNESCO world heritage sites.
The terrils of Loos-en-Gohelle, seen from Vimy Ridge.
Luthor Linderman Underofficer, Zwei Flight Jasta 32 1 Victory
Got my walking papers today. The C.O. said that he couldn't keep me because I wasn't getting enough kills and trained pilots were requested by 6 Army for Jasta 32 with flight time in Flying the Albatross Type Scouts. I Arrived and found only 4 other pilots left in the Jasta so we did a formation hop of the local area. waiting to see if more replacements showed up. Sent time in the local Village looking around.
The tender drove past the little grey church onto the road to Arras. A recent shower had left puddles that the truck splashed through, rocking slightly on the uneven surface. “Next right and we're there, sir,” the driver informed the officer sat next to him. A few more soldiers, due for other posts sat in the back, but the officer had flashed a smile and a handful of francs in exchange for a comfortable ride.
Acq aerodrome was set up in a number of fields on a small road parallel to the main one. The sentry post was set up at a gate in the stone wall opposite a substantial farmhouse with many large square windows. The sentry checked everyone's papers and waved the tender into the muddy square formed from transport sheds and barrack huts.
The officer alighted and with a laugh, tipped the driver. The driver grinned and touched his cap. “Thank you very much, sir. Thank you very much!”
The officer, a pilot with a neatly clipped chevron moustache and a ready smile, picked up his valise and walked in the direction of the squadron office.
The adjutant looked up at the sound of the door. The officer saluted and introduced himself. “Second Lieutenant* Stanley, reporting for duty. Is the CO in.” Stanley talked in the easy assured tones of an English aristocrat. The adjustant returned his salute. “He is. I shall inform him of your arrival. Please wait here Lieutenant,”
Captain Dawes went to the doorway that led to the commanding officer's office. He knocked and went in.
Bob Stanley heard voices, but they were muffled. There was a harumph as the other man, presumably the major, snorted in derision. Shortly the adjutant was back.
“Major Tyson will see you now,” Dawes gestured toward the office door with an open hand.
The Major was younger than Stanley expected, in his mid twenties. His uniform was slightly worn and oil stained, but the red and blue of the DSO ribbon looked fresh and bright on the faded khaki. The frown on his face told Bob that Major Tyson had indeed been the harumpher.
“Second Lieutenant Stanley reporting for duty, sir.” Stanley saluted. Tyson returned his salute. “Welcome to five squadron, Lieutenant. No, stay at attention.” He picked up a letter from his desk and walked around to stand in front of Bob.
“I've been tipped off about you, Stanley.” the Major continued. “I do not like what I have read. I wouldn't have the likes of you on my squadron if I could help it. However, I need a replacement pilot and they have sent you. Let me be clear; one foot wrong and I will have you on a charge.” Tyson leaned in close to Stanley's face. He snorted again and stomped back around his desk.
“Go to B flight and report to Captain Slessor. We'll see what he can make of you. Dismissed.”
John Slessor was rather friendlier. Sitting at his desk surrounded by reports, he poured tea for his new pilot.
“Really? I wonder why! The old man is normally a solid fellow. I'll pair you with Kennicot. He's fairly new too. Stick close with me on your flights and perhaps you can make yourself useful.
“We fly RE8s. Slow and steady, and good for art obs, which is what we do most. Have you flown the Harry Tate?” “I've flown all sorts while I was a ferry pilot, “Stanley replied. “Including RE8s.” “Good, good. When you've finished your tea, we shall get you settled in. I want you to make a few familiarisation flights before we go into battle. Learn the landmarks and what not. Can't have a reconnaissance man getting lost can we?”
Stanley's first flight took place on the 1st of November, but it was little more than a low level tour of the area around Acq. His observer, 2nd Lt Kennicot was a short Londoner with a serious manner. Every so often he would pull at Stanley's shoulder and point out some landmark or other.
The next day was a wet one and flying operations were cancelled. Stanley teamed up with Kennicot at bridge and lost the first two games. Kennicot was scowling at his pilot until they won the next three. Stanley, for his part was always smiling and laughing, no matter how the hands went.
The grey skies were flyable on the 3rd and Stanley flew along behind Slessor as far as the lines. He couldn't see much in the grey murk of the clouds but the ground below had an ominous look to it. He recognised the zigzag pattern of trench lines and shuddered.
Bonfire night marked Stanley's first proper mission. It was an artillery observation near Loos. Stanley sweated the whole time even in the cold air. He was sure some German scout would swoop on him as he watched for shell bursts below. It took forever to get the batteries close to target and Stanley was low on petrol when he landed.
The next day saw two missions. The first was a bombing run that was aborted before they reached the target. Stanley never saw anything, but Slessor told him that six Albatros scouts had been too close for comfort.
That afternoon, B flight took a reconnaissance flight over Dixmude. For ten terrifying minutes, Stanley took plate after plate with the camera attached to the outside of his cockpit while Kennicot watched the skies for danger.
The next day saw Stanley back at artillery observation. He hated the waiting over the target area. In his mind every cloud hid a Jasta of Albatri that would dive on his isolated machine and that would be the end of him. But it didn't happen and the RE8 turned for home safely.
Thursday morning was grim and grey. The pilots and observers were huddled near the stove that heated Captain Slessor's office.
“We're bombing Phalempin aerodrome,” Slessor told them, pointing to the location on a map. “Apparently HQ have taken exception to it and want us to communicate their dislike to the enemy.”
Three RE8s took off at 8 o'clock. The clouds hung low and shrouded Stanley in gloom. It occurred to him that it hid him as much as it might hide the enemy.
Shortly after reaching the lines, Slessor developed an engine fault and was forced to turn back. He signalled for Bates to take over and now two Harry Tates weaved through the clouds toward Phalempin.
Stanley wished that he had spent more time with the bombsight at the training target. Lining up on the largest collection of hangars, he let both bombs go, then he jinked sharply about to throw off anti-aircraft fire. A burst of smoke showed that his first bomb hit the field near the hangars. The second detonated in the trees behind it.
“Take that, Belgian Squirrels!” Stanley thought crazily as he climbed and turned for home, following Bates.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ *Yes, Bob Stanley is a Sergeant as per the campaign rules, but he is too well heeled to be an NCO. So for story telling purposes he is a 2nd Lieutenant.
Last edited by Maeran; 03/09/1812:49 PM. Reason: Changed Photobucket for Imgur
Thanks for the morning reads, gentlemen! Some fine stuff there indeed. Well, I am off to venture deeper into GMAX modeling courtesy of Fullofit's tutoring. It's a frustrating task which I hope in the end will be very useful.... if I get it right!!
Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper Pwr Sup: OCZ, GameXStream,1000-Watt MB: Asus Maximus VI Extreme Mem: Corsair Vengeance (2x 8GB), PC3-12800, DDR3-1600MHz, Unbuffered CPU: Intel i7-4770K, OC to 4.427Ghz CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Seidon 240M Liquid CPU Cooler Vid Card: ASUS GTX 980Ti STRIX 6GB OS and Games on separate: Samsung 840 Series 250GB SSD Monitor: Primary ASUS PG27AQ 4k; Secondary Samsung SyncMaster BX2450L Periphs: MS Sidewinder FFB2 Pro, TrackIR 4
Great reads gents! Maeran, fantastic to see another brilliant author among the group.
Herman Hienze Jasta 7. March. 1918
Herman never was comfortable in the Phalz but had done enough to stay alive. On his 14th mission he was wounded by a dead eye Brisfit gunner. With his airfield in sight, dizzy and trying to see through the blood in his eyes, a Britisher crept up behind him and ended his career with a bullet to the head.
Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from either end. BOC Member since....I can't remember!
MFair, that is bad luck! The Pfalz is a tough bird, but the same cannot be said about the pilot, any pilot, in any plane. Good luck with the next one. Marean, welcome! Good luck to your new pilot, Bob. Carrick, did you just get kicked out of a Jasta for poor performance? You are going hardcore! Raine, another exciting report. We have to get these slug heaps into WOFF! Were they “active” during the War? As to the DH.5, very stable gun platform. Getting near a 50% gun accuracy in this plane. Great forward visibility, but to the rear? It’s like looking through your own anus. Performance wise it’s like the Camel: it turns better to the right than to the left. Just don’t get an Albatros behind you and you’ll be fine.
"Take the cylinder out of my kidneys, The connecting rod out of my brain, my brain, From out of my arse take the camshaft, And assemble the engine again."
We have to get these slug heaps into WOFF! Were they “active” during the War?.
Fullofit, the slag heaps date to before the Franco-Prussian war, so they were huge by 1914. I must try the DH5 soon. MFair, that's a rotten way to go. Don't be late with your next fellow, please. And once again, welcome back Maeran!
Here is the latest from Corderoy...
Diary of Capt. Geoffrey Corderoy, RFC Part 39: 8-9 November 1917
8 November 1917 – Poperinghe
Once again we fly along the Menen to Roulers road behind Passchendaele Ridge. I keep a sharp eye out, as do the others, for once again it is drizzly and grey, so that a Hun could be on top of you before it could be distinguished from the shifting murk of the cloud all around. Below the slopes from Zonnenbeke up to Passchendaele appear as a slimy sewer of mud and corruption, water-filled shellholes rim to rim and brown men against brown mud, wading and falling amid the flashes and eruptions and death. The thing seems so futile. There is no banner to be seized her. It is an invitation to hell.
Our time is nearly up and we turn for one last leg to the south. It is Quigley who pulls ahead, signalling and pointing down. There, about 1000 feet above the mud, four Albatri are heading to Menen. We are above them and behind and slightly to their left. I cannot believe they have not spotted us. The sky above, as far as I can see, is free from enemy. We dive to the attack.
The Camel vibrates and changes pitch in a dive, quite unlike my old SE, which became steadier. It is necessary to blip and throttle back. I settle in behind the nearest Hun and fire. My tracer plunges into the machine, just behind the cockpit. But the Albatros does not fall. Instead it dives for the enemy aerodrome near Menen, now just a mile off. Archie bursts and whip-like lines of tracer reach out to greet me. This is foolishness, yet the EA is so close. The Hun banks to the right and I cut across the chord of his turn, closing to fifty yards and firing. I break off at the last instant, nearly touching his white tail as I pass over him. The Albatross flips quickly to one side and begins to tumble down.
I cannot watch whether he crashes. Already several rounds snap through my wings. I climb and turn away, jinking from side to side. The small arms fire dies away, but the Archie increases. I circle for a couple of minutes and wait for others. Seth-Smith forms up first, then Hobson, and finally Quigley. It is time to head home.
"The Albatross flips quickly to one side and begins to tumble down."
Back at “Pops”, everyone is accounted for. Howson claims one. I claim mine as OOC, but it is not confirmed because Sigismund reports a yellow machine that passed low over the aerodrome. It might well have been mine. If so, I wish the Hun well, for I am sure I hit the fellow several times.
Yet another letter from Catherine. She has begun her training at St. Thomas’ Hospital in Lambeth. I wrote her last week, describing in sordid detail how the Hun I put down that day smashed into the ground, and my thoughts about ending the life of a young man I’d never met, and with whom I’d likely enjoy a few drinks and a good meal. It was a chance to get things off my mind that I am better not expressing in front of others here. Perhaps I thought that, having lost Scarborough after such a short time at the front, she would be better off finding a friend at home – perhaps even a young doctor. But her letter in response is really quite touching. She does not shy from the details of war flying, and is genuinely curious about our life here. One line I particularly liked: “As difficult and I daresay frightening as life in the RFC must be, there must certainly be something about it that fills a special place in one’s soul. Speed, perhaps. Speed is the only truly modern sensation, isn’t it?”
9 November 1917
Joined A Flight this morning for a defensive patrol down south, but the cam gear went shortly after take-off. Hellish noise and a tremendous flight. I had enough height and speed fortunately to glide back to the field and land, a little too quickly but safely.
Tagged along with C Flight this afternoon for another defensive patrol. Weather is poor and visibility low, but we stumbled into two Hun two-seaters north of Arras. Gave them a good chase, but they climbed away from us.
The Canadians have taken Passchendaele Ridge at last, and we seem to be settling in for the winter. I should enjoy a quiet spell.
Have received a new captain named Parker, whom I assume I must eventually appoint flight commander. He has served on BE2s and in HE until now and has no front-line scout experience. I told him that his appointment would depend on what I see from him over the next month or so. His first job, I said, is to keep himself on the green side of the turf for the next three weeks – nothing else.
 The Voluntary Aid Detachments, like Territorial Forces, were originally intended for Home Service only, but soon were being sent to France to support nurses in hospitals there. They worked as nurses’ aides, ambulance drivers, cooks, clerks, cleaners, and letter-writers for the injured. St. Thomas’ Hospital lies across the Thames from Westminster. In the war it was styled the Fifth London General Hospital, under the RAMC Territorial Force.
Thanks for all the welcome backs. I've switched from Photobucket to Imgur. We'll see how well that does.
No story today, its been a busy morning and I have only had half an hour to do anything at all!
Good luck with the modelling Robert. I can model alright but I had no success gettting anything into CFS3. (And then I had to reinstall windows, couldn't get WOFF to work and it was all very frustrating). Funnily enough, I was modelling coal mine buildings, complete with spoil heaps. These would have been in active production immediately before and after the war, so very notable. Especially around Mons.
Edit: I've still got the blend file. The textures are only a quick paint. The idea was that I'd learn how to get it in game before really commiting time to painting it.
Brisfits on morning Patrol then Camels on Last Light Patrol. We lost 2 a/c to Camels and I got the only kill. I watched him go down from 1200 meters , level out, then Spin into the ground outside the town of Waregem in a farmers field. Those Camels are hard to hit. they seem to turn too fast to follow. I used up over 400 rds to bring him down.
Se 5's in the morning and Camels in the afternoon.
1. Balloon Burst Mission: Our 4 a/c were jumped by Se 5 's , 6 a/c, short of target we lost 2 a/c . I was the only one to score. I would chase one fire at long range, he would dive then circle back up, then I would close the gap a little. Repeat 3 times and I sawed off his top wing with my machine guns. Wreckage om our side and spotted by my wing mate.
2. Escort: After completing target area , we turned for home and Camels 6 or more ran into us. Our 5 machines were scattered all over. I was hammering away at one when another flew in front of me. I kicked the rudder and Hammered him at close to point blank range. I saw his motor stop and he started smoking as he headed down on his side of the lines. I could not watch as I went to help another who had a e/a on his tail. This e/a turned and went home.
My Camel was confirmed. Our Infantry reported the thunder and Roar from War birds over the trenches and seeing a Englander at the time and place aflame . It crashed on the enemy-side. I was posted to a 5 a/c patrol and got jumped by 6 Se5's. Being wnd and forced down. I was sent to a Kriegslazarette with a nursing ward at Leige after clearing the Truppenverbandplatz station and transported by a Bearer Unit.
Carrick, condolences on de Lyon’s demise. Best of luck to Luthor on making it to the end. Being in the safety of the hospital for a bit should help. Oh, and I’ve been to Oktoberfest in Germany and it’s all that and more.
Raine, congrats on Corderoy’s VC and on his continued success in the Camel. A tricky kite to be sure, but great in a fight once you have the feel for her.
Robert, another super video. Always enjoy watching the excitement that Albert gets into and out of.
MFair, sorry to see Herman has gone to fly with the angels. Here’s hoping Jerod has better luck in his adventures.
Fullofit, thanks for the latest war news, always good to keep abreast of the changing situation. And it appears that Aldi has really found his rhythm with the Pfalz. Beautiful looking kite by the way. And Hercule and Edward continue along as well, I’ve no clue how you keep them all straight but good on you.
Dark_Canuck, if the rumors are true about the Circus Sitwell and his crew are going to have their hands full.
Maeran, great to see you back here. Spiffing first story from Bob, I certainly hope he can make it beyond the Harry Tate and into a more survivable bus. To that coal mine and the slag heaps, I would love to see those brought into the WOFF landscape.
Thanks as always gents for sharing these outstanding reports and stories and videos, most enjoyable. .
Lou, thanks so much for your Sunday morning comments. They're always rewarding and make one want to write a damn novel next flight! Hope you're well a get some time off the road. Any chance you'll be in Dayton in September? I'm planning to go with Robert.