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#4451147 - 11/30/18 12:26 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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L'Etoile du Nord
,

Brilliant Raine, absolutely brilliant!

.

#4451148 - 11/30/18 12:32 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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Here is a clip from the most recent copy of the 1915 Roseau County Times that tells a bit about my pilot.

[Linked Image]

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#4451158 - 11/30/18 01:27 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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Fullofit Online content
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Brilliant! Love the newspaper format. Hope I can get a better copy of the rag next time. My eyes are going and this issue, pulled out of the trash and used as a blanket to spend the night under the bridge, isn’t doing me any favours. Great idea Lou.


"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."
#4451332 - 12/01/18 04:32 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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Sgt. Graham A. Campbell

1: Hounslow Heath.


And by some bizarre twist of fate, here I was, about to make my first solo flight! Cpt. Andrews stood beside the B.E.2c, leaning over into my cockpit and pointing to the magneto switches. "Now, Campbell, remember! If the prop doesn't go, switch off!". I nodded in acknowledgement, but the stocky Captain needn't waste his breath. During my time at Oxford, for my pilot's classroom instruction, I had sunk my teeth into every scrap of information, procedure, and piece of knowledge that was thrown before me. I shot a glance to the weary-looking mechanic standing at the nose of my B.E.; his face was gaunt, and weary-looking, I supposed from dealing with the risks of swinging beginner pilots' props all day. Although, fortunately, I hadn't seen it, I had heard from one of my fellow rookies, one Lt. Doyle Weston, that just one week before my arrival some overexcited green pilot had forgot to switch off, and a mechanic had been killed when he failed to get out of the way of the propeller. How brutal!

But, I am getting off-track. By any means, now was not the time to dwell on such things! I had my instruction from Andrews to consider - 5 take-offs, 5 landings. Climb to 1,000 feet in between. I was nervous, but quite confident, although the idea of the landings put the wind up me a little! I had been amazed, when ferried up into the clouds by Andrews on my second day, just how precise and focused he was when coming back in to land. Suddenly I was snapped out of my daydreaming by a sharp pat on the back from Andrews, whom I only now realised had been instructing me all throughout my haze. "Got all of that, Campbell?" he boomed, and, in fear of losing my chance at a first flight, I meekly nodded. "Yes, sir". The Captain looked at me warily, then turned to the mechanic and nodded. Obligingly came the mechanic's voice; "Switch Off". I echoed him, and slowly he begun to wind the propeller counter-clockwise. With his hands raised above his head, gripping one propeller blade, the mechanic gave his next instruction, this time much louder. "Switch on!". I flipped the magnetos up, and turned back. "Switch on!" I responded, and the mechanic briefly exhaled, before shouting "Contact!" and bringing the propeller down with force. The engine of the B.E.2 roared to life, and I couldn't help but grin as I felt the machine vibrating all around me. This was it!

I pushed the throttle full forwards, and in response the B.E. lurched forwards, gaining speed with each second. Suddenly the harsh sounds and vibrations of the wheels and tail skid ceased, and I looked down to see the ground growing smaller beneath me. I was flying, all by myself! Elated, I gently banked to the left, and climbed to the North, looking down at the old Hounslow Barracks and waving like a fool. I was not even sure that there was anybody down there to wave back! Before I knew it, I was at 1,000 ft, and so I completed my half-circuit around the aerodrome and came back in to land from the East. I felt a surge of fear as the ground rushed up to welcome me back, but I mastered myself and kept control of the B.E, touching down smoothly. As I taxied back to the starting position, Cpt. Andrews gave me a wave, and a thumbs-up, which made me feel quite pleased with myself, and then, having gotten back into position, took off again.

This time I was up a little quicker, as I remembered to lift the tail-skid off the ground, and so I continued West this time, looking down at the landscape below with interest. A fleet of trucks had snaked its way out of the Barracks, and I now flew above and alongside them, keeping myself entertained by switching from their left side over to their right, and vice versa. They turned off towards London, and I felt cocky enough to wag my wings in farewell, before turning around for my second landing.

On my third flight, I went South. Looking towards the still-rising sun, I was surprised to see a small cluster of tethered kite balloons, hanging like great livestock grazing on the clouds. The eerie, silent masses were a disconcerting reminder that my country had been at war for the past two years. However, as I was feeling very good about myself, just having made my first two solos, this only spurred me on. Let me get over to France, I thought, let me have a crack at the Hun! If I'd only known then what an unhealthy outlook this was for a B.E. pilot! Regardless, I thought just that, as I completed my third circuit.

Westwards for the fourth flight - a direction I was to become all-too-familiar with in the future. But, again, I merely enjoyed the sheer elation that, at that point, flying held for me, before touching down again and embarking for my 5th trip around Hounslow Heath. I had taken my first step towards becoming an air fighter, but the war was yet to come for me. As I climbed out of the cockpit of the B.E., Andrews sauntered up to me. "Good work, Campbell. Your third landing was too fast, but the rest seemed good. You'll be doing the same tomorrow, at 8 AM. That's all!". Buzzing from the experience, I thanked him and walked towards the mess, removing my flying gear. Only when I saw myself in the reflection of the mess' windows did I realise that my face was black with exhaust fumes and castor oil stains!






Last edited by Wulfe; 12/01/18 05:05 PM.
#4451349 - 12/01/18 05:43 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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Fullofit Online content
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Ajax, ON
1 December, 1915
Réserve Générale de 'l'Aviation, Le Bourget/ Dugny

[Linked Image]

- “Suivant! Next!” - The sound came from a very lean man sitting behind a large desk littered with papers, applications and other important looking documents. The man with the surprisingly strong voice was finishing signing another pile of documents and without raising his eyes addressed the man who had just approached his desk as instructed.
- “Et Vous-etes qui, Monsieur?” The lean man reached for another piece of paper and stamped it as if it were a roach about to get away.
- [Who am I?] The man standing in front of the desk reflected upon this straightforward question. [Who am I? I’m a simple man - I like to eat and I like to drink. I’m a baker from Marseille. Born in Avignon but moved to the seaside and settled there. Why there? Because of Violette. Ah, Violette! The loveliest creature under the sun and my wife I might add. I met her there in the summer of 1907, courted her and married her there. It wasn’t easy with her Papa expecting her to marry someone less ... uncouth, but that’s a different story for another time. I am a father to 2 girls - the 6 year old Bernadette and 3 year old Giselle. I love all my 3 girls to death and I can’t wait to see them again soon. The little one is growing up without her father because of this damned war. I am also a soldier. When the mobilization started in 1914 I was recalled to active duty and joined my old unit under the 2e Armee commanded by General de Castelnau. Our orders were to invade Alsace and Lorraine, encircle le Boche, cut them off and win the war, all in one fell swoop. The operation was part of the foolproof Plan XVII, except no one expected the Germans to anticipate this maneuver. It all went to hell and our unit, along with many others, was decimated by the well positioned enemy machine guns and field artillery. German spies had it all figured out long before we set foot on the battlefield. The rest is just a collection of still images of explosions, mutilated and dead bodies, barbed wire and blood. And the smell, the smell of rotting corpses. People, horses, dogs. I was the lucky one. The shell explosion shattered my tibia and fibula. They were going to amputate, but from what I’ve heard someone decided to put them back together and see what happens. It took 6 months to recover and I have a noticeable limp, but I can walk on my own. Thanks to the brilliant yet unknown surgeon. I never found out his name to thank him properly. So, out of the hospital and to a new assignment - kitchen duty in Verdun sector. I did not like that one bit. I was ready to desert after 2 months. Thank God for Violette and her gossiping neighbour - old widow Ponsardin, who learned that there was a great need for pilots and they would accept just about anyone who wanted to learn to fly. That was my ticket out and I sent my application the next day. It took a while and involved an unfortunate incident with the examining doctor in Paris. Dr. Jean Camus’ selection process involved firing a gun behind the unsuspecting test subjects and observing their reaction. If the subject remained calm, he would be accepted. If he flinched, well ... it wouldn’t be the desired result. The poor doctor didn’t count on my reaction to his experiment. My revolver never leaves my side, even during medical examinations. When I heard the gun go off I automatically pulled my MAS 1873 out and aimed it at whoever fired. The doctor fainted at the sight of a barrel aimed at his head. It took half an hour to calm him down and fill out my acceptance form. "Excellent sight and robust constitution" he wrote. "Just needs to lose some weight." I suppose everyone needs a hobby. I was off to Pau within a week for my basic training. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face after my first run in Bleriot Pingouin. It was the best “automobile” ride ever! Then it was off to Le Crotoy for intermediate training at Caudron factory and training facility and finally here at RGA, just outside of Paris for the final training on the twin-engined G4’s. So who am I? I am a pilot. That is who I am!]
- “I’m Sergeant Gaston Voscadeaux. Reporting for pilot training!”
- “Ah! Another l’aviateur. Bienvenue!”

[Linked Image]

Attached Files Bourget.jpgGaston A Voscadeaux.JPG

"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."
#4451406 - 12/02/18 01:16 AM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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carrick58 Online content
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Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, Black Watch
192nd Infantry Brigade
64th Inf Div ( Home Defense )

1 Dec 1915.

Last Day Walking as an Infantry man. I have been posted to Catterwick for Advanced Flight Training. B ' out time too, sense I paid for my own Flying papers on me own time. Final flights were last week, mine in a box type that barley got up to 100 feet
Sadly, We lost one trainee when he crashed. Now I know why all payments were as U go or in advance of take off.

Attached Files RAF_Bleriot  Trainer.jpgcrashedplanein1915    In a Tree.jpg
Last edited by carrick58; 12/02/18 01:22 AM.
#4451434 - 12/02/18 11:03 AM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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Wonderful reading with my morning coffee! Nice to meet Graham, Gaston, and Nigel, I wish them luck and hope we will see them in our ranks for a long time to come. Great photos by the way. And Fullofit, I much appreciate the wider, historical context brought into your background story.

To my fellow: 2nd Lt. Randolph Arvid "Swany" Swanson arrived late yesterday afternoon at Netheravon for his final training. He had time to unpack and get set up in his new digs before the evening meal where he met the rest of the soon-to-be combat pilots. After dinner he went for a walk into town but had to cut it short due to a heavy rain that settled in. No flying for him today because of the weather, so instead he will practice his French in preparation for his visit to the other side of the Channel. Later perhaps he will stop by the maintenance hangars with hopes of getting his hands dirty on some bit of mechanism or another.

Keep the stories coming folks, they are most enjoyable.

Cheers, and à votre santé !
.

#4451444 - 12/02/18 01:32 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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Guten Morgen alles, Feldwebel Lofthoven reporting. I had a terrible head injury last year, and have only recently been cleared to fly again. I have now reported to Lindenthal for retraining. This morning had a light rain that kept the other trainees in bed, but I saw it as a great opportunity to take advantage of an available plane. My "Emil" (or is he "Fritz?") Hauptmann Lubcke agreed, and we went up for the first time. I understand why the manual warns to have an observer present, as even with the Hauptman up front, this Aviatik BII is extremely tail heavy and needed considerable forward pressure to keep her nose down and not stall. Surely that much out of trim is a design flaw? Anyhow, we did 5 touch-and-gos to get the feel of her. I had hoped to get a better view of the surrounding area, but the rain prevented that, as we wanted to remain in sight of the field. Ach, plenty of touring time later. It seems we'll also need to make up our own area maps, as Command hasn't seen fit to provide us with any. Perhaps tomorrow?

#4451461 - 12/02/18 03:22 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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CW3SF Offline
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colorado & arizona
I can not do this! It has been over 2 years since the last one, so I guess I will just wait for the next one that is air to air combat.

You all have fun, and I will see you later.


Origin made- silverstone case,ASUS Max VI Extreme , CPU intel Core i7 4770k, cooling asotex 570LC, NVIDA 3G GTX 780 Ti , Mem 16GB Kingston Hyper X DDR3 ,game drive 120GB INTEL X25 SS, OS drive 1TB, Win 7 home Prem.Logitech G105 key board,BenQ XL2430 Gaming Monitor.
All pilots owe me a beer. Retired USAF Rescue/Survival, Special Forces, and MI (after I got old and grey).
#4451498 - 12/02/18 09:46 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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carrick58 Online content
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Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, Rfc
Training Aerodrome
Catterick

Dec 2

I managed to get up in the bad weather after being shown the Taps in the Be2. They said be quick so just a circuit then down. I kinda nicked the prop on touch down when bumping up and down. The Instructor said it was a crash, but a good one no damage to the pilot.

Attached Files CFS3 2018-12-02 13-35-44-02.jpg
#4451525 - 12/03/18 03:46 AM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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Terrific stories, everyone. As Lou said, this campaign should provide Sunday morning reading for a long time. I'm sorry CW3SF can't join us, though. Dive in any time if you change your mind.

I won't get to fly until tomorrow, but while I'm travelling I thought I'd get my pilot ready to start. Here's his second episode...

An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins


Part Two: In which I meet an American comrade, tame the Jenny, turn a tree fall into a windfall, visit the old country, and learn to fly all over again



The Curtiss School was a $2.30 taxi drive from Union Station in Toronto. Long Branch was a cluster of cottages mixed with a few stately homes along the shore of Lake Ontario some six miles west of downtown Toronto. The field was close by the lake to the south of Lakeshore Boulevard. I left the cab in front of the Long Branch Hotel, a vaguely oriental-looking pile on Beach Road, and found a red cap to carry my two suitcases and trunk into the lobby. Two small signs stood on the registration desk. One bore the schedule of the Rupert, a steamer that sailed six times daily from the hotel’s pier to downtown Toronto. The other stated “Alcoholic beverages strictly forbidden.” I recalled that my truck contained six bottles of Collins Yukon Gold Whiskey.

Once I had checked in, I browsed the newspaper for a place to rent and found a large cottage by the water for $12 a month, so I telephoned the owner and walked there. The place looked fine, although it would have benefitted from a can of paint. We agreed to a lease for two months. I got the key and explored – two good-sized bedrooms, a small kitchen, no gas and – being out of the city – no electricity. I lit a kerosene lamp and sat by the back window as the sun set over the lake. “What in God’s name am I doing here?” I thought. Being unable to answer the question, I returned to the hotel for a mediocre dinner and a fitful sleep.

Many of the veteran students, those who had already flown alone – “solo” was the term of art – were bound for the naval air service and had split their time between Long Branch and the seaplane base at Hanlan’s Point on Toronto Island. I made it clear to Mr. McCurdy, who ran the school, that I intended to fly for the Army and was disinterested in flying boats.

The school contained a wonderful collection of characters. I spent my first day in classroom instruction, learning the basic theory of what we were about to do in the air. Sitting in the back row with me was an American fellow from the mid-west, a rugged-looking farmboy named Swanson. The two of us were both bound for the RFC and chummed together from the start. We’d meet with a few of the other pilot candidates for cards at the cottage in the evenings and it didn’t take long for Swany to move out of the boarding houses where he was staying and move into the cottage. I covered the rent and he cooked. Swany chopped a split firewood for the stove, and I’d never seen anything like it. He was five-foot nine, an inch shorter than me, but the man was made of iron. He could split a day’s worth of wood in a few minutes, having virtually grown up next to his uncle’s sawmill.

We spent the still hours of the early hours around the hangars waiting to get up in the air. For the first few days, we were ferried about like sacks of potatoes by the instructors. One fellow from Toronto quit after being violently ill every time he went up.

One morning, the fellows in the hangar were complaining about a tall pine tree that bordered the field near the entrance road. It stood close by the turn-in and bore the scars of having stopped more than one lorry or wagon. We feared that one of us would soon fly a Jenny into the thing. A tall fellow from British Columbia said that for two dollars he’d take it down, and he claimed he could do it in under five minutes. Swany gave a loud laugh and claimed he could take “that twig” down in less than two minutes. Amid scoffing and jeers, he added “and with no more than 40 blows, as long as I have a good axe.” The British Columbian declared this typical Yankee boasting, adding that you’d expect a professional lumberjack to take nearly five minutes on a tree that size. I whispered to Swany that he should go along with me for a minute and I’d ensure that he’d bear no financial risk.

When the noise began to die down, I told Swany that five bucks said he couldn’t take down the tree, which was 14 to 16 inches thick, in less than two minutes and forty blows.

“It’s Canada versus the States!” I shouted. “Someone take note of the bets.”

Tim Flanagan, one of our students, took out a pocket notebook and a pen. “I have a dollar to say the Yank fails,” he shouted. “Who’s with me?”

In a matter of two or three minutes more than a hundred dollars were in play. “Good,” said Swany. His slight Swedish-American lilt made it sound like go-ood. “Now I need to get a good axe. The tree goes down tomorrow afternoon at four. Bring your money, everybody.”

Swany and I scoured Toronto for a four-pound double-bit felling axe that would meet his standards. We finally found a good one at last at the giant Eaton’s department store on Queen Street. Returning to Long Branch by streetcar, Swany went into a blacksmith’s and worked on sharpening the axe for more than an hour, filing and checking, filing and checking. “It’s all in getting the right angle,” he explained.”
The next day at four, Swany brought his axe to school wrapped in a blanket. At ten to four he wandered over to the tree and waited for the crowd to form. Mr. Jennings, one of the instructors, timed the exercise, and the whole crowd counted the blows. By Swany’s sixth blow of the axe, I was the only one still counting aloud, for the wiry Swede had already opened up a deep vee on the side facing the road. Without a second’s pause, he began to work on the opposite side, cutting an even deeper notch just above the first. One minute in, and the tree began to groan. By the twenty-eighth blow, it sagged, and on the count of thirty-two there was an ear-splitting crack and the tree fell neatly onto the road. We dragged it with one of the Curtiss trucks off the road to be sectioned at leisure. Swany, in the meanwhile, collected the vast sum of $143. Another American, a former cowboy named Mark Jericho, was the only onlooker to bet on Swany, and he did rather nicely too.

I soloed in a little over a week, on the same day as Jericho but a couple of weeks after our cowboy friend. Jericho was the star pupil and left the school before the end of July, bound for England. “Swany” Swanson and I got our AAeC ticket in mid-August, just before our dollar-a-minute time was up. The RFC recruiting office in Toronto arranged our travel and, as two “officer candidates”, two days after graduation and dressed in our best suits (in Swany’s case, his only suit) we boarded a train bound for the east coast. We didn’t use the seats we’d been given, since Swany booked us into first class with his newfound wealth. We dined in luxury while watching the Laurentian Mountains catch the evening sun across the St. Lawrence River as the train passed Quebec City and continued past the long strips of farmland angling down to the river and the little villages, each with its imposing metal-spired church. We had a sleeping cabin with comfortable bunks, nightcaps of Collins’ Yukon Gold whiskey, and in the morning a porter brought us breakfast as we passed Bathurst, New Brunswick and looked out on the broad Gulf of St. Lawrence. We changed trains in Moncton and by evening of the second day were in Saint John, ready to board the SS Scandinavian for England (Swany thought it wonderful they'd named a transport after him). We were glad to be aboard, as Saint John had little to offer except for its Reversing Falls, where the massive tides on the Bay of Fundy make the river run backwards half the day. Personally, I think the river takes one look at the town and turns around.

[Linked Image]
Departing on the Scandinavian

In late September we were sent to the university at Reading, west of London, for our basic classroom training, which involved lessons in navigation, engine construction and maintenance, principles of flight, meteorology, and basic soldiering topics, such as whom to salute and how to march. Marching, or drill, as it should be called, was far more complicated than I ever expected. Poor Swany had a particularly difficult time. Whenever he concentrated too hard he would “bear walk,” swinging his right arm with his right leg and vice-versa. It’s nearly impossible to do if you try, but very easy to do when you’re learning drill. The work was fairly easy and we got leave for a week afterwards. Swany headed for London and I went to Cambridge, where my mother and sister had settled.

The following week we were packed off to Castle Bromwich, near Birmingham, for flight instructions on Farman Longhorns and Shorthorns. Apparently the RFC completely ignored the fact we’d got our ticket in Canada and we were lumped in with chaps who didn’t know one end of a flying machine from the other (not that it made much difference on a Farman. Three candidates were killed while we were there. All three of them fell prey to spins, which were inevitably fatal. Towards the end we got to sport about in Avros, which were absolutely ripping buses.

[Linked Image]
Castle Bromwich aerodrome from the air

Once the course was complete, orders came to head for Netheravon, down in Wiltshire. Here Swany and I would undergo advanced training and finally get a crack at some real war flying in more modern machines.

Attached Files SS Scandinavian.jpgCastle Bromwich.jpg
#4451564 - 12/03/18 12:03 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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RAF_Louvert Offline
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L'Etoile du Nord
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CW3SF, I'm sorry as well that you won't be joining us. We'll miss you around the mess.


loftyc, nice to see Feldwebel Lofthoven joining the ranks here. I hope his head injury from last year isn't causing him grief, such injuries can linger. As to maps of your current AO, afraid you may be on your own there.


Carrick, props are expensive, best not be nicking any more of them. Hope you managed to secure one of the blades to carve your walking stick from.


Raine, outstanding stuff! A wonderful read with my morning cuppa', (read it twice actually as it was so entertaining). One point: Swany is Norwegian, but then James knows that full well yet seems to take no small amount of delight in calling him a Swede as he knows it gets Swany's Norsk hackles up.


I will be adding an installment here myself, hopefully later today, though it won't involve flying as it's going on three days of wind and mist at Netheravon which has grounded all training flights. However, Swany and James have been discussing the fact that they each need a proper pair of flying boots and have been told by a certain Lieutenant Bishop that Powney's Corner down in Salisbury is the place to find them.

.

#4451571 - 12/03/18 01:08 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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Lou, I guess they're all "Swedes" to Jim. I'll have Swany set him right.

Powney's "Old Corner Store"? Someone's reading "Salisbury in the Great War", I'm guessing.

#4451574 - 12/03/18 01:27 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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lederhosen Offline
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Germany
Willi Aaron Rosenstein
Born 1 Dez. 1892, Stuttgart.
Pilots License #170,5
Date of issue 12. August 1912

I was the first born son of Ernst and Pauline Rosenstein, and together with my brother and sister I grew up in Stuttgart. My farther was a partner in the LW Rosenstein Company, a firm that produced medical equipment which they sold world wide. The Company became very profitable and my family lived in relative comfort. My brother and I were sent to boarding schools in Berlin. My farther had decided that I was to become a Doctor, a surgeon preferably.
He had some connections with the Charitè Universitätsmedizin in Berlin and so my whole life was being prearranged and I was to comply with my father's wishes. I suppose he only wanted the best for me, like all fathers, but inside I knew I was meant for something else. I just didn't know what though.

Autumn 1911, I passed the entrance exams, squeaked by more like it, which pleased my father immensely. My fate had been decided. Unfortunately I found myself struggling to keep up with the curriculum. The longer I studied the more I knew this wasn't for me, but duty to my father's wishes forced me to continue. Luckily, Berlin offered many a distraction for restless souls like myself. While sitting in a dubious Establishment one evening, I was reading the local newspaper when I noticed a small add........

[Linked Image]

One should know that Berlin was packed by a new fever called flying. The Johannisthal Flugplatz
was relatively new, and thousands would pay to watch these new God's fly against each other at races put on by the local Flying clubs or schools. I had never been there myself. I was bored and looking for something different, and thus decided to spectate one of these races myself.

One sunny day in March 1912 I took the tram out to Johannisthal. It was filled with so many gay and well dressed people. Everyone was awed by what they saw. All these modern heavier than air craft lined up for all to walk around, and some lucky few were even allowed to mount these wonders under the guidance of their owners. To the left of the lined up aircraft was a row of large sheds, and one of which had the words “Melli Beese” painted in large red letters. I remembered the little add in the paper and wondered over to the shed. A small door was open so I knocked and went inside the shed. Inside was a huge machine that somewhat reminded me of a dove. On it's flanks were painted the big black letters “MB”. A Woman around my age, dressed in dirty overalls, was standing close to the engine when she looked at me. I inquired about the add I had read and if the owner was present to talk to. I said I was very keen to learn flying.

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After my initial shock, she reassured me that her name was Melli Beese and that she was indeed the owner and Instructor of the school. Later that day, I and a few others who were also interested, joined Melli at the nearby canteen at shed#6 to discuss our future adventure. To cut things short, I had at last found the one thing I wanted to do, and my career as a Pilot began March 1912. The next few months I spent every free hour at Johannisthal, and so neglected my study's that it was only a matter of time before my father would be informed. But I didn't care anymore. I was in love with flying and the engineering that went with it.

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1.August was perfect day for flying and this was also when I passed and received my Pilots License #170,5. I now belonged to those golden few. That summer I had great fun, and represented our club at a few races that were held at Johannisthal. In fact I was judged good enough to become an Instructor, and when Melli asked me to work for her.... I said yes of-course.

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Eventually my father found out what had happened and ordered me home to explain myself. He was infuriated by my selfishness. I was supposed to be a Doctor and not some “Quack” flying around Berlin, squandering my youth on some sports club for the elite! I promised to go back to school and fly on my spare time just to placate my father. All through 1912 till summer 1913 I plied myself to the books and endless lectures, reading till deep into the night just to keep pace with the required literature of the first year. My Grades were still comparatively low and I found myself drifting more and more to the airfield and Melli. At Johannistal I made a great many friends from different aircraft firms like Rumpler, Albatros and Fokker. I even helped Melli with an aircraft patent.

As fate would have it, nothing lasts forever. In the summer of 1913 we had another airshow, and this time we had a fearless stunt pilot from Paris. Adolphe Péguod was in Berlin ! His flying skill was wonderful to say the least. He could figure eight, loop the loop, and his spiral of death caused many a faint heart to stop. I was so impressed by him that I wanted to prove before others that I too could fly like Pèguod. So one evening in August, I asked Melli if I could stunt around with her small monoplane. She looked at me, smiled, and forced me to sign a waiver in case I ended up hurting myself. I signed and went to the aircraft.

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The monoplane started easily and I took off and climbed to 500m. I started with figure eights while climbing to 1000m. I wanted to start a loop by pushing my nose down but became quite afraid by the sudden speed and noise of the wires and pulled up on the column. To this day no one knows why or how such things happen, but I started to spiral or “spin” as they call it now. I had lost control and the airfield was getting closer real fast. I just panicked and pushed and pulled everything, at the same time too. The monoplane straightened itself up but I was right on top of shed #7 and crashed into it.

When I regained consciousness, I found myself in the hospital. I seem to of broken my left ankle, that has forced me to limp till this day. A suspected spinal injury was also the cause of many a sleepless night as well. To make matters worse, Melli came by to wish me luck and that I shouldn't worry about the Monoplane, but that our working relationship was now ending. I had to go back to Stuttgart, and my father.

Funny how one moment can change your life. I resigned to my fate, took a job in my fathers firm and started an apprenticeship as a fine tool maker...... And then the war started.

Like all young men I jumped to volunteer. My mothers heart was broken, and my father, the socialist, saw no need for me to run off and be slaughtered for some Kaiser. And why not, with a war coming, medical equipment and supplies would be in great demand. But I could not see myself just sitting in a room when a whole generation marched on without me. In Dezember 1914, I was turned down as being medically unfit for service and that I was doing the Kaiser a greater service with the job that I already had.

By mid 1915, after the slaughter of so many men, the Kaiser needed even more of my generation to maim and kill. I applied again. This time I said that I wanted to fly and that I already owned a pilots license. And so, after weeks of waiting, here I am now at the Aviatik Militaer-Fliegerschule in Freiburg.


p.s...Had to cut this story short. After starting it I could see this chapter turning into a whole book!

Last edited by lederhosen; 12/03/18 01:31 PM.

make mistakes and learn from them

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#4451579 - 12/03/18 02:13 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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RAF_Louvert Offline
BOC President; Pilot Extraordinaire; Humble Man
RAF_Louvert  Offline
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L'Etoile du Nord
.

Superb lederhosen, simply superb! Great historical context, great pics, great storytelling. I can't wait for the next installment.

Raine, I had not referenced that book but had actually found out about Powney's while trying to find a good, contemporary photo of the Haunch of Venison. Unfortunately, the Poultry Cross sits directly across the street from the pub and is blocking it out in every shot.

.

#4451600 - 12/03/18 04:00 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 3,067
RAF_Louvert Offline
BOC President; Pilot Extraordinaire; Humble Man
RAF_Louvert  Offline
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Senior Member

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 3,067
L'Etoile du Nord
.

Here is 2nd Lt. Swanson's most recent letter home.


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#4451619 - 12/03/18 05:06 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,102
lederhosen Offline
Member
lederhosen  Offline
Member

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,102
Germany
wow


make mistakes and learn from them

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#4451632 - 12/03/18 06:06 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,370
Raine Online content
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Raine  Online Content
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Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,370
New Brunswick, Canada
These are outstanding, guys. I've just had a skim as I'm (technically) working. But when I get to my hotel tonight, I have some really great reading to catch up on. Tomorrow will be my first flight in the campaign, weather permitting. I read that December 1915 was one of the wettest months on record. There was a big wind storm on the 6th, I believe, so perhaps we can work that one into the stories!

#4451665 - 12/03/18 07:48 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,511
JJJ65 Online cool
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JJJ65  Online Cool
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Czech Rep.
Phantastic bios and stories, Sirs. They really deserve to publish as a WWI biography book.
Thank you.

#4451685 - 12/03/18 09:03 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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lederhosen Offline
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lederhosen  Offline
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Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,102
Germany
Willi arrives at Flugplatz Freiburg for advanced training. 1.Dez 1915

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Last edited by lederhosen; 12/03/18 09:05 PM.

make mistakes and learn from them

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