(Writer's Note: Now borrowing carrick58's opening methodology for reports )
George Lyons Sergeant 3 RFC Chocques, Flanders
First mission 19 April PM...A nasty day for my first flight with 3 RFC. The Morane Parasol handles quite a bit differently then the RAF BE2c, and takeoffs and landings are tricky. Especially getting used to blipping the engine.
Difficult to see much with the rain and clouds, but occasionally some blue sky did poke through. Uneventful otherwise....
(Writer's Note: Where in the heck is the altimeter???...I will add a HUD altimeter on occasion. I have read that it was not above air crews to add their own gauges on occasion in real life, so here is my contribution, lol)
Second mission 20 April AM...Weather still not very good. B Flight was tasked to do some artillery spotting and watching of troop movements, but it was difficult to see much of anything so high up and also with clouds. At least it did not rain.
Third mission 20 April PM...The weather did not hold; it rained. We were tasked to view enemy movements, however, it was difficult to see and, well, we did not see much of anything except clouds and rain.
2nd Lieutenant H. D. Harvey-Kelly (Note: a real life Ace in the future!) sustained some rather heavy engine damage and was forced to land, and the Bosche were sending some archie our way, but I do not believe he was hit with any of that...just some old-fashioned engine trouble. Now, "Bay" (what H.D. Harvey-Kelly is called) is an interesting fellow, and my cup of tea! Here is an "official account" of the first aeroplanes that flew over the Channel from England to France during the beginning of this war...left me laughing! (Note: from WIkipedia):
Whilst Major Burke planned to be the first to land in France, Harvey Kelly took a short-cut over some woods and landed just before him. Commanding Officer Major Charles Burke wrote in his diary: "Just as I was gliding down I saw another machine. Landed at 8.22. It was Harvey Kelly." The route was straightforward, however given the limited range and reliability of the aircraft it kept close to points of safety: Swingate Down, Boulogne, south hugging the coast, then east along the Somme valley to Amiens. At 06.25 on 13 August, No 2 took off led by Major Burke flying Dover - Boulogne. From Boulogne they followed the coast as planned - except for Bay, who continued inland, apparently following a pre-planned cross country route. He landed, together with Air Mechanic Harris, in Amiens at 08.20, Major Burke arrived 2 minutes later. Although understandably annoyed at the flagrant disregard for his orders Burke took it as yet another example of Bay's playfully competitive nature and nothing further was said. A fellow pilot, Archibald James, described Bay as " .... the funniest man I have ever met. He kept me in roars of laughter the whole time". It's very likely that Bay's impact on Squadron morale also came into Burke's thinking.
...and a picture having a smoke after landing (Note: ) :
Fourth mission 21 April AM...Weather cleared overnight, a fine day for flying! Also, first real action as we were tasked to recce over Phalempin enemy aerodrome, but were given the go ahead to drop some bombs! Intell told us that we scored some good hits, and indeed I dropped to about 150 feet to accomplish this! However, we took some moderate machine gun fire, and while neither of our craft were hit, it was a bit harrowing. (Note: Bah, turned off computer too quickly again, so no vids or pics )
Fifth mission 21 April PM...I suppose our morning success spurred Command to give us a bona fide bombing mission, this time to Houplin. However, Harvey-Kelly was in the lead, and we bombed from about 6ooo feet for this mission. I decided to try a little trick; not having done much high altitude bombing (or much of any bombing for that matter), I aligned my aeroplane behind his about 200 yards, and then when I heard his bombs go, I counted to three and then released mine. Intell tells us that I actually scored some hits whilst 'Bay' did not. Still, at these heights it is probably more luck than skill, sort of like trying to pocket a ball on a billiards table, but from five tables over.
When I landed, I heard the klaxons going off at a nearby aerodrome, so I decided to take off again to see if I could find any enemy aircraft, but to no avail. I made about 1000 feet, but did not see anything or any friendly archie to guide the way.
Sixth mission 22 April AM...Command decided we should visit the Harboudin enemy aerodrome; although officially a recce mission, since I was flight leader (B flight), I requested and was granted permission to bomb. I decided for a low attack, and while successful, our aeroplane was also shot up rather well. Not too far from our field, I lost revs and decided to glide in for a landing as opposed to risking something worse. Ended well, but our craft will need at least three days of repair so the mechanics tell me.
(...the saga continues!)
Last edited by stljeffbb; 07/09/1704:44 PM. Reason: Sergeant?? And converted from photobucket to imgur!
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