I've just spent a most enjoyable hour catching up with everyone's adventures here.
Lederhosen, best of luck to Willi in his new AO. He is flying one of my favorite German two-seaters. Nice livery too.
Harry, a fine journal entry. And it is good your man is honing his map reading skills, he will need them.
Wulfe, heavy stuff Sir, and very well written. War takes its toll in so many ways. Congrats on Graham's double confirmation, well done.
Fullofit, good to see that Gaston is still enjoying some wonderful weather. As to sending out scout planes to strafe rail yards, well, who knows what the brass hats are thinking when they plan such folly.
Scout, Aleck and his crew continue to harass the enemy at Loos, eh? Excellent. Keep Fritz busy rebuilding and he can't spend as much time fighting.
MFair, you really had me worried. Very glad to learn that Jericho survived the whole affair with little more than a gash to his scalp. Hopefully his hair will fill back in, wouldn't want a bald spot to spoil the fellow's rugged good looks.
Carrick, condolences on the loss of Nigel. Here's hoping Emile has a longer run. Love that screenshot over the Channel.
Raine, great news that James in now back in the skies. Quite the scar he is going to be left with, sure to be a conversation starter. And good on Sgt. Wilson on becoming a full-fledged observer.
Hasse, another superb episode on Julius, and good to know that his injuries were fairly light. I hope he won't have to wait too long to get into the Eindecker. He should do very well with it.
2nd Lt. Swanson and Captain Craig have had five days of some very good flying weather, with sorties ranging from the totally uneventful to another near ender. In two of the previous days' outings they found themselves in go-rounds with a pair of Aviatiks in one, and with a lone Eindecker in another, resulting in two submitted OOC claims both of which were denied. Today however found the intrepid pair in a combat that each though, yet again, might be their last. It began while on a recce of the Hun lines down at Miraumont where Swany and Daniel were attacked by no less than three Eindeckers, all in olive green livery, (the first time either had seen this). The Brits had been flying in and out of large, expansive clouds at about 6,000' most of the way along, and after coming out from one particularly massive cloud the rest of the flight was gone from view. Swany continued on to the assigned patrol area, all the while looking for the other two planes of B Flight, but to no avail. Upon reaching the enemy lines at Miraumont Swanson and Craig began the recce.
The initial attack came out of the sun, from above and head-on, with two Hun bullets going directly through the windscreen of the British plane. Amazingly, this was the only damage done in the opening salvo. After this it all became a blur of twisting and turning and diving and climbing, with Swany pushing the Morane to the very limits of what it could do. All three enemy pilots seemed more than capable and the only saving grace given the King's airmen was that the Hun were actually jamming each other up as they tried for shots on their lone prey. The Captain was a true marvel with the Lewis gun as he kept switching up on the Hun attackers, taking shots at whatever the best target was at any given moment. As the fur-ball continued its swirl, lower and lower, towards No Man's Land, Swany kept edging the fight towards the west and over the British trenches. Suddenly, one of the Eindeckers flipped on its back and slammed into the dirt, kicking up a giant plume of debris. Craig had found the mark on that one. This caused one of the remaining Hun to turn tail and run back eastward towards more friendly skies. The third fellow however was having none of that and pressed his attack all the harder. He was sticking to the Morane like glue and Swany was running out of tricks, and altitude. With what little room he had left he dove to build up speed and when his pursuer was just about ready to deliver the coup de grâce Swany pulled the Morane up and over, dropping the right wing as he did so to open up a shot for the Captain. The maneuver worked and Daniel placed a deadly volley into the engine of the Eindecker. Flames began licking back along its cowl as a line of black smoke trailed behind the enemy plane. Brief moments later and it too slammed hard into the dirt. Lieutenant Swanson pointed his bus north-northwest and made the best time he could as he regained altitude along the way. He was never more glad to see Auchel and glide his faithful mount back to home and relative safety. Amazingly, neither man was injured, and their bus had but a handful of vents in the wing, along with the holed windscreen. Luck had been extremely kind to the lads from Number 3 Squadron.
Later that day, when the remaining patrols had returned, and the AARs and claims had been submitted, Swany invited his good friends Jim Collins and Mark Jericho to coffee and a nice lunch at La Ville d'Auchel Café, his treat. He figured they could all stand a break from the war, even if it was only for a bite to eat in town. Besides, he wanted to let them in on something he'd been up to. He'd been frequenting the small establishment two or three times a week for the last month or more, not only for the tasty fare but more so to practice his French, which the young pilot was becoming quite proficient at and which he now wanted to show off to his friends. The madame who ran the café, Georgette, had been personally helping Swany with the language, upwards of an hour or more at a time, for which the Lieutenant would leave an extra franc on the table. The woman, who was likely in her early-to-mid 30s, quite shapely, and rather attractive, had more than a tutorial interest in her student and she'd been attempting to make this known with her less-than-subtle signals. However Swany, who was very quick on the uptake when it came to a lot of things, was fairly oblivious when it came to the fairer sex, so Georgette's amorous intentions were going unnoticed. Unnoticed that is until he brought his friends to the café for lunch, both of whom quickly surmised what was going on and took no end of joy in informing their clueless chum of the situation. Swany turned beet red upon receiving Jim's and Mark's reconnoitering of the affair and quickly dismissed that such could possibly be the case. It was not the end of the discussion however, much as Swany may have wished it to be, and by the time lunch was finished he was regretting having ever brought Collins and Jericho along. Still, he was feeling rather good with the idea that Georgette fancied him, not that he'd act on it - well, probably wouldn't act on it. She was his senior by a good twelve to fifteen years after all. Still...
Trying to keep the advantage, what little there is.
One Hun down, one running away, one still pressing on.