Mission No. 5 for Cap'n. Johnny Dobson & Company.
(Note: some tweaks to lighting and specular effects in the shader.xml file will be tested in mission no. 6, a file that's located in the main WOFF sim folder by the way; also tested will be a preload file tweaked by HarryH in one of the threads here a while back; and I will also include the relevant pixel patch dim value, of 400, in the d3d8 ini file under the main WOFF folder, and also the one located in WOFFScenery - should the tweaks work well I will include them in a ver. 1.1 upload of my "FPS and Graphics Tuner" located under the relevant post on page 1 of this thread.)
For three days the rain fell heavily and incessantly. There would be no flying, the field next to our 'drome having gradually turned to mud, and so we wiled away the hours by listening to music, with such fresh tunes as "It's Poppy Time in Old Japan" blaring from the gramophone, or amusing ourselves with games of faro and whist. On the fourth day, the 21st of May, the sun broke through the low-hanging clouds, beckoning us to ascend and engage in some fine sporting action.
That same morning our C.O. was visiting, Sir Geoffrey Salmond, a distant relative of the Felix Salmond who occasionally went up in tandem with me in the Parasols. The senior Salmond was himself a pilot, having received his flight certificate before the war, and he fancied a flight or two with us. As Captain I suggested that he lead the way, but he would have none of it - ordering that I give the commands, with one stipulation - that it be a bombing mission, as recently urged by HQ.
With the necessary preparations done on our engines, all primed, pilots and observers fastened inside their nests, and everything checked doubly so by our riggers, we began to roll and build up speed, and ascended into the now more pleasant looking skies. The flight consisted of two Parasols, I and my observer in one, and the senior Salmond and his observer in the other - both Parasols were carrying four 20 kg bombs, which slowed down our rate of climb. Eventually, however, we managed to pass 1000 m alt. and proceeded southwards, to pass over the lines close to Neuve Chapelle, where the enemy batteries were located that we were to bomb.
We circled a few times to ascertain more clearly the position of the batteries, and I went in first, dropping the four bombs singly, soon to be followed by Salmond's Parasol, that also dropped its bombs singly. Detonations were heard soon after, below, but we considered it wise not to loiter and proceeded northeasterly, on the German side of the lines, towards the area between Loos and Lille, where we engaged in some further reconnoitering, and also spotted a single Be.2 as it was returning slowly towards our side of the lines. Not seeing any enemy aeroplanes in this sector either, I signalled to Salmond that we do a wide ascending turn and head towards our lines.
The journey back appeared to pass more quickly since we were no longer carrying the weight of four bombs - equivalent to having a third person on board. As we passed onto our side of the lines, and a bit south of the Lys, I noticed that my petrol was now below 50 percent. Acting prudently, I again signalled to the other Parasol - that it continue towards our 'drome above Armentieres - while I on the other hand idled my engine as best I could and began a slow descent towards one of our aerodromes that was just north of the river, and not too far from the town of Bailleul. The landing, save for some minor turbulence, went smoothly, and I soon telephoned our 'drome that we would refuel here. By evening we had as well returned and were greeted with good news - that five German positions had been either badly damaged or destroyed in our bombing raid.