My pleasure, sorry I coudn't link to a youtube of the tv version. I rather like the radio version better. I just close my eyes and let the story be told through my ears and my imagination draws the picture show in my head.
May 2 1917 on a sunny Wednesday leading 3 others of B Flight on the afternoon Line Patrol. Arrive at our patrol point, after losing one flight mate to engine trouble, and after a few circles I see 4 specks off to our front. Obtain a good position and order the attack on 4 V-Strutters. A Flight, despite having their "reaction time" turned up via OldHats mod, does not help...again. Also turned OFF Cloud Shadows as an experiment.
For a couple of minutes I start to get nervous as these Huns are good. Checked the "PilotClaims" file later and at least 3 out of 4 were HA's. I receive minor hits on 3 occasions before I finally get behind one but another is inching up on my tail. My flight is in action though so I shake him and get behind another Hun. After a 3 second burst with both Lewis and Vickers Wilhelm Groos lights up and goes down.
After watching him for a second there are still aircraft around. Make for two, hoping they are my flight, but nope. More Huns. After some frantic maneuvering I make a good deflection shot (real good - don't think I fired more then 10 rounds) and the Hun goes down out of control. I think he is faking at first but Hans Klein goes down apparently dead in his seat.
See more aircraft and Hun AA down low so I make for the action. The first aircraft I come across is another Hun. Make a diving attack but, due to my speed, only have time for a quick shot. Break off in a zoom climb and receive hits from the ground fire. I decide enough is enough and fly away but the Hun is apparently mad and follows me. Sounds good as I lead him away from the AA and gain separation in my speedy Se5. After a minute I honk around in a turn but this guy is also good. Several turns and almost head-on passes I get behind him and shoot his wings off. Alfred Osterreicher goes down for his final landing.
Out of Lewis and down to 100 rounds of Vickers I make for British Lines. I see no other aircraft except as I cross the lines. Oh, its Captain Ball leading A Flight working on their tans I guess. Back at base I file claims for my 3 but we lost one flight member. 2 out of my 3 victories are confirmed making it 24. I receive the VC and a promotion to Major. Feel a little bad as Captain Ball has 40+ kills and will have to be dead before he gets the VC. Thought about retiring my Major but 56 had a Major flight commander in January 1918 so maybe I will keep him for a while. Probably take a bit of leave.
Man, I thought I was going to come up with bupkis for you today, Duke. I ran two Rother Nought flights earlier and got nothing except a few days in the hospital for getting wounded on an airfield attack run. Switching back to Rick Rawlings, we were sent out on a friendly patrol. After finding nothing, I was not willing to give up. I mean, I had some of the greatest talent in Great Britain flying history;
Rawlings, Ball, Rhys-Davids, The Professor, Mary Ann, did anyone think I was just going to go back home without firing a shot?!?
So we set out on the Grand Tour of Hunland trying to find anybody to take on! Due to real life constraints, I usually use lots of time compression to have time to fly missions, but this was the longest real-time sojourn I have taken:
Finally, after looking high and low, we found some enemies to attack. It wasn't very sporting:
Of course, that far in enemy territory, with everyone scattering, the Albatros wasn't confirmed, but we know!
The older I get, the more I realize I don't need to be Han, Luke or Leia. I'm just happy to be rebel scum...
I know right? 56 is THE stud squadron and chock full of superstars. Did a no-HA (Aces 0) campaign with them once and it felt really odd so I restarted with full HA. As a practical matter attrition is so high in WOFF that the squadrons strength was always real low and stayed there as new guys came and quickly died. The game, as designed, almost needs indestructble HA's to seem "normal" in play at least in my somewhat limited no-HA play.
And, as stupid as this sounds, by taking them out of the campaign I felt that their great work and sacrifice, and that of the other aces, was being erased and forgotten. 99.99999% of the population would not have a clue as to those names and I wonder how long it will be till they are totally out of human memory and just names in dusty old books no one reads. Whew. Sorry for that Memorial Day tangent. I have personally known men and friends who have made the greatest sacrifice for this country and are now gone and unknown except to me and other guys from our unit and their family. Maybe they'll get a Wall someday. I always think of Roy Batty and his ending monologue.
Anyway nice flight. 56 would be proud and that's how they flew. Always aggressive. HIGHLY recommend the book "High in the Empty Blue"!
After spending a good fortnight or so at a place called "XXXXXX Farm" near XXXXXX, (We called it Mutton Farm since that was all they ever served in the mess) I've finally arrived in France, or am I in Belgium? (Geography was never my strong suit as you well know and who cares anyway, one bloody wog country is the same as any other to me) Anyway, the point is I'm here, at the front, at last!
I'm afraid my first two flights haven't particularly endeared me to my fellow aviators in number 1 Squadron, RFC but more on that later my dear, firstly I must tell you about our beastly billet. They've put us up in some grim old place called XXXXXXX Asylum (Which nobody can pronounce so we call it "Billy-O" Asylum), supposedly the last inhabitants were somewhat compromised in terms of their sanity, little has changed, so the witticists say, but that the uniforms are much sharper now. I've had a bit of a poke around the place while the mechanical people organised a plane for me and there are all kinds of strange rooms or cells about the estate, most of them are full of RFC gear now but I shudder to think of the poor souls that must once have inhabited them howling at the moon on a frosty froggy night eh! A far cry from the endless plains of Australia what? My dear girl, did you know that we customarily let the loonies wander out into the desert and sort themselves out? Much cleaner and safer for everyone you see, the desert tells no tales my silly, dear little tulip.
I went for a wander of my own but of a different kind earlier today, across the jolly lines to see Master Fritz himself can you believe it. Not that I could see much mind you, we were up at 8,500 feet and there was a fair bit of cloud about but I could see little flashes here and there along the front (Which is mile upon endless mile of shell craters! You wouldn't believe that so many cannon shells could ever have been produced, let alone wasted on digging up swathes of French farmland.)
Before I go on I suppose I should tell you that today was my second sortie, my first met with ignominy at the hands of my own eagerness I'm afraid. On that day I was awoken early in the morning and informed that we were to head over the lines "toot sweet", as the French say, with a deliver of high explosive for the minions of the Kaiser. Unfortunately in the half light and concurrent rush to be airborne I didn't glean a particularly good grasp of the mechanical arrangement whereby such explosive material was to be detached from the aircraft and concurrently delivered by bombs to a nearby French cow paddock rather than the front-line German trenches as intended.
My salvo had the mixed fortune of abruptly terminating the life of the sole occupant of the field, one elderly french cow, much to the chagrin of the frog bloke who owned it and who came knocking even before I had landed demanding extravagant compensation for the loss of his bovine chattel. Sir Salmond (That's our Commanding Officer and a right frosty gentleman he is too!) was having none of it and sent the fellow away with half a crown and a set of ears burning from a lecture about how we must "all tighten our belts and do our bit against the Bosche". After the Frenchman had been ejected from the CO's office I was gestured inside by the Adjutant and so I marched in, stopping before his desk and saluting as smartly as I know how, feeling all the while as though my stomach was trying to crawl out my ears. His lordship didn't appear to be overly phased by my misadventure however, he simply asked me what had gone wrong and I explained to him that I had been testing the security of the position of the bomb release wire when the aircraft had hit a patch of rough air, the rest is history. "Not a good start Sergeant, be more careful next time" was all Sir Salmond said but I got the feeling that a few of the chaps were laughing up their sleeves at me in the mess that night and I'm sure I heard a muffled "Moo" or two being emitted, along with sidelong glances and chuckles at my expense.
That brings me to today where I actually had a chance to take my silly little aeroplane across the lines and try chucking another set of bombs at the Jerries. Mind you, I don't call it a silly little aeroplane for no good reason my darling. They call the ridiculous thing a "Morane Parasol" which, to me, sounds more like a french whore's accoutrement than a proper name for an aeroplane. Back at Mutton Farm we flew the good old Quirk which is as solid and dependable a machine as the day is long but this Parasol is a dicey thing. (This is what what happens when you buy second hand rubbish from the bloody frogs.) Sitting inside the thing I can only see forwards and a bit below and too the sides since the cockpit is directly underneath the wing and behind me the observer obscures all but the slightest view of what is going on to the aft of the wheelhouse, so to speak. My observer is a solid chap though, a Captain named Walter. Goodness only knows why the gave me a Captain to ferry around! I'm lucky he's a fairly happy-go-luck sort who doesn't go in for standing on ceremony. "Just pay attention to what's going on around you and do your job" Captain Walter says and I agree with him whole heartedly.
But I digress terribly my dear, the night draws on and the candle grows short so I shall expedite the narrative!
We took off for some place named XXXXX (Which, once again, nobody can pronounce) as there is a major offensive there right now and the Huns amassed at XXXXXX need to be bombed regularly. This time I managed to keep the bombs attached to my grid until the requisite moment and everything went famously! I think I might have even hit the right side of France which is a relief to agriculturalists everywhere I'm sure. I must say however that it was a dashed difficult flight to the lines, what with the bombs and a full load of fuel on board I had considerable trouble keeping my craft in proper trim. I wandered across the path of A flight once or twice during the show and Captain Walter treated me to a good, hard clout across the noggin each time. (He's only easy going in matters that don't involve direct threats to his health and safety you see?)
Well we made it home in one piece anyway and some sport from the trenches actually took the trouble to call up and tell us that we'd done a marvelous job apparently, knocking out a couple of machine gun emplacements or some such so we're off to town to celebrate before the next show. Speaking of which I'd best start getting ready bu before I do my love, never fear. No French harlot will turn the eye of your beloved Sergeant "X", nor will Hunnish shot or shell impugn his valorous and holy crusade in the name of the might of the British Empire. Expect to hear from me again as soon as I a have time to write, I'll try to send a letter a month.
Lovingly yours; in body, mind and soul,
P.S. Whatever you do don't show this letter to ANYBODY! Especially not your parents, the musn't know we speak like this too each other, they wouldn't understand.
P.P.S I'll be wearing my wedding ring very openly tonight and ever onwards. I keep it on a chain around my neck when I fly just to be safe.
Let's pretend I got the BWOC badge to embed here.
Wenn ihr sieg im deine Kampf selbst gegen, wirst stark wie Stahl sein. "The best techniques are passed on by the survivors." - Gaiden Shinji
Excellent report Sir! You had me in stitches several times! I know I will be anxiously awaiting further episodes of the exploits of "The Sergeant"!
Cheers to you!
Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper PSU: Ultra X3,1000-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
Boy, switching up between the SE5a and the Sopwith Pup requires some mental overhauling...at least that's the story I am sticking with! So I am a little off my game in the first part of the fight...
Anyway, back with Rother Nought flying with the 3rd Royal Naval Squadron, don't you know. We were sent up on a line patrol to the Wilderness between Monchy and Cambrai, looking at tall Cumulus stacks at 9000 feet, our patrol height. We had only turned into our northwesterly patrol pattern for a few minutes when we were attacked by Albatros scouts diving from about 800 feet above us. Turning to meet them, I was able to identify them as the older DII model, not the newer DIII. Still, these were plenty dangerous:
When we got back to the aerodrome, I claimed the first one Driven Down, the second: Destroyed. Both were confirmed the next day.
The older I get, the more I realize I don't need to be Han, Luke or Leia. I'm just happy to be rebel scum...