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#4127991 - 06/02/15 04:58 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Almost There
Sgt, B Flight
2 Sgn, Rfc
Flanders, France.





2 June 1915.



The Sqn Commander had me up doing circuits this morning. Then Tea with Biscuits and Jam. Followed by lectures and making ready for afternoon Orientation Hop.

1305 hrs Departed with 2 ships up to the lines then broke off and flew East till I spotted a River and followed it back towards the Field.

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#4128060 - 06/02/15 07:02 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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a shack in da woods
Arnold did a couple laps around Colmar airfield and then found a balloon nearby.



#4128271 - 06/03/15 02:00 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Antigua, Guatemala
Journal Entry - June 2, 1915

Today was a day of training and getting to know the area around St. Pol. I've been assigned 2nd Lieutenant Edmund Thayer as my observer and you can't imagine how happy I am about that. He flew over from England with me and we found that the only thing separating us is our rank, he is quite the comedian and I imagine working with him will be quite a pleasure.

We got an early start and initially flew a few circuits around the local area learning the landmarks and getting comfortable with our bus. Since I'm a lowly Sub-Lieutenant I've been assigned a B.E.2c and if the truth be told, is a very stable and easy to fly aeroplane, but it is incredibly slow. After our morning training flights we landed and had a spot of lunch with the rest of the boys in the mess. Our afternoon schedule was to fly up to the front and keeping on our side of the front we were to fly a few miles along the front and then return. This being our second day in France, we were both just a little anxious as to what the front had in store for us. Before we took off, 2nd lieutenant Thayer had plotted what he felt would be the best route for our inspection flight and away we went. I can only imagine Thayer was thinking when we reached the front, but I know that I was speechless. I don't believe I have ever witnessed a place as desolate and unforgiving as that small patch of the front that we witnessed. It looks completely sterile, but it is teeming with men that are determined to kill each other in the most gruesome of ways. I thank God that my brothers are too young for service and that I was fortunate enough to be selected for the flying service. I eventually turned for home and the trip home was certainly much more subdued that the flight out. All in all, it was a tiring and very sobering day. I've just been informed that tomorrow I start working for real. I only hope that when the chips are down I can fulfill my duty with honor.

I've included a few photographs that Thayer took with his Browning.

Here is the local supply train.


Our home


Thayer, he didn't want his picture taken


Dunkerque


Desolation of the Front


Unfortunate souls at the front


Member and provider of banjo music for the Illustrious BOC
#4128279 - 06/03/15 02:44 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Maritime Oregon.
February, 12 1915,

Flight Log of Sous-leutenant Gerald Anoise: Flying from Etampes to Belfort-Chaux by way of Epinal-Mirecourt.


So today is the big day, I start my flight to the last Escadrille in France flying Bleriot-XI-Militaires,

BL-47, originally from Rheims, but since the Alsace region is not so busy, the big wigs at Armee d' la Aire have shipped the squad and their old workhorses, to sunny, (and cold) E-SE France in foothills of the Vosges. Word has it we will be flying cover escort for a Maurice Farman squad at Chaux, Esc. MF-29.

It is a cold morning, I have layered up in most of my clothes and the sheepskin sidcot to make packing my kit easier. But surprise. I have a companion. Emmanuel Poitiere also headed to Chaux. He is a Sargeant and has been interning at observation and running the Chaux aircraft shop. He was at Etampes readying our latest 'new' aircraft, 3 Bleriots, and has a bet on whether he can handle a full day of near subzero weather in an open cockpit.

There's a thin dingy fog roiling over the aerodrome, it is below 4 degrees centigrade with it possibly thawing a tiny bit if the sun can melt through the murk. The good thing is the weather is calling for light westerly winds, and a general clearing trend. Luckily Manu is a small chap, and most of his kit is bound East on a train, as is my bigger trunk. Our aero is a beauty, recently recovered, and re-engined with a LeRhone 7C 60 HP rotativ, with a monobloc carburetor with fuel and air control, and will make at least 120 KPH in cruise. We wait outside while the subalterns adjust and fuss over the little plane with fuel and oil. Soon it is time.

We take our seats. the seating is more snug than the cockpit of a Bleriot XI-2, and we have carefully loaded as much errata as we can safely fit between our floor and seats. I pump up the tank, get the fuel flowing and wait as the engine is primed and pulled over a few times. "Contact", the little LeRhone sputters to life and I coup the magneto while adjusting the tampier levers. Chocks away, and we trundle off. The engine revs slowly build and we are aloft in a few hundred meters. The climb is slow as I get the engine leaned to full revs, we're allowed only a few kilos of additional weight, besides our own weight and fuel, and the Bleriot is going to be leisurely about gaining altitude.

We climb above the mists, you can see some of Paris from about 200 meters up but the mists close again as we circle to the east from our Westerly aimed departure. A full moon sets behind us. There are areas of light frosting on the open ground below and the sun is just breaking to eastern horizon.





We average about 90 KPH while in climb, so to keep the engine well spun and loaded lightly. The newly risen sun is glinting off a big water course to our NE, the Seine, to intercept our eventual guide of the railroad tracks east from Paris. We pass over the train our gear is stowed upon, (we're hoping..) some 40 minutes into the flight. I level the Bleriot at about 1180 meters and pull the tampier back a little.

This wind is damn cold, I thank the assembly crew for mounting a small windscreen, it becomes my shield against the shrieking bite of the wind on my head. Manu has wrapped his face up with a long scarf, only his googles show from beneath is flight helmet. The mists clear more and a bank of Eastern clouds, underlit by the rising sun greets us.





I'm sure we'll make at least Mirecourt by mid to late afternoon, but I suspect this flight will have a few stops. I have marked out a few aerodromes that we can turn in at if our little overloaded Bleriot doesn't take well to our bulk and the cold. But for now the engine spins sweetly, holding 1190 rpm, and we easily hold altitude.

To be continued..


Barmy OFFer in questionable standing, maybe collapsed in a corner?

Join the few, the touched, the moon spacklers.

[image]http://combatace.com/uploads/profile/photo-65486.jpg[/image]
#4128461 - 06/03/15 01:34 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Alabama








#4128472 - 06/03/15 01:43 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Alabama



#4128480 - 06/03/15 01:52 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Great stories Gents. This is going to be interesting. It seems we have some more very good authors out there!


Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from either end.
BOC Member since....I can't remember!
#4128707 - 06/03/15 08:10 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Almost There
Sgt, Rfc
B Flight, 2 Sqn
Flanders, France.


June 3, 1915.



2 Hops today for DivArty up at Lines near Lens. I must say No Mans land was lit up with Heavy and light Cannon fire. Most impressive. I was briefed to mark maps so I don't know if the Arty chaps hit what they were aiming at.


how do you print screen

#4128789 - 06/03/15 11:41 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Ajax, ON
First day of training did not go too well for Alfred. 7:00 am in February in a snow storm looks nothing like yesterday's transit flight.

Making circles around the aerodrome to get familiar with the surroundings would be futile. He opted to follow his flight leader to the front instead and do the circles the next day. The sun finally started to rise and Alfred congratulated himself for going with his gut and sticking with the rest of the flight.

This didn't last long and a different feeling crept into his gut. A strange noise announced a system failure and Alfred with his observer quickly turned home with terror on their faces. Fortunately it was not far and eventually he was able to find the base through the snow storm which did not stop even for a second. After landing Alfred thought he found the source of the failure as there was a small leak in the cockpit, but after showing it to his mechanic he found out to his disgust that the source of the leak was his observer, who relieved himself sometime after the failure occurred. He will re-fly the mission tomorrow and have a talk with his observer.


"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."
#4128792 - 06/03/15 11:53 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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a shack in da woods
Glad you didn't fry your pilot on that system failure. Think Funeral Pyre... I had one that wound up with front engine afire. Cut the mix to off on a throttle wheel, but had too much altitude to get down quickly. Then I dove as fast as could be without ripping the craft apart. That put out the fire, but the pilot was wounded too much to return back for duty.

Last edited by MudWasp; 06/03/15 11:54 PM. Reason: fat fingered misspells
#4128825 - 06/04/15 01:42 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Ajax, ON
MudWasp: My observer also doubles as a firewall (with automatic sprinkler I may add).


"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."
#4128827 - 06/04/15 01:51 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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a shack in da woods
In better weather it is easier.
Clear view after pass, roll, cut throttle, line up with head to side, release bombs.... is my fun way winkngrin copter

#4128833 - 06/04/15 02:25 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Lewis Offline
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Maritime Oregon.
Bon Sang!

What a trip this has become, Myself and Manu are now residing overnight in a small hostelery outside of the town of Troyes. Yes, our little Bleriot has developed a problem, an intermittent sparking, or mixture problems, maybe even water in the fuel, but it's too cold and not enough tools to diagnose our plane's condition this afternoon. As it is we're lucky to have landed West of town, because the land gets wilder and more forested the further east of Troyes we travel. We especially lucked out with a relatively flat and unploughed bit of pasture to make our sputtering landing on.

Manu is a bit upset, as he oversaw the installation of the new engine himself. It's an unforeseen he should have foreseen I'm guessing. 'My friend, we're all going to have bad days...' I try to make small talk and defuse his frustration. We, after my landing, find a small land holder with a 'barn' nearby we can park the aeroplane in, more of an open sided roof, but it is sheltered with large stacks of hay and a west wall. His wife serves us a good lunch before I walk into town to contact Epinal and Belfort. Our farmer friend's tools are a bit limited for the job Manu considers for repair, so we look in town for tools we can borrow or rent. We may be here another day.

The aerodrome at Mirecourt wants to send a truck out and haul us the rest of the way in. Manu is stubborn, "I will get this going again, and we will arrive under our own power." he chides me when I suggest we take the offer for haulage. I sort of understand his pride in this, but I outrank him a little. "We fold the wings up and wait for a lift, I don't see the problem." But then I remember his wager, how much does he have riding on this trip?

We turn in for the evening, the short daylight limits us to a quick bit of morning wrenching and I trust that Manu's knowledge with aero engines should get us on our way.


Barmy OFFer in questionable standing, maybe collapsed in a corner?

Join the few, the touched, the moon spacklers.

[image]http://combatace.com/uploads/profile/photo-65486.jpg[/image]
#4128853 - 06/04/15 03:03 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Banjoman Offline
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Antigua, Guatemala
Journal Entry: June 3, 1915

04:00 comes awfully early when you've made the mistake of staying up too late, oh well, that's life in the Royal Navy. I've been waiting for this day to come for almost a year and now it has arrived. I've finally been ordered to the front on my first combat patrol. I can't tell if what I'm feeling is excitement or dread, maybe it is a little of both. Anyway, breakfast has been eaten, engine has been warmed up, maps and other gear have been rounded up, so we best be off. Took off promptly at 06:05am and headed off over the channel to climb to our operating altitude. After what seemed like forever, we turned and headed off to the front where we had been ordered to photograph any troop movement along the front just east of Poperinghe. We arrived without incident and began circling over our target while I took all of the requested photographs. It was a smashing good time as we had the sky entirely to ourselves. On one of our circuits two Hun aeroplanes just flew right below us, they looked at us and we them. Before anybody could do anything they were gone, just as well, I don't know if I could have done anything anyway. As we were turning for home, my engine started making the most horrible racket one would ever want to hear while flying over Hunland. I had to leave the formation and begin limping for home. I remember the old salts in the squadron telling me that if I had engine trouble and I had to set her down somewhere other than an airfield then I was to look for a road to use because as they would say, "You really don't want to hit any fences, they can really ruin your day". I set her down and walked the few miles to a phone and had the squadron lorry come and fetch us. I would say, that was enough excitement for me on my first day.

Here are more photographs that Thayer took with his Browning.

Heading out to the lines.


Taking photographs of troop movements


Huns that flew right under us.


Thayer and myself sitting in a field.


Member and provider of banjo music for the Illustrious BOC
#4128856 - 06/04/15 03:10 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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a shack in da woods
I did one flight a day, three were needed to fly normal/regular squad missions. It's the 4th soon.
I've a kite with no gun....

#4128923 - 06/04/15 09:15 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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lederhosen Online content
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Germany
Tuesday 2nd Feb 1915
Home of Mr & Mrs Ball, Stapleford, Notts.

Well, open it then.

Alright, alright, no need to make fuss Mary. John Ball picked up the letter from the kitchen table. Whos Lt.Pennington?

I dont know, why?

Cause his name is on the front of the letter. With passed stamped on it.

Get on with it John. Mary Ball was smiling as news from her only child had finally arrived.
John opened the letter with a knife, revealing a letter on RFC note paper. He started reading, but to himself.
Well, say something. I need to know how he is. Marys voice sounded a little apprehensive.

Says here that our Alfred has passed his advanced flying school. Where that was has been blacked out. He writes. Dear Mom and Dad. The weather has been cold but very clear these weeks, and we are all progressing very well. Ive been learning to . Thats blacked out as well.
Captain Triggers says Im doing well and that I should be on my way to France quite soon. Imagine that, me a Lad from Stapleford going abroad to France. I have passed all my exams and am now a full Pilot. I met a nice bloke, Alan Farmer. Hes a smithy but says he learned to fly on his own on account of his father once owning an areoplane himself. In fact Ive met a lot of decent chaps here, but almost all are officers. I have received word that a few of us will be off to . Blacked out again.

This is all very exciting, and I hope the war will not be over before I get there. Tell Mom not to worry. They say that our machines are top notch, better than anything the Germans have, and that they (the Hun) turn for home the moment they see us. Ill write again as soon as I get to my Squadron. Before I forget, could you send me extra socks, long underwear and scarfs? Its quite cold at 2000ft.

Well thats it Mary. Alfred is doing fine.
Yes it sounds like he is.
But
The thought of Alfred being over there, flying at 2000 ft and such, and with Germans also flying

Now dont you fuss girl, our Alfred can look after himself. If he says things are fine then thats good enough for me.





Last edited by lederhosen; 06/04/15 09:16 AM.

make mistakes and learn from them

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#4129157 - 06/04/15 05:03 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Ofsv Liedenbrock left his Aviatik and approached the group of men who had come out to watch him land. One was wearing the two pips of a Hauptmann. Liedenbrock stood to attention and saluted him.

"Officier Stellvertreter Axel Liedenbrock, sir. I have been ordered to ferry this Aviatik to Phalempin and then report for duty to Hauptmann Steinborn. Is that yourself, sir?"

"It is indeed," Steinborn looked Axel up and down as if he were appraising a horse. "That was a good landing. How many hours do you have?"

"15 hours solo, sir." Liedenbrock replied. "Plus the three additional hours it took me to reach here today. The weather has been too poor, sir. Otherwise I would have more."
"I see. Well, it's not perfect of course, but there is only one solution which is more flying!" Steinborn smiled. "Welcome to Feldfleiger Abteilung 18, Officier Stellvertreter. Here we are the eyes of the army. Very important!" Steinborn turned and spoke to one of the enlisted men. "Caspar, show this man to his quarters!" He smiled at Liedenbrock. "The officers are billeted in various farm buildings nearby. You should be comfortable enough. I shall see you at dinner."


The next day Steinborn flew with Liedenbrock in the new Aviatik. The Hauptmann explained that this was a familiarisation flight in the general area of the aerodrome.
"I want you to see how the lie of the land compares to your maps." The Saxon captain told him as they prepared to take-off. "Go where I direct you. Note the road and rail junctions. We will go as far north as Lille and as far south as Lens. We range further in our duties of course, but this is our home area and I want you to know it well."

They spent the morning flying up and down the Lille-Lens rail line. Liedenbrock noted how the roads and rail line between these two towns dominated the area and were a ready guide to the airman. Two hours later Liedenbrock landed. Steinborn climbed out and addressed his pilot.

"Which flying school did you come from?"
"Koln, sir."
"Is that a circus school?"
"No sir. What do you mean sir?"
"You were rolling all over the sky, Officier Stelvertreter. Perhaps you think yourself an acrobat! Keep my aeroplanes on a level wing. You are there to drive the observer to what he wishes to see. You will conduct this in a fashion appropriate to officers and gentlemen of His Majesty the Kaiser's armed forces. No more trick flying!"


That evening, one of the other pilots, Feldwebel Bruecher, gave Axel some advice on this.
"The observers want a steady base to make their notes from. These Aviatiks sideslip badly if you use the ailerons. So do not use them! Turn with the rudder. The ailerons are for controling any adverse roll."

Hauptmann Steinborn took the new Aviatik for his own use. Liedenbrock and his regular observer, Oblt Kamper were to use an older machine. It was still better than the old 'Arrow' type biplanes that Axel had been training with.

"This is another training flight." Steinborn had told him. "Fly up to the lines and then up and down for a time. See what you can see."

The lines were quiet in the snow of early February. No-one moved in the open, but Liedenbrock could clearly see the networks of trench-lines, they were so clear that it looked like they had been drawn on the landscape.

The next day was Liedenbrock's first active mission. It was no different from the day before, but this time Kamper looked at the British lines below and made notes of anything he considered worth reporting. After an hour the Aviatik touched down again at Phalempin.

#4129213 - 06/04/15 06:29 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Almost there
Sgt, B Flt
2 Sqn, Rfc
Flanders


4 June 1915.

Mission: Bombardment

Target: Haubourdin Aerodrome

B Flight: 4 Be2 armed with 4 bombs ea.
A Flt: 1 a/c Roaming Patrol


Remarks: Jolly good show, I feel like there's a war going on. The flight made a few hits on the field among the Maintenance Tents others struck around those areas. I dropped my eggs and saw them explode on the airfield apron leading up to the aircraft parking area. By Jove, we are in it now.


picture share


uploading images

#4129441 - 06/05/15 02:56 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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CatKnight Offline
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Cleveland, OH, US
Ofz. Alfonse Straub
FFA-62; Aviatik B.I
June 3-4, 1915



I have three missions under my belt in two days and have at least avoided disgrace. I even earned my first kill, some kind of truck near the front lines at Ypres.

On the 3rd we were told to bomb an aerodrome. Leutnant Boelcke led the flight. It was perfectly routine, a fine flight with good men in good weather. Once I thought I saw some enemies - or at least the boys in the infantry thought so for they kept up a steady bombardment. They showed no interest in us though.

My aim was...not good. Actually none of us did particularly well. We returned home happy to have another chance later in the day, but disappointed in our progress.

Hauptmann Holland had me sit out the afternoon flight. As I understand it, only Immelmann and Boelcke went out, and between them managed to bomb one of the French flak pieces guarding the field.

Good enough, says HQ, for the next day we have a new target east of Amentieres. About half way there my engine abruptly stalled out - a leak in the fuel line I later learned. I must have been dripping petrol across half of Eastern France. My aeroplane entered a steep dive and I just barely recovered, coming to a landing at Houplin field.

After repairs I was ordered to rendevous with the afternoon flight led once more by Leutnant Boelcke. We would try for the soldiers at Ypres this time. This is where I bagged my truck and returned home in modest triumph.

Along the way home I saw some of our adversaries. Strange, I feel more in common with them than with our boys on the ground. We exchanged civil waves...



...right before they dropped their bombs on our troops. Rude!




Last edited by CatKnight; 06/05/15 02:56 AM.
#4129557 - 06/05/15 12:02 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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