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#4137631 - 06/22/15 11:14 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Sgt. Bryan Smythe
Warbird Rising
6th Squadron, RAF
Abeele, Flanders, France


18 June 1915
Another Artillery spotting mission, but again we were too high to do good work. No HA seen.


19 June 1915-AM

Two missions today. The morning job was a front line patrol over Lens with Lieut Williams and Lieut. Garfield. By the time we reached the front lines, I was trailing badly. While over the lines, I spotted an unidentified aircraft, slightly above and north of our position, at about 3 miles distance, heading southwest. It appeared to be greyish, so we thought it might be a German. I tried to get Lieut. Williams attention, but they were almost a mile ahead of me, they didnt see my warnings.

Lieut. Lloyd and I determined to pursue the HA, and turned west to intercept. We quickly gained on the aircraft, and identified it as an Aviatik. I tried to approach it from underneath and behind. The Aviatik did not appear to take note of our approach. Possibly he was concentrating on reconnaissance. When we got slightly in front of him, Lieutenant Lloyd gave him about 30 rounds. We saw a few hits on the aircraft, but it simply turned back towards its own lines. We tried pursuing, but I found it to be very tricky to get into a good firing position for the Lieutenant. While slow, a maneuvering Aviatik presents a significant collision risk because we have to get slightly below and in front of him to fire. All the time, Im trying to fly the airplane, while trying to help the observer aim at a target behind me! Eventually, we simply let him go and returned to base, much pleased with ourselves. After landing and reporting, Lieutenant Lloyd pulled me aside. We discussed the engagement, and decided that by Lieutenant Lloyd would try to help point out the enemy aircraft position once I passed in front of it. We may get a chance to try this new system, as we have a patrol mission scheduled for this afternoon.

Stalking an Aviatik


A good firing position


No man commands safely unless he has learned well how to obey.
#4137711 - 06/22/15 01:52 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Alabama




#4137716 - 06/22/15 01:59 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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#4137829 - 06/22/15 03:53 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Banjoman Offline
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Antigua, Guatemala
Well done Ken, you've really spent a lot of time building your characters back stories. I'm really enjoying the DID campaign but to be honest I just don't think I'm as good a storyteller as the rest of you guys. I'm starting to realize that it is going to be very difficult keeping our stories together because I haven't had anybody die in my game and since I'm not using any HAs that makes a big change as well. Anyway, I'm really enjoying the story you are weaving for Alvin.


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#4137970 - 06/22/15 07:53 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: Banjoman]  
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Thanks. Actually, other than poor Rex, I don't have any HAs (and Rex wasn't an ace, just a VC winner). With Rex dead (the way I described it in a previous "letter to Alice", more or less), they're all regular pilots. And they're dropping like flies. In addition to the plane and crew lost a few days ago, have lost two more planes and crews in today's two flights. All Morane crews. I'm beginning to appreciate the BE a bit more....

If you don't mind, I'll continue to mention Arthur, when appropriate (promotion, more kills. medals, and whatever else) Alvin doesn't have any friends since Rex died, so the focus is moving toward his personal dilemmas - at least till the Germans start shooting back.

#4137973 - 06/22/15 07:59 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Antigua, Guatemala
That's fine and I'll keep mentioning Alvin. I actually think it could make for a much better story since we are both in the same squadron. I think that is really interesting that you've had so many losses, I haven't had a one, matter of fact, if I wasn't such a loose cannon then nothing would be happening in my version of 1 RNAS at all. biggrin


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#4138073 - 06/22/15 11:23 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Sgt Alfred Nash -- Diary entries...

10 June 1915

Finally got the news that the BE was airworthy again and checked out of the Terminus Hotel in Calais. Capt Nash is quite the man about town and I had to sneak away from him frequently so that I could stay within my means. As it is I owe him two quid.

Flew from St-Inglevert to Bailleul West without incident and reported to the OC, Major Longcroft. We have the role of artillery observation and reconnaissance, plus a new role of gas spotting. This involves sending messages to the front line infantry warning of approaching gas clouds!

14 June 1915

Spotted my first "Hun" today on the return from an artillery shoot. Our BE approached the Hun from behind, completely unnoticed, and swooped underneath him to give Capt Nash a crack with his Lee Enfield. Nash managed a few rounds, but probably frightened me more that the poor German fellow in the other aircraft. Seeing no result we went home.


"Our BE approached the Hun from behind, completely unnoticed...."



19 June 1915

Flew into enemy territory to drop some bombs on the aerodrome at Houplin. Saw them hit the field, but do no obvious damage.

21 June 1915

Bombed enemy front line positions. No Archie or serious return file. Saw bomb fall among enemy positions.

22 June 1915

Long recce jaunt on a line from Lille to Menin. Paraded back and forward at 6000 feet, but failed to see a single other aircraft. I'm starting to get quite confident here. We were escorted by two of the modern Bristols, each with a forward-firing machine gun.

#4138155 - 06/23/15 03:13 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: Raine]  
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19 June 1915-PM

The afternoon job was another patrol over the front near Lens. Lieut. Carter was the lead, flying a FE2. Like previous flights, his faster craft quickly outpaced us. By the time we arrived over the front, he was almost two miles ahead of us. As we arrived at the northern most point of the area, we spotted two grey aircraft 2.5 north of us heading east and below us. Carter was too far away to signal, and suspecting they were enemy aircraft, Lloyd and I flew out of our patrol area to intercept, finally accomplishing the trick as the aircraft approached the enemy airfield at Haubourdin. We identified them as two Avitak BI and began our attack as the enemy began their decent. Although it took several descending turns around the airfield, eventually by following where Lieut. Lloyds was pointing the Lewis, I managed to put Lloyd in a decent firing position. He fired a good burst into the wingman and I observed it wingover and spiral towards the ground from approximately 1200 feet altitude and crash about 500 yards east of the airfield. Immediately afterwards, Lieut. Lloyd targeted the lead aircraft, firing a burst into it. However, we didnt observe any effect. About that time, our descending fight had dropped us low enough that we began seeing tracers from the MGs at Haubourdin flying past our bus. Neither one of us wanted to have to face the Germans after shooting down one of their aircraft on approach to its home field, so we departed the area, and returned to base. Although we put in a claim, it was denied due to there being no witness. The report is below:

While over the German lines at 8000 feet, spotted two enemy Aviatik two seaters and to the north of me, flying East over the German side of the lines, approximately 2000 feet below. Dived to engage and approached in from the rear quarter. Made a series of passes on the formation as it approached the German airfield at Haubourdin, north of the city of Lens. Fired approximately 30 rounds into the wingman, after which it spiraled towards the ground from approximately 1200 feet, crashing approximately 500 yards east of the airfield. Also engaged the lead aircraft with approximately 20 rounds with no obvious result. Broke off the engagement after we began taking ground MG fire.


Fight over Haubourdin.


Aviatik Crash Site-Haubourdin AF to the left


No man commands safely unless he has learned well how to obey.
#4138163 - 06/23/15 03:42 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Antigua, Guatemala
Journal Entry: June 22, 1915
St. Pol-sur-mer

Charles Dickens said it best when he said, "it was the best of times it was the worst of times". He definitely had today in mind when he wrote that great quote, this was the best day for me and the worst day for me. Let me fill you in on what happened today, dear reader. This morning started out no different than any other morning in our squadron, I was assigned the morning observation flight that was being led by my good friend Flight Lieutenant Justin Bell and his observer Lieutenant Dick Stephens. We had breakfast as usual, we took off as usual, as a matter of fact everything about the flight was usual. As we were climbing to reach our patrol altitude, Lt. Bell signaled that he had some kind of trouble and was heading back. This in itself was not unusual because our buses have a tendency to go 'belly up' on us from time to time. I acknowledged his signal and moved into the lead position. We continued on and completed our mission without incident. We turned for home and were landing in no time. As we were walking back up to the Operations shack, we all noticed that something dreadful must have happened, but I couldn't imagine what it was. Before we could even ask what had happened, the operations officer blurted out, "They're dead!'. Well, naturally my first question was, "Who?" He stammered, "Lt. Bell and Stephens, they crashed short of the field, burned up, nothing left." I felt like the life had been sucked out of me, I knew that we would eventually suffer causalities, but for my friend to die in such a needless waste was something I wasn't prepared for. This was our first causality and we weren't handling it well, it's situations like these where real leaders are necessary. The CO took over and got each one of us focused on some necessary task to take our minds off of our shock and grief. That was the worst of times. The best of times would occur in the afternoon and Justin would've been proud, but it was still very bittersweet. Our afternoon sortie was going to be a line patrol and I wanted to do something that I could memorialize Justin's memory. By the way, Justin had already managed seven victories and that is another reason his death was so senseless, he was really accomplishing something out here. Anyway, we arrived at our patrol area and it isn't long before a Hun flies right over us. I turn and pursue and I close just east of Niewpoort where Thayer gives him a couple of good bursts from his Lewis after which his engine starts smoking and begins the long plunge to Earth.



"That one is for you, Justin." and I turn and rejoin our flight. We land, I fill out the paperwork and the victory is quickly confirmed because Lieutenant Edwards is within 300m distance and saw the entire engagement. Later that evening after mess, I'm informed by the CO that I've been promoted to Flight Lieutenant, awarded the Military Cross and I'll be flying the Morane from now on. I'm so glad to get rid of the BE.2C. So, dear reader, you now see why I quoted that dear quote from Dickens. What should have been a stellar day for me was marred by the senseless and untimely death of a dear friend. Justin Bell had the same sort of combative drive that I do and I'll try my best to make him proud of what I do out here. Since we were such close friends, the CO suggested that it would be very meaningful if I would write something to his mother, Oh Lord, what do I say.


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#4138229 - 06/23/15 09:25 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Germany
Feb.22 1915
Baron Basil von Borste FFA 4b

Well that didn't go well. While the ground crews were warming up the engines, a lone French Morane flew over and pointed his middle finger to them. "What cheek. Fyling here and giving us the "Stinky Finger". Well Basil ordered his pilot to go after that "Franzmann"
Little did he know that it was that dasterdly ace "Garross".

I think the Fox bit off a little more than he could chew.

end result after a very lively shoot up.....10 days at the Vets!



make mistakes and learn from them

I5 4440 3.1Ghz, Asrock B85m Pro3, Gtx 1060 3GB
#4138241 - 06/23/15 10:26 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Germany



But what he didn't tell them only happened the day before:






Last edited by lederhosen; 06/23/15 10:30 AM.

make mistakes and learn from them

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#4138257 - 06/23/15 11:35 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Lederhosen, that Pfalz looks the business.

February is dull dull dull. For the next 6 months the most interesting thing that can happen with an Aviatik pilot is engine failure! Does anyone object to my shifting Axel to the June campaign? It should shorten the monotony a bit.

#4138496 - 06/23/15 05:45 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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a shack in da woods
Catknight, enjoy the Alsace scenery!
lederhosen, that two seater battle looked like fun!

#4138566 - 06/23/15 07:50 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Sgt, Almost There
2 Sqn Rfc
Flanders

June 23, 1915.

Posted to an Arty spotting mission. It was a short hop to the lines. From our 2 a/c we could see the shell fire hitting in NML or close to our own troops. Request a cease fire then home and tea. Upon landing I was told to pack my kit and go over to 3 Sqn and report for duty. I heard that they were flying a French Umbrella Wing type a/c with a machine gun.


picture uploading

#4138637 - 06/23/15 10:29 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Cleveland, OH, US
Maeran: C'mon over. The weather's warmer.

#4138705 - 06/24/15 03:07 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Banjoman Offline
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Antigua, Guatemala
Journal Entry: June 23, 1915
St. Pol-sur-Mer

Today was the first full day flying the Morane and even though Thayer and I had success in the afternoon sortie, the jury is still out on whether I will like it or not. I'm not exaggerating when I say that Thayer absolutely loves our new bus. He spoke at length tonight at mess about the improved field of fire for his deadly Lewis and I would say that his actions this afternoon would support that position. Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself, let me describe my day.

Woke up to another glorious day in June with high fluffy clouds and a light breeze. We are close enough to the ocean to receive a delightful breeze full of the salty clean smell that I love about the ocean. Since my promotion, I'm now tasked with leading flights on a regular basis and this morning would be my first. It would just be Thayer and myself and Lt. Simon Askew and his observer Lt. Alfred Gunn. Our morning's mission would be a line patrol and it wasn't long before we were airborne and off to our patrol area. We had reached the southern end of our patrol sector and I was just turning us north, when I spotted a sneaky Hun trying to cross our lines just to the north. I signaled Simon and we turned after him. We chased him down after a mile or so and Thayer soon started firing and I noticed that he was scoring hits. The Hun turned away from us but flew right into the firing zone of Alfred and he started scoring hits right away as well. After the burst from Alfred, the Hun heeled over and spiraled to the ground. We were so excited for Simon and Alfred and didn't hesitate to congratulate them on arriving back home. Maybe, with Simon and Alfred scoring a victory it will rouse the rest of the squadron into taking some kind of action when meeting the Hun in the air.

Our afternoon sortie was another line patrol, but this time Lt. Lawrence Newbury and his observer Lt. Tom Stanley would be accompanying me. It was another beautiful day with high fluffy clouds and we wasted no time in getting into the air. In no time at all we had reached our patrol area and once again just as I was turning us north another Hun flew past us also heading north. I signaled Lawrence and began pursuit. After a pursuit of about half a mile, we closed and this time Thayer finished him off with a long burst which must have damaged his engine. The Hun began a slow dive which ended with him crashing just on the other side of the lines.



We are still awaiting confirmation on this victory, but since Lawrence and Tom were right there it should be a formality. I guess results speak for themselves and the Morane is good for what it was designed to do and that is give the observer a good field of fire. I'm just not convinced it is a better flier than the BE.2C, only time will tell.


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#4138804 - 06/24/15 12:24 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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#4138809 - 06/24/15 12:33 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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#4138995 - 06/24/15 06:54 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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a shack in da woods
Man i wish i could write as well as many of you are writing. Guess I'm more of a picture book guy. Please excuse my grammar and punctuation in my feeble try to tell more with words.

BurnHarnd Reinhardt was told to leave Kohln at 4am and to head for Namur. Kommandant didn't say why and something seemed amiss to BurnHardt, but he didn't question his orders. Shortly before when he expected to arrive at Namur his engine rpms started to bounce. Just before he landed in the twilight he knew his engine was about to go kaput. He managed to land just fine. After landing he told the mechanic of his planes engine troubles and was told to see the Kommandant. He could tell something was odd in the voice of the mechanic.

That is when he learned the news that his younger brother Arnold had recently died shortly after take off due a leaky fuel line. More bad news came as BurnHard learned his Grandfather had passed on a few days earlier. As is the custom with his family in Thale his Granfather's corpse was burned and the Kommandant presented him with clay urn. Grandfather's old friend, Uncle Herman, had preformed the old Thale ceramony as there were no more local Reinhardt family members alive.

Kommandant went on to ask BurnHard what should be done with his brother's corpse which was badly burned in the wreckage of his Aviatik. BurnHard asked that it be sent to Namur while his Pfalz was repaired. He went to ask if he could further burn the corpse to ashes as his family custom. All bone and some flesh remained intact and that wasn't right to him. Kommandant agreed to his request, but noted there wasn't much spare firewood and that his brother's remains wouldn't arrive until wednesday.

BurnHard stated he would make more firewood and inquired about where to bunk down. Kommandant suggested the mechanics shack and joked about not having enough room in the massive Zepplin hangers which even caused BurnHard to chuckle...and then think for a bit.... "That gas burns easy and hot, doesn't it Kommandant?"

"What chu thinkin bout BurHard?"

"A funeral pyre for my brother Arnold, in the sky at dawn." was his answer.

"Bunk in with Fritz, talk about it and get back to me in the morning. He is overwhelmed with work and helping him might take your mind off recent bad news. Your Pflaz needs work too."


Last edited by MudWasp; 06/24/15 07:16 PM. Reason: Cause i'd rather fly than write and ima rusty writer.
#4139007 - 06/24/15 07:22 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Sounded fine to me MudWasp. I think you are not giving yourself enough credit. Keep them coming.


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!
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