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#4304013 - 10/18/16 01:24 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Raine Offline
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Banjoman, thanks for keeping up with the chart. I haven't had much writing time this week so I had to add a week of entries in one go. Carrick, how are you finding the Morane?

Alfred Keers earns a wound stripe...

70 Squadron were a cheery lot. To a man we were delighted with the new Sopwith, and we set out to give the Hun a good walloping. My count now stood at seventeen. Id thought it one higher, but Wing later credited one of my DDOOC claims to a passing DH2, whod apparently intercepted the Hun trying to pull out at low altitude.

The next week saw us on the occasional long reconnaissance. These were long patrols up and down the area behind German lines, taking photographs of assigned areas. The tasks were laid out by Brigade and would often consist of following a road or a rail line and taking overlapping pictures up one side and down the other. McAulley operated the camera, which fit into a conical recess in the floor of the aircraft. My job was to hold the machine level over our assigned path and make faces at the Archie gunners below who tried to extinguish our young lives. Meanwhile, McAulley shifted the loading handle on the camera to drop new plates into place and shift exposed plates into their carrying box, all the while counting off the seconds until the next exposure was due. After eighteen plates and about two thousand barks from nasty black Archie bursts it was time to turn about and repeat the performance. Oh, and we while doing this we also had to keep our wits about us in case some cheeky Eindekker jockey wanted our tailplane for his mess anteroom.

Letters from home complained about them calling off the Whitsun bank holiday.

We read news of the big naval battle at the end of May. The papers all claimed wed smashed the Huns, but the casualty lists suggest it was not so clear-cut an affair. Lord Kitcheners death was the other big news. Closer to home we talked of the push that was sure to come soon. The RO confidently predicted next week and the CO confidently predicted August. All we know is that the reconnaissance and long distance patrolling is picking up. I have been in France for three months now and am third on the leave list; I expect to get it by months end. If the push interferes, the Kaiser and I are going to have words.

Rain swept through from the 13th to the 16th of June, turning the field into a quagmire. I got a ride into Doullens with Patrick and Cruikshank, the other two flight commanders (Patricks appointment is acting until our newly-arrived third flight completes its working-up). Doullens is overrun with waggons and horses and ambulences. It was difficult to get a table to eat, but still grand to escape into a real town for a day. We saw a Charlie Chaplin film and a couple of the fellows enjoyed a remarkable new experience about which I shall remain silent. I was tempted to partake, but the Wings medical officer has done a creditable job of terrifying me. Hence Chaplin.

17 June was a lovely warm day and I got back into the air for an offensive patrol from Lille up to the Lys. We chased some Fokkers and scrapped with them inconclusively. Then we spotted two two-seaters which turned out to be the new Roland machine. How they could be handled. They seemed every bit as good as our Strutters. I managed to hit one of them several times without apparent effect. Then the Hun gunner raked us while his pilot was in a bank. By rights the chap should have been on his Khyber, but he still managed a crack shot. I was grazed along my sitting parts and McAulley lost one of his little toes. This was a double loss, as McAulley is a fine dancer, while I prefer to sit and watch the ladies. Such is fate. We landed with a broken fuel pipe close to Bethune, barely clearing a row of stubbly trees. There we got patched up at a regimental aid post of the Royal Scots. Were both out until the 20th at least.


"We landed with a broken fuel pipe close to Bethune, barely clearing a row of stubbly trees."

#4304575 - 10/19/16 11:32 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Ajax, ON
Today was a day to remember for Bernard Sorelle in Verdun sector. The ominous clouds rolled in, then the sky opened and a blast of blinding light hit the airfield. When everyone came to a talk, of new Hun weapon started. Then everyone noticed something was not right. The whole aerodrome changed! This is what it looked like before. Lemmes in foreground and Vadelaincourt in the background separated by some woods.



Now, this is what the same view looks like:


They are now connected making it the longest landing strip on the Western Front.



If it is a new Hun weapon then ... well done!

This change seems to have hit some other 'dromes as well. Here's what Verdun airfield looks like now.


They've finally managed to grow some grass there.

The strangeness of the day was not limited to the airfields either. Today Bernard and his escadrille escorted a new type of plane.


What will they think of next?


"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."
#4304900 - 10/20/16 08:56 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Banjoman: The Morane. It flies nice with a lot of lift and floats around in the sky. A Good Death Trap for enemy planes.

#4304905 - 10/20/16 09:05 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Dudley Nightshade
Sgt-Pilot
RNAS 6
A Sqn , 4th Wing
Petit-Synthe Flanders.

Oct 20, 1916.


Up on Escort when our Top Cover got into it with the Bosche. Our 2 a/c were fighting a mix of Albatross D-1, 2 or 3 Fokker's monoplanes and 2 Two Seat Types. I went back to help. Used all my ammo wildly while chasing a monoplane. It turned very sharply way too tight and its wing broke off. Of course , being right behind, I put in for the Kill. However, I got Rejected.


The Sqn lost 2 N-11's

#4304951 - 10/20/16 11:13 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Banjoman Offline
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Carrick, I loved the Morane in '15. The observer has a wonderful field of fire, but in '16 they would be a deathtrap.


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#4305142 - 10/21/16 02:06 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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I agree.

#4305146 - 10/21/16 02:12 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Dudley Nightshade
Sgt-Pilot
RNAS 6
A Sqn , 4th Wing
Petit-Synthe Flanders.

Oct 21, 1916

Bit of a worry, the Sqn 6 a/c were sent off on a Aerodrome attack. The enemy had an Alert Fighter on standby. He managed to get off and knocked down a N-10. However, we did do some damage although my Lewis jammed after 33 rds,



#4305547 - 10/22/16 09:11 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Dudley Nightshade
Sgt-Pilot
RNAS 6
A Sqn , 4th Wing
Petit-Synthe Flanders.

Oct 22, 1916.

Assigned as tail end charlie for the Sqn's 3 Aces in N-11's. I guess to show me the ropes ? However, Sure enough we ran into 3 Halb's Over the lines. 1 went home the other 2 were shot down. I had a chance and fired off 51 rds in bursts of 17. No hits. I watched as my Flt Leader flamed the one I was chasing.


#4305745 - 10/23/16 05:17 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Dudley Nightshade
Sgt-Pilot
RNAS 6
A Sqn , 4th Wing
Petit-Synthe Flanders.

Oct 23, 1916.


Odd Bodkins, another shoot em up near Loos. I became separated from the flight due to clould coverage. While looking for my flight I ran into a Few Halb's. Smashing good time, exchangeable gun fire till I ran out. Nothing for it ,but to run for home. Thank goodness for Archie opening fire as it made them turn for home.



#4305761 - 10/23/16 06:52 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Germany
Salute

Fianlly after 1 months training to be a temporary Gentleman, Cecil is finally back in the air.
He was in shock though, as he found his name listed as being posted to 3 RFC on Morane's and not his
beloved Be12 fighting scout.




He has become friends with a famous book writer.


make mistakes and learn from them

I5 4440 3.1Ghz, Asrock B85m Pro3, Gtx 1060 3GB
#4305792 - 10/23/16 09:11 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Here is the latest status report. Lederhosen, it has been a long time since I've seen a Morane in the report.



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#4306054 - 10/24/16 08:57 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Dudley Nightshade
Sgt-Pilot
RNAS 6
A Sqn , 4th Wing
Petit-Synthe Flanders.

Oct 24, 1916.

We lost an a/c after doing the Dawn Patrol. He ran off the airfield into the soft ground and went Prop over Tail. Otherwise all ok.


#4306324 - 10/25/16 10:16 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Dudley Nightshade
Sgt-Pilot
RNAS 6
A Sqn , 4th Wing
Petit-Synthe Flanders.


Oct 25 1916.

I went up as a tag along with 2 other a/c for a afternoon Patrol. The flight was strung out for 1-2000 meters ( Might as well fly by one self ) Spotted a dot in the clouds low and to the left dropped down to say Hello. The dot became 2 Fokker's monoplanes. and just like the days of the knights we made head on attacks. Smashing good time until I ran out of ammo. Nose down and run for home.

#4306978 - 10/27/16 11:35 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Dudley Nightshade
Sgt-Pilot
RNAS 6
A Sqn , 4th Wing
Petit-Synthe Flanders.

Oct 27 1916.

I say, spot of joy today. I was credited with a Balloon after returning from the mission. Although my flight ( 3 a/c) did damage the gas bag I finished it off with machine gun fire.



#4306994 - 10/28/16 02:14 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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New Brunswick, Canada
It's been a while since I could catch up with Alfred Keers's narrative...

The next week or so was busy. Most days saw us on long distance patrol, recording rail and motor traffic in deepest and darkest Hunland. The weather was filthy and Herr Hun must have stayed snug and warm by the fire, scarfing down sausages and swilling beer, because on most days Archie was our only friend.

I shall touch only on the main points. The morning of 22 June 1916 was typical low cloud, drizzle, barely flying weather, so of course they packed us off to the area around Cambrai, thirty miles into enemy territory. We took notes about the number and directions of trains on the Cambrai Lille line for an hour and a half, and then headed home. Two Fokkers took off from Epinoy and followed us. When we were nearly at the lines I signalled for Patrick and Cruikshank to continue while Sgt Trollope and I headed back. We had a wonderful barney and I finally got a good crack at the Hun, who tumbled down. But just as I fired, Sgt Trollopes machine climbed from below right into my line of fire and one of my rounds wounded his observer, Lieut Gomm. As a result I lost sight of the Hun when he still had enough room to straighten out, so could report him only as driven down.

Gomm will recover, but Major Lawrence had me do the hatless dance in his office and put me on duty officer for a week. Its a bit embarrassing for a captain. It is usually a subalterns job, but being the perpetual duty officer seems to be a constant theme of my time in France.

The following day started for us at four in the morning when a massive barrage shook us out of our scratchers. Our pilots gathered outside in our drawers, woolen, universal. The eastern sky danced with light and the boys cheered, all except me, for Id learned the previous evening that I was up for leave any day. We were aloft before five in the morning heading for the southernmost sector west of St Quentin. Again we saw nothing until the homeward leg. I noticed a lone Fokker down low, scurrying eastward. We dived on him and my first burst got him smoking. I came about and my second burst stopped the Fokkers propeller. I watched him land and nose over in the German lines. Cruikshank witnessed the kill, which went in the books as my 18th official one.

At supper we were told that all leaves are cancelled and done will be granted until further notice.

We had a free day on the 24th due to heavy rains. I got two letters from home, one from the parents and one from my sister Eliza. She spoke of her work with the VAD. They had some sailors wounded in the big action at the end of last month. To hear them talk, the Hun pretty much had their way with the Grand Fleet, which is disturbing. Thats not at all what the papers said.

On 25th June, I bagged another Fokker. We were up near Wipers and three Huns approached us tentatively. When we turned to meet them they had second thoughts. I caught up with one who trailed behind the others and forced him to crash in a field north of Menen. It was only a driven down for a day, but Wing matched it with a balloon report and it went down as number 19.

On 26 June I attacked an Aviatik north of Bethune. The gunner was a stout fellow and his first burst hit my machine, shattering the windscreen. A piece of aluminum embedded in my goggles and I got something in my eye. It wasnt serious, but I was grounded for two days.

On my return I had a new observer, a young fellow from Leith in Lancashire named Aldridge. Hes a complete babe in arms, straight from school. Descent fellow, though. I hope he does well.

On 29 June we were north again to provide escort to a photographic reconnaissance of Messines Ridge and the land to the east of it. I was with Sgt Trollope and Cruikshank. Sgt Trollopes machine had to turn home due to a dud engine. Cruikshank and I headed south over Hunland to give Aldridge a taste of the real war. We were Archied fairly intensely. There was a low cloud layer at 5500 feet which silhouetted our machines and gave the Archie crews a good idea of our height. I expected Aldridge to get windy, but he held up well. In fact there was a foolish grin on his face every time I turned to check on him.

Then we spotted two Fokkers heading towards the aerodrome at Halluin. They were still about eight miles off and we caught them easily in a dive. Cruikshanks made off on him, but I was able to put a good burst into mine and stopped his propeller. He nosed over in a ploughed field. If it gets confirmed it will be number 20.


"We dived on him and my first burst got him smoking."


"They were still about eight miles off and we caught them easily in a dive."

#4307224 - 10/28/16 11:59 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Banjoman Offline
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Journal entry: 30 June, 1916
Bertincourt

It has been a while since I last wrote anything in my journal and that is probably because of the dull tedium that is life here on the front. The constant fear and stress of flying ever day tends to dull ones senses and it takes something big to awaken you from your slumber. This week there have been one such occurrence that I wish to describe in great detail. We have been flying the Fokker monoplane and for the most part it has been sufficient for our needs, but the Nieuports are being seen in greater numbers and as a matter of fact, there is a new model that has been making life extremely difficult for us. The situation was becoming so dire that I felt it necessary to express my concerns to Major Friedel, who once again told me to be patient. As usual, he was correct because on the 24th a large number of lorries arrived with three new machines for our KEK. These were the new Halberstadt scout that I had heard so much about and I was excited to get one into the air. The men spent the rest of the day completing the rigging and of course it rained all day on the 25th, so it wasnt until the 26th that we were finally able to fly them. I led Manfred and Max up to the front to see if we could scare up any business while Hans led Joachim and Georg on a routine patrol. Of course, the French didnt disappoint and it wasnt long until I spotted three small dots approaching from the north. I signaled the group and we turned toward the enemy. Once the range closed, I noticed that the French were a little unsure as to the identity and nature of our new machines. I took advantage of their uncertainty and quickly separated one from the pack and shot him down. Max and Manfred quickly drove off the other two French machines. What made my victory especially sweet was the fact that these Nieuports were from the vaunted Stork squadron. We completed our patrol and turned for home and upon landing we were understandably in high spirits. Our new machines are so maneuverable as compared to our old Fokkers and they give us a real fighting chance against the best the enemy has to offer. We were a little concerned when we saw that Georg was the only one returning from the other patrol but the others could have landed elsewhere so we didnt worry too much. When he landed we surrounded him to discover the fate of the others and the story he told quickly killed all of the joy that we had felt earlier. It turns out that the two Nieuports that we had driven off hadnt returned home, but had instead continued their patrol. They encountered our second patrol and made quick work of the Fokkers of Hans and Joachim. Georg was very fortunate to escape with his life. This horrid war continues to give and take away and I daresay will continue until its last gasp.





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#4307253 - 10/29/16 02:39 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Give em " E ll "

#4307518 - 10/30/16 03:25 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Banjoman Offline
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Here is the latest status report.



Member and provider of banjo music for the Illustrious BOC
#4307615 - 10/31/16 01:06 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Ajax, ON
Banjoman, thank you for the latest stats.
Both Bernard Sorelle in October and Bruce Wayne in June continue to be the scourge for the Fokkers.





"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."
#4307878 - 10/31/16 11:15 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Dudley Nightshade
Sgt-Pilot
RNAS 6
A Sqn , 4th Wing
Petit-Synthe Flanders.


Oct 30, 1916.


I say, Bit of bad luck. I made the enemy Tote Board. I went out with asection of 3 and ran into 2 e/a on the enemy side.
They were the New Hun buggies The Albatross. The chaps were good shots. We had the Height advantage and they machine gunned both of my mates at low level then got on my tail and whacked my kite good. I took a Wnd then did a Blue Max among the trees while my motor clanged loudly. I made the lines amid an Arty barrage. The PBI chaps packed me off to the Hospital be down till the 11th.

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