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#4514519 - 04/04/20 01:53 AM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) ***** [Re: Raine]  
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Wulfe Offline
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Swany and Jimmy reunited, at long last! That's just awesome, considering how long both have been flying in the campaign! I only wish poor old Jericho was there as well....

2nd. Lt. Evan C. Easom,
No. 48 Squadron R.F.C.


March 30th - April 1st, 1917.

“You asked to see me, Sir?” Evan stated quietly, standing at attention before Captain Robinson. Tiredly, the Captain looked up and gave a weak smile. “At ease, Mr. Easom. Yes, I wanted to talk with you about your scrap on the 27th. According to yours and your observer’s reports, you broke formation at the moment of coming under attack”. Evan stiffened, swallowing nervously. “Why, yes, Sir. That’s correct” he said tensely. Robinson nodded slowly. “And then you proceeded to attack a Hun with your forward machine-gun? You entered into a turning fight with a Vee-Strutter?”. Evan nodded. “Yes, Sir”. Robinson frowned slightly, before leaning back in his chair and sighing deeply, a look of concern crossing his face. “Well, I congratulate you on bagging your first hun. However, this just won’t do, Mr. Easom. I’ll tell you once more - the Bristol is a two-seat machine. It can’t hope to match a Scout in an air fight. Your antics have now cost me a machine, and it #%&*$# well could have cost me the lives of you and Mr. Wickham, too. I’ll also have you know that the formation went to hell after your stunt”. Evan fidgeted nervously, perturbed by the kindly, deeply concerned look that the Captain wore. Robinson paused for a moment, collecting his thoughts, before speaking again. “Look. I know you’re keen to get at the Hun. You new chaps always are. But bravado will get you killed up there, man! You must stay put next time. Am I clear?”.

Evan’s cheeks flushed red, embarrassment washing over him - but as it did so he grew empassioned. “Sir, with the utmost respect, that Hun had us cold! I watched as he came right into our formation, singled me out, and brought his guns to bear. We might have been killed in the scrap, but there was no question that we would have been if we’d stayed put! I didn’t break formation to go gallivanting after huns and seeking glory, I did it to save our skins!”. To Evan’s surprise, the Captain stayed silent, seemingly giving his remarks some thought. “Yes, I see,” he finally said, quietly, before lighting a cigarette and exhaling a thin blue mist with another sigh. “Well, if you felt you would have been shot if you didn’t move, that’s a different story. Yes, Okay. But, I will reiterate that you are not flying a fighting machine! If it happens again, and you are forced out of formation, head straight home, and only turn to avoid attacks”.

“Yes, Sir. Thank you, Sir” Evan replied, deflating slightly. At Robinson’s gesture, he made for the door, but was stopped in his tracks by the Captain speaking once more. “By the way, Evan. The other day, after the raid. I shouldn’t have called you a liar. I was just in a foul mood, is all. I’m sorry”. Evan smiled slightly. “Thank you, Sir”.

At 9 O’Clock, Number 48 Squadron’s Bristols were all wheeled out onto the airfield - the day’s instruction was more formation practice, and on this occasion the Squadron would be overflying Bethune, to the North. As the pilots and observers readied themselves, each helping one another pull on the heavy, cumbersome flying gear, the grey overcast sky began to spit, and before long the airmen found themselves cursing, trying fruitlessly to shield their cigarettes from the premature ‘April Shower’ which now came down on them vigorously. Frustrated, Tidmarsh threw up his arms. “What now then, Sir?” he called over to Capt. Robinson, who shielded his eyes with a gauntleted glove as he looked up into the rainy sky. “It’s not too bad,” he responded. “We’re going up”. Evan shot a wary look at Ackerman, leaning over to him. “Going up in rain?” he said in a hushed tone, “they wouldn’t even let us fly in a stiff wind during training!”. Ackerman scoffed, slapping Evan on the back. “Well, you’re not in training anymore! Come on, let’s get it over with”.

Robinson’s machine lurched forwards, cutting through the rain and lifting heavily into the air. Next was Tidmarash’s Bristol, and then Evan rolled forwards, nervously lifting from the ground, swaying unsteadily in the wind. With a shaky, uncertain hand he found his position in the formation, as the Bristols of ‘A’ flight and ‘B’ flight turned lazily towards Bethune. The wind buffeted the five machines of ‘B’ flight around fiercely, and Evan shivered helplessly in his cockpit, and on more than one occasion he felt an instant of blind panic as the wind attempted to crash his machine into Holliday’s Bristol on his right. Across from the ‘V’ that formed their flight, he saw Tidmarsh being similarly rocked about.

The patrol, apart from the treachery of the weather, went by with no sight of the Hun, and Evan was very thankful to reach terra firma once the flight returned. The weather only worsened as the day went on, continuing on through into the night. As Evan lay down in his cot that night, he listened to the rain on the tin roof of the Nissen, the soft drumming becoming something of a lulling melody. Since he was a child, he had always loved the sound of the rain, particularly at night. It offered a strange romance, even in this war in which he found himself. As his eyes fell heavy, his thoughts drifted. He had been in the war for eleven days. It felt like eleven months.

The rain was, seemingly, endless, and continued on right through March 31st. Evan decided to have a long lie, before eventually rising, feeling truly well-rested for the first time since he had arrived at Number 48. As he stirred, he noticed Rast sitting at the writing-desk, a pen in his hand hovering pensively over the paper. At the sound of Evan stirring, the big Australian turned round and flashed a sharp-toothed grin. “Morning, sleepyhead!” he crooned, checking his watch in an overly dramatic manner. “Get yer’ beauty sleep?”. Evan laughed faintly. “I most definitely did. Best sleep I’ve had since I got to France!” he replied, allowing his head to fall back on the pillow. With his hands behind his back, he stared up at the roof. The drumming of rain persisted, and was now joined in chorus by the faint scratching sounds of Rast’s pen moving across the paper. “Who are you writing to?” Evan asked, absentmindedly. “None of yer’ bloody business, mate!” Rast answered. Evan heard the amusement in his voice. “Well, fine, if you want to be like that,” Evan answered, a smile playing on his lips. Again, the sound of the rain and of the pen filled empty space. Eventually, Rast folded up the sheets of paper, three in total, and tucked them neatly into a little envelope, stamped on its front with a Royal Flying Corps insignia. Quickly penning an address, he stood up from the table and grabbed his flying coat, throwing it over his head. He paused at the door, turning back. “It’s to me mum. First one I’ve written to her since I arrived”, he said. Evan looked over at the big Australian, who winked at him before quickly stepping out into the rain.

The rest of the day passed in the usual fashion, with exaggerated tales of air fighting spun by the old hands in the mess as Holliday became lost in his ‘Nocturnes’ until somebody or other harassed him to play Pack Up your Troubles, or We’ll Never Tell Them, or one of the other popular tunes. As per usual, Holliday would protest vehemently until the mess generally turned against him, goading him on and whipping themselves into a frenzy of chanting before the dark-haired pianist would curse them all and cave in. All the pilots would then get together for a sing-song, and before long the Officers’ Mess Bartender would find himself very busy indeed.

April 1st went much the same way, with the weather being just as dud as the day before. In the evening, Tidmarsh happily exlaimed “I think it’ll be our month, boys. The big push is coming up, eh? Did anybody read in ‘Flight’ magazine about the new R.A.F crate, the S.E.5? Apparently the first ones are already over here, with Number 56 at St. Omer. You reckon we’ll get some as well?”. Ackerman scoffed. “Don’t be silly, Mary. We’re here to do recons, my boy!”. From the piano stool, Holliday chipped in. “Our month, you reckon? There’s still poor sods flying B.E’s and, god forbid, Moranes. Unless they can build those, what was it, S.E’s very bloody quickly, I fear we might be in for it, actually”. Rast laughed his warm, booming laugh. “Awh, mate! Ever the optimist, eh?”. The pilots burst into laughter.

“Say, what about this `Baron von Richthofen fellow?” Wilkie cut in, looking up from his newspaper. “Who?” replied Ackerman. “You don’t know? He’s the Hun’s star turn at the moment. 31 victories, apparently. They say he and his Squadron all fly red aeroplanes”. Evan looked over. “Red aeroplanes? Say, what about those Vee-Strutters that had a pop at us the other day? The ones with the yellow tails? One of them was all red!”. Wilkie frowned. “Well, I don’t know. It doesn’t say anything about a yellow tail. Besides, those Huns were all kinds of colours”.

“Well, I think it’ll be our month. The big push is coming up” Tidmarsh repeated.

[Linked Image]

April 2nd, 1917.

As Evan had retired to bed on the evening of April 1st, he had sleepily hoped to be roused again by the quiet, pleasant sound of rain drumming against the roof. Instead, before even the sun was fully up, he was jolted awake by the cacophonous ringing of the alarm-bell. Suddenly - WHOMP. WHOMP. That was the AA gun. Dizzy and groggy from the sudden wakening, he tumbled out of bed. “What the bloody hell is going on?!” he heard Rast cry in the dark, and then a string of profanities as the big Australian tripped over something, crashing heavily down in the dark. There was a splash of dim blue pre-dawn light as Ackerman threw the door open, poking his head out. “Hell, it’s another raid!” he cried. Evan, quickly becoming awake, scrambled for his uniform in the dark. “Damned Huns! What bloody time is it?” he cried, stumbling out onto the aerodrome - a scene of chaos. Pilots, Engineers and NCOs were running every which-way, as Robinson emerged half-dressed from his Bessoneau, barking orders at whoever he could get to listen. In what little light there was, Evan could see the little yellow flashes of Archie, occasionally revealing the silhouette of a German machine. Rast joined him, lighting a cigarette and staring upwards contemptuously. “It’ll be those bloody Rolands again. Well, bugger ‘em! They’ll never hit a thing from up there anyway. I’m off back to bed”.

The big Australian spat on the floor, flicked his cigarette and retreated angrily back into the Bessoneau. Evan watched in amazement as he climbed back into his cot, pulling the covers over his head. On the airfield, the mechanics were dragging machines onto the field, and now one or two aircrew were running for them. Evan ran towards them, too, calling out for Wickham in the dark. “Yes, Evan! I’m here!” he eventually heard a voice call back, and, united with his Observer, he headed for the nearest Bristol. “Come on, Sir! Let’s go and get the bastards!” Evan cried, and Wickham nodded. “Spin the Prop!” Wickham cried to one of the two mechanics that had dragged another Bristol onto the field, as the two airmen clambered in. The mechanic obliged, and with a great roar Evan thrust the throttle forwards almost at the same time as another Bristol lifted off. As Evan circled to the right he saw three more Bristols getting off, one after the other. The dawn had started, barely, to break now, and above him he saw four ominous black silhouettes - the same long-winged machine that had troubled them first - and he began to climb as aggressively as he dared. Suddenly there was a series of flashes, followed by percussive booms that chilled Evan. As he looked over the side of his machine, he turned cold as he saw several buildings on fire, as well as a Bristol engulfed in flames on the aerodrome. Filled with fresh hate, he climbed more aggressively still into the darkness.

The four German two-seaters, having dropped their bombs, had scattered in two directions - two flying East directly, and two flying North. Seeing the Eastbound Huns were lower, Evan gave chase after them. The German machines were higher, but slower - and before long Evan could see clearly the stark black crosses on their undersides, and the green and brown camouflage on its wings and fuselage. He lifted his nose to the Hun’s level, and saw through his Aldis the Observer of the enemy machine, almost boredly leaning against his guns. Evan opened fire, and for a moment he enjoyed the look of shock on the Hun’s face, but the next moment the rear-facing Spandau was replying in turn to his Vickers. To his left, a flying wire snapped and whipped violently just past his face. Cursing, Evan dove below the machine, turning back to Wickham and pointing hard at him, then at the German machine. ‘Get ready to shoot!’. Wickham nodded, and Evan pushed his throttle forwards and the Bristol shot out ahead and underneath the German. Immediately Wickham brought the twin Lewis guns to bear, firing upwards into the enemy machine. The enemy aircraft seemed to jolt strangely in the air, and a moment later its upper left wing buckled, bending upwards for a moment as the aircraft lazily listed and then severing entirely, at which point the Hun aircraft dropped almost straight downward. As Evan watched, grimly satisfied, he saw the machine’s other wings sever, one by one, spinning and shimmering like confetti in the dawn haze. He looked around for the other German, but saw nothing. Still seething, he turned for home.

He landed onto a scene of chaos, with several fires blazing on the aerodrome. As he came in to land he saw one or two Nissen Huts collapsed, and the ‘C’ Flight office partially collapsed. Taking care to avoid the still-burning wreck of the Bristol on the aerodrome, he landed. Rolling to a stop and switching off, he clambered down from his machine and ran towards the Huts, rounding the Nissen at the edge of the aerodrome before stopping dead in his tracks. Immediately, his anger turned to ash, his legs nearly gave, and a feeling of dreadful sickness came over him.

Ahead of him was a Nissen Hut, his Nissen Hut, crumpled and smouldering, its centre collapsed inward. At the door, a Corporal dragged out the horribly twisted body of Rast. Running to the Corporal’s side, he watched, numb, as the NCO laid the big Australian down. “Is he…” Evan started to say, his voice hoarse and foriegn to him. The Corporal sighed deeply. “Yes, Sir. ‘Fraid so”.

The full sunrise revealed the chaos that had unfolded. Three craters, larger than the results of the first raid, had laid waste to the airfield. Evan realised that it was a miracle he’s missed them in the dark. One bomb had landed in amongst the NCO’s tents, uprooting several of them, and two Nissen Huts had been leveled. The mess, the C.O’s office, and the Flight Offices had all lost their windows, and the ‘C’ flight office was partly collapsed, the wooden roof still smouldering slightly.


Later that day, to his horror, Evan learned that the Bristol which had burned had taken a pilot and observer of ‘A’ flight with it. Two engineers had also been killed, and Tidmarsh, who had caught up to the Huns that had turned North, had been wounded in the arm. Fortunately, he'd barely been grazed, and was otherwise okay.

The birds chirped happily, contrasting the sound of crackling, burning wood.


Last edited by Wulfe; 04/04/20 01:57 AM.
#4514522 - 04/04/20 02:12 AM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 164
epower Offline
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Posts: 164
March 25, 1917 - Folkestone, England

I really must do better as a diarist. My chronicle is a mess. Entries for September got choppy and after that everything is total chaos. I’ve found these pages but I suspect I’ve lost more than a few. This won’t do, Oliver.
________________________________________________________


September 9, 1916 - Oxford, England

Arrived today at Oxford and No.1 School for Military Aeronautics. Here for the next four weeks I will learn the intricacies and science behind the aeroplanes we’ll fly. We’re billeted at the University itself, the oldest and finest in England I’m told. Ancient courtyards, perfect green lawns, medieval towers. Student and professor alike wearing their robes of academe. Gothic and mysterious, the place hints at secrets waiting to be discovered. It’s like something out of another world.

My classmates hail from all parts of the Empire. Most of the men here wear collar badges from other branches of service but I recognize quite a few of our cadre from preliminary training, including two other Americans, Mike Williams and Tom Gleason. We who survived Sgt-Maj Mulvaney.

I don’t know Mike well but I did spend a bit of time with Tom when we were at Reading. He’s from Missoula, Montana and was attending Harvard until June of this year when he decided to join up. Apparently, his father was absolutely furious and threatened all kinds of Hell if Tom continued with his “disobedience.” Tom has an easy way about him and generous nature. He probably bought more than his fair share of pints in the pubs of Reading. Only fair since he got more than his proper share of attention from the ladies there. No doubt because he always knows just what to say to them, while I stand mute, desperately struggling for some clever turn of phrase. It helps that he’s tall, much taller than me, and has these intense almost black eyes that stare out over a hawk nose. He’s a wiseass, very funny and remarkably adept at vocal imitations. His version of the Kaiser in the harem of the Turkish Sultan had us all in stitches.

I like him the best. I think we’re going to be friends.


September 13, 1916

Back at school. I wondered if I would find book learning difficult after three years at sea, but apparently old habits die slowly. So much to absorb. I’m writing volumes worth of notes and it’s only the first week. Our day begins at 6 o’clock followed by breakfast, then a parade where we are inspected. We then break into smaller groups for classroom instruction and two shorter sessions of practical work. These might include practical exercises like working the wireless telegraph or the using the observation camera. The craft and science of aerial observation is a topic of major emphasis. Fascinating how the front looks from the air. Classes end at 4pm after which our time is our own. I hear that most weekends we’ll be given leave.

I found the gymnasium today. Judging from the excellent equipment, they must take both gymnastics and boxing seriously here at Oxford. There’s even one of the full-height heavy bags like Mr. Fairbairn uses. I raised some eyebrows when I started practicing kicks but nobody said anything. Tom boxed at school so I’ll see if I can get him to join me. Wonderful to break a sweat and get back to training again after all this time. I’m huffing and my tongue is hanging out. I am so unfit. Work to do here, Oliver!


September 15, 1916

The SMA curriculum is most eclectic. We’re learning about the Lewis gun in great detail. I may not be artistic but I’ve drawn the blasted thing in exploded view 3 times now. In addition to knowing every part of the disassembled weapon, I must be able to replace a broken bolt. Not in flight, I trust! This morning we had lessons on mess room etiquette and then delved into the inner workings of the aneroid barometer. In the afternoon we continued our course in “sail making.” Do commanders in France really expect pilots to patch their own machines? Nothing on the basics of aeronautics yet. I can’t wait until they teach us how an aeroplane flies!


September 19, 1916

First test today. I was worried as we approached this examination and hit the books very hard. Unnecessary in the end. These so-called examinations are simple affairs and little more than a test of rote learning. Bring me a challenge for Pete’s sake. Discipline here seems a bit loose compared to the taut ship that was preliminary training. Some of the men don’t even roll out of bed consistently for morning parade. They'd rue the day trying that on Astoria. Imagine turning up late for a watch. Hah! The boys would bloody them up something awful and Smokey would put their broken bodies off at the next port...assuming he didn't them send the over the side.

I don’t know what to make of the SMA. It’s not what I expected.


September 22, 1916

Some of the lads are heading to London for the weekend. I'm sorely tempted but it’s raining buckets and not likely to stop. I’ll join them next weekend. I’ve let my return to training get in the way of my studies and must do some catch up. Besides, I’ve found something here, one of Oxford’s mysteries revealed at last

The Bodlean Library!

[Linked Image]

It’s immense, and very old. Smelling of leather and old varnish. I could wander this place for days. There must be millions of books here. If only Father could see it.


September 25 , 1916

Well, that’s torn it! Four of the weekend travelers returned late Sunday night and got into a scrape with one of our Sergeant pilots. Cooper, I think. Nobody knew who was involved so we all caught it. The CO really put his foot down instituted and ‘Study Parades’ for the week which means we’re expected to remain in our rooms when studying. For all practical purposes we’re CB – “Confined to Barracks” all week. And leave next weekend is cancelled. I was going to London. Those bastards!


September 28, 1916

Four days of this confinement, I can’t stand it any longer. Dammit all!... or “Bugger this!” as my English pals would say. I’m going out. To the Bodlean.

Whew! Just back from my escapade. I nearly got pinched coming in but managed to slip past the watch. I think most of them were thinking we’d be sneaking off into town for a pint and positioned themselves accordingly. What was I thinking pulling a stunt like that?


October 5

After classes this afternoon Tom and I met again in the gymnasium. We’re both more fit now so a few days ago we added some light sparring to our sessions. Tom is built like a scarecrow but he’s got a very long reach and is remarkably quick for a man his size. I’ve not actually boxed with gloves since high school and the teachings of Smokey and Mr. Fairbairn are with open hand, involving legs, wrestling, choking one’s opponent, among other very nasty things. For the first few days it was all I could do to keep my feet on the ground and not end things with a kick when Tom opened his stance and gave me a clear shot at his liver or “bollocks” as they say here. He kept crying foul when I instinctively slipped behind him. Smokey taught me better than I knew and it's taken me some days to adjust. Given his speed and greater reach and my thinking about what not to do so I don’t hurt him, we’re evenly matched. Good fun.


October 10, 1916

Ground school, as I’ve come to know it, ends tomorrow. I must say that with the exception of learning wireless telegraphy, the working of the Lewis gun and the science of aerial observation, the School for Military Aeronautics is almost pointless. I learned nothing about aeroplanes or the science of aeronautics. I’m so disappointed. I’m not alone in that feeling, either. Tom, Mike and a good many of the others think the SMA a dud. I don’t understand why they never taught us about the machines we’ll fly against the Hun. At least I found the Bodlean. That place alone was worth all the tedium of these last four weeks.

Orders came today:
“You will report to Brooklands aerodrome on the 13th of October for Basic flight instruction…”


Attached Files Bodlean library.jpg
Last edited by epower; 04/04/20 04:34 AM.
#4514580 - 04/04/20 01:15 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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RAF_Louvert Offline
BOC President; Pilot Extraordinaire; Humble Man
RAF_Louvert  Offline
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L'Etoile du Nord
.

Carrick, moving pictures, really? Hard to keep pace with this ever-changing technology.

Beanie, good to see Karl is all caught up now and ready for the April slaughter.

Epower, more great back story for your Oliver. A most enjoyable read.

Wulfe, a tough way to start the day for Evan and his crew. At least he and Wickham got some revenge by knocking down one of the invaders.

Raine, a wonderful episode. I knew Jim was going to give Swany a ribbing about the whole Holland incident, and well-deserved it was too. Looks like they'll have another day on the ground, seeing as how it's a wash-out again. I'm sure Collins still has some settling in to do so it's probably just as well.

.

Last edited by RAF_Louvert; 04/04/20 01:16 PM.
#4514585 - 04/04/20 01:42 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
Joined: Nov 2014
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Fullofit Offline
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Fullofit  Offline
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Posts: 2,831
Ajax, ON
Raine, way to go to sabotage you friend’s foot hygiene!

Carrick, looks like Nigel is an old fashioned chap. Not easily swayed by these newfangled inventions.

Beanie, it’s insane to think WOFF will keep you sane. Just you wait when the sim rejects your unquestionable claim. winkngrin

Wulfe, now that the air has been cleared between Easom and Robinson the road is open to taking care of business and making the Germans pay, V-strutter or no. Too bad about Rast, we hardly knew him. I guess Evan will be fuelled by hate for the next month. It will be definitely Evan’s month for revenge.

Epower, excellent description of getting schooled and some interesting subjects. Good thing Oliver learned discipline on Astoria, otherwise he could be in some trouble. Or did he? That outing to Bodlean could have cost him.
And finally, some real flight school. Looking forward to reading about Oliver’s experiences in the air.


"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."
#4514620 - 04/04/20 03:55 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
Joined: May 2012
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lederhosen Offline
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Germany
Salute,

now that we are all on lockdown more or less, I guess I have some time to kill...so to say.

just for the record... how many entante / Hun pilots do we have right now ??

danke


make mistakes and learn from them

I5 4440 3.1Ghz, Asrock B85m Pro3, Gtx 1060 3GB
#4514653 - 04/04/20 06:09 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,763
Raine Online content
Member
Raine  Online Content
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Posts: 1,763
New Brunswick, Canada
MFair has Ganz, Beanie has Roth. Harry's man was killed. Off the top of my head, that's it unless you return, Lederhosen. Hasse is a doctor and will be too busy for a while to carry on.

Last edited by Raine; 04/04/20 06:11 PM.
#4514680 - 04/04/20 11:00 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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Wulfe Offline
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Wulfe  Offline
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2nd. Lt. Evan C. Easom.
No. 48 Squadron RFC

April 3rd - April 4th, 1917.


Ackerman hadn’t quit drinking since the raid on April 2nd, and the loss of Rast. Despite their bickering, Evan had known the two were close. He now saw the depth of their closeness, as Ackerman quietly sat in his corner of the mess, left alone by the others, swaying on his stool, threatening to tip over at any moment and come crashing to the ground. It was just as well that the rain had returned yesterday evening, and that the flights for April 3rd had been cancelled, for the man would surely crash and kill himself in his state. The rest of the pilots tried to keep their spirits up, but their singing and chatting was halfhearted. Earlier that morning, they’d buried the five men that had been killed. It wasn’t yet fully dark when everybody decided to turn in.

The persistent frost had thawed in the fields of France, but it was still freezing cold in the Bell tent that Ackerman and Evan had been temporarily rehoused in while their Nissen was rebuilt. The two coexisted in silence, with Evan lying on his cot again and listening to the rain. The sound was no longer pleasant - instead, it was surreal. The raid that had killed Rast seemed to be just a bad flicker of a dream in-between peaceful rain-filled days. In his head he still saw Rast’s crushed, twisted remains.

Evan rose heavily on the morning of the 4th, moving to wake Ackerman but thinking better of it. Instead, he took the small wooden mirror that hung off the tent centrepost, making his way to the water tap on the side of the ‘A’ flight office and quickly shaving, before making for the mess to have his breakfast. The mess was fairly populated, and he sat down beside Tidmarsh, asking one of the batmen to fetch him some food. “Ackerman not coming out today?” Tidmarsh asked, and Evan shook his head. “No, I thought it best to leave him alone”. Tidmarsh nodded, solemnly. “How’s the arm?” Evan asked him, and he flashed a faint smile. “Oh, good enough for flying, more’s the pity. I’d rather have caught a Blighty one, you know?”.

By the time they had finished their breakfast, the rain was back on. As the pilots lounged around, the door flew open with a bang and in strode Capt. Robinson. “This damned weather!” he cried, slamming the door shut once more before turning to face the pilots. “There’s to be no flying today” he announced. Some pilots groaned, others quietly hid their happiness. “But listen up! We’ll get these damned Huns back for what they did to us. From now on, we’ll be taking a forward action policy. If the Huns want trouble with us, they’ll get it!”.

Fire blazed in Robinson's eyes as he looked over his pilots.

"I'll lead the first patrol over Arras tomorrow."


Last edited by Wulfe; 04/04/20 11:01 PM.
#4514756 - 04/05/20 02:24 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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Fullofit Offline
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Ajax, ON
5 April, 1917 08:05 morning mission
Auchel, Flanders Sector
RNAS-8
SC Tobias Chester Mulberry VC, DSC&Bar, DSO&Bar, L d’H
88 confirmed kills

The heavy clouds didn’t prevent the air operations resuming today as the heavy rains have for the passed two days. Naval Eight was to escort three Quirks from RFC-2 on a recon mission of the front sector between Arras and Bapaume. While over Arras, after making their first circuit, they’ve encountered a flight of German scouts on their side of the mud. One of them went straight for the observation machines without any regard for their more than capable escort. It would be one lesson Toby was happy to teach the Hun. He caught up to him and sent a long burst. The Albatros dove immediately to safety. Mulberry let him go, knowing well he wouldn’t be much of a threat anymore. Instead he engaged his wingman. The one with a red prop hub and black 5 on the fuselage. He battled with him all the way to the ground. The enemy had nowhere to go and was promptly shot down over Monchy-le-Preux. Thankfully the rest of the mission went without further interruptions.

YouTube Link



"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."
#4514761 - 04/05/20 03:00 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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BuckeyeBob Offline
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Ohio, USA
Toby has become coldly clinical. I like it! biggrin

#4514766 - 04/05/20 03:24 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: BuckeyeBob]  
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Fullofit Offline
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Ajax, ON
Originally Posted by BuckeyeBob
Toby has become coldly clinical. I like it! biggrin

Bob, it’s probably due to this foul weather. All these nasty clouds ... darkcloud


"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."
#4514781 - 04/05/20 04:09 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
Joined: May 2016
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BuckeyeBob Offline
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BuckeyeBob  Offline
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Ohio, USA
Yeah, I wish there was something someone could do about that.

Wait...

wink

#4514835 - 04/05/20 07:06 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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carrick58 Offline
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Well flown Fullofit, A wonderful little Furball

#4514838 - 04/05/20 07:27 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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MFair Offline
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Wonderful stories gents. First rate! Raine, I think you need to let Toby take command of an RE squadron. This just is not fair.
Lederhosen, I hope you join soon! Just stay out of Mulberry’s area.

Last edited by MFair; 04/05/20 07:29 PM.

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!
#4514840 - 04/05/20 07:34 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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epower Offline
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Trying to catch up on all the narratives and this is the third time I've started this reply. Stupid page button.

Raine - A lovely gesture by Collins. It's the thought that counts after all. BTW, he bought Petrus?! Did I read that correctly?

Wulfe - tough losses for No. 48. Woe to the enemy when Robinson and Evan set out for vengeance.

Beanie - Will Karl be returning to Vaux-en-Vermandois a third time? Those DFW pilots need a captured bombsite from the Louvert corporation

Fullofit - Toby continues his reign of terror over the lines. BTW, that wingman of his completely crackers! I'm ducking as I watch the footage

Lou - Appreciate the tip. I'm not sure if Oliver is ok with taking money form enlisted men, now that he's an officer.

#4514852 - 04/05/20 08:48 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
Joined: Jul 2014
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Raine Online content
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Raine  Online Content
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New Brunswick, Canada
Epower, yes, Petrus was sold in real life in 1917 before it was a big thing. Collins sold his family's Canadian distillery to avoid prohibition and bought it. That story starts about a month or six weeks ago.

#4514853 - 04/05/20 08:52 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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epower Offline
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March 25, 1917 - Folkestone England

Here we are. My Brooklands scribblings. Some proper entries but mostly technical and flying notes. Even with the wretched English weather, all we thought about was flying, flying, flying. Good old Hollis.

________________________________________________________________________________________


October 13, 1916 - Brooklands Aerodrome, England

Our commanding officer welcomed us warmly. Tom, Mike, and quite of few others from Oxford are here as well. Aeroplanes are everywhere. Some flying, some landing. Many wheeled and pushed about or swarmed over by the small army of aircraft mechanics, Ack Emmas, for short. Brooklands is a hive of activity. I stood there with the others watching the machines take off, perform circuits of the field and land again. I still can’t believe it. Tomorrow morning - Flight!

October 14, 1916
Very little sleep last night, knowing I’d be the first of us up. Too excited and my mind was racing. Cool this morning with the bite of Fall in the air. The sky was perfectly clear, but I felt the slight heaviness of the air. Unsettled this weather and I was sure the barometer would fall soon. The dew-drenched grass was silent under my boots. So quiet. Only birdsong. The morning light shone on the nearby church.

Captain Hollis was waiting for me at the plane. Mechanics were climbing about the craft on mysterious errands of their own. The Captain’s voice drew my attention away from their preparations.

“This is just a short orientation flight, Winningstad. You’re not to touch anything that moves. In fact, it’s best you don’t touch anything at all. I want to see your hands on the leather padding around the cockpit the entire time. And keep your feet away from the rudder bar. Is that clear?”
“Perfectly, sir.”
“In you go now.” We climbed up and took our places. I sat in the forward seat with Capt. Hollis behind me.
“Show me your hands, Winningstad! Very good. Ever been up before?”
“No sir.”
“Maiden voyage, eh Winningstad?” Let’s make the most of it, shall we? Contact!”
The mechanic swung the propeller. The engine coughed three times then sprang to life. Slowly at first the machine waddled forward and then as Hollis fed power to the engine it gathered speed. When I next looked down we were in the air! Climbing higher!

[Linked Image]

After a few moments we leveled off. I could see the river now, farm houses scattered among the fields, and the town far off in the distance. Was that a flock of sheep below me? I wriggled round to see the aerodrome behind us. I’ve no idea what expression was on my face, but after looking at me for a long moment, Captain Hollis began weaving the plane left and right and back again. He climbed and dipped, tipping the wings a bit from side to side. I was laughing. It was like the riding the roller coaster at Idora Park when I was little. My jaws ached from the rictus of a smile. No doubt I appeared completely deranged, caught as I was between pure child-like wonder and open-mouthed astonishment. As I turned around to look at Captain Hollis once more, he winked at me. Was that the trace of a smile I saw on his face?

[Linked Image]

Too soon we landed back at the field.

“Send the next man over,” said Captain Hollis as I climbed back onto solid ground.
I walked back to our cadre who had assembled to watch my flight.
“He’s grinning like a lunatic,” said Jenkins. Everyone laughed. Mike and Tom came over with congratulations. “That looked ripping, Oliver. What was it like?” asked Mike.
“It was…” I failed for the adjective. “You’ll have to wait and see, Mike.”

The remainder of the morning I spent with the others watching as each man went up with his instructor. Apparently, there are never enough machines here at Brooklands so while we wait our turn to fly, we learn by observing the successes and mishaps of our comrades. In the afternoon, I went up again with Captain Hollis. This time he flew a bit higher. The sun was shining brightly through the gathering clouds and glinting off our machine. Below, the light illuminated what looked like piles of wreckage. I’d missed these on my morning circuit. Were those the remains of crashed machines? So many!

[Linked Image]

Another glorious circuit that ended far too quickly.


October 19, 1916
The weather here is vile. High winds and rain most days. Only at dawn or very late afternoon do we have a chance of going aloft. We’re all intensely frustrated waiting our turn to fly. Too often we hear the dreaded, “All flights cancelled!”

Dual instruction is the order of the day. As Captain Hollis pilots the plane, I keep my hands and feet very lightly on the control column and rudder bar, shadowing his movements and getting a feel for what he’s doing to make the aeroplane go this way and that. Lightly is the way. On other circuits I’m permitted to take the controls myself. Communication is primitive at best. When he wants my attention Captain Hollis bangs on the seat with a great monkey wrench he carries. Before we set off, he always explains what we’re to do on the flight and what the banging of the wrench means. The signal I must always remember is the three sharp cracks in a row. That’s his order for taking back control of the machine. He told me very gently that he’d brain me with the wrench if I ever froze up and refused to release the controls.

Both Mike and Tom did their first solo flights today. I watched, with some envy, I must admit, as Tom flew 5 flawless circuits around the field topped off with a perfect landing. Mike’s flight, on the other hand, was altogether different. He banked far too steeply on his final turn and very nearly went over. Somehow, he righted the machine and landed in one piece even if he did run off the far end of the field. I’m glad he’s OK. Many back claps and congratulations all around.

I spent an hour after dinner quizzing Tom and Mike about their flights. I’m due to solo soon. Probably not tomorrow. l feel the glass falling. We’re in for more rain.


October 25, 1916

Today I made my first solo flight! Proper weather this morning after five days of washouts. Captain Hollis took me up at dawn for more dual instruction. After 10 minutes he took back control and landed. I thought something was wrong until I saw him climbing out of the cockpit.

“Off you go, Winningstad. Five circuits within sight of the field then land right back here. Keep it under 500 feet and make sure to keep your speed up when climbing.”

"YES, SIR!"

Easy on the throttle, she waddles at first, then more power and away. Throttle open now, slight back pressure, not too much, and I’m aloft. To my left the rising sun over the old church. Glorious.

[Linked Image]

No sightseeing, Oliver! The first turn is coming. Easy into to it, nice shallow bank, a small step on the rudder bar. Don’t skid! Now roll back out and level her wings. Repeat. The last two circuits were spot on. I've got the hang of this. Final circuit. Now for the turn into the field. Just right. I’m lined up right down the middle. Throttle back a touch, easy, easy, I’m over the trees. Whew! I have this now. Steady. Flatten her gently and graceful touch down...just perfect.

“As when in the fullness of Autumn the leaf, set free from the tree to flutter softly, alights in the meadows soft grass...”

BANG!! Enormous bounce. Dammit! I flattened off a few feet high. Idiot! My God that hurt. Plane rolling, so he wheels must work. I'm on the ground. I’ve done it.

Captain Hollis approached the craft and immediately examined the undercarriage.
“Seems to have survived you, Winningstad. Some fine turns there. Let’s work on your approach, shall we?” With that he climbed back into the rear cockpit and we resumed another 15 minutes of dual instruction.

On the way to dinner, one of the ANZACs walked by, "you looked like a bloody roo there, mate," he said with an enormous grin. All night Tom and Mike ribbed me mercilessly about my landing.


November 7, 1916
We fall into a routine. Ride out dud weather, then dual instruction, solo flights. Ride out more dud weather. I had 5 perfect landings in a row last week. Tom and I have a bet to see who will have the most by the time we leave Brooklands. He’s winning.
Everyone here lives for flying. It’s all we care about right now. Nobody even bothers asking for leave.
More crashes now that we’re flying solo so often. I’ve lost count of how many. Everyone survived but 5 or 6 of the lads were seriously injured and had to go to hospital. It’s just part of training I suppose.


12 November, 1916
Harry Jenkins was killed today. He stalled in a turn at 1000 feet and went into spin. I saw the whole thing. It was horrifying. His machine crumbled into the field with the most sickeningly loud crack/crunch sound. We ran over with the medics and the ambulance but there was nothing to be done. He was dead. I’m gutted. I can’t write about this now.

19 November, 1916
More solo flying, when the weather cooperates, that is. It’s getting cold and is always damp. Crashes aplenty. We learned that two of the men in hospital died of their injuries.

25 November, 1916
The Old man arranged for a £50 uniform allowance. Not sure if this is a usual practice but it was awfully good of him regardless. We’ve been here 6 weeks now and what with this weather we likely have another week before we’re done. I’ve resolved to stop writing about all the crashes from here on, but they continue. Today we learned that 3 more men have died in hospital.

7 December, 1916
Basic flight instruction is complete. We all took our tickets today. Tom and Mike too. I lost the perfect landings bet by a wide margin, so I'm buying drinks in the pub tonite.
I made a special point to thank Captain Hollis before we departed, but really, how can I properly thank the man who taught me to fly?

[Linked Image]


Last edited by epower; 04/06/20 04:58 PM.
#4514854 - 04/05/20 08:52 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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Raine Online content
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New Brunswick, Canada
Epower, yes, Petrus was sold in real life in 1917 before it was a big thing. Collins sold his family's Canadian distillery to avoid prohibition and bought it. That story starts about a month or six weeks ago.

#4514855 - 04/05/20 08:58 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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Fullofit Offline
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Ajax, ON
Thanks Carrick, the problem with these little furballs is nobody stays put and after a while, after taking care of one enemy, all the others are gone. It’s difficult to get more than one unless you happen to be positioned on their route home.

MFair, you seem to have a big biff with Toby, must be this Hunnish personality. Stay in character my friend.
I’ll tell you what. If Mulberry ever hit’s 100, he’ll volunteer to be transferred to a Fee squadron, pending Raine’s approval.

Epower, I’m not sure what has gotten into him. I suspect he was trying to stay in formation during the furball.


"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."
#4514858 - 04/05/20 09:17 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
Joined: Nov 2014
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Fullofit Offline
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Fullofit  Offline
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Ajax, ON
Epower, I really enjoy your flight school notes. Looking forward to the advanced training recollections.


"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."
#4514861 - 04/05/20 09:56 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 164
epower Offline
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epower  Offline
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Originally Posted by Raine
Epower, yes, Petrus was sold in real life in 1917 before it was a big thing. Collins sold his family's Canadian distillery to avoid prohibition and bought it. That story starts about a month or six weeks ago.


I did see that James sold his family distillery awhile back but I had no idea about the historical Petrus sale. "Fascinating," as a certain-point-eared alien used to say.

I came to this Campaign one week ago. FWIW, mine was not an insignificant knowledge of the Great War having been raised on it practically from the cradle, but without doubt I've learned more about that mighty conflict in the last week than in the previous two years combined. <S>

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