Carrick, you need to stay away from the bomb shed!
Fullofit, hard luck with the claim. Loved the video. Some great flying bud. It’s always bad to see a mate go down in flames.
Wulfe, that is a very, very good story! Congratulations on the Aviatik, but be careful going out on your on!
Lederhosen, that is one fantastic paint job on your machine.
Lt. Mark Jericho Auchell Aerodrome January 26, 1916
After lounging around most of the morning Jericho, Chambers and Grebbs were learning of today’s mission. Epinoy aerodrome. It was a good ways over the lines but they would have 2 French Neiports for escorts. As the walked out to the machines, Captain Whorton , his observer, turned to him and said, “I hope that French officer that got throttled in Bethune has not been conversing with our escorts squadron Lt.”
“Don’t you have no never mind Captain. Those Frenchies seem to be as interested in ending this war as much as we do.” Jericho replied as he swung himself into the Morane.
The trip to Epinoy was uneventful. Jericho scanned the skies and was as ready as ever for the signal of danger from Wharton. As they made their turn towards home after dropping the eggs Jericho saw 4 Fokker’s diving their way. The escorts turned up to engage but 3 came after Jericho and Whorton. Jericho instantly turned to give Whorton a field of fire at two of them. He could not see the third one. As Whorton opened up Jericho heard bullets slap into their machine. His adrenaline was pumping and he was acting on instinct as Whorton was too busy to give any direction. He could see Chambers and Grebbs to his left and Whorton was still firing. Below and to the right was a cloud and he dove into it holding all the controls as steady as he could. They emerged about a 1000’ lower and he leveled out heading west. He had a quick look back and could see one of the Huns following but at a distance. He could not see his flight anywhere and headed west with one of the determined Huns following. The foe followed them all the way to the lines before he turned back and Whorton gave the “all clear.”
Landing at Auchell, Chambers and Grebbs were no where in sight. Whorton and Jericho examined the holes In the stabilizer. “That’s a little too close for comfort Captain” Jericho said.
“Yeas it was. Diving into the cloud was a good choice at the time but I must remind you that it’s usually best to stay with the flight.”
“Yes Sir” Jericho replied. He knew it was not a reprimand, just another hint to survive.
As they turned to go to debrief they heard Grebbs and Chambers approach the field. “All is well then” the Captain said as he walked to the Majors office
They learned their bombs had hit the target and were given a “good show!” from the Major.
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!
#4458973 - 01/27/1911:20 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
4 Sqn is on the attack. The C.O. sent us 2 a/c over the lines to have a go on a Hun Railyard Jct. The bomb run was set for 2700 Meters, but over the Target everything looked alike except for the Roads and trees. The Leader dropped, but where they hit ? I went down to 1200 meters and lined up then dropped. Hits in the Yard damage ? However there was dust and smoke all over a very exciting day.
#4458980 - 01/28/1902:29 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
For the RFC pilots, life is becoming interesting. I think the Fokker plant has put on a night shift because we're running into the things more and more. MFair, good job at getting away in one piece. Carrick, is your Mr. Notting a short form for "Notting left but buttons." Leave the bombs alone, please! Wulfe, that was a brave move. I'll keep my fingers crossed you get a confirmation by the time you're out of the hospital. And Lederhosen, that is one beautiful livery!
An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins Part Thirteen: In which I narrowly avoid getting holes in me
The next few days were clear and cold, but by now I was becoming quite the old hand at dressing for long patrols. I now flew nearly always with Captain Mealing, who commanded our “A” Flight. I flew to the Captain’s left and, typically, the steadfast Sergeant Bayetto took station to the right. On the 24th the captain spotted for the heavy guns up north by Ploegstraat, or “Plugstreet” as it was invariably called. We saw some Huns off to the north, but they were not game for a scrap so we went about our business in peace.
It rained all the following day, so I wandered down to the public baths in Auchel for a proper wash-up, and then enjoyed a lunch of eggs and chips and beer. According to the papers, in England they have passed a Conscription Act. Married men are exempt. I’m sure love is in the air all over these days.
I got permission from Major Harvey-Kelly to build myself a small shed on the aerodrome so that I can stay closer to the field when I’m on duty. He said I’m free to use my own resources, but I am to stay clear of the carpenter’s stores, although I may borrow tools. I have begun to make sketches and consult with some of the chaps who know more than I about building.
That night at dinner, the dispatch rider from Wing arrived with the next day’s operations. Our flight was given the longest patrol I’d yet flown. We were to fly far to the south, nearly to the Somme itself. There the captain would take photographs of the Hun defences about Fricourt, where the enemy were building the most formidable positions in depth – line after line of strongpoints and wire, much of it beyond the range of our guns.
Rain fell all the morning on 26 January, washing away the last of the snow of the previous week, but it cleared towards noon. We took off after one o’clock: Mealing, Bayetto, and me. There was some scattered cloud around 1500 feet, but above that the sky was brilliantly clear. The smoke from Bapaume’s chimneys passed by on the left and the captain began his first beat – north to south – while Lieut Talbot, his observer, leaned over the side and began to take his photographs.
We were on the third beat when Sergeant Bayetto dashed in front of the flight commander, waggling his wings. Three specks were approaching from the south about 2000 feet above us, and within seconds one could make out that they were Fokker monoplanes. Talbot stowed his camera and we swung about to the west. My engine was not giving full revs and I bled off some height so as not to be left alone. The other two Moranes were lost to sight, hidden by my wing if indeed they were there at all. I cursed the Gnôme rotary that refused to give its normal reassuring roar. And then it came – bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, bop – a hammering sound. My instruments shattered and two spidery holes appeared in the Triplex screen in front of me. I heard Theobald, my observer, firing away (Russel was on leave).
"And then it came – bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, bop – a hammering sound."
Mealing had told me not to look about if I heard a Hun’s machine guns but to simply weaver or half-loop under the HA. I forgot that and looked about. I saw past Theobald’s arm the sinister cowling and straight wings of a Fokker scarcely twenty yards behind me. And there was a second Fokker diving on us behind that one. Now at last I half-rolled. Theobald’s gun clattered away. He stopped to change drums and I turned west for a few seconds, only to hear the chatter of the German’s machine gun again. I banked vertically left, dropping down a few hundred more feet. Theobald was back in action, firing first to his right and then his left.
"I saw past Theobald’s arm the sinister cowling and straight wings of a Fokker scarcely twenty yards behind me. And there was a second Fokker diving on us behind that one."
That is when I noticed the mixture lever in the wrong position. I hadn’t intentionally touched it, but there it was. I enriched the mixture and the engine responded with a healthy growl. Now I zoomed and turned back at the Huns. One of them broke away but the other turned to get behind us. I did another half-loop downwards and dived to the west. It took about thirty second for the Hun to close on us and when he did, we zoomed again and Theobald gave him another drum, firing until the Lewis jammed.
Now we were purely defensive. I weaved and rolled while Theobald pounded at the cocking handle. Finally I heard his drum fall to the floor and he must have loaded another quickly, for he was instantly back in action. We were down to 1500 feet now and passing over our reserve trenches. At last the Hun turned back. It was strictly forbidden of course, but Theobald passed me his package of Black Cats. We each huddled deep in our cockpits and lit our cigarettes. I nearly froze my hand cupping the things for five minutes while we flew to the edge of Albert and turned north. But the feeling of relief at escaping from what seemed certain death was marvellous.
Back at Auchel, Mealing and Bayetto were duly impressed by my machine’s twenty bullet holes. It got us home though, and I’m becoming rather fond of the Morane. Poor Theobald was despondent, though. He'd fired off four drums and the Fokkers were untouched, or so he was certain.
Last edited by Raine; 01/28/1902:34 AM.
#4458998 - 01/28/1911:06 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: Nov 2014 Posts: 2,593Fullofit
That was a nail-biter Raine, had me on the edge of my seat! If Jim needs a hand building his shed, Swany is quite adept at such projects.
MFair, Jericho had his hands full as well I see. A good read, and glad that he too made it home in one piece. As Fullofit has already noted, this war is getting downright dangerous.
Carrick, glad to see Nigel used the bombs as intended and not as playthings. That fellow worries me.
Lederhosen, love the livery on that blue bus, very nice!
Hasse, Swany is being as careful as anyone can be in the situation, what with all the Eindeckers milling about.
No flying today for 2nd Lt. Swanson or his G/O. The riggers found several flying wire fittings on the wing of their Morane that had actually begun to elongate from over-stressing, likely from the aerobatics Swany had been doing lately during his encounters with the Hun. Whatever the cause, they had to open up the wing to inspect the spar and gussets at which point they determined there was a day's worth of rebuilding to do to get the kite back to full airworthiness. Ah well, c'est la guerre. Perhaps the young fellow will see how James is coming along with his shed project.
#4459057 - 01/28/1908:53 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
wow, a few new pages have been added since last I looked. Fdwbl. Lofthoven is still alive, but he is currently sitting a friend's mastiff, who loves to lick. So if I try to sit at the computer, my hand is constantly nudged off the joystick, which makes it impossible to fly the Av. BII that needs constant stick. I'll be back in the air in a few days, so hopefully nothing major happens down in this corner of the front (Habsheim).
Get the Hun! (oh, wait that's me this time). Umm, kill the Boche! (oops, me again) Oh, I got it - Hals und Beinbruch!
#4459061 - 01/28/1909:31 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
A close call, Raine! Great work repelling that devilish Hun!
Sgt. Graham A. Campbell, No. 20 Squadron R.F.C, An Unknown Field Hospital, France.
January 28th, 1916.
After a deep and dreamless sleep I slowly faded into consciousness, before remembering yesterday's events and bolting upright. "Easy, boyo..." said a familiar voice, beside me, and I turned to face Edith, his arm in a sling. I laughed out loud at seeing he was okay, but then felt ashamed that my piloting had gotten him shot. "I'm sorry, Edith, I shouldn't have got so-" he cut me off with a wave of his bearlike palm. "Ach, A' thought the observer wis a goner, tae! He tricked us, but we paid him back, eh?". A grin broke out across his face. In my mind, I saw an image of the terrified Hun pilot as he was swallowed alive by smoke. Faintly smiling, I nodded. "Yes, we gave him the right stuff" I agreed. Edith handed me a Woodbine, and as I produced my match-box I was surprised to find that my hands were shaking. I struck once, then twice, but the match wouldn't light. Edith pretended not to notice, to his credit. Seeing my plight, a nurse quickly came over. "Here," she offered, gently taking the offending match out of my hands and striking it, holding it up to my cigarette. "Thank you, nurse" I mumbled, embarrassed, as I inhaled deeply.
As it turned out, we had been awfully lucky. His machine suddenly bursting into flames seemed to have thrown the Hun observer's aim, causing him to fire left of his intended mark. As a result, despite being point blank, Edith had taken a bullet cleanly through the left shoulder, and I had only been grazed, a thin semicircle of flesh being cut from my arm as the bullet sailed past. Fortunately, the wound was not deep enough to damage the nerves, and the medic had little trouble in sewing it shut. From what I understand, the pure shock of the situation was enough to render me unconscious, at which point I'd been carried by stretcher to the Field Hospital, with Edith walking alongside. How embarrassing that I should do that, when Edith's wound was worse than my own!
Unluckily, we hadn't quite been injured enough to be sent back to England (an infliction nicknamed by the boys at the squadron as "Getting a Blighty"), but, I felt no need to complain when I had pretty nurses attending to me. Edith shared this sentiment, that wide grin of his failing to diminish throughout the morning. Around noon, the head nurse appeared and told us that we were bound for No. 33 C.C.S, in Bethune. After a brief trip by road, we arrived and were shown to our beds. The C.C.S was a grim sight, rows of wounded soldiers, some horribly disfigured. One man, a Private with his face completely bandaged and both arms in slings, asked me as I passed if I could scratch the itch in his shin. Feeling sorry for the poor sod, I agreed, but was shocked to find that, when I lifted the bedsheets, his legs had been reduced to stumps above the knee. Feeling sick from the surprise, I hastily asked "Is that okay?", to which the man replied "Much better. Cheers, Guv!". Disturbed, I hastily continued down the row of beds.
Stuck in amid the horrific afterimage of trench warfare, Edith and I shared a cigarette, feeling rather glum. Surely we were only taking up unnecessary space, we were only slightly wounded! Eventually, Edith came to the realisation that we hadn't yet telephoned Clairmarais! He at once called a nurse, and asked to use a telephone. Upon his return, I was surprised to learn that we had both been reported as missing, presumed killed. I only hope they haven't sent the telegram to my poor mother! By any means, Edith relayed the position of A6338 to Maj. Wilson, who said he would dispatch a breakdown crew to retrieve the machine. We were also ordered to return to the aerodrome as soon as we were able. We welcomed the order, as the C.C.S was a gloomy sight, and had made us feel rather glum. Edith, after a considerably impressive bout of sweet-talking, was able to convince the nurse to allow us to leave, and we were able to bribe a corporal who was heading to No. 10 Stationary in St. Omer for supplies, to give us a lift.
We arrived around 4:30 PM, looking like the stereotypical war heroes, in our field-dressings and slings, and made our way towards the Major's office, in the Chateau behind the hangars. On the way we passed Jacky-Boy, who broke into an ear-splitting grin when he saw us. "Ah, here they are! The damned fools who got themselves shot down!" he teased, and I playfully punched him on the arm. "Glad you're both okay". He said, in a softer tone, before patting me on the back and going about his business.
Sheepishly, we entered Major Wilson's office, who turned to face us. For what felt like hours, he stared over us with his ice-blue gaze, taking in every detail of our appearance in an unnerving, methodical manner. "Shot down, eh?" he finally said, and we both reddened. To my immense gratitude, Edith replied. "Aye, sir. We wir' bein' stupit, it'll nae happen again, Sir". Another unbearable silence. "You are not to break formation, unless you have encountered engine trouble or your flight leader has instructed you to do so. If you do so once more, I will send you to the front-lines. We don't need any dud crews around here. As for the state of you both", he gestured to our field dressings, "You can't fly like that. I'm grounding you for the remainder of the month. You'll be assigned to the Adjutant's office, as Clerks, in the meantime". Swallowing nervously, we both echoed "Yes, sir".
Maj. Wilson nodded in approval, and then slowly sat down in the luxurious leather chair that had found its way into his office (no doubt through some tasteful pillaging by a lower rank looking to get in the C.O's good books). Reclining back, he produced a pipe, which he swiftly packed and lit, blowing out great clouds of smoke that hung just above our heads. We saluted, and turned to leave. "One more thing, gentlemen," he called after us, and we froze, turning round to face him and dreading another chewing-out.
"Graves reported you going down out-of-control". We braced ourselves for another lecture. "But, he also saw your Aviatik fall in flames. An excellent show! I congratulate you on your confirmed victory, and I will need your full reports on the matter". Our eyes widened. Dumbfounded, we saluted once more and staggered out of his office. Once we thought we were out of earshot, we began to whoop and cheer, throwing our caps into the air and acting like a pair of giddy schoolchildren. We had officially gotten our Hun! Enthusiastically I trotted off towards the NCO's Mess to type up my report.
Later that night, when I returned to my Billet, Jimmy Reynard and Switch-off gave me a warm welcome. "Ach, Whit did'ye expect, sittin' right oan an Aviatik's tail, ya loonie?" Reynard laughed, while crouching over and observing my bandaged-up arm. I shrugged. "I thought Edith had gotten him!". Switch-off cut in, chirping that "You need a lucky charm, Arthur! I won't fly without my scarf, and my luck has been up!". He proudly waved Missus Baker's red scarf in front of my face. "Perhaps you should take your tin of tea?". I pondered on the thought. "You know, that's a fine idea, Switchy...". He beamed, nodding his head like a puppy. "...but I can't very well take the entire tin! I know what I'll do". Going into the pocket of my tunic, I produced my silk handkerchief. After some rifling around the Billet, I eventually found a small ribbon. Scooping some tea from the tin, I tied it in the handkerchief so that it resembled a miniature bindle. "I shall hang it from the dashboard!" I announced, presenting it to Switch-off. "It's perfect!" he cried, a broad grin spreading across his youthful face.
"Ye's are a pair o' superstitious dafties..." Reynard scoffed in response, before clapping his hands together. "Awricht! Enough O' this heebie-jeebie business! Drinks are oan me, fir' Killer o'er here!". And, so, the events of the night were decided. We headed out into St. Omer for a night of celebratory decadence.
For the second day in a row Gaston was flying along Adjutant Mezergues to the St. Mihiel salient on a reconnaissance mission. Yesterday was a dull flight and today appears to be more of the same. They were to note any troop and vehicle movements. He was glad they had a Nieuport escort them to the lines, especially after recent Fokker attacks. They were lazily floating over the trenches at a safe altitude and watched as vehicle columns moved below. The other advantage of having an escort was that they could spend more time looking down instead of looking for enemy scouts. The Nieuport would chase them away, or at least warn them ahead of time. Another column went by. Gaston looked up to check on their little friend buzzing above them. Still there. He went back to sleepily following enemy columns when he was shaken out of his reverie by bullets hitting his plane. Gaston jumped out of his skin and looked around. There was nothing. He looked up again at their “protector” that should be watching over them. Still there, flying as if nothing ever happened. Then he noticed Ernest in the front seat tracking something with his forward-firing Lewis. Gaston curiously followed the movement of the machine gun. A pale shape appeared from below flying across their flight path and moving to the rear. A single Aviatik sneaked under their formation and the German gunner was taking potshots at them. Voscadeaux, without thinking much, banked to follow the Boche. They were gaining on him and Becquerel opened fire from a long distance. Gaston was sure he could hear Ernest laugh maniacally. It may have been the wind. They were close now and Gaston could see the starboard aileron had been shot off. He was flying straight as an arrow for fear of going into a spin. Meanwhile Mezergues came around from the other side in a pincer maneuver. The Hun was “surrounded”. Becquerel kept on firing and inflicting more damage. He could see bits of debris flying off the damaged crate, but it kept on going. Not even a small trail of smoke or vapour. And then Becquerel’s ammo run out. Gaston could swear he heard Ernest curse: “ ...erde, merde, merde!” But, again, it could have been the wind. All of a sudden Becquerel jumped to the rear-facing gun and tried to bring it to bear, but it was no use. He paused and looked at Gaston. Gaston didn’t get it. Becquerel “pointed” at the Aviatik with is eyebrows, but was only met with a blank stare. He finally nudged his head toward the Hun and Gaston understood. He dove under the German machine, picked up speed and overtook it. Becquerel resumed his onslaught but the persistent Teuton remained unaffected. Gaston brought his Caudron too close and the German gunner was able to retaliate. More bullet holes appeared in the starboard wing, not too far from Gaston’s head. That was it. The risk was too great and Voscadeaux put an end to it. He let the Boche go and turned back. They were flying too deep into La Bochie. Becquerel was crestfallen. He couldn’t understand how that Hun was still afloat. It’s as if the Aviatik turned into the Aviatank. As Gaston was in the process of rejoining the formation, their escort had left. Either low on fuel or hit by Flak. No matter, they were done and on their way back home. All of a sudden, Mezergues' engines had stopped as well. His tank must have been punctured during the attack and had to glide the reminder of the way, settling in a clearing on the French side and most importantly: safe. Gaston was the only one to return to the aerodrome albeit with some holes of his own.
"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."
#4459098 - 01/29/1901:51 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Carrick, great work in that BE. Hope you stay clear of the Fokkers for a while more. Loftyc, good to see you back. That's an ugly observer you're flying with! Wulfe, another great story and hearty congratulations on bagging a Hun. I hope you get credit. Fullofit, you fired off about three months' pay worth of ammunition at that Aviatik. What was it made of? MFair, many thanks for the comments. Lou, hope your rigging is in order soon.
Jim Collins has struggled to achieve much in the past three days. I'm one day ahead as I'll be travelling again this week.
An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins Part Fourteen: In which I am plagued by the dreaded pest Gnomus Defectivus
"I saw the giant lilac bush at the last second when it jumped out from under the cowling and grabbed the right side of our wing."
“You’re building a shed, pal, not a jævlig cathedral.” Swanson was looking over my shoulder as I sketched ideas for my little readiness hut. “Give me that.” He snatched the paper and pencil and leaned back in the armchair while I leafed through the dog-eared remnants of one of the mess’s back copies of La Vie Parisienne.
In fifteen minutes he threw the pad back at me. He’s sketched a simple hut on posts with stone piled around the footings and a shallow sloped roof.
“If it was made of logs like it should be, we’d make a sod roof and you’d be cosy all winter. But then you’d need lots of birch bark and I haven’t seen too many birch trees around here. Maybe we can get wooden shakes.”
I nodded. “Swaney, if we raise the front I can do a straight roof sloping to the rear of the hut and use corrugated. There are tons of the stuff all over France.”
“Ja,” said Swanson. “But then it wouldn’t be proper Norwegian.”
“Terrible pity, that,” I said. “But it’s the war’s fault after all.” He nodded, smiling. “As soon as we get a day off, let’s grab a truck and go scavenging.”
The weather had turned unseasonably warm and we were blessed – or cursed, if you will – with excellent flying conditions. We flew north towards Ypres on the 27th to note rail and road traffic in Upper Hunland. Our mission was cut short by some aggressive Fokkers, but we had an escort of Nieuports from Escadrille N15 and one of the French pilots succeeded in downing one.
On 28 January 1916, we were bound for Courcelette in Nether Hunland, down in the Somme region. Just as we approached the torn line of the front, my engine began missing badly. I gave Mealing the wash-out signal, a white flare, and set course for the aerodrome at La Bellevue, where we landed, had lunch, and received new sparking plugs.
I got to sleep in on the 29th, for we were not up until nearly two in the afternoon. I accompanied Mealing back to the Somme, Posières this time, where we were to disturb the Huns’ postprandial somnolence with our Hays bombs. Halfway there, the motor began a hellish rattle and I switched off quickly to avoid the risk of the entire engine assembly departing the aircraft without leave. Looking down, I realised how very lucky we were, for the fields near Izel lay below, although there seemed to be machines all over the place. Savy lay only a short glide to the north. It was open and flat and relatively devoid of bothersome poplars. Savy it would be then, I decided.
We glided down to Savy without incident and I turned to the field with plenty of height. Only then did I discover how strong the wind gusts had become. The Morane seemed to hover in place. I put the nose down to avoid stalling. Until the last second I was sure we’d make it, but then I knew we’d land short of the mowed field. It didn’t matter much, though. The edges of the field were not too rough.
I saw the giant lilac bush at the last second when it jumped out from under the cowling and grabbed the right side of our wing. The Morane lurched to a halt in a couple of feet and I heard Theobald’s head on his windscreen, accompanied by loud Anglo-Saxon assertions of my mental inferiority, low birth, and romantic proclivities. We were down safely once again.
#4459107 - 01/29/1903:13 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: Nov 2014 Posts: 2,593Fullofit
Raine, I think Becquerel loads rubber bullets in his drums. Also, I don’t think he is such a good shot, but don’t tell him that. Very engaging story and it looks like the Gnome Curse had befallen your pilot in addition to Lou and Scout. They must be British made rotaries. Nice touch making that lilac bush so viciously aggressive. Good luck with your travels. Watch out for the polar vortex.
"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."
#4459122 - 01/29/1904:40 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Back on the active duty roster. My bullet-gouged calf still hurts like hell and makes entering and exiting the cockpit a slow process. Was very happy to find out this morning that Chris has been reassigned to me as observer/gunner. Stone-faced 'Jimmy' wasn't really my type and pretty glad to not have him on board.
We flew a recon patrol over the frontlines southeast of Armentieres near the Lys River, lead by Lt Jones and his observer Captain Marshall. Captains Davis and Buckminster were assigned to cover us in their Bristol Scouts, and by God if they didn't actually do so rather than gallivanting about looking for glory as usual.
An easy mission with no interference by the Boch.
#4459139 - 01/29/1911:02 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Was to be an easy raid on Esc.49 at Fontaine. So after finishing our beer and bratwurst breakfast while waiting for the wogs to ready our "Blue Dragon", we mount our beast and head off south.
Things may be slow in this sector but the view of the land is one that makes the heart pound with enjoyment. Anyway, south of Mulhouse we pick up 2 Aviatks from FFA 282 also going west. Makes one feel some what safer I suppose.
Heiny makes out the airfield and we line up to bomb. Again we miss target....hmmm we gota work on that. We are finished and I decide to follow our comrades further west, but three spots arriving from the north change my mind. Now we are in a mad rush to get back over to our side.
We just clear the lines and the Franzmänner are about 600m away....500....400... Heiny starts to fire. I'm almost death from the MG fire going off next to my ears, but I can feel the thud of bullets hitting my Aviatik. It's no use, I'll have to turn and make us a harder target to shot at. The noise is tremendous, and Heiny is going ape on the guns. All I can see is the occasiaonal flash of some N10 going under or over us.
It seems that one Franzmann is leaving, so I manage to slip in behind the other while he also attempts to bugger off. I try to give Heiny a good shot but this guy just keeps turning hard to the right. We manage to get a few bursts in before I notice steam and oil start to hamper my vision, #%&*$# the engine must of bought it a while back. Not much to do now but leave and land asap. Lucky for us the enemy had the same idea.
I manage to land near our balloon unit at Didnenheim. Landing was quite shoddy too. But we are alive.
After a closer inspection, especially the tail section, I had my suspicions about Heiny's accuracy.
Last edited by lederhosen; 01/29/1911:33 AM.
make mistakes and learn from them
I5 4440 3.1Ghz, Asrock B85m Pro3, Gtx 1060 3GB
#4459186 - 01/29/1905:42 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Great stories guys. I’m currently running slightly behind in write ups, so this instalment ends on the 21st January. I am particularly enjoying a French perspective Fullofit, even if Voscadeaux’s poor escadrille is taking a hammering. Good claim there Wulfe. Shame about the observer getting a shot in. I do like the report. Superb storytelling as always Raine. You got in your mention of conscription before I did. Stanley's father is in charge of recruitment, so there is something to say there. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Halluin aerodrome was covered by clouds when Stanley arrived. Grumpy Gould had led the flight in at 6000 feet and Stanley could not see a thing. He dropped his bombs on Gould’s cue and hoped that they did some damage. Stanley rather doubted it as the three BE2s turned home. At least the clouds threw off Archie’s aim, Stanley thought and shuddered. Only on Wednesday, Cobbold and Field had been hit directly while on artillery observation. According to witnesses on the ground, the aeroplane had burned all the way down.
Back at Merville the move to La Gorgue was essentially complete. The aeroplanes, repair shops and transport pool had moved across. The officers were still on their barge on the Lys and so Merville was still occupied after a fashion. In their floating mess room, the officers sat as Dowding primly read from the day’s orders. “This is from Brigadier General Trenchard,” the old man (35 years old) announced. “Until the Royal Flying Corps are in possession of a machine as good as or better than the German Fokker it seems that a change in the tactics employed becomes necessary. It is hoped very shortly to obtain a machine that will be able to successfully engage the Fokkers... “In the meantime, it must be laid down as a hard and fast rule that a machine proceeding on a reconnaissance must be escorted by at least three other fighting machines. These machines must fly in close formation and a reconnaissance should not be continued if any of the machines should become detached. This should apply to both short and long distance reconnaissances. Aeroplanes proceeding on photographic duty any considerable distance east of the German line should be similarly escorted.”*
Nearly a week later, Stanley was flying a photo reconnaissance to observe the enemy rear positions near Athies. In principle the BE2c was being escorted by 2 FE2bs from C flight, but the pusher machines were much faster and Stanley could no longer see Tillie or Eastwood. He could however see the Eindekker. It attacked near Thelus and forced Stanley to break off his photography. Now he turned under the black crossed machine, trying to throw off the German’s aim. His gunner today was 2AM Digby, who was normally a fitter for B flight, but was filling in as an aerial gunner. The air mechanic manned the Lewis gun and tried to get a shot at their attacker. There was an opportunity and Digby pulled the trigger, getting three bursts off that seemed deafening to Stanley even over the engine. Of course the muzzle of the Lewis was frighteningly close above his head.
Perhaps Digby hit his mark, or perhaps the German pilot made a mistake in his flying. Whatever the reason, Stanley looked over his shoulder in astonishment as the Fokker tipped its wings over and began a tight spiral that only ended with a sudden crash as the monoplane hit the ground. Grinning madly, Stanley patted Digby on the shoulder in congratulations.
The dinner that evening was a special affair. The officer’s mess on the barge was colourful with the dress uniforms of the varied regiments that pilots and observers had come from before being seconded to the RFC. At the head of the main table, Major Dowding was joined by a Major wearing the dress uniform of the 3rd Northamptonshire regiment. The newcomer was a slightly round faced man who was only a little older than the majority of the pilots. He spoke genially with an educated but slightly rural accent to Stanley’s ears. Like a country squire. This was Major Powell, who was replacing the ‘stuffed shirt’ as commanding officer.** Stanley learned a lot about Dowding in the speeches. When the former artilleryman turned pilot had come to 16 Squadron, it was already at Merville, but struggling to manage flying duties with distant billets in the village of La Gorgue, across the river and to the east. Dowding had somehow acquired a hospital barge for the officers and various other amenities. He had also supervised the development of a cooper bomb rack that had won 16 a prize. Over the winter he had worked on the marshy ground of Beaupré Farm across the river, first to accommodate the FE2s of ‘c’ flight and now that ash runways had been put in, the whole squadron. This site, known as La Gorgue allowed a much longer take take-off run that had proved necessary with faster aeroplanes. Being older than most of his pilots and reserved in nature, Stuffed Shirt cared about the disposition of his men, but had difficulty connecting with them on a personal level. Even tonight, at his farewell dinner, Dowding mumbled his way through speeches and attempted conversations. Stanley felt the air of relief when the senior staff retired and Merton handed him a brandy. “I hear you got a Hun?” ----------------------------------------------------- *This was Sunday 16th of January 1916. ** I have been able to find out surprisingly little about the new CO. I know his regiment, where he lived (down to the house). I know a few things about his family but no photos, and no record of his RFC career save that he was injured in 1915. So the description is fictional.
#4459194 - 01/29/1906:17 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
A couple of 'firsts' today. I had my first look at German occupied territory as we actually ventured across the lines to recon a Boch airfield, Houplin near the town of Loos. My other 'first' was to see 'Archie'; a single burst far away as we passed over the airfield. Not sure what all the fuss is about.
We reached the enemy airfield and returned home without incident, but did not record much useful information as Captain Marshall (observer of the FE2 leading our flight) ordered his pilot to head for home at the first sight of Archie. A single burst off their wingtip and they bolted for home. Chris was livid as he had little chance to make observations of activity or aircraft on the field. Chris and Marshall had a rather heated discussion right between our aircraft after we landed. Marshall lost his cool when questioned and told Chris he would report him for insubordination. Chris shot right back that he would be happy to speak with the Major and report Marshall for cowardice. The rest of us pilots and observers eventually intervened to calm the situation. Chris seemed to get in the final argument when he mentioned that we were back early and the Major would want Marshall's explanation as to why. Marshall looked pained at this and said nothing. I think he has lost his nerve and everyone knows it; I hope Mills goes easy on him.
p.s. I have logged a total of 10 hours active flying in 11 flights. This seems pretty low for having been here four weeks now. Weather and injuries ....
Fullofit, that was an exciting chase with the Aviatik! Always a nasty surprise when the Gunner suddenly gets a bead on you like that... Raine, that Parasol is looking a little worse for wear...hopefully you'll have better luck with the scavenging! Welcome back, Aleck MacKinlay! Lederhosen, looks like the R.F.C isn't alone in its dangerous run-ins! Maeran, a good job there, sending an Eindecker down OOC!
Sgt. Graham A. Campbell No. 20 Squadron RFC. Clairmarais Aerodrome, France.
January 29th, 1916:
Poor old A6338 was in a sorry state upon her return to Clairmarais. In my haste to land her, I had partially buckled the undercarriage, which now sat crooked and gave her the appearance of straining to take off, even as she sat motionless on the ground. The wings were peppered with holes, and a centre-section strut needed replacing. To make matters worse for the old girl, she had sat out all night in the freezing wintry air, with a radiator full of water, which had now frozen and had all but destroyed the engine. According to the Ack-Emmas, she would need a new Beardmore put in her. Yes, the old girl was in a very sorry state indeed!
She had arrived in the morning, disassembled, on the backs of a pair of trucks. It was a particularly beautiful morning - the countryside presented itself to me in a blanketed suit of greens and yellows, and the grass, touched with frost, gleamed in the sun like an ocean of diamonds. The air hung with a thin veil of mist, giving the landscape almost the effect of being oil-painted, and the gentle wind carried great white clouds across the sky, like snow-peaked mountains lazily migrating Eastwards.
After overseeing the Ack-Emmas unloading A6338 and taking her various parts away to be serviced, I lit up a cigarette. All in all, I was feeling very pleased with life, enjoying the sensation of the chilling morning air on my face. At around 10 O'Clock, I sat down to watch 'A' flight readying themselves for the morning Show. From a distance I saw Switch-Off, with his crimson scarf at his neck, nimbly climb aboard his bus, testing the ailerons and elevators. I stayed around for long enough to watch 'A' flight lift off the ground before heading East, slowly becoming specks on the horizon as they purred towards Hunland. Once they had almost completely faded, I decided that I had better report to the Adjutant's office.
Adjutant Lovell was a shrewd-looking, spectacled man who seemed to have a never-ending cigarette hanging from his mouth. Constantly a cloud of smoke hung above his head, almost resembling a thundercloud looming over his disinterested face. Lovell's personality matched his appearance, and most verbal encounters with the man resulted in feigned interest, or just flat-out boredom on his behalf. Apart from this seemingly boundless detachment, Lovell was also irritable and could quickly become very annoyed indeed, if asked what he deemed to be 'stupid' questions, or if overloaded with information.
By any means, as I stepped into the Adjutant's office, which had a currently-unoccupied clerk's desk, Lovell looked up at me with a tired expression and rather nonchalantly said "Campbell? Good." and handed me a sheet of paper with a list of spare engines. "Get to work finding those".
Of course, although Edith had been assigned to Adjutant's clerk duties also, he was a Captain, and so was currently off enjoying a hearty late lunch at the Vincent, while I was thrust into bureaucracy.
Every now and again my eyes drift out of the small square window to the right of my desk. From there, I can see A6338 being worked on in the workshops. Her engine is taken out now, and the wings are stacked neatly on the side of the hangar, being re-doped as we speak.
Swany was helping James with his shack. It looked to Jericho as if more discussion was taking place than actual work but it was not his rodeo. Carrying a rolled up piece of canvas he walked up to the two as they both looked over their handy work. "How you doin' Pards." They both looked his way. "I got you something" Jericho continued.
He laid a piece of rolled canvas on the dirt and rolled it out. There were 4 forged ornamental wall hooks and a set of forged shelf brackets. "Thought these might make it a little more homey for you" Jericho said.
James knelt down and picked up one of the expertly forged wall hooks looking it over. "Thats a thing of beauty mate. Where did you learn to work iron?" James asked.
"Never knew a cowhand that didn't know his way around a forge Hoss. Besides, I still owe ya' one." Jericho replied.
At that moment a batman ran up to Jericho and said," Pardon Sir but the Major wants C Flight in the ready room in 15 minutes Sir, seems he has a special mission for you."
Thirty minutes later Jericho and 2 other machines were on a special recon mission near Monchy. It was a walk in the sunshine as they never had any trouble and gathered the info on troop movements the Major had asked for.
January 29th. C Flight took to the skies at 1100 hours for another recon mission SW of Monchy. It was a beautiful clear day and they had just reached altitude and headed south to meet up with the 2 Nieuports that were to escort them on the mission. Jericho was enjoying the wonderful blue sky. He was looking for the escorts as they were approaching Savy Aerodrome when Whorton slapped him for the signal of enemy machines. Jericho was puzzled! "What in blazes is going on" he thought as he looked around to see single wing Fokker swinging around on them. He turned into the Fokker and climbed. As he did, another Fokker cut across his front and Whorton opened up on the one behind. Jericho twisted and turned as he tried to stay out of the trailing Fokker's guns while trying to give Whorton a shot at the same time. He heard bullets slap into the canvas. It was all happening too fast! "How many? Where is the other one?" Jericho's racing thoughts went through his head.
As soon as it started it seemed it was over as Whorton signaled all clear. It was only then that Jericho noticed the Morane was not flying as she should. The controls were sluggish and he had to keep over correcting to keep her level. He spotted Savy down below and started down towards it. Whorton pointed up to where Chambers was circling. Jericho shook his head "No" and pointed at his stick. He made one circle of the aerodrome and brought her in as easy as he could.
Once on the ground Whorton spoke up." I thought I made it clear that we are to stay with the flight Lt.!"
"She's not answering to the controls Captain. Somethings amiss!" Jericho replied.
"Well we will see about this right now Lt.!" Whorton exclaimed as he walked toward the crowd coming out to the field.
One hour later Jericho and Whorton were waiting for the rigger to finish his inspection. He walked to them as they stood outside the tent. Jericho nor Whorton had spoken to each other since the Morane had been wheeled into the tent.
"Well Sir" the rigger started, "You two are mighty lucky. It seems that the elevator and rudder control wires were almost shot through. With all that turning and twisting you were doing, saw the whole thing by the way, the remaining strands stretched out a bit. Might have broke if you had continued that kind of flying Sir. I bet she was a little sluggish........Whorton interupted, "Thank you Sargent. How long before we can be back in the air?"
"Oh, I would say another hour will do it Sir, have you home by tea Sir." The Sargent saluted and returned to the Morane.
Jericho, who had been squatting by the edge of the tent rose to his feet and exhaled deeply and turned to face the Captain. Jericho stared into the Captains eyes for a moment and said. "I'll obey your orders Captain. I'll die with you if need be, but I will not die because of you." Jericho paused "and don't you ever insinuate i'm yellow again." With that he walked off to find some coffee.
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!
#4459330 - 01/30/1906:01 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: Nov 2014 Posts: 2,593Fullofit
Maeran, so you’re finally rid of that gas bag Major. Congrats on the Fokker. Let us know if it gets confirmed. Scout, sounds like there may be some more friction between Chris and Marshall. Looking forward to it. Wulfe, another great story and from the sound of it A6338 will end up being a brand new girl. Good luck with the paperwork. MFair, looks like Jericho will have his hands full with Whorton. What a piece of work, but I’m sure Mark will keep him in check. Great screenshot!