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#4467431 - 03/25/19 08:02 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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lol - that would be why.

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#4467456 - 03/25/19 10:34 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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The historical knowledge that you folks have always astounds me! Learn something new every day!


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!
#4467498 - 03/26/19 01:10 AM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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Emile Benoit La Mont
Sgt, N 26
St. Pol-sur-mer, AF
Flanders.

March 25 1916.

Posted to a Recon flight with 2 Scouts as Escorts. No E/a Spotted.

Attached Files CFS3 2019-03-25 17-58-23-10.jpg
#4467504 - 03/26/19 02:09 AM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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So much happening in the past few days...


Scout, the first flamer was always a shock. Your boys are getting shot about. I think it’s nearly time to say goodbye to Quirks!

Wulfe, 5644 might not have been Patchwork, but it did the job and got you home for leave. Heartfelt congratulations on getting your commission. I can’t wait until we get your first impressions of the officers’ mess. Now to survive Rosa Lewis’s soirées. I loved the photo you had of the platform at Victoria Station. And I’m thoroughly enjoying sharing in the shopping as Graham spends all Aunt Ina’s money!

Fullofit, you captured well the sense of a long flight in bad weather. But you’ve been rewarded with a brand new Bébé! You’ll be the envy of everyone in the campaign very soon. Dreux’s nameless Nieuport can’t have been a good luck charm. The video of the attack on the Aviatik really brought home how quick and horribly the end could come to you in the air.

Ace_Pilto, we’ve missed you flying because you’re – flying. I’m sure I’m not the only jealous one here.

Hasse, wonderful to get another instalment from Julius. It will be a pleasure to read of his exploits in the Fokker.

Carrick, I love those clear days up near the Channel.

Lederhosen, you wasted no time in putting your Roland to the test with the As des As, Navarre! Good job getting away from that one.

Lou, I love the idea you PM’d about the dinner at the Poiriers’ with the fair Georgette. My contribution follows.

And MFair, your story was a real lesson in boar hunting, western style. The blow-up at Captain Griffin was a nicely fashioned piece too. I thought for a moment that Jericho was in for it.

An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins


Part Twenty-Eight: In which I have my toughest fight since coming to France

We had a couple of absolutely unflyable days, a break we truly needed but a shock after a bout of spring-like weather. Meaghan, one of our large hut’s two batmen, woke me on the morning of 23 March with a tray of tea mugs. He struggled for a moment trying to remember which was mine.

“The yellow enamel,” I offered, and he passed the steaming tea to me.

“Sleet and snow again,” he said. “Nothing is up all along the front, sir.”

There are no better words. I propped myself up and checked my wrist-watch on the side table. It was after eight. Normally I’d be sitting in the Morane, waiting for the command to switch on. Instead I listened as Meaghan scooped more coal into the stove outside the door. Across the little room, Fred Dalton was snoring as his tea grew cold on the dresser.

Last Sunday, I’d suggested to Swanson a ride into Auchel with Jericho to say a proper goodbye to the Poirier family with whom I’d billeted, Swany was always up for a chance to pay court to the lovely Georgette at the café there. We’d kicked around the idea of scrounging up some real, “to hell with rationing”, food and laying on a dinner for the elderly couple, and Swaney planned to ask Georgette if she’d help us not ruin it.

Not to be outdone, Jericho vowed to take us boar hunting, and Swanson had gone on about trapping quail. I resolved not to trust the Poiriers to this Wild West Show and considered a drive back to Neuville, where I’d met the New Zealand tunnelers who had filled a bombed-out basement with a fine supply of pork chops on the hoof. I’d bring over a bottle of Yukon Gold and some cash. A pig shouldn’t be hard to come by and would be most welcome if the Yanks came back empty-handed. But first I needed to enlist some help.

I found Sergeant Wilson after breakfast brewing up a pot of tea in my old hut, which the NCO flying crews were using as a bit of a gathering place. It was at the northeast corner of the field, not too far from the officers’ huts. Relieved to find Wilson alone I stepped inside.

“Tea, surr?” he said.

“I’d prefer a whiskey, Sergeant,” I replied.

“Whiskey?”

“Yes, Sergeant. Perhaps a spot of that wonderful Canadian stuff you were lucky enough to find.”

Wilson stared at me, measuring my mood. “Ach, dinna fuss about that, surr,” he said. “Ah wisna gaein’ tae pinch it on ye, surr. Ah wis jes’ pulling yer leg.”

I took the tea and smiled. “There’s no worry, Sergeant. Consider it a gift. But you owe me.”

“Owe ye whit, surr?”

“I need you to fetch a big hessian sack. I’ve arranged for a motorcycle combination. We’re off to buy a pig and your job is to make sure we get back with the creature safely. And bring one of your bottles.”

“Tae drink?” asked the sergeant.

“To barter. We leave in ten minutes.”

The wind was cutting, but I’d dressed for it. Wilson hadn’t, and he huddled in the sidecar, covering himself with the hessian sack for warmth. A constant muttering of Glaswegian obscenity was his only comfort. It took nearly a half-hour to approach Neuville-Saint-Vaast, and we were held up by a squadron of the Kings Bays on exercise behind the town. We drew close to the first houses and encountered a roadblock manned by provost guards. We could not enter the town without special passes, they said.

I was desperate. There was a wonderful basement full of pigs just a few hundred yards away, but there seemed no way in. I drove about a bit, thinking of abandoning the motorcycle and finding a way past the guards, but the approaches were all too open for stealth. Dejected, I putted west back along the road in the direction of St-Pol-sur-Ternoise, where I might be able to buy some form of meat so as not to show up empty-handed. Just outside a little village called Capelle-Fermont I noticed a flutter overhead. Six large geese passed in front of us, coming down behind a low-walled farmhouse. I turned off the main road and stopped the bike.

“What noo?” grumbled the frozen Wilson.

“Sergeant, you are about to capture a goose,” I announced.

[Linked Image]

“Ah’m no!” But there was no arguing. We climbed a low stone wall and found ourselves in a snow-strewn field of straggly stalks of something agricultural. Gale-driven sleet stung our faces. On the far side of the field a stand of barren willows hung over a steam, which my map told me was the marshy passage of the River Scarpe. There was movement under the trees, and a cacophony of honks and grunts. We approached cautiously.

“Whit am ah t’dae noo?”

“Simple. While I sip on this fine whiskey, you take the hessian sack in one hand, place your free hand around the neck of the fattest bird, and place it securely in the sack. When done, the rest of the bottle is yours once we’re back at Bruay with the goose.”

Wilson gave a resigned sigh. He did not appreciate that I was giving his Calvinist soul the chance to purge itself of sin through sacrifice. I reminded him of that, and he reminded me that the King was giving him six bob a day to sit behind me with a Lewis gun. And I reminded him that I was the one who had to land the bloody plane, so off he went. I’m sure Jericho was a stealthier hunter than Wilson, for the sergeant was stumbling through the brush with the grace of a rag-and-bone cart trundling along the cobbles of Glasgow. I watched between sips of Yukon Gold as he held the bag open and grabbed the nearest white-fronted goose. There was a furious drumming of wings and bloodthirsty screeches as no fewer than four birds leapt to the defence of their friend. Wilson shambled out of the brush without the sack or goose, limping and bleeding from his left hand.

“Jings! The b*stards have teeth like badgers. And they hammered the sh*te out o’ me with their wings.”

“Confidence, Sergeant. That’s all you need.” I took another swig. “Here, I’ll hold the bag and you use both hands on the bird.”

The avian street gang waited until I bent over to retrieve the sack. Then they all attacked at once. One knocked me on my back in the mud, while two others tried for my face. Wilson leaned against a tree, convulsed in laughter. We retreated and planned our next assault. My plan this time was to hold the bag in front of my face. The stupid creatures didn’t recognize the threat and I was able to creep slowly up to the nearest big bird. With a quick snatch I clasped its neck and held on for dear life as the enraged goose tried to dislodge my forearm from my elbow. I was screaming and cursing at Wilson, who finally pinned its wings while I stuffed the goose head-first into the sack. The other birds were raising holy hell and pecking at our breeches and we made our way at the double to the wall across the field. A very large French woman was shouting something at us from the farmhouse so we took the wall in a leap and stuffed the goose-sack into the sidecar, climbed aboard, and took off westward at high speed through the snow squalls. We left the main road at Tincques and had just turned north towards Bruay when Wilson let out a piecing scream and stood bolt upright in the sidecar. The goose’s head was out of the bag and its beak was clamped onto the good sergeant’s groin. Wilson beat the poor beast senseless with the whiskey bottle he’d been sipping from and finally settled back into his seat, complaining about all he’d sacrificed for his country in this war.

We decided to drive directly to Auchel, as neither of us had any idea how to dress a goose. We pulled up in front of the café where Georgette worked and Wilson stayed outside, as the place was pretty much officers’ territory and he was covered with mud and blood. Frankly, I was not much better.

“Jimmee!” Georgette squealed as I entered. “Mon Dieu, what has ‘appened to you?”

I asked if she knew someone who could dress a goose. “But in France the goose, they are always naked,” she exclaimed. I rephrased my questions several times until she understood, and then I held out the heavy sack of quivering, angry bird. Without flinching, Georgette led me to the kitchen where she reached inside and withdrew our nemesis, one hand firmly around its neck and the other pinching back both its wings.

“Take the wings like this,” she said, and reaching for a cleaver, sent the wretched creature to goose Valhalla (where it must still be feasting and boasting with other goose warriors). “See you Sunday, Jimee. Love to Swanee!” She wiped her hands on her apron.

As I turned to leave, she called to me. “Jimmie,” she said. “This bird? He has been in a knife fight, perhaps?”

I nodded. “Yes, and he won.”

Attached Files Goose.png
#4467546 - 03/26/19 11:47 AM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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Raine, I am now cleaning coffee spray off my monitor - you bastage. That was one of the funniest stories I've read in a long time and the mental images it conjures up are priceless. Well done! I can't wait to read your telling of the upcoming dinner James has planned for the Poirier's.

.

#4467547 - 03/26/19 11:57 AM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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I feel like I am letting the side down. So much wonderful story telling and I am struggling to write anything worth the virtual ink. To be fair to myself, it has been pretty quiet for 16 squadron. I’m also in the middle of moving house, which is a little bit disruptive.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
“It is unusual perhaps, but simple in itself,” Stanley explained as he stirred a sugar lump into his tea. “16 Squadron formed in February last year. There were some old hands, and they have long since gone on to bigger and better things. The rest of the squadron was filled out by fellows fresh from England. Barring losses, those chaps all stayed together and now they’re all due some time on Home Establishment. As a result, even though we only came here in December, Thayre and I are the longest serving pilots on the squadron.”

“Have there been many losses?” Wykeham* asked from across the table.
“It has happened,” Stanley replied carefully. “Don’t be so foolish as to think that what we do here is safe work. Don’t be complacent, and you should be alright.”

February had been quiet in the air. When flying had been permitted by the weather, the pilots of 16 squadron had been involved in routine army work.

On the ground, many pilots had reached the ends of their time in France and an influx of new pilots had replaced the old closed alliances with a more open club. Pilots from other squadrons leavened the group with experience as flight commanders.

The plan for the 27th of February was something special. After breakfast the whole squadron would take off, assemble over 2 squadron’s aerodrome a Hesdigneul and cross the lines to Don. The Germans had something there that HQ wanted to make a show of force over. There was nothing obviously deserving of an entire squadron there, so speculation had been rife after the briefing. Stanley’s favourite theory was that the Kaiser was paying a visit.

The weather turned out to be terrible. Mist and low cloud thickly covered everything and Stanley circled for an age over Hesdigneul without seeing anyone. He started to wonder whether he had the name of the rendezvous wrong.

In another BE2, Captain Allcock was circling at Hesdigneul. This was his old aerodrome before he left 2 squadron to be a flight commander with 16. He couldn't find any of the rest of the bombers and eventually turned back to La Gorgue. The southerly wind sped him home.

Thayre was well and truly lost. He had not been able to find anyone else, and so had decided to proceed alone to Don. When he reached his target the bomb release wouldn't budge and so he was still loaded with bombs when the Eindekkers attacked him.

The lieutenant escaped the German machines through a series of crazed dives, zooms and turns, before diving into a cloud to finally lose his assailants.

When things had calmed down, he found himself flying in thick cloud. His compass and map had fallen out of the cockpit in the fight with the Eindeckers and the glimpses of the ground that Thayre did see were completely unrecognisable.

Thayre set off in what he hoped was the right direction and resolved to find somewhere to land. At one point he descended through the low cloud to find nothing but sea below him!

Thayre was weary, lost and certain that he had long since left France. By the time the cloud began to thin out, Thayre was flying on the last fumes of the tank.

Ahead there was a small coastal town with a pier and a large park behind it. It seemed so peaceful and distant from the war.

“That can’t be Belgium or France” Thayre said to himself. “I’ve only flown to Holland!”

Landing now meant internment, but with no fuel, there was no choice.

Back in France, Allcock was standing outside the squadron office when Stanley landed.

“Where have you been?”
“I went to bomb Don.” Stanley smiled wearily as he shrugged off his flying coat. “Don’t think I got near. Visibility is bloody awful up there. I did find a nice Hun aerodrome with some helpful black crosses to guide me. I left my eggs there. Shame to waste them, what?”

“Most of the squadron seems to have gotten themselves even more lost,” Allcock told him, while still scanning the skies. “A few have reported in from Dunkirk. I guess they forgot that the wind is southerly today. With you back, I’m waiting for news on Thayre.”

“I wonder where he blew in to? I’ll go and make my report now Captain.”

The BE2 put down in the park well enough. The cut grass was better than the runway at La Gorgue in fact. As he stopped the engine, Thayre saw men in civilian clothing approaching him curiously. He raised his hands and addressed them in the customary fashion of an Englishman dealing with foreigners. That is to say, by speaking English loudly and slowly.

“I SUR-RENDER! SUR-RENDER! DOES ANY-ONE SPEAK ENG-LISH?”

“I’d reckon you’re a touch addled son,” An elderly gentleman replied. “This ‘ere is Kent.”**

It was the first day of March and Stanley watched the eruptions of dirt as the bombs landed. His own hit the field at Avelin on the landing field. He might have cost the Germans an hour of filling holes, but it wasn’t going to win the war. Minot’s bombs landed amongst the tents behind the hangars. That was better, Stanley admitted.

As they circled for home, Stanley’s gunner grabbed for his Lewis and pointed it upwards. Stanley looked around to see two monoplanes diving on them.

“What was I saying about complacency the other day?” Stanley asked himself.

The Eindekkers had nearly caught Stanley out, but not quite. Veering and Jinking, he threw off their aim and soon he was sure that he would be able to avoid his Eindekkers’ best efforts. Hopefully Minot would be able to as well.

As they skidded and jinked across the sky in a painful crawl westwards, Stanley saw a horror. Three more Eindekkers coming in from over Phalempin.

“This is getting a bit hot!” Stanley muttered into the roar of the engine. One of the Eindekkers attacking Stanley turned for home. That still left one Eindekker close by and three more descending to the fight.

Stanley’s BE2 slowly crept westwards as he turned and dived and zoomed to throw off the German scout pilots. It was painfully slow, but they were getting to the lines.

Over the lines, the Eindekkers seemed to give up. This Britisher had put up a good fight. Stanley thought he saw one of the pilots give him a wave before turning away.

Wasting no time in setting a course for home, Stanley was surprised to see a lone BE2 a mile or so away to his north. As they flew their paths converged and Stanley was very pleased to see that it was Minot. Minot definitely was waving.

Stanley waved back.
-----------------------------------------
*Wykeham is Lieutenant the Honourable Laurence John Evelyn Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes. The 3rd son of Lord Saye and Selle, Laurence would have made an excellent companion for Stanley since they have very similar backgrounds. However, he was injured a week after joining 16 squadron and moved to a different squadron when he was recovered.

**The actions of Allcock and Thayre during the ill fated Don raid are as accurate as I could write them. Stanley’s real mission that day was to bomb Houplin, which is why he ended up bombing an aerodrome. Thayre landed at Herne Bay on the north coast of Kent, So he was very lost. Most of the squadron became lost and landed at Dunkirk. There were mists and low cloud (3000 feet thanks to Thayre’s account) and a strong wind, which must have been coming from the south, which is unusual for the region.
Don is south east of La Gorgue, as is the rendezvous at Hesdigneul, so for so many people to end up on the English channel is really something!

#4467548 - 03/26/19 12:08 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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Maeran, great to see that you and your pilot are still in the game. A fine series of reports, glad you could catch us up here. And I hope your move goes well with no surprises.

.

#4467606 - 03/26/19 07:14 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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Emile Benoit La Mont
Sgt, N 26
St. Pol-sur-mer, AF
Flanders.

March 26, 1916.

Rain and slush again. No flights

#4467662 - 03/27/19 12:07 AM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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I have so much of catching up!
Wulfe, you should be banned from writing about tobacco. I was reading along and smelling the aroma of those exquisite cigars. It almost made me take up smoking. You Sir, are a threat to the health of anybody’s lungs. I salute you. Oh, and an excellent choice on the Webley. Looks like Graham is not resting well. Perhaps he needs a distraction to occupy his mind? How much money has he got left?
Carrick, looks like you’re being left alone for now. Keep a sharp lookout for the Boche.
Raine, I agree with Lou. One funny episode and now I have a greater respect for geese. That bird nearly cooked their goose. And poor Wilson, he’ll probably never look at foie gras.
Maeran, worry not. This is not a race. Write when you can and good luck with the move. Make sure you don’t end up in Kent. winkngrin
Lovely stuff everyone.

25 March, 1916 9:15
Senard, Verdun Sector
Escadrille N37
Adjutant Gaston A. Voscadeaux
3 confirmed kills

Gaston’s Aviatik from yesterday was confirmed. It would not bring Roland back.
The mission for today was a rail yard attack at Jametz junction. Gaston still remembers how the last mission to this place played out. He will have to look out for those blasted machine gun nests. S. Ltn. Medeville lead him and Adj. Barnay to the target without too much trouble. Two Nieuport 12’s in the “A” flight were on hand to assess the damage and circled high over the target. Gaston attacked the red brick house. After his third pass the building appeared to be sufficiently damaged so Voscadeaux decided to switch to the other masonry structure. Once he made his initial attack the ground defences begun to respond and he saw tracers fly near his plane. He started to weave and searched for the rest of the marauding party to divide ground gunners’ attention. He spotted a biplane and decided to join him. It was Adjutant Barnay, who for some reason was flying strangely. It looked like he was trying to shake off an invisible enemy. Gaston looked up as an Eindecker flashed above his head. The invisible enemy revealed himself in the most shocking way. Voscadeaux didn’t expect it at all and was kicking his mental self for not paying more attention. Apparently the Fokkers pounced on the two Nieuports above in the “A” flight, which were now in full retreat with one of the Huns in pursuit. The other monoplane was locked in a fight with Barnay. This allowed Gaston to climb on his tail and bring the Eindecker down. He watched the crater the Fokker left in the ground after crashing and made the decision to make one more pass on the rail yard before retiring. He focused on the other brick structure across the yard and pressed his attack. The Flak exploded around him like the fireworks on New Year’s Eve. One of them went off very close with a piece of shrapnel nicking Gaston’s cheek. He put his gauntlet to his frozen face to examine the damage. It was nothing. This won’t even leave a scar. Gaston laughed - he accidentally cut himself deeper with his own razor than this. He finished his attack on the building which was now engulfed in dust and smoke and turned his Nieuport south. Who knows what other damage this nearby blast may have done to his machine? He was now climbing as high as he could before crossing the lines. Gaston looked around for the rest of his flight to rejoin, but none of his members were anywhere in sight. He would have to go it alone for the rest of the way. Voscadeaux was still climbing when his engine sputtered and lost power. It was still operating but not doing any useful work. Gaston begun to lose altitude, still deep behind enemy lines. He looked around for a good place to put down and decided to land near the east bank of the Meuse River. If it all goes well he can lose the search party’s dogs in the water. Gaston was gliding onto a field covered in snow. He didn’t expect a smooth landing. His Nieuport was now at tree height level and coming down fast. Gaston braced for the inevitable impact and his scout hit the frozen ground. The landing gear buckled and the Nieuport skidded to a stop.



"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."
#4467667 - 03/27/19 01:07 AM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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Lou, thanks for the comments and all the inspiration for our story.

Maeran, it's always wonderful when you drop in and leave a yarn. Hope to see more of you down the road, but as Fullofit said, it's not a race.

Carrick, enjoy those quiet missions.

Fullofit, PLEASE post soon. Gaston's landing has me genuinely nervous. He's one of the DiD greats.

Here is Collins's latest.

An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins
Part Twenty-Nine: In which we bag a Fokker and enjoy an interlude

I spent the day after the goose hunt nursing my bruises and coordinating our dinner with the Poiriers – that is to say, I walked through a snowstorm to Auchel with Swany and Jericho to have lunch at Georgette’s café. We were frozen by the time we got there and fairly fell in the door. The two Yanks (Jericho hates it when I call him that) had already delivered their boar and quail, so when we arrived Georgette kissed them and cooed all over them. On seeing me, she dissolved into giggles she couldn’t control, interspersed with the occasional “pauvre Jimmee.” The fact it was all Wilson’s fault eluded them all.
We enjoyed the inevitable omelette and frites and knocked off two bottles of vin rouge. Or rather, Jericho had a coffee, Swanson nursed two glasses, and I worked very hard on getting blotto. Georgette explained that she was making ragoût au sanglier in a red wine sauce, and explained she had only a day to hang the meat so a stew was the best way to prevent it from being too gamey. As for the quail, they would be baked with orange and chestnuts. The goose, she said (if I understood correctly) was to be done in a pan with a sauce of cream and sherry and cognac, and would be served with roasted vegetables and noodles. It would be a massive amount of work, and we began to make plans for what time to show up and who would do what. But Georgette was firm. We were to stay out of her way until eight, and only then appear at the Poiriers. She reluctantly made an exception for her “Cher Swanee,” but only on the condition that he stay out of her way and confine himself to carrying heavy objects.

Jericho gallantly protested, but to me the idea sounded marvellous. We were, of course, to supply the wine and spirits, and I undertook to supervise that provisioning expedition. Jericho said he’d drive if we could borrow the staff car.

Saturday morning was fair, and Meahan had me up at six for an eight o’clock takeoff. On Friday night, I’d been thrilled to learn that I was to lead a patrol – a first. Wilson and I would lead Sgt Bayetto and Lieut Theobald to reconnoitre the Hun lines near La Bassée. The mood among the Ack Emmas was jovial and there was a great deal of joking about. One of them, a man named Baxter, referred to Sgt Wilson as “Mother,” and I soon gathered from the honking that it was a reference to Mother Goose. Wilson must have had a few drinks and related his adventures, no doubt with me in a secondary role.

The wind was out of the east so we took off with the sun to our back and circled west of Béthune for about thirty minutes to gain height before heading due east to the lines. We rendezvoused with a lone De Havilland scout, crossed our balloon lines, and began searching the ground for our reference points. Scarcely had we passed over our front-line trenches than Wilson banged me on the shoulder and pointed ahead and above to our right. Three specks were approaching two or three miles off, and one of the specks began a dive towards us. A Flight was already over the lines and were near the end of their patrol. I saw two of their machines darting for home.

It soon was evident that three Fokkers were about to spoil our morning. I signalled to Sgt Bayetto and put about for friendly territory. The Hun always breaks off before crossing our lines. I watched as one of the Fokkers engaged the lone DH2 who defended us. The other two HAs continued after our two Moranes. Now it was time to shake them. I began a shallow dive towards a training area south of Béthune that I knew was well defended. But the Huns continued to close on us, even after we were five miles behind the front and below 2000 feet! When they were 300 yards away, Wilson began firing short bursts. Still they came. I could hear Bayetto’s gun stuttering away. He and Theobald were about 100 yard behind us and to our left. Wilson fired again and the Hun broke off. Bayetto’s Fokker was already heading east.

I began to relax, but a minute later Wilson’s gun went into action. I glanced back and was shocked to see our pet Hun within 200 yards of us. We turned slowly to the left and Wilson fired yet again. This time the Fokker headed east. I continued the turn, regaining a little altitude, and let out a whoop. The Fokker’s propeller was standing perfectly motionless! We gave chase and came up on its left side, and Wilson fired another short burst. The Hun pilot waved at us to knock it off and put his machine down nicely in a field south of Beuvray. We could see Tommies approaching as soon as he touched down.

I would have headed back then, but Wilson had seen something. We flew a little closer to the lines and found a second Fokker in a field, intact and surrounded by soldiers.

Back at Bruay, we put in a claim for the first Fokker. Bayetto wasn’t sure that either of us had hit the other Hun, although we’d both fired at it. In the end, Wing confirmed one kill for me and gave the other Hun to some machine gunners on the ground. We had our second Hun, and he hadn’t even got a shot at us!

[Linked Image]
"The Fokker’s propeller was standing perfectly motionless!"

The Hun pilot in our Fokker was a Vizefeldwebel, a warrant officer. This time we welcomed our foe in the Sergeants and Warrant Officers’ mess, and Sergeant Wilson was the man of the hour. The Disciplinary Sergeant-Major invited the Major and me for dinner, and we had a wonderful time. The German pilot, whose name was unpronounceable, was well-travelled and had been to Canada a few years ago. He remembered the 1912 Toronto Industrial Exhibition and talked at length about hockey. Major Harvey-Kelly and I left dutifully not long after dinner so the boys could get rowdy in peace. True to 3 Squadron traditions, our Hun was powerfully drunk before we said our salaams.

Sunday 26 March 1916 was another stormy day and the squadron hunkered down for a day of reading, piano-playing, games, and personal administration. The Major unwisely loaned us his Crossley car and Jericho and I headed for Auchel. Jeriicho had mastered the gears by now, but had discovered the joys of spinning his tyres on the ice and drifting around sharp curves. Twice in five miles we came within a whisker of disaster, and by the time I dismounted my knees had lost the ability to support me!

The stores were closed, but we’d made previous arrangement to pick up our purchases on Sunday regardless. The shopkeepers were back from mass and met us at the doors of their homes. We loaded the car with eight bottles of vin rouge, three bottles of champage, a bottle of cognac, and some coffee beans.

The Poiriers greeted us like long-lost family and ushered us into the parlour. There, a gaunt, fair-haired boy with one leg and a crutch struggle to rise from an armchair. “Mon fils Jérémie,” Madame said with beaming pride. “Il est retourné.” The war had short-changed her on the return of her injured son, I thought, but she did not begrudge it the loss. Jérémie had some English and we had some French, and there was champagne to celebrate and we were all alive. We drank a toast to both their sons, the one who had returned and the one at Verdun.

Georgette and Swanson had set the tables and M. Poirier had acquired a cigar. I write “tables” because several were set together and there were places for more than a dozen. It was about then that there came a knock on the door and Georgette called to me to open the door. I did as I was told and there in the snow outside stood a priest in a wide black hat and cassock and six young children.

Pére Isaac, he was called, and the children were “orphelins” – orphans. Georgette knew that there was no way to keep the amount of food we had brought from spoiling, so she had invited Father Isaac. And that was when we were all called to the table as the boar appeared, steaming and hissing in its enamel pot and Jericho cut the fresh, warm bread, and I poured the wine (for the children, too, with water).

I had been in France more than two months now, and I’d seen man’s ability to desolate God’s world, and I’d seen sudden death and grievous pain. Yet here, only a short distance from all that, was such happiness and goodness and light. I fought to understand all this, and as I sat I wiped a tear away before anyone noticed.

We all laughed and drank a little too much that night, but not terribly too much. We cleaned the house, and Father Isaac’s children sang some songs. Jérémie proved a genuine talent at the piano. Swanson and Georgette disappeared with the dishes for an hour or so, and Jericho left to return the car by eleven as he’d promised. At the end of the night, Swany walked Georgette back to her little place above the café and I finished an excellent pot of coffee with the Poiriers. At length, Swany returned and he and I set out into the night, the snow falling in languorous big flakes now. I had a flask of Yukon Gold and we shared a few nips on the way, singing a Norwegian song (or rather, he sang and I mumbled and hummed at the chorus). Three miles along the way, we found Jericho and a team or artillery horses and several gunners, all trying to extricate the Major’s staff car from a ditch, into which it has somehow skidded backwards. After a few minutes of intense pushing, we got it back on the roadway and, save for a small bend in the right rear wing, it was none the less for the experience. Jericho was forcibly restrained from driving while Swanson took the wheel. I knew our cowboy was awfully cold, for he drained the little remaining in my flask.

Thus we returned to the war.

Attached Files Kill No 2.png
#4467670 - 03/27/19 01:44 AM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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Raine - the goose story had me in stitches. Poor old Mammie Goose Wilson will have a hard time living that one down. Congratulations on Collins' second Hun - and taken alive, machine and all! No. 3 strikes again. Excellent stuff. Lovely story about the dinner with the Poiriers, and the kindly priest. Let's hope the war keeps as far out of their way as possible.

Fullofit - No! I really do hope Gaston can find himself on the right side of the lines. As Raine says, he's one of the DiD greats.

Maeran - brilliant story! The way you tell it reminds me of A.R. Kingsford's 'With The Earth Beneath' - one of my favourite Great War books! The old fella in Kent made me chuckle, too.

All the great stories are making me (but not Graham!) long for the front again!


2nd. Lieut. Graham A. Campbell.
No. 20 Squadron R.F.C (On Leave),
Nottingham, England.

March 26th, 1916.


As the train pulled into Nottingham, I found myself apprehensive. It had been four months since I had last seen my mother and father, and I had experienced so much in such little time. I wondered how much I would have changed in their eyes.

Flagging down a taxicab, I gave the driver the address and we were off, crossing over the Trent and past the old County hall. Eventually we came to a stop outside the small two-storey house where I had grown up, and after paying, I sheepishly stepped up to the door, knocking once and smoothing over my uniform.

The door creaked open, and my mother’s face peered out from the crack. She looked tired, but upon seeing me the door was flung open. She stared at me wide-eyed for a moment, and then threw her arms around me.

Under a creeping barrage of questions (Are you being careful? Are you eating enough?) we stepped into the kitchen, where the broad shape of my father was sat at the table, a pot of tea in front of him. “Look who’s here!” my mother cried, and he looked up. Slowly, a smile appeared on his face. “Well, wid’ye look at him! Sharp! Have a seat, son”. I obeyed, as my mother rushed to pour me some tea. “I’ll make lunch” she chirped. I felt something brush my leg, and looked down. “Aha! There you are!” I crooned, scooping up Edna, our old wiry ginger cat and placing her in my lap. She let out a meow of protest, squirmed a little in my grasp, but quickly gave in and went to sleep.

My mother served up sandwiches with our tea, and after some smalltalk they pressed me for details of France. I talked for hours of all the experiences I’d had so far - playing down the close shaves for my mother’s sake - and finally mentioned my promotion. My father shot out of his seat. “D’ye hear that, Moira! Oor boy’s an officer!” he placed a hand on my shoulder and ruffled my hair. “Don’t think a’m gonny start callin’ ye ‘Sur’, boyo” he joked, and I laughed weakly.

For the rest of the day we idly chatted, as my parents caught me up with the inconsequential neighbourhood gossip and smalltalk. I felt myself begin to relax - here, I didn’t have to be the soldier or the airman anymore. It was a peaceful feeling.

“You are staying the night, aren’t you, Graham?” my Mother asked, as the sun had begun to recede below the horizon. I nodded. “Yes, I’ll stay until tomorrow afternoon, but I have to pick up my uniform from the tailors the day after”. “I’ll make your room ready” she said, smiling, and disappeared upstairs, Edna plodding after her. As soon as she had disappeared from eyeshot, my father’s face turned serious. “What’s it like, really?” he asked, and I sighed. “Dangerous” I muttered. Slowly, he nodded, wearing the look I recognised from my childhood. He was thinking back to the Boer War. After a long pause, he looked over at me again. “A’ wish that A’ wisnae so auld...A’ wish A’ could be there with ye”. I looked him in the eye, but I didn’t see him. I saw the face of the Aviatik pilot, a second before he was lost in the smoke. “No, you don’t…” I whispered. Behind me, my mother reappeared and happily chirped “Your room’s ready for when you want to go up, Graham!”.

I didn’t stay up for much longer. It was strange to find my old room as I had left it - sparse, with only a small bookshelf and a writing desk with some family pictures. The bed felt the same, too. It was more wonderful than anything the Cavendish could hope for. As I slipped into sleep, I told myself that I was home, and France had no place here.

Last edited by Wulfe; 03/27/19 01:47 AM.

Aircraft Profiles of the Deep Immersion DiD Campaign: http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.p...deep-immersion-did-challenge#Post4468813
#4467671 - 03/27/19 01:48 AM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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WulfeRaine, you should be banned from writing about tobacco food. I was reading along and smelling the aromas of those exquisite cigars dishes. I’m so hungry and thirsty now. You Sir, are a threat to the health of anybody’s stomach. I salute you. Absolutely delicious story. Congrats on bagging your second Hun. You’re well on your way to greatness. Thank you for the complement, but the only thing Gaston is great at is getting into trouble. Currently feverishly working on the continuation of his misadventures. I know, I’m a day behind.


"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."
#4467676 - 03/27/19 02:20 AM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Wulfe]  
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Raine Online content
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Raine  Online Content
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New Brunswick, Canada
Originally Posted by Wulfe
Under a creeping barrage of questions (Are you being careful? Are you eating enough?) ...


Wulfe, that is one of those "Drat, I wish I wrote that" lines. Very well done!

#4467679 - 03/27/19 02:29 AM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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Fullofit  Online Content
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Wulfe, how do you do it? Even a simple meeting with parents sounds epic. Really great style!

25-26 March, 1916
Somewhere north of Verdun behind enemy lines
Adjutant Gaston A. Voscadeaux

Voscadeaux was running towards the Meuse. A column of black smoke behind him betrayed the location of his landing spot. With a heavy heart Gaston had to set his downed Nieuport on fire. It was brand new but he couldn’t allow the enemy to get their hands on it. He was sweating profusely by the time he reached the eastern bank of the river and his lungs were screaming for more air. The water was frigid but he entered the watercourse and sloshed his way up north, submerged up to his knees. He thought it would confuse his pursuers if he went up north instead of the obvious southern route. Perhaps they won’t even consider searching north? Voscadeaux couldn’t feel his feet after spending this long in the near-freezing temperatures of the rushing river. He was also worried he may be spotted from the opposite bank. The French pilot was forced to leave water and move inland. Fortunately the ground had thawed in this area, so he wouldn’t leave any tracks in the snow. It was difficult to walk and Gaston exerted a lot of energy to drag himself to a nearby hut. It was empty but it didn’t look abandoned. There were empty fishing nets stretched out on the lines near the house. Voscadeaux used the last of his strength to climb the ladder leaning against the exterior wall. It lead to the attic filled with bales of straw and old tools. Gaston was shivering. He touched his forehead, it was burning up. His body was clammy from the sweat. He covered himself with as much straw as he could and fell asleep. He woke up in the middle of the night. An owl was hooting nearby within the attic. There were stars coming through the opening he came through. Gaston was cold and gathered more straw around him to cover himself completely. He was thirsty and his lips were all cracked but he was too weak to come down and look for water. His uniform was damp and all he could do was to suckle on the frozen sleeve of his coat. He fell asleep again.
Voscadeaux woke up to the sound of creaking wood planks and footsteps. The sun was up and the rays were poking through the gaps in the siding of the house walls. Through his straw cover Gaston could see a black military style boot standing only centimetres away from his face.


"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."
#4467706 - 03/27/19 09:58 AM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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Wulfe Offline
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Uh-oh...this is hair-raising stuff...sorely hope Gaston can make the dash back across the mud! Eagerly awaiting the next post...


Aircraft Profiles of the Deep Immersion DiD Campaign: http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.p...deep-immersion-did-challenge#Post4468813
#4467744 - 03/27/19 02:04 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
Joined: May 2012
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L'Etoile du Nord
.

Oh Fullofit, what is going to become of Gaston? The anticipation is delicious.

Wulfe, going home briefly during a time of war can be so very bittersweet. Another fine episode.

Raine, a superb telling of the dinner gathering, my hat's off to you. And another victory for James and Mother Goose - well done!

Carrick, Emile is not alone in the dud weather. No flying at Bruay either.


Thanks as always folks for the fine reading. If you will, allow me to add my own contribution. Swany's been thinking about home too.

.


27 March, 1916
Bruay, France
3 Squadron, R.F.C.
2nd Lt. Randolph Arvid Swanson MC
8 confirmed victories


It was the second day all sorties at Bruay had been washed out because of the weather. Low-hanging clouds grayed the sky from horizon to horizon, and a cold mist was being blown about by the gusty winds. It was pure gloom, which did nothing to improve Swany’s mood. He’d been up at first light and gone for his morning run and was now tramping along through the woods near the aerodrome. Being out among the trees usually helped to center him and get him focused – and he needed to focus.

The young airman had been in an odd place in in his head since the gathering at the Poiriers yesterday. The affair had gone wonderfully and Georgette had proved a chef extraordinaire in the kitchen, and a delight all around. Jim’s host family were good people who reminded him in some ways of his own back home. And the arrival of the local priest and his little flock of “orphelins” had caused the whole evening to seem almost like a Christmas. It made Swany feel incredibly good, but incredibly homesick as well. While he wrote a letter to his folks at least once a week, he was careful to keep the memories and longings tucked away. They were a distraction to the task at hand, that of doing the absolute best job he could while trying to survive to do it again the next day.

It had all been great excitement in the beginning, this battle in the skies, and he had felt invincible when he first arrived. But after nearly three months of war, and the nightmares that partner with it, his outlook had changed. He’d seen men die and in horrible ways, some by his own doing. His good friends Collins and Jericho had each been very nearly killed. His first G/O, Chris Dent, had been shot up and sent back to England, and he himself had caught a bullet in his side. The stories in the papers and the tales in the boys’ adventure books were just that, stories and tales. The reality was very different; very brutal; very deadly. Winging about in an aeroplane was still wonderful and Swany loved it, but it was overshadowed entirely by the many grim ends to which this flying was simply the means. He had seriously started to question if he would survive it, and to his way of thinking this was a dangerous distraction.


Years ago, when he first began helping his uncle in the lumber business by scaling up trees to do the limbing and topping off, there had been an incident near the crown of one particular white pine where he’d slipped and fallen about fifteen feet before catching himself with his climbing spikes. While he did have the safety of the rope looped through his harness and around the trunk, the fall had none-the-less frightened him to the point where he could not move, either up or down. So he just clung there.

His uncle yelled to him, “Are you OK up der boy?”

“Vell, no, not so much”, Swany stammered back.

"Anyting broken?"

"No."

"Ya bleedin?"

"Not really."

“Yer tinking about dyin’, aren’t chya boy.”

“Ya.”

“Vell don’t! Von’t do you any good anyvay. Yust tink about getting’ the yob done, den go get ‘er done. Dyin’ takes care of itself, and you tinkin’ about it von’t change a dam ting except maybe make it come along sooner.”

“OK.”

Swany hung there that day 40-some feet up in that Minnesota pine, the leather strap of his climbing harness cutting into his back, his spikes dug deep into the bark of the tree as he stared out into the forest around him and listened to the wind whispering through the boughs. In that moment he came to understand exactly what his uncle was saying; so he cinched up his belt, took a deep breath, and turned his focus back to his work. Death would have to take care of its own affairs.


The walk in the woods and recalling his uncle’s words those years ago helped the young lieutenant. While the sky was still sullen his mood no longer was. The worrying, the longing; it was fairly pointless. He would get on with the task at hand, no matter how dangerous it might be. It’s what he’d signed on for, whether he knew that fully at the beginning or not. Dying would come in its own time. Him pondering when, or if, he would see his home and family again was only a distraction, and one that could indeed bring the Grim Reaper calling even sooner.

And on the subject of distractions, what was he going to do about Georgette.

.

#4467794 - 03/27/19 08:51 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
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Lou, keeping to yourself and seeking solitude will evoke all sorts of crazy ideas. Good thing Swany isn’t a fatalist. Georgette might be the distraction he needs to keep his head clear. Her and a flock of Eindeckers to shoot down. Very sobering post.

26 March, 1916
Somewhere north of Verdun behind enemy lines
Adjutant Gaston A. Voscadeaux

“- Nein! Nothing up here.”
The voice above him was that of a German trooper. Gaston didn’t dare to move. He had a sudden urge to cough. The black boot moved. Voscadeaux was holding his breath in. He clenched his teeth and droplets of sweat were coming down from his forehead stinging his eyes. He watched the “Black Boots” walk to the exit. Gaston let a careful breath out and another one in. His throat begun to tickle. He forced himself to resist the urge to cough. The “Black Boots” lit a cigarette. The smoke, albeit barely detectable irritated his throat. Gaston took another sip of air, his throat was screaming for a proper cough. He heard the ladder begin to creak as the “Black Boots” was coming down. Voscadeaux chanced small coughs hoping each creak of the ladder would mask it. He rolled onto his stomach to subdue the cough. It helped. Gaston was laying there for what seemed like hours. He couldn’t hear any voices outside. He begun to hack and rasp as hard as his raw throat would allow it. It was a relief as he had never known before. He rolled onto his back and drew in a massive breath. He realized he was hungry. He’ll come down and look for ...
The ladder started to creak again. Someone was coming up! Gaston looked around for a weapon. The old tools were his best bet. In desperation he grabbed the shaft of a hoe and swung it behind him, ready to strike.


"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."
#4467801 - 03/27/19 10:31 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
Joined: Dec 2012
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MFair Offline
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Maeran, Don't worry about quantity, quality is what counts and your yarns have plenty of that.
[b]Fullofit,
You damage the rail yard, you knock down a Hun but Nooooo, you just have to take one more crack at it! If you make it back leave well enough alone. You will live longer. We wait on pins and needles.
Raine, congratulations on another victory. Very touching story with the dinner!
Wulfe, what can I say, your story is turning into one of the best books I have read.
Lou, Very touching my friend.

Lt. Mark Jericho
Bruay Aerodrome

Another washout. Jericho lay in his bunk sipping on his 3rd cup of coffee. His thoughts were going over the night before. It had been one fine time with some fine folks. And the food! He thought surely he would founder after eating so much. The only thing that threw a blanket over the good time was he nearly wrecked the Majors car and he was not exactly on the Majors good side. It was a small dent but a dent non the less. As his father had always taught him, "If you borrow something, return it in the same shape you got it." Jim's former landlords were 1st class people. The only difference he could tell between them and the folks back home was the accent. Padre seemed a good sort too and it did his heart good to see so many children who had suffered because of the war have a bit of sunshine in their life. He snickered to himself as he remembered coming around the curve in the Majors car and seeing a team of horses right in his path! He missed them ok but over controlled coming back and the Crossley must have done 3 complete circles before going into a snow bank on the opposite side of the road. It was a good thing Swany and Jim arrived when they did and took charge as the Army folks would have pulled the Majors car to pieces getting it out if it were not for their supervision. It took a while but it finally came out without any damage except for the dent in the fender. Jericho laughed even harder when he thought of Swany telling him "Yer not driving anymore tonight" while pulling him out of the seat. It had been such a bad experience for Jericho that he even took a bit from Jim's flask. He regretted it as so as it hit his throat.

After he had downed the last of the coffee he pulled on his coat and went to leave as Swany came walking up. "Where you been?" Jericho asked. Swany replied "Took a run in the woods to clear my head." Jericho shook his head "Whatever blows your skirt up Pard. I'm off to see the Major and see how much my little bump to his car is going to cost. Wish me luck, I may need it."


This is a bit off topic gents but with all the talk of horses and such I thought I may introduce you to Cappy. I got him when he was 8. He is 24 now. His papered name was Rambo but I ain't having a horse named Rambo. My daughter named him Captain Jack so we call him Cappy. A few years back while I was working with him she was taking pictures. This shot tells it all I believe. You don't get to bond with a horse like this very often. He is special.
[Linked Image]


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!
#4467804 - 03/27/19 10:43 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,098
carrick58 Online content
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carrick58  Online Content
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What a nice looking animal. U can tell that he is well cared for and Loved. Great Pic

#4467805 - 03/27/19 10:46 PM Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) [Re: Raine]  
Joined: Aug 2010
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carrick58 Online content
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carrick58  Online Content
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Emile Benoit La Mont
Sgt, N 26
St. Pol-sur-mer, AF
Flanders.
march 27th 1916.

Arty Spot. We made adjustments for a 105 mm Rapid fire artillery gun on the lines.

Attached Files CFS3 2019-03-27 15-27-38-06.jpga9e16acacff7b2e98f85949995f02aee.jpg
Last edited by carrick58; 03/27/19 10:56 PM.
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