It seems fate was just not on my side this time - I was curving in at about 300m range from the Avi's left, suddenly *Bullet Strike* - uncontrollable spin! Didn't even hear the round hit me. Fought with the controls from 10,000 ft all the way down. C'est la Guerre!
Last edited by Wulfe; 04/11/1909:43 AM.
#4469939 - 04/11/1910:21 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: Nov 2014 Posts: 3,696Fullofit
Those rear gunners are excellent extreme angle deflection shots. Just ask Swany’s gunner. I will miss Graham, but I’m also looking forward to the next chap’s tale. Maybe he’ll be lucky enough to get a Nieuport?
"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."
#4469953 - 04/11/1911:34 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: May 2012 Posts: 4,879RAF_Louvert
BOC President; Pilot Extraordinaire; Humble Man
Oh Wulfe, this is not what I was hoping to read this morning with my coffee. I feel awful about Graham's demise, I can only imagine how badly you feel. The DiD Campaign does its job well, we all get truly invested into these characters, and even more so with your excellent writing to flesh them out.
We stand 'neath resounding rafters, The walls around us are bare, They echo back our laughter, It seems like the dead are still there.
So stand to your glasses steady, This world is a world full of lies Here's a toast to the dead already, Hurrah for the next man to die.
#4469960 - 04/11/1912:30 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Wulfe, I second Lou's sentiment. One of the things about deep immersion story-telling is that you truly grieve for your pilot. I'm so sorry so hear about Graham's unlucky fate -- such a fluke. Of course, unlike 1916, we can create a new life and a new personality to grow fond of, and I hope you won't delay to do so! I promise, there will be no BE2s for the next incarnation.
#4469961 - 04/11/1912:38 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Yes, Graham's passing was a blow, I admit, lots of stories I wanted to tell - such a nasty shock when I fell into the spin, and just gutted when I realised it wouldn't stop. I was very fond of Graham - but, that's how it goes! As for getting back into it - I'm keen to start ASAP! I've sent you a PM, Raine
Last edited by Wulfe; 04/11/1912:39 PM.
#4469974 - 04/11/1903:14 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Oh no, Wulfe! I was really enjoying Graham's adventures. Actually, I've been enjoying all of the pilots' storylines, somewhat more than I have my own. Patterson's still alive, pottering around the Kent countryside, but there's really nothing to write about. We did get a report of Zeppelins one night. Patterson was dragged out of bed at 11.30pm and told to suit up. After an hour of flying to the capital in pitch darkness, all they saw were searchlights. Another hour home and a nerve wracking landing followed, but Patterson felt rather pleased with himself at getting it down smoothly. Back to bed around 2.30am (midnight in RL!).
Like Lou, I love catching up on all the adventures each morning. Forgive me if my own posts are rather sporadic for now. I don't believe life will get more interesting for my young pilot until his unit transfers to France this summer.
HarryH - Don't worry, things will hot up plenty when you get to France! I was thinking of you when Graham was on leave in London, the night of the Zeppelin raid. I wondered if you'd get a chance to have a crack at it!
Well, Graham may have gone west, but the show must go on! Introducing........
Sgt. James Bradley Fullard, Plessis, France.
Introduction: The Depot.
April 10th, 1916:
For three weeks we had been brimming with anticipation at the Depot in Plessis. In every corner sat airmen, some fresh out of the training schools like myself and Michael (we were recently arrived from Avord, where we had practiced on Penguins before moving on to the wonderfully fast and hornetlike Nieuport machines), others with healed wounds, awaiting to be re-posted to the front, and more still experienced pilots being transferred. At all hours of the day the sky buzzed with the exciting sound of flying machines - Farmans, Voisins, Nieuports, and, if we were lucky, we would even see the lumbering Caudrons, the twin-engined giants of the sky.
Each day Michael, my brother, and I emerged from the Hotel de la Bonne Rencontre, near the train station in Plessis, at first light, and headed to le Bureau de Pilotage, hoping that today was the day we would receive our Escadrille assignments. Each day, we dragged our heels back to our two tiny and sparsely furnished rooms, deeply and most bitterly disappointed. Of course, our disappointment was easily dispelled with flying - and there was plenty flying to be done at Plessis! During the days we were never done with practicing formation flying, gunnery, or even stunting on a rare occasion, when we were sure we could get away with it.
Naturally, we hoped to be sent to the same Escadrille with each other, but more than anything we wanted desperately to be assigned to an Escadrille de Chasse, flying Single-Seat Nieuports and partaking in the chivalric, epic duels high in the mountainous clouds over France. We wanted to be like Dellouin, the Red Guardian of Verdun, or like the great Voscadeaux, in his famous Violet Nieuport, who, according to the whispers of the new recruits, started every morning by shooting down a Bosche. At these rumours, the war pilots awaiting reassignment smiled knowingly.
Last week, as had become our routine, we awoke at first light and hastily rushed out to the bureau, to scan through the lists of pilots, and their new assignments. As usual, we hoped against hope to see our names, but after three long weeks we expected another disappointment. However, as we scanned through the list that day, something caught my eye. Sergent Michael Archibald Fullard, Escadrille N.15. As we read, and then re-read, the name, we both howled with excitement, jumping up and down like a pair of schoolboys as the stunned pilots around us looked on. “Michael, you lucky dog!” I cried, punching on the arm. Gleefully, he read his name aloud once more, before turning to me, bright-eyed. “Alright, that’s me! Let’s find you!”.
We scanned, and scanned, but Michael was the only Fullard on the list. Of each day’s disappointment, that was by far the hardest to bear. With a sympathetic look, Michael patted me on the back. “Sorry, kiddo. That’s hard luck. But, hey, I bet you’ll be on there tomorrow, and I bet you’ll be coming to N.15 with me!”. I smiled and nodded, but my brother knew me too well. “Ah, don’t be down, James! You’ll see. Tomorrow, your name will be there”.
My name didn’t appear the next day, or the day after, and for a week I went through one of the loneliest periods of my life. I thought of Michael, out on patrol, turning and looping with the Bosche Eindeckers. I thought of Andrew, my second elder brother, and the middle one between Michael and I, who had been fighting in the Foreign Legion since 1915. What a time they must be having, and all the while I was stuck in Plessis! If it wasn’t for Victor Vertadier, a friend of ours from Avord, I would have gone stir crazy on my own there.
Two mornings ago, on April 9th, I rushed out again to check the lists with Victor. Scanning idly through the names, shoulder-to-shoulder in the obligatory crowd that always gathered, I bit my lip in anticipation, but, after looking through twice, again I felt the crush of miserable disappointment, and I turned lethargically away to wallow in my pity. It was at that moment that Victor’s voice cut through the crowd - “Mon Dieu! Here you are, James! Look!”. I spun around at a blinding speed, shouldering my way through the gaggle of pilots (and earning one or two insults along the way) before pressing my hands to the wall and following Victor’s pointed finger. There it was, in bold, black font.
Sergent James Bradley Fullard, Escadrille N.31.
After the initial shock had worn off, I punched the air in revelry, grabbing Victor’s face and kissing him on the cheek. Laughing, he pushed me away, and together we frantically looked for his name. Then, we found it. Sergent Victor Vertadier, Escadrille N.31. “Victor, we’re in the same squadron!” I shouted out, as my friend gave a hearty, bellowing laugh. Almost tripping over each-other, we rushed to the office in the bureau to receive our Service Orders.
That same night, after we had our supper, then checked out of the Hotel de la Bonne Rencontre. Madame Rodel, Patronne of the Hotel, saw us out at the front door as we said our thank-yous and goodbyes. Victor headed out before me, lighting up a cigarette, as I squared by debt to the Hotel. Taking the money from me, Mme. Rodel grinned, waving theatrically. Bon Voyage, l'Americain! she called out, as I bounded out of the door.
We spent the remainder of the evening in Paris, sleeping on the benches and using our duffle-bags as pillows, as we awaited the 6 A.M. train to a sleepy little French village named Colombey-les-Belles. As the train pulled into the station, I shook Victor awake, and we jumped aboard. The train, headed so far away from the raging battle at Verdun, wasn’t very crowded, and we easily found ourselves a second-class compartment, where we excitedly chattered away to each-other about the joys that awaited us of war flying. “Monsieur, I will be the first of us two to shoot down a Bosche!” he bragged, and I gave him a sideways smirk. “Do you think so? Are you sure, Monsieur Vertadier? Well, then, let us bet on it! Five Francs says that I will down a Bosche before you!”. Grinning below his thick upturned moustache, he firmly shook my hand.
The train, which crawled at a painful slowness through the French countryside, finally arrived at around One O’Clock, and brimming with untold excitement we stepped off, heading to the centre of town. Fifteen minutes later, as we were beginning to fear that we had become lost, a Fiat pulled up alongside us, and from out the window appeared a foxlike face sporting a thin pencil moustache and thinner eyebrows, raised up so that their owner had an amusing look of shock on his face.
”Excusez-moi, vous deux! Êtes-vous des pilotes?” came his high-pitched voice, and eagerly we answered “Oui! We’re supposed to be going to Escadrille 31!”. He grinned, as he hastily jumped out of the car and took our bags, unceremoniously throwing them into the back seat before turning back to us and extending a hand from a grey chequered suit-sleeve. “Pierre Dupont Charbonnier Brocard, Chauffeur à Escadrille 31”. We shook his hand as we shared a concerned glance, and he took a step back, patting his sides before opening the door. “Well, get in! le Lieutenant is expecting you!”.
As it turns out, our long-named Chauffeur was quite the madman. Through country roads we flew at terrifying speed, at one point narrowly missing a truck as we rounded a corner, much to Pierre’s disgust and our complete fear, before eventually, in what seemed like a blink, Pierre swung the Fiat violently onto a large aerodrome, coming to a halt on a small dirt road in-between the long row of wooden hangars and a treeline, on the other side of which stood two barracks and a smaller white one-storey building. “Voila!” Pierre exclaimed in the front seat, “Welcome, Monsieurs, to Ochey!”
Pierre led us past the line of trees, to one of the wood-walled barracks, and escorted us into a cozy mess-hall, a long dining table sitting at its centre. The barracks was empty, save for a forty-something year old, rugged-looking man, his slick hair glossed backwards over his head, and shaved violently at the sides. As to be expected, he wore a thick moustache, carved off bluntly at the corners of his mouth. The man was dressed in the horizon-blue of a French soldier, and he leaned on a curve-handled cane, smoking a cigarette, as we walked in. Turning his sharp, dark brown gaze towards us, he let out a quiet Hmm, before stubbing the cigarette out in an ashtray and limping over to us. “And you two must be our new Aviateurs. Welcome to Escadrille 31, your new home”. His eyes turned to me as he said it. “Vous n'êtes pas français”,he observed, and I nodded. “l'Americain”. His moustache curved upward in what I assumed to be a smile, and he nodded.
“This is Georges, your Orderly” Pierre explained, and the man tilted his head in a slight bow to us. “Let me show you to your room”, Georges then said, limping over to a small door at the side of the Mess, which he opened up into a long corridor that ran the length of the building. The corridor was narrow - we could only walk in a line as we passed several other doors, before coming to a stop three doors before the rearmost one. Swinging it open, Georges revealed a tiny room crammed with two berths, one for me and one for Victor, with a washbasin propped between them. Slinging our kits under our beds, Georges informed us that this was to be our room, before explaining that the officers, and our C.O, resided in the Barracks next-door. “Well. That’s you settled in, no? Time to go see the Lieutenant”.
Lieutenant Albert Auger had started his war in 31ème régiment d'infanterie, being wounded once before transferring to the Flying Service in January 1915. As we entered his office, which was in the little white building we’d seen, he looked up from across his desk at us with a piercing blue stare. His eyes were almond-shaped, but sat underneath a pair of thick, fiercely downturned eyebrows. His hair was chestnut coloured, neatly parted to the side, and his moustache (of course - like every other Frenchman I’d encountered he wore a moustache) was similar to Georges’, thick but cropped at the sides of his mouth. Protruding from the buttonhole of his tunic was the crimson ribbon of the Légion d'honneur. “Ah, hello, Georges. What have we here? These are my new pilots, yes?”. He slowly drew himself up, circling around his desk and standing before us. “Vertadier and Fullard! Who’s who, then?” he asked, extending his hand out to us while looking us over with an appraising glance. “I’m Fullard,” I said, and he grinned, revealing large, square and impossibly white teeth. “Aha! l’Americain! Et vous parlez Français?”. He seemed to hang on his breath after asking. “Oui, Lieutenant”. “Oho! Good, good!” he shook my hand warmly, and turned to Victor, “And you are Vertadier! A pleasure. I am glad you are both here!”.
Suddenly, the warm humour left his face. “Tomorrow, you shall be flying your first missions. Rest up, my boys”.
Last edited by Wulfe; 04/11/1906:06 PM.
#4469989 - 04/11/1905:17 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: Nov 2014 Posts: 3,696Fullofit
This is the DiD Police, come out with your hands up! I thought we were to start our careers as Sergents. Am I wrong? Wulfe, a wonderful start. Looks like James is going to have to learn a lot from his French hosts. I wonder if Voscadeaux’s old gunner/observer turned pilot isn’t stationed at Esc. N31? BTW, unless James is wearing a bra, the French would call him l’Américain. Heh heh, Voscadeaux doesn’t eat Boche for breakfast, oh I mean shoot them down. They simply fly into the path of his bullets.
"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."
#4469990 - 04/11/1905:21 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Sgt. James Bradley Fullard, Esc. N.31, Ochery Aerodrome, France.
April 11th, 1916 (Part 1).
After meeting the Squadron Commander last night, we headed to the simple comforts of the Mess for supper. There, we had the chance to meet some of the new pilots, who were seemingly anxious to get a good look at us.
There was Sergent Ortoli, a tall, dark-skinned pilot with a receding hairline and deep-set eyes who was from the French-owned island of Corsica in the Mediterranean. Despite his ungainly appearance, Ortoli had a razor-sharp wit, always with a well-timed sarcastic remark ready for any comment. Beside him at the table sat Emile Devienne, standing at only five feet and two inches tall, with a youthful, unshaven and terribly frail appearance and, rarely, no moustache (although I had the impression that this was not by choice).
Caporal Jensen was a curious fellow, not French in fact, but Danish. Jensen had actually been a Civil pilot before the outbreak of war, and had immediately had volunteered at its outbreak. He was a bulky, well built man in his thirties, of average height, who sported a short, middle-parted head of dark brown hair. He had also adopted the ‘French Look’, a thick, squared off moustache, and the accent with which he spoke French was just as bizarre as the one he spoke English with. Jensen was the type to treat everything said with dead seriousness, and to overlook a joke. In among a squadron of rowdy Frenchmen, all displaying their subtly crafted humor, I soon found out that this made for superb entertainment.
At the head of the table sat Theophile Lemoine, a wide, portly pilot with red hair to match his alcohol-reddened nose. He clearly had a penchant for wine - the stuff seemed to vanish down his gullet en masse throughout the course of the night, and his loud statements were interrupted by the occasional hiccup. I noticed, to my distaste, that he had a nasty habit of wiping his hands on his unkempt tunic. Of all the pilots in the squadron, I was the least interested in Lemoine.
Sitting beside me, was Sergent Jean Chaput. Emanating confidence as he freely and carelessly made jokes and smalltalk with the other pilots, he had a roguish, perpetually smiling face underneath a mess of cropped black hair. Something about the easy fluidity of his gestures, the unassuming smile, the slow blinking of the eyelids as his wine glass danced in his hand, hinted at his skill in the air. It seemed implacable, but somehow I knew the man would be a killer, if he was not already.
And, of course, there was Victor Vertadier, with his curled moustache, his somehow messily-combed hair, and his upturned blue eyes, at the corners of which laugh-lines subtly showed. Ours was a merry band, and one night only was enough for me to feel that I was at home. After we had eaten our supper, Vertadier and I retired down the thin hallway to our rooms, intent on getting a good night’s rest before our first outing in the hostile skies of France, but, naturally, we were both far too excited for sleep.
I was gently shaken awake this morning by Georges, who left Victor and I with a plate of neatly-stacked buttered toast, before softly announcing “Gentlemen, you’re on escort duty in an hour’s time”. I checked my wristwatch - 7:15. With a spring in our step we threw our uniforms on and darted down the thin hallway into the mess. There we found Lemoine, sprawled out on a seat at the table, his head in his hands. “Là, Là, Là, I drank too much” he was muttering to himself, before noticing our arrival and trying (unsuccessfully) to make himself look presentable. “Okay, new ones, here’s how it is!” he said to us in his booming, grating voice. “Today one of our Two-Seaters needs to take some photographs at St. Mihiel. You two will be escorting him, and I’ll be chasing your tails to make sure le Bosche don’t get you on your first day. Got it?”. We both nodded. “Good! Now, come and see your machines”.
We followed Lemoine as he plodded towards one of the wooden hangars, and as we entered we saw four mechanics lost in focus, working on a pair of stunningly sleek Nieuport scouts. “Hey, you greasy dogs! Come and meet your new Pilotes!” he called at them, and as one they swung around to face us.
“There’s two mechanics for every machine,” Lemoine explained to us. “This one is yours, Fullard, and Vertadier, this machine belongs to you”. I looked, awestruck, at the Nieuport scout, running a hand softly down the side of the outer V-strut. The mechanic, leaning against its fuselage, grinned. “Beautiful, no? The Nieuport 11 ‘Bebe’. These coucous are unmatched in the sky, by German or English!”. I nodded, slowly, my eyes still on my machine. “I’m Thierry Durand, your Chief Mechanic. This one behind me” - he gestured to a small and very youthful mechanic, clean-shaven, with a leather cap on, “is Alexander Astier, my assitant - but, we call him Souris”. The young mechanic gave me a lazy salute.
At 8 O’Clock, after we had donned our flying coats and helmets, I watched Thierry and Souris lazily wheel my machine out onto the line. Victor and I were buzzing in anticipation of our first flight, while Lemoine stood lazily beside us, smoking a cigarette and occasionally stealing a swig from a hip flask he kept in his breast pocket. Rolling back his sleeve, he checked his wristwatch and then patted us on the back. “Okay, come on then,” he said, and we trailed behind him like ducklings as he strode onto the field.
Beside the larger Nieuport 12, the two-seat machine that sat by our scouts, stood a pilot and his observer. “Morning Tartaux, Bertillan,” Lemoine said to them, before climbing up deftly into his machine. They grunted a response. Victor and I then boarded our machines, pulling our flying goggles over our faces, as our mechanics prepared to swing our props. Just before swinging my prop, Thierry winked at me and happily chirped “Bon Voyage, Monsieur!”.
We followed the Nieuport 12 up, with Lemoine tailing us, and as we climbed I felt a thrill coursing through my veins. This was it! In my head I pictured the enemy machines I knew of - the Fokker Monoplane, which looked like a Morane Bullet, only with a squared Fuselage, and the Aviatik - the large, ungainly two-seater. At every second as we flew towards St. Mihiel I expected to see scores of them.
The wind was strong, and in the N.11s we struggled to climb above our Biplace colleague, but we managed to struggle up above him despite the ferocious Headwind. As we flew, the N.12 made a series of sharp turns, almost as if he were trying to lose us, and I figured that the pilot must be testing us, to see if he could trust us to watch his back. Eager not to disappoint, I followed his sharp manoeuvres, and eventually, seemingly satisfied, he straightened out North.
My exhilaration grew as we reached the front - an endless mass of churned-up mud, in which busted-up vehicles, tanks, endless rows of barbed wire, ruined buildings, destroyed trees, stretched on for infinite miles, accented by long lines of trenches and countless bright flashes, as artillery shells rained down. From out of the dust and smog rose a ruined city, St. Mihiel, what buildings remained standing jutted out from the earth like rotten teeth protruding from brown, infected gums. It was my first time seeing the war in person, and it was breathtaking. In my muted awe I nearly lost sight of the N.12, and I hurriedly rushed my Nieuport back to its side as we sailed out into No-Mans-Land.
We reached our target, and below me I could see the Observer reach for a small camera, leaning precariously over the side of his cockpit and photographing the lines below. Surely, the Bosche must come now! I thought, and scanned the horizons. To my disappointment, I saw nothing. I looked up - and nearly jumped out of my seat in surprise, for above us circled two large Biplanes, their dull grey outlining them in the blue sky. And - yes! On their lower wings, Crosses! They were Germans!
Hungrily, I waited for them to drop down, only to be shocked again when they promptly turned for home. Cowards! I thought, as disappointment rose up in me. Then - as I watched them - three more shapes appeared, looming above us as they seemed to materialise from out of the cloud. But, these were not the same types. They were smaller, flat-winged, razor-like...and they had no upper planes. Eindeckers.
I watched, a grin breaking out across my face, as almost in perfect unison the three Eindeckers pushed their noses down, falling in a dive towards the N.12. Looking behind me at Victor, I pointed upwards at them, and he strained his eyes, screwing up his mouth as he looked for what I had seen. No time to keep my eyes on him and make sure he’d spotted them - I was about to have my first air combat!
Two abruptly broke off their attack at the sight of us, but one came straight at me, and I turned in towards the attack. The Bosche zoomed over my head at blinding speed, and I circled around to face him once more. Now Victor saw him, and he, too, turned to join the attack. We circled with the insolent Eindecker, jockeying for position and trying to get on each-other’s tails. The Nieuport had the faster turn, and soon I was behind him. Wildly I fired at him, laughing as I did so, and he rolled onto his back and looped away. There were two yellow-white flashes at my side as both Victor and Lemoine shot after him, diving at impossible speeds, and I followed.
We took turns shooting at the Bosche, fighting over him, and at last he dove towards the ground with a Nieuport on his tail, before falling into a spin. I cried out in excitement as I saw the yellow machine crash into the earth, and immediately I looked around for my comrades. Out ahead of me, one Nieuport was flying very low to the ground, towards our lines. I followed his tail, excitement and adrenaline firing up within me, and we headed back to Ochey. We landed, and Lemoine appeared from within the Nieuport ahead of me. Still grinning, I jumped out of the cockpit and ran over to him. “That was incredible!” I cried, and he shook his head, lighting up a cigarette. “Not for Vertadier,” he said bluntly, and my smile faded. Whipping around on my heels, I realised that Victor was absent.
“What? But, where is he?” I asked meekly, and Lemoine sighed, blowing smoke from his nose. “The poor fool killed himself chasing that Fokker right down into the ground”. The ground felt as if it had dropped beneath me, as I was immediately sobered from my euphoria. “Dead…?” I echoed, and Lemoine patted me once on the back. “It’s a shame, Mon Ami, but C’est la Guerre.” With that, he strolled off back towards the mess.
Two hours passed, with no sign of Victor, or the Nieuport Two-Seater. In the mess I found Lemoine sitting over a bowl of soup, chatting idly to Ortoli and Jensen. As I closed the door behind me, Ortoli beckoned me over. “So, Fullard, you had your first scrap?” Sitting opposite him, I miserably nodded. He studied my face for a moment, then nodded in understanding. “Lemoine told us about Vertadier. It’s a pity. Were you friends?”
“Yes, but I only knew him a month” I responded. “ ᴀ ᴍᴏɴᴛʜ? ” Jensen repeated. “ ᴛʜᴀᴛ’s ᴀ ʟɪғᴇᴛɪᴍᴇ ғᴏʀ ᴀ ᴘɪʟᴏᴛᴇ ᴅᴇ ɢᴜᴇʀʀᴇ ”. Ortoli and Lemoine grunted in agreement. At that point, the door flew open with a slam, and in its frame stood a furious looking Lt. Auger. “Lemaire!” he barked, and the portly Sergeant shot up in his seat. “My office. Now”. With a fearful glance at us, Lemaire dragged his heels out towards the door, as Auger stood, red faced, waiting, before slamming the door once again behind him. I looked inquisitively at Ortoli. “He was supposed to look after you - and make sure the N.12 came home”. I reddened. “But, weren’t we supposed to do that?”. Ortoli shrugged. “Well, it’s the Lieutenant’s fault. He shouldn’t be sending new pilots to St. Mihiel, much less on escort jobs. It’s not an easy place to fly, le Bosche come at you from the North and the East”.
I peered back at the door, now stood still, and thought of unlucky old Victor, lying in a heap in the cockpit of his broken machine. It was at that point that I started to realise the nature of the work ahead of me.
Last edited by Wulfe; 04/12/1910:51 AM.
#4470059 - 04/12/1912:06 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Wulfe, brilliant work on introducing us to N31 crew. I don’t know why but I like Sgt. Lemoine. Now Vetadier, I didn’t expect that. What a shame. So how do you like the Bebe? You’ll soon learn to conserve your ammo, or shoot those Fokkers with a single burst
9 April, 1916 06:50 morning mission Senard, Verdun Sector Escadrille N37 Sous Lieutenant Gaston A. Voscadeaux 12 confirmed kills
The green Fokker was now confirmed. The tan one, not so much.
Gaston let the last volley fly toward the railyard buildings at Stenay and gave the signal to regroup. The boys were milling around nearby. One was coming over right now. It had only one pair of wings. Eindecker! Where did he come from? He was flying higher than Voscadeaux's machine, but this never stopped Gaston before from attacking his foe. With one flick of the control column Viollete was pointing her nose up, just as the Boche machine presented its belly to her. It only took one burst and the Fokker was falling down to crash in between trees of the forest below, just east of the rail yard. This happened with all three of Gaston's wingmen arriving on scene. Voscadeaux will not have any problems finding a witness.
9 April, 1916 15:00 afternoon mission Senard, Verdun Sector Escadrille N37 Sous Lieutenant Gaston A. Voscadeaux 12 confirmed kills Waiting for a claim confirmation
Patrol over Vadelaincourt aerodrome. A thick layer of fog fell on Senard aerodrome is the afternoon. The two machines destined for a patrol over Vadelaincourt aerodrome were piercing the mists and attempting to climb above it. Gaston's engine started to act up as they reached the Argonne Forest and finally threw up in his face. The oil was all over the windscreen and Voscadeaux had to battle both the fog and oily goggles to get back down. He barely made it to the edge of Brocourt-en-Argonne aerodrome. The mechanics came running towards the pilot and his machine. They knew who he was by the colour of his mount. They didn’t really fuss over Gaston himself, but his Violette, that was another matter. They were almost afraid to touch her with their greasy hands. The reverence they have shown to his aeroplane astounded him, but if that helps get him back in the air any sooner, so be it. Violette had her engine examined, repaired, cleaned up and polished. The cowling never shone this brilliantly. Gaston thanked the AM’s for their thorough work and took off. He was back at Senard before the dark.
"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."
#4470086 - 04/12/1902:39 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Lou, wonderful to see you off to a new squadron where you are sure to tear up the front. We’ll really miss Swany at No 3.
Wulfe, it’s gutting to read of Graham’s going west. A very touching episode. But here’s a hearty welcome to our gallant Legionnaire, Fuller! Victor’s fate was a real shocker.
Carrick, that’s a good-looking Nieuport. Is the camo a custom skin or a squadron default?
Fullofit, congratulations on what I trust will be #13! You are well on the way to being the darling of France. That kill was no more than five rounds.
An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins
Part Thirty-Four: In which I cater to the needs of C Flight, or at least me...
On the cold, wet morning of 10 April we received the good news that billets were being allotted in the village. Each flight was assigned a couple of dank but solid farmhouses, and the officers were each assigned a building that would become the flight mess. There was, however, a long and low brick and stucco building in the centre of town whose tiny sign proclaimed it the Café du Progrès. It was the place where the old men of the village gathered for coffee, cards, and a pipe while drinking pastis and bemoaning the prohibition on absinthe. The proprietress was a Madame Defossez, a stern-faced but affable widow whose equally widowed mother-in-law worked the kitchen and whose painfully plain (and also widowed!) daughter Jeannine served tables. We pooled our messing money and I added a few extra francs and, with much waving of hands, shrugging of shoulders, and speaking English loud (my father’s contribution to my knowledge of diplomacy) we negotiated three meals a day in a small room off the main part of the cafe. Meat was somewhat scarce, so we undertook to augment what Madame could buy in the markets or on the farms.
Unfortunately, our first lunch was delayed as we were to take off shortly after noon to bomb an enemy rail station at Monchy. We saw nothing in the air and delivered our packages, appearing to throw several carriages off the tracks.
Mesdames Defossez senior and junior served a wonderful stew of beef and kidneys, served with red wine and breathtaking bread, still warm from the oven. Captain Mealing and I called the ladies from the kitchen into the little room to receive a well-earned ovation. This gesture was rewarded with a couple of bottles of wine and a fine session of Vive la France and Vive l’Angleterre.
I shared a billet with two new observers, Lawley and Williams. Unfortunately the NCOs were still under canvas, and I hoped that Wilson still had some of his purloined whiskey to keep him warm. Our hosts were the elderly Monsieur et Madame Poidevin. The husband was deaf and his wife was blind, and I observed at dinner that this was the formula for a perfect marriage.
Madame Defossez had agreed to have a proper breakfast prepared no earlier than seven-thirty in the morning, but Jeannine would awake early and prepare tea and boiled eggs for the dawn patrol. With that to hold us, we took off shortly after six on 11 April to bomb the aerodrome at Bertincourt. The weather was poor and the winds threw us about for ninety minutes, but we managed to score a few hits on the field and buildings there. Three Fokkers flew under us near Bertincourt but chose not to engage us.
Waiting for second breakfast...
The second breakfast was a tremendous feed of black pudding and eggs, just the thing for a wet day. Captain Mealing had tried in his appalling French to request oatmeal, but Madame shrugged her shoulders and shook her head. Little with the flight commander know that I hate the stuff and gave particular instructions that it should never appear under any circumstance!
We went back to Bertincourt in the afternoon and were barely able to find it due to the clouds and drizzle. Archie was unusually heavy and accurate in this sector.
#4470130 - 04/12/1901:22 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Fullofit - What a shot! It seems the rumours about Gaston are true! And, congratulations on No. 12..by this point, all the men will be signing up to be Aviateurs and all the ladies must be praying for the day Gaston gets a 48 hour pass...by any means, I wonder what those old C.Os that disliked Gaston so much would say now?
Raine - Evocative storytelling, as per your standard! Great description of Café du Progrès, and the bit about the husband and wife made me chuckle. Keep 'em coming. Oh, and what a screenshot!
Sgt. James Bradley Fullard Escadrille N.10, Ochey Aerodrome, France.
April 11th, 1916 (Part 2).
I was still lost in my state of shocked reflection at the loss of Victor when I heard the heavy step and the click of Georges’ cane approaching my room. Poking his head in the door, he informed me that “Supper is to be served in five minutes’ time”. I quietly thanked him and rose, lethargically, to my feet.
My fellow NCO pilots were already gathered at the table when I entered, and as I took my seat Ortoli slapped me on the back in a friendly manner. I allowed my attention to drift into their conversation, but I stayed quiet. Chaput had a shine in his eyes as he excitedly discussed the details of a dogfight his patrol had gotten into. “So, we thought we had him! An Aviatik, bold or silly enough to come below 1000 meters on our side, but before we could get to grips with him, down came the Fokkers!” He mimicked the sound of machine-gun chatter. “Well, I started to turn with one fellow, as our Viking got mixed up with a second”. Viking, I quickly learned, was the affectionate nickname given to Jensen by the Escadrille’s pilots, on account of his Danish heritage. “But, this wasn’t just any Bosche, man! His flying was - “ Chaput made the curious French gesture of kissing his fingertips, with an exaggerated “Mwah!”. “By any means”, he continued, “I couldn’t get him in front of me for long enough to send him down, and I wouldn’t be shocked if you told me that it was Immelmann himself!”. “ ᴀᴛ ʟᴇᴀsᴛ ʏᴏᴜʀs ғᴏᴜɢʜᴛ ,” came Jensen’s rumbling, monotone voice, “ ᴍʏ ᴏᴘᴘᴏɴᴇɴᴛ ᴅᴏᴠᴇ ᴀᴡᴀʏ ᴀs sᴏᴏɴ ᴀs ᴡᴇ ʜᴀᴅ sᴛᴀʀᴛᴇᴅ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄɪʀᴄʟɪɴɢ ”. With a smirk, Ortoli cut in. “He must have seen that stern face of yours and lost his nerve!”. There was a bout of laughter, as Jensen looked over at him in puzzlement.
“Ah, but all this talk of air fights is tiresome!” Devienne said, throwing his arms up. “I’d much rather discuss Mademoiselles”. His smug smile quickly faded as Ortoli fired back “We can introduce you to some when you’re a little older!”. There was another round of laughter. Devienne made to retort, but just then the door creaked open, and in walked Lt. Auger, dressed in his flying coat and helmet. Rainwater ran down the sides of the heavy leather jacket and pooled around his feet. We fell silent as his piercing gaze swept the room. After an uncomfortable pause, he quietly said “Jensen, Fullard, go and get your flying gear. We’re going out to look for our Biplace”.
As I stood beside my locker in the hangar, changing into my flying equipment, Thierry shook his head. “Mon Dieu, it’s no good to be flying in the rain. You could end up with rot in the struts”, he said with a hefty sigh, before reluctantly he and Souris wheeled my Nieuport out onto the aerodrome. I followed them anxiously, looking up into the grey sky. I had never flown in weather this badly before, and I was still reeling from Victor’s sudden and unexpected death. As I boarded my machine, Auger called out from his own cockpit to me. “Fullard, keep your eyes peeled when we get to the front! I’m not keen to lose another machine today! And if you see a Bosche, rock your wings!”.
A moment later, and Auger’s Nieuport roared down the airfield, followed by mines, and then Jensen’s. The wind roared in my ears and the rain stabbed viciously at my exposed cheeks as I shakily lifted off, tensing with every quirk and shiver of my machine in the gloomy weather, and our machines strained against the headwind as we turned North for the front. Over No-Mans-Land, we begun to make wide sweeping turns, looking downward for any trace of the lost Nieuport 12 or its crew, but nothing appeared to us except for the usual debris, shell-holes and burnt-out vehicles, as well as the occasional pink dot of a sentry’s face within a trench, upturned to watch us go about our work.
By the time we turned for home, drenched to the skin as we were, the sky was darkening and we had drifted as far East as Nancy, with no trace of the Nieuport Two-Seater to be found. I was overjoyed as we started back for our aerodrome, but Auger had kept us up for too long, and the sky became darker still. We flew through a low cloud, and as I sailed through to the other side I realised with a lurch that I could no longer see Auger or Jensen.
With my ability to see rapidly diminishing, I flew aimlessly South until, below, I noticed some lights pooled around in an ‘L’ shape. Descending a little, I could make out the dull outlines of a row of Bessoneaux. Salvation! At once I dropped my altitude and came down onto the aerodrome. As I was climbing down from my machine, two mechanics appeared, raincoats thrown over their heads. “Man, don’t tell me you’ve been flying in this?” he cried, referencing the rain. Wiping my goggles and pushing them off of my face, I nodded, before helping the two mechanics wheel my bus into one of the large Bessoneaux.
As it turned out, I had landed myself at the airfield of a Caudron Escadrille, and upon finding out in their NCO’s mess that I was an American, the pilots brightened up, asking me to tell them about my homeland, and sharing with me war stories, for some of them had been infantry before, and many had been flying since last year. Outside, night had fallen proper, and I decided that I would have to stay the night. I was introduced to their C.O, Henri de Kerillis. An ex-cavalry Lieutenant with the Légion d'honneur ribbon displayed proudly through his buttonhole, Kerillis had a warm, yet commanding presence, and a hard face. Intelligence pooled up in his eyes as he reassured me that he knew my squadron, and would telephone to let them know where I was.
I was offered a recently-empty room in the NCO’s barracks to sleep in, and was mercifully able to rid myself of my soaked uniform, as one of the pilots managed to find me a spare. As I lay down in my cot for the night, the weight of the day seemed finally to catch up and crush me. I had a lot to think about.
Note: 'Biplace' was the French term for Two-Seater.
Last edited by Wulfe; 04/12/1902:43 PM.
#4470131 - 04/12/1901:23 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: May 2012 Posts: 4,879RAF_Louvert
BOC President; Pilot Extraordinaire; Humble Man
Wulfe, an outstanding introduction to your new man. Here's hoping James Fullard has a long and illustrious run, though the immediate loss of his friend Victor seems a bad sign. I believe a good luck charm may be in order, and perhaps some night vision goggles.
Fullofit, Gaston got in one magic shot on that Fokker. Poor sod never knew what hit him. Congratulations on another victory for "le pilote violet".
Raine, glad to see that James and his flight have managed better billets and a proper place to enjoy their meals. That sunrise shot is beautiful.
#4470155 - 04/12/1904:34 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Finally, after almost 2 weeks with back pain (RL) Willi can fly again.
Intersting fight with a single N11. We fought over one of our balloons which sent up a lot of flak. I just could not get the Roland onto the tail of this N11. If things looked bad I would just level out and get distance. The N11 on the level is no match for a Roland, But they can turn and climb better.
So here we were, both trying to get a shot in and it turned into one looooong fight. The Franzmann just would not quit. I had only one burst into him when he waffled a turn and fell a bit. Eventually he decided to leave by climbing and I had to give up....I very good fight alround I think.
Last edited by lederhosen; 04/12/1904:34 PM.
make mistakes and learn from them
I5 4440 3.1Ghz, Asrock B85m Pro3, Gtx 1060 3GB
#4470158 - 04/12/1904:38 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Lederhosen - sounds tense! I wonder if it wasn't an ace you ran into...
Sgt. James B. Fullard, Esc. N31, Ochey Aerodrome, France.
April 12th, 1916.
At first light I bade farewell to the men of Escadrille C.66, and, after having my route marked on my map by one of their pilots, I took off once more into the icy rain, and by 7 O'Clock I was back at Ochey. Taxiing my Nieuport up to the side of its hangar, I saw Thierry shaking his head in disgust, and gave him an apologetic grin as I climbed out of the cockpit. “Sorry, Thierry, I got lost yesterday in the dark”. “Who cares about that!” he cried, as Souris appeared to help him wheel the drenched machine into the hangar, “Look at her - she’s soaked through! Are you trying to kill my machine?!”.
After a lengthy apology, and a begrudging acceptance on Thierry and Souris’ part, I made for my Barracks, miserably pushing the door open. “Là! Là! you’re soaked!” came Lemoire’s voice as I squelched into the mess, and I looked up to see him and Devienne at the table, both wearing schoolboy grins. As I fell heavily into the chair at the head of the table, Lemoire passed me a cigarette. “You’ll catch your death up there, flying in that rain!” he crooned, as Devienne snickered behind his hand, lowering it to add “Well, now we know it’s temps aéronautique. I’m going back to bed”. As he disappeared through the door into the corridor, Lemoire called after him “Bonne nuit, little Devienne!”.
Lighting my cigarette for me, and striking a match for his own, Lemoire slouched down into his chair. “Well? Did you find our Biplace?” he asked, with a disinterested sigh. I told him we hadn’t. “Ah. C'est dommage” he said quietly, almost to himself, as he took a swig from his faithful hip flask. We sat in quiet for a moment, before he slapped his arms against his sides and declared “Well! I’m off to bed”.
I trudged back to my room, changing (again) out of my wet clothes and into a spare uniform, before lying on my cot and listening to the faint tap-tap-tap of the rain against the tar-paper roof, and the faint snores coming from the other rooms. Slowly, I dozed off, only stirring again at the sound of my door opening. As my eyes flitted open I saw that it was Georges. “Don’t mind me,” he whispered, as he stooped down and removed Victor’s duffle-bag from under the bed, slinging it over his shoulder before taking the spare uniform down from the wall-hook above Victor’s cot. With the items in hand, he hobbled out and left me in peace once more, the methodical click of his cane disappearing down the hallway.
It wasn’t until lunchtime that the pilots started showing signs of life. I heard heavy footsteps emerge from behind one of the doors, and from another came Lemoire’s cry of “Listen to that row! Jensen’s awake!”. From the room beside me, Ortoli called back “Ah! I thought it was a thunderstorm”. A few chuckles came from other rooms. Deciding I’d allowed myself to lounge for long enough, I dragged myself to my feet and wandered down the corridor, bumping into little Devienne as he came out of his own room. One by one, the NCOs of Escadrille 31 gathered around the table - as Lemoire appeared in a set of blinding orange and blue pyjamas, there was an uproar of laughter - and we chatted idly among ourselves as we waited for the Cooks to prepare lunch.
Ortoli, who had seemed to develop a liking (or at least an interest) for me, sat next to me. “Well, Fullard, how are you getting on?” he asked, and I sighed. “Not so well, actually. War flying is a lot different than I had expected. Already, I’ve been lost in the dark and rain and I’ve lost a friend”. He looked surprised, his eyebrows raising underneath his sparse hairline. “But, Mon Ami, surely you didn’t expect to come to war and not encounter death?” he asked. “No, no, I knew that that would be part of it. Just - Victor and I were so excited to finally be sent to a squadron. And, I suppose, I never thought that he might die”.
Ortoli ran a thumb across his lip. “Hm. I understand what you mean. But, C’est la Guerre, you will get used to it, sadly. Before you there was a fellow named Cormier, a really friendly sort, and a brilliant pilote. He joined us in January, and by the end of the month he was the life of the Mess hall. Four days before you arrived, he was shot in the neck while chasing an Aviatik, dead before he hit the ground. And it’s not just him! N.31 has lost 4 aviateurs in the past two months, and now poor Tartaux and...Vertadier, it was? Yes, him too. It is always sad, of course, but what is there to do but carry on? If we dwell on our dead friends, their bad luck, or our good luck and near-misses, how can we cope, mon ami? Jensen over there has had it the worst - he’s been with N.31 since the beginning, when we had only Morane L’s. He’s seen more aviateurs lost than any of us”.
He produced a pipe, packing it and lighting it with a match, before inhaling deeply and becoming lost in thought, as I turned his words over in my head. I was sad that Victor had died, but I realised that Ortoli was right. What was the point in dwelling on his death? It did me no good.
For lunch we had eggs and ham, served alongside buttered rolls and cocoa, which we hungrily lapped up. Across the way, Chaput called out “Lemoire, who was flying with Tartaux yesterday?”. With a mouthful of food, Lemoire replied “Oh, it was, err...I don't remember. Ah! Mais oui, it was Bertillon!”. Chaput’s face contorted. “No! Ah, Bertillon! Such a shame, he was an A-1 fellow”. There were murmurs of agreement. “So, you saw nothing at all yesterday, Fullard?” Ortoli asked me, as the pilots turned expectantly towards me. “Nothing” I replied, to mumbled disappointment.
At that moment the door to the mess opened, inviting in an icy draft that was met with cries of protest, as in stepped a wiry Orderly, dripping wet. Immediately at his appearance came shouts of irritation from the pilots. “What are you doing here, Messier? Can’t you see the weather? Go away!” cried Lemoire, throwing a bread roll at the orderly, who expertly sidestepped it. With his arms folded, he tapped his foot until the abuse subsided.
“You know,” Messier said with a glare, “I only tell you the roster assignments. I don’t come up with them”. There was a series of boos, as Ortoli responded “Bad enough! Out with it then, you gloom merchant!”. Messier unfolded his arms and stuck them in his pockets. “Well, don’t worry, you delicate flowers, only one of you has to go up today. The C.O. wants a replacement Biplace, and he has said that you, Lemoire, can be the one to fetch it from Le Bourget, seeing as it was under your care when it went missing”. The other pilots howled with laughter as Lemoire bolted upright out of his chair, slamming his hands down on the table. “What!” he cried, his face turning nearly as red as his hair, “How does he expect me to even fly in this storm, never mind all the way back from Le Bourget! And in a Nieuport 12, no less!”. Messier shrugged. “Those are your orders. Pierre will be waiting for you in the fiat”. With that, he promptly disappeared back out into the rain, with another blast of cold air.
Chaput, Ortoli and little Devienne were clutching their sides in a choking fit of hilarity, and even I couldn’t help but burst out laughing, at the sight of an enraged Lemoire storming off into the corridor in his dazzling pyjamas, slamming the door to his room behind him. Five minutes later (the laughter hadn’t quite died down yet) he reappeared in his powder blue uniform. “Merde! I should write my will!” he cried out as he opened the door, looking out onto the soaked aerodrome. “Get on with it, and get that door closed!” Ortoli yelled at him, as another buttered roll went flying, this time aimed for Lemoire's head. This one found its mark, and I wondered if Ortoli was as accurate with a Lewis.
The remainder of the day passed much the same, with me slowly getting to know the colleagues that I would be spending my each and every day with. Through our idle conversations, I decided that I liked them. They, too, were fond of me - but I wasn’t one of them yet. As I found out through their idly told stories, these men had been fighting and bleeding together for months. Those that sat around me now had mourned the loss of many other colleagues of theirs, and it was their losses that forged their bonds. Lemoire arrived back at around Four O’Clock, just before suppertime, soaked to the bone and pale-white with fear, making his red hair stand out marvellously against his face. As he told us over supper, the harrowing flight back in the Nieuport 12 had taken two hours, and he had flown at near stall-speed for the entire journey. “Man, if I had not kept full concentration for even a second, old Lemoire would be bound for the Cemetery!” he cried out to us, to the response of laughter and exaggerated pity.
I finished the day by penning a letter to my brother, Michael, asking him how his air-war was going and telling him the details of my first day at the front. Although I didn't know where, or even how, to send the letter, I felt better for writing it, and trusted that Ortoli or one of the others could help me get it to Michael. As I climbed into my cot that night, lying down alongside Victor’s neatly-made, unoccupied bunk, I fancied that I was an old hand at War Aviation, even though it was only the end to my second day at the Escadrille, and I hadn't even flown. How naive - there were many, many lessons yet to learn.
All missions scrubbed until the 16th, due to the weather! Drat!
Last edited by Wulfe; 04/12/1907:28 PM.
#4470176 - 04/12/1906:10 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: May 2012 Posts: 4,879RAF_Louvert
BOC President; Pilot Extraordinaire; Humble Man
Wulfe, it appears James is settling in. Too bad about the upcoming stretch of foul weather, I've a hunch it will be putting the crimp in more than just your man's style.
Lederhosen, sorry to hear about your back problems, I hope it continues to get better for you. Glad to see you again in the virtual skies.
12 April, 1916 Candas, France No.2 Aircraft Depot, R.F.C. 2nd Lt. Randolph Arvid Swanson, MC & Bar 12 confirmed victories
It was the military’s time-honored tradition of “hurry up and wait”, along with a dud engine, which had Swany still hanging about Candas. He should have been travelling up to St. Omer by now and, if things had gone as planned, visiting Georgette along the way. Instead, he was in one of the large repair sheds at No.2 AD, standing near the Fokker he and Captain Rankin had forced down on Friday last, and which he was to have flown the Morane against in mock battle yesterday afternoon. Alongside Swanson stood one Archibald Dirks, an older AM who appeared to know precisely what he was doing when it came to rotary engines. He’d removed the Oberursel from the Hun plane and had torn it down completely: Crankcase and shaft, cylinders and pistons, rods and valves, and all the other bits and pieces that comprised the power plant were now spread out neatly across one of the long, heavy workbenches scattered about the building.
“Ya see ‘ere Sir, this ‘ere’s the trouble”, the fellow stated in a confident tone as he pointed an oily finger at the interior of one of the cylinders. “It’s all scored an’ dug up, innen’it. ‘At’s because Andy over there, bein’ the careless git ‘e is, missed a bleedin’ chunk’a meh’al ‘at was floatin’ about in the crankcase when ‘e tore it down th’first time. Gawd knows ‘ow many other dings there might be ‘cause of it, I’ll ‘ave to inspect every bleedin’ piece.”
The senior AM looked fairly proud of himself after explaining the issue to his audience of one, and just as Swany was about to inquire when the thing might run again, Archibald yelled across the shop, “Hey, Andy, ya bleedin' plonker, ya made a dog’s dinner a’this one as well. Do it one more time an' I’m comin’ over wif a Stillson spanner an’ partin’ yer greasy hair wif it!” The recipient of the verbal attack, a thin, tallish fellow, had his back to the other two men, and upon hearing the threat gave a less-than-friendly wave over his shoulder in return.
Swany nearly burst out laughing – he liked this character Dirks. After he’d managed to regain the demeanor expected of an officer, the Lieutenant made his inquiry, “So den, when do you expect to have dis machine airvorthy again? Soon, I hope.”
“No to worry Sir, she’ll be ready by th’morning so you an’ Captain Thomas can ‘ave your go-round. An’ I’ll take a butchers at th’engine on that Morane you’ll be flyin’ as well Sir and make sure it’s aces. Don’t want it goin’ all wonky on ya when yer up there. I don’t think Andy’s been anywhere near it, but I’ll look jus’th’same,”
“Tank you Dirks, I appreciate it,” Swany replied with an amiable smile.
The AM, who’d been holding back on a question, was emboldened by Swanson’s friendly demeanor. “If y’don’t mind me askin’ Sir, where are ya from? No disrespect, but your accent’s a funny one, even for a Yank.”
This time Swany did laugh. “I could say the same ting about your accent, Dirks. But to answer your question, I’m from Minnesota, vay up by Canada. And my folks are from Norvay.”
“That’s a giggle, innen’it Sir. I didn’t think about ‘ow I talk might be soundin’ odd to your ear. Just goes to show, eh Sir?”
“It does at that”, the young pilot replied cheerily as he headed out of the hangar, leaving Archibald to get on with his work. “See you later, Dirks. Have fun vith your rotary.”