Wulfe, oh no! Toby is beginning to loathe these Nieuport types. He is stuck with that Bebe, while he could be flying a Pup. He won’t touch any of those French machines unless he can’t help it. That is some intro to Evan. Wonder if those episodes of augmented state of mind will help or hinder his ability to fight in the air. Perhaps he can drink tea to help his condition? You will love the Pups. Too bad Eason hasn’t flown any Nieuports to compare. Well done and welcome to the new warrior.
Carrick, perhaps Rene should pick up painting again, hmm? So many attractive subjects.
“ ... I can only take solace from the thought that he didn’t suffer. His body was laid to rest in the local cemetery only yesterday. We will miss him greatly and I hope you will remember him fondly. Sincerely, Raymond Elmore”
Toby finished reading the letter again, still not believing his own eyes and trying to get to grips with the passing of his American friend. Just like last time when James was in hospital, Elmore was the one to seek Toby out and bring him the news, so it was now. Mulberry felt empty inside. Empty and numb. He wanted to drink himself to a stupor but he had a patrol to fly. The ‘A’ flight flew ahead. They were faster since their flight was composed of solely Pups. They were the first ones to encounter the enemy above Bertincourt. When the ‘B’ flight arrived there were still some scraps of Halberstadts to be mopped up. Mulberry watched as his flight engaged and joined them once everyone had a target. He waited for his turn and latched on to one of the biplane scouts. Toby fired blindly. He could not tell where the rounds were going with the awkward position of the gun. He was getting impatient while his wingmen buzzed around waiting for an opportunity to have a go. Part of the wing came off the Halberstadt as Toby fired his last bullet. The Hun tumbled to the ground with one of his wingmen following. It was Booker. He followed the spiraling Boche to the ground. Toby could not believe what was happening. The man was fixated on the falling German. They both perished. Mulberry’s return flight was occupied with images of the last moments of his wingmate. Is this how Fullard’s life ended too? The only good thing from this mission was the fact that the Halberstadt was easily confirmed by his flight mates. It was no consolation at all.
Fullofit - a touching eulogy for poor old Fullard, and a nice touch including Ol' Elmore in the story. Perhaps Toby will eventually run into the Southern Aristocrat flyer again sometime...!
The tale of Evan C. Easom, part 2: The First Patrol. November 27th, 1916:
The light spilling in from the uncurtained windows roused Easom into consciousness - and pain. A thunder in the skull, beating upon his brain and rattling his over-sensitive ears. As he stirred, he felt a second pain shoot through his elbow, accompanied by a dull glassy thud. The empty whiskey bottle revealed itself from within the covers. He glanced at his wristwatch - six-thirty.
With a groan, Easom swung his legs from beneath the sheets and found the floor. From the hall outside he heard the noises of morning, pilots stirring and emerging from their rooms. In an all-too-sober flash, his recollection of the Disconnect returned to him. He had met his C.O and his Adjutant. They had seemed...he couldn’t recall. As he held up the whiskey bottle, he was reminded of the bottle that sat above the mantelpiece in the family estate. The one with the little model of the HMS Victory. An unpleasant thought began to rise like a tide but he quickly shut it out and pulled on the parts of his uniform he hadn’t fallen asleep in. The dull navy tunic and the leather boots. “Right,” he muttered, retrieving his suitcase from the foot of the bed. From inside of it he retrieved a small mirror, which he propped up against the wall, leaving it rested on the writing-desk. After quickly combing his hair and smoothing his uniform, he turned the knob of his door and stepped out into the hallway.
As he did so, the door beside his was wrenched open and a Sub-Lieutenant came barreling out of the room, colliding with him. “Oh, sorry chum!” the man exclaimed, embarrassed. Easom caught his gaze, and unfamiliarity flashed for a moment in the man’s eyes, before being replaced by realisation. “Say, you must be the new chap!” he said, a friendly smile appearing on his face. “That’s me,” Easom replied tentatively. The man beamed. “Well, then. We’d better get a move on, old chap, or we’ll miss breakfast! Come on, the mess is just this way”.
The pair stepped out of the barracks and rounded onto the thin duckboard pathway that connected the various sections of the aerodrome. Figures clad in dark uniforms were making their way towards a large H-shaped building which stood at the heart of the aerodrome. “This way,” instructed the Sub-Lieutenant, leading Easom towards this same building. “What did you say your name was again?” he asked, chirpily. “Evan. Evan Easom”. Without breaking stride, the man extended a hand, which Easom awkwardly shook while trying not to slip on the damp duckboards. “Well, Evan-Evan Easom, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m Gerald Ross”. Easom worked up a polite smile in an attempt to cover up the thumping in his head as Ross continued. “You look a little under-the-weather, chum! Feeling nervous? No need to, dear boy. It’s all top fellows here, you’ll fit right in, I’m sure! Although, a word to the wise, you’ll have to get used to the language. Lots of Canadians in our gang. They’re a good sort, but my word do they swear!” he chuckled to himself.
The mess room was split into three sections. The two ‘bars’ of the H formed the Officers’ and Mens’ messes, with the smaller ‘crossbar’ being a kitchen that was attached to, and served, both. Ross held the door open for Easom as he stepped in, immediately colliding with a wall of noise. Around a large central table, airmen chattered loudly and excitedly, as from the far left corner came a soft, out-of-tune melody from a piano. The notes of “They Didn’t Believe Me” hung lazily in the air, contrasting with the sharp, invasive laughter from the table. “Take a seat here,” Ross instructed, pulling up two chairs at the end of the table. “I’ll fetch us some breakfast”. Easom obeyed, sliding down into the seat. Immediately the man opposite turned to him. “Well, well! A new face! I’d heard we had a new boy arrive yesterday”. The man introduced himself as Herbert Travers, and Easom shook his hand. After the first exchanged pleasantries, and the obligatory ‘how is it in England?’ that Easom had experienced with every fighting man since his arrival, Ross returned with two bowls of yellow-grey porridge. “Only the finest for us,” he remarked, smirking, before tapping Easom on the shoulder and pointing to a blackboard which hung on the wall. “That’s the operations board. It’ll tell you when and where you will be flying for the day. You should check it every night before bed, and again in the morning, just in case it’s been changed. I’ve had a look for you - it seems you’ll be going up with ‘B’ over Nieuwpoort at 10 O’Clock. I’ll be on that show as well, so I’ll see you straight. By the way, have you met your observer yet?”.
Easom was puzzled. “Observer? I thought we flew Pups!”. Despite himself, Ross laughed. “Well, we do, but we can’t go giving our best crates to every green pilot, no offence! No, you’ll be flying a Strutter. But, you’ve been assigned an A-1 observer”.
Ross made an attempt to introduce Easom to several other pilots and observers around the table, but before long the names had blended within his head into an unintelligible syllable-soup. The hours between breakfast and 10 O’Clock seemed eternal, but finally the hour came. After clumsily throwing on his Fug-Boots and the dark, thigh-length motoring coat, he made his way onto the aerodrome. Lined up and awaiting their crews were three Strutters - they greatly resembled the pup, except that their fuselages were longer and behind each cockpit was a rear compartment for the observer. Ross greeted Easom with a wave, before showing him to his machine. “Here she is! 5540. She’s a good bus, so take care of her”. They were then approached by a short, wiry observer, whose moustache stuck out randomly from below his nose like the end of an overused broom. “Ah, this is Vance, your Observer!” Ross exclaimed. “A pleasure,” Easom said, and Vance grinned, revealing several missing teeth. “Pleasure’s all moine,” he replied in an alarmingly thick Irish accent. “Well, we’d bett’r get to it!”.
After some more instruction from Ross on what to do, and what to expect, , Easom climbed aboard 5540, followed by Vance. As he did so, he felt his nerves build. He regarded this as a good feeling. An important feeling. Nerves meant you were alert. The mechanics swung the props, and each motor started smoothly, and then the three Strutters were racing down the length of the Aerodrome. Their wheels left the ground, and soon they were sailing upwards. To the north, the Sea shone as it lulled in the morning breeze. Beyond, on the horizon, Easom was surprised to see the chalk face of Dover’s cliffs. It’s so close! He thought, allowing his gaze to settle onto the cliffs for a moment, before turning back and focusing on finding his position within the formation.
The three Sopwiths reached Dunkirk, and Easom leaned over to marvel at the sleepy little coastal town - so quaint, and quiet. He found it hard to believe that just East of here, war raged incessantly. They had climbed now to 7,000 feet, and the cold bit harshly at Easom’s exposed cheeks. Looking forwards again, Easom scanned over the tops of the clouds, and a faint smile appeared underneath his flying scarf. Ahead of him, Ross’ machine turned more South, setting a course towards Diksmuide, where their patrol would begin.
Shortly afterwards, Easom caught glimpse of a strange sight ahead of him. Straining his eyes, he caught sight of what appeared to be a mass of six or seven black spots, dancing like fireflies in front of him. Confusedly he squinted, trying to make out the strange visual phenomenon. At the same time, Ross rocked his wings back and forth, and suddenly snapped his Strutter to face the specks. At once, Easom realised - they were aeroplanes! It was a scrap! He felt his nerves rise as he dutifully followed Ross towards the machines. Behind him, Vance swung the machine-gun forwards. His face was tense and serious.
...and, suddenly, they had reached the fight. Ahead of them, the small frames of Nieuport scouts danced and looped with larger, bulkier machines with violently squared-off wingtips. As Easom’s eyes darted over the scene, trying to make sense of the chaos, he caught a yellow flash to his right. Immediately his head swung around to chase the motion, and he spotted a Nieuport diving down with a bright yellow machine on its tail. On its fuselage side was a stark black iron cross. A German!
Easom swung his machine around to give chase, as ahead of him the desperate Nieuport wallowed every which-way, trying to shake his pursuer. The German merrily followed his manoeuvres, the odd burst of tracer sailing past the Nieuport. Easom focused his gaze on the back of the German’s helmeted head and lined up his sights. Closing in just a little further, Easom held his breath, and pressed down on the trigger.
Tracers flashed through the wingtips of the German machine. Suddenly, a flash of pink as the surprised pilot swung his head around in shock. Simultaneously, the thankful Nieuport skirted off to the left, and the German went right. Easom rolled his Strutter onto its side, pulling the stick back to follow his quarry, and loosed a second burst of machine-gun fire. Suddenly the German jolted in the air, his machine wobbling like a merry drunkard and slowing, as ahead of its pilot the airscrew juddered to a halt. Flying below and to the right, Easom looked up at the machine - so close he could walk the length of his wing and jump aboard. Directly below the stunned German was painted a large grinning skull, painted on a white band that encircled the fuselage. In the space of a second, Easom took in its details. It chilled him slightly. The omen of death. A moment later, and he watched a line of tracer walk the length of the fuselage, hearing the sharp crack-crack-crack as Vance’s Lewis gun barked into life. Immediately the German slipped down onto his right wingtips, before falling into a dizzying spiral. Awestricken, Easom watched as the enemy machine fell, the skull on its fuselage grinning all the way down to earth.
Beside him appeared Ross’ Strutter. From behind the engine Easom could see him laughing and waving. Easom gave a shaky wave in return. Reaching down into his cockpit, Ross produced a flare gun, firing a white flare into the sky. White - what was that again? Return home. The two Strutters peeled away and headed west.
Shortly after landing, Ross bounded out of his machine and came running towards Easom and Vance. “Marvellous!” he cried. “Your first outing and you bagged yourself an Albatros! Wait until the rest of the chaps hear!”. Easom couldn’t hide his grin, the adrenaline still coursing through him. He’d gotten a Hun! Vance slapped him on the back. “Well! Oi didn’ expect t’at from yer! Drinks are on you tonight, killer!”.
Later that evening, in the mess, there was a big celebration. One of the pilots of ‘A’ flight, Alex Turner, had shot down a German out of control during the afternoon patrol for his 5th victory. Later that night, word reached the aerodrome that he was to receive the MC. Easom quickly found himself being barraged by questions concerning his first battle by a gang of Canadians, all the while being passed bottle after bottle, drink after drink. By the end of the night his head was swimming, and by the time he had flopped onto his cot, still fully in uniform, his eyes were fluttering shut with exhaustion.
As he drifted into sleep, he smiled faintly to himself. It had been a good day.
Side note - WoFF doesn't seem to be saving any screenshots at the moment. Any ideas?
Wulfe, superb introduction to Evan Easom, I hope we will be reading a lot more about him over the coming months. Great storytelling as always. Also, screen cap is working fine for me in WOFF.
Fullofit, wonderful episode and video. Too bad about the loss of Booker, as well as the loss of Toby's Pup. Did Chesty raise the hackles of someone up the chain of command and that got him saddled with the Nieups again?
MFair, here's wishing Franklin F. Frobisher a long and lustrous career.
Carrick, looks like Maxie and Etaine would give quite the workout indeed.
The tedium of Home Defence was temporarily broken for Swany this morning.
27 November 1916 Stow Maries, England
After more than a month of uneventful flights, seeing nothing but clouds, birds, rain, snow, and the King's own aeroplanes in the skies above England, some excitement at last. On the evening of the 26th the Hun sent over an armada of Zeppelin raiders, the first of which was spotted over the coast near Hartlepool shortly before midnight. For the next six hours RFC and RNAS Home Defence units were on the alert and in the air. While the bulk of the activity was well north of Captain Swanson and his flight of three B.E.12s stationed at Stow Maries, it did not prevent them from running patrols throughout the night along the coastlines east and northeast of them, in hopes of catching one of the airships on their return crossing. Having been aloft nearly three hours on his first patrol of the night, Swany was up again after his mount had been refueled and given a quick once-over, and after he had taken on some hot tea and toast to bolster himself. It was now approaching the two-hour mark of the second outing and the Captain's eyes were burning and bleary, and his entire body numb. The eastern sky was beginning to brighten as the young airmen flew north along the coast towards Great Yarmouth. He wondered how Wellyn and Peel were doing on their respective patrols to the south. A quick check of the cockpit clock indicated it was just past 6:00, he would have to turn for home soon.
Suddenly, from out of the clouds below, a hulking mass slowly took shape. Swany had to look twice, unsure if what he was seeing was real - it was. A Zeppelin was coming directly towards him, and it was being chased by no less than three B.E.2s of another Home Defence squadron! The Captain quickly swung his mount around and joined the proceedings, lining up for his own pass on the airship. It was a massive target, filling the sky in front of him as he closed on it and began firing. Swany watched the tracers from his Vickers ripping into the nose of the ship and he loosed a good 200 rounds. Before breaking off his attack he could see tracers from one of the Quirks zipping past his port-side, also slamming into the retreating ship. The B.E.s continued to peck away at the Hun as the Captain came around for a second go, this time raking the entire length of the monster. The Zeppelin loomed large as Swany veered down, the gunners on board returning fire with a vengeance, but there would be no hope of escape for the aerial marauders. Swany turned again and was coming back for a third pass, and as he aligned on his target and was about to squeeze the trigger, flames erupted from the rearward section of the airship. The B.E.s had finished the job they'd started. Swany chuckled to himself as he saw one of the pilots exuberantly loop his plane directly above their fiery trophy. The Captain then watched as the flames quickly swept through the entire length of the craft, the blazing wreckage falling to the sea below, ending in a watery grave for all aboard. One of the Quirks swooped in alongside Swany's mount and its pilot gave a signal indicating they would all be landing at the aerodrome just to the north. Invitation accepted, the Captain followed the B.E.s down to Great Yarmouth.
Once on the ground and after the pilots had climbed from their mounts and stomped and slapped feeling back into their extremities, introductions were made. The three B.E. flyers turned out to all be of the Royal Naval Air Service: FL Egbert Cadbury, FSL Edward Pulling, and FSL George Fane. "Bertie" Cadbury, who was actually stationed at Yarmouth, (and whose family founded and owned Cadbury Brothers Chocolate), played host and invited Swany to join him and his two RNAS mates for some hot tea and breakfast as they all sorted out what had just transpired. Once in the mess, with flying kits removed, Cadbury and the others were astounded to see Swany's row of ribbons crowned by the VC, as well as the trio of wound stripes on his sleeve. Captain Swanson did his best to downplay it all but his new-found friends were having none of it and demanded they would have some details after the AARs were filled out. Swany took a long sip of the fresh, hot tea and felt it warming his insides, then announced he intended to take no credit whatsoever for their victory as he'd come late to the party.
"You boys had the work done by the time I dropped in. I vas only too glad to take a few shots at one of those monsters."
If he wasn't popular before this statement, he most certainly was afterwards.
"Well, at the very least you will be noted in our reports as having 'assisted'. Credit where credit is due old boy", Bertie announced with a broad smile.
"That's your call", Swany grinned. "As I say, I vas just happy to join in."
Swany spent the remainder of the morning visiting with the RNAS lads and being shown around Yarmouth station. When it came time to leave he invited Cadbury, Pulling, and Fane to come down to Stow Maries where he would act as host and take them over to London for a night on the town. They all agreed it would be a date just as soon as time and circumstance allowed. Swany re-donned his flying gear and climbed up into his mount, which had been topped up and wiped down for him during his visit, and after warming up the V-12 he signaled "chocks away" and gave a wave as he rumbled across the frozen ground and lifted up into a crisp, winter sky.
A massive shape appears ghost-like from out of the clouds below.
Captain Swanson brings his mount around and joins the attack already in progress.
200 plus rounds spew from the Vickers into the nose of the beast as tracers from one of the B.E.s zip past Swany's port-side.
Swinging around for another pass.
Raking the length of the target as gunners aboard the airship return fire.
Coming around again for a third pass as two of the B.E.s press their attacks.
Just as the Captain was about to squeeze the trigger flames erupt from the Zeppelin - the B.E.s had finished the job they'd started.
Swany pulled along side and watched as flames enveloped the mighty Hun airship.
A watery grave for the flaming wreck and all aboard it.
Captain Swanson follows the B.E.s to Great Yarmouth.
Coming in to land at the R.N.A.S. camp just as the sun crests the far horizon of the North Sea.
NOTE: Concerning the actual historic attack that Swany joined in on, Cole and Cheesman stated the following in their book, "The Air Defence of Britain 1914-1918": Despite the overwhelming probability that Cadbury's four drums of explosive, incendiary and tracer ammunition were the prime cause of L21's destruction, the navy gave chief credit to Pulling. He was made a DSO while Cadbury and Fane received DSCs. Commodore A.A. Ellison, in command of Lowestoft and Yarmouth, bracketed Cadbury and Pulling together in his report as both having shown utmost keenness and devotion to duty in night operations, often flying long hours in dangerous weather. However, Pulling, the last to attack, was perhaps given the senior award in recognition of his thirteen anti-Zeppelin sorties - the highest number flown by any RNAS or RFC pilot at the time.
Flight Sub–Lieutenant E.L. Pulling (left) and Flight–Lieutenant E. Cadbury (right)
#4498509 - 11/27/1907:04 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: Nov 2014 Posts: 2,594Fullofit
Wulfe, congrats to Evan on his first victory. That was done in grand fashion. Soon he will be the leading ace of the squadron. Who knows, maybe he can catch up to Mulberry, or better yet to Swanson? He seems very fond of the sauce. I wonder if it helps him focus, or just unwind after a particularly stressful mission. Looking forward to more deadly encounters and their excellent descriptions. Make sure in Workshops that “K” isn’t bound to some other function. If that doesn’t help, do the windows explorer search of the most recent .bmp files. Maybe WoFF is just placing them in some other folder. Fingers crossed!
Lou, Chesty doesn’t know anyone up the chain to raise the hackles. He suspects the Office of Bad Decisions at play here. The Nieuports are for the lowest ranked pilots and apparently him. So, Swany has finally met the Graf von Zeppelin’s creations. This certainly qualifies as recreation and a solid tedium breaker. Hopefully there is still enough Zeps around that the good Captain can claim one for himself. That definitely would look good on his score card. Again, fingers crossed!
"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."
#4498527 - 11/27/1909:45 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Wulfe, your description of Fullard struggling to maintain situational awareness despite the Spad’s restricted visibility was very familiar. It gets better with experience, but not much better! I was very sad to see the last of James. That was a terribly unlucky way to go. But turning now to Evan – what a terrific introduction! I love the line “world became unworld.” Something very Anglo-Saxon about that line.
Fullofit, that was a disturbing way to lose a wing man. I love the touch about Mulberry receiving the letter from Elmore. You are coming up for a big milestone. Please make sure that Toby plays it safe.
Lou, wonderful to see Swany in action again! I was wondering whether 37 Squadron would get a chance to chase L 21 that far from its aerodrome. I hope you enjoyed Zep-hunting as much as I did. Those Home Defence intercepts are some of the most immersive moments in WOFF.
Carrick, most people go to hospital for a bit of rest and recovery. Your pilots seem to wear out many of their parts instead!
An Airman’s Odyssey – by Capt James Arthur Collins, VC, DSO, MC
Part Eighty-Five: In which I find a new determination
Late on 23 November I was told I would be released from the hospital in Rouen the following day on condition that I be examined and have my stitches removed by a medical officer before being cleared to fly. An ambulance was returning to Amiens at noon and it was arranged that I should go with it. I was given a pass for Amiens in case I needed to stay overnight there before returning to Fienvilliers.
My last night in the hospital. Winter had arrived with the will. The canvas of our tented ward snapped and fluttered loudly while the electric lights flickered. Outside, voices cursed and shouted over the wind as unseen men grappled with the guy lines and struggled to keep a roof over our heads. Throughout it all, the nursing sisters moved purposely and silently between the beds, fully bundled in their grey coats and capes and wearing woollen mittens. I lay awake for hours, needing to relieve myself but reluctant to pull aside the blankets and sit up. After a series of half-sleeps, sunlight played faintly on the canvas walls without warming us. I gathered my clothes and made my way shivering to the bath house. The lukewarm water briefly stopped the chill. It felt glorious to emerge and dress. The ablutions hut had genuinely hot water; I took a ridiculously long time to shave. Finally, with greatcoat, muffler, and gloves, I bade farewell to the nursing sisters and orderlies. I hunted for Boyle, only to learn that he had been discharged last night. With an orderly to carry my bag, I headed for the ambulance lines.
The driver’s name was Trammell and he came from the North of England somewhere. He seemed like a good sort, but I understood very little of what he said whilst he thought I talked like a cowboy – not that he’d ever heard one. We left Rouen at twelve-thirty. Trammell picked his way carefully along the icy roads. At one road crossing we were stopped to let a battery of artillery pass in front. The exhaustion of our youth played like a tableau before us – the gunners, once boys and now hollow men, stumbled in one another’s footsteps through the snow; their officer, dismounted, led his mount with one arm protectively wrapped about the poor beast’s muzzle; the horses pulling the guns strained in their traces against the weight of caissons and guns and ice-encrusted wheels. We arrived in Amiens in the early afternoon. Major Rodwell had sent his car to meet me outside the train station, and Trammell helped me move my kit into the back seat. The weather was beginning to warm and the return to Fienvillers was a pleasant drive.
The major welcomed me back like a long-lost son. Now that the push had ended and winter was upon us, the pace of flying had slackened. Most days required only one patrol. The boss asked me about my medical status, and I told him I was fit to fly but that I seemed to have lost my paperwork in the ambulance. What I did not say was that the sight of those poor gunners had made me angry at the whole blasted war and I wanted to kick back at the Hun. He looked at me sceptically and nodded. “Good,” he said. “You’re back up in the morning.”
The stove in our Nissen was glowing hot. Tea was on, and Henderson informed me that a new case of Yukon Gold whisky had arrived in my absence. He had taken the liberty of opening a bottle to drink my health upon my return. Apparently, he and Whiting had already rehearsed this moment several times, for the bottle was more than half empty! I learned that we had lost two fellows in the past week, both new chaps whom I hardly knew. All the familiar faces, however, were still about. One of the replacement pilots, a man named Hansel, had been assigned to my C Flight. Weather permitting, he would join us for his first view of the lines in the morning.
As was normal, the dispatch rider with orders from Wing pulled up at the squadron office shortly before dinner hour at seven. The RO and CO then put their heads together and assigned tasks for the following day. It was Major Rodwell’s practice to give us our jobs in the anteroom after our evening meal. I suppose he did not want to spoil our appetites. That was the cook’s job.
Our friends at Wing were insisting that we take down an observation south of Péronne. It was outside of our sector, but I suppose the French commander had sent our General a bottle of good burgundy and we were the General’s thank-you note. It would be a grim initiation for Hansel. Hansel was a freckle-faced, ginger-headed boy who was trying very hard to fit in but whose sense of humour needed a few more years to mature. I took him aside and bought him a drink – he preferred sherry. Probably it was his mother’s favourite. I told him that I wanted him close on my left wing, but that when we got over the lines I would take the first crack at the balloon and he should stick with Child. I would climb back to meet the two of them, releasing Child for another go at the balloon. Hansel would then stick with me. Only if Child and I both failed would Hansel take his own shot at the balloon.
“Throttle well back and dive at the thing. Don’t forget to fire in short bursts, five to seven rounds tops. More than that and you’re asking for a gun jam.”
“I must say, this is jolly exciting stuff,” said Hansel. “I rather think I’d like it if you and Child missed the balloon so that I could give it a sound beating.”
“Yes it is, and no you wouldn’t,” I told him. “Most importantly, remember to break away in time and jink about until you’re well clear of the area. Lots of fellows get so focused on shooting down the gasbag that they fly right into the bloody thing. If you do that, I swear I’ll write your mother and tell her you deserted with a couple of painted tarts from Amiens!”
We had a thaw overnight. Even at full throttle, the Spad took a long time to get its tail up. During the whole process of gaining speed, the wheels threw up clods of mud that thudded against the underside of the fuselage. We formed up over the Amiens - Doullens road. Hansel kept his station rather well for a new boy. The morning was clear. The sunlight reflecting on our target made the balloon visible from two miles off. I waggled my wings and headed straight to the attack, firing a hundred rounds before breaking off. Strangely, the balloon gave off a column of dense black smoke but did not catch fire. At least the observers had a good chance to jump clear of the thing. I felt greedy, and decided to try one more pass. The Spad came about smartly and I opened fire from three hundred yards. At my second short burst, the gasbag erupted in flames. I climbed quickly to rejoin Child and Hansel. Child gave me an enthusiastic thumbs-up followed by a much ruder gesture, whilst Hansel saluted with a toothy great grin.
"Strangely, the balloon gave off a column of dense black smoke but did not catch fire. At least the observers had a good chance to jump clear of the thing. I felt greedy, and decided to try one more pass."
This was my fifteenth kill in France; adding my four Zeppelins my score was now nineteen. I’d celebrate this one lightly, I decided, and save the real binge for the next one to come. Every Hun from now on would be one step closer to home for those poor gunners.
#4498554 - 11/28/1912:34 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Lou - brilliant screenshots, and what an encounter! Great addition about your meet-up with the other HD pilots!
Raine - Good to see Mr. Collins giving the Hun what-for again. Strange encounter with that balloon - not seen that before!
Adger - the more the merrier!
The tale of Evan Claude Easom part 3: Red.
November 28th, 1916.
Another morning dawned, and with it came another pounding in the head, like the incessant, invasive sound of a child beating indefatigably on a toy drum. As Easom forced his eyes open, squinting them against the first rays of morning, he sleepily checked his wristwatch. Six-thirty. Same as it ever was.
Slowly and lethargically he pulled himself into a seated position on the cot, the covers spilling over onto the dusty, splintered floor. At the same time, there were two sharp knocks on the door. “Come in,” Easom croaked, as the door creaked open to reveal the unassuming shape of Porter. “Good morning, Sir. I thought you might like some tea”, the Steward said, a chipped china teapot and a dented metal mug in his hands. Easom nodded faintly, gesturing wordlessly to pour and leave the mug on the writing-desk. Porter understood, quickly pouring out a generous mug of tea and uncorking a bottle of milk, topping off the mug. He moved with the poise and trained grace of a professional servant. Easom vaguely wondered what Porter had done before the war.
The Steward began to make his retreat. At the mouth of the door, he stopped for a moment. “Flight Commander Mulock has asked to see you at Seven O’Clock, sir”. He said this with a slight, submissive bow of the head, his glasses flashing as they caught the light. “Thank you, Porter” Easom affirmed. The door swung closed with a sharp click, and Easom was alone again.
For a few minutes he watched the steam from the freshly-poured tea making its spiralling way up towards the ceiling in thin wisps. Eventually, he rose to his feet and uncertainly made his way to the writing-desk, slumping down in the chair and taking a long sip of the beverage. His eye turned to the neat stack of blank papers and envelopes by the side of the desk, and he wondered if he should pen a letter. But, to who?
At Six Forty-Five, Easom made his way out of the little barracks, encountering Alex Turner who, evidently, had just as thunderous a hangover as he did . “Morn’ Evan. Some party yesterday, eh?” he offered, making his best attempt at a cheery smile. “It’s left me with quite the sore head”, Evan confessed. “By the way, how do I find Flight Commander Mulock’s cabin? I’m supposed to be seeing him this morning”. Turner smirked. “Red wants to see you, eh? Must be about that Albatros of yours. Congratulations, by the way!”. Evan expressed his thanks, as Turner gave him directions to Mulock’s office.
For himself, Mulock had claimed a tiny little brick building that stood just behind the westernmost Bessoneau. Easom made his way there, knocking twice on the door before hearing the sharp command of “Come In” from the other side. Obeying, Easom entered and found himself standing in a sparsely-furnished room with nought but a large oak desk, two chairs, and a small bookcase. On the desk was a mountain of paperwork, a telephone, and a tired-looking typewriter. Behind this randomly-strewn assortment sat Mulock, who gestured for Easom to take a seat.
“I heard you’ve bagged a Hun on your first patrol” Mulock said, lighting a cigarette. Easom tried to think of a polite way to confirm this without sounding arrogant, but Mulock spoke again before he reached a conclusion. “We found the wreck today. Very good work, Easom. Vance said you were a good pilot as well, so I’m keeping him assigned as your gun layer for now. He’s a top feller, and very good at what he does. I hope he’ll be in good hands with you. By the way, you’re on the Loos patrol today. Take-off at Ten to Seven”. With that, Mulock and Easom exchanged salutes, and Easom made his way out of the office and towards his quarters to collect his flying kit.
On the aerodrome, as the mechanics checked the bracing wires and machine-gun of N5544, Easom was approached by a pilot whom he recognised from yesterday’s patrol.
The first shudders of the motor coming alive intensified the pain in Easom’s head, and, as the three Strutters took off and headed east, the sunrise stabbed at his eyes - however, the day was a glorious one for flying. The air was still, and the low rolling clouds steepled into a secret landscape, known only to the aviator. After roughly ten minutes’ flying, Easom spotted four large machines lifting up from an aerodrome ahead of them. He recognised them as F.E.2s - the strange, ungainly two-seat pushers flown by the R.F.C. One-by-one they lifted, before slowly forming into a spiralling circle, drifting upwards and finally turning out east.
As they approached the lines at Bailleul the sky was suddenly alive with machines. To the north, two Strutters merrily chased their shadows through the clouds, larking about during their return from an earlier patrol. Ahead of the Strutters, the F.E.2s continued on their steady course for the lines, being joined now by three more machines, of a type Easom didn’t recognise. Ogden led the flight towards the British formation, cheerily rocking his wings as they drew nearer and slotting in beside them. Easom marveled at the sight - he had never seen so many machines in formation before.
The three Sopwiths accompanied the F.E.2s south until they reached Loos - the beginning of their patrol route. With a cheery wave, Ogden turned off east again, overflying the German trenches before circling to the north and towards Armentieres. The F.E.2s continued on, and slowly faded out of sight. Easom scanned the skies, but nothing else made itself apparent. Becoming slightly bored, he turned his gaze downward. Below was a series of bright yellow flashes, rippling up and down the mud. At once Easom realised, It was an artillery Barrage. God, he thought to himself, It’s just like back in…
There was a ‘snap’, and the colour drained from the sky and the earth. Emotionlessly, Easom’s gaze turned back to the eastern horizon, methodically scanning the German lines as he dipped a wingtip, blocking the sun’s glare. Nothing made itself apparent. To the west he looked - again, nothing. Ahead of him, a dull flare shot away from Ogden’s machine. Dutifully and mechanically, he turned west once more, his eyes settling on his compass until he was on the right heading for St. Pol.
After a long, tedious flight with no sight of friend or foe, Easom came over the top of Naval 3’s aerodrome and circled down into a smooth landing. The machine rolled to a stop, and Easom thumbed off the magnetos, climbing down lethargically from his machine. Behind him, Vance spoke. “Quiet show today, eh?”. Easom nodded blankly, removing first his gauntlets and then his silk gloves. Vance frowned slightly. “You ok, pal?” he asked. “Quite. Excuse me,” Easom responded, making towards his quarters. In his head, a vision formed - a dull, meaningless recollection - the skull painted on the side of yesterday’s Albatros. As he regarded it, its grin widened and separated, the inside of its mouth a deepest black. “Is it safer in the sky, Evan?” the skull asked him. “I don’t know yet,” he replied quietly.
Wulfe, a fantastic bit of writing. You have the talent of getting your readers immediately invested in your characters, making us long to know and understand them more intimately with each story. Well done.
Raine, congrats on Jim's balloon victory, (I have seen them smoke like that but it is rare). Collins best remember about those stitches though, I'd hate to see him overdo it and pull them out. He doesn't want to set back his recovery. Great episode.
Carrick, "almost" is the operative word in your last statement.
Adger, I hope you can join us, and sooner rather than later. The more the merrier!
A cold, wet, blustery flight for Swany this morning as he ran a solo patrol to London and back. He didn't get above the rain until he hit 9,800', and even at the B.E.12's max altitude of 15,400' he still wasn't able to get over the storm-tops. On his return he picked his way through towering, gray canyons in an attempt to find a path around the front that had pushed in behind him on the trip across. It was a bumpy ride, and he only made it as far as Brentwood before giving up and descending below the clouds, flying through the rain beneath them for the remainder of the flight. Upon landing, he learned from his orderly officer, (who'd been informed brief minutes before by HQ), that a lone Hun B/R bus had been over London as well and dropped a handful of eggs that landed near the Admiralty but did little damage. The Captain had seen not hide nor hair of the intruder, but small wonder given the flying conditions. "Brave fellows - or stupid - out in this kind of weather", Swany muttered to himself. He wasn't sure which it was, for either the enemy flyers or his own lot as well.
Searching for a way around the storm front, 15,000' above Blighty.
#4498622 - 11/28/1903:48 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Rene Deassult Lavasure Anges of l ' amour Rehab Hospital Cabana 4. Toulouse, France.
Nov 28, 1916
I managed to get out on the Hospital grounds to do a little painting. My subject Cruella de Ville, the receptionist . is bicycling up the road. She says , she loves spotted dogs so I will pose her with spotted Puppies in the background of the landscape
Last edited by carrick58; 11/28/1904:00 PM.
#4498664 - 11/28/1909:11 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: Nov 2014 Posts: 2,594Fullofit
Raine, looks like Collins is about to hit a milestone of his own. Congrats on that stubborn balloon. Have you noticed the entire flight doesn’t attack the balloons anymore? Looks like the latest patch not to gang up on single enemies extends to balloons as well. It also looks like Hansel joined the ranks just at the right time. With the air operations winding down for the winter, he should have enough flight time to gain enough experience.
Adger, looking forward to having your pilot join our little war.
Wulfe, another excellent, yet disturbing episode. Those visions better not start appearing in the middle of combat. I’m wondering if Evan shouldn’t paint one of those grinning skulls on the side of his N5544 as a talisman to ward off bad spirits.
Lou, love that picture. I imagine that’s what it’s like over England all the time.
Carrick, where in the world is Rene going to find dalmatians?
A bit of good news today. Toby’s wingman, Holtcombe returned from hospital. He was badly wounded during Toby’s first mission after transferring to Vert Galand and has been recovering ever since. Everyone welcomed him back and offered all sorts of helpful insights on how to avoid getting injured next time. The burns on his hands were unsightly and the bandages looked dirty and all frayed from catching on anything that could poke out. He assured everyone he was fine and ready to fly. They’ve been sent to bust an observation balloon hovering south of Bapaume. The weather was in a cooperative mood and the ‘B’ flight took full advantage of it. The gasbag was visible from across the frontlines which made it easy to locate and approach. It hung there, just behind the auxiliary trench lines kept prisoner by the tether cable. Mulberry gave the signal and the attack commenced. His rockets flew in all directions when he released them but Toby was sure his bullets were the proverbial nails in the coffin when he swung about to finish it off. He watched as the balloon began to smoke and suddenly it exploded violently. Toby’s claim was promptly denied.
Wulfe, great introduction to Evan. He can see all the goes he wants as long as he keeps shooting down Albatri. And I like your portrait of Porter.
Fullofit, rotten luck about the denied claim. I had a good streak going a couple of weeks ago and then started to get the same luck as you. I know you won't be waiting long.
Carrick, I'm beginning to suspect that René is enjoying his work too much.
Here is the latest report from Collins.
An Airman’s Odyssey – by Capt James Arthur Collins, VC, DSO, MC
Part Eighty-Six: In which my score becomes a score
Over the next couple of days, I saw Hansel gain in confidence. He could not possibly gain in enthusiasm. We flew only one patrol each day but rather long ones. On 27 November we did a defensive patrol all the way to the French aerodrome at Bovelles. The following day, we went even further – this time patrolling over several other French aerodromes well south of Amiens. Both patrols involved long climbs to get out of the rain and above the clouds, followed by an hour of to-and-fro parading along our assigned line. After each patrol and pointless debrief, we washed up, had our second breakfast and chatted over late morning tea.
Hanson was babbling. “Oh, I do so want to see some of those rotters. It would be absolutely ripping to bag a Hun. It is, isn’t it sir?”
“Ripping?” I winked at Child. “Do you think it’s ripping, Child?”
“I’m not sure about ripping,” he replied. “More like browsey or topping, I should think.”
“No, I think ripping is about right,” I said. “You’re quite right, Hansel. It’s absolutely ripping to bag a Hun.”
Hansel hid behind his teacup, his eyes darting from Child to me. “I believe your chaffing me, right sir?” Oh God, I thought, I really hope we never have to write to this one’s mother.
After dinner that night, Major Rodwell ordered his usual “Flight commanders to my office.” There he and the RO, Captain Watley, assigned the work for the following day. My C Flight drew the first patrol of the day, normally an early wake-up, but on this occasion we were not due to take off until eight o’clock. It was, however, a D. O. P. – a distant offensive patrol. We were to head north east towards Arras and from there proceed past Lens to the Hun aerodromes at Haubourdin and Phalempin, about ten miles over. This would be Hansel’s first time far over the lines.
Hansel, Child, and I met at our hangar at seven thirty. With only three of us available, I was very nervous about our ability to guard our tails. Like all new pilots, Hansel had not yet developed the ability to spot aircraft at a distance. I asked Child to positioning himself slightly to the rear of Hansel on my right side, whilst Hansel took station to my left. If we were outnumbered, we would turn back towards our lines and try to draw the Huns back with us. Once they were on our side we would give it a quick go. “Jolly sneaky,” declared Hansel.
Child crushed the end of a cigarette into the clay with his boot. “Ripping,” he said glumly.
It took nearly forty minutes to gain altitude and then arrive at Arras. There we turned east, still climbing. It was a wet morning with clusters of ash-coloured clouds. I worried that we wouldn’t spot a German machine until we were on top of it. But by a stroke of good fortune, I noticed a glint of light dead ahead. Something had caught what little sun penetrated the haze. After what seemed like an age, I made out three single-seat machines flying south-west across our path. Almost at the same time, two more German machines appeared from the south. I turned north-west, heading back our lines, and I watched carefully to see if we had been spotted. Sure enough, the first three Huns turned towards us. The other two fortunately did not.
Child and Hansel had been a moment too slow in following my turn. The three Germans were nearly on them. Cursing, I turned back to assist. The first few seconds of the scrap were intense. I got a very brief and likely very inaccurate burst at one of the approaching Albatri, and after that I was unable to get anyone in my sights. At the same time, every time I looked to the rear there was another Hun circling around on my tail. Child and Hansel were nowhere to be seen. I found myself with two hostile aircraft on my hands and, considering all my options, decided to run away!
The Spad easily outdistanced the two Albatri. I throttled back in the hopes that they would follow me over the lines. The ideal situation would be if only one of the enemy machines turned home leaving me with even odds. But both pressed their pursuit. I saw our reserve trenches pass beneath me and was now down to five thousand feet. I skirted a large, grey cloud and using it as cover, turned about in the hope of surprising the two Huns. Sure enough, the Albatri emerged from the cloud two or three hundred yards ahead, and I managed a long full deflection burst into the trailing machine. His partner, however, had seen me and was already closing on me behind and to my right side. I dived and attempted to turn under him. The Spad was “no bon” in a circling fight like this, but the move was enough to avoid his fire. With the speed I gained in the dive, I zoomed and turned to my left in half-roll.
"The Spad easily outdistanced the two Albatri."
I had lost the Hun against the dark earth below. But he must have lost me too, for when I saw the white squares and black crosses on his upper wing he was turning away from me. It was a simple matter of closing with him at full throttle, and within seconds I was fifty yards behind him and firing. Pieces of the Albatros fluttered back like confetti. The Hun snapped his machine around beneath my Spad. I climbed and came about. My opponent had made a break for his lines, and I had the advantage of height and the faster machine. Again I waited until I was very close behind before firing. This time poor fellow made no skilful move. His Albatros drifted slightly left and a puff of grey smoke appeared, trailing behind. He suddenly nosed down and crashed into a pockmarked field just behind our gun lines. The machine exploded and a column of thick black smoke marked its resting place. I noted the time: 8:55 AM.
"The Hun snapped his machine around beneath my Spad."
My nerves were on edge and I decided to re-arm at our aerodrome at Savy. I had hoped against odds to find Hanson there before me, but no one at Savy had seen any of our Spads that morning. It was a twenty-five minute flight back to Fienvillers. I had barely struggled down from the cockpit (I was using a ladder to avoid straining my stitches) when Child approached from the direction of the squadron office. He told me his rudder had been nearly shot away early in the scrap and he had managed to dive out of it intact. I began to ask him about Hansel, and he motioned with his hand for me to calm down. “Hansel is perfectly fine,” he said. “He put down at Camblain-l’Abbé, all shot to pieces. But the boy is in one piece. He phoned Watley an hour ago and we’ve sent the car for him and the recovery team for his machine. He said it was absolutely ripping and everything he had hoped for.”
“Silly sod,” I mused. “Give the kid his due, though. He has elevated being a silly sod to an art form.”
“One more thing,” said Child. “A Canadian battery north of Arras reported that a Spad downed a German scout near their position around is one o’clock this morning. That’s you isn’t it?”
The twentieth victory. A score for my score. For a moment I reverted to a Saskatchewan twang, with perhaps a touch of my old friend Mark Jericho thrown in for good measure. “Child, ol’ pard. Us ol’ boys gonna teach Hansel how to binge tonight.”
#4498688 - 11/29/1902:50 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Rene Deassult Lavasure Anges of l ' amour Rehab Hospital Cabana 4. Toulouse, France.
Nov 29 1916.
I should be going back to the Esc soon so I will stay on top of the Physical Training. My Physical training instructors are already warming up. As a " Fighting man " of France I must be on top of the game.
Headed back to the Esc 68 by way of the Newport factory. They let me do a little hands on checking out the N-17 currently being sent to units. Hope my unit gets theirs soon. Its a sweet flyer with a Vickers fast fire Mg and 450 rds of ammo. ( metal Linkage makes for a higher rate of Bang ). Mon Dieu ! I want one.
Last edited by carrick58; 11/30/1912:25 AM.
#4498753 - 11/30/1901:30 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Fantastic stories and videos Gents! A man can’t be gone very long before he is far behind on a lot of stories. I will be out of pocket for a few weeks but decided to introduce my new feller.
Sgt. Franklin F. Lucas Elyton Alabama 54 squadron Castle Bromwich England Home Defence
The tinder pulled up to an orderly group of buildings. The driver looked at Lucas and said, “here you are Sgt. That’s the CO’s office there” as he pointed to one of the buildings. Frank, as he preferred to be called, stepped out and retrieved his bag. “Thanks for the lift friend” he said to the driver. He looked around at the scene. Pilots obviously getting ready to go up, mechanics at their duty and others just milling around. He paused to take in the scene and smells as his mind flashed back. His parents were from Nashville Tennessee. His father was a Vice President of Tennessee Coal and Iron there. When the company expanded into Alabama his father moved to Elyton to see the new expansion through. Elyton was a small town on the outskirts of Birmingham. He had purchased a nice farm there and had started breeding horses as they were his first love. Frank was born in 1896. In 1911 Elyton, along with 2 other small towns, were absorbed by the growing city of Birmingham.
Frank had his fathers love of horses and had no love for the smelly, dirty steel mills. When news of the war broke and stories of the new flying machines, Frank knew what he wanted to do. He was in his 1st year at the University of Alabama but after many discussions with his Father, and with his fathers influence, he was off to Canada to join the RAF! That was almost two years ago now. It didn’t seem that long now as he looked back.
Frank knocked on the door. “Enter!” came a loud voice. Frank stepped into the office and gave a salute to the CO. “Sgt. Frank Lucas reporting Sir.” The CO pulled on his pipe and looked Frank over. “Sergeant! We must be getting desperate. And a yank to boot! What!” Frank really didn’t know what to say so he stood stock still. The CO continued “how many hours do you have on Pups Sergeant? By the way, a Pup is the machine you will be flying here, you do know what a Pup is I take it?”
Frank had only been here 5 minutes and already he was getting hot under the collar. He looked back at the CO and answered. “5 hours on Pups Sir. That is, a Sopwith Pup, unless there is another I don’t know about.”
The CO rolled his eyes. “5 hours! Good god! These are the best machines in the RAF Sergeant and you best not wreck one of my machines. Is that clear!” Frank looked him straight in the eye and replied, “Yes Sir! I won’t but a scratch on her Sir!”
The CO motioned to the man at the typewriter, “Take this man to Lt Sears. He will be with C Flight.”
“Yes Sir” said the nameless man at the typewriter as he got up and motioned Frank to follow. Once outside Frank asked the man “he always an SOB or did someone put a burr under his saddle?”
The man, who was Norris answered, “Oh he’s not a bad sort Sergeant, we had a pilot crack up on landing this morning. Killed the pilot and totally destroyed the bus. He’s just in a foul mood.”
“Well, I reckon he has a right to be ill tempered then. No need to take it out on me though.”
Norris pointed to a pilot near a shed, “that’s Lt. Sears, Sergeant. He is your flight leader. He will get you squared away.”
“Thanks corporal” Frank replied, “I’ll see ya around.”
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!
#4498781 - 11/30/1901:44 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: Nov 2014 Posts: 2,594Fullofit
Raine, that was a “ripping” yarn, if I’ve ever read one. Congrats on the even number score. The Gong Fairy is sure to make an appearance soon. I am sure you will regale us with the tale of the celebrations, having Hansel introduced to the fine art of binge drinking.
Carrick, you should have taken the N.17 with you. I’m sure they wouldn’t notice one missing.
MFair, a warm welcome to Sergeant Lucas, or Frank as he prefers to be called. Well well, flying Pups! Just like that, no paying your dues in a two-seater. The RFC must really be getting desperate. Just making you feel at home and giving you a hard time. Frank will enjoy flying the Pups. Just don’t screw up or they’ll saddle you with one of those Nieuports. Beware!
It was a ‘B’ flight only show. The ‘A’ flight was off on some errand for the Army. They were ordered to patrol friendly front lines from Courcelles to Fricourt at low altitude. It was a problem. At this height they were not safe from ground fire and not low enough to avoid being spotted by the enemy flying higher. Thankfully they have not encountered any Huns that day.
Naval Eight was employed to escort a Caudron from Esc 202 to bomb Mariakerke aerodrome near Ghent. Madness! The round trip was a mere 190 miles! The ‘A’ flight swept the skies ahead of the main section. They did a good job as the bomber with its escort has not had a single encounter with any Huns all the way to the target and back. Toby had to relieve himself during the flight the details of which will remain expurgated.
30 November, 1916 Dark clouds descended over Vert Galand preventing any flights from taking off. Toby used the time wisely to wash and darn all his unmentionables.
November stats: Tobias Chester Mulberry DSC & Bar, DSO Squadron Commander RNAS 8 Vert Galand, Flanders Sector Nieuport N.11 39 confirmed kills, 84 claims 194.85 hrs 143 missions
"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."