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#4501509 - 12/25/19 06:45 AM 'Wings Over The Reich: War Stories From The Battle Of Britain!'  
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,375
Blade_Meister Offline
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Blade_Meister  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,375
Atlanta, GA, USA
'Wings Over The Reich: War Stories From The Battle Of Britain!'

Hello to all here in the WOTR Community! This is a new thread that I would like to introduce for a project which I began back in the middle of March 2019. To Mark and Mark, the creators of WOTR at OBD, and to Robert for many of the excellent skins in WOTR, I say thanks as I have been captivated and engrossed in Wings Over The Reich since shortly after its release. Sometime back I was Blessed to be allowed to be a Tester for WOTR and try to give a little back to the guys that do the truly amazing programming at OBD by, you guessed it, testing the NEW STUFF. It is amazing to see first hand how much these two gents care about WOTR and how quickly and efficiently they take feedback and implement it, when possible, into WOTR. This Diary/story is another instance to give a little back to OBD and the WOTR Community. Anyway, this is a shout out to both Marks for the amazing production which they have created and brought to the WWII Flight Simming Community, and to Robert for all of the skins which up the immersion level that much more. Thank you each VERY MUCH!

I unknowingly at first began this little project by flying the 'BOB Phase 5 London Night Raid' in WOTR's Quick Scenario missions. After being completely enthralled with the look of the mission at night and a few pictures which I took during that sortie, the thought came to mind to make an AAR from it. So, I searched a bit on the net for information about night time fighter intercepts in the BOB to see if this really happened. I found virtually nothing as the in plane RDF(radar) was still in its infancy. So, I just decided to write a fictional non historical AAR. After about 2 weeks of re flying that mission and taking what I thought were some really good night mission pictures I started writing an AAR. Shortly after that I PMed 33lima to ask about Steel Fury 1942, as I like tank sims also. I noticed he is from Norn Iron(Northern Ireland for those South of the Mason Dixon line) so I approached him through another PM to see if he would be interested in critiquing my AAR and he graciously accepted. Now this project started out to be a simple 3,4 or 5 part Night Raid AAR, but as I revealed these initial episodes to Ivor(33lima), I began to talk about maybe creating one Episode about the main characters life and how he reached the position he was in during the night missions. Well Ivor said if you do that Drew, you are going to have to include the whole enlistment and training regiment to bridge the story. Well from there it took off and through much research and many many correspondences back and forth, this thing became a real monster of a project. It became a Diary/story of the main characters life. And now here we are, posting Episode one. Through this collaboration I have found Ivor to have a very in depth knowledge of the Battle of Britain and to be an unselfish, honest and truly a helpful mentor whom has irreversibly peaked my desire to learn more about how important The Battle of Britain really was in the course of history. Through our correspondence I would say we have developed a friendship and mutually admire and respect the effort put forth by the whole of Britain in The Battle of Britain to defeat the German's attempt to conquer their island home and Empire. We have gone so far as to trade favorite BOB books and other resources that add to the WOTR and BOB experience. Some of his critiquing and literary suggestions have been directly written into this Diary/story and all which he has contributed has GREATLY added to what I started out to accomplish. Ivor, thank you for all of your time, wisdom, input and encouragement to help make this Diary/story the best that I could ever hope for it to be. I am indebted to you Mucker! S!

The characters and actions of this Diary/story are not historical. The time frame and context of being in the correct geographical places in the WOTR world are correct, and I have attempted, and heavily relied on Ivor's knowledge and my own research, to help keep this Diary/story as 1940s 'period' and technically factual as much as possible. Also I asked Ivor to help me keep the dialogue as 1940s 'period' British as possible and not let me inject any 'Americanisms' into the dialogue. Some of the Training Mission Episodes have been technically embellished a bit here and there to fit the story, but I have really really tried to keep this to a minimum. There is a very very small amount of photo editing that is not actually visually available in WOTR.

So, the format will work like this. I will make this initial post and also post Episode I immediately below it. I will post another 25 'placeholder' posts immediately after these initial 2 posts. I am not sure of the actual total of Episodes, but there are 16 as of now so I am hoping to conclude this in 25 or less Episodes(Mark Andrews, I know, I am long winded and I apologize in advance). I will use these 'placeholders' to post each Episode in the coming weeks until the Diary/story is complete. I will attempt to be as punctual as possible and post one Episode per week on Wednesday. If there is any pertinent information or fun little outtakes, I will share them under my signature IN THIS INITIAL POST, numbered to correspond to the current Episode and dated. So remember to look here before reading the new Episode so you will be up to date on the creation of that Episode.

This is an open thread for those that might want to create there own 'WOTR: War Stories From The Battle Of Britain!'. The only thing I ask is that if you decide to create a 'Story' to post here, that you contact Polovski to run it by him and make sure he wants it posted. If he doesn't have time to deal with this then other arrangements will be made to approve any further 'Storys' submitted. There is no certain length or format for creating a submission here as long as it is in some type of story form.
This is not a thread for daily AARs from ongoing Careers. We already have a separate completely awesome 'Sticky' thread that I highly recommend checking out here in the WOTR main section(GO Ivor!). Thanks for your compliance in advance. S!
Comments are welcome and please if you enjoy this 'WOTR: War Stories From The Battle Of Britain!', feel free to share the thread link with anyone you feel might enjoy it and be interested. Who knows, this might even drum up some new customers to purchase Wings Over The Reich and discover this gem of a WWII Battle of Britain combat flight sim.

Well, after my long winded(sorry again Mark Andrews) introduction, without further adieu,......

I hope you all enjoy this 'Wings Over The Reich: War Stories From The Battle Of Britain!'


Merry Christmas! CT
S!Blade<>< AKA Drew


Episode One: Outtakes. 12/25/2019
All of the pictures are generic and copied from the internet except Mr. Francis Edward Foley whom was an actual person of interesting character. Do a little research and check him out.
My apologies as to there only being one screenshot in Episode one, but it was impossible to produce what I wanted from WOTR. Don't worry, the Screenshots are a plenty in Episode two and beyond!
Do remember that any of the the dialogue outside of the Diary Entries, is coming from the Grandson, Paton Christopher Wednsforth, as he is the narrator.
If there are any 'grammar Nazis' out there, please pm me with corrections if you like. Proper grammar is not my forte, but I do appreciate proper grammar and am willing to correct any blaring mistakes.

Episode Two: Outtakes 01/01/2020
The Link Simulator was most likely not used during the 1940 months of the BOB to train fighter pilots. I fictionalized this to fit the story. The Link Simulator was in use for bomber pilot training from before WWII officially started on September 1, 1939. The Link Simulator was modified later in 1941 as best I can tell to train fighter pilots in the way described in the story. The description of how The Link Simulator was used in training is based on fact for both the early Link and the The Edmondes upgrade.
The screenshots have had some minor photo editing applied to them. Anyone see what was done? I had to edit the pilot out of the cockpit and add the unbroken gun tape.
This is the last Episode which will have generic photos used unless possibly one more Episode much further down the line which I may need to use some in. So, from here on out all pictures will be screenshots from WOTR.
Ivor really helped keep me straight with the dialogue here and few of his lines were used directly. Thanks Ivor.

Episode Three: Outtakes 01/08/2020
Just some very minor photo editing. Added the unbroken gun tape since this is a training flight. This is just a Free Flight Mission with the skins arranged to fit the story.

Episode Four: Outtakes 01/14/2020
Ivor's namesake makes a cameo in Episode 4. I couldn't help but to write him in the story after all that he has done to help and encourage me. yep
Again the unbroken gun tape is the only photo editing. From here on out every mission used for pictures was flown by me either in the Quick Scenarios missions or from one of my 238 Squadron Campaign missions.
I simply took pictures when I wanted to and then wrote the story to match what happened in the mission along my main thought train of the overall story plot. Simple right? winkngrin
This was my first attempt to crop together multiple pictures. An interesting process in and of itself.

Episode Five: Outtakes 01/22/2020
It is funny how things work out. While taking pictures of this mission which I had organized especially for these 'Training Memoirs', WOTR presented me with a little opportunity that most other sims do not. Thanks goes to OBD for correcting the Squadron aircraft numbers so that I could portray the Sections of aircraft properly for each of these 'Training Memoirs'. Upon the return trip to Tangmere while in free camera I just happened to notice Blue 3 was nosing down for no obvious reason. I was like, what the heck is going on? We had not been in any combat and fuel was not that low. Well I went with it and continued to take pics while slowly letting the mission advance a little at a time between pauses. When it was all said and done I started thinking about it and after questioning Mark(Pol), he confirmed that there is provision in the code for random failures. Even for the AI NPC aircraft. So as I was working on this Episode I just went with it as part of the story. Obviously I performed photo editing to insert the steam in the cockpit, the ground impact with the tiny pilot parachutist and the final picture with the smoke in the distance. These are very crude attempts at photo editing I know, but I was only using Infranview and my imagination, so there you go. I think it came out pretty nice and am pleased with the final results. It is just one of the many small things that WOTR does so well in helping the player feel a deeper immersion while flying in this sim. There is one glaring mistake that I just realized today, and is to late to correct, but I will leave that for any of you to figure out, or not. winkngrin

Episode Six: Outtakes 01/28/2020
First I want to acknowledge ChiefWH for the original Formation spacing mod. Second for the camouflaged hangars mod which are displayed in this Episode. When I first started taking pics for these Formation Episodes the spacing was just to far apart and so I inquired of ChiefWH as to the possibility of closing up the ranks in the formations in WOTR. Within 1 week he shared his original Formation mod with me and it was just what I wanted. With his instruction I tinkered with the spacing more and came up with what you see here. This spacing is not really practical for in game and sometimes causes collisions. After this OBD took up the challenge and introduced the options we now have in game and they work very well. OBD also went on to produce their own camouflaged hangars. No photo editing in these pics. As usual Ivor helped me keep on track with the locations and the vectors of the pictures around London and some of the sites seen. It is not easy trying to getting so many Hurricanes in a good pic, so I am quite pleased with how these training missions came out. So far so good, but will we ever see any combat???? sigh

Episode Seven: Outtakes 02/04/2020
There is not much to say this week. This is just the straight forward goodness of what you get when you fly WOTR Phase One: Convoy Battles. The clouds are the best in the business and with a little imagination you can just see the shipping convoys moving below. They are really there, and you know that you have to stay above the mix and protect those sailors as they bring the resources of war and provision to your Island Home. I am sorry if the R/T chatter is rather Formal and lengthy. Even Ivor thinks I might shorten some up or cut some down and out of the story, but this is the way R/T Comms were with the RAF pre 'the official beginning of the Battle Of Britain.' The proper English Language and slow deliberate enunciation with that heavy British accent. You have to Love it, it is so proper and fitting. Spot on Mate! winkngrin It just wouldn't read right if I used my native Southern Drawl. hahaha Remember we are only up to July 2nd and things are just starting to heat up. Anyway, I LOVE IT, and I am writing the story, hahaha so sorry Ivor and anyone else whom might think it slow or annoying, you have my apology. I promise when things get really sticky the boys will cut to the gist of the matters at hand in their R/T comms when they have their hands full with the Luftwaffe.I am trying a new multi picture approach with a desktop picture format as the background and the the smaller pics working around that background. Exciting isn't it! biggrin
Edit: I want to mention that the two pictures with the in Sim maps are using CheifWH's map mod. He put many many hours into this map and it is a must have IMHO. Thanks CheifWH if you are still lurking about Sir. thumbsup

Episode Eight: Outtakes 02/11/2020
Well it is Wednesday in Australia and I have to work late this evening and open early in the morning tomorrow, so, here is the Episode Eight posting a little earlier than usual. FIANALLY we come to some combat! Just some minor photo editing where I covered over one of the two parachutists that always appear in the WOTR bomber bailout sequence. An interesting note is, once Ivor saw these pics he immediately noted that the top gunners glass windscreen was to large, stood to tall and one of the engine intakes was on the wrong side of the engine nodule. This did not match the actual look of the real He 111. After Ivor brought these concerns to OBD's attention, Mark(Pol) made the graphical corrections and as a result we now have the corrected version in WOTR. This is just one more example of how OBD looks after WOTR and attempts to refine this Sim in all possible ways as issues surface.

Episode Nine: Outtakes 02/19/2020
Nothing really to gab on about with this Episode. These last 3 Episodes were from one actual mission from one of my many 238 Squadron Campaigns. There was only one parachutist in the picture I used, I did not photo edit the other one out. I don't know where he went? Maybe OBD programmed in random chute failures? It wouldn't surprise me if they did! hahaha The Battle of Britain is warming up!

Last edited by Blade_Meister; Yesterday at 02:13 AM.
#4501510 - 12/25/19 06:46 AM 'Wings Over The Reich: War Stories From The Battle Of Britain!' [Re: Blade_Meister]  
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,375
Blade_Meister Offline
Member
Blade_Meister  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,375
Atlanta, GA, USA

[Linked Image]


Episode I

Memoirs


Memoirs of Chris Wednsforth II, recounted by his Grandson Paton Christopher Wednsforth. By the time of my Grandfather's death in 2002, some 60 odd years had passed since he voluntarily applied to be trained as an RAF Pilot. As our family went through the painful process of sorting his personal belongings in his home in Bishopston, Llandeilo Ferwallt, I came across my Grandfather's diary. A very special diary. A very secretive diary! Upon sitting down and reading his diary I discovered a secret in an epoch within a devastating struggle that I knew almost nothing about. His diary intrigued me to personally research and investigate exactly how my Grandfather had become an instrumental part in 'The Battle of Britain'. I have spent the last 17 years putting together the pieces of the puzzle which my Grandfather's Diary inspired me to explore so I might quench my own desire to understand what he and his fellow pilots actually experienced. My grandfather was one of the few known as 'Blitz Buster!' He was one of a daring group of very young RAF pilots whom volunteered to carry the fight to the Luftwaffe pilots in a most unexpected way in spite of the inherent dangers to their own lives .
[Linked Image]


You see my Grandfather was born on the Twenty Third of September in the year Nineteen Hundred and Twenty One to my great Grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. Christopher Adison Wednsforth. To the sorrowful lose of Chris Sr. , Mrs. Alison Chamberland Wednsforth perished during childbirth. Christopher Patrick Wednsforth II, my Grandfather, would never know his mother except through this one photograph which his Father kept on his desk always.
Mr. Christopher Adison Wednsforth[Linked Image][Linked Image]Mrs. Alison Chamberland Wednsforth


The child of a member of Parliament, young Chris grew up in the know of world events. From 1933, at the age of 12, Chris began his Diary. For the most part he chronicled the experiences of a youthful boy caught up in exploring the peaceful world of Swansea, South Wales. He was faithful in his journal entries and reveled in chronicling all that he discovered as a young boy. In November of 1937, just a couple of months after his sixteenth birthday, young Chris wrote of his father teaching him the proper handling and discharge of a firearm. He chronicled a trip which his father took him on to hunt pheasant on the Isle Illaunmore on Lough Derg in Whitegate Ireland. Young Chris noted the excitement of beaters, dogs working and the resulting flush of fowl which he and his father attempted to bring down as the birds flew past the point where both were pegged and awaiting. Young Chris wrote, “results on my first day of hunting were somewhat nil, with only one pheasant taken over many shots. On the second day, with the coaching of my father, I felled six pheasant, taking only eight shots that day. My heart was racing, hands shaking, excitement coursing through my body as I found myself to be a hunter on that day.” There were several more hunting trips over the next few months resulting in young Chris apprenticing into a fine shot whom rarely had his prey evade him. These were obviously golden days for young Chris as he loved his Father dearly and strove to earn his respect and exhibit his skills as a true sportsman. In the early months of 1938 he took note of his father's grave concern with a new and seemingly dangerous powerful political figure in Germany. Young Chris recognized, and chronicled, his father's great uneasiness when discussing this Adolf Hitler. Chris Sr. spent much of his time in London attending to his duties in Parliament and upon his homecoming on various weekends, he spoke of a second world war and the need of critical preparations that the British Empire must endeavor upon with haste. Young Chris made special note of his fathers journey to Germany in June of the year 1938 to visit his lifelong friend Frank Foley in Berlin. Young Chris wanted to accompany his father to Germany rather badly, but his father assured him that he had no time to attend to the needs of a young man nor take him sightseeing. He confided in young Chris that this journey was of the utmost importance and every minute of his time would be occupied traveling throughout Germany, hosting interviews and conducting research to gather vital information.
Mr. Francis Edward Foley

[Linked Image]


When his father returned home from Berlin, three weeks had passed and he seemed quite agitated by the information which he had gathered while in Germany. Young Chris noted that his father spoke of vast numbers of combat aeroplanes, military equipment and large numbers of military personnel which he had witnessed and photgrahed personally. Chris Senior was most distressed that Adolf Hitler was to all appearances leading the German people down a road to extreme nationalism. The Nazi Party's first declaration in Herr Hitler's 25 point program was written to state publicly, “We demand the unification of all Germans in the Greater Germany on the basis of the people's right to self-determination.” This was in direct conflict with the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty stripped Germany of 25,000 square miles of territory and 7 million people. It was comprehensive and complex as to the restrictions imposed upon the post-war German armed forces and was intended to make the Reichswehr incapable of offensive action and too encourage international disarmament. Chris senior was quite positive that Hitler's Germany was not poised for national defense as the Treaty of Versailles allowed, but rather Adolf Hitler was breeding Germany for war in a most nationalistic militarily strengthened fervor. Young Chris had never witnessed his father in such a distressed, provocative and speculative manner before. Chris Senior seemed as though he was peering into the future as it was unfolding quite clearly within his mind's eye, and he did not like the image of the coming storm which he was foreseeing.
[Linked Image][Linked Image]

[Linked Image][Linked Image]


Young Chris was intrigued by exactly how his Father had been able to photograph and ascertain the statistical information which he now saw spread all over the dinning room table. He noted in his writing, “ is my father a spy, possibly in league with MI6? Who is this Mr. Frank Foley whom my father has known for so long?” Whatever the connection his father had with Mr. Foley it was easy to see, even for a sixteen year old young man, that the information they had compiled was of great value and great concern to both of them and to the well being of the British Empire. This importance was only exemplified by the hasty manner with which Chris Sr. left Bishopston to travel to London where Parliament was convening a special session. Through my years of research I came to find the truth about Mr. Francis Edward Foley, and his history would make for a very interesting story in and of itself.

It seems as though young Chris was caught up by his youthful exuberance as his Diary went fairly quiet between the end of 1938 and April of 1939. He wrote of his interest with his studies and his excellent marks as he progressed through the year at Swansea Grammar School. Oddly enough, during the “three nights blitz” of February 1941 the old Swansea Grammar School would be badly damaged, but that is for another story. He noted briefly, in only one writing, of an innocent budding romance with a young girl from his school, as she was the first girl he had ever kissed. Mostly he wrote sporadically of the daily life of a seventeen year old young man, until one Saturday, the 20th of May 1939, when it all changed for young Chris. He wrote of the day that his father took him to a flying display of Empire Air Day at RAF Carew Cheriton. On that day he saw, among many others, twelve fighter style aeroplanes flying in several different formations, performing aerobatics and he wrote this , “today my eyes were opened to a whole new world which I know nothing about.” Young Chris wrote of how the speed and precision formation flying completely fascinated him. “How could a man control an aeroplane with such grace, and precision?” he noted. His imagination ran wild putting himself into the cockpit of one of the fighters and at the controls of such a magnificent machine. He knew from that instant that he wanted to be that man, an RAF pilot, the one controlling that powerful machine soaring through the sky!
[Linked Image]


Just past mid 1939 , August the 28th to be exact, Chris's Father called him into his study and sat young Chris down opposite him at his desk. “Chris” he said, “War is coming son, I am quite certain of it. Britain will need every fit young man she has to defend her Empire. You will be called up Chris,....... being the son of a Parliament member will hold no sway for you.” Young Chris noted the unflinching seriousness of his Father's demeanor and expression as he conveyed these words. He could feel a real sense of concern. “Chris, even in your youth, please consider this quite seriously son, for it would be much wiser for you to sign on early, study diligently and train hard in preparation for what will surely come. Your Eighteenth Birthday is approaching rather quickly and you must choose son, ....... or they will choose for you.” This made an indelible impression upon Young Chris. He contemplated what his father had said to him over the next few weeks.

“On Twenty Four September Nineteen Hundred and Thirty Nine, I Chris Patrick Wednsforth II was accepted for flying training as an Acting Pilot Officer in the Royal Air Force”, wrote young Chris . The Training schedule looked like a mad dash considering that Germany had invaded Poland on the 1st of September 1939. The coming storm which Chris Sr. had so aptly foreseen, was now beginning to unfold before the world, and before young Chris's eyes. With Germany now in a non aggression pack with Russia, and Russia attacking and occupying half of Poland, the storm which had now stricken Poland was surely to move Westward. Adolf Hitler's wrath would now be unleashed upon Western Europe with an eye for Britain in the not so distant future. The British Empire had precious little time to prepare for the German onslaught now known as 'Blitzkrieg!'
[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]


Two weeks at Uxbridge filled with square bashing, foot drills, physical training and other parade ground instruction was just the beginning. “High and tight you know and in step to the cadence and the likes mate!” wrote Chris. There was some classroom basic training as to addressing rank, personal hygiene and conduct conducive to an RAF Pilot. Upon completing basic, the cadets were whisked away for pictures in front of the Coniston Hotel, all was grand as each cadet wanted eagerly to serve their island home of Britain. During Chris's Initial Training Syllabus at No.10 Elementary Flying Training School at Yatesbury, the hours of study and instruction were long and rigorous, unrelenting and demanding with almost nil tolerance for failure. “Educating ourselves in the applied science of aeroplanes and rudimentary physics of actually flying a machine, a fighter aeroplane, was exhausting, even in my youth. The classes, and classes,.... and more classes, drilled the basics of flying and its requirements into our brains until we could recite the principles and practicalities of the No.10 Initial EFTS Syllabus without hesitation.” Do to the urgent need for RAF Pilots, this Initial EFTS phase of training was shortened from 8 to 6 weeks and led immediately into the second stage of training which was the Elementary Flying Training School Syllabus. Now all of the classroom studies and aeroplane mechanical internship would be put into practical application in the first trainer plane the cadets had been issued.
[Linked Image]


During the first few weeks of the EFTS the cadets were introduced to The De Havilland Tiger Moth. Each cadet was instructed on operation and complete mechanical upkeep. Chris was assigned Tiger Moth 39, number N9503, and she was a beginning pilots dream. She flew smoothly, had good power and her stall, sometimes as low as 25 knots, was gentle and easily recovered to controlled flight. Many a beginner pilot had learned the ways of taking off, proper climbing, navigation and of course the hardest and most important part of flying, the landing. She was perfect for beginning to get the feeling of flight, and the Cadets had extensive time in them to learn to strap the Tiger Moth on and become one with her. There were aerobatic barrel rolls, Immelmanns, dives, loops, stalls and inversion reversals to learn and each cadet was expected to become proficient in all areas of flight technique and aerobatics. The cadets were tested on their conclusive knowledge in each area concerning the De Havilland Tiger Moth's operation and upkeep, and each cadet had to pass all areas of testing for any hope of progressing forward to the next phase of the syllabus.
[Linked Image][Linked Image]


With just 3 weeks left in the EFTS there was only one true test remaining for each of the cadets. Soloing! It was a cold morning on the 7th of January 1940 when Chris's Flight instructor, Flt Lt Richard Collinsworth, gave him final instructions on his initial solo flight. “Wedns old boy, mind your training, treat her like a proper lady for two rotations of the pattern about the Aerodrome and set her down nice and easy minding the windsock old chap.” Upon turning to walk away Collinsworth paused,.. cocked his head to the side and said, “Oh and Wednsforth,... ....do try not to cock it up and get yourself killed mate!” Chris made a perfect solo flight and had the confidence of a true aviator after his initial lone flight. There was only one problem with the De Havilland Tiger Moth which Chris had come to realize,..... she was slow and under powered. The average cruising speeds were between 95 and 110 knots. She was nimble and fully acrobatic, but even at that, one was not to exceed 140 knots or risk chancing structural failure. All of the cadets wanted more power, just as any young man would desire from any machine of propulsion. To learn more aggressive maneuvers and to achieve their end goal of flying a Hawker Hurricane or possibly one of the few Supermarine Spitfires, they knew they needed an aeroplane with a stronger engine, greater strength and a mono wing design. Ten weeks had been trimmed to eight weeks for EFTS training as Fighter Command knew that Hitler's pride would not allow him to stop at the Western European shores of France.
[Linked Image]

Last edited by Blade_Meister; 01/31/20 08:35 PM.
#4501511 - 12/25/19 06:47 AM 'Wings Over The Reich: War Stories From The Battle Of Britain!' [Re: Blade_Meister]  
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,375
Blade_Meister Offline
Member
Blade_Meister  Offline
Member

Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,375
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II

Memoirs


Three more weeks of daily and sometimes twice daily solos, navigating the English countryside and touch and go landings in the Tiger Moth facilitated a move to No. 2 SFTS based at Brize Norton, Oxfordshire. The elementary phase of training had come to an end for the cadets, whom like Chris, had passed their exams and the final flying test . On the 30th of January 1940 , Chris began his next phase of training, Service Flying Training School. With the move came new classes and familiarization with the cadet's new trainer,... .. the North American Harvard Mk I. She was a two seat low wing cantilever aluminum-alloy stressed skin monoplane trainer. She had a 550-hp Pratt and Whitney 'Wasp' S3H1 nine-cylinder radial air cooled engine that would pull her along at 206 mph at 5,000 ft. altitude. She could dive at 226 mph! She was the next step in Chris's dream to becoming an RAF Pilot! The downside was that the Harvard was not known for its docile handling characteristics. Stalls were abrupt, ground loops are not uncommon for the unwary and even taxiing can present challenges for the inexperienced pilot. This presented each cadet with a challenge to master the Harvard in lieu of a proper fighter such as the Hawker Hurricane. Harvard was certainly an appropriate title for this plane of higher flight learning. Chris noted that he came to love the Harvard even with her tricky handling manners. During one check out flight Chris's instructor informed him that he was the top of his group in mastery of the Harvard and that his aeroplane handling knowledge and skills were spot on among the best he had ever experienced as an instructor.
[Linked Image][Linked Image]

About half way through SFTS Chris was given the chance to test one of only three new Harvard BC-2 air frames, FX-352. The main revisions were new outer wing panels with a swept forward leading edge, removal of the previous leading edge wing slats design and the redesigned triangular tail and rudder. These new design changes helped the Harvard BC-2 perform much better with improved roll rate and a much improved high speed and low speed stall characteristic. Chris could outmaneuver any cadet or Instructor in the BC-2 model of the Harvard! The training continued and Chris had almost 98 hours of flight time in late March of 1940.
[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]


During this time of training each cadet used a rather primitive training device. The Fitters and Riggers Training School had reclaimed a Hawker Hurricane Cockpit section and provided it to the SFTS. The Hurricane had been rather roughly belly landed and was slated to be scrapped. Chris noted, “it was a scrap fuselage from a Hurricane wreck which each cadet would sit in to receive instruction. The cockpit was intact, the controls and instruments did nothing, but we had to memorize the position and function of each instrument so that we could lay hands on it blindfolded, recite the instruments proper name and operating details.” Chris also wrote of a new experimental training mechanism which sounded quite odd yet quite futuristic for the times of 1940 . It was originally primarily used for bomber pilot training but was now being introduced into the fighter pilot training syllabus also. “The Link Simulator was the first to fit instruments inside of a trainer to teach pilots too trust the essential readings of instruments while flying. Designed by Edwin Link, it used pneumatic bellows to control pitch and roll and a small motor-driven device to produce disturbances as the pilots navigational skills were recorded by a mechanized drawing arm on a map located on the instructors desk.” It looks rather like an automated Ouija Board to me but also appeared quite helpful in learning to trust and rely upon the gauge readouts and navigation readings during poor visual conditions. Chris later wrote, “The Edmondes simulator was newly introduced to instruct a fighter pilot in deflection shooting combined with aircraft recognition and range judgment. Using a modified Link trainer the Edmondes was fitted with a reflector sight and a spotlight triggered by a firing a button on the control column. At the required distance from the Link, a scale model aircraft was positioned 6.5 ft from the ground and mounted on a castored trolley.” Chris noted, “the trainee flew the Link to ‘attack’ the model which then moved to simulate an aircraft under attack. When the pilot considered he was in range and had the correct deflection, he pressed his trigger in short bursts and the beam of light from the spotlight registered on the graph. On the floor in front of the simulator were painted a number of arcs which represented ranges from 150 yds to 600 yds. The Instructor was in communication with the pilot through a mic and headphones. After the Instructor read off the range from the arcs on the floor and the errors shown on the graph, he would radio advice and correct the trainee's aim throughout the simulation until the pilot could make the correct range and deflection adjustments himself.” It was all quite advanced for the times and Chris excelled in this simulated piloting.
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The training went on at a roiled pace and the cadets could not quite understand why as Germany seemed quite content to occupy Poland and the Sudetenland through the winter of 1939 and early into 1940. Within just a few months it would become clear that the Nazis aim was to conquer all of Europe. In April 1940 the Nazis invaded Denmark and Norway. By May 10th the Nazis had invaded the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France. On this same day Winston Churchill became the Prime Minister of the British people. By the 15th of May Holland surrendered to Germany and on the 26th of May Churchill ordered Operation Dynamo, the Maritime evacuation of the British Troops from Dunkirk. Three Hundred and Seventy Eight thousand British Troops were trapped within the Dunkirk perimeter and all but Forty One thousand French and British Troops would be evacuated using a massive flotilla of British Naval, commercial and even personal ships, boats and yachts . Tragically many of the Forty One thousand left behind would be taken as prisoners of war over the next few days. On the 28th of May 1940 Belguim surrendered. As Chris continued to train he saw Hitler's War inching closer to Britain day by day.
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The standards for becoming an RAF Pilot were determination, persistence and the pinnacle of excellence in all forms of powered flight! In the study halls, in the simulators and in the trainers one must prove his mastery of the theories and physics of aerial flight. The RAF's arduous study of Fighting Area Attacks would enable the pilots of the new generation of fast 8-gun monoplane fighters to ensure that the bomber would not always get through.
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The end goal, earn the patch, the wings of the RAF Pilot. On the 30th of May Nineteen Hundred and Forty, Chris Patrick Wednsforth II completed his provisional training and received his Wings as an RAF Pilot Officer. The very next day Chris was posted to 238 Squadron, Fighter Command, Tangmere, England. Chris notes that he will be flying a Hawker Hurricane out of Tangmere Aerodrome. Not a week later he found out that RAF 238 flew Supermarine Spitfires up until just three days prior to his being posted to 238 Squadron. It was every cadet's dream to fly the Supermarine Spitfire and Chris had just missed out on this opportunity. By this time at the end of May the majority of the Fighter Command's Squadrons were fitted with Hurricanes as the Spitfire production was ramping up. Chris wrote, “Bugger, just missed the Spitfire here at Tangmere, the Hawker Hurricane it will be! Tally Ho!” The task at hand, defend Britain from the most probable assault of Goering's Lufwaffe, defend the pursuit of Liberty and the right to live in Freedom! “At last it feels official”, Chris wrote.

Diary entry Sunday, June 2nd, 1940, The train travel to Chichester, West Sussex, which is just over 200 miles from my home in Swansea, was uneventful, but it left me with a 3 mile walk to Tangmere on a blistering hot day which was unusual this early in June. After arriving and being shown to my quarters, I stowed my gear. I along with another brand new Plt Off, Archie Braxton Lacey, looked over the Aerodrome. We met the CO and the Adjutant at twelve hundred hours and were at once posted to 'A' Flight, Red Section. We were then introduced to our new Flight Leader and Sqaudron Commander, Flt Lt Colin Alexander Payne, who seemed a fine fellow and had fought with 73 Squadron in France. Payne detailed us for a familiarization flight at sparrow chirp tomorrow. He wants to see what we're made of, no doubt, as well as show us the lie of the land here in West Sussex. Payne whom seemed a rather quiet chap at first meeting, showed out to be a stickler for observance of regulation. One button on my shirt sleeve was of a different shade as I had replaced it for a lost one, from the standard issue buttons. He let me have it in no uncertain terms that I was to repair the situation post haste! Payne asked me, “how many hours have you in a Hawker Hurricane Wednsforth?” I stood there at attention dumbfounded and unable to answer as I gazed straight ahead not knowing what to say. “Well Wednsforth, answer the question? Hurry man!” said Payne. “Sir,.... ..... I have only ever seen one Hawker Hurricane at No. 2 SFTS and it was in disrepair Sir.” “Well Pilot Officers Wednsforth and Lacey, I suggest you boys hustle over to the flight line and have a look at your new mounts. Wednsforth you will fly Hurricane VK-B, and Lacey you will be in VK-G. Dismissed Pilot Officers!” said Payne. Archie and I came to attention, saluted, and turned to leave for the flight line to make our first walk around of the Hawker Hurricanes each of us would be flying. “This was the defining moment in my enlistment so far. All of my study, training, struggle and all of the time spent had landed me here in 238 Squadron at Tangmere Aerodrome. It seems surreal to me as I have not even turned Nineteen yet.”
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As we walked out of Flt Lt Payne's office I was met by Alfred Harold Pippard, the fitter for Hurricane VK-B of 238 Squadron. Pippard offered to drive Archie and I over to the flight line and we accepted. As we pulled up, there was Hurricane VK-B sitting in front of an open hanger. As I got out of the Bedford I was quite excited, somewhat filled with wonderment and a little scared.
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As I slowly walked up to the Hurricane I thought to myself, what a beautiful lass to conceal such murderous weapons. I wondered if I could tame this beast and make Goering's Luftwaffe dread her.
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As I got closer I could see the masterful engineering which was used to construct her. She was sleek and exuded speed and her weaponry elicited respect. In the hands of the right RAF Pilot, she would be the terror of the skies.
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As I sat in Hawker Hurricane VK-B for the first time, I knew I was home. I strapped myself into her and wondered where she would take me and how long our relationship would last. I quietly said to her, “take good care of me Lass as I am a part of you now.” As I looked up Flt Lt Payne was climbing up on the wing. Payne went though the taps and drills of the Hurricane controls and procedures with me. As he stepped off the wing to go find Lacey and run through the drill with him, I was very thankful for the dummy cockpit training I had received at SFTS. Long after Payne left, I stayed and went over every gauge, control and procedure to reassure myself that I was prepared to make my first flight tomorrow morning.
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Last edited by Blade_Meister; 01/31/20 08:26 PM.
#4501512 - 12/25/19 06:47 AM 'Wings Over The Reich: War Stories From The Battle Of Britain!' [Re: Blade_Meister]  
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III

Memoirs

This is Chris's account of Flight one as an RAF Fighter pilot for 238 Squadron Tangmere.
Diary entry Monday, June 3rd 1940, 0455 hours:
Flt Lt Payne briefed Lacey and myself of our planned flight route, times and expected radio procedures during our checkout mission in A Flight, Red Section. We were to keep the chatter to an absolute minimum barring an emergency. This was to keep the one operational voice radio frequency open for other more important Squadron chatter than our training mission. Payne told us to stay alert with our attention focused on him because he was going to use hand signals as much as possible to communicate with Lacey and I. As Payne and I took off from Tangmere we heard Plt Off Archie Lacey's call come over the blower. “Hello Red Leader, Red Two calling, I am having a spot of trouble with my fuel pressure. My fitter is on it and says he will have me off in a hurry. Permission to catch up and rejoin once I am sorted, over to you.” “Hello Red Two, this is Red Leader answering, received and understood , we will hold on heading one-eight-zero angels one saunter for twelve minutes. We will then come starboard to heading two-eight-three saunter until you rejoin Red Section. Carry on and tell your fitter to ratchet it up! over to you.” Lacey's call came, “Hello Red Leader, Red Two answering, received and understood, listening out.” So much for no radio chatter.
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The roar of the Rolls Royce Merlin engine, the resounding feel of power and the integrity of the Hawker Hurricane's sturdy construction were all bound together to give one the utmost feeling of championing the world. All of these sensations along with the beauty of the English sunrise here in West Sussex permanently cemented the first moments of my RAF piloting career into the strongholds of my minds most treasured memories. As I looked to my starboard I was pulled back to reality as I realized I was overtaking Flt Lt Payne upon climbing out of Tangmere and I eased my throttle off to fall back into my assumed position as number three in our section.
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I quickly positioned my Hurricane as I should have in the first place.
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As we hurtled across the English countryside, upon looking closer I noticed Payne feverishly waving me closer into a tighter formation position. As I closed in I thought I could read his lips as saying, “tighten up man!!!” Regardless if this was what he was saying, he looked none too happy with my performance so far.
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I slid over closer to Payne and set myself at ease with the setting of the throttle in my Hurricane while trying to trim her out for a ten degree climb.
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As we made the coast Payne eased us into a starboard turn to vector us onto a West-Northwest heading of two-eight-three. Lacey called on the RT, “Hello Red Leader, Red Two calling, I can see you now, permission to join section formation, over to you.” “Hello Red Two, Red Leader answering, received and understood, go ahead and rejoin formation now, over.” “Hello Red Leader, Red Two answering, received and understood, out.”
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As Payne straightened out our course Lacey rejoined and overshot our flight moving into the wrong position between my Hurricane and Payne's. As I looked starboard I could see Payne moving right and throttling back as Lacey must have rattled a nerve with him. “Hello Red Two, Red Leader calling,...what in the Bloody Hell are you doing? I should rip your patch for that cock up! Get back in bloody formation Red Two! over.” “Hello Red Leader, Red Two answering, received and understood, out.”
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Lacey came low under my nose from my starboard to my port side and began throttling back to maneuver into what he thought was the correct section position. Lacey seemed a bit unnerved at the moment and was completely arsing it up. I tried to hand signal Lacey to move to the correct position when Payne came on the R/T again, “Hello Red Two, Red Leader calling, your correct position is to my starboard wing! What in the bloody hell are you doing Red Two? Get in position NOW! over to you.” “Hello Red Leader, Red Two answering, received and understood, listening out.”
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Payne began to throttle up and move back into the number one position and put us on a heading to return to the 'drome'. I think Flt Lt Payne had just about seen enough of our inexperience and undisciplined formation flying for one morning.
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The rest of the flight was uneventful and as we came back into sight of Tangmere I began to be concerned for my landing. I had not considered it before but there is a stand of trees running the length of the base leg of Tangmere's runway. Of course procedure was that I would land first, Red two second and Red Leader would land last. As Red Section nearly completed the downwind leg I concluded the brief assessment of how I needed to approach this landing and I turned onto base leg. As I came across I slowly turned onto final and descended over the trees.
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One had to cross that tree line and then chop the throttle and descend quickly to level and then flare to perform a three point touch down in the Hawker Hurricane. Luckily with the Hurricane in proper landing configuration, full flaps down and trimmed correctly, she flew beautifully at 85 mph and was a dream to pancake.
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I set her down on the first third of the runway and had her slowed by it's end and headed back to where I could see my fitter Pippard waving me over to a hangar. Later Pipps would scold me for not raising the flaps on his Hurricane once my landing was complete. It seems leaving the flaps down while taxing back to the revetment can lead to stones or other debris being thrown up and damaging them, or worse jamming the flaps in the down position. Pipps assured me that it was nil a small task to clear the landing flaps of trash when a pilot bollocks them up while taxiing all about without lifting them!
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Engine and brakes off, my trusty rigger and fitter grabbed a wingtip each and guided me into the hangar, where VK-B was due some attention she couldn't receive at dispersal. Thus my first flight as an RAF Hawker Hurricane pilot of Fighter Command's 238 Squadron concluded.... Spectacular!
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Last edited by Blade_Meister; 02/18/20 04:35 AM.
#4501513 - 12/25/19 06:48 AM 'Wings Over The Reich: War Stories From The Battle Of Britain!' [Re: Blade_Meister]  
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IV


Formation Training

Diary Entry: Tuesday, June 4th 1940, 1440 hours.
I knew it was coming,.. I knew it as we returned to Tangmere yesterday from our initial checkout flight as Red Section with Flt Lt Payne, …. it was just a matter of when. The reason I was sure of it is thanks to our debriefing. It went something along this account on June 3rd. After each of the three of us finished the required paperwork for our fitters and riggers, Payne walked to the Squadron's Intelligence Officer's office, followed by Lacey and myself. As he entered, Payne preceded to ask Sgt Hughes if he knew the proper lay out for 'A' flight Red Section's aircraft when in the air? Hughes affirmed that he did. Payne turned his glance to Lacey and I and said, “SIT!” He inquired if Hughes possessed the training pictures for the different formations which were standard for all RAF Fighter Squadrons training syllabuses. Hughes pulled out a rather large picture of 'A' Flight with each section in 'Vic' Formation. “Would this be the one you are looking for Sir?” asked Sgt Hughes with a subtle amount of sarcasm about his tone. Payne nodded affirmatively and snatched the large picture rather briskly and taped it to the grand sized chalkboard which the Sargent used for debriefings. He then asked Hughes , “would you care to label 'A' flight Red Section with our names beneath the appropriate planes depicted in the picture Sgt. Hughes.” As Sgt Hughes went about writing each of our names under the proper crate, Lacey and I looked at one another as each of us knew we were about to receive a rather stern barking at. As Hughes accomplished the task, Payne said, “that will be all Sargent, would you lend me your office for the next few minutes?” “Of course Sir,” Hughes countered. As he stepped out quietly he gave Lacey and I a notice of sympathy while closing the door behind himself. Hughes also perceived what was looming, and I am quite positive he and the Adjutant were enjoying quite a chuckle just about now. Payne stepped up to the chalkboard and drew three large 'X's over the aircraft in Yellow Section. “Forget Yellow Section! They don't exist,.... yet! Do You Blokes Understand?” We both responded affirmatively. “Good!” Payne said. He then proceeded to bark at us,...... “Learn It!,.... Memorize It!,...... DO NOT FORGET IT!” Then he wrote on the picture, Learn it or I will send you to fly for the Huns! He marked heavily over each letter several times in the name 'Huns' to cause them to appear bold and then underlined it to emphasize his message to us. “Do You Blokes Understand That?” Payne said. Again Lacey and I both acknowledged affirmatively. “Good,.... Because If I Ever Again See Either Of You Fly As Poorly Or As Dangerously As You Did Today,..... IT'S OFF TO FRANCE WITH YOU BOTH! Formation Training at sparrow chirp tomorrow!!! Remove yourselves from my sight and be at the ready in the morning!” As Lacey and I paraded out of the office neither Sgt Hughes nor the Adjutant would look us in the eye and each appeared to be attempting to cover their smirks, but this was a serious matter for Lacey and I! I found positively nil humor regarding this state of affairs!
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June 4th, 0500 hours! Red Section Formation Training initialized for Lacey and I under the Squadron Leader, Flt Lt Payne. Our fitters had each of our Hurricanes on the end of the runway Line Abreast. As dawn broke over Tangmere we each started our engines and fire and smoke rolled over the noses of our aircraft and confused our sight through the canopy glass. Roll out was at ten second intervals, throttle through the gate, with my Hurricane VK-B presenting everything she could muster to climb and chase down Lacey and Payne.
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Once I caught up to Lacey , he and I pursued Payne until we assumed our positions in the 'Vic'. It was jolly hard to hold my distance from Payne and keep an eye on Lacey. Payne cued the R/T, “Red Section this is Red Leader calling, each of you, eyes on me only, hold your distance and maintain altitude accordingly, listening out.” Payne had us practice staying with him and gradually he had us close up the distance from our Hurricanes to his as Lacey and I started to feel a bit less uneasy about the whole business. The sun rising over West Sussex was rather stunning.
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Over the coming days during this week Lacey and I found our confidence in flying the tight 'Vic'. Mostly through Payne's insistence and constant R/T instruction were each us to learn that Red Leader was our focus. Nothing Else! Our complete Squadron depended on tight 'Vic' formations to survive. Otherwise each of us might end up some Hun's breakfast! Those stunning sunrises became a dangerous distraction as Payne flew Red Section directly into them on each session to train us to engage the blinding glare and fight through it to do our job. “Hold the 'Vic'! out”, as Payne would bellow over the R/T. Payne confided that while fighting over France he had come to realize that the Huns loved to attack from out of the sun. It was imperative that Lacey and I must remain vigilant to this Jerry tactic as this situation would assuredly present itself as a threat to our very survival as RAF pilots in the near future.
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We had our moments, as when Lacey found himself flying directly on top of Payne's position. Honestly it was a rather gusty day and we each had a great deal of difficulty with movement in accordance with that wind. Lacey had lost sight of both of us under his port wing as Payne led us into a rather sharp starboard turn. Payne broke in on the Blower, “Hello Red Two, Red Leader calling,............. Why am I looking at the bottom of Hurricane VK-G, which is positioned merely twenty feet above me? Pilot Officer, get in formation, ...NOW! out” All in all I would venture to say, we were getting the knack of it and our 'Vic' was as tight as one could expect. Payne acknowledged as much but counseled us with, “never take your eyes off of your Section Leader as he is your life chaps!”
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As Red Section had been dogging on to perfect the 'Vic', so had Yellow Section under Flt Lt Lenny Alsford Marshall. Marshall's number two was Flg Off Arthur Chandler Chamberlain and number three, Plt Off Lloyd Billingsworth Clough. Marshall had flown a Hurricane in One Squadron in France during the 'Phony War' and was shot down but safely belly landed near Vassincourt. Payne had decided it was time to join Red Section with Yellow Section to fly as 'A' Flight. As we fired our engines Payne cut in on the Blower, “Hello Red Section this is Red leader calling, Yellow Section now exists. Keep your focus on me Red Section and let Yellow Section handle itself! Listening Out.” It was a stormy day, but as we climbed out towards the Channel the sky cleared off a bit and 'A' Flight joined up and flew with great precision. It was all beginning to come together.
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It was rather startling to have Yellow Section directly off my Port wing. This took a while to adapt to, but I adjusted soon enough. We flew a fair amount of training over the wetlands of Bosham, Thorney Island and also Hayling Island. We were not allowed to train over Portsmouth and have not ventured down to The Isle of Wight as of yet. Our formation was commencing to aspire each pilot to a high level of confidence in our abilities as RAF Fighter Pilots, yet many of us had not seen any action as of the present day.
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Our Training moved to the end of our second week and we were operating efficiently now, moving as a Flight and anticipating each movement of our respective Section Leaders. As formation maneuvers became second nature to my abilities as a pilot I began to realize and take in the beauty of West Sussex and the Southern English coast. The unspoiled wetlands of the islands, the waterways and the sunrises and cloud formations. The likes of which we would soon be fighting to preserve and deliver from the plans of invasion which Adolf Hitler would so recklessly committed the German Military to.
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The beauty was astounding, but for England to be on the brink of such a tragedy as war, was unconscionable. We must defend our British Island home at all costs. And that we would with no regret!
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Last edited by Blade_Meister; 02/18/20 04:39 AM.
#4501514 - 12/25/19 06:50 AM 'Wings Over The Reich: War Stories From The Battle Of Britain!' [Re: Blade_Meister]  
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V


Formation Training

Diary entry for Friday, June 14th, 0510 hours
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I quickly looked to my right, while still closing my canopy, to see Plt Off Lacey waving his gloved hand briskly for me to release my brake and let my Hurricane roll.
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I freed my brake and my Hurricane powered down the runway chasing Payne's. Lacey did not wait the accepted ten seconds but immediately charged off beside me. With little crosswind, holding my lane so that Lacey and I would not collide was routine. Payne's Hurricane was leaving the runway, undercarriage folding away and he was off leaving me behind. As I raced down the runway I trimmed nose down two degrees and not so gently shoved my hand against the throttle again to make sure it was through the gate. Lacey was right beside me tearing along the runway knowing we had to catch Payne or he would soon be on the blower giving us a severe barking. Behind Lacey and I, Marshall, Chamberlain, and Clogh were now rolling. The next line back of Coburn, Thayer and Pierce were surely at high rpm and champing at the bit to ease off their brakes and let their Merlins loose.
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Once off the runway and climbing away with Lacey closely behind me I shuttered my radiator looking to gain every bit of speed which I could muster. I then began to trim for a climb to match Payne's. As my Hurricane stabilized into a power climb, I quickly look back to see the last man, Plt Off Pierce, was rolling middle way along the strip. As each Hurricane leapt off the runway, Lacey and I were already beginning to overhaul Payne. As Payne had not briefed any of the pilots as to where this mission was heading, we relied on our initial rule of formation flying,when in difficulty, ones watch is solely on ones section leader. We would have followed Payne into the ground should he have led us there. As he broke port side and we started to gather him in, I opened my radiator by half and glanced back to see that everyone had made it into the air and was feverishly chasing the rabbit. Once Payne had loosely circled Tangmere he vectored us South towards Portsmouth. He popped on the blower, “Hello Rupert Sections, Red Leader calling, maintain radio silence until further notice, listening out” All pilots acknowledged Red Leader, starting with mysellf by effecting two clicks of the mic until each pilot had silently acknowledged the order.
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As we were gathering in Payne, A Flight and Yellow Section were forming up to display 3 rather tight Vics. It took a spot of time to gather all the boys in and as we did the early morning sun rose above the Channel behind us. Payne was not vectoring us directly into the sun for some unknown reason, as was his usual custom. Maybe returning the past day from 48 hours leave had something to do with it. We made Portsmouth in little time and then came port side to head East on towards Brighton and finally up the southern coast to Dungeness.
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I always rather fancied flying over the Channel at this time of day. The early morning sun bristling off the water like a million jewels had been strewn down upon it to pave a highway. A perfect day for flying, lazy clouds, a very light wind and one could see ten miles in any direction. We displayed an exceptional formation this Friday morning, all the boys high an tight just like we were taught back at Uxbridge while square bashing on the Parade Grounds. Payne made Dungeness and brought us port side again to make the turn and head back for Tangmere. Now the sun was at our eleven o'clock nevertheless we had it more manageable than we often do. As we came back into the Portsmouth's vicinity, Payne lead off to a starboard swing as we commenced our trek inland to cascade into the pattern at Tangmere before pancaking.
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Once headed inland the whole formation was moving along nicely when Plt Off Lloyd Clough broke in on the R/T, “Hello Red Leader, Yellow Three calling,I have steam filling my cockpit, lower legs burning, sorry,... I am afraid I should bailout! over to you.” “Hello Yellow Three, Red Leader answering, received and understood, get out of there Pilot Officer!!! listening out.” Our Flight had descended to 600 feet of altitude and this was not an acceptable height to bail out from so Clough pulled up at a 45 degree angle and gained the loftiness he needed, popped his belts, rolled back his canopy, pushed up slightly and was sucked out of his failing Hurricane like a cork from a champagne bottle!
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Payne initiated an easy port side turn and while I should not have, I looked quickly and saw Clough's chute open. His Hurricane was inverted and hastily rushing down.
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I observed the steam bellowing out of the cockpit as the Hurricane drew away and approached the countryside.
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As Clough's Hurricane clashed with the landscape there was a great flash of fire, then billowing smoke and steam. It seamed unreal, like a toy exploding, while viewing it from 600 feet. I saw Clough floating down on his cream colored parachute into a forested area. I said a short Prayer for his safe keeping upon landing.
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Once Payne was contented Clough would make it down in relative safety, he rounded us one more time and vectored us for Tangmere as our Petrol was dipping rather low at this point.
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Later that evening, Lloyd told us about his experience upon landing in his parachute. As he was floating down within two hundred feet of the countryside he said he heard a pop. Looking around he couldn't see anything and he knew in mere seconds he was going to land in a tall wooded section of the forest. As he spun around and floated downward in his parachute he heard another pop but with a deeper resonance and a whoosh sounding by him this time. He now saw what looked like a very old abandoned two story building that might have been from the Great War times. Clough saw a horse and a couple of cows about. As he came within 50 feet of the trees he saw two men and a young chap scurrying to the area where he was soon to come down. He saw what looked to be one of the men aiming a gun at him to attempt to shoot him. Lloyd now knew they had already taken two shots at him. This time nothing fired from the old man's gun and as he lowered it Lloyd came down and his chute snagged in the tallest tree around right on the edge of the woods. The whole of England being on edge for the expected Jerry invasion, this was nil a time for Clough's present quandary. He was spinning back and forth from his parachute cords, but Lloyd dare not to release the harness as he was 40 feet up in the air. As he spun around he could hear the two men yell heatedly at him as they ran over to where he was hanging. “Are you a Hun pilot? Is this the first of the invasion?” One man sent the young chap running off. He could see the other man reloading a double barrel over and under shotgun and Lloyd said he began to yell at the top of his lungs, “don't shoot I am RAF, a pilot of 238 Squadron Tangmere, I fly a Hawker Hurricane! Don't shoot, God Save The King!!!,... God Save The King!!!” At first they did not believe him and asked him who the King of England is, all the while they pointed their shotguns at him. Lloyd yelled, “King George the VI! ,.....King George the VI! Stop pointing those blimey shotguns at me and bloody help me get down!” It was just then that he looked up and noticed the smoke from his Hurricane off in the distance. He said he remembered hoping it had not hit some poor sod's home. Lloyd yelled at the men, “did you already bloody fire off at me twice?” The young chap came running back carrying a rope and managed to cinch a fair size rock to it. After striking Lloyd in the leg with the rock and rope on the first throw, eliciting a few choice words from him, the young lad managed to toss it over a limb nearby him. One of the men answered Lloyd, “of course laddy, we thought you were a Jerry!” “ Possibly first of the invasion mate”, the other said. By swinging a bit, Lloyd managed to grab the rope. Then he tied it to his harness and while the farmers hoisted him up a mite, he released himself from his parachute and they lowered him down. All the while the young lad had retrieved one of the shotguns and held it aimed at Lloyd until all were satisfied he was not a Hun. “You old buggars nearly killed me!”, said Lloyd. “Right 'o, if not for dreadful sight we would have mate!” said one of the old men. The other then said, “The Good Lord must be watching over you this day 'mucker'.” Lloyd shook his head and asked where was the nearest Tele. “Have to walk 2 miles that direction to the nearest farm house that has one Sir”, said the young lad. Lloyd started on his way not to sure if he should be thankful to these blokes or ring their necks before leaving. He surmised the former was more prudent considering they still possessed the shotguns. Shortly after 1000 hours that morning, the call came in from Plt Off Clough to the Duty Hut, hence Payne dispersed one of the Riggers to fetch him up in a Bedford. Back at the Officers Mess in the evening I bought a round of Irish Whiskey for each of our pilots. All of us were thankful for the first successful bail out of what was surely to become a war with Jerry. The dangerous business at hand of being an RAF pilot was felt far to close to home on this day!
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Last edited by Blade_Meister; 02/18/20 04:42 AM.
#4501515 - 12/25/19 06:50 AM 'Wings Over The Reich: War Stories From The Battle Of Britain!' [Re: Blade_Meister]  
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VI


Formation Training

Diary entry for Tuesday, June 18th, 0800 hours:
Late last Friday, after all of the ballyhoo of Lloyd 's bailout and before we lit up the Officer's Mess, Payne conveyed a directive he had just received. The word came straight from the top to the CO at Tangmere Aerodrome, “paint those hangars and support buildings with camouflage at once.” The CO said, “while I distaste doing it, all weekend leave for any fitter, rigger or armorer is canceled until the painting is finished.” Upon hearing this Flt Lt Payne asked for volunteers to help them master the task at hand. Luckily for Plt Off Fletcher, he was already on 48 hours leave, but the rest of us pilots threw our lot in to help out. These boys charged with this task, our fitters, riggers and armorers, they keep our kites in the air and in tip top shape. How could we refuse to pitch in and help? As camouflage paint colors were in short supply, our Procurement Officer managed to scrounge 120 gallons of earthen tone paints in Tangmere at a supply warehouse. For the next four days we painted,...and painted, ….... and......PAINTED! I am not sure if we managed to get more paint on ourselves, or on the sheds and buildings. It was not pretty but it was a sight better than the tin sheds we had prior to this assignment. I hope above all hopes that I never see another bucket of paint or a paint brush again!!! Plt Off Lacey managed to fall off a ladder and break his leg rather badly. A couple of the boys placed him in a Bedford and they carted him off to the medical shack. The Doc applied a splint to Lacey's leg and sent him off to the Hospital in Tangmere for proper traction. Payne will have to perform a quick shuffle of pilots to fill Lacey's spot in Red Section.
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Diary entry for Thursday, June 20th, 0445 hours:
As we entered our 4th week of formation training, Flt Lt Payne determinately brought our Squadron together collectively. Red and Yellow Sections of A Flight, together with Blue and Green Sections of B Flight, which comprise RAF 238 Fighter Squadron Tangmere. Another stellar morning at Tangmere Aerodrome, but this morning is painted with a brush of steel, fire and raw man made power. The sights, sounds and smells of twelve Hawker Hurricanes overshadowed the prevailing natural beauty of the Southern English countryside. This morning, that supremacy of nature over all things yielded to the dominant machinery of the day for just a few hours after which she again will overwhelm with her superiority when mans machines must rest.
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The power and beauty of theses machines we take wing on is hard to reconcile with the destructive strength which they were designed to make profit of. Pitting one man against another in these beautiful machines in a duel to the death seems such a paradox. The frightful truth,..... this paradox will truly inhabit our future until we collide with that revelation head on. This coming of violence is destined to occur and each of the Squadrons over this Empire are charged with fulfilling their principle character in the Salvation of Britain. Each pilot must play his supporting role, fore written in this theatrical script of conflict, relinquishing the opportunity to step aside from this horrifying drama. He must take up his cross and carry it, portraying excellence in his performance until this undertaking is finished. We as the British Empire must stand alone and fight the good fight! Plt Off Lacey would be nil cheerful if he knew reserve pilot Sargent Terry Patrick Stapleton was flying his Hurricane, VK-G, today as Red 3 in his stead. Terry was from a very affluent aristocratic family and he never let that be forgotten. The whispers were that his Father had bought his way into the RAF Reserves to keep him from serving in the infantry. He is rather fond of himself and is under the assumption that he should lead the Squadron, yet there is not one chap in 238 Squadron that would agree with this pretentiousness nor follow him into combat should he have his way.
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As the smoke began to clear from the runway and our Squadron Leader commenced his takeoff roll, I could only think back to just a few months ago,... to when I was taking my first Solo flight in my Tiger Moth at EFTS. Flt Lt Richard Collinsworth said to me, "Oh and Wednsforth,... ....do try not to cock it up and get yourself killed mate!" My resolve has been just that ever since, and I think I shall carry that resolve into this Battle For Britain. When it arrives, I will make good on all of the training I have completed and exude the excellence ingrained in me. I will dole out to the Huns what they have served up to our European Allies, even to our boys over France, and then I will mete out a wee extra just for good allowance!
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While I was feeling particularly chivalrous and patriotic this morning and most optimistic, I was not quite certain that the peoples of Tangmere felt so adoring as we climbed twelve Hurricanes off the runway directly over their homes. After all, it was 5 A.M., surely they could not be pleased. I can only think to myself, but we will truly see how pleased they are if the Luftwaffe do come to England for a battle in these skies.
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As I cleared Tangmere the sun cracked the horizon and another day was spinning its' toil. I was excited to see how RAF 238 would operate as a Squadron. We had endured much labor in practicing for this day and I anticipated good results and tight Vics. During these weeks each Section had also been learning and practicing the RAF Fighting Area Attacks and these tight vics were the keystone to our flights winning in the encounters surely to come. Each pilot in each Section, in each Flight and in our entire Squadron depended on the next pilot, as each of those pilots depended on him! Not one of us wanted to let the others down and thus we strove for excellence in all which we did.
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Always a tradition on our departure from Tangmere, which most of us see as a Blessing, is immediately upon crossing the Tangmere Church we offered up a short Prayer, asking The Man Upstairs to deliver us through this day.
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As we began to gather, each pilot discovered his position and soon we were on the wing as a complete Squadron. A dozen Hawker Hurricanes flying in complete unison. We shouldered the firepower of untold destruction, and only time will tell if we will meet the Luftwaffe in these skies to decide Britain's, and the world's fate.
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Payne showed the way North and we began approaching the Western edge of London in a short while.
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Our Squadron took wing at 200mph, but as I peered straightforward through the canopy it scarcely seemed we were advancing in the least. We roared along in a pleasantly steady formation as we crossed over an immense reservoir. This is the Queen Mary Reservoir, a mainstay of fresh water for North Western London.
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Payne vectored 238 Squadron North of London and then came starboard to shadow the Northern outskirts of London proper.
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Payne again vectored us starboard and we came to a heading of due South as 238 Squadron prepared to display its' precision formation to all those Londoners whom were on guard at the crack of dawn.
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As we came across the Western side of London we could see the docks of the Isle of Dogs in the outlying distance. The mighty Thames River divided London into separate measures with her bristling flow of water.
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It was a great display of our flying skills and Britain’s great air power as we stormed across London and came out the South boundary. We traveled across the English countryside on course for Tangmere once again.
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We prepared to sort ourselves to enter the pattern at Tangmere, but first the welcome site of Tangmere Church and a Prayer answered. Thank you Lord for safe returns! Soon we would be rotating in a single column forming the landing pattern while two at a time broke off to find their way onto final and pancake at our Tangmere home.
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Last edited by Blade_Meister; 02/18/20 04:46 AM.
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VII


Early RAF Career


18 June 1940.

“What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of a perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say,
This was their finest hour.”

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On the 24th of May, 1940, Directive No. 13 was issued by Adolf Hitler.
3. Tasks Of The Air Force.
(a) Apart from operations in France, the Air Force is authorized to attack the English homeland in the fullest manner, as soon as sufficient forces are available. This attack will be opened by an annihilating reprisal for English attacks on the Ruhr Basin.

By June 25th Göring began 'Störangriffe', or harassing attacks. From Prime Minister Winston Churchill to the Commanding Air Officers to every Group of Fighter Command all the way down to the COs at every RAF Squadron at each Aerodrome, every soul knew that the full force attacks of the Luftwaffe would quite certainly commence rather soon. Probing raids of small groups of Luftwaffe aircraft were testing Britain's defenses, trying to strike her Chain Home stations, Aerodromes, or dropping mines near British ports. While these incursions were sporadic and mostly nil effective, they none the less were the precursors of the coming storm to which Chris Adison Wednsforth had pointed just two years earlier. These were the opening acts of what would soon be affectionately know as 'The Battle of Britain!'

On June 27th 238 Squadron moved from Tangmere Aerodrome to Middle Wallop Aerodrome.
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Diary entry, Tuesday July 1st 1940.
The boys moved from Fighter Command's 11 Group to 10 Group, Sector 'Y'. Middle Wallop is still a Sector HQ, but 238 Squadron will be removed a few miles North West of Tangmere and a piece further from the mounting brawl. The fitters, riggers and armorers had to work some rather ungainly hours to maintain their Kites here at Tangmere, and then put in more punishing hours each day after riding 54 miles in Bedfords loaded with everything they could carry to Middle Wallop. Once finished they traveled back to Tangmere in the middle of the night. It was a tricky balance for them to keep Tangmere operational while preparing to receive the Squadron at their new facility. The Pilots had the elementary task of solely flying their crates over on the 27th. Our new Controller call sign 'Starlight' was a bit of a miff for sometime as we had all been so accustomed to 'Shortjack'.
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Diary entry, Tuesday July 2nd 1940.
We have become fairly well suited at Middle Wallop. Yellow Section flew out on Patrol at 0745 hours this morning but did not crossed Jerry during their mission. Upon their safe arrival back to Middle Wallop at 1030 hours, Red Section was now at 'Readiness State'. The phone rang in the Dispersal hut at 1043 hours, and we were ordered to 'Standby' which meant we were to be in our crates, engines warmed, and ready to take off. Pips, my fitter, helped strap me in and assured me his VK-B was ready to fight! “Treat her like a proper lady Sir and she will serve you well. God Speed Sir”, he said. I said a quick Prayer just as I heard the phone ringing again. The duty erk shouted, “Red Section, Scramble! Vector one-five-zero, Angels ten!” We had not even fired off our Merlins yet! This was our first Operational Mission. Red Section was comprised of Flt Lt Colin Payne, Red One, our Squadron and Section Leader, myself, Plt Off Chris Wednsforth II, Red Two and Plt Off Lenny Marshall, Red Three. I had been bumped to Red 2 as Lacey was still at the Hospital in Tangmere mending his broken leg. Marshall had been moved up to Red 3 and Plt Off Lloyd Clough had replaced him at Yellow 1 Section Leader. Sgt Stapleton moved to Yellow 3 and Plt Off Arthur Chandler Chamberlain had joined our ranks at Yellow 2 position as a transfer from 111 Squadron Northolt. Treble One had joined 253 Squadron to form one of three composite squadrons formed in an attempt to reinforce the RAF in France. These units were based in Britain, but one half of each Squadron would operate from a French airfield for half of each day while the other half of each operated from Britain. Chamberlain's A Flight Yellow Section was at Lille/ Marcq and he claimed a Bf 110 and a Dornier Do 17 on the 17th of May before returning to Britain that evening. Others in his Flight accounted for three more Bf 110s and another Do 17. All claims were approved and 111 Squadron was known for its' bravery in the face of overwhelming odds against the Luftwaffe. I felt sure Chamberlain would be moved to a Section or Flight Leader position soon, but for now Payne was not willing to stir up the Squadron anymore. As 'Pipps' stepped off the wing we each started our Merlin engines in our lasses. 'A' Flight Red Section was airborne into the patchy low lying clouds off Hampshire just minutes later. It was a beautiful day with big white scattered clouds all about, with heavy thunderheads South in the direction of Lymington.
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The Controller came on the blower, “Hello Rupert Leader, Starlight calling. Vector one-five-zero, Angels ten, Buster, patrol the line Bembridge to Dover at Angels Ten. Bandits reported in mid-Channel off Brighton, course three-five-zero. Shipping off Beachy Head and may be the target, listening out.” Betraying no sign of nerves, Payne replied coolly “Hello Starlight, Rupert Leader answering, received and understood, out.” “Hello Red Section, Red Leader calling, Vector one-five-zero, Angels ten, Buster, stay on me chaps, over.” Both Marshall and I acknowledged Payne's message.
The distance was a little over one hundred Seventy two miles from Middle Wallop to Bembridge to the Strait of Dover. Just recently Fl Off Coburn and I had discussed this as he had led Blue Section on two Patrols on this line earlier in the week. This was a first for Red section to ever venture out to the Strait. We had flown to Dungeness with the Squadron on formation training, but never through the Strait. I quite missed Plt Off Lacey in Red two position. Come to find out he had a compound fracture from his fall at Tangmere. I have visited him twice but do not expect we will see him return any time soon. Marshall and I were both excited with great hopes of encountering Jerry along the way. This was quite improbable, but alas he and I were young and full of vinegar and reckoned on coming across a tussle. Payne was much more subdued as he had tasted aerial combat over France against the Huns and he knew quite well that it was a tricky business. He had downed one Ju87 Stuka while flying in 73 Squadron against the opening Luftwaffe attacks on Northern France.
As we plowed through the low lying clouds it was touch and go trying to form up. Normally Payne would have addressed us both for not flying in tight formation, but I think he knew that we might both have a case of the nerves and the patchy clouds were hindering the situation on our first operational mission. As we each pulled free of an enormous cloud I saw that I had drifted far out of position and just like clockwork Payne came on the blower, “Hello Red Two, Red Leader calling, do you care to join us Red Two?...... Get in position! over to you.” “Hello Red Leader, Red Two answering, received and understood, out.”
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I eased over towards Payne as we prepared to enter the next cloud set. We flew through these clouds and came out the other side in about seven minutes. Marshall was now on my right. This was in particularly bad form for either of us and we both knew it. We managed to arrange our Hurricanes in proper form and soon we began to catch glimpses of the Isle of Wight about 10 miles out in front of our section, just off the starboard nose of my Hurricane.

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Our Section approached The Isle of Wight and as we reached Bembridge Payne came on the R/T, “Hello Red Section, Red Leader calling I am coming port wing to Vector zero-seven-five, Angels ten, Liner, out.” We were now entering the massive thunderheads which we had seen upon our departure from Middle Wallop. Payne keyed the R/T again, “Hello Red Section, Red Leader calling we will fly a wide Vic formation until we pass these thunderheads boys, out.” He seemed to know that the wall of clouds we were entering could be treacherous for any section to fly through in a tight Vic. Payne told us to hold fast to Vector zero-seven-five, Angels ten until we broke out the other side. Our controller came on the Blower and directed us, “ Hello Rupert Leader, Starlight calling, maintain Vector zero-seven-five, over.” Payne rang up the controller, “Hello, Starlight, Red Leader answering, received and understood. Starlight, we are entering heavy weather conditions, with limited visibility, over to you.” Starlight confirmed Payne's transmission. The turbulence was incredible. It was all I could do to muddle through holding the control column of my Hurricane steady. For as heavy and powerful as the Hawker Hurricane is,... she was no match for the power of the winds which this storm was wielding. We could see neither the coast nor the Channel below us.
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I was being tossed about like a trawler in a Northern Irish Autumn swell. I struggled to retain reasonable command of my fighter! We could have flown above it, alas Payne was strictly maintaining angels ten as our controller had ordered. I prayed that each of us would carry through to the other side of this squall all in one piece and satisfied to not collect one another somewhere within it!
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We broke into another brief clearing and somehow I ended up on Payne's left side. After flying for 23 minutes through these large thunderheads we briefly saw Beachy Head, but we were not able to see any shipping convoys nor the Channel to any degree. This state of affairs was ever becoming highly dangerous! Marshall was absent and Payne used the blower, “Hello Red Three, Red Leader calling, are you still with us Red Three? Maintain Vector zero-seven-five, over to you.” Marshall answered moments later, “Hello Read Leader, Red Three answering, received and understood, Vector zero-seven-five, out.”
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Our controller came on the Blower, “ Hello Rupert Leader, Starlight calling, Vector zero-seven-five, climb to Angels fifteen, Buster, Bandits 12 o'clock reported in your sector, over.” “Hello Starlight, Red Leader answering, received and understood, out.” “Hello Red Section, Red Leader calling, maintain heading zero seven five, climb to Angels fifteen, Buster, Bandits 12 o'clock in our sector, over.” Marshall and I both confirmed Payne's order and began climbing. As we continued our flight I maneuvered back into my correct position and gave plenty of space as we entered another wall of thunderheads and climbed steeply. After ten minutes of blind climbing,........
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We finally broke through the front at angels14. I did not believe what I saw,............. I shook my head to regain my senses. As a result of my rattled nerves from flying through those thunderheads, I undoubtedly was observing unnatural sights! Payne broke in on the R/T, “Hello Starlight, this is Rupert Leader calling, Tally Ho! Three bombers with a few Snappers ahead. Red Section - attacking now - stick with me! listening out.” And as of that moment, Red section was stalking Jerrys God only knows where over the Strait Of Dover. This would be a turkey shoot, or so I thought,......
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I am quite sure not one of the Huns had noticed us as we observed every one of the four Messerschmitt escorts, who were barely visible, rolling off to our starboard wing in the direction of France. I would only speculate that they must have been low on petrol and heading for home.
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Last edited by Blade_Meister; 02/18/20 04:53 AM.
#4501517 - 12/25/19 06:51 AM 'Wings Over The Reich: War Stories From The Battle Of Britain!' [Re: Blade_Meister]  
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VIII


Early RAF Career

A furtherance of my Diary entry, Tuesday July 2nd 1940.
As our section closed the distance on the Heinkels, Marshall plunged down from above my Hurricane with superior speed resulting in nearly 2oo yards lead to my twelve o'clock. Conceding each of our presently uncoordinated Vic formation positions, Payne extemporaneously forged ahead with an accommodating tatic. He cut in on the R/T, “Hello Red Section, Red Leader calling, I will attack the Heinkel to the starboard - Red three, attack the Hun to your twelve o'clock - Red two, look after our six's – Go! over.” Marshall and I acknowledged Red Leader's instruction. As a rule, Payne normally would have ordered Red section into a column formation for an initial attack run, but in this instance, these Jerrys were presenting themselves properly for a staggered line abreast assault. He recognized a gainful profit in attacking individually, and we proceeded to do so. With our enemy's ignorance to our presence, we possessed the trump hand. This was our cardinal combat intercept and we were barreling in to extend the Huns quite a momentous British reception! “Allow me to bestow upon you a King's ovation with a sampling of my heralded gifts, beginning with my .303 Brownings' extending a short burst for popping by! Welcome to Jolly Ole' England Jerry!” I said aloud to myself. How dare these Huns encroach upon our Island, arrogantly and aggressively endangering the English people, I thought to myself. I was intensely bothered by this vulgar display of discourtesy! For the moment I would have to abide in my assignment to look after Payne's and Marshall's defense, but soon enough I would extend my introductory greeting. Neither Marshall nor I had combat incidence prior to this hour in our RAF careers, nevertheless, heretofore, no longer would this be of any distinction concerning either of us.
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Curiously, I think the Heinkel's rearward gunners reasoned that we were the Escorts, or they were asleep, as not one round was discharged as we approached. Marshall was positioned almost 300 yards in the lead of Payne and more than 200 yards to his port. I withdrew to 400 yards astern Marshall's port wing and was searching the blue for any snappers about.
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As Marshall approached 150 yards astern the center Heinkel, he let loose a long burst of possibly five seconds, which lead to the port engine of the bomber beginning to smoke and display a trace of flames! The Heinkel was falling away unbridled as a single crew member withdrew from the burning bomber, his silk canvasing the sky over The Strait of Dover. This opening assault mangled the gun tape of Marshal's wing and blood was in the water.
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As the Heinkel pressed on toward the Strait, the port engine and wing erupted into flames!!! Marshall had just scored his first victory. “I've got him!” Marshall cried excitedly over the blower.
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As Payne now sighted the Heinkel to his twelve o'clock, his betrothed target jinked to the port side, and the rearward gunner began discharging defensive rounds.
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Next the Heinkel jinked to the starboard attempting to elude Payne's .303s. The rearward gunner surely sustained a jam as the tracers ceased to discharge from his gun.
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Payne collared the Hun on the next maneuver, sent a long burst and straightaway the port engine was smoking. Marshall was sliding over to defend Payne's tail as he attacked the Heinkel. I guarded my pursuit of the third Heinkel, which was 500 yards to my twelve o'clock, as I continued to search for any snappers in the area.
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Payne was now in harmony with the Heinkel and his consequent burst caught the port engine ablaze.
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Payne eased off to the starboard side of the Heinkel as we each watched two crew members hit the silk as the Jerry bomber slowly dropped down through the woolpack into the drink. I rather painfully fancied Payne ordering me to quickly attack the remaining Heinkel as I was now 400 yards astern the last Hun and closing rather quickly.......
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Last edited by Blade_Meister; 02/11/20 02:10 PM.
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IX


Early RAF Career

The conclusion of my Diary entry, Tuesday July 2nd 1940.
“Hello Red Two, Red Leader calling, take that bloody Hun down mate! I have your six Wedns, over.” “Hello Red Leader, Red Two answering, received and understood! listening out.” As I initiated my attack upon the Jerry bomber the rearward gunner lit up the sky with rounds. I witnessed numerous hits on the Hun as I made this intercepting run.
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My Hurricane took some hits as I was almost on top of the Heinkel now. The return fire ceased and I withdrew my throttle a measure to stay on Jerry's tail. I hammered on my eight .303s scoring countless punishing hits on the bomber.
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I must have damaged the elevator controls as the Jerry bomber nosed over and fell away to my starboard side. Glycol and fuel appeared to vent from both the port and starboard wings as the Heinkel took leave in its' descending spiral.
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The Huns careened downward in an almost vertical plummet.
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There would be no recovery from this free fall as the engines screamed onward pulling the Heinkel faster toward The Strait of Dover. Something caught my eye off of to my starboard side. It was one of the Huns whom had bailed out from the Heinkel which Payne had just shot down, yet we had seen two hit the silk just minutes before. I thought of the fate of the poor Jerry whom must have struggled with a failed chute, thus plunging to his death in the Strait! A horrible state in which to perish.
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Finally the port wing and engine were engulfed in flames and the Heinkel was doomed to incinerate all along its' nosedive into the brisk waters of The Strait!
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The mounting speed of the falling Heinkel subdued the flames as it had only seconds until it would spectacularly impact the water.
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Once the bomber was in the drink I began to survey about in an attempt to spot my section. I observed Payne and Marshall to my starboard and rang up the R/T, “Hello Red Leader, Red Two calling, there is one less Jerry bomber to travel home today! over.” Payne keyed the Blower, “Hello Red Two, Red Leader answering, received and understood, good show old chap! out.”
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Payne reported in to our Controller, “Hello Starlight, Rupert Leader calling, we have three Heinkel 111s which we have dispatched into the Strait of Dover! Over to you.” “Hello Rupert Leader, Starlight calling, Smashing Good Show Rupert Leader!!! Jolly Good Show Men!!! Come to Vector two-eight-seven, Angels eight, Liner and we will bring you home Rupert Leader, over.” Payne acknowledged the call and I eased back into my flight position just off Payne's starboard wing and we flew on for Middle Wallop. I believe each of us was asking ourselves in our own minds, had that intercept actually happened? Was I dreaming? I pinched myself to make sure, and then I noticed it rather clearly,.... my hands were shaking, heart racing and my mind was on it's keenest edge. Not from fear, but from pure excitement, pure animalistic instinct of having just stalked and been victorious over my prey. It is the same feeling, which I remember vividly, from hunting Pheasant in early November as a sixteen year old on the Isle of Illaunmore on Lough Derg in Whitegate. That primal instinct of survival of the fittest!
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Once landed and shut down at Middle Wallop , Pips jumped up on the wing and helped me unhook my harness asking, “what happened Sir? Your gun tape, it is shredded! Did you bag a Hun? Looks like someone took target practice on your roundel! They almost made a bulls eye! Don't worry Sir, I will have her patched up in no time!,” he said with a chuckle. Pip's questions were rapid fired at me as fast as my 303s had clobbered that Heinkel,.... I was simply without words. Pips would have not believed me if I had told him of all that had come to pass. No,.....he could not have been convinced, so I waited until Flt Lt Payne recounted the events of our mission at our debriefing, knowing that he would be received seriously. As we entered the Intelligence Officer's office in the CO's shack we each knew that we faced a lengthy debriefing. I imagine each of us actually would rather have not attended but instead taken a brisk walk straight to the Officers' Mess for a whiskey first. We did celebrate our victories that evening and all seemed calm again in Britain. Little did we know what was coming,......
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#4501528 - 12/25/19 06:55 AM 'Wings Over The Reich: War Stories From The Battle Of Britain!' [Re: Blade_Meister]  
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#4501529 - 12/25/19 06:55 AM 'Wings Over The Reich: War Stories From The Battle Of Britain!' [Re: Blade_Meister]  
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