B Flight Got copped by a couple of Huns while on Patrol. We were at 9000ft when 2 Hun Scouts dropped down from above by firing their Twin guns. One stuck around for a bit doing turns and firing then nose down and was gone. We regrouped and finished Patrol.
#4511364 - 03/18/2002:41 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Carrick, reliable old Nigel. He and his mates continue to push on with the day-to-day job. Good on 'em. Nice screenies too.
Fullofit, I actually felt sorry for those poor, outmatched Halbs. Cold meat for Toby's gun. Top hole videos as always.
VonS, nice to see you dropping in again. And I agree as well, Raine does indeed spin a good yarn.
Raine, a wonderful episode. Looking forward to seeing how this all plays out for Collins and his bon ami. Also, if Swany gets word about Jim working in the forestry and milling side of things he is going to be so jealous.
18 March 1917 Vert Galand, France
After two days of waiting on the weather in Dover things cleared off late yesterday afternoon and the pilots of 66 Squadron flew their mounts across the Channel and made it to St Omer without incident just before sunset. A good night's rest and it was up and away to their digs at Vert Galand. Captain Swanson led the second flight which consisted of 2nd Lieutenants Mike Cudney, Patrick Taylor, Sammy Luke, and Flying Sergeant James Boumphrey, (referred to by most as "The Rotter" due to his utterly unpleasant nature). The early spring morning was beautiful and quite surprising given the previous long string of horrid, wet, windy days. It felt grand to be up in such a bright, crisp sky flying the spritely little Pup and Swany was dissapointed it was only a thirty-some minute trip down to his new AO.
The Vert Galand aerodrome, (or Vert Galant or Le Rosel as it was called by the French), was actually two separate fields that straddled the Doullens-Amiens road. 66 Squadron would be operating from the field on the west side of the road with the east side currently being occupied by Swany's old unit, 70 Squadron and their Strutters, (after hearing this before leaving St. Omer he wondered just how many of the crew he knew and worked with last fall were still on the green side of the sod - he would have to pay them a visit after getting settled in). As the Captain approached Vert Galand and dropped down towards it he was struck by the beautiful rolling countryside immediately surrounding it. If it weren't for the war it would really be quite idyllic. Swany made two circuits around the aerodrome while his flight landed, and with them all on the ground safe and sound he turned and made his approach as well. There was a fairly good breeze blowing eastward, so landings had been made going against it. The Captain passed over the twin parallel lines of hangars and the road between them, and brief moments later his Pup settled lightly to the ground and rolled to a stop just behind the rest of the flight. Each plane then swung around and taxied back to the hangars before switching off. Now came all the work of unpacking and get everything set to go for the actual task at hand, fighting the Hun. It felt good to once again be back in the fray.
Up and away from St. Omer.
66 Squadron on the move.
Making a circuit of the new digs at Vert Galand.
Passing over the twin parallel lines of hangars and the Doullens-Amiens road.
#4511466 - 03/18/2002:59 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
B flight was off chasing Snoopers that turned into 2 Hun Scouts over by Menen. I was 1st to spot them so peeled off and dove, My target went hard right then it was a turn fight while the other B Flyers went 4 on one and ended up losing a N-17 and getting 3 other damaged, but they did knock down the lone a/c. A pitiful performance ,by Jove. My Bloke was never told that his V Strut with a Red painted nose and wheels couldnt turn with a Newport , He was soon on me like Stink on a Monkey, but thankfully a bad shot, On the other hand I fired off 3 nine to ten rds a burst and didnt hit him. On the 4th or fifth go around and almost on the deck The Hun made a too wide of turn or turned too late and I was on him. The Scout poured on the power and stayed more than 500 meters away dragging us deep into the Hunland so I broke off and RTB.
#4511628 - 03/19/2001:15 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: Nov 2014 Posts: 3,269Fullofit
Lou, maybe the Huns should mutiny instead of flying these death traps. Show the French how it’s done. Very nice looking aerodrome that Vert Galand, but it seems to be missing that odd barn. Maybe Collins can be coerced to send the Canadians to build it?
Carrick, you are now in the thick of it. Better keep Nigel safe.
"Take the cylinder out of my kidneys, The connecting rod out of my brain, my brain, From out of my arse take the camshaft, And assemble the engine again."
#4511742 - 03/19/2004:00 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Wow! Been catching up on the great tales of valour and daring do (... not to mention over cooked chops)!
Raine, what a couple of magnificent chapters, great news that Collins is going to be near Bordeaux for a while before his new command - at least I hope that’s what’s coming!
Carrick58, super screenshots mate, really thought you were going to bag that one on the 19th! I so want you to get a confirmed kill!
Fullofit, what can I say? Super videos and write ups! It was hard watching your fight with Jasta18 from the15th. It was incredible flying from you! I wish I’d been there! Well done on the Halberstadts too!
Lou, as everyone has said, really beautiful screen shots. Can’t wait to see how Swany gets on in that Pup in combat. Looking forward to some great screenshots of his combat!
Stay well chaps ... Its quite somber here in the UK, schools are shutting tomorrow, my two younger boys are home now until the summer and my eldest who is at Cambridge has been sent home until October. Businesses are really struggling and the death count goes up here day by day, uncertain days. I'm thinking of you guys, best wishes to all!
Offizierstellvertreter Sebastian von Toombs GMVK, EK1, EK2 Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 18 Halluin/Rekkem, Flanders 19 victories
My escape was unheroic and embarrassingly simple. I was detained by a platoon of Scots Guards. Brutal, harsh fellows, who tried to question me. I was silent throughout, feigning stupidity and shell shock. Unsure what to do they locked me in a small hut, the door was padlocked. However, the floor at rear of the tiny hut had rotted enough in the damp earth for me to pull away bits of plank. I pulled enough of the rotten wood away to make a hole large enough for me to squeeze through. At dusk, to the sound of artillery shells I pushed myself through the hole ran ran for dear life with the setting sun behind me. I ran hard, knowing my life depended on it. Hoping, and silently praying I wouldn’t been seen by friend or foe. I wasn’t spotted and after 20 minutes running I crawled exhausted into a German trench, where after initial suspicion I was treated as a hero. A truck took me the short hop to Halluin airfield. I was home by 21:00 to much cheering and the shouting of “Thor!” The wine flowed! Though sadly my Nieuport 16 victory could not be confirmed. so I still sit frustratingly on 19. I hate odd numbers!
Today was a balloon defence. Weather was heavy clouds and rain. Hampering artillery and us. As we crossed our airfield close to Menen we spotted a flight of Triplanes 1000 meters below our Kette. We dived on them from above. I was able to fly right through their formation, shooting as I went, before they knew what had hit them. Within seconds I found my self alone in a dogfight with a couple of them. I’d made them good and angry and needed to out-fly them, my life depended on it.
I dived low and skidded in the air with full rudder and opposite stick, pulling some quiet unorthodox manoeuvres as I went. At about 50 meters of altitude I pulled up, sinking into my seat. I looked behind me to see one Tripehound forced to crash in a ball of flame and smoke and a second to be falling into my sights. I fired and scored some hits, before the rest of his flight of Trips came to exact some revenge for my Teutonic audacity. I spotted them descending on me and thought, at this point, that caution was the better part of valour so I flew hard and fast to the airfield at Menen. The Tommies gave up their chase just as the airfield began to pepper them with AA fire.
Seeing the coast was clear I decided to fly to home to Halluin. I didn’t see the Jasta again until they all landed 40 minutes later.
About 15:00 I was crossing the field after watching Eins Kette take off for an afternoon patrol, I was gazing up at the beautiful blue and lilac clouds unaware that Walter had sidled up behind me, “The ‘Old Man’ wants to see you Immediately Sebastian, and he’s spitting feathers.” “Why?” I asked, “I’m sure you know” He answered curtly over his shoulder as he made his way back across the field to our hut. It didn’t look like I’d have Walter’s support in the trouble that was about to come my way.
I walked to the Kommandant’s and office, knowing exactly what the C.O. Wanted with me. Truth to tell, I hadn’t exactly dived with my Kette, on the five Triplanes. In fact after wiggling my wings I dived alone, assuming the Kette would be behind me. They weren’t. During my decent I’d glanced over my shoulder to see I was diving alone. The wise thing, and the right thing would have been to pull up and rejoin the gentleman above me, but I just wanted to strike havoc into the hearts of the Tommy.
With less trepidation than I should have had I knocked on the dark wooden oak door of the Kommandantur. It was Paul’s voice who answered, “Come in Sebastian”.
The Kommandant was sitting, Paul was standing. As I entered Paul very quickly, and unseen by the ‘Old man’ gave me a wink. That was all I needed, in the storm about to come, I would have Paul’s support.
“You’re a bloody fool von Toombs”. The C.O.’s face was red, and angry. “What did you think you were doing this morning? We fight as a Jasta or not at all!” The missing trepidation found its way in to my soul as the Kommandant stood glowering. “You think you’re bloody invincible, you think you’re damned lucky. All the lucky men I ever met are all dead.” He paused.
“Just like you, they believed they were surrounded with a golden halo of good fortune, an invisible shield that couldn’t be penetrated. ”He leaned into my face, eye to eye, I smelt the coffee on his breath. “And now, Toombs ... they are all dead! Gone!”
He let the words hang in the air, then he sat down. There was silence in the office, he chair creaked softly as he settled back into it. “Sebastian” his voice mellowed slightly “Your intentions were good, but I’m here to tell you that no matter what the circumstance, sound judgment is the only damned thing on God’s green earth that’s going to keep you alive long enough to die in a bed.“ He lit a cigarette. I continued to stand. I dared not move. He blew the smoke of his first gasp towards my face.
“You’re grounded for five days von Toombs! At 19 confirmed victories you are one of the highest scoring young hunters in the Luftstreitkräfte. “ He took a deep drag on his cigarette and continued, “You’re desperate for twenty, I know, I see it in your eyes. But, I want you to marry that young lady of yours, grow old and fat, then die in a bed surrounded by adoring grandchildren. Think on that. Your confined to you hut except for meals. Dismissed! Go on get out of my sight”
As I left The Kommandantur I was trembling slightly. Paul followed me out catching up with me after a couple of strides, “You got away lightly young hare, he had half a mind to send you back to the cavalry, demoted you, or even a court marshall. Lucky for you, Walter talked him out of it”. He put an arm on my shoulder “Learn the lesson Seb, you fight as part of the Jasta or not at all.”
"My Kommandant Karl von Grieffenhagen with a living legend ..."
The five days that followed were long, boring and pointless. I should have been up with the Jasta and helping the war effort. I was humiliated and desperate to get going again. There is little to write, the weather was improving, we lost one new pilot Hugo. He been pretty badly shot up in a scuffle with Triplanes escorting BE2s over Passchendale. He managed to fly home and land but died of blood loss before he could exit his cockpit. It took three orderlies to get him out. Perhaps if I’d been flying that day he might not have died? That thought was the greatest punishment of all.
When the 18th rolled around I was ready to fly. A patrol of friendly lines, north past Passchendale up along our observation balloons that punctuated the line between Menen and the North Sea. I stayed on Paul’s wing throughout. We tangled with Tripes, who we spotted returning home. We dived on them together. I got some shots off as they fled home. The whole Kette gave pursuit. I was hit by flack or ground fire, I’m not sure which, and my fuel tank sprang a leak. Thankfully, I sustained no other damage. Walter who was leading the flight signalled for me to return home. From my map it looked like the nearest airfield was Menen. I was flying on vapours as I crossed the airfield at about 2000 meters and was able to make a good controlled landing just as the engine stopped.
I stayed on Paul’s wing throughout
To Be Continued ...
Last edited by SebToombs; 03/19/2011:12 PM.
#4511756 - 03/19/2005:29 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Hey, all! Been a while! Unfortunately real life cut my old character short, but with all the corona madness at the minute I find myself with a surplus of free time...so, here I am! It's great to see some of the characters I remember still going strong, and I'm hoping to get all caught up on everyone's adventures shortly!
I'm a bit out of practice with the ol' writing, but I'm looking forwards to getting back into it.
The Story of Evan C. Easom, Part 1: Welcome to France.
The grass rolled lazily in the wind as Evan Claude Easom sheepishly approached the little wooden hut which bore the sign reading “ADJUTANT’S OFFICE”. Clearing his throat and smoothing over his fresh new uniform, he knocked twice on the door, fidgeting nervously with his hands as he awaited a response. From behind the wood, he heard a gruff voice call “Come in!”.
Unlatching the door, Evan stepped through into a damp, cold and sparsely furnished office, at the far end of which sat a tired-looking Lieutenant, sorting methodically through a stack of yellow-white papers. As Evan approached, the man’s eyes flicked up and he leaned back in his chair, taking a moment to scrutinise Evan’s thin shape. “Ah. You must be the new Chap, er…Easom, was it?” the Adjutant asked, his thick moustache twitching as he spoke. “Yes, sir. Evan Easom”. The Adjutant’s stern look relaxed slightly. “Very good. Let’s see here”. Producing a scrap of paper from within a drawer, he dutifully scanned it over. “You’ll be flying with ‘B’ flight. I’ll have one of the batmen see you to your quarters. I take it you’ve met the C.O?”. Evan paused. “Er, no, sir. I haven’t”.
The Adjutant’s eyebrows raised slightly. “Well, you’d better get to it then, my boy! His office is on the opposite end of the hangars”. Evan hurriedly thanked him and turned back for the door, stepping out onto the aerodrome once again and making his way past the rippling Bessoneau hangars. Peeking inside, he saw the boxy, strange shape of a type of two-seat machine he wasn’t familiar with. At Hounslow Heath he had flown B.E’s, and then ‘Fees’. He’d rather expected to fly the same here. Not allowing himself to become distracted, he soon found the second wooden hut, slightly larger than the Adjutant’s, marked “C.O’s Office”. A small iron chimney protruded from the roof, and lazy white smoke drifted off towards the distant booms of the front. Repeating his nervous knock, Evan was surprised when this time the door came open from within, and before him stood his new Commanding Officer. Evan tried to hide his surprise, for although they had never met he knew the man instantly. It was Leefe Robinson, the famous Airman who had shot down a Zeppelin in September of last year. Despite himself, Evan’s eyes settled on the small red ribbon at Robinson’s breast - the ribbon of the Victoria Cross.
“Hullo!” Robinson said, cheerily, inviting Evan in. “You must be the new chap!”. Evan tried, unsuccessfully, to mask his grin - here was this English Hero of the air, speaking to Him! And so informally, too! “Why, yes, that’s me” replied Evan, and Leefe slapped him on the back. “Welcome to France, old boy!”. Robinson leaned on his desk, producing a packet of Woodbines from his breast pocket and lighting one up.
“So, er…” “Easom, Sir.” “Easom, yes! Remind me, Easom, how many flying hours do you have?”. “Thirteen, sir. Eight on B.E.2s and five on F.E.2s”.
Robinson’s expression soured slightly, as he ran his thumb across his lip in thought. “Thirteen, eh? Well, it can’t be helped, I suppose,” he said quietly to himself. As if remembering himself, the C.O. perked up again, beaming at Evan.
“Well, Easom! You’ll be in ‘B’ flight from now on, and we’ll have you up for a little spell tomorrow to get the lay of the land. You’re lucky, you know...we’re the first to get our hands on the latest machines, the Bristol F.2As! I hear they’ll be replacing the Fees soon enough. Terrific airplanes. Anyway, come along, I’ll show you to your quarters”. Evan stiffened. “Oh, that’s quite alright, sir, the Adjutant said he would send a batman” he stammered. “Oh, nonsense!” Cried Robinson. “Come along, now!”.
Easom beamed as he walked behind Robinson, taking in the sights of the aerodrome, the Ack-Emmas in their blue jumpsuits working on machines out in the sun, and the wonderful smell of castor oil in the air. Snaking in-between two of the hangars, Robinson led Easom to a shambles of Nissen Huts, haphazardly erected in rows behind the aerodrome. “Well, this is you,” Robinson said, arriving at the door of the closest hut. “There are three chaps to a room. You’ll be with Mr. Ackerman and Mr. Rast. They’re good sorts, but watch out for Rast, eh?”. With an impish smirk, Robinson leaned in closer to Evan. “Australian, you know…” he whispered, and Evan let out a quiet, nervous laugh. Robinson left him by the door with a cheery “ta-ta”. Anxiously, Evan opened the door to the hut and stepped inside, finding his own cot neatly-made at the farmost end of the room.
Later that night, after a long afternoon of sheepishly exploring the aerodrome, Evan met with his two roommates - who appeared almost as if they had been selected as a comedic duo. Ackerman was a short, terrier-like young man who, although pleasant and welcoming enough to Evan, carried an air of permanent irritation about him. His counterpart was Rast, a giant, rugged bear of a man who laughed and joked with Evan easily in his thick dialect. “What is it like up there?” Evan had finally asked, as the trio were settling into their cots for the night, and Rast grinned. “You’ll see, mate!” was his impenetrable response, and with that Ackerman switched off the paraffin lamp and Evan was left to his own thoughts.
All night his mind raced with anticipation. At long last, here he was in France! And what's more, he was flying under the famous Leefe Robinson! It all seemed to good to be true. As he sunk into sleep, he pictured himself at the controls of his brand-new Bristol F.2A, twirling and looping through the clouds and chasing after the Hun.
Part 2: The Front.
The next morning, at Six O’Clock, Evan woke after a restless night. Brimming with anticipation, he quickly pulled on his uniform, rousing Ackerman in doing so. “Bloody hell,” he muttered in the dull blue light of the morning, “Is that you, Lloyd, you great lump? Keep it down, man, will you?”. Embarrassed, Evan replied “Oh, sorry. It’s me, Evan”. After a pause, he added “Er, where should I report to?”. Ackerman sighed heavily. “Go and find your flight’s office. They’re on the other side of the Huts, to the left when you go out”. Hastily thanking Ackerman, Evan rushed out into the dew-soaked morning, creeping around the edge of the huts and finding the ‘B’ flight office. Creeping inside, he was disheartened to find the office empty - but behind the desk he spied a blackboard with a list of assigned flights. With a surge of excitement, he spied his name near the top.
His head spinning with anticipation, Evan searched the aerodrome until he found the mess - a large wooden building in which was a dining area, an old beaten-up piano missing several keys, and an assortment of armchairs that had been arranged around a small boiler. After a few moments, a batman spied him and brought him a plate of toast, and a cup of black coffee.
The wait until 9 O’Clock seemed to drag on forever, but at 8:30 Evan returned to his hut, grinning from ear to ear as he went about donning his flying gear. He arrived to the flight line fifteen minutes early, finding the crews of the other Bristols lounging around in deck-chairs, smoking and laughing, reading the papers, making idle conversation. As he arrived, he was given the odd wary glance by the other pilots, and for a moment he felt embarrassed until a man approached him. “Hullo, old boy. Are you Easom?” the man asked in a rich, Etonian voice. “Yes, I am,” Evan replied nervously. The man extended a bear-like paw. “Terrific to meet you. I’m Marc Wickham, your observer”.
The man seemed slightly older, slightly more mature than the rest of the airmen that crowded around, his silver eyes kindly and without malice. Evan began to feel slightly more at ease as Wickham asked him a series of harmless, friendly questions. Where are you from, dear boy? London! Marvellous! Where abouts? Evan scarcely noticed the machines being rolled onto the flight line, until a sudden voice cut above the chatter and captivated his attention. Turning around, he saw a stocky Pilot facing the group - which had now fallen silent. “Right, boys! Today we’re patrolling between Monchy and Thelus. If we’re lucky, we’ll have a nice, quiet time of it. We also have a new boy with us - Second Lieutenant Easom. That’s him there. Keep an eye out for him, eh?”. The pilots nodded in agreement, and as one started to make their way towards the machines, one or two issuing a quick “Hullo, Chum” to Evan on the way past. Uncertainly, feeling like a child stumbling after their parent, Evan followed Wickham to their machine. He looked at its strange cigar-fuselage with awe as the observer climbed into the rear seat. “Come on, in you get!” Wickham called, returning Evan to his senses, and with his childlike grin returning he climbed into the cockpit. Behind him, Wickham called out “just follow Wilkinson’s machine and you’ll be right as rain”. Evan assumed Wilkinson’s machine was the one with the two leaders’ streamers attached.
The Bristol’s cockpit was spacious, and as their props were swung and their motors started Evan realised that they were warm, too! At least, more so than the F.E.2s, which had their engines in the back. As their motors warmed up, Evan tried to still his thoughts. Focus on your take-off! He told himself, watching in eager anticipation for the lead aircraft to start moving. Suddenly there was a loud hiss, as a red Very Light shot upwards from the side of the aerodrome, and in answer Wilkinson’s engine roared into life. Evan grinned as the machine rolled down the runway, and then he, too, pushed his throttle forwards. Ahead of him, the engine growled deafeningly, and with a surprisingly sudden lurch the Bristol shot forwards, racing down the field after Wilkinson’s machine.
Despite his thirteen hours’ flying, Evan was awestruck anew as his Bristol lifted off the ground and soared up towards the clouds. It seemed surreal to him - no longer was he making laps of Hounslow Heath, or practising take-offs and landings...no, now he was here! In France! This was it! Behind him, the other two Bristols of ‘B’ flight lazily chased after him, followed by the three machines of ‘A’ flight. As Wilkinson turned away from the field, it suddenly occurred to Evan that he must focus on finding his position within the formation. Concentrating feverishly, he guided his Bristol into place alongside Wilkinson, feeling-out the weight and the handling of his new airplane. Ahead of him, Wilkinson’s Observer lazily leaned on his Lewis guns. As he met Evan's gaze, he grinned and waved.
Steadily they climbed towards the lines, Evan shakily bobbing up and down in his place in the formation - and then he saw it. The haunting scar of No-Man’s-Land. He was in awe at the size of it - a horrendous dark brown strip of death and decay, stretching infinitely to each horizon. Ahead of them lay the once-beautiful city of Arras, now simply ash, flattened out by constant barrage. The newspapers at home couldn’t have ever expressed the scale.
Ahead of him, Wilkinson’s Bristol suddenly began to move erratically, weaving right, and then left. Confusedly, Evan watched the strange dance. As the others too began to sway in agitation, Evan suddenly realised….they’ve seen the enemy! Frantically he looked about, but saw nothing but the empty blue. Suddenly, without any warning at all, two dark shadows shot across the top of the Bristols at unbelievable speed. Evan’s head snapped around to follow them - and his eyes settled on the insolent, mocking black crosses on their wings. My God! He thought to himself, Germans! But, where did they come from?! No time to ponder on it - the Germans had swung around and were now diving at them. As they pierced and shattered the British formation, Evan saw one German machine clearly as it sped by - a strange, ugly machine that looked as if it had been built to resemble some kind of whale. Two pairs of goggles briefly snapped around to follow him from atop the crude machine’s fuselage, and then it rolled onto its back and disappeared again.
Chaos had erupted around Evan. Dumbfounded, he looked around at the swarming machines, the tracers, the chatter of gunfire. Suddenly a German machine crossed his front, and he came to his senses. They went for each other, and Evan found himself acting on sheer impulse. The hands that controlled his machine weren’t his. Skidding and looping, he was astounded to find himself on the tail of the German. Holding his breath, lights dancing in front of his eyes from pure adrenaline, he pressed down on the trigger and his Vickers machine-gun barked into life. The German curved away, spinning down closer to the mud. As if in a dream, Evan followed. As he did so, he looked up and saw a swarm of machines, diving towards the fight. For a brief moment, he felt a stab of terror as he realised that these, too, were German machines. Also fish-like, but smaller, faster and more nimble.
The sound of gunfire brought him back to his senses, and he sighted his opponent once more. They had dropped out of the main scrap, and now faced each other in their own private duel. Approaching head-on, Easom fired again at the German, and within a few turns found himself back on his tail. In one final exchange, bullets tore through the Hun machine - but simultaneously Evan’s windshield shattered as bullets tore through his Bristol’s nose. Panicked, he pulled away, and watched the German falling to earth, its wingtip severed.
From above, he saw the Hun right himself and turn for the lines - but a moment later another British machine came down in a screaming dive, and in one sickening moment the two machines collided, turning to powder in the sky. As he turned away, Evan saw the shape of a man, flailing as it fell, among the debris.
Looking up, Evan saw two machines high above him. They, too, were Germans. Suddenly a barrage of gunfire came up from the Trenches. Feeling panic rising in his throat, Evan swung West, spotting an airfield near the lines and swooping down to land. As the machine rolled to a stop, he felt a hand on his shoulder. Turning, he saw a pale-faced Wickham. “A...are you alright?” the observer stammered. Numbly, Evan nodded. “That was a hell of a fight…” said the Observer, shakily pushing up his goggles and climbing down from the machine.
They were met on the field by a Corporal, who kindly brought them into the mess for a cup of tea. Wordlessly, the two airmen, shock visible on their faces, tried to process their battle. It was Wickham that broke the silence.
“I hope the other chaps got out okay. Did you see those Albatri diving in? I counted eight of them”. “Albatri?” “Those Hun scouts. They’re nasty business”. “Yes, I saw them”.
Silence deafened them for a moment.
“Well done on sorting out that Roland, by the way. Bloody good show, you gave him a hiding”. Evan concluded that the Roland must have been the whale-shaped plane with the rear gunner. He smiled weakly. “I rather felt that I wasn’t flying the airplane” he responded. Wickham let out a shaky chuckle, and soon the pair of them were laughing like madmen. Evan had no idea what he was laughing about - he was scared out of his wits, and his hands would not stop quivering - but, laugh he did.
About an hour after arriving, once the Ack-Emmas had done what they can to repair the damages to the plane (twelve bullet holes in total, and a cracked wing spar) they boarded the Bristol again and set off back to La Bellevue. As they came in, a group of Ack-Emmas and Airmen rushed out to greet them. “Blimey!” One cried, helping Wickham down from his cockpit, “I thought you two were goners!”. Another pilot helped Evan down, patting him firmly on the back as his feet found earth again. “Good work, lad” the pilot solemnly told him.
After having another cup of tea to still their nerves, Wickham told Evan that they needed to head to the Adjutant’s office, to make their report. As they entered the dusky little hut, the Adjutant looked at them with tired, bloodshot eyes. “Thank God you’re back. ‘A’ Flight told me about the scrap” he said quietly. Wickham lit a cigarette and slumped down into a chair opposite the Adjutant. “What about the others, Bertie?” he asked, and the Adjutant grimaced, wiping his face with a dry palm. “You’re the first chaps back from ‘B’ flight. Wilkie’s okay, he put in at Filescamp, but poor old Hunt’s gone West”.
The rest of the evening passed in a weird almost dream-state. In the mess, the pilots sung and drank and pretended not to notice the three empty seats. The other Bristol pilots of “B” Flight had eventually returned, but their three observers had all been killed. Evan turned in early that night. Again, his mind raced as he lay down to sleep.
Last edited by Wulfe; 03/19/2005:30 PM.
#4511771 - 03/19/2007:40 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Truly a day of happy returns! Seb is back in the air, Lou's Swany returns to France and shows off the new Vert Galant mod, and Wulfe returns with a new incarnation of Evan Easom and gets to fly the new Bristol. Plus Carrick continues to dance his Nieuport about the sky and keeps poor Nigel in one piece while Fullofit and Toby conspire to render the Western Front Hunless. Meanwhile, with lots of time to fly, Collins remains away from the action…
An Airman’s Odyssey – by Capt James Arthur Collins, VC, DSO, MC
Part One Hundred Eight: In which I fulfil my military duty in Bordeaux
I met Lieutenant Mazerolle of the Canadian Forestry Corps in the lounge of the Hôtel Terminus in Bordeaux, where I had taken a room. Mazerolle was a morose, round little follow with thick glasses and a pale brown moustache tinged with nicotine. His uniform looked as if he kept it in an ammunition pouch.
“Is that… Is that a… Victoria Cross?” he asked, staring at my tunic. I said it was. He asked how I came by it and I told him about the zeppelins. “Boys oh boys,” he exclaimed, his Acadian French accent coming to the fore, “dat must have been some hard.”
“Not really. The hard part is finding the things but our searchlight crews have become very good at it. After that, shooting them down is a matter of luck. Our pilots do far more daring things every day of the week without as much as a mention. But the ribbon does help one get a good table in London.”
“Boys oh boys,” he repeated. “My Marie-Paul would be so proud of me if I had that t’ing.” I glanced at my watch and asked him to tell me about his business.
“I have arranged to rent space for us in the Hotel Faisan and found a field for our first camp. It will take us a week or two to get organised after leaving the ship. Then we will move to a place called Ussel to start our real work.”
“Tell me about what your plans are for preparing aerodromes,” I said.
“We just cut down trees and run sawmills,” he replied. “Aren’t aerodromes your business?”
“According to our general, one of the things your lot looks after is clearing the ground for aerodromes. That’s why I’m here. Kind of a liaison, you see.”
Lieutenant Mazerolle gave me a blank stare, rather as if I’d suggested something indecent. I pointed at a writing desk against the far wall of the room. “Tell you what. Run over and pinch a couple of sheets of paper from that desk and take some notes. I’ll tell you all about aerodromes and then my job is done here. What you do with the information… well, I really don’t care.”
He obliged meekly. Returning with the paper, he took out his pen and hunched over the coffee table between us. “One – location of all aerodromes is to be selected only by RFC headquarters. Two – you will ensure that no CFC activity interferes with RFC flight operations. Three – minimum dimensions of a flying field shall be three hundred yards by five hundred yards. Within the field, all trees and brush are to be removed, including stumps. Ground is to be levelled and rolled after all your clearing operations are complete. Four – trees exceeding twenty feet in height are to be removed from the border of the flying field to a depth of fifty yards. Five – any trees downed are to be rendered into two by fours, two by sixes, and clapboard suitable for construction, all of which will be stored properly and secured for later use by RFC personnel.” I waited until he finished scratching his notes and asked him if he had discovered any good places to eat nearby. He sighed and said that there was nowhere to get a good poutine rapée in Bordeaux. I shuddered. I’d had this Acadian delicacy once in my life, having foolishly bought one of the things back in 1915 during a station stop whilst Swany, Jericho, and I were bound from Ontario to the east coast en route to England. It’s a glutinous ball of grated potato mush packed around a greasy blob of pork and served with molasses. The effect is like eating a lung, only less satisfying.
It was too late to call on Thérèse. I would do that tomorrow. I asked the front desk for a recommendation for dinner and they pointed me in the direction of a place called Le Chapon Fin – “possibly the best in Bordeaux.” Or so I was told.
Full marks for the front desk! It was without any doubt the finest meal I have ever enjoyed. The front of the restaurant seemed impossibly small, yet it opened into a comfortable and busy room. The walls were made to look like a stone grotto, viewed through elegant fin de siècle framing. Every course took my breath away. Somehow defying rationing, I began with a foie gras and champagne and proceeded by way of scallops and chablis to a dish of lampreys in red wine sauce. Part way through the meal, the chef – a gentleman named Sicard – came to pay his compliments, the waiter having remarked on the purple ribbon I was wearing. I was taken aback by this, not expecting such things to be noticed in this part of France. But Sicard was more interested in discussing my purchase of the Pétrus winery, a development with which he was fully conversant. We spoke at some length. He was not fully enamoured with our wines but said that they possessed the greatest potential of all Pomerols. I told him about the debate on whether to replant or severely cut back the frost-damaged vines.
“When you have an original but time-worn da Vinci, do you discard it and buy a new painting at the market, or do you have it cleaned and restored? It’s the same thing,” he said. He excused himself and headed back to the kitchen. I contemplated my conversation with Monsieur Arnaud tomorrow.
#4511806 - 03/19/2011:26 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
As Evan stirred the next morning, a slight dull ache in his temples, he groggily became aware of a faint drumming sound, almost like the sound of a motor-car engine idling. As his eyes unscrewed and he rolled onto his side, the door to the Nissen hut creaked open, and through it stepped the bedraggled, great-coated shape of Ackerman, muttering curses to himself as he wiped a hand through his short, soaked, jet-black hair. Falling down into the simple wooden chair beside the hut’s modest writing-desk, he clumsily tugged at his flying-boots, growling hushed profanities at them as they attempted to cling to his legs. Rousing into full wakedness, Evan sat up and sleepily rubbed his eyes. “Oh, morning, Easom. Did I wake you?” Ackerman asked, putting his battle with his boots on hold. Evan shook his head. “No, no. I woke just before you came in. Say, is it raining outside?”. Ackerman pursed his lips and raised his eyebrows. What do you think? His expression read.
Forcing himself to climb out of bed, the restlessness biting at his brain, Evan realised that his flight gear had been lazily tossed down at the foot of his cot. With a sigh, he scooped it up and found a hangar, hanging his flying coat just by the door and propping up his half-cut Fug-Boots underneath them. “Making your kit ready for today’s flying?” came Ackerman’s voice behind him. “I wouldn’t bother if I were you. It’s bloody miserable out. They’ve cancelled all flights for today”. Evan turned to face him confusedly. “Cancelled? Then, what are we to do?”. Ackerman shrugged. “Become bored and have a drink, I suppose. No doubt the rest of the chaps will spend the day in the mess, or in town”.
The sound of the two airmen’s voices roused the hulking shape of Rast, who now loudly groaned and sat up, his thick broom-moustache twitching with annoyance. “Crikey, d’you ladies wanna let a fella sleep?” he asked. Leaning over the edge of his cot and fumbling inside one of his leather shoes, he produced a small hip-flask, from which he took a generous swig. ‘Oh, do shut up,” replied Ackerman, “the rain’s on. You can sleep all day if you wish”. Rast grinned, then turned to Evan. “He’s a prickly fella, our Dave-O, but you get to like him in the end”. Ackerman narrowed his eyes. “I’ve told you. My name’s David”. Rast laughed, hopping out of bed and slapping Ackerman on the back, nearly launching him out of the seat.
Throwing an arm around Evan, Rast flashed him a wry grin. “Tell you what, mate. Seeing as we’ll be doing sod-all today, how’s about we head into town tonight?”. Nervously, Easom smiled back. “Well, okay then! I suppose we could. Yes, let’s!” The big Australian's smile grew wider, and Evan found himself staggered by another bear-paw slap on the back.
Once the three had washed, dressed and combed their hair, they stepped out onto the aerodrome in their flying coats, their collars turned up against the heavy rain which had reduced the aerodrome into a muddy, churned-up swamp. As they dredged towards the mess, Ackerman and Rast issued a couple “Hullos” to pilots and observers they passed by. “So, Evan, mate, I heard you had a rough time of it yesterday”, Rast said. Evan let out a quiet, solemn sigh. “Well, it wasn’t how I’d imagined,” he admitted. Rast laid a hand on his shoulder as they walked, giving it a friendly squeeze. “I know. But, hey. Better to find out how it is early on. I started out on Fees in 1916, and for my first two weeks we didn’t see a single Hun. When they finally came out to meet us I was scared out of my wits! Of course, by that point I thought I knew what the war was all about. We lost two machines. One of the pilots was a good mate”. The Australian slipped into some faraway thought for a moment, before snapping back to the present. “How about you, Dave-O? What was it like for you at first?”
Ackerman looked over at the big Colonial. “What was it like? I’ll tell you what. Not a bloody thing like it is now!”. His gaze flicked over to Evan. “I started in 1915, on B.E’s. Our observers had nought to defend us with except for a rotten old rifle. Of course, you’d be lucky to see another aeroplane in the sky. No, our concern was the Archie, you see. It never got any of us, but it put the wind up us all, the first time we ran into it”. Evan hung on his words with deep interest. “Then came August, and with it, the Eindecker”. Ackerman’s face paled slightly, but he continued. “You know, one moment we’re getting on with our war with no real trouble from the Hun, and the next we’re all dropping like flies, for it felt like a crew died every bloody day during that time!”. His voice became tinged with a hint of venom. “And those bloody Butchers, Immelmann and Boelcke. I could swear to you I’ve seen both in the air. Sending my chums down in flames”. He spat on the ground. “They got what they bloody deserved”.
The trio reached the Officers’ mess and unlatched the door, stepping into the wonderfully cozy embrace of the wooden structure. Inside, the room was buzzing with pilots and observers, and from the far corner came a soft, crooked melancholic tune from the piano. Rast and Ackerman joined a pair of pilots sitting by the fire, beckoning Evan over. “Boys, this is our new pilot, Evan”, Rast said, and the two pilots shook his hand. “How do you do, chum?” one asked with a grin. “Evan, this is Brian, and this dodgy-looking fella is Mary”. Evan looked at the second man confusedly. “...Mary?” he asked, and the man laughed. “David Mary Tidmarsh. Pleased to meet you. The chaps get a kick out of referring to me only by middle name”. Evan laughed softly.
David Mary Tidmarsh
“So,” Ackerman said, slumping down into an empty floral armchair, “On the way over we were telling war stories. Mary, why don’t you tell Evan here some of your more colourful tales?”. Brian and Rast let out a cheer of approval, and some other nearby pilots now turned their attention. “Yes, Mary, do tell him the one about the Artillery Shell!” one of them cried, and another cheer went around. With a foxlike grin, Tidmarsh leaned forwards. “Well, okay then. Have a seat, Evan”. Obligingly, Evan slumped down onto a wooden stool beside Rast.
Tidmarsh paused, running a thumb across his lip. “Hm. War Stories, eh? Well, here’s a good one. So, before I joined this fine gang of crooks I flew with Hawker’s outfit, No. 24”. Wide-eyed with admiration, Evan carelessly interrupted him. “Lanoe Hawker, the flying ace?”. Tidmarsh laughed. “The very same! Although, he wasn’t the only Ace, you know...no, there was Sidney Cowan, Stan Cockerell, Graham Campbell, and another big Colonial brute like Lloyd here, named Freddy Foster! All of them had at least five huns to their name!” he cried, triumphantly, but then his face twisted and flashed with a subtle melancholy. “All dead now, I’m afraid…” he muttered. There was a beat of stiff silence.
“But, anyway,” Tidmarsh piped up again, “I was flying along and escorting a big group of Fees, and suddenly I spot this cheeky Hun in an Eindecker, climbing up below us, thinking he’d found a free meal. I suppose he didn’t notice my DeHav at first, or perhaps he thought I was a Fee as well. By any means, down I went at him, and the moment he saw me the Hun turned right back around and started to dive with his tail between his legs! He was about 500 yards ahead of me when, suddenly, I watched as his machine’s wings just popped off - POP! Just like that! And down the poor bugger went, like a dart. It was the most bizarre thing!”.
The pilots broke into a mixed chorus of applause, cheers, and some boos. From the crowd came the same pilot’s voice. “Boring! Tell him about the Artillery Shell!”. Tidmarsh laughed heartily. “Oh, alright, William! Keep your hair on!”. As Evan sat wordlessly, he felt a strange, childlike feeling. Here, in this dirty little cabin in France, in the War for Civilisation, he felt like a boy on the first day of public school, being welcomed, making friends. Here they sat, spinning yarns of death and brutality, and yet it all felt so...innocent. Clearing his throat, Tidmarsh began to tell his second story.
“Actually, this one was just a few days before, you know. I was up over Hunland again in my trusty little DeHav when, as per usual, Archie started going up at us. Well, you see, the buggers on the ground couldn’t hit the side of a barn, or so I thought, so I flew along quite the thing, when suddenly….BANG! My machine about somersaults in the air! Wondering just what the hell had happened, I look down at my instruments, and what should I find, but where the floor of my nacelle should be there’s a great big window, looking straight down at the Hun lines! Suddenly, I realised, my god! I’d been hit by Archie...but the shell had been a dud! I’ll tell you what, I’ve never had the wind-up like that before - and I daresay I never will again!”.
There was another great cheer from the crowd, and glasses were clinked together. “Alright!” cried Tidmarsh, “I’m bored of my own stories now - I think it’s someone else’s turn! Where’s Arnold?”.
And that’s how it went, through breakfast and into the afternoon - pilots taking their seat in the middle of the crowd, telling their proudest stories of their air war. Evan was fascinated, hanging on the word of every man, laughing, cheering and shouting out in surprise as if he had always been among this ragtag group of pilots. Finally, the pilots had broken into song. Evan didn’t know the tune, but he listened and laughed with the rest all the same. In the end, they never headed out to town, electing instead to simply enjoy the comforts of their little communal mess as the rain drummed indefatigably on the rooftop. That evening, in his cot, Evan mused over the stories of the men. He thought of his experience yestderday, each moment of terror, of automatic animal response. "I suppose this is just how it is," he whispered to himself.
Last edited by Wulfe; 03/20/2010:03 AM.
#4511880 - 03/20/2002:59 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Toby is still tearing up the skies. Seb made it back, Collins and Swany are both on top and Nigel is slogging through the grinder.
These are crazy times as everyone knows. I wish all a good outcome. We may be of different nationalities but we're all on the same boat. Stay safe.
Offstv Gunther Ganz Jasta 6 March 20, 1917
The rain came down in sheets as Ganz sat reading. The other pilots were either having an early drink or listening to Hollar belt out his latest tune. Ganz sat his book on the stand and stared out the window. He had had some close calls in the last missions. On a balloon attack he followed Wulf down as the Kommandant sent the sausage in a ball of fire. Pulling out he had been grazed by ground fire. Another reminder of how dangerous a game they played each day. On the 18th the Jasta was scrambled and as Ganz was leaving the ground a bomb exploded sending a hanger skyward. He climbed for altitude searching the sky. It did not take long before a Tripehound came down on him. The Englishman had misjudged his dive and overshot. Ganz was on him in an instant. With several bursts the port wings collapsed on the enemy machine and it spun to the earth and disappeared in a cloud of dirt and fire. Ganz clawed for altitude again and spotted Archie below. He dove again and pulled in behind a Triplane with white zig zag stripes on the fuselage. Ganz had seen him before. With the first burst, the Englishman turned. This was no rookie. He could fly! Ganz and the Triplane were at ground level skimming between the trees, firing when he could. The chase lasted for a few minutes before Ganz got in a telling burst. The Triplane wobbled and hit the ground flipping over and exploded. Ganz checked his surroundings. He was over Bohaim. He could not see anything else and flew back to Wassigny. Grabenhoff had been killed and Hollar was slightly wounded. Ganz filed the only claims which were quickly confirmed. It was some celebration in the mess that night. Ganz now had 12 confirmed victories.
Yesterday had been a fine day. As they landed from a patrol in which Kette Eins had sent to RE’s down in flames, Ganz saw 5 new machines near the hangers. The Albatros DIII. What a beautiful machine! It looked every bit the bird of prey it was. Faster, more maneuverable and better visibility. As Ganz marveled at the new machine Wulf approached. “As the leading ace, one of them is yours but as you are outranked by the other 4, that one is yours” he said pointing to the second machine. Ganz ran his hand down the prop. “She will do fine! Just fine,” he replied.
Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from either end. BOC Member since....I can't remember!
#4511892 - 03/20/2003:59 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Wulfe, really great to meet you and read your great stories! Raine, really lovely writing! You’ve put me in the mood for pâté on toast (but all our local shops are bare with panic buying right now!) MFair, what a super job with Two Triphounds! That’s amazing work, I’m chuffed if I can survive a scrabble against them without being hospitalised, let alone downing two in one go! Great job mate!
I’m hoping to fly later today!
Last edited by SebToombs; 03/20/2003:59 PM.
#4511956 - 03/21/2012:08 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
I had the scariest and toughest dogfight I've managed to survive in this campaign yet! There's nothing like DiD to put the fear into me! I did managed to get most of it on video! I really thought Toombs was going to buy the farm today!
Offizierstellvertreter Sebastian von Toombs GMVK, EK1, EK2 Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 18 Halluin/Rekkem, Flanders 21 confirmed victories 20th March 1917
"...I was attacked by two Tripes who seemed to work perfectly as a duo"
There has been less drinking and horseplay over the last few days, a seriousness has set in over the whole Jasta. Our casualties continue to rise and we are down to our last two reserve planes. Our morning patrol (which I didn't fly in) was without incident. Our afternoon mission which I was down to fly as Paul’s wing man was balloon busting near Ypres. Deep into British airspace and close to a number of British airfields this kind of mission is risky business. Seven of us flew, and it was without exception the most experienced flyers of our Jasta - no new boys. There was a sense among us that this was an important job and there was a weight of expectation as we walked to our warmed up planes I said to Hans, as he helped me into the cockpit, that it felt like we were about to attempt rob the cheese from a trap, while the cat is watching.
On arrival at Ypres we were met with heavy clouds over the target. We flew around looking for the target. While we were searching for the blessed balloon we were ambushed by two flights of enemy Sopwith Triplanes. We all entered into individual dogfights. After a short dogfight in which my chosen Tripe dived and made for home I found myself alone. I returned to Ypres to search for the balloon. As I did so I was surprised two Tripes diving on me from nowhere. Worse still, they seemed to work perfectly as a duo seemingly to know each others moved before they made them. It was terrifying, I was out-matched and was preparing to meet my maker. But by some fluke I was able to get some shots off and eventually able to get on one Tripe. I fired about 200 rounds at him. Many rounds hit his craft and he span out of controlled crashing near Ypres. He had the word ‘HILDA’ written in white paint on his fuselage.
During my dogfight with the two Triplanes I spotted our target Observation Balloon. It was being guarded by three Sopwith Triplanes at a height of about 1500 meters, but ignoring what the Kommandant had told me I decided to go in alone and pick their pockets and steal the cheese from under their very noses! I was not sure the Tripes had spotted me so I sneaked in and engaged the ballon. I fired about 200 rounds into it and it exploded in flames. The Triplanes had spotted me so I dived for the ground and flew on full throttle home. They got nowhere near me! These Albatros are magic carpets!
I grabbed the cheese and ran ...
I put down in Menen with Walter and the Kommandant who had been flying top cover. I told him the tale excitedly as he sat silently listening, during Coffee and a smoke. He didn't seem too upset, but I wondered if my antics it would cause further censure. We flew home the short distance to Halluin getting in at 17:30. I put in two claims which to my delight were very quickly verified! The dressing down I was expecting never arrived, instead the C.O. pulled a cigar from a pine box on his desk. He clipped the end and slapped me as he handed it to me. To my suprise he even lit for me!
"...I put down in Menen with Walter and the Kommandant who had been flying top cover...
To Be Continued ...
Last edited by SebToombs; 03/21/2012:15 AM.
#4511960 - 03/21/2001:04 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Seb - I agree with MFair, von Toombs has sand. Discretion is still the better part of valour though, however it would appear that even after the dressing down by his Kommandant and confinement to quarters our young hero has yet to learn that. At one point in that fight I honestly thought he was going to lose a wing the way he over-stressed that Alb of his. Great videos and screenies.
MFair - Ganz has had an outstanding couple of missions and his rising victory count shows it. And a spanking new DIII to call his own as well! Life is good for Gunther.
Wulfe - a superb introduction and opening episodes for your new man Easom, and a fine handling of the Bristol against that Walfisch, though I was concerned towards the end of the video your man was blacking out due to loss of blood but it must have just been a long cinematic fade.
Carrick - Nigel and his gang get a break for a day or two thanks to the rain, eh. Given their stock of supplies I thinking he'll do just fine. Also, a nice pair of screenies of Nigel and that Alb having a roundy-round.
BuckeyeBob - thanks! Wish RL would allow you to stop by here more often and participate.
Raine - I loved the meeting between Collins and Mazerolle. I wonder if the Acadian has yet figured out he was getting the brush off. Great weaving of historical bits into the tale, as always.
Fullofit - I hear tell there's already a Canadian that may be building the missing barn at Vert Galand. Won't that be nice!
Wonderful stuff gents, great reads to go with my morning cuppa'. And thanks for the kudos on my screenshots and the new and improved Vert Galant, I appreciate it. Not much to report on Swany. He and the rest of the squadron are getting things sorted out around camp. The Captain did manage to lead B Flight on a couple of cook's tours of the front lines before dud weather settled back in and put a stop to all flying for a day or two. Hopefully things will improve sooner rather than later, we shall see.
#4512024 - 03/21/2002:34 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)