Carrick, time to slip you C.O. A bottle of scotch to assign some escort for your flight.
MFair, so Gunther is back and swatting the poor Nieuports already. Please take care of this Flieger, he nearly put himself back in the hospital. Congrats on the latest set of confirmed kills and the promotion. Who’s the glory hound now?
Epower, more goodness from Oliver. And such nice presents for Christmas to boot! Looks like he is nearly ready to be shipped across the Channel.
Lou, I have a feeling Balls are more important than Breasts. It is probably that feature that keeps Mulberry out of the papers. I have a theory why everyone cuts Swany off and steals his kills. It’s the plane. They can’t see it. It’s too well camouflaged. Some garish and bright colours would definitely help. I wonder what Swanson’s Circus would look like? Congrats on that two-seater.
Beanie, you’re all caught up! Now you can take it easy and enjoy your long flights, that is if those infernal engine failures would stop. Someone needs to have a talk with those Mercedes chaps at the factory. Fingers crossed for that Niup to get confirmed.
7 April, 1917 11:10 noon mission Auchel, Flanders Sector RNAS-8 SC Tobias Chester Mulberry VC, DSC&Bar, DSO&Bar, L d’H 88 confirmed kills Awaiting two victory confirmations
For their noon show, their task was to intercept enemy planes crossing lines at Bapaume. They were approaching their destination when Toby noticed two dark spots against the white cloud background. He adjusted his course and realized the ‘A’ flight had seen them too. They were ahead and gaining on the two contacts. He watched one of the bogeys split formation and turn to face the fight. Most of the ‘A’ flight followed but two stayed with the enemy leader. Mulberry gave them some space to maneuver, but the Hun was very sly. His turns caused the two Tripes following him to collide with each other and retreat trailing smoke. They were obviously out of the fight and it was up to Toby to retaliate. He came in hot and needed to lose some speed. There is nothing like making barrel rolls behind a running away enemy. Toby moves had to be debilitating to the German pilot, who must have lost his confidence. It was a simple affair from then on. Something snapped on the Albatros and it tumbled down out of control towards the ground.
Mulberry steered west towards the patrol area and as far away from the enemy’s side as possible. He disappeared inside thick clouds, thinking to himself he’ll never find anything inside this muck. He didn’t have to look for anything because something found him. He noticed a Schwarm high above him with one of the machines already diving on him. They clashed and Toby came out on top with the cocky Boche squirming in front of Mulberry’s gun. The Tripe was straining and creaking, trying to keep up with the Albatros’ acrobatics and the pilot was becoming more and more aware of his machine’s fragile state. He eased his grip on the control column to keep his movements smooth and delicate. The Albatros was now far below and getting away. Or so he thought. Toby’s Triplane caught up to the Hun with ease and begun the onslaught. The Albatros was engulfed in fire and quickly after exploded midair. The remains fell down into the oblivion of the No-Man’s Land.
Toby was now turning again west in an attempt to get back to his side. He finally reached the other side and continued his patrol at low altitude when he noticed to specks chasing each other. He decided to investigate. It was another Albatros chasing one of the Tripes. Mulberry was getting annoyed at the Huns’ brazenness. To let the Germans roam over friendly territory without an answer was criminal. Toby was definitely going to answer this challenge. He placed ‘Anne’ in a shallow dive and followed the interloper. When he was close enough, he saw the Albatros turn around and head for the frontlines. It only took one flick of the steering column to get on his tail. It took another handful of bullets to bring this Hun down just east of Bapaume. The pilot was dead before crashing his plane into a field among the grazing cattle. The three Albatroses would make a nice addition to the two DFW claims from the morning mission.
Fullofit, nice flying! I think you doomed the first one with your first bullet. That second squirming one had to run out of sky sooner or later and that third one......well, seemed like a dumbass rookie. A shame you had to cancel Christmas on him. Hope they are confirmed.
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!
#4515392 - 04/08/2011:06 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: Nov 2014 Posts: 2,834Fullofit
Blimey, what a mess. Posted to Escort duty with 4 a/c, Met up with 2 Sopwith 1 1/2 ers crossed the lines and got bounced by 9 or 11 Hun Scouts. Forget the escort save yourself was the order of the day. I had 2 on my tail most of the time, Fire, turn fire twist ,dive loop and Run. Finally got clear and return to base. B flight : 2 a/c lost, + 1 Sopwith claims 1 Hun ?
Last edited by carrick58; 04/09/2012:16 AM.
#4515403 - 04/09/2012:18 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Lou, I hope you get those new fellows sorted out before they kill everyone in the flight! The historically accurate Vert Galand field is a terrific addition to WOFF. You beat me to the reference to Trenchard’s visit – Collins’s version of the event is below. By the way, at the risk of stirring up some trouble, wasn’t that Carrick’s man in the Nieuport who got between you and the Hun?
Fullofit, Toby is ripping through Huns yet again – in sunlight or in darkness! And then to top it all off you get four kills confirmed in one day. Seriously, I am going to have to do invoke the campaign gods to get tech savvy and develop for him the dreaded Misaligned Gunsight and Heavy Turbulence Mod. And even more seriously, congratulations on some brilliant flying.
Carrick, Nigel and Collins feel the same about the never-ending “go attack a heavily defended railyard with a popgun” missions!
MFair – Ganz pulling off the bandage… Yuck! I imagine he got to eat everyone else’s pudding that night. And now he is a proper officer – congratulations on the promotion.
Epower, that was a lovely sunrise picture. I am enjoying Oliver’s story. It won’t be long now before he is at the front.
Beanie, congratulations on Roth’s Nieuport. Now we have to see how generous the Imperial Rejection Unit will be.
An Airman’s Odyssey – by Capt James Arthur Collins, VC, DSO, MC
Part One Hundred and Fifteen: In which our new home becomes crowded
I recall reading that the old French kings made a ceremony of being woken up and dressed in the morning. Trusted servants and important dignitaries nudged the monarch awake and parted the curtains of his bed. They then helped him out of his nightclothes and into his robes for the day’s work. We, on the other hand, had Corporal Tucker. The good corporal woke us on the morning of 7 April 1917 by tripping over the doorstep with a tray of tea mugs and commenting on the resulting catastrophe with a stream of east London invective that would frighten a fishmonger. C Flight was to take off at half past four. It was already four o’clock and freezing. The jug of hot shaving water had joined the tea in running through the floorboards of the hut. There was only time to throw on the warmest close I could find and shave in icy water before scurrying, sans tea and biscuit, to the hangar. I was going over orders with Child, Orlebar, and McEntegart when a runner came from the squadron office with new instructions. The Huns were up over Vimy and we were to chase them off.
The trees and buildings about Rosel farm were faintly visible against the lightening violet of the sky in the predawn darkness. We skimmed over them and headed directly north east towards the lines, climbing all the way. It was a glorious morning. A fiery ember-red dawn met us as we skimmed over a cloud layer at six thousand feet. I saw the shattered streets of Arras pass beneath my left wings and turned north to follow the lines to Vimy. We had not gone far when a formation of five Albatri appeared ahead of us to the left. I waggled my wings but already Child and Orlebar were leading McEntegart towards them. The fight was on. The Huns were flying DIIs – we could normally hold their own against these older machines. But these Huns were first rate. If I tried to maintain my Spad’s speed, which was its main advantage, the Albatros merchant would turn inside me. Twice I heard rounds hitting my machine. The only solution was to trade away any height advantage and try to turn under the enemy. This led to several head-on passes, a tactic that had worked for me on a number of occasions. I would skid out of the way of the enemy fire and, using full rudder, rake the Hun as he passed. By this time we had paired off with the enemy machines and the Hun who had chosen me for a partner employed the same tactic, only he had to machine guns and was a fine shot. My windscreen shattered. I could hear the wind whistling above the roar of the engine. I suspect I hit the HA a couple of times. Yet it was clear that continuing this fight would be an exercise in futility. I reluctantly put the nose down and dived away for safety. I was relieved to see McEntegart join up a few minutes later and together we returned to Vert Galant. Thankfully, Child and Orlebar soon called in from other fields and returned an hour or two later.
"A fiery ember-red dawn met us as we skimmed over a cloud layer at six thousand feet."
Around eleven that morning the klaxon sounded the warning that enemy aircraft were approaching. The only machines ready were Child’s and the Major’s so I borrowed the Major’s. I would ask permission later. We were up only a couple of thousand feet when bombs fell across the west field. Child saw the enemy machines first and signalled. They were up around nine thousand feet – four two-seaters. We were nearly to Bapaume when we drew close enough to fire. Despite making numerous firing runs from behind and below on from ahead and abeam, the Hun machines refused to fall. It was not possible to close the range from behind because of the enemy’s effective formation flying and mutual defence.
The day was full of news. At lunch we learned that the United States had joined the war. I wondered what this would mean for Swany. There was much debate in the mess about how many men and machines America would bring to the air war, and whether they would be able to mount an offensive somewhere along the line before the end of summer.
On top of that, we were informed that we were now to share our field with another squadron – Number 56. They were to arrive any minute and were equipped with the newest British scout, a Royal Aircraft Factory SE5, quite the latest thing by all accounts. Albert Ball was one of their flight commanders. For us it meant sharing that our cosy flight commanders’ Armstrong hut with three other pilots: Hawthorne and Hall from A Flight, and Cerillo from B Flight. The two newest Armstrong huts were to be given over as the 56 Squadron office and officers’ mess. At least we kept a grip on our comfortable mess in the farmhouse. Shortly after lunch the first SE5s landed. They were strangely good-looking machines with a blunt nose and sharply tapered fuselage, broad and well-proportioned wings with a noticeable dihedral. I had expected to see twin Vickers guns. Instead, these aircraft mounted a single synchronised Vickers and an over-wing Lewis gun on a quadrant mount. Strangest of all, many were painted with gaudy flame-like designs in various colours. It struck me that they were fortunate to have missed the General’s visit. I expected that “Boom” would make short work of this artistry. In fact, it struck me that I should visit Swany to see if he was getting away with the fearsome Viking he’d painted on his Sopwith.
At five that afternoon, we were to escort some quirks over the lines near Arras but my Spad began emitting very strange sounds as soon as I throttled up. The ack emmas began waving their arms in the air desperately and I shut off. My day was finished.
8 April was Easter Sunday. The squadron had been ordered to remove a troublesome Hun balloon north of Mossy Face’s Wood. I volunteered C Flight for this task as I had been denied a balloon claim not long ago and I wanted to establish clearly that when I went for one of these things I could down it. I led Reed and McEntegart over the line, where I dived on the Hun balloon at full throttle, leaving the others behind. I greedily wanted this one for myself. At three hundred yards, I thumbed the trigger and fired in short bursts with the throttle right back until the last possible second. Only then, as the Spad began a climbing turn, did the sausage erupt in flame.
"Only then, as the Spad began a climbing turn, did the sausage erupt in flame."
We returned to Vert Galant to find a BE2c and an RE8 being refuelled in front of A Flight’s sheds. This could only mean one thing and we soon confirmed it. The three of us walked to the squadron office in the farmhouse on the main road. We heard him well before we got inside.
“Floating meat you say?” General Trenchard’s voice was unmistakable. “God’s truth, Bay, don’t get cocky in your old age. We are taking some heavy losses the past two days. One should expect that this pressure will continue for some time. Expect the enemy to concentrate against our sector. I do hope that I’ve painted that picture for your pilots.”
We paused outside the door. I could hear Major Harvey-Kelly assuring the General that he and his entire squadron understood the effort that would be required of them. We heard chairs scrape on the floor and we saluted as the great man strode past us and out the door, all purpose and moustache. He turned about and looked at me.“Captain Collins, were you on the balloon attack this morning?” I told them that we had been. He coughed violently and held a handkerchief to his mouth. “Result?” he said.
“Destroyed, sir.” Captain Baring emerged from the squadron office in pursuit of his boss.
“Make a note of that, Baring,” the General said. And with that they were gone, off to harass Swany, I suppose.
James Arthur Collins’s memoir ended here. On 9 April 1917, he led an early morning ground attack behind the great assault on Vimy Ridge, shooting up a rail yard and enemy supply vehicles. He returned to Vert Galant shortly before nine a.m. and was back in the air by just after eleven thirty that morning. This time he led a mixed flight with Lt Child, 2Lt Reed, and 2Lt Hawthorne. The target was another rail depot, this one about eight miles over the lines. Collins made several passes and must have been using incendiary ammunition as the resulting combat reports mentioned he set several buildings ablaze. Seeing an approaching large formation of enemy scouts, Collins signaled his companions to head home. He climbed westward into heavy low cloud. Child, Reed, and Hawthorne followed about a minute behind. According to Hawthorne’s combat report, “As we passed through the cloud about four thousand feet, the Spad of Capt Collins appeared suddenly in a steep bank. I believe he had circled over the lines waiting for us to catch up with him for the return flight. The machine of Mr Child emerged from the cloud just as Capt Collins swept in front. Mr Child’s zoomed and turned but his undercarriage struck the top plane of Capt Collins’s machine. The top plane was seem to break away. Both machines fell out of control, falling between the lines west of Oppy.”
#4515417 - 04/09/2003:06 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Capt James Arthur Collins VC, DSO, MC 19 Sqn RFC Vert Galand, France 354 missions 332.21 hours 33 kills 62 claims
Stay tuned for the adventures of Thomas Bertram "Bertie" Wilder 40 Squadron, RFC
#4515423 - 04/09/2004:48 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: Mar 2011 Posts: 339VonS
WWI Flight Sims on a Mac
WWI Flight Sims on a Mac
Joined: Mar 2011
Great tales gents.
@Carrick, love the dogfight pics. but keep those wings on.
@Raine, shocked to read the Ed.'s Note in which Ltn. Child did a "Boelcke" on Cap.'n Collins's 'crate. I suppose there is a silver lining to that cloud, however (pun intended) - at least you can now get out of a Spad and into something more maneuverable.
Raine - what can I say, I'm totally gutted. Collins is gone, in the blink of an eye, like so many others. Good bye Jim, we'll miss you.
Carrick - Nigel was lucky to escape that nasty gaggle. Hope his luck holds.
Fullofit - some first-rate, show-off flying there on Toby's part, the man is a wizard in that Tripe. But even wizards need to be careful. As for Mulberry's ample chest keeping him out of the papers, maybe, though they usually only use head-shots in those articles so I'm not so sure that's it.
MFair - Gunther is running up his tally, and how many does that make now? Methinks he may be nearing PlM territory. Congrats on the well-earned promotion. As for Ball getting more press because he's better looking, not sure that's it. Guynemer is a fairly scrawny plain looking fellow but he gets every bit as much mention in the papers as the manly-looking Nungesser and Fonck do.
Beanie - Karl is jumping right into the theme of Bloody April from the looks of it. Just what the King's airmen don't need, another deadly Hun flieger hunting them down.
VonS - nice to see you dropping by again.
Stay safe and fly smart everyone, and try to survive this madness.
9 April 1917 66 Squadron R.F.C. Vert Galand, France
It was a gawd-awful day to kick off the spring offensive at Arras. Heavy clouds, rain, snow, and high winds were the standing weather orders, and while this did little to hamper the men on the ground from doing their job, it was another story for those in the air. Captain Swanson did his best to lead two sorties, despite he and his men being tossed and bounced all about in the turbulent air while being continuously pelted by the heavy, freezing drizzle.
The first outing was an escort of Fees from 57 Squadron across to Vimy Ridge to offer support to the advancing troops there by dropping bombs on Hun positions and generally harassing the enemy as much as possible. Air Hun were sparse and Swany's crew had but one minor diversion during the two-hour sortie when a trio of V-strutters made a single pass at them before retreating to parts unknown.
The second outing was much more brief but far more deadly for B Flight. They had been tasked with a patrol of the lines back at Vimy but got no further than 4,000' above Vert Galand when three Rolands bounced them from high overhead. The Boche machines had apparently been bombing ground targets somewhere nearby when they spotted the rising Pups and fell upon them with a vengeance. It was a mad swirl of machines with everyone seemingly out for themselves. As the Captain came around on one of the Rolands that had just blew past him and stitched his port-side wings with a much-too-accurate volley, his Pup was suddenly knocked sideways and it was all he could do to get it back under control. He looked around to see the Pup of 2nd Lt. Loring, one of the new lads, falling like a dart, its top plane off entirely and fluttering away like a leaf in a gale. Captain Swanson used every trick he knew to keep his own mount upright and managed to set it down roughly in a field east of camp, pranging the undercarriage as he did so, but keeping everything in one piece, including himself. As Swany climbed shakily from his broken kite and turned towards home the rain, which had let up briefly during the go-round with the Rolands, started once again to pour.
It was a short, wet, cold walk back to Vert Galand. Upon arriving the Captain immediately let one of the sergeants know the location of his mount and asked that a crew be gathered to fetch it, after which he went to the CO's office to give the news about Loring. While Swany sat in Major Boyd's office, warming himself with a hot cup of tea brought to him by the CO's orderly, news came in that the remainder of B Flight had made it back to camp, short not only the new lad but Lieutenant Montgomery as well, who'd been shot down by one of the Rolands and who had been taken to the nearby dressing station with a bullet in his right thigh. None of the Hun attackers had been destroyed, though one was seen trailing black smoke as it headed eastward.
As Swany sat there, trying to warm up and collect his thoughts for an AAR the Major spoke up, "Captain, there is some other news I must pass on I'm afraid."
"Yes Sir, and what would that be", the young ace asked hesitantly, knowing full well by the Major's tone it was not going to be good news.
"You and Captain Collins across the road at 19, you were fairly close friends from what I've gathered, yes?"
Swany went numb, he already knew what was coming next. "yes", he muttered blankly.
Boyd continued, "While you were up I was informed that Collins' plane, along with that of another Spad pilot, were seen to crash shortly past noon over near Oppy, somewhere between the lines. No sign of life. I'm sorry."
"Yeah", Swany whispered in a raspy voice, "me too".
The Captain rose and asked permission to leave. As he turned, the Major spoke once more, "Before you go there is one more item, and I hesitate to mention it at this time, however..." The CO trailed off for a moment before finishing, clearly feeling awkward about what he had to say so soon after breaking the news about the Captain's friend. "General Trenchard saw your plane when he was here yesterday and was not terribly pleased about the livery you have on it. To be fair, he was in a foul mood and was not feeling well so that may have had more to do with it than anything, but he would like to see you change it to something 'more appropriate for a flying officer' - his words".
Swanson's anger flared, he could feel his cheeks flush, his pulse quicken. Who the hell cares about how a dam'd plane is painted when men are dying in this chaos! However, the Captain clenched his jaw and kept calm as he replied, "Very well Major, I shall see to it just as soon as my mount is back here and repaired. It will look more appropriate da next time I take it up."
Captain Swanson left the CO's office and once clear of it began to run. He made a circuit of the west field in a full sprint, still in his flying gear, his anger rising all the while. And with the anger came clarity. Jim was dead, and Swany was dead too, the only difference being that the world knew the date of Collins' passing - Swanson's was yet to be determined. "More appropriate to a flying officer", he swore to himself. "I'll give 'em godt damdt appropriate!", he shouted to the wind and the rain.
#4515504 - 04/09/2004:08 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
And today is the anniversary of the opening of the Battle of Arras - based on the daily casualty rate, the bloodiest battle of the war. Captain Collins, and so many others, were lost on this day, and the days to followl Salut shredward
We will remember them.
#4515545 - 04/09/2007:31 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Raine, just found out about James. Sorry to find out about this sad news. My commiserations. What will happen to the winery now? What?! Another RFC chap? You should go for a French flyboy who would take over the winery, the girl and SPAD. As to Toby, I’ve already checked and there aren’t any RNAS outfits flying Fees. How about transferring him to RNAS-2 on DH-4’s? I haven’t flown these beasts yet.
Thanks Lou, not showing off, just attempting to lose excess speed. Must have been a blow for poor Swany to lose another good friend. And that comment about his mount livery definitely would put him over the edge. I can only imagine Swany’s response. Either repaint his Pup in a star-spangled banner - U.S. is now at war, so why not? Or, transfer to an American unit, preferably flying DH-4’s. Everybody should fly DH-4.
Epower, I think so too.
No flying for Toby today. Something about nasty weather.
"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."