Epower, good to see Oliver gaining confidence in his piloting skills. Not too much confidence in his courting skills though. Time to take things into his own hands if he expects anything to happen. Then again, with marching orders, will he have the time?
Carrick, good strategy downing that balloon. Too bad credit went to someone else.
Lou, I knew it! And that’s more like it. Finally something for the Huns to aim at. And it’s true, his plane does look like one from the Circus. Those Archie boys better look twice before shooting. Congrats on downing four in a day. I’m not surprised at all. It seems like par for the course.
MFair, Ganz is back to his old self. Those poor Strutters had no chance. Congrats on the latest victories.
Operations resumed only in the late afternoon once the rain and winds subsided. The word came from HQ to take out an observation balloon near Lens. Toby popped the balloon on his second pass. No other Huns were encountered.
Fullofit, two passes! I would have thought someone’s as deadly as Toby would have knocked down a stationary target on the first. Oh well, maybe he had one too many last night. Thanks for the congratulations. We will have to see if anyone was looking!
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!
#4515901 - 04/11/2011:32 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Off in the dark skies with scattered rain showers to Patrol. B flt put up 3 , I was tail end on the starboard side. lead by Sgt Reese. Spotted and attacked a flight of 2 Seats instead of attacking one by one or en-mass 2 of our flight attacked as I covered. Our Rovers of 4 a/c never did join in the flay. Reese got # 7. but was wnd so hes out of it for awhile. I zoomed in fired all of a drum load. The e/a staggered the nosed over diving away in the clouds didnt see a fire or crash so didnt claim him. Our # 3 a/c was leaking something then landed in a field on the way back.
#4515919 - 04/12/2002:25 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
I may just have to copy all of Collins' entries into a .PDF and keep it as a secret private little E-Book. I look forwards to meeting the new chap.
That is a great idea.
As the new guy here, I feel like I'm missing out by jumping into narratives that started 16 months ago. I may take it one step further and collate all the longer accounts. It'll be the virtual equivalent of meeting that Marlow guy in a bar, like in many of the Joseph Conrad stories.
#4515968 - 04/12/2012:39 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: May 2012 Posts: 4,499RAF_Louvert
BOC President; Pilot Extraordinaire; Humble Man
MFair - Gunther had a good outing, was it two he claimed or all three? Either way, well done, those Strutters are tough opponents.
Fullofit - I don't know that Toby deserves any grief for having to take a second pass at that balloon, it's tougher to get 'em when they're close to the nest like that. I'm surprised the ground gunners didn't shred Chesty's wings for him.
Carrick - Nigel could have claimed that Hun B/R bus as an OOC. Not saying he would have been awarded it but it's accepted practice to claim them. As to those reactions to Swany's new livery - seems about right.
Epower and Wulfe - I have done that very thing over the years with some of the stories here. Makes for excellent fireside reading, ripping yarns and all that.
12 April 1917 66 Squadron R.F.C. Vert Galand, France
Another day of excitement and mayhem for Captain Swanson and his crew. It started with an early morning outing in the wind and rain in which Swany brought down a Boche B/R bus in one piece. It ended with an afternoon escort of Quirks from 7 Squadron across to Riencourt where they bombed Hun positions while both A and B Flights from 66 Squadron got into a mad furball with seven V-strutters. The following will give more details.
In the morning the Captain catches a lone DFW west of Arras and his initial slashing portside pass puts the Hun gunner out of commission. Swany then slips underneath and knocks out the engine of the B/R bus. He follows it down and sees it land near the aerodrome at Etrun where it was immediately captured intact. Quite the prize!
In the afternoon, with the weather somewhat improved, Swanson leads B Flight on the escort of the Quirks, with A Flight flying high cover some 2,000' above them all.
As they near the target a swarm of seven Albatri are seen climbing to intercept. The Captain holds off his attack until it's clear the Hun are actually going to be a threat.
Swany gives the signal and the chaos begins. In short order a pair of V-strutters single out the Captain, their kites nearly as gaudy as his own. It's clear the brace of Boche are veterans, working as a team to keep Swany fairly jammed up.
First the red and white striped fellow presses the King's own while the other Hun attempts to get a shot in.
Then it's the blue fellow doing the same as his partner tries to latch onto Swany's six.
The fight goes round and round, with Swanson using the Pup's ability to turn inside his attackers to deny them clear lines of fire. Swany waits for either of the Albs to pull their favorite trick in front of him; a hard, climbing turn to port. It is the red and white striped one who does it first and the Captain takes full advantage, pulling the nose of his kite up and lacing the Albatros from nose to tail. It falls away out of control.
After seeing his partner fall, the blue V-strutter suddenly turns to starboard, almost directly in front of Swanson. The Pup, which loves right-hand turns, follows with ease as Swany lets the Vickers bark once more, the shots finding their mark. The second Alb drops towards earth as well.
Captain Swanson makes a quick scan of the skies. The Quirks are done with their work and heading west, three of the Pups are running the same direction with Albs in pursuit. Swany's wingman, 2nd Lieutenant Corruthers, is coming up behind, having dispatched the Hun he was involved with, his own mount trailing white vapor. The duo make a beeline towards the friendly aerodrome just across the mud at Baupaume. A Hun gasbag lies directly in their path and Swany unloads the remainder of his ammo into it and sets it to smoking. He watches with satisfaction as some moments after he's passed it the balloon bursts into full flame.
Swanson and Corruthers make it to Baupaume and land safely. All the Quirks have landed there as well along with three other Pups from 66 Squadron. Final tally: one Pup from A Flight was destroyed and it's pilot lost; four more Pups, two from each flight, are badly damaged and crashed and two pilots with minor injuries; all other Pups had various ventings and such; four Albatri seen to be crashed or forced down, two of which were Swany's dance partners; two other Hun seen trailing smoke as they left the fight. All-in-all, about a draw for the scout planes from both sides.
#4516016 - 04/12/2005:04 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
I’m with Carrick on this one. If you don’t see it crash, or on fire, then it shouldn’t be claimed. What looks like OOC is a skillful escape and it’s a shameful way for the Lime Juicer Corps to inflate their claims.
Lou, what do you mean shred his wings? It was a total surprise. They had no time to respond. And I could say the same about Swany and his unauthorized balloon attack. Congrats on the latest claims, I hope none of them were OOC.
12 April, 1917 05:50 morning mission Auchel, Flanders Sector RNAS-8 SC Tobias Chester Mulberry VC, DSC&Bar, DSO&Bar, L d’H 92 confirmed kills Awaiting one victory confirmation
A request came from RFC-12 to escort 3 of their Quirks while they bomb enemy troops in a camp west of Douai. Toby and ‘B’ flight brought the B.E.2’s safely to the target and watched them drop their loads. On the way back, ‘A’ flight got into a big scrap with the Hun. Toby and his flight came to the rescue, but the furball has already devolved into individual duels. He circled above looking for stragglers and found one gliding with a dead engine. He crept behind and fired. The Boche took evasive action and dove for the deck. Mulberry watched one of his boys go after the Hun. He remained high looking for other opportunities. Another Albatros came into view with a Tripe in tow. Toby spectated for a while until he saw an opening and sent a few rounds into the German machine, then the other Sopwith finished him off. Toby was on his way back to the front lines when he chanced upon yet one more Hun trying to reach the safety of his aerodrome. It took some time for Toby to catch up. When he did, they were over Douai and the enemy was already getting into landing pattern, counting on the ground defences to take care of his pursuer. Mulberry was able to fire at his target before he himself was hit by the ground fire. Toby cleared the air defence range and watched from afar his target hit the ground just outside of the airfield. He gathered his flight and returned to Auchel to claim another Hun.
12 April, 1917 12:30 afternoon mission Auchel, Flanders Sector RNAS-8 SC Tobias Chester Mulberry VC, DSC&Bar, DSO&Bar, L d’H 92 confirmed kills Awaiting two victory confirmations
Toby was ordered to take ‘B’ flight up and patrol enemy front lines between Vimy and Athies. They were bounced by a Schwarm of Albatroses at take off. Toby managed to take out two of them, then continued with the patrol.
Carrick - thanks, it was an intense dogfight in that afternoon sortie.
Fullofit - Swany doesn't claim OOCs himself either, but he does note them in his reports. I was only saying that HQ allows for them to be claimed. Now then, to Toby chasing that target so low directly over an enemy aerodrome, a ballsy move. Glad our RNAS hero didn't end up as a lawn dart right then and there. And woah momma, that head-on pass by the Hun in your second video, talk about a close shave. Love the screenshot.
#4516044 - 04/12/2006:28 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: Nov 2014 Posts: 3,269Fullofit
Thanks Lou, with the video rolling there are no opportunities to take nice screenshots anymore. And I agree, the Huns are becoming more and more brazen with each day. Something has to be done about it.
"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."
#4516162 - 04/13/2001:52 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: May 2012 Posts: 4,499RAF_Louvert
BOC President; Pilot Extraordinaire; Humble Man
13 April 1917 66 Squadron R.F.C. Vert Galand, France
It was shortly past four in the afternoon and Major Owen Boyd was on the phone. As he listened he took a drink from the fairly large glass of scotch he held in his left hand, a glass he'd poured for himself before taking the call from General Trenchard, in anticipation of the direction said call might well take. He was glad now for his preparedness.
"Yes General, I know what you said after your visit, and I relayed your feelings to the Captain precisely, however ..."
The Major was cut off mid-sentence by the General, whose present volume of speech left no doubt as to why he was nicknamed "Boom".
"Yes General - yes General - I realize that, Sir." Major Boyd was getting little chance to offer explanation.
"Like a Singapore brothel with wings? I've never been to a Singapore brothel, winged or otherwise General, so I'll have to take your word on that." Boyd took another a drink as the man on the other end of the line exploded.
"No no General, my apologies, I don't imagine you've been to a Singapore brothel either, I was only saying..."
Trenchard cut the Major off again as he continued the dressing down, and Boyd waited patiently for his next opportunity to speak. The glass of scotch was half gone when the opportunity at last presented itself.
"Sir, it's this way," the Major began, cautiously but directly. "Captain Swanson has pointed out to me that, despite having the second highest number of confirmed victories in the air services, and holding the VC, he has been regularly ignored. He sees fellows with lesser track records than his own, like Captain Ball, receiving accolades in the papers and apparent preferential treatment from all concerned, while he's parked off in the shadows. He mentioned Ball being given two planes, which Swanson does not begrudge the man, but he wonders why then he is told that he can't have even a personal livery on his one mount. You can see his point, General."
Boyd waited a moment for Trenchard to react to what he'd just said before continuing.
"Yes Sir, I know, it's garish beyond belief, but in Swanson's defense he explained that he did it out of a sense of pride and patriotism; pride, in serving as an American volunteer in the RFC; and patriotism, for his own country that has at last decided to join the fight."
The Major took another shot of the scotch as he listened. He then spoke again.
"Yes General, I'm sure it was also done as an act of defiance, but if I might point out; in three days, since repainting his mount, Captain Swanson has put in eleven solid claims, six of which have already been confirmed, four V-strutters, a balloon, and a DFW he brought down intact at Etrun. Honestly Sir, I'm considering ordering all my pilots to paint their kites like gypsy wagons, or as per your description, Singapore brothels."
More reaction from the General, as Boyd again waited to reply.
"Of course, I am well aware of that, General. However, you have touched on another matter I feel I must broach; why hasn't he been given his own command? Anyone else with his record of performance and leadership qualities would be in charge of a squadron by now, wouldn't you agree?"
"Really? So it is because he's a Yank. Pressure from who, if I may ask? Can't imagine anyone effectively pressuring you, General."
"That is interesting, Sir. You'd think MPs would have more important matters to concern themselves with than an American volunteer pilot. Politicians, eh Sir?"
"Just out of curiosity, how did you find out about Captain Swanson's new livery so quickly?"
"I see, so you had tea today with him and Major Bloomfield. And Ball made a point of mentioning it to you personally, Sir? Sounds to me like some rivalry going on there perhaps."
"You know General, while it's not my place to say, you might consider having tea with Captain Swanson at some point as well. Could go a fair way towards changing the impression he has that HQ ignores him because he's American."
"Of course Sir, I realize you have far bigger concerns at the moment, it was only a thought. My apologies for even mentioning it."
Trenchard wrapped up the conversation. Major Boyd finished the last of his scotch as the General gave a verdict on the matter.
"Thank you General, I will inform Captain Swanon at once. And if I may Sir, let me say that we are all glad you are running the air show here. We're going to win this thing."
As soon as the call ended Major Boyd told his orderly to fetch Captain Swanson. The young ace was going to get to keep his new paint, at least for the time being. As to getting his own command, that was yet to be determined. For now he would have to be content with leading B Flight, and driving the Hun from the skies.
#4516164 - 04/13/2002:14 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Terrific tales, all. Lou - first the Circus and then the Boelckes....Swany's on a rampage!
Still laying catch-up on my end. Probably the only time I hope it rains!
2nd. Lt. Evan C. Easom, No. 48 Squadron R.F.C.
April 6th, 1917.
In the early evening on April 5th, Holliday had called Headquarters and told them of ‘B’ flight’s fate. The first of the replacement aircrew arrived the next morning. As the pilots waited for their temporary C.O. to arrive for morning briefing, sipping at their coffees and trying to distract their thoughts of yesterday’s losses and the red machine of the ‘Bad Baron’, one of the new arrivals began enthusiastically introducing himself to the pilots nearest him. Eventually, he reached Ackerman. “‘Ello, mate! My name’s Benny” he chirped, in the immediately-recognisable Manchester dialect. “Piss off” Ackerman responded, not looking up from his paper. Benny withdrew his outstretched hand, a mix of confusion and outrage on his face. Before he opened his mouth again, Evan intervened. “Never mind him, eh? He’s had a rough time of it recently. I’m Evan Easom. Nice to meet you”. The Mancunian’s face brightened slightly. “Benny Isby. Pleasure’s all mine”.
Reclining in one of the armchairs nearby, Tidmarsh called out “How many hours, Isby?”. The bright-eyed pilot looked at him quizzically. “Dear God. Flying hours…?” Tidmarsh pressed, and the man reddened. “Oh, er, ten in total! One on Fees, even!” he said, obviously proud of the achievement. There was a collective groan from the pilots within earshot. “Bloody murder,” Ackerman muttered.
‘B’ flight was scheduled to patrol the lines at Loos, further North from the usual stomping-ground of Vimy, Lens and Arras. Tidmarsh, to his surprise, was appointed as Flight Leader, as Wilkinson and Holliday had scheduled their own patrol within allied lines to show the ‘new boys’ the lay of the land. At 8 O’Clock, the pilots of ‘B’ made ready for their patrol. As the machines were readied, Tidmarsh looked sullenly over the pilots. “Any sign of the damned circus and we’re going home,” was his brief pre-flight instruction. There were no complaints.
The flight towards the lines was cold and eventless. Bored and still tired from the early rise, Evan watched a distant storm rolling in from the sea, the dark, foreboding clouds underlining the horizon. As Tidmarsh turned the flight East, Evan looked down at the grey-brown swathe of carnage that once was Loos. He remembered reading the papers, back in England, of the great battle of 1915 that had taken place down there. The Army had used poison gas for the first time. Evan shuddered at the thought of the new, terrible weapon, swirling among the trenches like a plague, choking men to their death. The sudden bark of lewis guns at his back snapped him out of his daydreaming with a horrible suddenness, and in shock he threw his head around, craning his neck to see past Wickham, who he could see swinging the Lewis guns around to track some unseen threat. Suddenly panicked, Evan looked forwards again, just in time to see Tidmarsh’s Bristol go into a dive with a Vee-Strutter, horrifyingly close, chasing after him. As the pair dove, Evan could see the sun glinting off the German machine’s flying wires and its sleek, purple tail. Another Vee-Strutter rocketed over his head, and Evan took in its detail in an instant. The fuselage was painted a dull, cloudy grey - but what drew Evan’s eye was its wheels, bright scarlet in contrast to the sky. Oh god, Evan thought to himself, Is it the Circus?
The Albatri had split the formation like an axe carving through a treestump, and immediately Evan banked to the right, looking back on a chaotic scene. Bristols weaved left and right as the grey Vee-Strutter circled like a predator among them. Looking down, he saw Tidmarsh’s Bristol alone, being pursued still by the purple-tailed machine. In an instant, biting back the mounting fear, he dove at the German, firing wildly from distance. There was a sun-glint as the German’s goggled face turned upwards at him, and then the machine nimbly flicked Eastwards. Tidmarsh immediately spotted the change in circumstance and swung around to pursue. Evan dove to Tidmarsh’s side, and the two Bristols chattered away with their forward Vickers at the German. In response he curved to the left and looped underneath the two English machines, and then, in one sickening instant, the Albatros deftly looped back up, rolled on its axis, and leveled out - squarely on Evan’s Six O’Clock. Evan dumbly stared at the twin Spandaus as they coolly settled onto his tail, and he knew that he was about to be killed.
The harsh racket of two machine-guns filled Evan’s ears - but he felt no pain. It was then that Albatros’ nose lazily dropped down, and the machine fell into a dizzying, tumbling spin towards earth. Numbly, Evan realised that the gunfire hadn’t come from the German - it had come from Wickham’s Lewis guns. Evan banked to watch the purple-tailed machine as it crashed - but the German had been lost from sight.
It seemed bizarre to Evan that the return trip to La Bellevue should be every bit as eventless and sparse as the flight to Loos. In his head he replayed every moment of the battle. One question gnawed at him. Just where did those Albatri come from? Back on the aerodrome, the aircrew of ‘B’ flight, all of whom had returned, shuffled into the Adjutant’s office to make their reports. The stocky little Adjutant, Lt. Haye, listened impatiently as pilots blurted out their recountings of the fight. Among the frantic discussion, Evan and Tidmarsh both put in that they had shared in the driving-down of the Purple Tail.
There was much debate over lunch in the mess as to the identity of the two Albatri - Evan and Wilkie contended that the machines were, indeed, from the Richthofen Circus, whereas Tidmarsh and the rest argued against the point. “They can’t be from the circus! Richthofen’s gang only flies red machines!” Tidmarsh cried out. “Mary, how do you know?” replied Wilkie. “I heard their machines are all kinds of gaudy colours! On my last leave I spoke to a B.E driver that said he saw the Baron’s red machine at the head of a formation. They were painted in all kinds of bright colours. Blue, white, green…”. Tidmarsh frowned. “But then, why did we drive them off like that?”. “Nobody wants to be shot at for too long. Not even them, I bet,” replied Evan.
They finished their lunches and checked the operations board. Holliday had warned them in the morning that more flying had been ordered by Headquarters, and that the flights would likely be going up more than once in a day from now on. Sure enough, ‘B’ was scheduled for another patrol that day - over Vimy. Still with the morning’s fight in his head, Evan climbed back into his Bristol on the flight line, beside Wilkinson’s machine. He was determined that he would not be surprised by the Germans again.
Suddenly, just shy of the lines, Baker’s Bristol went into a screaming dive, followed closely by Wilkinson. Surprised and confused, Evan watched the two machines descend for 1,000 feet, before just as suddenly he spotted the Albatros - one of the older models, with the square wings, blissfully flying ahead of the two Bristols. There was a flash of tracer fire as Baker pressed down on his trigger, and the German machine immediately burst into flames, listing off and falling into a dive. Evan watched on, perturbed by the thick black smile that the smoke carved as the Albatros dropped, curled back up into a climb, and finally fell towards earth, colliding in an explosive shower of sparks.
Later that night, Holliday called Evan to the C.O’s office to congratulate him on his 2nd victory - not the Purple-tailed Albatros as he’d expected - but the DFW that had raided the aerodrome on the 4th. It had been found and reported on by an infantry column moving to the front for the big push, and Headquarters had connected the dots. Baker’s Albatros was also confirmed. That night the mess saw raucous celebration, as the men rejoiced at the news of the two German airmen’s deaths. Ackerman was the most lively of the bunch - no doubt feeling some sort of revenge on Rast’s behalf. At the end of the evening, back in the Bell tent and with Ackerman sleeping off his alcoholic haze, Evanthought deeply about the mens’ reaction. He supposed, in the end, that their savage joy came from the fact that the pilots had been raiders. It wasn’t on, he thought, to bomb defenceless airmen on the ground. Evan was glad they had died, too. The realisation of this unsettled him.
April 7th, 1917.
The resultant headache from the evening past’s decadence had clearly taken its toll on the pilots of ‘B’ flight. Gone was Baker’s enthusiasm from the night before, and Evan sat quietly trying to ignore the chatter of the pilots, nursing a murky cup of watery tea. It hadn’t helped that, for an as-of-yet unknown reason, the aircrew had been shaken awake by their batmen at the unreasonable hour of Five-Thirty. At a Quarter past Six, Holliday appeared in the mess, taking his place beside the operations board. “Listen up,” he started, and all chatter ceased. “H.Q. has special orders for us. There’s a Hun squadron at Rumbeke that’s being causing trouble for the Recon buses around Wipers. The Brass Hats want us to go and drop some eggs on it. We’ll be committing all our machines. ‘B’ Flight will raid the aerodrome while ‘A’ keeps a look out for any Huns trying to bite back. We leave in an hour.”.
The room was quiet. Each pilot must have been thinking the same - it was bad enough to cross into Hunland, but raiding an Aerodrome seemed like madness. Nonetheless, at Half-Past Eight, the Squadron’s ten Bristols were wheeled onto the aerodrome, two large HERL bombs slung under each wing, and the crews made ready. Beside Evan’s machine was an unfamiliar Observer, leaning against the fuselage and smoking a woodbine. Disinterestedly he regarded Evan as he approached. Before Evan could question him, Holliday intercepted him. “Mr. Easom, this is Mr. Aldridge, your new Observer. I hope he’ll be in good hands with you”. Evan and Aldridge briefly shook hands, and then boarded the machine. Looking back over his shoulder, Evan called out “Done many sorties?” to the bored-looking Aldridge. He shook his head. “First one”. Evan slowly turned back forwards, muttering a curse under his breath. Suddenly there was a droning of machines overhead, and for a moment Evan feared that the DFWs were back, but as he looked up he saw six Nieuport 17 Scouts flying low overhead. As he watched them, he saw one pilot reach over his cockpit and wave.
The machines got off the ground, heavily straining off the ground with the added weight of the bombs, and, after forming up, they headed North for the long flight towards Ypres. Apart from the odd B.E. headed out on a reconnaissance, the skies remained empty of all except the intermittent rolling cloud, passing lazily by from North to South. The flight first overflew Loos, then Bailleul, and finally the smoking, hulking wreck of Ypres loomed out from within the clouds. Ahead of the wrecked city the mud fanned out and grew on all sides and it seemed to Evan that the thick, decayed ‘line’ of no-man's-land was now replaced by an endless, terrible wasteland.
Wilkie, at the head of ‘B’ flight, dropped down to 4,000 feet as the five Bristols crossed into the mud, and Evan tensed at his controls as the distant greenery of Hunland rushed towards him. Before long, Rumbeke came into view at the edge of the mud, a semicircle of white canvas hangars like a perfect row of teeth shining brightly in the sun, and beside them were two large two-storey houses. Beside the aerodrome hung the bovine shape of a ‘Sausage’ balloon, swaying gently in the wind. Wilkie’s machine turned its nose towards the aerodrome, started in a dive, and then from the cockpit came a sudden flash as a red Very light separated itself, arcing up and to the left. The attack signal.
Following the formation’s dive, Evan’s heart raced. Almost if in reply to Wilkie’s signal, he now saw the Hun aerodrome come to life, with little grey specks darting to and fro across it. As he watched, he saw four machines being wheeled out of the hangars. The Bristols screamed down, their Falcon engines roaring their fury out as ‘Archie’ started up around them in desperation. Wilkie and Tidmarsh swept over the hangars, and there were four bright flashes as their HERL bombs connected with the ground, immediately setting the leftmost hangars ablaze. Evan now swept over the aerodrome, and with a stab of excited tension he yanked the bomb release lever, feeling his Bristol leap up into a climb as the added weight was shed. Curling to the side he watched as his two bombs exploded between the hangars and the houses, smashing the windows of one house and setting it on fire. Whooping in triumph, Evan circled the Aerodrome once. It was then that he spotted four Albatros machines starting their motors on the ground. As one, they shot forwards and raced down the airfield.
Instantly Evan set his sights on the lead Albatros, diving down sharply and firing as its wheels left the ground. Immediately it side-slipped and curled off to the right, smashing heavily into a treeline and coming to a sickening stop. Looking over his shoulder, Evan saw the other Bristols now falling upon the Germans as they tried desperately to claw their way into the air. A second German machine fell under Wilkie’s guns. Evan curled back, setting his sights on one of the two remaining Albatri. Re-cocking his vickers, he let fly at the German machine and saw its right wings buckle, folding backwards before shearing away. The Albatros immediately curled into a spin and landed heavily on its back, kicking up dust.
Evan grinned as he turned away again, looking over the chaos that the Bristols had caused. Panicked Germans in their grey uniforms scurried across the airfield, trying desperately to wheel machines out of the burning hangars. A second Very light went up - the signal to retreat - and the Bristols turned for home.
After landing, Evan was surprised to find his fellow pilots not jubilant, as he felt, but instead cursing and bitter. “Careful with him!” Tidmarsh cried angrily, as his Observer was lifted out of the cockpit by two Corporals. Evan suddenly realised as they lay the airman flat that he was dead, a bullet having penetrated through his right cheek. He then looked around the other machines, and his own, and realised with a start that each machine had been peppered to shreds. In his own machine he found that the right lower plane had been holed at least fifteen times, and several other holes could be seen on the fuselage. Baker gritted his teeth as he dropped down from his cockpit, clutching his right arm to his chest. Blood flowed freely from a bullet wound in his forearm. ‘A’ flight returned shortly afterwards, in better shape than ‘B’ had arrived in. Immediately once they had de-planed, Holliday called for each pilot to make his report, before gathering the pilots in the mess. There, he declared the mission a success. The pilots congratulated each other, and drinks were purchased from the mess bartender. A fresh Newspaper were delivered in the early evening, and the pilots lounged about as Wilkinson read the news aloud. The headline revealed that the U.S.A had declared war on Germany, which lifted the spirits of the men considerably. “Well? What do you reckon?” Ackerman had shouted, “Maybe this year it really will be over by christmas, if the Yanks are in our corner!”. There was a round of cheers, as Wilkinson started on the next article. “The Royal Flying Corps are…” he paused for a moment, paling slightly.
Expectantly, the pilots looked onward. In a quieter tone, Wilkinson continued reading. “The Royal Flying Corps are suffering terrible losses in what is now being called ‘Bloody’ April….”
#4516194 - 04/13/2004:43 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Here is the introduction to my new pilot. I haven't had a chance yet to catch up on everyone's latest entry. That will have to wait for this evening.
The Life and Times of a Temporary Gentleman – memoirs of Second Lieutenant Thomas “Bertie” Wilder, Royal Flying Corps
Chapter 1 – 5 April 1897 to 9 April 1917
The Wilder family has a long and distinguished history in the county of Berkshire. Nicholas Wilder achieved prominence by fighting at the side of the first Tudor, Henry VII, at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. I descend, however, from Nicholas’s brother Richard. Richard had left Berkshire several years before and enjoyed employment in the court of King Richard III, where he and his wife (whose name is unknown) were employed at the Tower of London as the King’s child-minders. Following the affair at Bosworth, Richard returned sans wife to his home village of Yattendon, near Newbury, there to await the return of his brother and celebrate the accession of glorious King Henry.
"Richard had left Berkshire several years before and enjoyed employment in the court of King Richard III, where he and his wife (whose name is unknown) were employed at the Tower of London as the King’s child-minders."
Although Richard held himself out as a lawyer, it appears that his brother Nicholas was able to secure him a position in the household of the Norrys family, strong supporters of the Tudors. I was told as a boy that Richard became the head gardener for the family, and it was explained to me that head gardener was a position of greater significance in those days than these. Richard had 14 children by three different wives and I am descended from his tenth child and seventh son, Thomas Wilder. Thomas was a gardener and so was his son, and his son, and his son, continuing in perpetuity until my father, Richard Wilder, arrived in 1870. Being a man of great ambition and small skill, he chose the army as a career. And not being of great means he could not purchase a commission in a county regiment and thus he sought entry to the armies of the East India Company. He served for five years in the Bengal Army, rising to the rank of captain with the 43rd Erinpura Regiment. Dysentery forced him to resign his commission and return to England in 1893. Back in Yattendon, father secured a position as a schoolmaster in the local church school. I attended the same school as a boy and, as my father was thoroughly detested by my fellow students, was forced to fight my way through to lower sixth.
My mother, Annabel, urged father to send me to boarding school and I attended Reading School. I began enthusiastically, writing home about the joys of learning Latin. By Christmas, however, I was compelled to explain my low marks. “At first it was simple,” I told my parents. “We learned to say things like ‘the dog runs.’ But now the damned hound is going places and I don’t know where.” Throughout the upper forms I was unremarkable in all subjects save English and French. I therefore resolved to become the great British writer of the twentieth century. I dutifully began my first novel but soon found that, while I was a passable writer, I had nothing to say. The Kaiser provided me with a solution in 1914 and I enlisted as a happy alternative to sixth form. I had bought a lovely 3 ½ hp Bradbury motorcycle the year before, so I applied to the Royal Engineers Signals Service as a despatch rider. My machine and I were approved and I was taken on strength in time to spend a filthy winter on the Salisbury plain.
Throughout 1915 and most of 1916, I was assigned to Folkestone and required to drive daily with messages between various ships arriving in port and headquarters offices in London. By late summer of 1916 I decided that the job had become boring and something more robust would better suit. The call had gone out for transfers to the Royal Flying Corps some time before. The consensus among my mates was that it was a fool’s choice. But what caught my fancy was the chance for a commission, albeit likely only for the duration, and for decent meals, a touch of respect, and a mud-free war.
"But what caught my fancy was the chance for a commission..." -- the author mustering all available dignity
I won’t trouble with the details of my training other than to say I took eagerly to the challenge of learning to fly. At length in March 1917 I was passed from advanced training at the Central Flying School, where I flew the lovely Sopwith Pup in preparation for my transfer to operational duties in France. My certificate of completion recommended me for rotary scouts which pleased me greatly as I would be responsible for no one except myself. Orders came through at last and I embarked for Boulogne. There being no proper arrangements for my accommodation, I obtained I travel warrant and proceeded directly to St-Omer, where I lingered in the “pilot pool,” awaiting a call to replace some poor departed soul in an operational squadron. St-Omer felt like a small city entirely operated by the RFC. I had little opportunity to see the surrounding town. We did, however, get a chance to fly and I put in as many hours as I could on the Sopwith.
#4516204 - 04/13/2005:27 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Lots of fine stories Gents. Raine, good to see you back in the saddle! We had some rough tornadoes come through here last night. All is well with me and mine but things to do so this report will be short.
Lnt. Gunther Ganz Jasta 6, Wassigny April 13, 1917 17 victories.
All patrols went well the last few days. This afternoon Ganz led 4 machines to send down a balloon. Ganz dispatched the balloon and the 4 climbed out home. Over the mud, 3 machines came down on them that were headed west. It was the Bristol fighter Ganz had heard about. He damaged one and it spun out of control but pulled up near the ground and Ganz dove again. Just as he fired he was hit. “Bastards got me again!” He swore. He sat his machine down on a road just behind his trenches. He was taken back to Cataeu and was met by the same doctor who treated him for his head wound, the bandage still on his head. He will be out 15 days.
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!
#4516233 - 04/13/2008:40 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: Nov 2014 Posts: 3,269Fullofit
Lou, oh that Ball is rubbing me the wrong way. That snitch! I’m so glad nobody listened to his unfavourable recommendations about S.E.5 in favour of that other aeroplane. Glad Swany gets to keep his gypsy wagon, but for how long?
Wulfe, wait a minute! What’s become of Wickham?! Why was there a new observer. Did I miss something? Looks like Evan is right smack in the middle of it all. That was some mission over Rumbeke.
Raine, welcome to Bertie. I’m sure we’ll soon find out why Bertie. He seems like a chap who gets bored easily. I predict he’ll be moving from place to place and from one airplane type to the next. Hopefully he’ll live long enough to write a proper novel.
MFair, glad you are alright after those tornadoes. Can’t say the same about Ganz. Poor chap spends as much time in hospitals as in the air.
The balloon and one of the Albatroses were confirmed. It was the thirteenth, not a particularly lucky day. They were sent to patrol enemy front lines in the area NE of Ypres. Once Toby gathered his crew over the rally point and had them in formation, his engine began to emit a whining noise. He knew his engine was dud. Toby was not particularly superstitious, but the facts spoke for themselves. Mulberry gave signal he was about to leave the formation and looked for the nearest airfield, hoping the engine would last a little longer. Toby was able to land at Chocques. He just hoped this was the worst the 13th could throw at him.
In the afternoon the HQ sent Naval Eight to patrol friendly front lines between Tourcoing and Lille. ‘A’ flight found some Germans to play with and ‘B’ flight was late to the party, but once joined, Toby found the company stimulating. He particularly was fond of an Albatros with a black tail that he accosted and was peppering from behind. Then in an instant everything changed. One of his own demanded to switch dancing partners and barged in front of Toby. There was no time to react and the two machines connected. Toby’s short life danced in front of his eyes in an instant and his hands and feet froze in shock. The plane flew by itself. It was then that Mulberry came out of shock and realized he was still flying and not falling like the pilot who had just hit him. He couldn’t see any damage, but the impact was significant and the damage he couldn’t see must be serious. He immediately turned ‘Anne’ around and led her back to base. He saw a column of smoke rising from the crater where the Hun went down. The 13th continued to haunt him.