Raine, gotcha. I have a feeling Toby is going to do something during the celebrations he may regret later on.
Fullofit - Old Fighter Pilots and Bold Fighter Pilots. There's no 3rd combination. Isn't that what got Voss in the end? He was massively hungover from a Pour Le Merite party the night before. Could have climbed out of that fight in his triplane but didn't. Dull brain and massive cojones drag man over cliff. Film at 11. Just think real hard before going 1 v 7 is all I'm sayin'
Raine - Lots of translations for Backpfeifengesicht I always learned it as "a face in need of a fist." I think I like your variant better. Before Backpfeifengesicht, my favorite one was Fingerspitzengefühl which I learned on the Hitler History Channel many years ago from Rommel's Aide de Camp, Melchior, the Baron Von Schippenbach.
Welcome to Mike! / Mac? That's quite the letter drop arrangement he has going there. Definitely gonna be a spy if he survives the war Would your hut-mate be Spencer Horn, the younger brother of Oliver's CO? There's also a 3rd Horn brother named Marmaduke who was not in the RFC. If Oliver cops it, I'm definitely coming back as Phoebus Apollo's ne'er-do-well younger brother, Marmaduke, if only to keep the bastage away from Eliza.
#4516807 - 04/17/2003:59 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
A Bluenoser’s War: the letters of 2d Lieut. Michael Colin McKinnon, R.F.C.
"... there was a brilliant flash that reflected off all the fabric of my Nieuport."
15 April 1917
Action at last! Kennedy woke me and Pope at 4 o’clock this morning. He is supposed to bring us tea and biscuits. The saucer was awash with tea and the biscuits were dissolving into it. There’s something about the fellow I distrust. Some evil thought inside my head suggests it was intentional. In any event, he announced with undisguised glee that I was due to fly into Darkest Hunland in forty minutes.
Our mission was to attack a Hun aerodrome close to the town of Douai. From what I’ve been told, Douai is to the Hunnish air service what Picadilly Circus is to London buses. It is also the better part of 20 miles over the lines so any damage from anti-aircraft fire or ground fire can leave you stranded. I’m not sure of I mentioned it before, but anti-aircraft fire is always referred to here as “Archie.” Anyway, we were airborne at 4:45 and flew directly into the rising sun. Your neck sure gets sore from looking all about at times like this. They say that when you’re new like me it is really hard to spot other machines until they are on top of you. That is why so many new pilots don’t make it through the first fortnight at the front. I have resolved not to be one of the unfortunate.
There were five of us including Major Scott, who was leading – Molesworth, Whealdon, Pope, and me. As we drew closer to Douai, the Archie started up in earnest. There was a bright flash directly in front of my Nieuport and I flew through the better-smelling smoke an instant later. Two more explosions close by rocked my machine. I climbed a little and drifted off to the right. That’s when I noticed Major Scott. He was waiving his right arm furiously and pointing directly at me. He gestured for me to retake my position in the formation. The major looked for all the world like a schoolmaster telling a naughty boy to “come up and sit in the front row where I can see you.” As I tucked in beside his machine he continued to shake his head in disgust. I tried not to let it bother me but I could remember snatches of the commander’s welcoming speech the day I got here. “Any pilot who shows me a yellow streak will be cut out of the squadron like a cancerous growth,” he had said.
We approached the Hun aerodrome from the south and cross directly over it before turning and diving to shoot the place up. I throttled well back and even blipped the engine. There is a button on the control column that cuts power to the spark plugs. You can press it momentarily to slow the machine down. Nieuports have a bad habit of shedding their wings in a dive. The way the bottom wing attaches to the fuselage is odd. There is a friction collar that bolts onto a wooden ring on the fuselage main spar. If that wooden ring is worn or shrunken, the whole wing can twist under stress. That sort of thing is very unhealthy! So I’m following Major Scott down and he suddenly turns away from the hangers he was about to shoot at and pulls up into the right. That’s when I noticed for the first time two enemy scouts – a type called the Albatros – and they are taking off from the field below. Scott overshoots them but I’m in perfect position to turn behind them. I fire about 50 rounds into one of them from very close range and see him wobble and fall away to one side. I’m sure I got him and reported his actions when I got back and filled out my combat report. I turned towards the south and I saw the second Hun machine over the nearby village and had a quick go at it. It dived away at low altitude and I thought I had it too, but again I could not be sure.
We returned to Filescamp Farm and gave our reports to Lieutenant Guy, the Recording Officer. There is an art to this exercise. One requires a certain bluff, manly tone. Understatement is essential, but not too much understatement or your claim will be discarded. I mentioned shooting at the two Huns. Guy questioned me like a barrister: “Did you see the machine fall?” Me: “Yes, Mr Guy. I saw it begin to fall.” Guy: “Begin to fall? As in, you saw it begin to move downwards?” Me: “That is correct.” Guy: “You do realise, McKinnon, that aeroplanes often go up and often go down…” Laughter ensues.
Needless to say, neither Hun was considered a victory, nor even what they call a “driven down.” Driven down claims do not count as victories but merit a pat on the back. In any event, when I went to the mess for my second breakfast – the real one, not the boiled egg and tea at 4:20 in the morning – there was great fun to be had at my expense.
We were back up at 11:30 this morning and the job was a tough one. Headquarters wanted a German observation balloon up near Lille removed. Attacking balloons is one of the most feared jobs we get because every balloon is well defended by machine guns and crack Archie gunners, not to mention the chance of a defensive patrol overhead. For this show we were equipped with French rockets that are fired electronically from tubes attached to the V-struts on our wings. Pidders briefed me quickly on their use. Essentially he told me that if I crashed into the side of the balloon and then fired the rockets, I should have a 50/50 chance of a hit.
As I walked towards the hangar I saw the Major standing with his two canes in front of one of the waiting Nieuports. He motioned for me to come over. When I got there, he asked me if I understood his signal this morning. I told him that I understood he did not want me taking evasive action for Archie. “Correct,” he said. “That is the leader’s job. You had me worried that you were a flincher, McKinnon. But you did well over Riencourt. I saw you turn on that Hun and close in on him despite the very heavy ground fire in your direction. That was the sort of stout stuff I want to see in the squadron.”
I felt very good about myself after that chat but was disconcerted by his mention of ground fire. I had been blissfully unaware that the Huns were shooting at me the whole time! Anyway, I gave the boss a bluff and manly “Thank you, sir,” and headed for my machine.
The flight to Lille was uneventful. Captain Pidcock led, flanked by Bishop and Lloyd with me and Whealdon on the outside of our V-shaped formation. Pope brought up the rear about 200 yards behind and a little above. The balloon showed up clearly from three miles away. Most of them are a dirty brown colour but this one was shiny and new, almost silvery. I cocked the Lewis gun above my wing (our squadron has a specially designed cocking handle so the gun does not have to be lowered in flight to be charged). Pidders had not given detailed orders about the attack so I took it upon myself to open my throttle and charge ahead of the others. I began firing 250 yards out and continued until the last instant. A moment before pulling off to the left of the balloon, I toggled the switch for the rockets. There was a whoosh. I didn’t see the rockets actually launch because I was too busy not crashing into the observation balloon. But there was a brilliant flash that reflected off all the fabric of my Nieuport. The balloon had exploded and I was the only one at that point who had fired at it. We got back to Filescamp Farm and there was much hooting and hollering and patting of back. Bishop asked me if I saw the balloon go all the way down. He was smiling but I wasn’t sure what to make of the comment. Pidders told the RO that the victory was mine without a shred of doubt.
Major Scott has a chalk board in the mess where pilots’ scores are kept. It felt very good watching Guy print my name and the numeral 1 beside it.
Until next time,
#4516849 - 04/17/2011:46 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: May 2012 Posts: 4,507RAF_Louvert
BOC President; Pilot Extraordinaire; Humble Man
Wulfe - Evan may be anxious to get back into the fight but he’s lucky to have been out of it for a few days. It’s been brutal up there for the King’s own. Another fine episode.
Carrick - Nigel's already taking advantage of the weather, eh? Good on him!
Fullofit -Toby can surely be forgiven some overindulgences while celebrating such a milestone. I also hope he can fly from Mont St. Eloi for a while, I hear someone’s been working on the Abbey there and they have it looking quite fine. Your latest videos are, as always, first rate stuff. As for Swany’s dream, let’s hope it wasn’t prophetic. Truth be told, all our lads are living on borrowed time.
Epower - I hope young Winningstad puts such concerns as Eliza and their situation out of his head when he goes up on his first combat patrol. He’s going to need all his wits about him for that show. Fine writing.
Raine - Thanks for the kudos on the dream episode, those things are always fun to craft. Now to your new man: Another brilliant introduction, well done. A kill up on the board already too, Mike will make a name for himself in short order if he keeps that up. Of course he will have that glory-seeking prig Bishop to contend with. Love the sunrise screenshot by the way. And that Captain Molesworth, he certainly does get around.
No flying today for Swany and his crew due to the cold, heavy rain and high winds sweeping across the area. A far cry from yesterday afternoon's warm sun and cloud-dotted skies. No one around camp is complaining though, any break from the current madness is a welcome one.
#4516872 - 04/17/2001:15 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: May 2012 Posts: 4,507RAF_Louvert
BOC President; Pilot Extraordinaire; Humble Man
From British General Staff to all Commanders in the Field:
Army Order 204, dated 6 July 1916:
The following distinctions in dress will be worn on the service dress jacket by all officers and soldiers who have been wounded in any of the campaigns since 4th August, 1914:
Strips of gold Russia braid, No.1, two inches in length, sewn perpendicularly on the left sleeve of the jacket to mark each occasion on which wounded. In the case of officers, the lower end of the first strip of gold braid will be immediately above the upper point of the flap on cuff. Warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men will wear the gold braid on the left sleeve, the lower edge of the braid to be three inches from the bottom of the sleeve. The additional strips of gold braid, marking each subsequent occasion on which wounded, will be placed on either side of the original one at half-inch interval. Gold braid and sewings will be obtained free on indent from the Army Ordnance Department; the sewing on will be carried out regimentally without expense to the public.
Pursuant to above order the following individual is hereby presented the Wounded Stripe:
Your King and Country thank you for your sacrifice and faithful service.
#4516899 - 04/17/2003:01 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Fullofit - A huge congratulations on 'Scoring your Century'! If I was in charge, I'd say that Mr. 'Chesty' is too valuable to be kept at the front. Truly an icon. And to think, he's still out there fur balling Ball-style!
Raine - As usual, a masterclass in how to introduce a new chap. Although I am always loathe to see your chaps go West, I get some selfish satisfaction from knowing that the new chap's introduction is on the way. I like the 'letter home' style - very "No Parachute"!
Lou - it's not the kind of ribbon Evan was hoping for, but he'll wear it proudly all the same!
The race to catch up continues...
2nd. Lt. Evan C. Easom, No. 48 Squadron R.F.C.
April 11th, 1917.
Evan rose with the sun on the morning of April 11th. Eager at the prospect of being able to get back in the air, he jumped out of his cot and quickly pulled his trousers and his cloth undershirt on, wincing slightly at a stab of pain in his wounded arm. Shrugging it off, he went to the washbasin which stood between Isby and Audley’s beds, but found it empty. With a sigh, he lit a cigarette and decided to head to the mess for an early breakfast, taking the small iron bucket by the door to fill on the way back. Ignoring the slight, dull throb in his arm, he went into the mess and called an orderly over to ask for a spot of breakfast. Holliday was in there too, scratching up the day’s operations on the blackboard. Looking over his shoulder, he seemed faintly surprised to see Evan. “Morning, Easom. You’re up early”. Easom uttered a quick Hullo back. Holliday’s eyes squinted slightly. “Heavens. What the hell have you done to your arm now, man?”. Confused, Evan looked at his arm, and was surprised to see a faint patch of red seeping into the cloth. Removing his shirt, he discovered that he had torn the stitches. Holliday sighed. “Okay. No flying for you today. Go and see Graves as soon as you can”. “What! But it doesn’t hurt at all, sir! I’ll just have it stitched back up and I’ll be right as rain, honest!” Evan protested, but a wave of Holliday’s hand silenced him. “Go and get yourself seen to. If Graves says it’s okay, you can fly tomorrow”.
Anger boiled inside Evan as he furiously stormed out of the mess towards the medical tent, abandoning the breakfast that the confused porter had just brought out from the kitchen. Graves wasn’t yet awake, and Evan waited an impatient hour before the doctor appeared. “You again?” he asked with a smirk as he found Evan reclining on an empty cot. “I’ve torn my stitches” Evan replied bluntly, and the doctor chuckled. “Too eager to get up at the hun, eh? Well, no bother. I’ll sew you back up. Take your shirt off”. The doctor collected his needles, and Evan winced in pain as it bit through his skin. However, Graves was quick about his work, and before long Evan was back out onto the aerodrome, which by this point had come to life.
At 7 O’Clock, Evan watched the ‘B’ flight pilots readying for their first patrol. Tidmarsh gave him a cheery wave as he came over to join them. “Not coming up today?” he asked, and Evan shook his head, misery apparent on his face. “I thought the doctor said you could?” Wilkie cut in. “I tore my stitches. Holliday saw and grounded me” Evan responded. The pilots snickered among themselves. “Hell with you, then” Evan growled, turning for his Nissen. “Oh, we’re only having fun, dear boy!” Tidmarsh cried after him, “I’m sure you’ll be up again tomorrow!”. Back in his hut, Evan listened to the sound of the Bristols lifting off and turning out towards the front. He sighed again, sinking onto his cot.
“No flying today either?” a voice asked from the corner of the hut, and Evan looked round to see Alwin sitting on his cot. “No. Holliday’s grounded me”. Alwin nodded. “Well, I s’pose that means I won’t be flying neither. Not that it bothers me. I’m not keen to meet the Hun up there”. Evan realised with a start that, as his Observer, Alwin hadn’t even flown one sortie since his arrival on the 8th. “Oh, I’m sorry! I didn’t even realise!” he blurted out, and the lanky Welshman chuckled. “Like I say, doesn’t bother me!”. There was a moment of silence between them. “Say, ‘ow many observers ‘ave yer ‘ad, then?” Audley asked. “You’re the third” Evan replied. “An’ what ‘appened to the others?”. Evan paused for a moment. “My first was Leftenant Ackerman. I don’t know why we stopped flying - just, one day Holliday told me I was flying with a new chap. That was Aldridge. Apparently he hasn’t fared so well with it all, so then they made you my observer”. Alwin nodded to himself. “You been shot down before?” he then asked. Evan reddened slightly. “Once. By a Vee-Strutter”. Alwin grimaced. “Well, yer aint getting me bloody killed. I’ve heard you like a good scrap with the hun. You carry on too much and I’ll be requesting the C.O put me with a pilot with some sense. Understand?”. Evan and Alwin locked eyes for a moment - sharply, they sized each other up. Then Evan began to laugh. Alwin’s face cracked too, and soon the pair were laughing heartily together. Wiping a tear from his eye, Evan composed himself. “Okay, Alwin. It’s a deal”.
It was only forty-five minutes before the sound of ‘B’ flight returning started to drone across the aerodrome. By now, Evan knew what that meant. If they were back early, they’d had a scrap. Hurriedly he rushed out onto the aerodrome and counted the machines as they landed. Four in total. This morning five had left. This didn’t particularly worry Evan. One of the machines could have come down at another airbase, or landed with engine trouble, but as Wilkie’s bus rolled to a stop he saw the bullet holes in the fuselage. Grimacing, he walked up to the pilots as they de-planed and began to pull off their flying gear. “What happened?” he called out. Letts angrily flew his flying cap down. “We met Richthofen’s lot in Hunland. They got Mary”.
The evening saw a toast in the mess for Tidmarsh. Evan thought ashamedly on his last words to the man, whom he considered a friend. ‘Hell with you, then’, he had spat, and so Hellwards he was sent. The shame was crippling. “He might be okay, though?” Isby had said quietly. Letts sighed deeply. “The last I saw of him, he was in amongst a swarm of Vee-Strutters. Good old Mary, he put up a hell of a fight and sent two of them down, but before long he was screaming towards earth with an Albatros giving chase. I’m afraid he’s gone West - that’s all there is to it”. The matter-of-fact way that Letts worded the story disturbed Evan - but he understood it. Acceptance and callous stoicism were the only things stopping the men of No. 48 from cracking up. Each day, the mess felt a little less crowded - but with Tidmarsh, ever the centre of attention, now departed - it felt impossibly lonesome in the little wooden building. Quietly the pilots drank and listened to Holliday playing one of his nocturnes.
Last edited by Wulfe; 04/17/2003:02 PM.
#4516975 - 04/17/2009:24 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: Nov 2014 Posts: 3,270Fullofit
Raine, I like those “special” letters. Looks like Mike will look out for Flak more often now that he’d been made aware of it. Strikes me as the aggressive sort going after those Huns on the airfield. Congrats on your first victory. I sense a rivalry forming between that Bishop guy and your pilot.
Epower, 1 vs. 7? No such chance. Toby always flies with wingmen and trusts they’ll have his back. Right?
Lou, flying from Mont St. Eloi was always the plan, but I’m afraid Toby made too big of a mess during the celebrations. It is going to cost him. Perhaps one day the Gods of War will allow him to return to his unit after Toby realizes what mistake he’d committed?
Wulfe, too many balls and not enough chests in your last sentence! Thanks! Now, will they ever let Evan fly again? He has to be really frustrated by now. Too bad about Tidmarsh. That Richthofen must pay. And then pay again, and again.
17 April, 1917 04:50 Auchel, Flanders Sector RNAS-8 SC Tobias Chester Mulberry VC, DSC&Bar, DSO&Bar, L d’H 10.3 confirmed kills
All 3 Albatroses from yesterday’s morning mission have been confirmed. Last night’s bash celebrating Toby braking 100 kill mark was a blur. There was some mention of shots and a number of one hundred associated with them. Also, everyone he saw this morning called him “two-seater”. Toby hasn’t shot down any two-seaters recently of any note. It was strange. Early in the morning, despite headaches, hangovers and general displeasure, Naval Eight was sent balloon hunting south of Haubourdin. Toby could make out the gasbag hanging in the distance backlit by the brightness of the rising sun. His head throbbed in pain to the tune of his droning Clerget. Near the balloon ‘B’ flight encountered a full-strength Schwarm of Albatrosen flying below in formation. Toby dove into the formation and isolated one of them with some kind of green goop painted on the fuselage.
After taking care of the Hun he went directly for the gas bag, eliminating it while taking advantage of the confusion. Mulberry’s machine was hit by ground fire in the process and ‘Anne’s’ maneuverability was compromised. Toby had to slink back to base for repairs while the rest of his flight took care of the Boche patrol.
"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."
#4516994 - 04/17/2011:29 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
After the CO broke the news to me yesterday, I wrote letters to Mother & Father, Eliza and Smokey. Just in case. The Adj will post them if it comes to that.
Little rest last night. Mind racing with thoughts of Eliza and my first combat patrol. Too much excitement, too many nerves. It was like trying fall sleep on Christmas Eve when I was little.
0550 hrs. Morning Patrol. B flight was Stewart as Flight Commander, joined by Hyde, Hudson, Scott and myself. We would patrol our own lines between Arras and Bapaume.
Stewart pulled me aside as we finished our boiled egg and toast.
“Strugnell said you weren’t a moron so listen closely. The Pup out turns and out climbs any Hun machine, but that’s its only advantage. The V-Strutters are 20 mph faster and they dive like stones. Do not chase them down! You’ll pull your wings off long before you catch them. If there’s a scrap, and there will be, stay on the edges. Don’t wade into the middle with Hudson and me, you’ll just die. Keep your speed up, and work above the fight, swoop down, attack, then climb away. When you get separated and find yourself all alone in the sky, look for one of us and latch on. Otherwise, go home. Understand?” “Yes, I think so.” “Splendid. Now repeat back what I’ve just told you.”
Reaching Arras at 11,000 feet we turned due East to the lines. Suddenly, Stewart altered course to the SE. Where? Where are they? I saw nothing. Dots! Dead ahead and growing larger with each passing second. A cold electricity rose from my navel, chasing quick, shallow breaths into a tightening chest. I opened the throttle wide. The seat pushed against my back as the Pup surged forward.
We met head on at the same altitude. Remembering Stewart’s warning, I kept going then started a long climbing turn. Nobody behind me. Where’d they go? There. 200’ below, crossing in front of me. Albatros! Its golden fuselage ringed by a thick red band. A powerful, elongated snout, and a gracefully rounded body that tapered aft, joining a large tail. Like a shark. Magnificent! I continued my sweeping turn. Slicing down, I closed on him rapidly and fired a few rounds. Too fast. In a flash, he rolled sharply and banked away. I climbed, looking to attack again, but he was gone.
Frantic minutes of searching. Will they think me a coward, if I return so soon? Dammit! Where is everyone?! I was just about to turn for home when I spotted two shapes just under the sun. Broad rectangular wingtips. Pups, thank God. I chased after them, slowly closing the gap as they crossed the lines into Hunland. I don’t think they saw me. They were still well ahead when I spotted the tiny shape far behind me, about 500 feet above. Maybe I should have gone home when I had the chance.
I turned to meet my new friend. Curved wingtips. Albatros. Down he came in a shallow dive. What are those bright specks…Oh my God! Ducking under his tracers as we passed, I pulled into a hard, vertical reverse. Instead of continuing up, the Hun made a wide flat turn. As we went around again I cut across our circle. I was on him now! I sprayed wildly, then with a lighter touch on the rudder bar I fired several short bursts from 80-100 yards. He’s hit! The Albatros lurched suddenly then nosed over into a steep rolling dive. Down, tumbling over and over. I circled at 4000’, watching his fall. Almost to the ground now. I know I hit him. He’s going to crash! At the last moment his roll stopped, then the Albatros flattened out and sped away East. I had to admire his nerve. You live another day, Fritz. Time for me to go home.
I was safe. Just south of Albert, I could see our Étang in the distance. That’s when it started. First in my knees then in my hands, an uncontrollable trembling, accompanied by the heaving, broken exhalation that comes when sobs and laughter share the same breath. I put both hands on the control column to steady the Pup. Easy Oliver, breathe, breathe like Smokey taught you. In three or four minutes it passed. I felt utterly drained. __________________________________________
1425 hrs. The afternoon show was to be a patrol behind our lines but as we walked to our waiting Pups, Captain Nicholson came running down to the flight line. He’d a message from Wing. A large Hun patrol was headed for our position. We raced to our machines and bolted into the air. Stewart had the lead and took us on a wide circuit and we climbed, scanning the skies for the enemy. After 40 minutes of this, there was still no sign of the Hun, so we returned to Chipilly. Maybe they’d gone North, who knew?
I caught up with Stewart and asked him what happened this morning. “Whole thing went to Hell is short order. Turned into a bunch of small scraps that descended to low altitude, quick as you please. Nobby (Scott) got one. So did Reg.(Charley) Foster and Hyde got shot up but landed safely.”
I told him about the red banded Albatros.
“Thick red band just aft of the cockpit? I’ve seen him before. No idea who he is. I assume you went home after that.” “No. I chased two Pups into Hunland but couldn’t catch them.”
He paused for a long while before continuing.
“Followed them over the lines… Alone. Miles behind. And then?” “Another V-strutter attacked me. I hit him, but he fooled me with a long rolling dive and got away.” “Some are quite clever.” he said. “You were right not to follow him down. You’re not shy, Winningstad, I’ll say that for you, but if you want to survive, try very, very hard not do something that stupid again.”
Last edited by epower; 05/02/2002:08 PM.
#4517070 - 04/18/2003:15 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Epower, excellent description of your first engagement. Hopefully the next one will be more productive. Oliver will learn to bring them down soon enough. Of that I’m sure. Oh, and listen to Stewart. He knows what he’s talking about. Carrick, a spy? Are you sure your imagination isn’t playing tricks on you? Or was that a trick playing with you instead?
"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."
#4517252 - 04/19/2011:25 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
In the Air Jr. Flyboys, Patrol Roulers Area showing the Flag. We had 3 a/c in B flight and 3 Rovers from A Flight. Made NML and got jumped by 3 or 5 V struts. Scattered and formed a defensive circle taking Pot Shots at each other till we could break off. No losses just more Holes. A flight claimed 1 forced down but I doubt it. He is a New guy and only fired 18 rds. No one else saw it land just dive then gone.
#4517257 - 04/19/2011:42 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: Nov 2014 Posts: 3,270Fullofit
Up well in advance of the morning show. I walked down to the Étang and watched the Easter sunrise. My thoughts turned to yesterday’s first patrol. Twice I had met the enemy and come away unscathed. I’d even knocked one Hun out of the fight. Reliving it, I wondered what I could or should have done differently.
0550 hrs. Our morning patrol would attack the Aerodrome at Brayelles and give the Huns a much-needed thrashing. Intel was uncertain which Jasta based there, but that didn’t matter. Sutton led B Flight along with Hyde, Oxspring and Scott.
Deathly still. Even the guns were silent. Our quiet morning continued until we hit the lines, then Archie greeted us warmly. Approaching Brayelles from the NW, Hunland look almost deserted. Sutton spiraled the flight down to 3000’ and then led the attack run. I was last in and took a line toward the single parked aircraft on the field. Opening fire at 300 yards I saw the bullet strikes in the dirt all around the aircraft. Machine gunners fired back as I zoomed past and holes appeared on my starboard wing. I made 2 more passes landing a number of hits but the parked 2-seater stubbornly refused to burn. On my third attack the German gunners finally found their range and hit something solid. Through a large gash on the underside of my starboard top plane I could see one of the internal braces shattered. A6215 flew off, shot full of holes but still intact.
Looking back as I climbed out, I saw a Pup heading due East, deeper into enemy territory. Did he see Huns? I followed and soon pulled alongside of Hyde. His craft was shot through in many places and could barely make 60 MPH. Hyde lifted his goggles, smiled and waved. He looked dazed. Was he hit? I waggled my wings several times and pointed West. He gave the dud engine signal but continued on. I repeated my signal, more violently this time, then pulling slightly ahead I waved for him to follow. He nodded and we turned for home. The sky remained empty, Archie’s black puffs the only sign of activity. We had cleared Brayelles, when I looked over at Hyde and saw him falling back, his propeller slowly windmilling. He was gliding now and going gently down. Would he have enough height to reach our lines?
I dropped down to 1500’ as Archie continued taking potshots. Hyde had cleared the German trenches and was over no man’s land but dangerously low. As he crossed over our frontline trench, he altered course slightly, plowed into the mud and went clean over. I circled lower but couldn’t see any sign of movement. Hyde was down within our lines but that was all I knew.
“There.” I stabbed the map with my finger. “Right next to Havrincourt Wood.” Captain Nicholson reached for the telephone.
I changed out of my flying kit and walked back to the hangars. Mitchell had the engine cowling off inspecting for damage. Johnson was counting holes, shaking his head woefully and tut-tutting as he examined poor A6215. “Two supports gone, and we’d better have a good look at the others. She’ll need a new frock." he said, pointing at the shredded canvas on the wings. "This one’s all torn to bits. At least a day, sir.”
1430 hrs. Reconnaissance of enemy front line from the edge of Havrincourt Wood to a point directly NE of Bapaume. Flying B1712 it was soon obvious why she was a spare. Far less power than my new mount. The mixture kept drifting and I was forever making small adjustments as we flew. Stewart took the lead flanked by Hudson, Foster, Oxspring and myself. We met the 3 Quirks from No 7 Sqn above Fricourt and from there headed ENE to Havrincourt.
I saw them this time. Far above, I don’t know how many thousands of feet. Eight, maybe ten Huns. They dropped first onto A Flight and swept them aside, then flew directly over us for 2-3 minutes. At last they came down. Our formation spread wide like pancake batter on a grill. I lost sight of the Quirks as a V-Strut Albatros chased me. We began a flat weaving joust, and eventually the Pup’s superior turn put me off his port quarter. A sharp pull and I was behind him. He would dive and climb trying to throw me off. Like a Porpoise dancing along the bow of Astoria. I fired several bursts from longer range, maybe 200 yards. Nothing. He dove, pulled up very hard then hung in the air. Thoughts of Strugnell’s admonition flashed before me. I was much closer now, maybe 100 yards and put my sight ahead of his nose. I could see the sparks and flashes of strikes forward of the cockpit. His machine belched a whitish vapor and slowed. As I closed in to finish him, bullets struck my upper wing. Not bothering to look I broke hard left, pulling the stick into my lap and stomping the rudder bar all the way to the stop. Two of his friends had joined the dance. The next moments, I can’t say how long exactly, were a blur of dodge, weave, roll, jink and dodge. Then, as soon as they had appeared, the 3 Huns were gone. Why did they leave? There were 3 of them. They should have killed me.
I fled West then South and began to climb, leveling off at 10000 ft. Seeing Havrincourt wood to port, I retraced the line of our original patrol, looking for any sign of the Quirks or of my comrades. Empty sky once again.
Poor Johnson. I’d brought back two Pups today ventilated through and through. He said nothing, just began his sorrowful clucking as he counted the many bullet holes in the machine. I spoke to Mitchell about the engine problems. I sure hope I never have to fly B1712 again.
Captain Nicholson took my report. The mission was a resounding success. All 3 Quirks returned safely with vital reconnaissance, and Major Horn was pleased. Oxspring scored his first kill, and Foster bagged another. Better still, Hyde was alive! Shaken up but otherwise unharmed. Corporal Biggins had already left in the tender to collect him.
Both A and B flights landed before me. By the time I’d met with the Adj and cleaned up they’d enjoyed a considerable head start at the bar. When I entered a ragged shout went up from those assembled. The entire squadron was there. Stewart, in his usual spot at the piano played a few choppy chords then launched straightaway into “Yankee Doodle Boy.” Nobody knew the words, and after a few garbled verses everyone was laughing. Oxspring, completely blasted, handed me a pint and seeing my confusion told me the news. On April 6th, the United states had declared War on Germany.
When Hyde returned shortly after dinner the binge began in earnest. Everyone was toasting Hyde’s survival, and for his part, Hyde was taking full advantage of the attention and holding court. “Balloon’s going up tomorrow morning,” someone shouted. Many cheers and huzzahs. “The Yanks are finally coming!” This raised a mixed chorus of cheers and jeers, then much laughter and shouting. Stewart started again on the piano, “If by some delightful chance, when you’re flying out in France…”
Hyde didn’t join in but instead walked over to me. “Good of you to come back for me, old boy. I got a bit turned around in all the excitement and my compass was dud. I suppose everybody knows by now.” “Only about your spectacular landing. As for ’Wrong-Way’ Hyde, that’s all very hush-hush.” He laughed and we walked to the bar for another drink as the squadron raised their voices to the chorus.
“It’s the only, only way, It’s the only trick to play; He’s the only Hun, you’re the only Pup, And he’s only getting the wind right up, So go on, and do not stop Till his tail’s right near your prop, If he only crashes this side in flames, Well, you’ll only know they’ll believe your claims— So keep him right In the Aldis sight It’s the o-o-only way.”
Last edited by epower; 04/23/2006:33 PM.
#4517315 - 04/20/2011:42 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: May 2012 Posts: 4,507RAF_Louvert
BOC President; Pilot Extraordinaire; Humble Man
Four days now of wind and rain at Vert Galant, interspersed periodically by rain and wind. The AMs have been nearly as pleased about the weather as the pilots as its allowed them time to get all the Pups back into tiptop condition. According to the forecast tomorrow the skies should be clearing and the wind and rain subsiding, (along with the rain and wind), and the air war can continue.
At least there's been a few catch-up stories here for our enjoyment, thanks for those Epower and Wulfe, well done. And Carrick and Fullofit, you've each managed an outing; must have caught a brief break in the clouds that Swany was not privy to in his little corner of the world. And then there's the Screaming Meme business of course, such intrigue.
#4517338 - 04/20/2003:30 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Epower, that was an intense moment with Hyde. I was sure he wouldn’t make it. Also, it’s time to buy Johnson a bottle of Scotch.
Lou, I’m glad you got only rain and wind. Imagine if you got rain and wind instead?
20 April, 1917 05:50 Auchel, Flanders Sector RNAS-8 SC Tobias Chester Mulberry VC, DSC&Bar, DSO&Bar, L d’H 10.5 confirmed kills
It was good to be up in the air after two days of wind and rain, and being cooped up down on the ground with nothing to do. Toby was sent to intercept any Huns crossing the Front near Lens. ‘A’ flight spotted the intruders first. They were flying at a higher altitude and could get to the enemy faster. Toby could only see dots dance against the white clouds. He did notice a single aeroplane trying to get away. Was it a two-seater that was left alone? Mulberry gave chase and after getting close enough was surprised to find out it was another Albatros. He leaned into the gunsight and let a long volley into the cockpit. It looked like the Hun was done for. He dove straight down and Toby was certain these were his death throes, but one of his wingmen wasn’t this gullible and followed the Hun down. Toby never learned the trick of steep diving without losing wings and gently spiraled down to follow. He could see ahead his wingman’s tracers stitch the Albatros until it went vertically down again. This time for good. Mulberry gathered his pilots in a formation, meandered over the assigned patrol area for a few more minutes and then took them all home. Compston and Soar from ‘A’ flight claimed 2 Huns each and Crundall claimed the one Toby was shooting at. All in all, it was a productive day.