Blimey, may have got one today ! The sqn was called by Hq to Chase a Recon type flying up and down the line in the Eastern part of our sector. B Flight got off 5 machine while A flight put up 4. The enemy aircraft soon turned into 5 or 6 Hun Scouts behind and above. A real bit of chaos. I got off a full drum at two of the Blighters one was leaking somthing. Upon returning found out the Sqn claimed 1 e/a destroyed. We lost 3 a/c and pilots + 1 wounded. Makes ya want to drop your kellogs when ya think about it.
Last edited by carrick58; 04/21/2002:54 AM.
#4517395 - 04/21/2001:10 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.
20 April 1917
It has been a few days since I last wrote. We have been awfully busy. The day after my last letter, Pidders (Capt Pidcock to you) led A Flight on an offensive patrol and got jumped by the Bad Baron and his crew. Poor Pidders was one out of only two to make it safely back and is fully torn up about it. Also, the day before we lost Captain Binney, who led B Flight, so we are getting roughly handled. Bish (as we call Bishop, our Canadian “ace”) has been leading C Flight and he is very keen for his captaincy. I am sure he will get it. He is the most friendly sort, a bit loud and brash but very popular. He has a chummy relationship with all the other ranks and you can see they think the world of him. Mind you, I suspect he shares their opinion of himself!
On 16 April, Bish led us up the lines towards Loos. Pidders came along as his number two, and we had Rutherford, Whealdon, Pope, and me along as well. This was one of those line patrols I was telling you about, the ones that go just a little way into Hunland and guard against intruders over the lines. It was a brilliantly clear morning after a rosy sunrise and the air burned your lungs it was so cold. They give us whale fat to rub on our faces to protect from frost bite. So we all smell like Eskimos but we get sprayed with castor oil from the rotary engine just to add a bit of extra flavour. It is a good thing Mum is not here. I could not possibly keep clean enough to satisfy her! We did our mandatory two hours and returned empty-handed. At one point Bish began to climb but then gave it up. He told me when we landed that two German two-seaters passed us high overhead and he decided they were impossible to catch. He must have incredible eyesight.
When you first start to fly over here you have trouble seeing everything that is going on around you. I have heard stories about fellows who got into a scrap with a bunch of Huns and didn’t even know why everyone was darting about and firing their guns! That is why so many get shot down in their first few weeks. I am learning to search the sky in sections and not to simply skim over the view. It is particularly hard to see Huns when they have the sun at their back or when they are down low against the backdrop of the earth. Napier, a Scottish pilot, was an officer in the trenches before joining the Flying Corps. He told me that he learned in the infantry to search for the enemy from right to left. Because you read from left to right, if you scan for the enemy that way your eyes flit over things too easily. He says it works in the sky as well as on the ground.
That afternoon I was assigned to Pidders’ flight. We took six Nieuports a bit north to patrol on our side of the lines. Once again we encountered no HA (hostile aircraft). I don’t know why they call them hostile aircraft. The enemy aircraft are really quite charming. It is the wretched Huns inside that give us problems!
On the morning of 17 April we were supposed to do a distant offensive patrol. Those are the ones that everyone dreads. The gods were smiling on us though and it began to rain just before dawn. All flights were cancelled. We have had rain and wind ever since and so have had a nice break.
Late in the afternoon of 18 April we had an interesting visitor. You have probably read of Albert Ball, our top pilot who has shot down 30 Huns so far. Anyway, he showed up on a motorcycle for a visit. He used to fly with our squadron but now is with number 56 Squadron. They are a crack unit with a new kind of British-built Scout. He came into our mess and the Major welcomed him heartily. There was a different CO here when Ball was here but Major Scott recognised Ball immediately. Ball looked about and the only fellow he knew from his brief time in 60 Squadron last year was Willie Fry. The CO took our visitor over to the hangers. It seemed he was interested in our newer Nieuports, the type 23. These are very similar to the Nieuport 17 that I fly but have a somewhat more powerful engine and are supposed to be better put together. Mind you, we have already enjoyed a couple of wing failures with them. Weak wings are the Achilles heel of the Nieuport. I watched out the window as Ball and the Major chatted in A Flight hanger with Sgt Nicod and several mechanics. It was almost comical when Bish ran for his macintosh and tramped through the mud to join them in conversation. Major Scott didn’t seem to mind the intrusion but Fry, Pidders, and I exchanged glances. We learned later that Albert Ball has been given permission by Gen Trenchard to keep a Nieuport as well as one of his new scouts.
On 19 April we attended a dinner at 11 Squadron, who together with a new night bombing squadron occupy what is called Le Hameau field but which is actually just the opposite end of the giant field here at Filescamp Farm. The dinner was so-so but the port was very good!
Today, 20 April 1917, is still rainy and all scheduled patrols are cancelled. Nonetheless, Bish went up alone this morning. He has what is called a roving commission. That means he has his boss’s permission to fly alone over the lines whenever he feels like it. He started this about the time I got here and it is not unusual for him to be in the air five times a day. Today he came back and claimed another two-seater and the Major has marked it up on the board as confirmed. That makes number seven for him! I thought it would be a great challenge to try to match his success, especially after downing my balloon, but at this rate I feel he will be uncatchable.
Do drop me a line now and then when your schoolwork permits. I know it pains you to write but I hear that it is a handy thing for scholars to learn how to do.
Your loving and still better-looking brother,
#4517400 - 04/21/2002:44 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Ah Raine you have the story telling knack for sure!!
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#4517401 - 04/21/2002:55 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Loving the 'letters' format, Raine. Makes for a great read.
The quest to catch up continues....
2nd. Lt. Evan C. Easom, April 12th - April 14th, 1917.
In the early morning on April 12th, a Crossley pulled onto the quiet dim blue of the aerodrome. Evan was awake to see this. He had risen, ever-keener to get at the enemy and avenge Tidmarsh’s loss, at Five O’Clock. This time, it was with great care that he had pulled his uniform on, and he managed to avoid tearing out his new stitches. Having headed to the mess, he found nobody but Holliday, the temporary C.O’s tender, and one of the cooks that looked less than pleased to have been woken to serve the C.O. so early.
The Crossley came to a halt, and two figures, complete with kit-bags almost the size of themselves, jumped out onto the aerodrome, dumbly looking around as the lorry’s motor fired up again and it slinked off into the dusk once more. “That’ll be our replacements,” Holliday muttered. “Sgt. West, go and fetch them”. The C.O’s tender obliged, and in short order the two men were brought in front of the C.O. At the mess table, Evan looked on with a faint disinterest. “So. You’re my new airmen, eh. Names and ranks?” Holliday requested. The first man, a tall, dark-haired man, responded in a thick Scotch dialect. “Second Leftenant Scarborough, sir”.
The other man had a gaunt, angular look about the face. Quietly, he answered. “Leftenant Cvjetanovic, sir”. Holliday raised an eyebrow. “Seva-jennovick? Funny name, that. Where’s it from?”. The man dropped his eyes. “Serbia, sir”. Holliday pursed his lips. “Serbia. It was your lot that started this bloody war”. Cvjetanovic didn’t answer. After a long pause, Holliday sighed. “Well, at least you’re helping us win the damned thing. At ease, both of you”. The two airmen relaxed. “Which one of you is the observer, then?” Holliday then asked, which elicited puzzled looks from them both. “Er…” Scarborough started, “we’re both pilots, sir…” . Holliday sighed deeply. “Damned brass hats. I asked for an observer. Well, in that case, I’m putting you in ‘A’ flight, and you in ‘C’ flight. You’ll have to share a machine for the time being until we receive a new one. You’ll come up with me today, so that--”
The C.O was interrupted mid sentence by the sudden chiming of the alarm bell, shattering the pece of dawn with all the subtlety of a brick being thrown through a window. Out on the aerodrome, the echoing call of “Enemy! Enemy!” Could be heard. Holliday and Evan looked at each other in instant recognition. “Those damned Rolands again!” Holliday cried, as he and Evan pushed past the newcomers and sprinted out onto the field. One or two pilots could be seen falling out of their Nissen huts, half-awake and bleary-eyed, being tailed by their observers as they ran out to the flight line. Three Bristols already awaited the pilots, with more being dragged from their hangars. Evan spotted his own ‘bus’ on the line. “Alwin! Alwin, are you here?” Evan called out. “Here!” a voice responded from the chaos. He spotted the lanky shape of Alwin beside a Bessoneau, bounding towards him through the crowd. There was the whistle of a falling bomb - and then a blinding flash ahead of Evan. He watched as Alwin was ragdolled through the air, landing with a sickening force in a heap beside one of the Bristols. “Dammit!” Evan roared, climbing into his Bristol. “Swing my damned prop!” he cried at one of the Mechanics, a boy with panic in his eyes. Shakily the mechanic obliged, and Evan tore down the aerodrome and circled, scanning high for the raiders, just in time to see the tail of a D.F.W. fading into the clouds. Crying out in rage, Evan climbed for all he was worth as more flashes and percussive booms exploded below. His blood boiling, he flew to the lines, searching for the raiders - but the skies were empty again.
When he returned, La Bellevue was in ruin. Three hangars burned uncontrollably, and a fourth had partially collapsed from a bomb blast. The field itself was peppered with bomb craters. As Evan landed, he noticed a pair of NCOs, one hand over their faces, picking debris up and throwing it into burlap sacks. He de-planed, and as he got a closer look his blood chilled. It wasn’t debris the NCOs were picking up - it was body parts. In a flash, he remembered Alwin. Frantically he grabbed the nearest NCO. “2nd Leftenant Alwin! Is he okay?”. The NCO stared dumbly at him. “Who, sir?”. With a growl, Evan searched the chaos until he found Holliday, barking orders with a look of pure fury on his face. “Sir! Alwin…” Evan started. “He’s fine. Just a bit banged up” Holliday snapped, dismissing Evan and turning back to his task of trying to organise the chaos.
The hangars burned for two hours, before the heavens opened and the rain helped to douse the flames. Six bristols had been lost, and with them five mechanics. The camp had become infested with a deep bitterness, and it seemed that any scraps of morale were now gone entirely. Once the carnage had come under control, Evan visited Alwin in the medical tent. He had some minor burns on his left side, a bandage wrapped his head, and his right arm was in a sling - but, as Evan entered he smiled. “Just my luck,” he said, a playful smirk on his face. “I join the R.F.C and end up being assigned to fly with the cursed pilot”. Evan laughed, despite how miserable he felt. “You can’t blame me. You still haven’t flown with me yet”. Alwin grinned. “Well. Here’s hoping the next poor sod they assign to you fares a little better. Got a cigarette?”.
After checking with Dr. Graves that Alwin would be fine, Evan left the Welshman with a packet of cigarettes and retired to his Hut. Mercifully, it had remained untouched in the carnage. There he found Isby sitting on his cot, white as a ghost. He didn’t notice Evan’s arrival at first, nor did he notice Evan calling his name. Finally, Evan put a hand on his shoulder and the man flinched back with a cry. “Get yourself to the mess, Benny. Have a drink, you’ll feel better,” Evan said, in what he hoped was a soothing tone. Isby nodded, but remained where he was, sinking back into whatever though was currently haunting him. At the writing desk, Audley sat quietly in his usual mouselike fashion. Evan looked over at him. “You alright?” he asked, and Audley nodded. “Aye” he responded, nearly at a whisper. The three coexisted silently after that, all lost to their thoughts. After an hour, the door opened and Holliday walked in with Cvjetanovic in tow. “Here are your quarters.. The cot on the far right is yours. And these three are your new neighbours. Over there’s Easom, that’s Isby, and the quiet one is Audley. There’s another chap who lives here, but he’ll be staying in the medical tent for now. Gentlemen, this is Serb. Don’t bother asking his real name, the #%&*$# thing’s unpronounceable. Good night”. Quietly, the Serb walked to his bunk and sat down on it, under a suspicious glare from Evan and Audley. Isby remained exactly where he had been for the past hour, staring at the floor. The Serb looked quietly at his new companions, then spoke. “Do any of you have a problem with the fact that I’m a Serbian?” he asked with an accented quiet. Audley and Evan caught each other’s eyes for a moment. “Well. Sorry, but isn’t it your fault we’re here?” Evan finally asked. The Serb sighed. “I didn’t shoot Ferdinand,” he replied softly. He held Evan’s gaze. Slowly, Evan nodded. “No. No problem” he finally said. The Serb slowly nodded once in appreciation, before lying on his back and stretching out. “Bad day to arrive, eh?” Evan said, trying to break the tension. The Serb lit a cigarette. “Yes. A bad day” he replied.
La Bellevue ground to a halt on the 14th, as the NCOs and ground crews did what they could to repair the damages caused in the last raid. Even the Sergeant-Pilots were conscripted for clean-up duty. The stink of death crept its way into the air around the destroyed bessoneaux. At the end of the 14th, a funeral service was held for those that had been killed. In the mess, the pilots muttered curses directed at their enemies, swearing hollow promises of vengeance. The quieter pilots kept to themselves. The Serb sat away from the main group, occasionally becoming the recipient of an angry glare. Evan had started to feel sorry for the man - he had arrived at No. 48 after a string of losses, in a war which his country was arguably responsible for. The men hated him instantly.
Last edited by Wulfe; 04/21/2003:01 AM.
#4517432 - 04/21/2012:26 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: May 2012 Posts: 4,499RAF_Louvert
BOC President; Pilot Extraordinaire; Humble Man
Mata Hari? Rathbone? Christie? I spy with my little eye, espionage, intrigue, and murder most foul.
Carrick - I hope Nigel's claim is confirmed, it's high time he gets credit for one!
Fullofit - Mulberry's men had a good outing, a credit to his leadership. As to diving without shedding wings, it's all about the side-slip. Of course, not rushing it helps a lot too, but then Toby's never struck me as a patient sort.
Raine - Another fine letter. As for McKinnon thinking Ball is their top pilot, no surprise given how the press drools over Albert while completely ignoring Squadron Commander Mulberry and Captain Swanson. phhht - Ball
Wulfe - Great stuff. I love the introduction of Cvjetanovic, and I feel sorry for man as well. It wasn't as if he pulled the trigger that day in Sarajevo.
21 April 1917 66 Squadron R.F.C. Vert Galand, France
The dud weather at last ended and a fresh day dawned, and no sooner had the sun rose then so too did B Flight. Captain Swanson led his crew eastward on a line patrol from Mossy Face to Monchy and back. As they passed Bapaume Swany spotted a furball in progress some thousand feet below and ahead and dove to investigate. It turned out to be six brightly colored Albs of the Circus involved with three Fees, and the Fees were definitely holding the losing end of the stick. Swanson gave the signal and the five Pups joined the fracas. The Captain latched on to an Alb sporting a red empennage, and after a fairly protracted fight drove it down where it was seen to bounce into No Man's Land just north of the woods and right in front of the Hun trenches. Swany was about to turn back when he spied another Alb running for the lines just off his portside and gave chase, opening fire from a goodly distance away in an effort to slow the fellow down. Swanson was a bit surprised to see his prey burst into flames brief seconds later and fall away. The rest of B Flight had succeeded in driving off the remaining Hun and after regrouping the King's airmen finished their patrol.
Shortly after lunch Swany and his men went out again, chasing after a brace of Boche B/R buses that had been spotted over Bellevue. They followed them all the way to Boiry St. Martin without gaining on them and gave up the hunt when the Captain caught sight of two Albs below running northeast. Swanson waggled his wings and dove onto the straggler and caught the fellow napping. After placing two solid volleys into the Hun Swany watched as the top right wing of his target broke loose and sailed directly over his head. The Alb spun down out of control and crashed just behind the British trenches southeast of Arras. The remainder of B Flight made short work of the other Albatros and the balance of the outing was completed without further incident. By dinner all three of Swany's claims had been witnessed and confirmed, bringing his total to 72, with 20 of those coming since the start of the month. Bloody April indeed!
The Captain latched on to an Alb sporting a red empennage, and after a fairly protracted fight drove it down.
Swanson was a bit surprised to see his prey burst into flames brief seconds later and fall away.
After placing two solid volleys into the Hun Swany watched as the top right wing of his target broke loose and sailed directly over his head.
#4517475 - 04/21/2004:32 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: Nov 2014 Posts: 3,269Fullofit
Carrick, congrats on maybe shooting one down. I just hope it’s not the one in the last photo. That would be bad.
Raine, yup, looks like Mike’s been smitten with Bish. I have to say he should try and catch up to his score. Maybe then Bishop would be smitten with Mike?
Wulfe, you’d think people of La Bellevue would expect a morning air raid by now. And Alvin is right. Evan is cursed. Maybe he should just fly on his own? It worked for Mulberry.
Lou, Toby’s impatient? Whatever gave you that idea? Congrats on another 3 kills. It’s like the Albatros jockeys aren’t even trying, convinced they’re the ones dealing pain. Little do they know they’re doing it in a very painful manner. I bet you instinctively dodged that wing with your head.
Toby’s flight was circling the Roucourt aerodrome for a while. They were waiting to catch Huns with their pants down while landing. A pair of Albatroses returning from a mission soon showed up and the Tripes went after them. One of them spotted the formation diving on him and turned to face the entire formation, while the other one continued on. He was soon Vickers fodder and ended up as a crater smoldering nearby his aerodrome. Mulberry gave signal to regroup and led his mates back to base. The weather was turning.
21 April, 1917 12:40 noon mission Auchel, Flanders Sector RNAS-8 SC Tobias Chester Mulberry VC, DSC&Bar, DSO&Bar, L d’H 10.5 confirmed kills Awaiting one victory confirmation
By noon light rain started to fall, but nothing like this would stop RNAS from flying. They’ve left the rain behind once cruising altitude was reached. Their target? Friendly aerodrome at Lechelle. It seemed odd to send Toby’s flight this far south. Perhaps it was the C.O.’s way of giving them a break and a chance to rest, or perhaps he thought they’ll be able to catch more Huns by flying along the frontlines to their destination. Either way it was fine with Toby. At least up here in the air he didn’t have to put up with the constant teasing about two-seaters. He didn’t like them either, but why was he always ending up the butt of all two-seater jokes? The mission ended up being a break from the action. No enemy planes were encountered.
"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."
#4517495 - 04/21/2006:46 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
epower – that was a great description of the fight with the red banded Albatros. I liked the sense of “what happened?” when Oliver found himself alone in the sky. Also loved the photograph of the sunrise over the pond. And when the three Huns got behind you on 8 April, I thought you were goner!
Fullofit – it seems like Toby has become blasé in his old age, what with him leading Crundall poach his kill and all. By the way, I wouldn’t be too sure that McKinnon is “smitten” with Bish. I have my own conclusions about Bishop and they will probably come out in this story if McKinnon lasts long enough.
Carrick – congratulations on the Hun. Let’s hope that the powers that be smile on Nigel for the confirmation. And thanks for the comment!
Robert – thanks so much for the kind words. We miss you. Do you think you will ever have enough time free from your other projects to join the campaign?
Wulfe – another great chapter from Evan. Was the 12 April bombing of the squadron’s airfield an historical event? Also, I pity the poor Serb. He is having a hard time fitting in!
Lou – I can’t believe how quickly you’ve racked up a score since returning to France! Well done.
#4517499 - 04/21/2007:15 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Carrick – You nailed him clean! Fingers crossed on the confirmation. Maybe send that lovely lady over to the Claims office… otherwise she'll be visiting Marshal Joffre andwill most certainly disrupt his inflexible routine of a heavy bourgeois lunch, followed by a nap, regardless of circumstances.
Fullofit – Wingmen have been paying attention to Toby after all. A good day for RNAS-8. Must be nice to have a functional A flight. Now all Toby needs is a second Vickers.
Raine – This Napier fellow may be onto something. I must try that out. Love the line about charming aircraft and dreadful Huns. BTW, I heard Major Christie’s wife has a thing for Belgians.
Wulfe – You surge ahead! I’m tail end Charlie now. Another fine bit of writing. La Bellvue is sure catching it right now. Time for Holliday to requisition a few drums of “Roland Off” Cvjetanovic is an intriguing addition. Looking forward to seeing where his story line leads. Knowing a number of Serbians, I do hope his squad mates learn to be a bit more respectful, or things will end badly for them.
Lou – Nice work by Swanny both on the trigger and with the camera. Amazing the pictures he takes with that small Kodak in the middle of a fight. 20 in April and still a week to go. Quite the rampage. ___________________________________________________________________ 9 April 1917 54 Squadron R.F.C Chipilly, France
My head was still pounding from last night and the boiled egg sat uneasily in my stomach. Do they always drink this much? My mood was not improved when I saw Mitchell and Johnson wheeling B1712 out to the flight line.
0450 hrs. Line patrol of Vimy Ridge on a foul and blustery Easter Monday. The wind gusted viciously across the field, driving freezing rain like bird shot into any exposed flesh. Perfect conditions for starting the Big Show. The infantry would go over at 0530, so there was nothing for it but to carry on.
By the time we reached the lines we were above the blanket of cloud and out of the rain. It hardly mattered as I’d long since lost any feeling in my face. As Strugnell led us around towering columns of angry, rain-swollen cumulus, I looked below. Vimy Ridge lay down there somewhere, but I could see nothing of what was happening. Not a Hun in sight. The skies above were devoid of aircraft, including those of A flight, who trailed uselessly two miles behind at our same altitude. What were they doing?
1330 hrs. More of the same, this time in front of Havrincourt Wood. We remained the only aeroplanes in the sky. Where were all the Huns? Were they up north over Arras or just under these clouds, playing havoc with our observation machines while we patrolled empty skies?
My only consolation for a day of frustration and icy misery was the news of A6215’s return to service. The smooth, unblemished fabric of her newly clothed wings gave her a sleek look. Faithful hound and huntress.
10 April 1917 54 Squadron R.F.C. Chipilly, France
0650 hrs. Escort three F.E.2b of RFC - 18 to bomb infantry reserves just W of Marcoing with Sutton Pixley, Oxspring and Hyde Today sleet and high winds until we reached the lines then it cleared. Fees hit the target then exited Southwest, their job done. We shadowed them to the German lines then Sutton waggled his wings briskly and dropped down. I trailed above Hyde as he attacked an Albatros and when Oxspring fired on it as well, I climbed up to fly top cover and get a better look. Sutton chased another smoking Alb and Pixley set fire to a third. Very tough to see the Hun over the churned earth of no man’s land. The rain, dark grey skies and wing camouflage rendered them almost invisible to my eye. I caught flashes of their underbellies when they turned but otherwise just tried to keep sight of the red, white and blue cockades on Hyde’s upper plane. You’re blind as a bat, Oliver!
Hyde dropped his man. I could see the Albatros crash and break apart. As he climbed and headed home, I followed, and we soon joined up with the others. Three Huns down! A fine start to the day.
1500 hrs – Patrol behind enemy lines between Riencourt and Brayelles. Up to Bapaume, then straight northeast to Riencourt. Approaching Brayelles on our third patrol circuit we descended to 4000 ft then Sutton started us in on an attack run! This wasn’t the plan. Boy, he’s really got his tail up now! No matter, I have a score to settle with a certain 2-seater. More parked aircraft and that same old Aviatak from Saturday’s failed attack. We’ll see if you can burn. Nope. Around again for a second go. I had a good bead this time and squeezed off a long burst. The Vickers chattered as I bore in then stopped. Jammed! #%&*$#! A minute of violent hammering and even worse language freed the offending round. I’d lost sight of Sutton but seeing two Pups about half a mile away, I flew off in their direction.
We resumed our patrol in a vic, Scott leading and Hyde to my left. Scott was keeping us very low. Barely at 1000 ft. Did he see something? He made no signal but flew on despite the growing volume of anti-aircraft fire. As when a cat, walking on a fence above a pack of snarling dogs will diffidently flick it's tail and ignore the hounds below, so now Scott led us on the remainder of our patrol, while enraged German gunners blazed away. Our time in Hunland complete, Scott pointed us toward Chipilly, but he wasn’t climbing and the lines were coming up fast. PLINK! Two holes appeared in the windscreen. #%&*$# #%&*$# #%&*$# Enough of this! I zoomed to 1500 ft. as we crossed the mud.
I am going to beat Scott to death with my hands…
Off to the left and very low an aircraft headed on an opposite parallel course. Into Hunland. Neither Scott nor Hyde moved to intercept. They didn’t see him. He’d be gone by the time I dropped down to signal, so I swept left to prepare my attack. Right there, an Albatros 1000ft below me. I have him! My heart racing, I let him pass then dove down. Made a complete hash of it. I mistimed my approach and flattened out too far behind. He flew on, oblivious, and there was nothing I could do but watch him go.
Johnson and Mitchell had hold of her. Vaulting out of the cockpit I glared at Scott who approached on his way up to the Squadron office.
“What the hell were you doing, staying so low?” I demanded, barely concealing my anger. Scott raised an eyebrow and calmly removed his gloves as he answered. “Saw some low Huns scurrying home, but they were too far away. Bound to be more so I thought we’d stay down and catch a few." “Did you miss all the fire flying around us at 900 feet?” He looked over my shoulder at my plane then slowly walked around, examining the fuselage and wings. “Too close to the guns for you, Winningstad? You seem to have emerged unscathed.”
Like Hell. Pup’s ventilated again.
I looked more closely. Scott was right. A6215 still wore her smooth and unblemished new canvas. Impossible. I walked over to the cockpit. Scott was on the other side. He’d clearly seen the windscreen. “Can’t get windy over such trivia," he said, pointing to the holes. You can get a new one now. Might help your shooting. This old thing looks like frosted glass.”
Blast that salty SOB, anyway.
Last edited by epower; 04/23/2001:03 AM.
#4517534 - 04/22/2001:14 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Fulofit - That was one aggressive Alb pilot, he had some brass ones. Now to Toby's two-seater business, don't you think it's time we knew the whole story. Also - yes - I did duck when that wing came at me.
Raine - Swany has definitely been making up for lost time, and that Pup is a perfect machine right now for the job. And as you will soon find out, the Captain paid an unplanned visit to your new man's camp this morning.
Epower - A close call for young Oliver - two shots right through the windscreen and he stayed untouched? A lucky, lucky man. As for Swany's Kodak, it works like a charm.
Carrick - Nigel had to babysit a British obs balloon? Nice work when you can get it.
22 April 1917 Filescamp Farm Aerodrome, France
"Lost again, Swany? Holland's that way, if you're wanting to return." Lieutenant William "Billy" Bishop smirked as he pointed off towards the northeast.
Captain Swanson had just finished seeing a brace of 13 Squadron's Quirks home to Savy after an early morning recce of the situation north of Loos and was heading for his own camp when his engine conked. He glided down dead-stick and settled on the field at Filescamp Farm, which had been conveniently in front of him, and had no sooner climbed out of his disabled mount when a crowd of AMs gathered to offer assistance. Swanson was in the middle of explaining it was likely a clogged fuel line when Bishop made his presence known.
"Well hello Billy, long time no see - so this is where you are now", Swany replied with an insincere smile, knowing full well the Lieutenant's comment was a pointed jab far more than it was good-natured ribbing. The two men had developed a less-than-friendly relationship back when the Captain was station commander at Stow Maries. "No, not Holland again, though it is very nice, you really should visit there yourself."
Bishop's eyes narrowed slightly at the barb, then widened as he studied Swanson's Pup. "Quite the outrageous livery you have here. I've heard about it but never imagined it was this gaudy, surprised HQ lets you get away with it."
Swany gave a sly grin as he shot back, "Once you reach 65 confirmed kills HQ let's you paint your mount any damm'd way you please. Maybe you'll get to do da same one day."
The Lieutenant's hackles rose at the put-down, and in an effort to save face in front of the crowd, (that continued to grow as more men came for a closer look at the garish Pup), he quipped, "Huh, that many kills and still not a Major yet?"
Swanson laughed, despite Bishop's last comment hitting a nerve. He'd gotten under Billy's skin, so he kept on, "Yup, I'm more valuable right now fighting the Hun than I would be running an outfit, we all have our strengths ya know." Before Bishop could come back, Swany added, "Speaking of strengths, you still snapping undercarriages and breaking wheels when you land, Lieutenant? You were always good at that back in Home Defense."
The Captain's last remark garnered more than a few chuckles from the AMs, indicating the Lieutenant's penchant for hard landings clearly hadn't changed. Bishop's face flushed and he was about to fire back when the squadron's CO, Major Alan Scott, arrived and intervened.
"So the rumors are true - a red, white, and blue Pup. There's been talk about seeing it in the skies over Vimy and about the Yank flying it. You must be Captain Swanson. I'm Major Scott, welcome to 60 Squadron." The two men shook hands as the plane in question was wheeled over to a nearby hangar.
"A pleasure to meet you Major", Swanson replied. "And you can call me Swany, everyone does."
"Swany, eh? Fair enough, and you can call me Jack", the Major offered. "Come along to my office and we can chat while my men get your mount sorted out. You've been in Comic Cuts a fair bit lately, that Pup must really suit your style of fighting."
"We'll catch up more later, Swany", Bishop called out after the two men as they walked away in conversation, swearing to himself he would get the last laugh on Swanson. It would not be today however as the Lieutenant was off on his own sortie a short while later, and by the time he returned Captain Swanson and his garish Pup were gone.
#4517656 - 04/22/2008:37 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: Nov 2014 Posts: 3,269Fullofit
Epower, yup trying to spot anything against the ground clutter is nearly impossible. Thank God the Huns painted their kites in hard to miss colours. So, what’s wrong with Scott? Does he have a problem with Oliver?
Lou, the two-seater business is about to be revealed. Be patient. It’s as unbelievable as Mulberry’s score. Now, this Bishop chap is getting around. Everyone is talking about him. What’s so special about him, apart from being an annoying git. I’d really like him and Ball get together for tea. At least Swany isn’t fazed by the man. I like how the good Captain handled the sod.
The Albatros above Roucourt has been confirmed. Toby’s next task was to escort 2 Harry Tates from RFC-42 on a bombing run of enemy troop camp east of Monchy-le-Preux. It was a simple affair. In and out. “In” was easy, right up to the point where the Tates dropped the bombs. The explosions alerted a Schwarm of Albatroses flying below. Toby and the rest of his flight dove down on the Huns and an every-man-for-himself fight erupted. Mulberry noticed the German planes were painted red. Mostly. One had a black tail, other red wheels. He parked himself behind one and quickly brought it down.
He was finally able to turn west and steer for home. He nearly collided with one more red Albatros, who banked in front of him trying to get away from another Tripe chasing him. Mulberry took over and promptly had the Hun eating dirt.
He was back at Auchel with the rest of the flight claiming their victories.
22 April, 1917 12:45 noon mission Auchel, Flanders Sector RNAS-8 SC Tobias Chester Mulberry VC, DSC&Bar, DSO&Bar, L d’H 10.6 confirmed kills Awaiting four victory confirmations
Strong gusts of wind buffeted their crates and low fog was obscuring the Front. They’ve been sent to patrol between enemy aerodromes at Bersee and Haubourdin. It wasn’t enough anymore to just camp over an aerodrome lying in wait for the returning Huns. Now they were ordered to roam between two aerodromes to increase their chances of catching the Germans unawares. As an added bonus the aerodrome of Phalempin was situated between the other two airfields, so their entire patrol path would be lined with Flak. After doing one circuit and while approaching Bersee, they’ve spotted some enemy machines getting ready to enter a landing pattern. It looked like a pair of two-seaters and their escort. Mulberry went straight for one Albatros and brought it down soon after. He then watched the rest of his flight taking care of the other “visitors”. He saw one of his wingmen not making much progress eliminating his adversary and Toby came to the rescue. Second Albatros went down to Toby’s gun. By now it was rather quiet, apart from the constant onslaught of Flak. He looked around and noticed one of the larger birds approaching the airfield. It was one of the two-seaters. Mulberry quickly found himself at the rear and firing. The rear gunner returned fire, but his shots went high. Toby took full advantage of this and pressed his attack. The two-seater wobbled and went down. That was the last of them.
Mulberry gathered remaining members of his flight and continued north, gaining altitude as he went. He realized the only one to rejoin the formation was ‘Reggie’. They were both returning west when they encountered a lone Albatros, who had to be the worst pilot in the entire Luftstreitkräfte. He came from above and behind, passed the two Tripes and settled right in front of them. He was oblivious to the surroundings and would pay for this. Toby approached and opened fire. The startled pilot took evasive action by diving down. Mulberry followed and fired again. The Boche took another dive and continued diving until he smashed into the ground.
Toby and ‘Reggie’ Soar continued west and landed home after a quiet flight.
* * *
“- Come in. Have a seat.” Squadron Commander Brommet was reclining in a chair behind the desk in his office. “- I have good news.” He looked at Toby. “- You’ve been busy today, it seems. ‘Reggie’ tells me you’ve downed four machines on your last mission. That’s four in addition to the four from the morning show. Well, I’ve just received a call 7 of them have been confirmed. There’s been some difficulty confirming all the red planes, so that’s why seven. That is a good haul for one day. If you keep it up the war will be over soon.” “- Thank you, Commander.” Toby needed a drink and wanted to make this pleasantry as short as possible. He didn’t care about the downed planes. How many now? He’s already lost track. “- There’s more good news.” “- Oh?” Mulberry was getting annoyed. This was starting to drag on. “- Your transfer request came through.” Toby stared blankly for a moment trying to register what was being said to him. “- My what?!” He was stupefied. Brommet let it sink in and with a practiced patience explained what transpired during Mulberry’s 100th victory celebrations. “- You had a few drinks. Someone said you didn’t shoot down the Baron. You insisted you did and you could do it again in a two-seater. You then proceeded to badger poor Adjutant Grimsby to fill out the transfer form for you and promised him your V.C. for it.” Toby’s hand went to his left breast to check the ribbon. “- Don’t worry, he didn’t take it. I wouldn’t let him.” Brommet reassured him. “- So here we are. I hate to lose a good pilot, but I had orders to transfer some pilots to squadrons that have recently been decimated by Bloody Baron’s Circus. You’ve just made the job easier for me.” Toby didn’t want to believe it. He suspected it to be some elaborate joke. At least now he understood why everyone kept calling him the Two-Seat Baron. “- Look at the bright side. There are rumours going on that the Baron himself put a bounty on your head. It’ll be good for you to lay low for a while until all this blows over.” Brommet’s attempt at cheering up Toby failed miserably. “- Where did I ask to be transferred?” Mulberry resolved to make peace with his new fate. It was his own fault after all. The C.O. looked into the documents. “- Umm, Number Two.” “- And what are they flying?” Brommet looked in the papers again. “- One and a half Strutters. You’re going to like 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."
#4517667 - 04/22/2009:32 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Full of it, Strutters??? Okay now this is going to be interesting! Best of luck. And congratulations on mauling the circus.
Lou, terrific episode between Swany and Bish. That young Bishop is an enigmatic character.
Carrick, did I miss it or have you heard back yet on your claim?
Here is McKinnon's latest adventure…
A Bluenoser’s War: the letters of 2d Lieut. Michael Colin McKinnon, R.F.C.
23 April 1917
When I left the 25th Battalion last summer to pursue a commission with the Flying Corps, I told my chums that I was totally fed up with living in holes in the ground and would be blasted if I were ever found in a trench again. Would that that were true!
Last Saturday started all right. It was a lovely day after four days of rain, warm, sunny, and proceeded by a soft pink dawn. Bish led us to a meet-up with three observation machines and we escorted them over to see places of interest just behind the Hun lines. We circled about, six of us in all, while the observation wallahs took photographs. Just when I thought we were packing up to go home – our two-seater friends had already begun their way westward – we were paid a visit by a large crowd of Hunnish intruders. They flew Albatros scouts of the latest sort and they all were at least partially red in colour. If you have been reading the papers, you will know that this means we had met with von Richthofen and his circus. They call it a circus because of the many bright colours they paint their machines. Our British machines by contrast are generally greenish brown or, in the case of our Nieuports, silver. One does not want to be too flashy, does one?
The Huns ripped into us and in a second or two there were machines swirling all over the sky. Really, it is a miracle that we all don’t crash into each other and descend in one tangled and burning lump. At one point I swear I saw an all-red machine flash by. If I am correct that means the Baron himself was there. I did a good job this time staying above the fray and I got a couple of quick bursts away as the opportunities presented. But I did not get a chance to grab onto a Hun’s tail and get close enough for my machine-gun to take deadly effect. As I may have mentioned to you in an earlier letter, these intense scraps generally last for a few minutes and then – voilà! – the sky is empty. That’s what happened again that morning. I headed back to Filescamp alone at first, and then Young met up with me and we went the rest of the way together. When we landed we found that everyone had made it back safely although a couple of the guys had put down in aerodromes closer to the front due to damage.
Late on Saturday morning, Pidders led us north to attack a Hun aerodrome about five or ten miles over the lines. We flew a bit north of our destination and circled back to attack it from the other side in hopes that the Huns would not realise who we were until we were on them. Then, just as we began to turn towards our target, my engine threw out some oil and began making a horrible rough squeaking sound. I did not enjoy the technical courses back at Reading and do not pride myself and my mechanical ability. I tell people that if my engine goes dud, my only solution is to sacrifice a chicken to the Engine God. But even I could tell that this was some sort of bearing failure. I was low down, between 2000 and 3000 feet, and well behind the enemy lines. I immediately gave the washout signal and headed toward home. The Nieuport was losing revs and altitude. My main fear was that it would overheat and catch fire. That is the thing every pilot dreads. I kept the machine in the shallowest possible angle that would still allow flight. It seemed like hours before I reached the turned-up ground that marks the front. Every rifle and machine-gun the Germans had was pointed in my direction. I was down now to about a thousand feet and the engine was failing steadily. You can’t begin to imagine how your behind puckers up in that situation!
"The Nieuport was losing revs and altitude."
Trenches passed beneath me. Still, in most parts of the lines both sides have at least three main parallel lines of trenches so I was not sure if I could make it to friendly territory. Far too quickly the ground began to come up to meet my Nieuport and I switched off. Around this point you have a choice. Do you keep yourself buckled in so that you will not be thrown head-first out of the machine and break your silly neck? Or do you unbuckle so that you will not get trapped in your cockpit while the whole arrangement goes up in a blaze of burning petrol? I chose broken neck over roasted Michael. I unbuckled, pulled back the stick, and stalled the Nieuport into the muddy hellscape of the front. My right wings caught some barbed wire and spun me around while various pieces of aeroplane detached themselves and departed from the scene.
I must have been very close to a Hun trench for within a couple of seconds of coming to a stop bullets began to puncture the Nieuport. I jumped out quickly. In fact, I may not have even touched the sides of the cockpit in leaving! There was a shell hole nearby. No surprise. There were about a million shell holes nearby. I dived in and huddled down while bullets thumped into the mud just above my head and covered me with filth. I moved away from the part of the shell hole where I had entered and resolved to find another bit of cover before the shelling could begin. For the next half hour I entertained the Huns by sprinting and rolling from hole to hole. By now some Prussian fiend had fired up a heavy mortar. Mortars are lovely. They don’t whistle like artillery shells. They simply – arrive. And arrive they did. As each one crashed down I sprinted for the next hole. After about two hours of this game I collapsed into the bottom of a crater (the lower side actually – the bottom was a muddy lake with bits of people floating about). I was exhausted from running about with 60 or 70 pounds of mud my clothes. At the same time I was utterly relieved at being back on the ground without a scratch.
I don’t even remember falling asleep. All I know is that I opened my eyes and it was dark and very cold. I clambered to the lip of the crater and tried to figure out which way was home. It was overcast; no stars were visible. Sporadic artillery fire came from both directions so that was no help. From time to time a flare went up bathing the strange landscape in a silvery blue light. Tree stumps and wire stakes stood out black against the light reflecting from the damp earth. About the third or fourth time a flare went up I saw the outline of my Nieuport’s remains some distance off. If it had not been shifted by mortar fire, its nose should be pointed towards our lines. That observation slightly improved my previous 50-50 odds of getting home. And so I began to crawl. It was probably another hour or more before I made out voices ahead of me in the dark. I lay doggo and listened for what language they were speaking. It sounded like English, but I could not make out a single word. I was tired, hungry, and frozen to the bone. Seriously, by this time I didn’t care if I lived or died. Becoming a prisoner was of even lesser consequence. I took a deep breath and shouted for help. After a couple of cries I heard a response. “W’ee’s theer? Coom on, man. Show yersel’.”
I assumed this to be a dialect from some sort of Hunnish hill tribe. I called back that I was a Canadian officer and a downed pilot.
“Wot the fook are ye doin’ theer, man?” came the reply.
This one I understood. It was English, although obviously spoken by a man with a serious facial injury. I called for him not to shoot and told him I was alone. I could hear him calling out and made out the word “Sarn’t,” by which I assume he meant sergeant. I crawled towards the voices, talking the whole while so they knew that I was not trying to sneak up on them. Finally several hands grabbed my shoulders and pulled me headfirst into a trench. In case you’re wondering, this was my introduction to the men of the Border Regiment. They come from northern England and speak a little like Scotsman and a little like Bantus – all this is to say that Borderers below the rank of sergeant major are completely unintelligible. Fortunately I was marched at the tip of a bayonet to a dugout where I met an officer, a captain named Hetherington. He heard my story and poured me a tin mug of War Department rum.
Anyway, Robbie, I spent the night and the following morning enjoying the Borderers’ hospitality until around 10 o’clock when I accompanied a ration party back down the labyrinth of communication trenches to the rear. From there it was two miles farther to a smashed up village where I found a functioning telephone to call the squadron. By that time they had posted me missing and the Recording Officer, Lieutenant Guy, had to make a number of calls so that Mum and Dad did not get a telegram. I had to walk yet another couple of miles to get to a place where the squadron tender could pick me up. Thank goodness I had decided the previous morning to forego my fur lined thigh boots because we were staying at low altitude and it had been a warm day. Those “fug boots” are very uncomfortable to walk in for long distances, especially over uneven ground. I had scarcely eaten since Saturday breakfast at Filescamp and it was now mid afternoon on Sunday. The driver stopped in Béthune so that I could pick up some pastries to eat in the tender.
Now I’m back safe in my Nissen hut and delighted that the rest of the flight got back from the Saturday show in one piece. Looking at the scene of domestic bliss around me – Pope is making tea and Redler is snoring in an armchair with a book in his lap – I am thoroughly content with my decision to transfer to the RFC. One last thing before I go. While I was away we had a visit from Randolph Swanson. In case you haven’t read about him, he is the top scoring ace in the RFC. Only a naval type named Mulberry has bagged more Huns. Swanson is a Yank and has painted his Sopwith white with red, white, and blue trim. There is great speculation in the mess whether the GOC will come down hard on him. Bish is being very War Office about it and thinks he ought to get in trouble but most of the others wish we could dress up our machines like the Huns do.
That’s all for now. Remember my advice for success at school and stop being stupid.
Your loving brother,
#4517703 - 04/23/2001:18 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Major Horn briefed us at 0400 this morning. He would lead A flight. This was the first time I’d seen him on patrol since joining the squadron. Our mission was a balloon hunt near yesterday’s patrol area. Just SW of Riencourt, in fact. Major Horn gave the four of us, Sutton, Charley, Hudson and me, written orders authorizing our use of Buckingham incendiary on the balloon. In addition to the Buckingham, Sgt Atwater, our master armorer, equipped B flight Pups with Le Prieur rockets. The fact that I had never fired these projectiles had not occurred to anyone. I mentioned this to Reg Charley as we walked to our planes.
“Not to worry. Winningstad. Just do what I do. Aim high and when you’re 50 yards out, close your eyes, and think of England. Works every time,” he added, nodding sagely.
0450 hrs. Cold this morning but the sun was out at last. Sutton led us to our usual point near Bapaume then we crossed into Hunland at 6000 ft. Hudson and Charley split off to the right about 1000 yards as Sutton started the attack. I followed him. We were headed right down the long axis of the balloon. When he was still some distance away, Sutton peeled away high to the right leaving me an unobstructed path to the offending gasbag. I opened up with the Vickers 400 yards out and could see tiny specks of orange as the incendiary hit. Remembering Charley’s advice, I waited until the very last minute to launch the rockets. The fireball started with a tremendous WHUMP just as I passed directly over the balloon. Too close! I zoomed away, mildly singed but unharmed.
I’d done it! That’s one Balloon that won’t be calling down artillery on our infantry. Elated, I climbed back to join B flight. Had Sutton’s guns jammed, or had he set me up for the kill?
1315 hrs. Incoming Hun raid. Scramble! Major Horn led B flight as the entire squadron dashed to our waiting Pups. Safely in the air and just forming up when the bombs fell. We chased in circles for 40 minutes, but the bombers were long gone.
Chipilly was a mess. Hangar 1 was gone. Hangars 2 and 3 were heavily damaged. Amazingly, nobody was killed. The few minutes of advance warning had been crucial. Five men were seriously wounded and rushed off to Grovetown CCS. The remaining injuries were minor.
12 April 1917 54 Squadron R.F.C. Chipilly, France
0650 hrs. Back to Brayelles! This time we would be taking some rockets. Brighter day but some low rain clouds to fly through. Ack Ems and ground staff worked much of the night clearing debris.
B flight attacked Brayelles in line astern. All four rocket attacks hit the hangars with no visible damage. In the far corner of the field sat the two-seater, a DFW this time. I made two passes on it but as before, it stubbornly refused to burn. I wonder if they leave that thing out there as decoy.
Flew over Grovetown on the return. Many ambulances and trucks. They were busy. I hope it’s not as bad for Eliza this time.
Landing at Chipilly, everything looked very normal. Too normal. Extraordinary! Ground staff had erected a new hangar on the smoking ruins of old NO. 1 and had repaired hangars 2 and 3. We need to stake them to one hell of a party.
1515 hrs. Patrol behind enemy lines between Monchy le Preux and Riencourt Aerodrome. No e/a sighted. I returned to learn that my balloon claim was denied. Adj was sympathetic. “It happens from time to time. You know you shot it down. Men live today because of that.”
13 April 1917 54 Squadron R.F.C. Chipilly, France
0545 hrs. Offensive patrol. Epinoy Aerodrome to a point on the rail line East of Monchy. This was a much deeper foray into Hunland than our previous patrols.
Crossed the front line at 11,000 ft. Half-way to Epinoy, Strugnell started us down in a long shallow descent. Contact! I followed Charley & Pixley down on an Alb then zoomed up. As I set up for another attack, I saw 2 high shapes 1500’ above. Fat tail, curved wingtips. We’ve danced this tune before; except this time I saw them coming all the way down. Stay fast Oliver! A wide turn to Starboard dodged the bounce. Duck! Nearly a head on firing pass. Can’t be going in opposite directions. Not with 4 Spandaus to 1 Vickers. Some hits, still flying.
After this series of near misses, I reversed my turn and we went round in a wide circle. Ever tighter I spiraled upward, and the Huns followed. When I’d gained enough height, I kicked the Pup over and dropped down, scoring some hits before I climbed back to my perch and resumed spiraling. In my impatience, I made my second attack too early. I broke off and barely evaded the leading Hun as I zoomed up. He fired but missed. Be patient. Nothing rash. Once more, good hits and … here come 2 Pups back into the fight! I continued my upward spiral and the Albs followed once more. Both pups attacked the trailing Hun and he tumbled down. His partner continued to fight so all three of us attacked in succession. I landed a solid burst from 50 yards right into his cockpit. He dove away, and I lost sight of him. It was Pixley and Sutton who’d come back for me. We flew West together, joined by Strugnell.
Charley had followed the first Albatros all the way down and scored a kill. I thought back on the encounter. I’d held formation longer but still lost sight after the first pass. Not knowing where my flight mates were, I was truly fighting alone. I did see the two high Albs that had nearly killed me 5 days ago. Less blind. Still alive. The question remained: how could I stay on a Hun long enough to knock him down…and live to tell the tale?
1400 hrs. Balloon hunt SW of Pronville with Strugnell, Stewart Charley, and Foster. Strugnell fired his rockets and missed. I followed next and, thinking of England, fired at 50 yards. Did any rockets hit? Dammit, I missed. Wait. There’s a flame. Yes! She’s burning. The dirigible exploded and the remnants fell, trailing a long column of black smoke.
A burning, electric sensation ripped the outside of my right thigh; like molten metal running across my skin. I was hit! How badly? I couldn’t tell. The only thing visible was a small exit hole in the sheepskin. Time to go.
I caught up to B flight. Strugnell was giving me a thumbs up sign. He had seen the balloon explode. Lechelle aerodrome was just below. Should I land there? I was probably bleeding but my leg still worked. Home to Chipilly then.
Gingerly, I dismounted A6215. I could still walk. “Corporal Johnson, please inform the Medical Orderly that I will be in his tent in 5 minutes.”
The MO continued his painful cleaning of the wound. I thought of England. It didn’t help. The graze was not particularly deep. I’d been lucky. “It’s not bad sir, but it must be kept clean, else it will fester. We’ll need to swab it and change the dressing 4 times a day.”
I’d be damned before I let a minor flesh wound ground me. Not with the PBI slogging their way through the mud.
I found Strugnell and we headed to the Squadron office. The Adj was on the telephone as we entered. He waved us over.
“Still up you say. One moment.” Covering the mouthpiece, he asked us, “You definitely saw it go down? Wing are saying it’s still up and you got the wrong balloon.”
“It was the only balloon,” said Strugnell “Two miles southwest of Pronville. I attacked first. Winningstad followed me and set the bag on fire. I watched it burn all the way to the ground.”
“Our pilots report a balloon destroyed two miles southwest of… yes, ProNville with an ‘N.’ Sector D-8-d. PrOville, without an ‘N,’ is many miles to the East … that is what I have been attempting to communicate to you for the entirely of this tedious conversation… A fine idea. Please do check with the forward observer in that area. Good day.”
Turning to us he sighed, “I’ll give Wing an hour to recover their senses, then call again. Let’s hope they confirm this one.”
Last edited by epower; 04/23/2002:50 PM.
#4517706 - 04/23/2001:39 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Up around Roulers with 5 a/c on patrol. Came back with 3 a/c +mine shot up and fabric ripped, Ran into 3 V struts high and off to the East. They just tore into us then 2 left and one stayed to fight. I got clawed up,but my wing mate nailed him. saw him limping off for home.
#4517753 - 04/23/2001:35 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: May 2012 Posts: 4,499RAF_Louvert
BOC President; Pilot Extraordinaire; Humble Man
Fullofit - Toby was a busy man yesterday. He must want to get in those last few licks with his Tripe before trading it in on a Strutter. Could have been worse, Chesty's big mouth could have landed him in the cockpit of a Harry Tate. I look forward to seeing how the "Darling of the RNAS" does with the one-and-a-half. Brilliantly, I will wager.
Raine - Very glad to see that McKinnon found his way out of No Man's Land and across to his own side - ripping stuff! No surprise that his brief tour of the mud and the trenches made him appreciate ground life in the RFC all the more. As for Bishop being an enigmatic character, I can think of several other ways to describe him.
Epower - Ripping stuff from your man as well. Tough luck on that denied balloon claim, but that is the way of it I'm afraid. Oliver and his crew were lucky with that attack on their camp, it could have been far worse than it was. And here's hoping his second balloon claim is credited.
Carrick - Nigel lives to fight another day, that's all any of us can really ask for in this madness. That, and a well stocked bar.
23 April 1917 66 Squadron R.F.C. Vert Galand, France
Two sorties today for Captain Swanson and B Flight.
The first outing was a morning chase after a pair of DFWs spotted high over Fienvillers which saw the King's airmen catch them up over Robermont Wood and dispatch both. Swany claimed one while Lieutenant Montgomery was credited with the other.
The second show, after lunch, was over the lines at Monchy-le-Pruex and involved two different gaggles of Albs. It began when four red-nosed blue Albatri pounced on B Flight as they approached the lines. Swany and his men had been in scraps with this lot before and knew they were not to be taken lightly. The fight, which proved quite intense, swirled down and around for several minutes and ended when two of the Albs crashed into the ongoing artillery barrage below. One of the Pups was seen to crash just behind the British trenches where its pilot, 2nd Lieutenant Maurer, escaped from the wreck with only some bumps and bruises. The remainder of both groups went their separate ways at that point, with the two Albs tree-hopping homeward while Swany collected his lads and continued the patrol. Said patrol wrapped up when a group of three more Albs, led by a Hun who had red hearts and small black swastikas adorning his mount, engaged the remaining four Pups. Swany got behind the Boche leader just as he was swinging in on the Captain's wingman, Lt. Corruthers. Swanson let loose with the Vickers and raked the entire side of his target, then watched with satisfaction as the Boche tumbled down out of the fight. The other two Albs seemed to lose their warrior spirit after that and beat a hasty retreat. As all of B Flight was getting woefully low on rounds they too turned and headed home, deciding that discretion was, once again, the better part of valor.
The Captain catches a DFW high over Robermont Wood and trades shots with the Hun G/O. Ultimately Swany kills the pilot and the Boche crashes just south of the trees, but not before the enemy gunner vents the Captain's upper starboard wing.
After a go-round with one of the red-nosed blue Albatri Captain Swanson gets in a deadly volley and follows his victim down, seeing him crash into an ongoing artillery barrage at Monchy.
Swany brushes an Alb from the tail of his wingman and watches the would-be attacker tumbled down out of the fight. This Hun had red hearts and a small swastika painted on his kite.