22 January 1917 RNAS 1 - Johnny Sopwith is escorting two seaters towards home right after they complete their mission. Suddenly, they are attacked from behind by German Roland DIIs. The AI escort flight did exactly what it was supposed to do and broke off to engage the Rolands, giving the two seaters time to escape back home.
Last one for the weekend. We got tasked with shooting up and enemy airfield. The Halbs on the airfield decided to take off and defend the field down on the deck. The down low fighting has never been better.
The end of the brief but glorious career of Johnny Tripehound.
So we get a re-run on the airfield attack. As we close in for the first run, I see a number of Halbs way up above and behind us closing in on our top cover. Great....start my strafe run.
I spot several Halbs on the flight line ready to take off so naturally I start gunning for them. By the time I make my pass and circle back around, the airborne Halbs have descended and are among us. Dogfight right over the enemy airfield.
After some modest marksmanship on my own part, I set one ablaze and he falls from the sky, but when I gaze down at the end of the airfield where the parked Halbs I had strafed a few moments ago were....they were gone. Wonderful, now they are airborne too!
No time to waste, more Habs are closing in and I pick a new target to pursue. For a low level combat, he did an amazing job tossing his crate around in the sky. I actually had some admiration for the Bosch, but it was still my job to do my duty.
In the end, he too would succumb to my gun and crash right into the end of his own airfield. Sometime during that fight, someone crashed right into an enemy building, nearly destroying it and setting it too on fire. The damage to their airfield was mounting!
I look up from my latest victim and what do I see high above me but a pair of Rolands coming in for a landing. With them descending and the natural climb of my triphound, it wasn't long before I was closing in on the trailing ones tail and sending tracers into his fuselage.
The rear gunner immediately went into action returning fire. As I closed the distance until I could see that he had blue eyes, my peppering spray of fire appeared to take its toll as the craft pitched down hard just as I veered off. It was only then did I see his rear gunner found his mark and I was trailing smoke!
Worse, the hun recovered at low altitude and seemed to be flying away. I have no idea if he went down as I lost track of him soon after. Why? Because a Halb DII was zooming in at me at full speed and firing away. We missed each other by a matter of inches, narrowly avoiding a deadly mid-air collision.
With smoke still trailing my craft, I should have broken off and headed for home. My fear was that the enemy pilots, seeing me break off and trailing smoke would chase after and make quick work of me before I could get anywhere near to my own lines. I had to duke it out.
Still just a few hundred feet above the enemy airfield, I was able to lay in a long burst into his engine and fuel tank. The withering fire finally had its effect and flames licked both sides of his fuselage and poured out his cockpit. At least he didn't have far to fall before his suffering was all over.
He too burst into a ball of fire, falling like a meteor from the sky just before impact, once again right into the end of the enemy airfield! Smoke plumes were billowing up from several sites but I could see the air battle was still raging on just above the far side of the field.
At least 2 or 3 more Halbs were angrily buzzing around and firing menacingly at my squadron members. I picked another target and turned in behind him to fight, my snake-like tail of long dark smoke twisting behind me.
Just a few hard rounds into his engine was enough to set him ablaze and he fell flat from the sky. I didn't see where he crashed but it too must have been near the airfield itself if not, once again right in it. It was just then that my own engine conked out!
As my propeller wound to a halt and my glide speed slowed low over the enemy field, I had to make a hard right turn to try and land on the enemy field rather than risk crashing into the forest surround it. Even as I did so, enemy tracers zipped past my head and plane, barely missing me.
It sounded like a rear gunner from one of the two seaters but I never saw who it was. My full concentration was on trying to land without crashing given my incredibly low airspeed. With several columns of smoke billowing upward to both my left and right, I managed to bring her in for a landing and stop right next to the destroyed building.
The Huns ran out and surrounded Johnny immediately and he surrendered without any further fight. Given all the damage he had caused, the Germans kept a close eye on him and made sure he never escaped. He remained a POW until the end of the war. A sad but glorious end to his brief career!
The only really bad thing was I was getting some micro stutters that I had never gotten before in BHaH II. Well #%&*$# it if I hadn't forgot to shut down some background tasks before launching WOFF and they were the culprit. They weren't too bad at first but at the very end as I was trying to glide it, the gunfire of the enemy aircraft turned it into a slideshow for a couple of seconds. I was so mad I had made such a dumb mistake but it was truly a glorious airfield mission. THE BEST AIRFIELD MISSION I EVER HAD. THANKS OBD. THIS SIM IS BEYOND AMAZING!!!
Just as we show over the target for a balloon attack, a flight of Spads breaks through the clouds and dives into us. Man I love BHaH II. The mission and combat experiences have never felt richer or more immersive.