Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)

Posted By: Raine

Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 11/19/18 02:16 PM

Deep Immersion DiD Campaign -- Player Instructions

(With thanks for the inspiration to Olham and CatKnight, creators of our previous DiD campaigns)

The coming of war seemed an invitation to adventure, glory, honours. Or perhaps it was an escape from the slum, from the farm, from unemployment, or simply from boredom. By late 1915, however, war had become an all-devouring beast that made cripples of men and widows of women. Casualty lists spilled over the pages of the daily newspapers. Bombs tore up parks and tenements. Chlorine and phosgene clouds spread their greenish tentacles over the land. Trenches were dug deeper. And always there was the hammer of the guns.

Still, there was another kind of war being fought high above the mud. It was a war where death seldom came from chance shell fired from miles away, where skill and courage made a difference. Up there, you could see your enemy. Better yet, at day's end there was a real bed and hot food. So for you, it is time to ignore the fellows who swear they’d never be caught in one of those damned flying machines. Forget your mates talking about falling in flames. Those things happen to others.


The Deep Immersion Campaign is a chance to follow your pilot day by day through the war and share his story with the rest of the WOFF community. It is a DiD (dead is dead) campaign, meaning that if your man is killed you will have to start again with another pilot. If you’re using Robert Wiggins’s splendid “User Files Backup Program, you may revive your pilot only if you lose him to an accident not related to flying in the sim (e.g. a home emergency pulls you from the sim without properly pausing, a power failure occurs when you are over enemy lines, the cat eats your joystick cable while you are flying, etc.).

The hand of fate

The campaign moderator (CM) will play the role of Fate and will, in accordance with historical plausibility:

• assign each player to an operational squadron;
• initiate transfers;
• award medals, which will be conferred by RAF_Louvert (AKA “The Gong Fairy”) in the campaign thread; and
• initiate long leaves, such as home leave, transfer to training units, etc.

The campaign moderator (CM) will do his best to be fair and balance any bad luck with good, so that you won’t always be flying an inferior aircraft. But, as would happen in real life, you might not always be flying your favourite machine and you're sure to have new experiences in WOFF. The Deep Immersion Campaign may see you fly in machines you’ve never spent much time in before, or in unfamiliar sectors of the front.

Enlistment date:

You may fly training missions starting on 1 December 2018 (which in the campaign will be 1 December 1915). Your training missions will use the Quick Combat “free flight” feature and must be flown in accordance with the instructions below.

The operational phase of the campaign will begin on or after 1 January 2019, which in game terms will be 1 January 1916. From that point on, your 2019 dates will equate to the same date in 1916, and so on until war’s end. If you fall behind due to real life pressures, you may fly additional missions to catch up, but please try not to get too far out of sync. If you need to take some time off, please send a message to the CM and we'll invent a story for your narrative to explain your absence

Enlistment name:

Each pilot is to be given a first, middle, and last name. To avoid repeating the same old names as our previous campaigns, your first pilot’s MIDDLE name should begin with A, your second pilot’s MIDDLE name with B, and so forth.

You may fly one pilot at a time, and when he’s dead he stays dead. You may begin a new career with a new pilot on the following day. As a option, you may wish your new pilot to be the same nationality as the pilot who shot you down.

Enlistment ranks:

Use manual enlistment and choose your pilot’s name, nationality, birth date, place of birth, and the assigned squadron for operational deployment.

If you wish to start as an NCO pilot (common for Germany and France, less common for the UK, start as

German Luftstreitkraefte: Feldwebel
German Kaiserliche Marine: Flugmeister
France: Sergeant
RFC: Sergeant

If you wish to start as an officer, choose the above NCO rank in-game, but in your accounts give yourself junior officer or senior warrant officer rank until promoted in-game, for example:

German Luftstreitkraefte: In game, start as a Feldwebel, but in your written accounts you will remain an Offizierstellvertreter until promoted Leutnant.
German Kaiserliche Marine: In game, start as a Flugmeister, but in your written accounts you will remain Oberflugmeister until promoted Leutnant zur See.
France: In game, start as a Sergeant, but in your written accounts you will remain Sous Lieutenant until promoted Lieutenant.
RFC: In game, start as a Sergeant, but in your written accounts you will remain a 2/Lieutenant until promoted Lieutenant.
RNAS: In both game and accounts, start as a Flight Sub-Lieutenant.

American enlistment:

Americans may enrol into the French Aviation Militaire (fresh from the Foreign Legion) or into the RFC or RNAS (enrolment in Canada – at risk of loss of citizenship due to taking a loyal oath to the Crown). Transfer to the USAS will be an option in early 1918.

Your first posting:

To start the campaign, send a PM to Raine, preferably on or before 24 November 2018, with the name and nationality of your new pilot and a brief biographical sketch. State whether you would like to fly training missions in December or begin your campaign with a posting to the front in January. Also indicate whether you will begin your career as an NCO or junior officer.

Your training missions in December will simulate the final stage of training, when you will begin to fly an operational type.

The CM will send you by return PM details of you first posting, including the aerodrome and aircraft on which you will complete your training missions, your first operational (i.e. non-training) squadron, and your starting rank.

The CM will assign your first pilot to fly two-seaters. Expect that your first assignment will last a while, as quick transfers to single-seat units are not historical.

Later pilots may find that their first squadron is a single-seat unit, especially later in the war, but that’s up to fate (in this case, the CM).

If you are flying training missions...

1. Set your enlistment date for your operational squadron as 1 December 1915.

2. In the Workshop, under “More Settings,” ensure that “Log” is set to “All” and that “Campaign Date Advance” is set to “Manual / Auto.”

3. Let your campaign load and you will see your squadron details for 1 December 1915, or on the first day of flyable weather after it (December 1915 was a very wet month). Go to the Briefing Room to get a campaign mission, but DO NOT FLY THIS MISSION, as it will be an operational mission at the front and you still need to earn your wings. Instead, exit the Campaign screen and go to Quick Combat.

4. In Quick Combat, set the parameters to “Free Flight,” and set the region to your assigned training region (e.g. England, Germany), and set the field to your assigned training aerodrome (e.g. Netheravon, if that is where the CM told you to train). Ensure your initial altitude is set to “Field” so you take off from the ground rather than start in the air. Be sure you choose the assigned type of aircraft for your training flight.

5. In Quick Combat, fly one mission per day if you have overcast conditions, two per day in sunny weather. After the last flight of the day, exit Quick Combat and return to the Campaign screen.

6. In the Campaign screen, find the button reading “T+” and advance the time to the next day. The Campaign will then advance to the next day. Go to briefing room and generate the next campaign mission. Unless flights are cancelled due to weather, it will generate a mission on the next flyable day. DO NOT FLY THIS OPERATIONAL MISSION. Instead, return to Quick Combat and set up your next training mission from your training field. Continue until you have completed all your training missions and have a minimum of 15 hours of flight time. At that time you may deploy to the front, but may not fly from your new squadron until 1 January 1916.

Training missions

(Credit to OldHat and RAF_Louvert for the inspiration here)

Your training will be complete when you have completed the following:

1. TWO missions involving takeoff, climb to 1000 ft / 300 m, and land on your airfield five times. Ensure you leave your engine on when landing. If you damage your machine, you may not fly until the following day.

2. One mission involving a circuit below 3300 ft / 1000 m for 15 minutes within sight of the aerodrome. Do not turn off your engine. Then take off again and fly a circuit for at least 1 to 2 hours a bit farther away but still within sight of the aerodrome and below 6600 ft. / 2000 m.

3. One mission in which you climb to 10000 ft / 3000 m and remain there for at least an hour. Stay within sight of your aerodrome.

4. One mission in which you fly for an hour before landing somewhere other than an aerodrome. Do not turn off your engine and fly back to your aerodrome. Taxi back to your hangar.

5. TWO missions in which you take off and climb to 6600 ft / 2000 m. Cut your engine and glide down to you aerodrome, landing within 50 ft of a selected location.

6. TWO missions in which you practice aerobatics: slips, loops, and spins.

7. One cross-country flight to another airfield about an hour away. Land, keeping the engine on. Then take off and fly home.

8. Same as (7) above, but at night.

9. TWO flights practising strafing and / or bombing a ground target. RAF_Louvert has included ground targets for training at Catterick and Thetford for RFC pilots, so this will include a cross-country flight. RNAS, German, and French pilots should practice on an isolated farm house near the home training airfield.

10. Deploy to the front after 25 December but not fly from your new squadron until 1 January 2019 / 1916.

NOTE: You may prefer to make custom missions using OldHat’s instructions here: Old Hat Missions

Alternatively, you may wish to create these missions using JJJ’s mission builder.

Or Luddites like me can simply fly then in Quick Combat.

Deployment to the front

RFC pilots will deploy from their assigned training airfield in England to St-Omer. RNAS pilots will deploy from their assigned training airfield in England to St-Pol-sur-Mer. They will be deemed to transfer from St-Omer / St-Pol to their squadron by tender before 1 January.

French pilots will complete their training near Paris at La Réserve Générale de l’Aviation at Le Bourget and will deploy in their operational aircraft directly to their squadron on or after 1 January 1916.

German pilots may ferry an operational type to their squadron, or may simply “take the train” there on or after 1 January 1916.

In-game aids

While flying “full real” is preferred, you may use the following three aids if you must.

1. TAC. If used, TAC must be set for surface units only. May not be set for balloons or aircraft or all,

2. F5, and

3. Cntl Z.

Workshop Settings

Campaign date advance: Manual
Weather: Historical
Wind: On
Rain / Snow: On
Campaign Mission Frequency: Historical
Log: Campaign Only
AI Never Backs Down: Off
AI Enhanced Skill Levels: Off
AI Reduced Vision: On
AI Damage Affects Skill: On
Unlimited Fuel and Ammo: Off
Player Flight Position: By Rank
Player Flight Altitude: Historical
Encounters: Realistic
Mission Frequency: Historical
Transfer: Subject to Review
Flight Model: Realistic
Claims: Normal
Promotions: Normal
Outcomes: Normal
Main Guns: Less Accurate
Rear Guns: Less Accurate
Player Guns: Normal
Gun Jams: On
Ground Gun Accuracy: Normal
Invincible: Off
Random Craft Failure: On
Target Range: Historical

Dot Visibility

Fly with labels set to “dots only.” You may briefly go to “Information” labels to check the name of a witness when you down an enemy machine, but must return to dots only afterwards.
In Workshop, set the distance at which dots are visible as follows. This will simulate gradual gain of air vision:

• 3400 m until > 25 hours flown in combat
• 4000 m until > 50 hours flown in combat
• 5000 m for 50+ hours flown in combat.

Familiarisation flights

Once at your squadron let the WOFF Campaign Manager schedule you a mission but ignore the directions. Instead, complete two circuits around your home airfield and land. Set all other aircraft in the flight to 5% fuel so you will fly alone.

On your next mission less the WOFF Campaign Manager schedule you a mission, but ignore the directions. Fly to the front and back. Again, if hostile aircraft attempt to engage, disengage and RTB.

On your third and following flights from your home field, follow mission instructions.

Squadron transfers

After 35 hours (including transfer and familiarisation flights) you may, but are not required to, request a transfer to another squadron. Do this by sending a PM to the CM (Raine), detailing your total hours and specifying the desired squadron. The CM will either deny the request (in which case you must wait for 10 more hours of flight time), approve the request, or demand that you transfer to another squadron that you will be assigned.

Once your request is approved, you may request the transfer in-game. Because transfers are set to “Subject to Review” in the Workshop, the game may still refuse your request. Sorry, but higher command sucks...

Once in a new squadron, you may ask for additional transfers, but the longer you wait, the more likely the CM will be to approve the request.

There may come a time (especially if you're playing the French) when your squadron becomes unplayable due to lack of useable aircraft. If that happens, you have three options:

1. Emergency transfer: Your pilot sits for a week (7 days). After that, you may restart him in a new career with any squadron from his country. You'll need to manually track the pilot's combined record.

2. Wait: If this is a problem that will eventually correct itself (such as a squadron switching to a different plane), you can choose to wait it out. Your pilot will simply be inactive until he can play again.

3. Retire: You can retire the character and start a new one.

Long transfers

The CM may assign a pilot to a period away from the front for a period of time. You can also request a break like this if you're going through a busy time in the real world. As CM, I'll simply assign an explanatory story, which you can work into your written accounts. RFC pilots should expect a required period on Home Defence or instructor's duties every few months. I'll PM any special instructions when this happens. If you hate this idea, PM me and we'll work something out.

Flight reports

The essence of the Deep Immersion campaign will be the flight reports. Ideally, we’ll get to know your pilot and read the “ripping good yarns” you will write about him. Please try to breathe life into your character and give us an idea of who he really is. We’ll do our best to keep it historically accurate.

Campaign moderator and flight reports

From time to time, the CM may PM players with plot suggestions, interesting facts, or other ideas for your narratives. You are free to ignore these or use them as you choose. The intent is to add to the unpredictability of the campaign.

Because the game award system is not tremendously historic, the CM will PM players with announcements of awards at appropriate moments.

RAF_Louvert will play higher command. The CM will send him a message recommending a decoration, and he will have to approve before it’s final. At that point, RAF_Louvert will post his wonderful investiture photos and medal art and you may then mention the award in your written accounts.

Pilot stats and information

RAF_Louvert will periodically post a chart (such as the one shown on page 2 of this thread) showing the stats for our pilots.

UPDATE Additional rules (Thanks to Fullofit for the ideas)

Regional air activity - set to medium
Historical mission types - On
Gun sight view F6 is allowed.
Let WOFF assign the number of missions per day. There is no campaign limit.
There is no limit on the number of confirmed victories in a day. There were caps in the former campaigns, but recent versions of UE with historical claims settings are tough enough.
External view not allowed if you have a head tracking system.
The target balloon in a balloon busting mission is the only allowable balloon claim.

Good luck to all!

Posted By: Dark_Canuck

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions - 11/19/18 04:38 PM

2Lt Cecil Anthony Melchett is very excited to have received his orders. Time to get out of the mud and into the skies!
Posted By: dutch

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions - 11/19/18 06:24 PM

To be clear what about mods, which are allowed?
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions - 11/20/18 02:10 AM


I haven't made any rules about mods, but the idea of this campaign is to be as historically accurate as possible. So mods that focus on adding historic details or ground textures, like Lou and Robert Wiggins's airfields or Olham's rivers mod or Buckeye Bob's cloud mods would be fine. So would JJJ's realistic tracer effects mod be okay, as long as you don't introduce tracer too early (From late 1915 on RNAS Home Defence, April 1916 in general RFC use, and mid 1916 in French and German use, although I am open to correction on this). Mods that don't affect combat like the news mods or ArisFuser's historical aces mod are fine, too. I think the bombsight mods are okay, as would be Robert Wiggin's UI mod.

If your eyesight is going, we'll look the other way if you increase dot size.

I think we should avoid FM mods, though.
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions - 11/20/18 03:04 AM

I should have my computer working well by then so put me down For : Nigel Archibald Notting, Sgt , Rfc. A former shoe cobbler from Essex and Bicycle Tinker.
Posted By: Ace_Pilto

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions - 11/20/18 10:55 AM

Well the last DiD guy I did was German so sign me up for the RFC. I'll be 2Lt Percival "Drongo" Drummond. An Australian flying for the RFC who used to work in a bank. Let's say he loathed working in a bank so much that he took a revolver to work one day, shot the clock off the wall and announced to the stunned staff "Bugger this for a joke, I quit". He then spent his accumulated savings on passage to England and flying lessons. He's 23 years old, hot tempered and fond of a little tipple every now and then.

(Any WW2 scholars here might recognise part of his back story / character from an actual historical figure)
Posted By: Polovski

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions - 11/20/18 12:18 PM

Do you want this thread stickied Raine?
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions - 11/20/18 12:54 PM


That would be appreciated. Thanks!
Posted By: HarryH

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions - 11/20/18 08:35 PM

Nice one Raine! I've been away from WOFF for sometime and was just thinking about making a return... this will be perfect, thank you! PM to follow..

Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions - 11/20/18 09:34 PM

I'm in! Pilot profile PM'd.

This will be a great way to spend hours on those cold winter days when I don't feel like venturing out of the house.
Posted By: CW3SF

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions - 11/20/18 10:50 PM

Very complex for an old Geezers of 81. I will do my best!
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions - 11/20/18 10:52 PM

I would not miss this for anything! Really looking forward to it. Pilot has been sent up the channels to see where he will live his short life.
Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions - 11/23/18 11:42 PM

Looking forwards to it...will PM when I get the chance wink

Edit: May be the 25th when I get the news sent...been a bit busy in that silly thing called the 'real world' lately...
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions - 11/24/18 02:46 PM

Don't worry, Wulfe! I may get only one day at my WOFF computer between now and 17 December!
Posted By: loftyc

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions - 11/25/18 02:40 PM

Thanks to all for stting this up. of course, I already missed on the directions, although minor: Raine, I forgot to note in the PM that Karl Arnt Loftus will definitely be doing training. He'll need it.
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 11/29/18 03:15 AM

Well, guys, let's get this show on the road...

An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins

Part One: In which I am born, do very little of note, and learn to fly.

I suppose that when one writes a memoir one starts at the beginning. I was cjavascript: void(0)hristened James Arthur Collins, born in the summer of 1896 to Agnes and Frank Collins of Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

My parents were born in Stanmore, just outside London, where they were childhood sweethearts. Dad saw the army as the quickest way to earn enough to marry Mummy. He served with the 60th Rifles in Zululand and was promoted sergeant. He returned home in 1886, married my mother, left her with child, and headed for Canada to join the North-West Mounted Police. Soon he was writing home with thrilling stories of new communities springing up on the Canadian Prairies and occasional adventures controlling American whiskey traders. Mummy moved in with her parents in nearby Bushey and raised my sister Dorothy.

Father sent for my mother in 1889 and they set up home on a farm outside of Regina, Saskatchewan. Regina was then, and still is, a little bit of bugger all surrounded by a whole lot of bugger all.

I was born there in June 1896 but remember nothing of it. In early 1897, Dad quit the Mounted Police and left for the Yukon, where gold had been discovered. Mummy announced she was putting the farm up for sale and moving east to stay with a cousin in Ontario. If Dad wasn’t home by the end of 1898, she said, she would return to England and civilisation.

Arriving in the Klondike, Dad quickly realized that prospecting for gold was one of the least likely ways to make a fortune in the north. Fortune intervened when he met a Dominion land surveyor named Bill Ogilvie, who was verifying the miners’ staked claims. Ogilvie mentioned that when the claims were corrected, many small fractions were orphaned. Dad began buying up the fractional claims. Then he began buying up bench claims – land up the slopes from the stream beds. As new prospectors arrived in the area to find all the good sites already claimed, Dad sold them shares. The miners did the real work and split the proceeds with Frank Collins. Enough of them found gold to make Dad very comfortable. Meanwhile, Dad befriended a Scot named Angus McCready who had set up a small distilling operation. Father bought him out, and within a year Collins Yukon Gold Whiskey was a well-known name.

My father returned from the North just in time to prevent Mummy from leaving Canada. We settled back east in Kingston, Ontario, where we acquired a fine, stately home with a view of Lake Ontario, close by Queen’s College. Dad set up Collins distillery just outside town and hired Angus McCready to run it. My parents at last enjoyed a good life. Mother revelled in friendships with college professors and their wives while Father dabbled in Tory politics. I remember many elegant parties at the old house.

As a boy I took a great interest in things mechanical, building iceboats to race on the frozen lake in winter and tinkering with motorcycles in the summer. School was quite another thing. I took little interest in studies, which caused Mummy to fret that I would be of little use to anyone other than the army. That suited me fine.

We didn’t see many aircraft in Kingston, but after reading about McCurdy and Baldwin’s flights, I read anything I could get my hands on about aviation. In June 1910, Dad let me accompany him on a business trip to Montreal and we got to attend the Montreal Aviation Meet, where I saw the Wrights and Compte de Lessep put their machines through their paces. From that point on, I knew what I wanted to do.

[Linked Image]
Compte de Lessep at the Montreal Aviation Meet, 1910

In August of 1914 the world went mad. With Germany’s declaration of war, the entire Empire rushed to arms. As an eighteen-year-old, there was no question that I should go, too. I could see how it pained my mother, but my father’s only question was whether I should volunteer in Canada or head back to the “old country” to join the real army. The idea of joining the Flying Corps had been in my head for some time when I confided it to my father. His response was “Don’t tell your mother,” but he made inquiries and told me that it was possible to apply for the RFC without going to England, but it was first necessary to obtain one’s Aero Club of America licence. This could be through the Curtiss School in Hammondsport, New York. He gave me the four hundred American dollars I needed and promised to cover my room and board until I was taken on strength. And so the adventure began.

Or so I thought. On 14 November 1914, my father suffered a heart attack and died. Dorothy and I thought we would lose Mummy too. It was as if the world had ended for her. Until then I had never understood that these two people, my parents, lived very separate lives but were bound so very tightly together. My mother announced at Christmas that she would sell the big house in Kingston and move back to England. Father had left her very well off. In his will he stipulated that I should inherit the distillery and pay dividends into trusts for my mother and sister. He also set me up with enough to be quite comfortable.

So instead of heading to New York, I apprenticed at “my” distillery under Mr. McCready. It was a fascinating job, I discovered. Besides the craft of distilling, I engaged the comptroller, a Mr. Carson, to teach me the financial side of the business. I soon regretted my lack of interest in school work. The newspapers were full of talk of prohibition, and I worried that if I remained attached to the business I would lose my chance to fly for the Empire only to have the business shut down by the government. I directed Mr. McCready to work with Mr. Carson to prepare a plan to move the business to Quebec in the event of prohibition in Ontario. French Canada wisely looked down on temperance as a Calvinist (or worse, Methodist) plot.

In May 1915, Dorothy and Mummy headed to England, leaving me feeling very alone. I needed to get away from Kingston myself. Curtiss, I learned, had opened a new flying school in Toronto. I sent them a telegram and received an acceptance to the school by return wire. At the end of July, leaving the business in McCready’s capable hands, I boarded a train for Toronto…

[Linked Image]
Curtiss Flying School, Long Branch, Ontario

Attached picture Montreal aviation meet.jpg
Attached picture Curtiss Long Branch.jpg
Posted By: Ace_Pilto

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 11/29/18 08:23 AM

You've set the bar pretty high Raine!
Posted By: Maeran

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 11/29/18 09:37 AM

And so it begins. A characteristically good start Raine.

I'm still doing my homework as it were. But since it isn't December quite yet, I think I'm alright.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 11/29/18 06:46 PM

Raine, great to see you start the ball rolling. James hasn’t done anything yet and it is already an exciting read. What is he distilling? Not gin, I hope?
I’m waiting for Dec. 1 - the official first day of school.
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 11/29/18 08:07 PM

Great start Raine! James already seems quite 'real', thanks to your clever imagination and attention to detail.

I will jump in soon ...
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 11/30/18 12:26 PM


Brilliant Raine, absolutely brilliant!

Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 11/30/18 12:32 PM


Here is a clip from the most recent copy of the 1915 Roseau County Times that tells a bit about my pilot.

[Linked Image]

Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 11/30/18 01:27 PM

Brilliant! Love the newspaper format. Hope I can get a better copy of the rag next time. My eyes are going and this issue, pulled out of the trash and used as a blanket to spend the night under the bridge, isn’t doing me any favours. Great idea Lou.
Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/01/18 04:32 PM

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell

1: Hounslow Heath.

And by some bizarre twist of fate, here I was, about to make my first solo flight! Cpt. Andrews stood beside the B.E.2c, leaning over into my cockpit and pointing to the magneto switches. "Now, Campbell, remember! If the prop doesn't go, switch off!". I nodded in acknowledgement, but the stocky Captain needn't waste his breath. During my time at Oxford, for my pilot's classroom instruction, I had sunk my teeth into every scrap of information, procedure, and piece of knowledge that was thrown before me. I shot a glance to the weary-looking mechanic standing at the nose of my B.E.; his face was gaunt, and weary-looking, I supposed from dealing with the risks of swinging beginner pilots' props all day. Although, fortunately, I hadn't seen it, I had heard from one of my fellow rookies, one Lt. Doyle Weston, that just one week before my arrival some overexcited green pilot had forgot to switch off, and a mechanic had been killed when he failed to get out of the way of the propeller. How brutal!

But, I am getting off-track. By any means, now was not the time to dwell on such things! I had my instruction from Andrews to consider - 5 take-offs, 5 landings. Climb to 1,000 feet in between. I was nervous, but quite confident, although the idea of the landings put the wind up me a little! I had been amazed, when ferried up into the clouds by Andrews on my second day, just how precise and focused he was when coming back in to land. Suddenly I was snapped out of my daydreaming by a sharp pat on the back from Andrews, whom I only now realised had been instructing me all throughout my haze. "Got all of that, Campbell?" he boomed, and, in fear of losing my chance at a first flight, I meekly nodded. "Yes, sir". The Captain looked at me warily, then turned to the mechanic and nodded. Obligingly came the mechanic's voice; "Switch Off". I echoed him, and slowly he begun to wind the propeller counter-clockwise. With his hands raised above his head, gripping one propeller blade, the mechanic gave his next instruction, this time much louder. "Switch on!". I flipped the magnetos up, and turned back. "Switch on!" I responded, and the mechanic briefly exhaled, before shouting "Contact!" and bringing the propeller down with force. The engine of the B.E.2 roared to life, and I couldn't help but grin as I felt the machine vibrating all around me. This was it!

I pushed the throttle full forwards, and in response the B.E. lurched forwards, gaining speed with each second. Suddenly the harsh sounds and vibrations of the wheels and tail skid ceased, and I looked down to see the ground growing smaller beneath me. I was flying, all by myself! Elated, I gently banked to the left, and climbed to the North, looking down at the old Hounslow Barracks and waving like a fool. I was not even sure that there was anybody down there to wave back! Before I knew it, I was at 1,000 ft, and so I completed my half-circuit around the aerodrome and came back in to land from the East. I felt a surge of fear as the ground rushed up to welcome me back, but I mastered myself and kept control of the B.E, touching down smoothly. As I taxied back to the starting position, Cpt. Andrews gave me a wave, and a thumbs-up, which made me feel quite pleased with myself, and then, having gotten back into position, took off again.

This time I was up a little quicker, as I remembered to lift the tail-skid off the ground, and so I continued West this time, looking down at the landscape below with interest. A fleet of trucks had snaked its way out of the Barracks, and I now flew above and alongside them, keeping myself entertained by switching from their left side over to their right, and vice versa. They turned off towards London, and I felt cocky enough to wag my wings in farewell, before turning around for my second landing.

On my third flight, I went South. Looking towards the still-rising sun, I was surprised to see a small cluster of tethered kite balloons, hanging like great livestock grazing on the clouds. The eerie, silent masses were a disconcerting reminder that my country had been at war for the past two years. However, as I was feeling very good about myself, just having made my first two solos, this only spurred me on. Let me get over to France, I thought, let me have a crack at the Hun! If I'd only known then what an unhealthy outlook this was for a B.E. pilot! Regardless, I thought just that, as I completed my third circuit.

Westwards for the fourth flight - a direction I was to become all-too-familiar with in the future. But, again, I merely enjoyed the sheer elation that, at that point, flying held for me, before touching down again and embarking for my 5th trip around Hounslow Heath. I had taken my first step towards becoming an air fighter, but the war was yet to come for me. As I climbed out of the cockpit of the B.E., Andrews sauntered up to me. "Good work, Campbell. Your third landing was too fast, but the rest seemed good. You'll be doing the same tomorrow, at 8 AM. That's all!". Buzzing from the experience, I thanked him and walked towards the mess, removing my flying gear. Only when I saw myself in the reflection of the mess' windows did I realise that my face was black with exhaust fumes and castor oil stains!

Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/01/18 05:43 PM

1 December, 1915
Réserve Générale de 'l'Aviation, Le Bourget/ Dugny

[Linked Image]

- “Suivant! Next!” - The sound came from a very lean man sitting behind a large desk littered with papers, applications and other important looking documents. The man with the surprisingly strong voice was finishing signing another pile of documents and without raising his eyes addressed the man who had just approached his desk as instructed.
- “Et Vous-etes qui, Monsieur?” The lean man reached for another piece of paper and stamped it as if it were a roach about to get away.
- [Who am I?] The man standing in front of the desk reflected upon this straightforward question. [Who am I? I’m a simple man - I like to eat and I like to drink. I’m a baker from Marseille. Born in Avignon but moved to the seaside and settled there. Why there? Because of Violette. Ah, Violette! The loveliest creature under the sun and my wife I might add. I met her there in the summer of 1907, courted her and married her there. It wasn’t easy with her Papa expecting her to marry someone less ... uncouth, but that’s a different story for another time. I am a father to 2 girls - the 6 year old Bernadette and 3 year old Giselle. I love all my 3 girls to death and I can’t wait to see them again soon. The little one is growing up without her father because of this damned war. I am also a soldier. When the mobilization started in 1914 I was recalled to active duty and joined my old unit under the 2e Armee commanded by General de Castelnau. Our orders were to invade Alsace and Lorraine, encircle le Boche, cut them off and win the war, all in one fell swoop. The operation was part of the foolproof Plan XVII, except no one expected the Germans to anticipate this maneuver. It all went to hell and our unit, along with many others, was decimated by the well positioned enemy machine guns and field artillery. German spies had it all figured out long before we set foot on the battlefield. The rest is just a collection of still images of explosions, mutilated and dead bodies, barbed wire and blood. And the smell, the smell of rotting corpses. People, horses, dogs. I was the lucky one. The shell explosion shattered my tibia and fibula. They were going to amputate, but from what I’ve heard someone decided to put them back together and see what happens. It took 6 months to recover and I have a noticeable limp, but I can walk on my own. Thanks to the brilliant yet unknown surgeon. I never found out his name to thank him properly. So, out of the hospital and to a new assignment - kitchen duty in Verdun sector. I did not like that one bit. I was ready to desert after 2 months. Thank God for Violette and her gossiping neighbour - old widow Ponsardin, who learned that there was a great need for pilots and they would accept just about anyone who wanted to learn to fly. That was my ticket out and I sent my application the next day. It took a while and involved an unfortunate incident with the examining doctor in Paris. Dr. Jean Camus’ selection process involved firing a gun behind the unsuspecting test subjects and observing their reaction. If the subject remained calm, he would be accepted. If he flinched, well ... it wouldn’t be the desired result. The poor doctor didn’t count on my reaction to his experiment. My revolver never leaves my side, even during medical examinations. When I heard the gun go off I automatically pulled my MAS 1873 out and aimed it at whoever fired. The doctor fainted at the sight of a barrel aimed at his head. It took half an hour to calm him down and fill out my acceptance form. "Excellent sight and robust constitution" he wrote. "Just needs to lose some weight." I suppose everyone needs a hobby. I was off to Pau within a week for my basic training. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face after my first run in Bleriot Pingouin. It was the best “automobile” ride ever! Then it was off to Le Crotoy for intermediate training at Caudron factory and training facility and finally here at RGA, just outside of Paris for the final training on the twin-engined G4’s. So who am I? I am a pilot. That is who I am!]
- “I’m Sergeant Gaston Voscadeaux. Reporting for pilot training!”
- “Ah! Another l’aviateur. Bienvenue!”

[Linked Image]

Attached picture Bourget.jpg
Attached picture Gaston A Voscadeaux.JPG
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/02/18 01:16 AM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, Black Watch
192nd Infantry Brigade
64th Inf Div ( Home Defense )

1 Dec 1915.

Last Day Walking as an Infantry man. I have been posted to Catterwick for Advanced Flight Training. B ' out time too, sense I paid for my own Flying papers on me own time. Final flights were last week, mine in a box type that barley got up to 100 feet
Sadly, We lost one trainee when he crashed. Now I know why all payments were as U go or in advance of take off.

Attached picture RAF_Bleriot  Trainer.jpg
Attached picture crashedplanein1915    In a Tree.jpg
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/02/18 11:03 AM


Wonderful reading with my morning coffee! Nice to meet Graham, Gaston, and Nigel, I wish them luck and hope we will see them in our ranks for a long time to come. Great photos by the way. And Fullofit, I much appreciate the wider, historical context brought into your background story.

To my fellow: 2nd Lt. Randolph Arvid "Swany" Swanson arrived late yesterday afternoon at Netheravon for his final training. He had time to unpack and get set up in his new digs before the evening meal where he met the rest of the soon-to-be combat pilots. After dinner he went for a walk into town but had to cut it short due to a heavy rain that settled in. No flying for him today because of the weather, so instead he will practice his French in preparation for his visit to the other side of the Channel. Later perhaps he will stop by the maintenance hangars with hopes of getting his hands dirty on some bit of mechanism or another.

Keep the stories coming folks, they are most enjoyable.

Cheers, and à votre santé !
Posted By: loftyc

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/02/18 01:32 PM

Guten Morgen alles, Feldwebel Lofthoven reporting. I had a terrible head injury last year, and have only recently been cleared to fly again. I have now reported to Lindenthal for retraining. This morning had a light rain that kept the other trainees in bed, but I saw it as a great opportunity to take advantage of an available plane. My "Emil" (or is he "Fritz?") Hauptmann Lubcke agreed, and we went up for the first time. I understand why the manual warns to have an observer present, as even with the Hauptman up front, this Aviatik BII is extremely tail heavy and needed considerable forward pressure to keep her nose down and not stall. Surely that much out of trim is a design flaw? Anyhow, we did 5 touch-and-gos to get the feel of her. I had hoped to get a better view of the surrounding area, but the rain prevented that, as we wanted to remain in sight of the field. Ach, plenty of touring time later. It seems we'll also need to make up our own area maps, as Command hasn't seen fit to provide us with any. Perhaps tomorrow?
Posted By: CW3SF

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/02/18 03:22 PM

I can not do this! It has been over 2 years since the last one, so I guess I will just wait for the next one that is air to air combat.

You all have fun, and I will see you later.
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/02/18 09:46 PM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, Rfc
Training Aerodrome

Dec 2

I managed to get up in the bad weather after being shown the Taps in the Be2. They said be quick so just a circuit then down. I kinda nicked the prop on touch down when bumping up and down. The Instructor said it was a crash, but a good one no damage to the pilot.

Attached picture CFS3 2018-12-02 13-35-44-02.jpg
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/03/18 03:46 AM

Terrific stories, everyone. As Lou said, this campaign should provide Sunday morning reading for a long time. I'm sorry CW3SF can't join us, though. Dive in any time if you change your mind.

I won't get to fly until tomorrow, but while I'm travelling I thought I'd get my pilot ready to start. Here's his second episode...

An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins

Part Two: In which I meet an American comrade, tame the Jenny, turn a tree fall into a windfall, visit the old country, and learn to fly all over again

The Curtiss School was a $2.30 taxi drive from Union Station in Toronto. Long Branch was a cluster of cottages mixed with a few stately homes along the shore of Lake Ontario some six miles west of downtown Toronto. The field was close by the lake to the south of Lakeshore Boulevard. I left the cab in front of the Long Branch Hotel, a vaguely oriental-looking pile on Beach Road, and found a red cap to carry my two suitcases and trunk into the lobby. Two small signs stood on the registration desk. One bore the schedule of the Rupert, a steamer that sailed six times daily from the hotel’s pier to downtown Toronto. The other stated “Alcoholic beverages strictly forbidden.” I recalled that my truck contained six bottles of Collins Yukon Gold Whiskey.

Once I had checked in, I browsed the newspaper for a place to rent and found a large cottage by the water for $12 a month, so I telephoned the owner and walked there. The place looked fine, although it would have benefitted from a can of paint. We agreed to a lease for two months. I got the key and explored – two good-sized bedrooms, a small kitchen, no gas and – being out of the city – no electricity. I lit a kerosene lamp and sat by the back window as the sun set over the lake. “What in God’s name am I doing here?” I thought. Being unable to answer the question, I returned to the hotel for a mediocre dinner and a fitful sleep.

Many of the veteran students, those who had already flown alone – “solo” was the term of art – were bound for the naval air service and had split their time between Long Branch and the seaplane base at Hanlan’s Point on Toronto Island. I made it clear to Mr. McCurdy, who ran the school, that I intended to fly for the Army and was disinterested in flying boats.

The school contained a wonderful collection of characters. I spent my first day in classroom instruction, learning the basic theory of what we were about to do in the air. Sitting in the back row with me was an American fellow from the mid-west, a rugged-looking farmboy named Swanson. The two of us were both bound for the RFC and chummed together from the start. We’d meet with a few of the other pilot candidates for cards at the cottage in the evenings and it didn’t take long for Swany to move out of the boarding houses where he was staying and move into the cottage. I covered the rent and he cooked. Swany chopped a split firewood for the stove, and I’d never seen anything like it. He was five-foot nine, an inch shorter than me, but the man was made of iron. He could split a day’s worth of wood in a few minutes, having virtually grown up next to his uncle’s sawmill.

We spent the still hours of the early hours around the hangars waiting to get up in the air. For the first few days, we were ferried about like sacks of potatoes by the instructors. One fellow from Toronto quit after being violently ill every time he went up.

One morning, the fellows in the hangar were complaining about a tall pine tree that bordered the field near the entrance road. It stood close by the turn-in and bore the scars of having stopped more than one lorry or wagon. We feared that one of us would soon fly a Jenny into the thing. A tall fellow from British Columbia said that for two dollars he’d take it down, and he claimed he could do it in under five minutes. Swany gave a loud laugh and claimed he could take “that twig” down in less than two minutes. Amid scoffing and jeers, he added “and with no more than 40 blows, as long as I have a good axe.” The British Columbian declared this typical Yankee boasting, adding that you’d expect a professional lumberjack to take nearly five minutes on a tree that size. I whispered to Swany that he should go along with me for a minute and I’d ensure that he’d bear no financial risk.

When the noise began to die down, I told Swany that five bucks said he couldn’t take down the tree, which was 14 to 16 inches thick, in less than two minutes and forty blows.

“It’s Canada versus the States!” I shouted. “Someone take note of the bets.”

Tim Flanagan, one of our students, took out a pocket notebook and a pen. “I have a dollar to say the Yank fails,” he shouted. “Who’s with me?”

In a matter of two or three minutes more than a hundred dollars were in play. “Good,” said Swany. His slight Swedish-American lilt made it sound like go-ood. “Now I need to get a good axe. The tree goes down tomorrow afternoon at four. Bring your money, everybody.”

Swany and I scoured Toronto for a four-pound double-bit felling axe that would meet his standards. We finally found a good one at last at the giant Eaton’s department store on Queen Street. Returning to Long Branch by streetcar, Swany went into a blacksmith’s and worked on sharpening the axe for more than an hour, filing and checking, filing and checking. “It’s all in getting the right angle,” he explained.”
The next day at four, Swany brought his axe to school wrapped in a blanket. At ten to four he wandered over to the tree and waited for the crowd to form. Mr. Jennings, one of the instructors, timed the exercise, and the whole crowd counted the blows. By Swany’s sixth blow of the axe, I was the only one still counting aloud, for the wiry Swede had already opened up a deep vee on the side facing the road. Without a second’s pause, he began to work on the opposite side, cutting an even deeper notch just above the first. One minute in, and the tree began to groan. By the twenty-eighth blow, it sagged, and on the count of thirty-two there was an ear-splitting crack and the tree fell neatly onto the road. We dragged it with one of the Curtiss trucks off the road to be sectioned at leisure. Swany, in the meanwhile, collected the vast sum of $143. Another American, a former cowboy named Mark Jericho, was the only onlooker to bet on Swany, and he did rather nicely too.

I soloed in a little over a week, on the same day as Jericho but a couple of weeks after our cowboy friend. Jericho was the star pupil and left the school before the end of July, bound for England. “Swany” Swanson and I got our AAeC ticket in mid-August, just before our dollar-a-minute time was up. The RFC recruiting office in Toronto arranged our travel and, as two “officer candidates”, two days after graduation and dressed in our best suits (in Swany’s case, his only suit) we boarded a train bound for the east coast. We didn’t use the seats we’d been given, since Swany booked us into first class with his newfound wealth. We dined in luxury while watching the Laurentian Mountains catch the evening sun across the St. Lawrence River as the train passed Quebec City and continued past the long strips of farmland angling down to the river and the little villages, each with its imposing metal-spired church. We had a sleeping cabin with comfortable bunks, nightcaps of Collins’ Yukon Gold whiskey, and in the morning a porter brought us breakfast as we passed Bathurst, New Brunswick and looked out on the broad Gulf of St. Lawrence. We changed trains in Moncton and by evening of the second day were in Saint John, ready to board the SS Scandinavian for England (Swany thought it wonderful they'd named a transport after him). We were glad to be aboard, as Saint John had little to offer except for its Reversing Falls, where the massive tides on the Bay of Fundy make the river run backwards half the day. Personally, I think the river takes one look at the town and turns around.

[Linked Image]
Departing on the Scandinavian

In late September we were sent to the university at Reading, west of London, for our basic classroom training, which involved lessons in navigation, engine construction and maintenance, principles of flight, meteorology, and basic soldiering topics, such as whom to salute and how to march. Marching, or drill, as it should be called, was far more complicated than I ever expected. Poor Swany had a particularly difficult time. Whenever he concentrated too hard he would “bear walk,” swinging his right arm with his right leg and vice-versa. It’s nearly impossible to do if you try, but very easy to do when you’re learning drill. The work was fairly easy and we got leave for a week afterwards. Swany headed for London and I went to Cambridge, where my mother and sister had settled.

The following week we were packed off to Castle Bromwich, near Birmingham, for flight instructions on Farman Longhorns and Shorthorns. Apparently the RFC completely ignored the fact we’d got our ticket in Canada and we were lumped in with chaps who didn’t know one end of a flying machine from the other (not that it made much difference on a Farman. Three candidates were killed while we were there. All three of them fell prey to spins, which were inevitably fatal. Towards the end we got to sport about in Avros, which were absolutely ripping buses.

[Linked Image]
Castle Bromwich aerodrome from the air

Once the course was complete, orders came to head for Netheravon, down in Wiltshire. Here Swany and I would undergo advanced training and finally get a crack at some real war flying in more modern machines.

Attached picture SS Scandinavian.jpg
Attached picture Castle Bromwich.jpg
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/03/18 12:03 PM


CW3SF, I'm sorry as well that you won't be joining us. We'll miss you around the mess.

loftyc, nice to see Feldwebel Lofthoven joining the ranks here. I hope his head injury from last year isn't causing him grief, such injuries can linger. As to maps of your current AO, afraid you may be on your own there.

Carrick, props are expensive, best not be nicking any more of them. Hope you managed to secure one of the blades to carve your walking stick from.

Raine, outstanding stuff! A wonderful read with my morning cuppa', (read it twice actually as it was so entertaining). One point: Swany is Norwegian, but then James knows that full well yet seems to take no small amount of delight in calling him a Swede as he knows it gets Swany's Norsk hackles up.

I will be adding an installment here myself, hopefully later today, though it won't involve flying as it's going on three days of wind and mist at Netheravon which has grounded all training flights. However, Swany and James have been discussing the fact that they each need a proper pair of flying boots and have been told by a certain Lieutenant Bishop that Powney's Corner down in Salisbury is the place to find them.

Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/03/18 01:08 PM

Lou, I guess they're all "Swedes" to Jim. I'll have Swany set him right.

Powney's "Old Corner Store"? Someone's reading "Salisbury in the Great War", I'm guessing.
Posted By: lederhosen

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/03/18 01:27 PM

Willi Aaron Rosenstein
Born 1 Dez. 1892, Stuttgart.
Pilots License #170,5
Date of issue 12. August 1912

I was the first born son of Ernst and Pauline Rosenstein, and together with my brother and sister I grew up in Stuttgart. My farther was a partner in the LW Rosenstein Company, a firm that produced medical equipment which they sold world wide. The Company became very profitable and my family lived in relative comfort. My brother and I were sent to boarding schools in Berlin. My farther had decided that I was to become a Doctor, a surgeon preferably.
He had some connections with the Charitè Universitätsmedizin in Berlin and so my whole life was being prearranged and I was to comply with my father's wishes. I suppose he only wanted the best for me, like all fathers, but inside I knew I was meant for something else. I just didn't know what though.

Autumn 1911, I passed the entrance exams, squeaked by more like it, which pleased my father immensely. My fate had been decided. Unfortunately I found myself struggling to keep up with the curriculum. The longer I studied the more I knew this wasn't for me, but duty to my father's wishes forced me to continue. Luckily, Berlin offered many a distraction for restless souls like myself. While sitting in a dubious Establishment one evening, I was reading the local newspaper when I noticed a small add........

[Linked Image]

One should know that Berlin was packed by a new fever called flying. The Johannisthal Flugplatz
was relatively new, and thousands would pay to watch these new God's fly against each other at races put on by the local Flying clubs or schools. I had never been there myself. I was bored and looking for something different, and thus decided to spectate one of these races myself.

One sunny day in March 1912 I took the tram out to Johannisthal. It was filled with so many gay and well dressed people. Everyone was awed by what they saw. All these modern heavier than air craft lined up for all to walk around, and some lucky few were even allowed to mount these wonders under the guidance of their owners. To the left of the lined up aircraft was a row of large sheds, and one of which had the words “Melli Beese” painted in large red letters. I remembered the little add in the paper and wondered over to the shed. A small door was open so I knocked and went inside the shed. Inside was a huge machine that somewhat reminded me of a dove. On it's flanks were painted the big black letters “MB”. A Woman around my age, dressed in dirty overalls, was standing close to the engine when she looked at me. I inquired about the add I had read and if the owner was present to talk to. I said I was very keen to learn flying.

[Linked Image]

After my initial shock, she reassured me that her name was Melli Beese and that she was indeed the owner and Instructor of the school. Later that day, I and a few others who were also interested, joined Melli at the nearby canteen at shed#6 to discuss our future adventure. To cut things short, I had at last found the one thing I wanted to do, and my career as a Pilot began March 1912. The next few months I spent every free hour at Johannisthal, and so neglected my study's that it was only a matter of time before my father would be informed. But I didn't care anymore. I was in love with flying and the engineering that went with it.

[Linked Image]

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1.August was perfect day for flying and this was also when I passed and received my Pilots License #170,5. I now belonged to those golden few. That summer I had great fun, and represented our club at a few races that were held at Johannisthal. In fact I was judged good enough to become an Instructor, and when Melli asked me to work for her.... I said yes of-course.

[Linked Image]

Eventually my father found out what had happened and ordered me home to explain myself. He was infuriated by my selfishness. I was supposed to be a Doctor and not some “Quack” flying around Berlin, squandering my youth on some sports club for the elite! I promised to go back to school and fly on my spare time just to placate my father. All through 1912 till summer 1913 I plied myself to the books and endless lectures, reading till deep into the night just to keep pace with the required literature of the first year. My Grades were still comparatively low and I found myself drifting more and more to the airfield and Melli. At Johannistal I made a great many friends from different aircraft firms like Rumpler, Albatros and Fokker. I even helped Melli with an aircraft patent.

As fate would have it, nothing lasts forever. In the summer of 1913 we had another airshow, and this time we had a fearless stunt pilot from Paris. Adolphe Pégoud was in Berlin ! His flying skill was wonderful to say the least. He could figure eight, loop the loop, and his spiral of death caused many a faint heart to stop. I was so impressed by him that I wanted to prove before others that I too could fly like Pègoud. So one evening in August, I asked Melli if I could stunt around with her small monoplane. She looked at me, smiled, and forced me to sign a waiver in case I ended up hurting myself. I signed and went to the aircraft.

[Linked Image]

The monoplane started easily and I took off and climbed to 500m. I started with figure eights while climbing to 1000m. I wanted to start a loop by pushing my nose down but became quite afraid by the sudden speed and noise of the wires and pulled up on the column. To this day no one knows why or how such things happen, but I started to spiral or “spin” as they call it now. I had lost control and the airfield was getting closer real fast. I just panicked and pushed and pulled everything, at the same time too. The monoplane straightened itself up but I was right on top of shed #7 and crashed into it.

When I regained consciousness, I found myself in the hospital. I seem to of broken my left ankle, that has forced me to limp till this day. A suspected spinal injury was also the cause of many a sleepless night as well. To make matters worse, Melli came by to wish me luck and that I shouldn't worry about the Monoplane, but that our working relationship was now ending. I had to go back to Stuttgart, and my father.

Funny how one moment can change your life. I resigned to my fate, took a job in my fathers firm and started an apprenticeship as a fine tool maker...... And then the war started.

Like all young men I jumped to volunteer. My mothers heart was broken, and my father, the socialist, saw no need for me to run off and be slaughtered for some Kaiser. And why not, with a war coming, medical equipment and supplies would be in great demand. But I could not see myself just sitting in a room when a whole generation marched on without me. In Dezember 1914, I was turned down as being medically unfit for service and that I was doing the Kaiser a greater service with the job that I already had.

By mid 1915, after the slaughter of so many men, the Kaiser needed even more of my generation to maim and kill. I applied again. This time I said that I wanted to fly and that I already owned a pilots license. And so, after weeks of waiting, here I am now at the Aviatik Militaer-Fliegerschule in Freiburg.

p.s...Had to cut this story short. After starting it I could see this chapter turning into a whole book!
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/03/18 02:13 PM


Superb lederhosen, simply superb! Great historical context, great pics, great storytelling. I can't wait for the next installment.

Raine, I had not referenced that book but had actually found out about Powney's while trying to find a good, contemporary photo of the Haunch of Venison. Unfortunately, the Poultry Cross sits directly across the street from the pub and is blocking it out in every shot.

Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/03/18 04:00 PM


Here is 2nd Lt. Swanson's most recent letter home.

[Linked Image]
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Posted By: lederhosen

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/03/18 05:06 PM

Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/03/18 06:06 PM

These are outstanding, guys. I've just had a skim as I'm (technically) working. But when I get to my hotel tonight, I have some really great reading to catch up on. Tomorrow will be my first flight in the campaign, weather permitting. I read that December 1915 was one of the wettest months on record. There was a big wind storm on the 6th, I believe, so perhaps we can work that one into the stories!
Posted By: JJJ65

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/03/18 07:48 PM

Phantastic bios and stories, Sirs. They really deserve to publish as a WWI biography book.
Thank you.
Posted By: lederhosen

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/03/18 09:03 PM

Willi arrives at Flugplatz Freiburg for advanced training. 1.Dez 1915

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Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/03/18 09:57 PM

May I just say, I'm immenseley enjoying everybody's introductory tales, and can hardly wait to see all your characters arrive in France!

I’m hoping this campaign will be a good chance to brush up on my writing skills, which are a bit ropey at the moment - good thing I have the talents here to learn from!

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell.
Hounslow Heath Aerodrome
December 3rd, 1915.

2: Avro.

I awoke at 6 O'Clock in the deep, enthralling blue of the early morning, and manoeuvred my way through the rows of dozing pilot trainees, remaining as silent as I possibly could. I had very quickly found out, on my second morning, that the pilot that wakes the others quickly falls out of favour! Daydreaming of returning to France (I have neglected to mention previously that I was posted earlier in the year in the infantry, but Pneumonia scuppered me before I had managed to get near the war), I found my way to the door of the Barracks and, unlatching it, stepped out to a fantastic scene of early-morning fog, like the great wispy ghost of some immense river rolling over the heath.

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I was one of the few souls awake and moving on the aerodrome, and so took the time to meander around the hangars, conducting my own personal inspections of each machine. In the hangar nearest the barracks rested the training machines, a pair of B.E.2s and one Avro 504. I marvelled at the intricate construction of these surreal new machines - the criss-crossed flying wires, the elegant slope of the propeller, the wooden spars that stretched upwards like slender arms to hold the upper planes aloft...remarkable! The Avro 504 was also a fine-looking machine, although not nearly as pretty as the B.E in my opinion. Unlike the B.E's, however, the Avro had skids protruding out from the sides of the wheels, like tusks, to prevent the uninitiated pilot from 'nosing over', that is to say, flipping the machine forwards, in the case of a rough landing. In some strange way, I felt proud that I had undergone my first 'solo' without incident, or need for the skids, for only yesterday one of my fellow trainee pilots, a frighteningly young 2nd. Lieutenant named Rowan Turner, had all but buckled the rightmost skid when he came in at slightly too steep an angle to land on his 5th trip around the heath. My, did he receive a roasting from Andrews! That was, of course, before the rain begun to spit down at us, and all further flights were cancelled by Cpt. Andrews for fear of a storm.

I snapped out of my admiration for the B.E, and slunk out of the first hangar. The next hangar along housed several other B.E's, which belonged to No. 15 Squadron R.F.C. I took a peek inside to see a rigger tirelessly inspecting each inch of canvas across the skeleton of the machine. He briefly looked up at me, grunted in acknowledgement, and went back to his work. Pulling my head back out of the entryway, I pulled out my pack of cigarettes, removing one and reaching for my matchbook. The rebellious match I'd chosen struck out the first two times, but the third time the flame held fast, and I inhaled deeply.

Blowing smoke out into the cold air, I strolled over to the third, and final, hangar. I peered inside to examine the machines, and was met with a sight that immediately made me grin with anticipation. Inside the hangar lay an assortment of Vickers”Gunbuses”, and the newer single-seat Bristol Scout machines. With the split of daybreak (the sun had begun to creep over the horizon now, casting the Heath in gold) that flooded in through the crack, I could see the foreboding black shapes of Lewis Guns, white reflections gleaming on their barrels and ammunition drums, and I suddenly fancied that I was already in France, tangling each day with the dreaded Hun!

I had not realised at the time, but these were the machines of No. 24 Squadron, headed by the famous Victoria Cross winner Lanoe Hawker. If only I had realised sooner, it should have been a wealth of invaluable information to speak to him - one of the most experienced pilots in all the R.F.C! Having concluded my inspection, I made back for the mess hall. As I did, I saw two Corporals quietly grumbling to one another while wheeling the Avro out onto the still-wet grass, beads of moisture clinging to the tyres and giving them a brilliant shine. As I passed, I offered an eager 'Good Morning!' to the two Corporals, who nodded in response. "Bloody cold morning..." I thought I heard one mutter to himself. Out ahead of me I saw Lt. Webb, another trainee, practically bound out of the barracks and come jauntily over to me. Webb was another terribly young lad, of only sixteen, and had been paid into our merry band of trainees by his aristocratic father, who had many friends within the British Army, Colonels and the like. Upon telling his father he wished to fly, Webb immediately transferred from school into the training regime. His indefatigable excitement, of course, came from the fact that he was to fly his first solo today.

"Campbell! Fine morning, isn't it?" he asked me, in a chirpy tone. I regarded his face, youthful, feminine, and markedly harmless. I wondered how this young lad was ever supposed to fight a war at his age, but such questions are for the men in the recruiting offices, and not my concern. "Aye, fine morning..." I replied, and Webb beamed, before looking hungrily at the Avro, now left alone by the Corporals to sit patiently on the airfield, awaiting its master. "I'm 'going up' today! Would you believe it!" he continued, still affixed on the Avro. The answer, of course, was that I could believe it, with us being trainee R.F.C. pilots at an aerodrome, but for politeness' sake I shook my head. "No, it's quite something! Good luck!".

Webb was about to press his emphatic offensive when Cpt. Andrews appeared on the field, beckoning the rookie pilot over. "Ah, here I go!" he said, to nobody in particular, and skipped off to answer the Captain's summons. I took the chance to return to the Barracks in order to write my diary. I told the blank pages of the stunning beauty of the early-morning Heath, to the muffled sound of the Avro starting up, before heading to the mess to have my breakfast, eggs and bacon and a bowl of porridge afterwards.

Heartily fed, I headed back outside to watch the young Webb flying his circuit. Shakily he drifted through the sky, and was halfway round the aerodrome when suddenly his engine sputtered, missed, and cut out completely. A deafening silence hung in the air, as I felt a surge of fear for the lad. In my head, I repeated the cardinal rule outlined to me by every instructor I had crossed paths with: "Don't turn back! Glide forwards and look for a good landing spot!". Fortunately, the Heath had several flat, grassy fields for the youngster to put down in, but almost as if to spite my recollection I watched in mute horror as the Avro dipped its Starboard wings and attempted to loop round for the aerodrome. The plane wobbled and shuddered, its nose dropping, and for one agonising second I thought the machine would spin, but it thankfully snapped back into a dive, and came down in a curve towards the airfield. The landing angle wasn't quite right, however, and the skids buckled, jolting the nose of the aircraft into the ground with a sickening force. The undercarriage collapsed upwards with the skids, and the aeroplane lay on its nose with its tail pointed in the air.

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I watched a truck, loaded with several corporals & medics, assembled in the blink of an eye by Andrews, speeding towards the wreckage and pulling the frail young lad out. To my great relief, he was only dazed with a mild concussion, but he looked so terribly shaken, and as pale as a sheet as he was checked over by the ground crew. From my observation point I heard Andrews roaring enraged questions at the poor boy, before he was promptly whisked away.

Over the next two hours, I quietly replayed the event in my head, shuddering continuously at the thought of the nightmare situation that had played out in my head. In fact, I was so dazed by the occurrence that I didn't notice my own B.E. being wheeled out for my five laps, until Andrews came and fetched me. These five trips round the Heath bore nothing of the excitement I'd felt yesterday. Instead, each shudder, quirk, and gust of wind spelled my doom in a spin. When I'd landed for the fifth time, I was very grateful indeed. My body must have commanded my actions by instinct in the air, for Andrews said that I had done better than yesterday. Amazing, what fear can do for you...

Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/03/18 11:23 PM

December 3, 1915

Papers arrived today. Amazing that the RFC bureaucracy actually tracked me to Glasgow on leave. Maybe things at Castle Bromwich have gotten a bit more organized since I left two weeks ago (not likely!). Anyway, it's official ... Second Lieutenant Aleck Allen MacKinlay!

And to top it off, I have been assigned to active duty. Will have to cut short my visit with Mother and Father and head south immediately. Required to appear in France before the end of the month; seems like plenty of time if all goes well. Thanks to Father I have all the kit I need and can head out directly. Will pack up this evening and say my goodbyes in the morning.


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Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/04/18 02:13 AM

What a great bunch of stories! Wulfe, good description of Graham's first flight in a BE. Fullofit, I really enjoyed Gaston's backstory. That postcard of the gate at RGA Le Bourget was a great touch. Carrick, best of luck with Nigel. Stay out of the trees! Loftyc, good job getting through the touch and gos. Lederhosen, you had me reading up on Melli Beese. Fascinating bit of research and period colour. And I really loved the photo of the takeoff from Freiburg in your second installment. 77Scout, here's tae the wee Glaswegian!

Lou, the hometown paper clipping was an inspired touch, as was the RFC letterhead. Sounds like the boys had a great outing in the rain at Stonehenge and in Salisbury. I'll pick up Jim's story tomorrow night as I forgot to go into workshop settings and "Log all," so I'll be redoing the first flight from Netheravon then.

Have fun everyone. With the work that you've put into your pilots, you'll be genuinely nervous putting them in harm's way once we all get to the front. I just home we get our hours in during December with all the rain that month...
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/04/18 02:17 AM

Really great Start up stories everyone.
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/04/18 12:48 PM


Wulfe, another excellent read, most evocative storytelling. You needn't concern yourself about your writing skills as they are not remotely ropey - well done.

Scout, good to see that Aleck's papers came through. He'll beat us all to France!

Raine, thanks, I rather liked the newspaper clipping myself, but then I am biased. Seriously though, I am finding it a fair bit tricky to actually dial back my usual writing style when it comes to these reports. I'd gotten myself so locked into the British mindset with old Arty that I have to stay mindful he doesn't creep back in when I am creating the episodes for Swany. I should actually have a much easier go of it this time as I can use my own voice, more or less, seeing as how I've grown up in Minnesota and have many Norwegian relatives, several of whom live up in Warroad and Roseau.

Speaking of Swany, despite being up late last night he still arose bright and early and was out on the aerodrome shortly after five to see what the weather was looking like. No wind at that point and only a hint of intermittent rain. He is hopeful that come sunrise he will be able to get a flight in on the B.E.2.

Keep the stories coming folks, they are really making my morning coffee that much sweeter.

Posted By: Hasse

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/04/18 09:09 PM

Wow, amazing stories everybody!

My pilot will begin his career in January, so I will post his first entry a bit later this month.
Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/04/18 11:12 PM

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell.
Hounslow Heath Aerodrome
December 4th, 1915.

Last night, after I had returned to the Barracks, several of the trainees had gathered around and were feverishly discussing Webb's Avro crash.

Lt. Weston (whom you may remember was the unfortunate chap who witnessed a mechanic being killed in a prop-spinning accident) called me over excitedly, mentioning to the small gaggle of recruits that I had seen the whole incident firsthand. "Go on, Graham, tell us what happened!" he urged, as the other men seemed to draw a collective anticipating breath. I looked them over, shocked that they should be so curious about a crash when many were yet to fly their first solo, but, I thought it best not to keep my impromptu audience in suspense. "Well, you see, he was doing his first turn around the aerodrome, he'd gotten up in the air with no issue, but about halfway round I heard his engine miss, and the silly bugger tried to turn back. In the blink of an eye he was tipped over on his nose, on the ground". An uncomfortable silence followed my explanation, followed by Weston matter-of-factly blurting out "well, Andrews has told us enough not to turn back, it's the lad's own bloody fault!". It rather seemed to me like he was trying to bolster his own courage; perhaps the crash had left the men shaken after all.

After a short half-hearted discussion about Webb's condition (the poor old Avro got not a single mention!) I was offered to join the men in a game of cards, which I politely declined. By that point in the night, I still hadn't fully recovered from the shock of seeing Webb come down.

Anyway. That was yesterday, and today was a new day. I awoke around 7 O'Clock, feeling surprisingly well-rested, and slowly pulled my uniform on. I was in no spectacular rush to get myself prepared for the day, as I already knew that I was not scheduled to do any flying. Instead, I rather fancied asking Andrews if I could make a quick excursion to London, to experience some of the charms of the Capital. Perhaps even a trip to Hendon aerodrome, to see the wide range of machines they had there! It was at Hendon that I'd seen my first aeroplane fly, which had inspired me to pursue a transfer to the R.F.C.

Once I was ready, I made my way through the bunks and idle pilots towards the door. Curiously, I passed one bunk that had been freshly-made already, and had no kit resting on the floor beside it. I was sure I had seen that bunk occupied when I had arrived! Glancing strangely at the absent bunk, I continued outside and made for my cigarettes. It was only as I was lighting up that I realised, my, that's Webb's bunk! The poor lad must have been scared right off of flying for good. Who could blame him, after all?

As I smoked, I saw two 'pusher' machines coming in to land. At first I thought that they were two of No. 24's Gunbuses, but as they drew closer I could see that they were a new single-seater type that I didn't recognise. The two machines glided in, blipping their engines as they levelled out, and both made beautifully smooth landings. As they taxied towards the hangars, I noticed that each machine had a Lewis gun mounted in the pilots' forward nacelle. Single-seaters with machine-guns!

Unfortunately, I never did manage to get away to London for the day. Instead, I marvelled over the new machines. They belonged to No. 24, and a short chat with one of their pilots revealed that they were called "D.H.2s", and were supposed to be the answer to the Fokker monoplane menace. Gosh, I do hope I'm put in one of those when I get to France!

In the evening I was approached by one other trainee, 2nd. Lt. Jack Fisher. The man had a drunken look about him, red-faced and perpetually smiling. I assumed he would ask me about the Avro Crash, but it came as a pleasant surprise when he asked me in a chirpy, musical voice about my opinion on the B.E.2. I told him, and our chat led elsewhere. I swapped him stories of my time in the Sherwood Foresters, my first initial day in France and my unfortunate case of Pneumonia, and he paid me off in tales of his time as a Concert Pianist, before the war, playing to various Aristocrats, and even Royalty in some cases!

I soon discovered that Fisher and I got along near-instantly, and felt quite good about having formed the makings of my first friendship at Hounslow as I retired for the evening.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/05/18 12:30 AM

Awesome stories everyone. It looks like this challenge kicked it up a few notches. The ideas are just flowing and the excitement is growing, even though we're not even describing combat yet! I'm so impressed.

4 December, 1915
Le Bourget
Sergent Gaston A. Vouscadeaux

Well, the first 2 days were uneventful. All flights were grounded due to rain and strong winds. There was still plenty to do on the ground and the students were kept busy. It also gave me the chance to write a letter to Violette and the kids. Unfortunately, this lull made it possible for me to also finish my weekly wine rations prematurely. The next day, when it came to my turn at the controls, I felt uneasy on an “empty stomach” and the 5 take-offs and landings exercise took more effort and concentration than I expected. The heavy clouds in the sky reflected my disposition. Today the weather remains as foul as yesterday and the second set of take offs and landings triggered the feeling of déjà vu. Despite all this negativity the exercise went smoothly until the fifth and final take-off. Once clear of the aerodrome the rain started to come down in buckets. The visibility was close to null. I’ve managed to make a circuit and lined up for landing when the rain let up and the visibility returned to acceptable levels. I was just about to curse Toutatis and Belenos for playing a trick on me, when a column of army trucks appeared in front of my flight path, right at the edge of the landing field. My eyes grew to the size of saucers and my hands gripped the control column and pulled so hard that I thought I’m going to break it. The bird begun to slowly gain altitude through my sheer will alone and barely cleared the line of trucks before setting down on the wet grass of the aerodrome’s field. I realized I was still holding my breath. I started to giggle. If I had some wine left I would offer it to the gods. It was then that I realized that this flying business isn’t going to be as easy as I thought.

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Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/05/18 03:11 AM

Good stuff, Wulfe and Fullofit. You have me looking things up all the time, like refreshing my memory of Toutatis (dim recollection of Asterisk the Gaul swearing "By Toutatis"). Inspired by Lou's latest, here is the third installment of Jim Collins's memoirs. By the way, how is the Caudron? I bet it's fun to fly. I noted that Gaston Caudron died in December 1915, the 4th if I recall. Don't do like him!

An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins

Part Three: In which I am introduced to a Guardsman and a real war pilot, purloin a vehicle, visit a Druid site, and acquire culture, undergarments, and a surfeit of beer.

A tender met Swany and I together with four other novice pilots at the station in Salisbury and drove us to Netheravon. The forty-minute jaunt in the back of the open-topped lorry was spoiled only by the constant rain and cold, but overall we enjoyed the change of scenery. The fields here were open and wide, not unlike Saskatchewan only greener. At length we pulled into a cluster of little white buildings with red tile roofs and faux Tudor facings. It seemed like a fine holiday camp, save the disapproving eye of a sergeant-major who barked his welcome: “Well, well, well. Look at all the fine young sirs with their bleedin’ picnic hampers ready to kill their silly selves and make my hard-working men put their bleedin’ machines back together!”

He said his name was Sergeant-Major Brookings, and he took a roll call and formed us for inspection right on the roadway. A young captain appeared and the sergeant-major snapped off a salute and marched off with guardsman’s precision (we later learned he was seconded to the RFC from the Grenadier Guards). The captain introduced himself as Captain Hampton-Lewis and proceeded to assign us our instructors. We were to get our kit sorted out in our assigned huts and report to the Officers’ Mess to meet them in a half-hour.

Swany and I were assigned to a hut with a fellow named O’Brien who was nearly done his training and was awaiting his coveted wings. The fourth bed in the hut was vacant except for a trunk. Its occupant had crashed on takeoff the previous day and was to be buried that afternoon.

The mess was a nice surprise, a fine two-storey building with comfortable furniture, a piano, several good writing tables with stationery aplenty, a bar, and a lovely warm fire. Major Ganbert, the OC, welcomed us newcomers and I met my instructor, Lieutenant Thomas. He had recently returned from France where he had served with No 1 Squadron since the start of the war. Since Swaney had disappeared with his instructor, I visited the hangars on the field, which was a few hundred yards east of the camp.

The wind was blowing thirty knots and the rain fell in sheets. Flying was out of the question. I plodded back to the mess and caught up with my letter-writing. Swaney appeared shortly after and informed me that most of the pilots here were billeted outside the camp, so it was relatively easy to get permission to leave the area. In fact, he’d already discovered that the OC had access to a fine touring car and he suggested I persuade him to part with it for the afternoon. I thought in highly impertinent to ask, but had the good fortune to see the Major come into the mess for a cup of tea. Not having yet met the adjutant I approached the OC and asked how one could arrange a few hours’ leave from the camp to pick up some tea and incidentals for our hut.

“The Adj is away today, so just go. Besides, if you’re still about this afternoon, you’ll be required to carry a coffin – not good for the spirit, what? If the guard gives you a hard time of it, tell him I cleared it. Do you drive?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Then take my Crossley. You’ll find it beside my office. Be back by nine.”

I returned to Swaney, who had moved his armchair next to the fire. “We’re all set. I have the car.”

Swaney whistled and mouthed the word #%&*$#. “It’s amazing what a little money can do, Jim,” he said.

“It cost me,” I told him. “You owe me dinner.”

We made a fine day of it, driving a few miles south to see the famous stone circle of Stonehenge. We remarked on the massive amount of work the thing required and wondered why on earth it would have been built. I suggested that some Druid version of Sergeant-Major Brookings had found some warriors has misapplied their blue woad and set this thing up as punishment duty.

We headed into Salisbury. We’d caught only glimpse of it this morning and it looked like a fine place. We were not disappointed. We toured the cathedral and saw the Magna Carta. Then Swaney told me that another pilot at the camp had told him of a bootmaker and military provisioner in town and he wanted new boots. The boots were so impressive that I ordered myself a pair as well, plus a fine set of long woolen underwear for flying. Our parcels in hand, we headed next door to a storybook inn called the Haunch of Venison. Since Swaney was paying for dinner, I told him to find a place by the fire and I would get us a couple of pints of good bitter.

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"Our parcels in hand, we headed next door to a storybook inn called the Haunch of Venison."

Dinner was the finest meal I’d had in England to date, and afterwards the place filled up with some RFC types, including several from 20 Squadron, which was working up on the fine new FE2 two-seaters. More ale was downed while we discussed the merits of different aircraft. The consensus was that the BE2 was unlikely to kill you unless you met the Hun, and then you were dead. The FE2 was superb. The little DH2 pusher scout was lovely to fly until it spun. You couldn’t get out of a spin in one, so you were dead. The Morane was to be avoided at all costs. It would kill you on takeoff, or spin, or kill you on landing. You would be too busy to worry about Hun machines.

I was in no shape so Swaney drove us home. He drove faster than I’d have wanted, but he told me that drunks really shouldn’t be on the road for long so he had to hurry.

The next day it rained again and I took ground instruction on the BE2. Unlike the Farman it has a unified control called a joystick. The training machines were all rather tired and did not give full power, but Mr. Thomas assured me it would be quicker off the mark than anything I’d flown to date.

3 December 1915 dawned drizzly and wet, but the wind had died and Thomas told me I was going up to do circuits and landings. He went over the instructions one last time and I nervously atammered through the starting procedure, waved away the mechanics, and trundled out to the east end of the field. I said a quick prayer and opened the throttle fully. The Renault engine roared and the machine bumped over the wet grass. In a few seconds the bumps stopped and, without my really noticing it, the BE2 climbed easily into the grey sky. It was wonderfully stable. I leaned over to check my height compared to the slight rise and row of trees at the far end of the field. Rain stung my face like needles. I hunched behind the triplex windscreen and adjusted the mixture. At a thousand feet I began a turn to the right. Although the wind was negligible at ground level, at this height it buffeted the machine and I kept the throttle fully open. Coming around to land I throttled back to idle and adjusted the mixture again. The machine skimmed the treetops. Ahead loomed a telephone or telegraph wire. I opened up and staggered over it at the edge of a stall, and then nosed down and throttled back, just skimming over the crest of a low hill by a farm at the east side of the field. I wallowed in and touched down.

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"In a few seconds the bumps stopped and, without my really noticing it, the BE2 climbed easily into the grey sky."

Thomas stood in the open door of a hangar, smoking his pipe. My machine came to a stop and he signalled to take off again. The second and third circuits were both to the right, each one better than the one before. One of the biggest differences I found between this machine and the old “Rumpety” or Avro was in the bracing. The BE had Royal Aircraft Factory streamlined wires which did not hum and sing like the regular type does. Two circuits to the left followed. On my last landing I touched down mere feet from the near end of the field and rolled up to the hangar, where the Ack Emmas caught the wings and prepared to wheel the machine inside. The driven rain had removed most of the varnish from the propeller. Thomas took out his pipe, spat on the ground, and said “Not bad, Collins. Same again tomorrow.”

The next day we saw the sun for a few minutes and I got in my five circuits again. This time I set myself a goal to land slowly enough that I would not pass a small building halfway down the field. I succeeded on four out of five tries. It was absolutely topping to be flying a true war machine at last!

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Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/05/18 10:55 AM


Another fine trio of tales added to the fledgling collection. Wulfe, some people just want all the bloody details when it comes to crashes, I never quite understood why. Fullofit, I am quite green about Gaston getting to fly the Caudron, the lucky buggar. Raine, great stuff, and where did you find that excellent old photo of the pub, it's precisely what I'd been looking for.

Swany did manage to get a circuit in yesterday morning but it was cut short as the engine conked on his B.E.2 when coming in for his fourth touch. But it did give him some practice making a dead stick landing, which he pulled off without incident - thankfully. He's hoping to get his full time in today, provided the weather doesn't have other plans.

Keep 'em coming gents!

Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/05/18 11:42 AM

Lou, somehow I doubt they would use state of the art machines like the G.4 to learn to fly, but hey - they’re French! And I agree, Gaston lucked out.
Raine, I was hoping someone would get the reference from Asterix. I don’t think they still celebrate these older gods. The Caudron is surprisingly agile for something that barely fits into a hangar. Gaston is confident he will be able to keep up with the Eindeckers, but it’s the wine talking. He’s only completed 2 flight training missions after all. The only negative about this bird is the forward visibility. Good thing there is a mitraillieur in front to let him know what’s ahead and, of course, to shoot down the dastardly Boche.
Posted By: Hasse

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/05/18 12:27 PM

Having the flown the Caudron in a French career, I can say it's more than capable of defending itself in 1916, and handles pretty nicely too.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/05/18 12:47 PM

Thanks Hasse, that makes Gaston breathe easy. Having flown German career, Aldi Schwarzkopf found Caudrons to be an easy prey. I suppose it all depends on who is at the controls.
Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/05/18 11:52 PM

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell.
Hounslow Heath Aerodrome
December 4th, 1915.

Hugo Lane is missing, and one of our training B.E's has vanished with him.

As per Andrews' instruction, he was to fly to Beaulieu, land, and return. However, after three hours of impatient waiting, Andrews finally telephoned the Adjutant's office there, only to find out that Lane (and, more importantly in Andrews eyes, the B.E.2!) had never arrived. The ever-optimistic Fisher reckons he simply had some kind of mechanical failure, and put down en route, and assures us all that Lane will make a reappearance by the end of the night. Weston thinks he's gotten lost, and ended up in some farmer's field. I could believe either of them readily enough!

It is, for now, a mystery. We still have one B.E.2 left, and I am scheduled to go up in it shortly. Andrews wants me to stay up for a full fifteen minutes this time, and complete a wide circuit of the Heath. Although I shall only be up for less than an hour, I am very well braced, for it shall be the longest individual stint I've spent in the air to date! that being said, the weather was markedly less favourable than my first two trips into the sky - there was a fairly strong wind coming in from the South, and above the airfield a large flock of Seagulls circled and cried out. As my father had taught me, seagulls this far in-land meant that a storm was imminent. On the grass outside the barracks sat Weston and I, switching our attention between watching the wheeling birds and scanning the skies for a sign of either of our B.E.2s. By the way - our remaining accounted-for machine, in which I was scheduled to fly, was currently up somewhere in the air nearby, being flown by 2nd. Lt. Freddy Foster, our resident Kiwi.

Freddy was, by no doubt, one of the most interesting chaps in the trainee's barracks. Allow me to explain. Not only had Freddy been a relatively well-known Boxing champion in Nelson, a town on the Northern coast of New Zealand, but he had also landed with the ANZACs on Galipoli, as a Sergeant, in May. Only four days after the landing at Helles, he was twice wounded, in the left knee and hip, by machine-gun fire, which led to him having a severe limp. He was invalided back to New Zealand soon after, but, refusing to let his injuries deprive him of serving the Empire, travelled to England, and the Flying Corps, to continue his war on grounds that accommodated his debilities.

His image seemed to match his history. Cresting sharply-defined cheekbones and a squared-off jawline, his slightly curling dark hair was cut in a practical short back-and-sides, combined with a thick moustache, parted in the middle, curling upwards and away from the corners of his mouth, gave him an impossibly stern appearance. Above his curling moustache and slightly-flattened nose sat two piercing blue eyes, which seemed to stare through you as you spoke. In fact, they seemed to stare through the landscape, into some deeply hidden memory.

[Linked Image]
Sgt. Freddy Foster,

Naturally, we all expected this dangerous-looking Colonial to throw his weight around from the onset, and bully us all around. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that, in actuality, Freddy was as delightful as you'd like, a real top fellow! He'd always offer his own time on the B.E. to the pupils in need of extra flight hours, and was always first to help out a fellow in need. On top of that, he had a wicked humour, and would often do an impression of Cpt. Andrews in the evening that would have us rolling in fits of laughter! 'The Hounslow Hellhound', he called the act. It was only after we had learned of Freddy's true nature that we begun to notice, hidden behind the battered boxer's features, the laugh-lines around his eyes and mouth. We simply could not fathom that a seemingly born-fighter would be so jovial!

Anyway, I don't mean to ramble on. By any means, here came Freddy now, elegantly touching down in our remaining B.E, before taxiing to face West again and dismounting the machine. From underneath his scarf and helmet appeared his beaming face, red with cold, and he shouted across the airfield to me "She's all yours, mate! Ethan's got her running like a dream!". Cpl. Ethan Knight was the engine fitter for our B.E's, and took the care of our machines very personally.

I smiled back, and thanked him from afar, as I pulled my own flying coat on. I made for the B.E, but was intercepted by Andrews, who had yet again appeared from thin-air as I've known only R.F.C instructors to do. "Campbell. Fifteen minutes' flying around the area. Don't take her above 3,000 feet, and remember! If your engine misses, don't you dare turn back!". I nodded solemnly, but the memory of Wyatt's close call was all the reminding I needed. I clambered into the B.E, as one of the mechanics jogged over to my nose, grabbing the prop and beginning to twist it. "Switch on!" came the call. I fingered the magnetos upwards, and repeated the phrase. In response, the mechanic cried "Contact!", and I was instantly wrapped in the pleasant vibrations of the engine.

Once the mechanic and the Captain had stepped clear, I confidently pushed the throttle lever forwards, and the machine answered eagerly, and in a few seconds we were airborne. At first I was slightly un-nerved by the way the wind was buffeting me about, but I had soon eased to the sensation and was enjoying the thrilling roar of the wind as I climbed, banking gently North, towards London. I followed the great winding Thames river until I reached the Capital. Of course, I had visited London twice before, but from this elevated point I was amazed by the size of the city. By the time I was crossing over the top of Hendon, I had reached 2,000 feet. Below me, I watched in delight as an Avro stunted close to the ground. Peering over the side of my cockpit, I almost forgot that I was piloting a machine myself, but this was soon made apparent to me again as a particularly harsh gust of wind knocked me almost onto my side! Alarmed, I righted the machine and vowed not to shun her again.

Although I was thoroughly enjoying my view from the edge of London, I had to make sure that I didn't lose sight of the aerodrome, as I had no map, and so I turned the B.E. South, crossing on the other side of the Heath towards Esher, and the stunning lakes beyond them. Feeling exhilarated, I almost considered stunting over the water, but I feared that the omnipresent Andrews may catch me! The thought of the Captain reminded me that I was to be back in fifteen minutes, and I had been up for just over twelve now. Reluctantly, I came back down (having reached 2,800 ft in total) and turned back for Hounslow.

When I arrived, Lane had returned with his own B.E. As Weston had predicted, he'd gotten himself lost on the trip. Incidentally, this led to Weston winning a wager with Fisher. It also led to an almighty chewing-out of Lane by Cpt. Andrews!

Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/06/18 12:29 AM


Now THAT was an immersive episode. Very nicely done!
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/06/18 02:41 AM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
Catterick AF
Air Training

3 Dec 1915.

Wet, Slushiness and generally bad weather. Stayed inside after helping the Riggers had all Flying machines covered.

Attached picture Early_B.E.2c.jpg
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/06/18 07:05 AM

2nd Lt. Aleck A. MacKinlay

December 4, 1915:
Was not able to get train tickets on short notice so ended up staying in Glasgow an extra day. Worked out marvelously as I was able to head over to the University and see some of my Profs and classmates and say farewell. Father is still a bit upset that I won't be finishing my final year of engineering, but he has mostly come around and now actually seems proud to see me doing my part for the war. Funny, I really have the old man to thank for my wings; if he hadn't been working with Richard Barnwell at the Clyde Shipworks I never would have had a chance to get in touch with his son Harold Barnwell. What luck to have Harold usher me right into the Vickers Flying School this summer. Thank God for 'connections' or I would likely be heading off to some muddy trench rather than a pilot's barricks (they will have barricks I hope, not bloody tents).

December 5, 1915:
Said my farewells to Mother and Father this morning. Mother was quite upset. I hate these emotional goodbyes and tried to assure her I would keep myself safe and be back home before she knows it. Father even seemed a bit teary, which shocked me a bit. Never seen that from him before. Got a cab to Glasgow Central Station, and had a gloomy cold train trip along the West Coast Main Line to Birmingham. The weather was dreadful and wet but the trip was uneventful. I could have made it to London in a day but decided to stop off and see the lads at No. 5 Training Squadron; I have a few days to spare. Was able to hop a ride on an army lorrie that was heading east and arrived at Castle Bromwich in time for evening mess. Even though I have only left two weeks ago, there are lots of new faces. I wonder if the new sods have figured out yet that half the instructors at good old 'Number 5' don't know their arse from a cylinder bore. Oh well, I made it through alive, so I guess most of the others will too. Had drinks and good cheer with several of the lads; Squiffy, Nelson, Harrison, that bunch.

December 6, 1915:
After a rather bad sleep on a spare cot, I had breakfast with the lads, then caught a car ride back into Birmingham. Soon back on the train towards London and within a few hours I was milling about with a huge crowd in the Great Hall at Euston Station. Have made arrangements to stay with Aunty Glenise at her townhouse in West Kensington for a few days while I sort out my transport to France. I would have walked there had it been nicer weather (not too far from the station), but it was raining like the devil so splurged on a cab. Aunty was thrilled to see me, making quite a fuss over my new uniform, and had a splendid hot meal and tea for me in short order. Happy to settle into a proper bed again in her spare room.

Euston Station

Attached picture Euston station.jpg
Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/06/18 09:03 AM

Thanks, Raine! Glad you enjoyed it!

Sgr. Graham A. Campbell
Hounslow Aerodrome
6 December

We were all jolted out of our sleep this morning by a terrific thunderclap right over the top of the Barracks. We blearily looked around at each other, all half-sat up in our bunks, through the low visibility of morning. Listening to the wind howling through the building, and the rain savagely beating at the roof, I watched in amazement as Freddy, three bunks forwards of mines, promptly laughed, lay back down and went to sleep again. There were several more thunderclaps, but the stubborn Kiwi refused to be roused by them. I suppose that he was somewhat used to sleeping through such a percussive din.

About half-an-hour after we had all finally fallen out of our bunks (again, except for Freddy), the door swung open with an almighty crash, to reveal a drenched Corporal who regarded us all with a hateful eye. "By order of Cpt. Instructor Andrews, there shall be no flying today". He bawled. "Whyever not?" Weston called back, and we all chuckled. The dripping Corporal growled under his breath, and promptly stepped backwards out into the storm, hunching himself over in a vain attempt to keep from becoming further drenched, and the door swung shut once more.

A few of the more resilient lads decided to try and get a hold of a car to take a trip into London, but the majority of us were content to laze around the Barracks, writing letters home, playing cards, and otherwise keeping ourselves entertained. The day seemed to drag on at a snail's pace, with the constant howl of the wind and beating of the rain slowly fading into the background of our conscious thought. When we reluctantly headed to the mess, all of us at once, a small group of pilots, including Weston, had the barmy notion of throwing a bedsheet over their heads to keep dry. I only feel sorry for the chap who will have no sheets to sleep under tonight!

We had again the breakfast of Bacon and Eggs, which in all honesty had become somewhat tiresome, and decided to stay put in the mess rather than braving the weather once more to return to our quarters. Outside the window I could see that the seagulls were gone, having issued their warning the day before. As I looked up into the dull sky, a flash of white caught my eye on the airfield and, looking down, I was amazed to see a B.E, tilted on one wing, sliding along the aerodrome with two mechanics in tow, before finally tilting completely on to its back! Desperately the two mechanics fought to tether the rogue machine down, and I (now joined by several others) cheered them on from our vantage point, finding the whole spectacle to be incredibly amusing. To nobody's surprise, before long Freddy's shape appeared on the field, bounding over to help the two poor mechanics, and with his help they had soon tethered down the waterlogged aeroplane.

The rest of the day past just as slowly as the first half had done, and we soon became bored with our newspapers, cards, and unsavoury stories about encounters with young ladies back home. When it was finally time to turn in for the night, we all crowded out of the safety of the mess, being blasted one last time by the storm, before gratefully sinking down to sleep, to put this most boring day behind us. Some of the bunks were still empty, and so I assumed that our pals had made it out to London after all, and were currently still in the middle of a binge.
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/06/18 02:02 PM


This is great, my morning coffee time just keeps getting better!

Wulfe, more excellent storytelling. As noted by Raine, very immersive stuff.

Scout, well done. I do hope Aleck will take advantage of his time in London, especially during the holiday season.

Carrick, bad weather has been the curse for a lot of folks here. Hopefully Nigel will get some flying in today.

Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/06/18 02:10 PM


December 6th, 1915
Netheravon, Wilts.

2nd Lt. Swanson was an early riser, the chores given him while growing up on the family farm along the Minnesota-Canada border had seen to that, despite what his personal preference concerning sleep schedules may have been. It was habit now, and one he had come to appreciate. He dressed quietly but quickly and slipped out of the hut without waking Collins or O’Brien. Heavy dew embraced the grass and trees but the air was clear. A rosy glow illuminated the eastern horizon and lit up the underside of the low wispy clouds that dotted the sky. And there was no wind, at least not at the moment. It would soon prove itself to be a wonderful morning for flying. For now though, Swany simply enjoyed having this quiet time as his own.

He walked towards the flying field, removing his maternity tunic as he did so, and as he passed the camp flagpole he hung it on the halyard cleat. He rolled up the sleeves of his Greyback shirt and began to jog, out along the edge of the field, upwind, past the collection of small hangars and sheds that stood there. He made the first turn and continued across the near end of the field, he could already feel the dew soaking into his stockings along the top edge of his shoes and was wishing he'd gone to the trouble of doing up his puttees. No matter, the exercise felt good and he needed it, truth be told he craved it. Years of strenuous physical labor and activity made it so.

He undid his collar button as he rounded the second turn and continued along the far edge of the field. The sun was just about to crest and the trees and buildings began casting long, murky shadows. They reminded Swany of certain early mornings back home when he would be out tending to the cows – or hunting ducks and geese, crouched in a stand of reeds, shotgun at the ready – or having a cup of coffee with his uncle as they prepared for a day of tree felling or milling – or out checking the traplines, hoping for some good pelts that would add more coins to his flying fund. Always busy, always something to be done.

The downwind end of the field had been reached and Swany made the third turn. A sliver of sun now blazed on the horizon. It was a marvelous sight after so many days of rain and gloom. He hoped it would last and allow him and his fellow pilots-in-training a chance at some extended flying. For as far back as he could recall he loved being up above the ground, and began climbing trees at an age far younger than approved of by his parents. He had no fear of heights whatsoever and when Swany turned fifteen his uncle took advantage of this fact by sending him up to top off and limb pine trees before they were felled. The young man adored the task as it gave him the view of the world he craved – the view from above. Kakaygeesick, the chief of the local Chippewa tribe that, for centuries, had inhabited the land which Swany’s family now called home, once told him that he had likely been a bird at one time and that this was why he was always longing to get up into the sky. When the elder heard that Swany would be going off to fly aeroplanes he smiled and said, “animwewebizo”, which was to mean, “he flies away with noise”. Soon others in the tribe, upon seeing Swany in town or along the road, began calling out the same thing. It made him laugh just thinking about it.

The final turn had been reached and the young man covered the last leg of the circuit at a sprint, past the line of large hangars at that end of the field, and back towards the flag pole. He could hear the mechanics getting buses ready in anticipation of the upcoming flights. Upon reaching the pole Swany stood there, breathing deeply, hands on hips, stockings soaked through, and perspiration wet on his brow. He should have been chilled to the bone given the temperature of the early morning air and his lack of tunic, but instead he felt invigorated and warm. Suddenly a voice came from behind him, stating in a matter-of-fact tone, “I can’t decide if you’ll outlive us all or die young from pneumonia.”

Swany spun around. “Jim! What a beautiful morning, huh? I bet we get some real flying time today.”

“I’ll take that bet, but first I need something warm to drink and a bite to eat. You coming?”, 2nd Lt. Collins cheerily replied.

“Be along in a minute, have to change into some dry socks, grab my puttees, and wash my face.”

The two headed off in different directions, but would soon be sharing a quick breakfast and, with a bit of luck, a good day of flying.

Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/06/18 09:03 PM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
Catterick AF
Air Training

4 Dec 1915

Finally off the ground. I was told to do circuit s after a battle climb to 1,000 ft. Bit Nerve racking had a hard time finding the Aerodrome not mention which way the wind was blowing. I say its was fun moving along at 70 miles an hour. By George even more so slanting down at nearly 100 mph. 2 nd flight just touch and go.s for a few, I guess to see if I could come down slower the a Rock.

Attached picture CFS3 2018-12-06 12-50-49-44.jpg
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/07/18 01:59 AM

77_Scout -- great start. Hope you get a good safe start despite the bad weather in December. Fullofit, don't forget you're in the final, working-up phase of training and the RGA serves as a pilot depot, so flying a G4 is not out of the question (although you'd likely spend more time on a G3 first so you could kill only yourself if so inclined). Lou, great story! I haven't caught up to 6 December yet because I'm on the road again. But the following story brings me up to date with my flights so far...

An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins
Part Four: In which I become overly confident, come close to disaster, and get brought down to earth again.

4 December was the first half-decent weather since our arrival. Although the sky was hazy, patches of sun broke through from time to time and the long stocking-like wind indicator, which Mr. Thomas called an FL for no reason I understood, hung limp on the pole beside the hangars.

“Show me five circuits, just like yesterday,” Thomas said. Drop in as close to the near end of the field as you can, come to a stop, and wait for my signal before taking off again.” It was a simple task. The BE2 was a lovely docile old cow and I was feeling rather competent. The whole task was done in less than a half-hour. By now, I was getting a bit cocky and was stalling the machine within feet of the high grass at the edge of the field so that the wheels and tail touched down at the same time. After the last circuit, I taxied up to the hangar, shut down, and thanked the sergeant mechanic who cheerily complimented the landings. All in all, I was feeling very full of myself.

An afternoon of lectures on technical subjects followed, one of which was splendidly taught and the other two of which were unintelligible due to the impediments affecting the instructor. A fellow pilot suggested the man was made a lecturer because he couldn’t cook soup.

Rain returned the next day, but it was judged flyable. I was to take the machine higher, do a circuit, land, and then take a very wide hour-long circuit of the surrounding area. I’d never flown in winds as strong as we had this day, and on take-off I found that it required full rudder to prevent the machine from turning downwind on the ground, followed by a bank into the wind upon leaving the ground. As I climbed to the west, the gusts repeated threatened to cause a stall. It took more that ten minutes to reach four thousand feet. I’d intended to circle to the south and look for Stonehenge, but I was too busy watching the angle of the nose to be concerned with the terrain below.

Cutting the circuit a bit short, I throttled back and angled down to the east side of the field. By now it was becoming routine: over the copse, over the telephone wires, over the hill, and a quick drop down to the field. But this time the gusts forced me to fly the machine down rather than ease it. Once the crest of the hill passed beneath, I cut the engine fully and let the aircraft settle. Suddenly, a gust hit me from the south and west and the machine swerved and climbed to the right, shuddered, and hung on the edge of a stall. I opened the throttle fully. The engine hesitated. I cursed, realising I had failed to enrich the mixture and quickly made the adjustment. Like a child’s kite, the BE bobbed in the air, making no headway relative to the ground. And just ahead lay the line of hangars and three machines that were staked down and surrounded by Ack Emmas! I’d swerved off the field. Full rudder now and nose down. The machine hit the ground and bounced. I throttled back and let it slow, swerving to the right to straighten out the landing. As soon as the speed dropped, I pulled the stick back into my stomach and prayed the skid would soon dig in.

I looked over and saw Thomas, pipe in teeth, making the sign of the cross. He gave me a thumbs up signal and pointed at the far end of the field. I opened up again and headed back into the grey sky and freezing wing. This time I turned north and made a wide circle north to Pewsey, east to Andover, and south to Salisbury. I was to stay up at least an hour at six thousand. The cold cut through more than I’d ever seen. I had on the new underwear, but I now wished I’d bought one of the knit spencers I’d seen at the kit store in town. The minutes passed with agonising slowness. With less than ten minutes to go I was turning north over the fringes of Salisbury and was down to 2500 feet when a loud bang startled me and the engine began to sound like dozen steam hammers in a closed shop. Something looked odd up front. After a few seconds I saw that second nearest of the right-hand bank of cylinder was not quite right. The cylinder head was bent upward like a cap on a stovepipe and obviously at least two and likely three of the long bolts had sheared. I switched off and began looking for a place to put down – something I should have been doing all along. The fields were crossed with fences or stone dykes or dotted with trees. The road leading north from Salisbury, the one we’d driven along in the OC’s Crossley, was flanked by trees or wires. I was down to one thousand feet and quickly running out of time.

I saw to the west a wide, empty road and turned towards it, but immediately realised that he wind would prevent me reaching it safely. There was no time left, so I turned north again and headed for a green field. The grass looked higher than I’d have liked and there was a line of tall trees at its near edge. It was touch and go.

The line of trees passed inches below my wheels and the BE flopped into the grass. With the stick pulled back the tail stayed down and it slowed quickly. A fence loomed up but I stopped well short. Relief came like a warm bath. Rain pattered on the planes and I inhaled the smell of wet earth and vegetation. It was several minutes before I climbed down. The tree row I’d glided over was surprisingly close, but at least it sheltered the machine from the wind. There were some soldiers on the road to the east. I headed towards them to recruit a guard while I found somewhere to phone the airfield camp.

A tender and recovery team arrived a few hours later. The field was too small to fly out of, so they had to dismantle the machine and truck it back. I walked to the road and began to plod north. After about a half-hour, another tender picked me up, and I got back just in time for tea. I found a letter from Dorothy and Mummy and another from Mr. McCready. According to McCready, more communities in Ontario were going dry, and the was increasing political support for complete prohibition and the Hearst government was likely to pass a temperance act. He recommended that we develop a brand of “medicinal” whiskey to avoid a disaster. I wrote to him that the brand need not be substantially different in formulation from Collins Yukon Gold. A new label might suffice. I added that it might be possible to set up a US distribution company in Buffalo, as production for the export market may be allowed.
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/07/18 04:39 PM

Good stories all
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/07/18 08:04 PM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
Catterick AF
Air Training

Dec 5th, was up twice as the weather was closing in looks like heavy rain. 1st was circuits and touch and go's. Then up for 22 mins and stalled. I was trying to climb to 3000ft but the wind was blowing hard and I stalled out. I was pushed into a wing over going the other direction. Frightful experience. I stayed in the air another 40 min fighting the wind and light rain looking for the Aero park, Finally able to get down. Maybe being in the Infantry wasn't so bad after all ?

Dec 6, Rain.
Posted By: Robert_Wiggins

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/07/18 09:51 PM

Yes some good stories here and that last one Raine was very immersive. Some great period terminology and phrasing made me feel I was actually reading a diary.

Best Regards
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/08/18 12:29 AM

Looks like everyone is battling the weather. Raine, that last entry made me sweat!

5-6 December, 1915
Le Bourget
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

“Fly some circuits near the aerodrome at 1000 m. Land and do it all over again at 2000 m for 1 to 2 hours.” they said. “Simple enough!” Gaston was in a good mood. The bottle of red wine he procured last night had something to do with it. There were no clear signs of weather improvement in the skies above. The heavy rain clouds would be Gaston’s companions for the next few flights, it would seem. The Caudron was prepared and waiting for him ready for the next test. He strapped himself in. Engine 2 RPMs were a tad lower than #1 but nothing to be concerned about. The large biplane had no issues climbing up to 1000 m despite the reports of strong winds. Gaston circled the aerodrome for 15 minutes and started his descent for the first landing. Everything went smoothly and now he was climbing back again, this time up to the prescribed 2000 m altitude. Once he reached 1800 m the machine refused to climb any higher. It was as if the plane was anchored to the ground. Gaston reduced the incline angle nearly to zero to see if that would help. The lumbering crate started to slowly gain altitude. Finally, when the 2000 mark was reached Gaston found himself rather fatigued from fighting the wind gusts and with great pleasure and relief started his descent and landing procedure.
The next day the circling exercise had to be repeated but with a climb up to 3000 m! Why would anyone ever need to fly this high? The cloud cover was much lower today, so it was certain Gaston would have to navigate between these fluffy giants. Thankfully the wind wasn’t a factor today and Gaston was able to reach altitude without too much trouble. Trouble started when he had to fly above the clouds and the aerodrome was hidden from view for some time. Nothing looked familiar when he was able to glimpse parts of the ground through the gaps. He finally decided to drop beneath the clouds to get his bearings. The clouds were as low as 1600 m and with him having to drop below them, it was a significant departure. He was afraid the instructors would make him do the entire exercise again. He climbed again after recognizing some features. Paris is to the south of the aerodrome. He could see the sprawling city far in the distance. That was as much direction as he would need. Back in the clouds to complete the full hour before coming back for a landing. Once the time was up he dropped below the clouds once more to line up for a landing. He looked around. The aerodrome was nowhere to be found. Paris was nowhere in sight. “Zut alors!” Gaston was lost. When looking at the map he remembered there was a forest north of the aerodrome. He was flying over one right now. Was this the forest he remembered from the map? Only one way to find out. He pointed the nose of the aircraft south and waited. And waited. Finally! There it was - outskirts of Paris, just ahead. Gaston breathed a sigh of relief. He found his way back! From there on it was easy to locate the field. He landed at once and promised himself to carry a map with himself on every flight. No matter how insignificant. And with the next lesson being a cross country dash it only made sense.

[Linked Image]

Attached picture IMG_0975.JPG
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/08/18 01:25 AM

I dare say you all have raised the bar a considerable height! I just caught up with everyone’s pilot and to say I am impressed with the stories is an understatement. Fantastic!

As I am currently busy with my full time job of retirement, I will be joining you in France in January. This country boy will have a hard time keeping up with you folks.
Posted By: Hasse

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/08/18 10:11 AM

The bar has been set so high that it feels almost intimidating to post anything here among all the DID Hemingways. biggrin
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/08/18 01:41 PM


Hasse, in my case it's spelled "Hemingweigh", what with the winter pounds I've put on these last couple of months. Also, and this applies to you as well Mark, neither of you has ever had a problem holding your own when it comes to writing.

Fullofit, I feel Gaston's pain as concerns getting lost, been there more times in this sim than I care to think about, and with or without maps too. Nice old photo by the way.

Robert, I hope we'll be seeing an entry from your pilot soon.

Carrick, good to see that Nigel has been managing at least some flying time despite the poor weather. That wind has been something, my pilot was nearly standing still in the air on one of his last flights as he pushed against the wind with a B.E.2. Despite full throttle his forward air speed was barely above stall speed. Unnerving, a bit.

Raine, very glad Jim was able to bring his bus down unscathed in that dead stick landing. Any landing you can walk away from, eh what. As for the medicinal qualities of Collins Yukon Gold Whiskey, I don't think there is any doubt of those.

Great stuff as always gents, most enjoyable.


Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/08/18 03:05 PM

I consider myself Lemmingway - following in the footsteps of the greats but too insignificant on my own.
Lou, I have a feeling navigation is going to be Gaston’s undoing. Despite some recent posts that cheating is ok, I’m going the other way. No TAC, no autopilot, no inflight map (paper only - shaking it vigorously to simulate wind buffeting). All a first for me. The challenge for me (or fun), will be to get to the right location as much as the ability to run away from the enemy.
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/08/18 09:11 PM

Mark Anthony Jericho
December, 1915

Jericho stepped out of the Lorry at his new home at Netheravon. It was a long way from Tupelo Mississippi in the United States. "Circumstances." That had been Jericho's reply to the question whenever he was asked. Tupelo, Texas, Canada and now to this place in England. At 23 he was a bit older than most of the young men in his classes. He did not look it though. In fact, he looked no older than anyone else in the crowd. He was not particularly tall at 5'-11'' but after 5 years as a cowhand in Texas he was as agile as a cat and almost as quick. His calm demeanor and quiet way belayed a quick temper that was just below the surface.

As he pulled the collar of his coat around his neck from the chill of the English winter he heard someone call his name. As he turned around he saw his old acquaintance's from Long Branch, James Collins and Swany Swanson.

"I thought you would be in France by now? Where have you been." James asked him.

As Jericho shook their hands he replied. "Good to see you fellows. Well, it seems my papers got crossed up and found myself at a place called Upavon. Worst bunch of would be airmen you ever saw. It didn't take them long to run short of machines as they were all the time busting them up."

"So what are you doing here?" Swany asked in his northern accent that Jericho still could not beleive was American.

"Well, the Captain and I there got along peach as he was a horseman. He and I talked horses as much as was allowed so he made a deal with me. He said that since it would be a while until enough machines would be available to get along with our training he would send me here to complete my training so as not to hold me up. As long as I didn't mess things up and make him look bad that is. I thought that was awful good of the Captain". "Can you tell me who I need to check in with?" he asked.

"That would be Sergeant-Major Brookings, he's standing there." Swany replied as he pointed to the man.

"Thank you Swany" Jericho replied as he lifted his kit. "I'll see you gentlemen later" and with that Jericho walked off to see the Sergeant-Major.

Swany and Jim stood looking at Jericho walk away when Jim said, "I would not have thought it possible."

"What? That he is here at Nerheravon?" Swany asked.

"No" replied Jim. "that he could talk that much!" They both laughed as they headed to the next class.

Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/08/18 10:57 PM

Nice opening, MFair! I'm looking forward to this.
Posted By: Maeran

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/08/18 11:48 PM

Great stories everyone. I have been much enjoying reading them on my work breaks.

Here is the opening installment of my pilot's story. William Arthur George Stanley is ready to take to the skies.

I had a bit of trouble getting him started. For some reason, a pilot in 16 squadron cannot fly in early December without causing a DLL crash. I reinstalled WOFF before I worked out it was that specific. Stanley is flying in game on the earliest available day where he can fly, the 21st of December. But I am considering his progress to be at roughly the same pace as everyone else's.


[Linked Image]

The barking of the training sergeant carried far over the racecourse in the cold damp air. The wooden collisades of the grand stand stood empty, but men in khaki marched up and down the course, trampling the turf into a muddy mess. Here and there, men undergoing instruction in various aspects of military life huddled in groups against the cold. Between the road and the stands, in sheds and stables that had until recently supported the sport of kings, men became accustomed to the mechanisms of modern war.

 In one of the administration offices, William Stanley reported for duty.

 Captain Anne looked up and smiled at the student pilot that had been brought before his desk by a helpful orderly.
"Ah, welcome to Doncaster second..." the adjutant peered at the officer's buttons, "lieutenant. Household Cavalry I see?"
"Yes sir," Stanley replied, "the Blues."
"Good! Good balance is what is needed in an aeroplane, and a cavalry officer is well practised in that function. You shan't be expected to bed down in a stable here. Officers are billeted in the big house opposite the main entrance.  You can't miss it.  Happily the mess is there as well."

The adjutant consulted a list and scribbled a note, which he handed to Stanley. "This is your room. Report to 'C' shed on the aerodrome at 0800 hours dressed to fly."

[Linked Image]

The next morning found Stanley waiting in front of a wooden hangar with a dozen other pilots. Like Stanley's, their wings were freshly stitched onto their tunics. One or two wore their yellow flying coats open to display the magical badge. It was shortly before dawn that Stanley arrived on the aerodrome and the weather had been deemed good enough by Captain Moller, one of the instructors.

[Linked Image]

15 (reserve) squadron had a few of the shorthorns that Stanley had soloed on, not three weeks before. The majority of the aeroplanes were a tractor type biplane called an Armstrong Whitworth FK3. It was an attempt at improving on the Royal Aircraft Factory's BE2, but had turned out so similar that most people would have assumed that they were looking at two aircraft of the same type. There were a few BE2s as well, and it was in one of these that Captain Moller took Stanley up.

"Nothing fancy," Moller had told his pupil before climbing into the cockpit. "Take off, make a circuit to the north. Don't fly over the town. I don't want you having an engine failure and making an unannounced visit to some poor lady's garden. Take us up to one thousand feet and make a good descent and landing. You've got your wings, so show me that you deserve them."

The BE2 climbed far more quickly than the gentle shorthorns that Stanley had been flying. As the hangars on his left dropped away, Stanley saw the pointed end of the teardrop shaped racecourse behind them. This was where the stands clustered along the Great North road. White dots inside the circuit showed where soldiers were being trained in setting up tents in a proper military fashion.

The wind wobbled the wings of the climbing BE gently as they reached the target altitude. The dark brick terraces of Doncaster stretched away to the left and Stanley turned right, and north, mindful of Moller's instruction. Moller, sat in the rear cockpit, watched his movements with silent judgement. North of the aerodrome was open countryside and Stanley flew over dark winter fields under a grey sky. Now slowly descending with the engine ticking at idle.

On the approach to the aerodrome, Stanley saw a copse startlingly close to his left wing. He dipped the right wing to veer away from them before levelling out and making a good, if fast landing. The tail skid bounced slightly before settling and dragging the BE2 to a stop.

After taxiing over to the hangars, Moller helped Stanley down from the front cockpit.

"A good start, Second Lieutenant. A lot of pilots are taught to hold the wings level and turn solely with rudder. Either you weren't taught that or you ignored your instructors." The ruddy faced Captain leered at him, "don't you dare ignore me, by the way. If you had turned with the rudder, we would have skidded into those trees. So well done on the banking turn."

Stanley beamed with pride.

"It would have been better if you had been looking where you were going. Those bloody trees are well off the proper approach." Moller continued. "Go and find something to eat, and then report back here. If the weather stays clement we may have you up again after lunch."
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/09/18 01:53 AM

MFair and Maeran, welcome to the fray! Good to have you onboard.

7 December, 1915
Le Bourget
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

With the newly acquired map of Marne region securely in his pocket, Gaston was sitting at the controls of the Caudron flying east. The instructions were to fly for an hour, land and take off and return back home. He was sitting hunched over the map last night with a generous glass of Le Pinard, planning his route. The map was prepared by Monsieur Louvert et Fils Co. and was exactly what Gaston needed. All the roads, railroad tracks, cities, forests, rivers and other landmarks were carefully plotted in great detail. It was simply magnificent. It had the added bonus of the locations of all Entente and all known enemy aerodromes and the extents of the battlefront lines, current as of printing.
“Let’s see...” Gaston thought to himself looking at the scale in the bottom left corner. “The grid looks to be calibrated to about 15 km apart. If my Caudron flies at an average speed of 120km/h then I should cover ... (counts in his head and on his fingers) ... ... ... 8 squares!” He traced his finger 8 grid lines east of Le Bourget and stopped on Epernay. “Hmmm, this looks like a nice spot for a picnic.” He had his destination, now for the difficult part: plotting the route. He examined the map again and noticed that the path to the destination is dotted nearly in a straight line by a series of wooded areas. “That’s it! I’ll simply bunny hop from one forest to the next until I hit Epernay. Oh la la! I need to choose my words more carefully.”
He was now approaching the first wooded area. There was a satisfying grin forming under his moustache, which immediately turned into frown. A slight miscalculation on Gaston’s part. The ground fog blanketed the entire surface making it impossible to see the next wooded area. Gaston simply could not “connect the dots”, that figured so prominently on his map. He quickly formulated a backup plan. Follow the roads. Why hasn’t he started with this plan in the first place? Because the roads don’t go there directly in a straight line, instead they turn and twist, which makes following them that much more difficult. Gaston turned south until he met a road that ran in the east-west direction and started to follow it. He soon found out that flying above the road wasn’t the best way to go about it, as his forward visibility was very limited by the wings, the 2 engine nacelles and the forward cockpit with the observer, his forward view was next to nonexistent. He pretty much had to navigate based on the ground he’s already covered, as the unobstructed view was to the rear and partially to the sides. He flew along rivers and railway tracks as much as the roads. Anything that was running perpendicular to his flight path served as distance markers indicating how far he had progressed along his journey, promptly checked against his map. This and the clock ticking on the dashboard. For Gaston it was not really telling the time, but counting down the minutes to his destination. The time seemed to move twice as fast as normal with the vigilant observation of the road and waiting for the landmarks to slip by. It was nearly time to make the scheduled landing when Gaston noticed the sprawling Foret de la Charmoye, just east of Epernay. He was nearly there and on time! Gaston’s excitement grew with each mile closer to the city. He was amazed how trouble-free the entire voyage had been. He was ready to land when he noticed an aerodrome south of Epernay. It had to be Villeneuve-les-Vertus. He decided to circle it before landing on the nearby road and be on his way back home. He made a low level pass over the field and waved to the men running out of the sheds and hangars to see what the whole ruckus was all about. He made one more circuit and turned south towards the road to land. Too bad he wasn’t allowed to land at the aerodrome as the fog was thicker in these parts. He made his descent, checked that the road was clear of any traffic and lined up for the landing. 100 m ... 50 m ... 10 m ... CRACK!
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/09/18 01:09 PM


Ah yes, more excellent reading to go with my morning cuppa. Much appreciated.

Mark, it’s great to see your pilot has made his appearance here. Wonderful introduction.

Maeran, your fellow has arrived as well, outstanding. Odd about the CTD but glad you came up with a work-around.

Fullofit, “Monsieur Louvert et Fils Co.”, that one made me laugh out loud. But what was the crack sound? Is Gaston alright? Did he have a wreck? Oh the anticipation of it all!

Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/09/18 04:50 PM

This early in the campaign and we already have our first cliff hanger! Nice story Fullofit.
Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/09/18 04:50 PM

Absolutely love how the Netheravon mob's characters are all directly interconnected! Very, very cool stuff, and I can't wait to see how the connection plays out in France! Speaking of France, what has that crazy Gaston fellow done?! I hope Monsieur isn't injured!

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell.
Hounslow Heath Aerodrome
December 9th, 1915.

It appears that the storm on the 6th was to be the last recent excitement to be had, for over the past few days we have all been subjected to an unbearable tedium.

The B.E.2 that had been upturned by the wind has been written off. As the men couldn't upturn the machine until the storm had passed, merely lashing it down in place, the engine was quickly waterlogged in the downpour, and the drenched canvas became so heavy in places that it led to the eventual snapping of a spar in at the lower port-side wing root, causing the entire wing to warp, its tip touching the upper planes. And so, it came to be that we had only one training machine left to share between nine of us (save for the old Boxkite, but there was nothing left to learn on such a basic craft). Naturally, this meant that our flying time became very limited, with long stretches of empty conversations and half-hearted card games of 'Rummy' and 'Beggar my Neighbour' (neither of which I knew how to play, so that option was closed to me). The effect was mind-numbing dreariness, in which only two pilots were able to go up in the B.E. for training exercises a day. To make matters worse, Cpt. Andrews had revoked our right to take trips into London! According to him, there's a "thousand things to learn, even out of the cockpit, so get your heads in the damned instruction manuals, you devils, and no more of these bloody excursions!".

On the 8th, Freddy had tried to arrange us into two teams, for a game of rugby. Of course, we had no ball, but a kit-bag stuffed with mines and Freddy's tunic was a fitting substitute. We all eagerly lined up as the two de-facto team captains (Freddy and a fellow I've not yet mentioned, named Albert Chapman) picked out their players. At first, we thought we'd found a way to beat the boredom, but this soon came to an end after a particularly boisterous tackle by Freddy on poor old Moore knocked the wind right out of him, causing the competition to abruptly cease. Our Kiwi doesn't know his own strength! He was awfully apologetic, and Moore bids him no ill-will over the incident.

Being cast back into the merciless boredom, we took to watching the two active R.F.C squadrons, No. 15 and No. 24, going about their training exercises, as well as analysing with a critical eye to rival Andrews' our fellow trainees, when the two lucky fellows were picked to fly. My favourites to watch were the De Havilland scouts of No. 24, which were capable of performing all manner of weird stunts and tricks. Earlier this morning, I had watched in amazement as their C.O, the famous Lanoe Hawker, who had won a Victoria Cross in France (A V.C - for an airman!), took up a DeHav and proceeded to demonstrate a series of spins and recoveries to his pilots. I had desperately wanted to fly after seeing this display, but sadly for me, our lucky two trainees for the day were Teddie Lawson and Hugo Lane.

Our lunch in the Barracks mess was interrupted by the appearance of Cpt. Andrews (who has been in a continuously foul mood ever since the loss of our second B.E.). At first, we expected to be scorned for some small thing or other, but for once the 'Hellhound of Hounslow' had brought us good news! Andrews had gotten off the phone with Hendon's Adjutant, having arranged to collect two brand-new B.E.2s! It was only a short drive, and we should have our machines by the end of the day. Losing our heads, we all cheered the Captain who, in embarrassed surprise, roared back at us to "Be quiet, you rowdy lot!".

Doyle Weston and Jacky-boy (our affectionate recently-given nickname for Jack Fisher) were ordered to go by car to Hendon and ferry the new machines back. We all watched with an envious eye as they got up and practically ran to the barracks door, literally jumping at the chance to alleviate the boredom. As he exited, that cheeky sod Jacky-boy turned and winked at us! After another brief stint of boredom, we heard the B.E's arriving at about Two O'Clock, and all bundled outside with critical eyes to assess their landings. Jacky-boy, of course, performed a perfect three-pointer. Weston's was not as aesthetically pleasing, but did the job. A gaggle of mechanics quickly appeared to roll our new machines into their hangars, and our excitement was done for the day.

Before turning in for the night, we checked the roster. Ah, relief! We were all to fly tomorrow! And, wait, what's this? Freddy, Jacky-boy and I were to fly an hour-long solo flight each! I relished the mere thought of a full hour to myself in the air, and retired to my bunk knowing full-well that I would be too excited to sleep.

[Linked Image]
Flight Instructor Cpt. Richard Andrews, the 'Hellhound of Hounslow']
Posted By: lederhosen

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/09/18 05:58 PM

we gota wright a book and sell it...to finance WOFF+mods
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/09/18 10:16 PM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
Catterick AF
Air Training

8 Dec

The chaps and I cut cards to see who would give her a go in a clear spot of the weather. The Instructor said take up to 2000 Meters and get a'bot 60 mins flight time. No problem till I was up at 760 meters then then best she would climb was in steps. A few to many feet, she would shutter on a Stall so level out gain speed and Repeat. I finally reached 2000 , but it took me about 50 mins as I was afraid of Stalling into a Tail Spin. Upon landing I found that I had been up for 106 mins. In addition , I found a small Hole in / rip in my elevator. It must have happened when I spit out some gum that I was chewing to help stay warm. It must have froze at that height and acted like a small bullet causing the hole and small rip in the fabric.

Attached picture CFS3 2018-12-09 13-36-07-55.jpg
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/10/18 01:58 PM

Wulfe, good thing Cpt. Andrews has his head screwed on right. Hurray for the new machines.
Gentlemen, thank you for all the concern regarding Gaston’s wellbeing. I’ll try to post a new instalment of his adventures in the evening.
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/10/18 02:53 PM


Carrick, your man best watch what he does with his chewing gum in the future. Perhaps he could use it as a new weapon the first time he is chased by a Hun, with any luck he could put the frozen wad right through his attacker's windscreen.

Wulfe, glad to see some new machines have arrived and Graham's training can get back on schedule. Now let's hope the weather cooperates.

Swany was up for nearly two hours yesterday doing his fly out and landing at a spot other than an aerodrome, then returning to camp. It went without incident other than a surprised horse who watched as Swany landed on the road next to the animal's pasture only to take off again brief minutes later. Swany was very pleased with how it went. It is unknown what the horse thought.

Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/10/18 04:16 PM

Lou, perhaps you should get off your high horse and ask the poor mare how she feels about it? I suppose it’s too late now. No need to shut the barn door after the horse has bolted.
I’m glad Swany stopped horsing around and had been given free reins to go where he pleases. No complaints from him I hope? He shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. biggrin
Posted By: Maeran

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/10/18 04:46 PM

[Linked Image]

Relevant to my next instalment (not today) and also now it seems smile
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/10/18 05:58 PM

Maeran, you’re putting the cart before the horse!
Sounds like a challenge to get a horse into your story. I know mine will have a dumb friend, or two in it!
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/10/18 08:14 PM

Originally Posted by Fullofit
Maeran, you’re putting the cart before the horse!
Sounds like a challenge to get a horse into your story. I know mine will have a dumb friend, or two in it!

Or to put it in classical terms, Maeran, you're putting Descartes before Horace...

Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/10/18 08:16 PM

Just my thoughts on the subject. Some horses are smarter than others but I say any animal that out weighs you 5 times and could stomp you into a bloody hole in the ground whenever he chooses but instead allows you to be it’s master ain’t very smart. But I guess wives could say the same about husbands!
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/10/18 09:57 PM

I thought that I Horsed Around a Lot. Lets Saddle up and get on down the Trail.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/10/18 10:04 PM

Originally Posted by Raine
Or to put it in classical terms, Maeran, you're putting Descartes before Horace...

Raine, what classical period is that? 1914?

Originally Posted by MFair
Just my thoughts on the subject. Some horses are smarter than others but I say any animal that out weighs you 5 times and could stomp you into a bloody hole in the ground whenever he chooses but instead allows you to be it’s master ain’t very smart. But I guess wives could say the same about husbands!

Ain't that the truth, MFair!

Originally Posted by carrick58
I thought that I Horsed Around a Lot. Lets Saddle up and get on down the Trail.


9 December, 1915
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

-“Vous etes un idiot, Sergent Voscadeaux!” The voice on the other side of the telephone was livid.
-“Oui, mon Capitaine.” Gaston agreed, while holding a wet towel to his temple and watching his damaged Caudron being wheeled onto the Villeneuve-les-Vertus aerodrome by a two-horse* drawn wagon. He was speaking from the office of the airfield he had overflown earlier that morning.
-“I don’t care that you are alright.” the angry voice on the telephone continued “I care about the expensive aeroplane you’ve damaged during your clumsy landing. I care that it will take 2 days to repair the undercarriage of the said aeroplane that you crashed into the ditch. I care that no one else will be able to use it during this time. Who let you fly all the way to Epernay in the first place? If you were here I would ground you for two days. Get your butt back to Le Bourget tout de suite! Is that understood?”
-“Oui, mon Capitaine! Immediately!” He hung the earpiece on the hook of the telephone set.
Gaston will have to spend the next 2 days here waiting for the repairs to his Caudron. 2 days!
The name of the mechanic that took care of his Caudron was Jacques Gusteau but everyone there just called him Le Pou (Louse), because he kept on scratching himself all the time. Gaston was itching just from looking and he spent all of his time with Le Pou, who doubled and tripled to get the Caudron back into shape. Both propellers needed replacing and the right side wheel needed to be straightened. Gaston helped with the rips and tears in the canvas. The machine was ready by the end of the second day. On 9 December, with the sun up, Gaston started the engine, then the other one. #2 was still running at reduced RPMs. He would have to speak with the mechanics when he got back. He let the rotaries warm up a bit, checked all control surfaces, said a quiet prayer and gave the signal to let go to the men holding the crate in place. It lounged forward, rolled for a while and was up in the air and climbing. The weather was perfect for flying. Beautiful, blue sky, slight breeze and not a care in the world. Gaston was on his way back, keeping the sun in his rear quarter and checking the map only occasionally. He knew his way back home by now. The flight took another short hour and he landed just in time for second breakfast. Understandably he wasn’t very popular with the rest of the pilots, who were robbed of the opportunity to fly this Caudron during the past 2 days, setting everyone back. From now on, he would be the last one to get to fly it, after everyone else had their turn.

[Linked Image]

* No horses were harmed in making of this post.

Attached picture Crash.jpg
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/10/18 10:22 PM

I agree with lederhosen, there is a novel in these stories! I will get in touch with Peter Jackson pronto and see if we can get a movie deal also. Fantastic stories Gents!

Mark A. Jericho

Jim Collins and Jericho stood near the BE that was being warmed up. Jericho had been assigned to Lieutenant Thomas as his instructor was absent for the day. " I don't care what your lovely Captain at Upavon says, you will have to show me you can fly this machine before you do any cross country flying. Is that clear?" Thomas asked.

"Clear" Jericho replied.

"Now do a few rounds of the field and set her down." Thomas directed.

Jericho climbed into the old bus, waved away the chocks and bounded down the field. Pulling back on the stick the BE slowly climbed into the sky. It was a beautiful day with only a few clouds and little wind. When he knew all was well Jericho put the machine into a slow climb to the right. One thousand ft., two thousand ft. and still higher he climbed.

On the ground, Thomas and Collins watched as the BE went higher and higher. After 20 minuets Thomas spoke more to himself than anyone else, "What is the fool doing? He must be above 5000 ft.! At that moment, the drone of the engine above sputtered and died.

"Boody Hell!" Thomas exclaimed as he took the pipe out of his mouth.

"His engine has gone dud! Maybe he can restart it!" Collins joined in.

They both kept their eyes on the plane as it started a slow spiral back to earth.

Jericho was directly over the field. He kept the field off the right wingtip as he slowly spiraled down. Four thousand, three thousand, two thousand.

Thomas and Collins were holding their breath expecting the worst.

At one thousand ft. Jericho straightened her out headed away from the field then put the nose down and turned to the field for a landing. Coming in a little fast he expertly side slipped the machine and put her on the straight and narrow just before touchdown coming to a stop in the middle of the field.

Thomas and Collins were at the machine as soon as it stopped. "What happened?!" Thomas asked.

"Nothing" Jericho replied as he climbed out of the machine.

"Nothing!" Thomas shouted. "What happened to your bloody engine?

"Nothing. I switched her off." Jericho replied.

Thomas pointed at Jericho with his pipe. "I tell you to do a few rounds and set her down and you go to 6000' and switch off your bloody engine! What in god's name for!" He was livid

Jericho pulled off his flying cap and goggles, stood as straight as an arrow and with an oil stained grin said. "A few rounds is a bit subjective, maybe I did more than a few and at Uptavon a dead stick landing is up next so I figured we would just kill two birds with one stone.....So to speak.....Mr Thomas.

Thomas took a long turn on his pipe and slowly blew the smoke into the crisp air. Not taking his eyes off Jericho he said, "Your up next Collins!"
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/10/18 10:45 PM

Fullofit, close call there! I’m glad Gaston got away with nothing but a bump on the head. I was wondering if we would lose any pilots during training. Law of averages and such. I hope not.
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/11/18 12:11 AM

Wulfe, you’re making me jealous that my guy isn’t closer to the city! 77_Scout, your photo of Euston reminds me of taking the train from there to Cambridge back in 1970! It hadn’t changed. Lou, you realise, of course, that only Commies go jogging before breakfast? Fulllofit, I’m really enjoying Gaston. He’s a man after my own heart (I’m in a hotel tonight and there’s a 50% off sale on wine in the restaurant, so one needs a bottle of Pinot with one’s burger, wot?). Great cliffhanger, but I’m glad to see all is well. MFair, I am really looking forward to see Jericho react to darkest Europe! Maeran, absolutely delighted to have you in the campaign! Well done on WAGS in slipping into the field on that circuit. Carrick, what Yank did you get the gum from????

An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins

Part Five: In which I tour the countryside and am treated by a generous Canadian.

Mark Jericho, our cowboy trainee from Long Branch, showed up at Netheravon yesterday afternoon. We chatted for a minute on the field and then, later in the mess, I discovered that the man is temperate, which is as close to an atheist as a Bible-thumping cowpuncher can possibly get. Still, he’ll be great fun to tease, I figured. He took the empty spot in our hut and it was like Old Home Week in Netheravon!

6 December began as a lovely day. Swaney was first up and polished off his circuits without drama. I was next. Thomas insisted I repeat my task from yesterday, despite my protest that I’d been less than ten minutes short of touchdown and had proved my ability to land by downing my crippled bus in a field the size of a tennis court. I took over shortly after eight, climbed south to Salisbury, and looped west until I turned back to the aerodrome and touched down at the very edge of the field. Taking off again, I did a wide loop of Wiltshire and settle back in neatly.

Later in the morning, I did another loop of the area, this time climbing to 10,000 feet. The BE2 struggled a bit above 8,000 feet. On this second flight, the clouds grew thicker and threatened a continuation of the stormy weather that had plagued much of December to date. Still, I was able to see the ground from time to time and could not help noticing the incredible military activity across the local countryside. There were fields with spiderweb-like tracings of trenches, and convoys of lorries threw up dust storms despite the wet earth. Even from 10,000 feet up, one could see formations of cavalry on manoeuvre in the fields and lanes.

I’d never climbed this high before and found it bothered me. I had a splitting headache until after dinner that night.

Swaney had a good flight and Jericho did a dead-stick landing that drove Thomas apoplectic, since he didn’t realise it was intentional.

Several of the fellows were heading to town after dinner and Swany, Jericho, and I joined them. In Salisbury, we found a public house called the Red Lion, and encountered a group of Canadian officers who were, to a man, quite drunk. A few of the fellows sat with us and one chap, Stanley Something by name, passed out at the table with a fistful of 10 shillling notes in his hand. Jericho swore that the fellow promised to stand rounds before falling asleep, so Swaney and I ordered bitter while Jericho ordered coffee and cakes, and a good and cheap night was had by all. Before leaving, we wrote Stanley a thank-you note and left him our calling cards in the event we ever meet in France. If we all live, I should be glad to repay the fellow.

[Linked Image]
"In Salisbury, we found a public house called the Red Lion..."

Attached picture Red-Lion-Hotel-Salisbury-Old-Postcard-B349.jpg
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/11/18 01:49 AM

This is just getting better and better. Good stuff MFair. Jericho is going to show them all a thing or two about flying.
Raine, stealing from a sleeping Canadian? That’s unheard of!
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/11/18 01:54 AM

Originally Posted by Fullofit
Raine, stealing from a sleeping Canadian? That’s unheard of!

But the Canada Revenue Agency does it with monotonous regularity!
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/11/18 02:01 AM

Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/11/18 02:58 PM


Raine, now THAT’S funny! Also, another spiffing episode to the story, the takeaway to which apparently being, best to let sleeping Canadians lie.

MFair, a most enjoyable read. Jericho is clearly going to be a force to be reckoned with. Well done.

Fullofit, Gaston had quite the wreck there. No wonder he is not currently the flavor of the month with his fellow aviateurs.

We seem to have a definite horse theme going here at the moment, along with the bad puns. By the way, love the poster, Maeran. And to add to said equine theme just a bit more, here is Swany’s most recent adventure.


The day began crisp and bright and looked as if it would be another fine one for flying, albeit a cold one. 2nd Lt. Swanson had already been out for his morning run, after which he'd grabbed a quick breakfast washed down with an extra cup of hot tea, and was now seated in the cockpit of his assigned mount, a slightly scruffy B.E. that had been converted to a single-place trainer by the addition of ballast lashed into the front observer’s office and a makeshift cowling placed over it. Swany had been instructed to fly southeast to the aerodrome at Gosport, land, and return to camp. He gave his bus a final check then waved the signal for “chocks away” and off he went. Once in the air he made a turn towards the south and began his climb to 5,000’. When he saw Stonehenge off his right wingtip he made a slow, steady arc to the southeast. It was a beautiful morning to be in the air and Swany was filled with youthful exuberance as he plotted his course. He watched as the large woods east of Salisbury began to slide beneath him, then gave the altimeter a quick study; 4,600’, nearly there.

“Faen förbannade jävla!”, the Norsk flyer cursed out loud. It hadn’t been 20 minutes into his trip when suddenly the Renault V-8 gave out with a loud clank, stopping dead brief seconds later. There was no restarting it either as something down in the bowels of the engine had clearly come undone. Swany began searching about for a suitable makeshift landing spot. He was still over the woods but had good height, and as the B.E. was blessed with a very shallow glide rate he had time to assess his situation. He turned gently to the east as this would get him clear of the woods via the shortest path. He sized up a field that lay beyond his lower left plane and determined it to be a good candidate and began gliding his dead mount towards it. A short time later he was lining himself up along a fence line that ran west towards a small farm, touching down onto the field and rolling to a stop without further incident. Looking over towards the farm he saw a horse grazing, and unlike the one he had startled two days earlier this one showed no concern whatsoever about the uninvited guest. Swany climbed out of the B.E. and walked over to the house, giving the disinterested equine a pat behind the ear as he passed it. The beast responded by pulling its head away from Swany’s hand while giving a snort of apparent derision. The farmer who resided in the nearby house was far friendly and during the brief conversation with him the airman was told that, while there was no phone on the farm, he would find one he could use at the pub in West Tytherley not but half a mile up the road. The farmer further offered to keep an eye on his plane while he was away, though there was little chance of anyone fooling about with it where it was parked. Swany thanked the amiable fellow and headed off to make the call to camp.

Lifting off from Netheravon.
[Linked Image]

Passing over the woods east of Salisbury
[Linked Image]

Engine dead, looking for a place to set down.
[Linked Image]

Coming in along the fence line.
[Linked Image]

On the ground, safe and sound.
[Linked Image]

Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/11/18 05:56 PM

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell.
Hounslow Heath Aerodrome
December 11th, 1915.

I did not fly my hour-long circuit yesterday.

The weather had picked up slightly, and the winds were blowing at a higher speed than most felt comfortable taking off in. However, I was up to the challenge, and was ready at 0700, complete in full flying gear, to go up. As I waited for the mechanics to give my machine its final checks and wheel it out, I was kept entertained by watching a pilot of No. 24, practising spinning down in a D.H.2 as their C.O. had demonstrated. Buzzing with excitement, I watched as the pilot would spin down about 200 feet, recover, pull out in a swooping arc just over the tops of the hangars, and lazily climb back up again.

The nose of my B.E. begun to creep out from the hangars, as the No. 24 pilot straightened out at 1200 feet, flicked the rudder while lifting the nose, and promptly fell into another spin. I watched eagerly - for his past two spins I had been especially interested in attempting to see the control surfaces being manipulated in the air to fight the spin. However, something seemed wrong...the D.H.2 had just turned its seventh revolution in the spin...the pilot had consistently pulled out after six before. My excitement turned to concern, and then to horror as the pusher aeroplane spun all the way down, before crashing heavily just behind our hangar. Within seconds, pilots, mechanics, medics, were all running towards the crash, myself included. When I rounded the corner of the hangar, I was met with a grim sight. The D.H.2 had been converted into a crumpled mess of splintered wood, with no discernible shape left to it, save for the one upturned Starboard wing, which had remained somewhat intact. Several men rushed forwards, lifting the limp, bloody pilot out of the wreck and laying him down on the ground. His body looked twisted in a terrible, unnatural way, and he was clearly dead. Feeling faint, I staggered back, before turning away from the gruesome sight and lighting a cigarette with shaky hands. Almost instantly, the cigarette was snatched from my mouth and stubbed out. "Are you mad, man?!" an unfamiliar voice cried. "There's petrol everywhere, you fool!".

Sleep did not come easy that night - my mind presented me with rapidly-flowing images of the crash, then the body of the airman. Teddie and Albie Chapman had seen the smash as well, and were in a similar funk.

However, our training can't be halted on account of one death, and as the Hellhound has pointed out, we will be exposed to a lot more death in France. So, this morning I stood in the same spot, as the B.E.2 was wheeled out. Although this time there were no stunting D.H.2s over the hangars, I still stared at the skies.

When my B.E. was ready, I lethargically clambered into the cockpit, and started up the engine with one of the mechanics. As per usual before every training flight, Andrews appeared alongside my cockpit. "One hour in the air at 3,000 feet. Stay within eyeshot of the Heath". I nodded, pulling my goggles down, and pushed the throttle forwards. The machine obediently took me into the air, and I climbed out Westwards. Nervously, I checked my dashboard. To my dismay, the needle of the airspeed indicator was swinging wildly between 50 and 55 knots - the instrument was malfunctioning! This did nothing for my courage as I let out a shaky breath and gently rolled the machine North, heading again towards London.

Gradually, the memory of the fallen D.H.2 left me, and I relaxed into enjoying the sensation of flight. It was shockingly cold in the chill December air as I reached 2,000 feet, and I resorted to periodically holding the flight stick with my knees and rubbing my legs in a vain attempt to warm myself up. I continued up to 3,000 feet, and only another thousand feet above me hung great white clouds, lazily creeping inland. Fascinated, I looked up at the strange beasts, feeling as though I could reach up and scoop a section of cloud out with my hands. Feeling the familiar thrill of flying, I flew over the top of the Capital, weaving in an S-shape as I looked down at the specks of the people below. Four yellow-white balloons hung silently over Fulham in a small cluster, and I flew over the top of them, grinning as I did so. The cold still cut through me, but I was enjoying myself far too much to take any real notice.

Suddenly remembering that I was supposed to stay within eyeshot of the heath, I reluctantly turned around and headed back to Hounslow - but not before I took the opportunity, being out of the scrutiny of Andrews, to attempt an aileron roll! Tugging on my shoulder-straps beforehand, to make sure I was securely fastened, I yanked the stick to the right, and the B.E dropped its wing, rolled completely on to its side, and begun to turn over upside-down! Just as it did, the image of the dead aviator suddenly flashed into my mind, and for a second I panicked. The B.E. got stuck on its back, and begun slowly diving. Feeling sick with fear, I desperately pulled the stick right again and, to my joy, the B.E. half-rolled back onto its belly and levelled out. I had lost 600 feet in the manoeuvre.

Shaken, but now swelling with pride, I begun to climb back up. I had pulled off my first stunt! Although, I knew that it would be a while before I would have the pluck to try another. For the rest of my hour-long circuit I treated the B.E. very gently - my way of thanking it for not killing me in the aileron roll. Eventually, I checked the clock and saw that it was time to head back.

Andrews was furious on the runway. "Where the bloody hell did you go, Campbell? You were supposed to stay in sight of the aerodrome! What if you'd gotten lost, or crashed, idiot?".

"Sorry, sir" I mumbled, as I could see Freddy and Jacky-Boy over the Captain's shoulder, making faces and laughing at me from a distance.

Jacky-Boy was next to do his hour-long solo, and left around 2 PM. He, too, disappeared from sight. I wonder what kind of stunts he's off doing.

Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/11/18 09:39 PM

Raine: I got the Gum from the Red Cross worker that came by the Aerodrome spreading good cheer along with Tea and Biscuits I say, She did have a funny accent may have been a Yank ?

Attached picture wings_edit_3178477k.jpg
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/12/18 01:17 AM

Lou, another close call for one of our would be hero’s. Glad to see Swany was able to make it back to the field.

Wolfe, Graham had reason to be a bit timid after watching a machine spin in from a few thousand ft. I feel it will become an all too common sight once we get to France

Carrick, be careful with gifts from pretty women!

These are great stories gents. I am really going to enjoy these next three years.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/12/18 01:19 AM

Lou, tough luck with that sad, sad engine. Liking the scenery!
Wulfe, rather a sobering story. Glad Graham wasn't too affected by this experience.
Carrick, now I have to ask. How did you get that gum from her? Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation exercises?

10-11 December, 1915
Le Bourget
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

Gaston had to wait in line all day for a chance to test his skills with the dead stick landing routine. Many of the trainees ended up somewhere else than the aerodrome and it took time to recover the machine. By the time it was Gaston’s turn it already was getting dark. He quickly hopped into the Caudron, gave it full beans to get up to 2000 m altitude and switched the engines off. They started to wind down with the propellers milling for a bit longer and then it was just the sound of wind whistling around, all the way down to the deck. Gaston didn’t waste much time and lined up the last leg of the landing phase. He miscalculated and ended touching down halfway down the runway, stopping near the end of the field. That was still better than some of the other students. There was no more time left to do another run. It would have to wait until the next day.
The next day was beautiful. His Caudron carried him up to 2000 m for his second attempt at dead stick landing. Gaston concentrated on the approach. He had to do better than last time. The rate of descent looked good, distance to touchdown seemed okay as well, good speed. He was just flying over the crest of the berm ahead of the airfield. It was all downhill from there. He passed the road on the outskirts with a few meters to spare and touched down just as the aerodrome opened up to him. It was a perfect 4-point landing. He couldn’t improve on it even if he tried even harder. Gaston jumped down from the cockpit and walked away feeling proud of his achievement. Tomorrow he’ll show them all how to stunt in this contraption. His confidence was growing with every step.

[Linked Image]

Attached picture IMG_0998.jpg
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/12/18 06:56 PM

12 December, 1915
Le Bourget
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

Gaston took the machine up to get a feel for the more extreme maneuvering that will be necessary later when they’ll eventually be forced to mix it up with the enemy in combat. Slipping was a bit disconcerting with the plane flying one way and his body telling him it’s going somewhere else. Looping was not a problem as long as there was enough height and enough speed could be harnessed during the initial dive. Gaston enjoyed performing these maneuvers. It reminded him of his childhood and the merry-go-rounds. Rolls were his downfall. With the two engines, the size of the craft and the span of the wings it proved impossible to rotate the plane about its axis. He would either end up cork screwing towards the ground, or managed a quarter roll and the plane would immediately right itself back to its natural attitude. It was a stable ship, that’s for sure.
For his second attempt, Gaston decided to refrain from doing anything fancy:

Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/12/18 07:49 PM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
Catterick AF
Air Training

10 Dec 1915.

I Took the Bus up to 5000ft and flew around for an 1 1/2 hrs. While waiting my turn for the Dead Stick Landings, We all watched as Jumbo made his approach and went straight into the ground. Why ? Too Fast ? No up elevators ? All flights Cancelled.

Attached picture Aeiral_Warfare_of_WW1 (37).jpg
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/12/18 08:47 PM

Nice video Fullofit. Kudos on the dead stick landings and aerobatics

Carrick, Sorry you missed your turn at the controls. Especially as it was at the expense of Jumbo.

Mark A. Jericho
December 1915

Jericho sat in front of his instructor, Capt. Crittenden, as Crittenden looked over his file.

"It seems you took a very queer route to end up in the RAF Lieutenant. One year at university, a few years as a..." He paused for a moment. "Cowhand" he asked more than stated.

"Yes Sir" replied Jericho. "I was a top hand at the Bar T ranch near San Antonio Texas."

Captain Crittenden went on, "So you got your ticket to fly at Stinson Aviation in San Antonio then to Canada." Another pause. "What took you to Canada?"

"Circumstances Sir." replied Jericho.

Captain Crittenden eyed Jericho for moment and stood up looking out the window. "Thomas says you are a natural pilot Lieutenant." Turning back toward Jericho with a stern look he added. "He also said you are a bit brash."

Jericho started to speak but Captain Crittenden raised his had which silenced him immediately. "Lieutenant, I have had the pleasure of serving with some very good pilots in France. I dare say some much better than yourself" He stood for a moment and let the words sink in before adding, "and most of them are dead. It takes a lot more than a good hand at the controls to survive over the front. I hope you will learn that or you too will be joining them."

"Yes Sir!" replied Jericho. Jericho was pretty good at sizing someone up and he instinctively knew to listen to everything he had to say. Captain Crittenden was not the sort to pee on your leg and tell you it was raining.

"I think its time to see how you do with aerobatics" continued Capt. Crittenden. "I will see you on the field in half an hour."

"Yes Sir" Jericho replied as he saluted and turned to leave.

"Lieutenant!" the captained called after Jericho.

"Yes Sir?" Jericho answered.

"Anything I tell you will not be subjective. Is that clear?"

"Yes Sir." Jericho replied with a salute.

Walking back to get his kit Jericho went over the meeting in his head. He liked Captain Crittenden. He demanded respect and Jericho could tell he deserved it. Nothing fancy or false about this character, he was the genuine article.
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/12/18 11:35 PM

2nd Lt Aleck A. MacKinlay

December 12, 1915

I am finally back on my feet after several days being down with some sort of cold or flu; terrible chills and a hacking cough. Had two days of confusion running around London trying to figure out my transport to France and confirming the details of my deployment. It seems the army is quite good at moving large groups of men to the front, but getting a single replacement pilot to his assigned post throws the whole system into a tizzie. Finagling that two weeks on leave apparently bunged things up a bit. I would have been wiser to just stay at No.5 Training and transfer out with the other graduate officer-pilots. Too clever for my own good!

Regardless, after seeing just about every clerk in the War Office and Quartermaster Generals offices in Whitehall I am on now my way. I had some notion that I would be ferrying a replacement aircraft across the channel right to my destination, but the reality is much less romantic or straightforward. I am to be shipped along like so much human-cattle by train to the Dover Marine Station, and any 'ferrying' I do from there will be on an actual ferry across the channel. Hoping for decent accommodations in Dover tonight ... have seen too many faces today and need some private time to settle myself.
Posted By: loftyc

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/13/18 12:13 AM

13 Dec., Fldwbl Karl Arnt Lofthoven reporting. I have completed 5 training flights in the Aviatik BII. However, I have several issues with it that may prove insurmountable. Foremost is that it requires over half forward control lever to just maintain level flight! If I relax my hand (and indeed whole arm) even the slightest, the tail immediately drops, the nose goes up, and the plane goes into a stall. I managed only briefly to look back at the tail and confirmed that there is considerable negative deflection on the elevators, so it's not just a control stick/cable problem. Also, I was afforded the opportunity to test a captured British Be2, and found able to be hands-off the stick completely, something that would be fatal in my craft. I gather that the rest of you are Entente pilots (!), but perhaps one of you has at some time tested an Aviatik and can confirm or deny my observations? I find it too incredible to believe that such unstable behavior would be allowed on a production craft. Maybe my tailplane was misaligned during construction?

Unfortunately, what this leads to is that I can only fly this beast for an hour tops before my arm is too fatigued, as well as being able to only fly in clear, daylight skies, as I need a horizon for reference if the nose starts to creep up. Obviously these are restrictions not suitable for a front-line unit. Does anyone know perhaps of a field mod that KoFL issued that my mechanic should be aware of?

Also, the captured RAF plane had a timepiece, altitude meter,and an airspeed meter, all of which should be on every German plane. Why aren't they? Of course we're better fliers that the British (or anyone else) and don't explicitly need these gauges, but they sure would be operationally quite useful.

(edit: I misspelled my own name!)
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/13/18 02:06 AM


Perhaps you're flying the machine without Fat Franz in the front seat????
Posted By: Mortuus

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/13/18 03:01 AM

Hey all,

Got my first entry here. Knocked it out on my break at work (hence written by hand, rather than typed), and scanned it when I got home just now. I'll be transcribing it later tonight, but wanted to get this up and out there pronto.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Anyway, for those of you who can't read my handwriting (presumably all of you, haha), my pilot's name is Michael Atherton Thorne, formerly an observer in No. 1 Sqn, RFC, and before that a writer for the only newspaper in the town of Cochrane, Alberta (population 300 people, 1 quarry, 1 sawmill, and 4 brick plants).
Posted By: Ace_Pilto

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/13/18 07:19 AM

Talk about going above and beyond, just reading that gave my hand sympathy cramp Mortuus.
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/13/18 08:34 AM

Originally Posted by loftyc
13 Dec., Fldwbl Karl Arnt Lofthoven reporting. I have completed 5 training flights in the Aviatik BII. However, I have several issues with it that may prove insurmountable. Foremost is that it requires over half forward control lever to just maintain level flight! If I relax my hand (and indeed whole arm) even the slightest, the tail immediately drops, the nose goes up, and the plane goes into a stall. I managed only briefly to look back at the tail and confirmed that there is considerable negative deflection on the elevators, so it's not just a control stick/cable problem. Also, I was afforded the opportunity to test a captured British Be2, and found able to be hands-off the stick completely, something that would be fatal in my craft. I gather that the rest of you are Entente pilots (!), but perhaps one of you has at some time tested an Aviatik and can confirm or deny my observations? I find it too incredible to believe that such unstable behavior would be allowed on a production craft. Maybe my tailplane was misaligned during construction?

Unfortunately, what this leads to is that I can only fly this beast for an hour tops before my arm is too fatigued, as well as being able to only fly in clear, daylight skies, as I need a horizon for reference if the nose starts to creep up. Obviously these are restrictions not suitable for a front-line unit. Does anyone know perhaps of a field mod that KoFL issued that my mechanic should be aware of?

Also, the captured RAF plane had a timepiece, altitude meter,and an airspeed meter, all of which should be on every German plane. Why aren't they? Of course we're better fliers that the British (or anyone else) and don't explicitly need these gauges, but they sure would be operationally quite useful.

(edit: I misspelled my own name!)

Aleck once had a dream were he flew over 30 missions in an Aviatik BII. Weird right? ... that a Scottish boy would have such an odd dream.
Anyway, in the dream he had to fly the plane with the stick well forward just to stay level. Being an awesome dream-pilot he of course could simply use his senses (eyes and ears) to judge altitude and airspeed. smile
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/13/18 05:56 PM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
Catterick AF
Air Training

11 Dec

Services were held for Jumbo with full honors. I guess that I will ne ver see the 2 pounds and a 1/2 penny he owed me.

12 Dec: I did my 2 Dead Stick landings to day. The 1st Spot on,but the second ? I made a good approach floating down like a leaf from a tree then touch down and run out. The a/c ran out of air field came to a shuttering stop then became bogged down in the soft ground. A little damage to the prop and a landing wheel.

Attached picture CFS3 2018-12-13 09-23-25-58.jpg
Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/14/18 09:47 AM

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell.
Hounslow Heath Aerodrome
December 14th, 1915.

On the morning of the 13th, we were all up bright and early, excited at the prospect of the day's activities. For the pilots on the roster, a day of jubilant flying! We were getting along well in our training, and were now spending more time in the air. For the pilots not on the roster, London awaited! Andrews, to reward our progress, had begrudgingly allowed non-rostered pilots to continue their decadent day-trips into the Capital. Hugo Lane and Jacky-Boy had set out shortly after our breakfast (the usual Ham and Eggs - the delicacy of Hounslow) in a flat-bed truck to undergo one of their favourite past-times, watching the soldiers come to and from Kings' Cross Station. I don't know why they enjoyed this so much, although we are all young, and perhaps it is the remnants of childish make-believe, playing at soldiers in the back yard. By any means, they would not be seen again until the evening.

Freddy Foster, with his trademark confident grin, set out at 10 O'Clock on his next training flight; Andrews had instructed him to take a B.E.2 on an hour-long flight in the direction of his choosing, where he would then land, taxi back around, and make the trip back. I was scheduled to do the same today. Doyle Weston and Teddie Lawson were sharing the second B.E. to make short solos around the Heath, and Albie Chapman, one of the more advanced students, was allowed a 'free flight'. Once he returned, I would then take the bus up and do the same.

As I was idly chatting with Julian Davies, one of the more shy recruits whom I'd not had much contact with, there was a horribly familiar crashing sound, and I turned round to see one of our B.E's crumpled on the ground in flames. Inside was poor old Albie, burning away with the machine. In horror, I realised that, although I was mortified, I was not surprised, nor did I turn away as they pulled Albie's body from the doused wreck. Had death really become so known to me? Of course, later, when the moment had passed, I cracked up and nearly cried out in fear. It all seemed like some sick part of my training - First seeing Webb's near-miss, then the D.H.2's spin, and now Albie, a friend, burnt up in a crash. It felt as if I was being built up, one step after another, towards being nonplussed by death and horror, to view it as an unfortunate matter of fact.

Teddie Lawson, who had been up on the opposite side of the aerodrome, was pale as a sheet when he landed, and could scarcely stay on his feet as he wobbled away from the B.E, clearly in shock. He didn't say a word for the rest of the night, apart from one chilling phrase he uttered as we made for our bunks; "I saw the whole thing". When Freddy tried to soothe him, he reverted into his blank, unresponsive state. I fear he may wash out, as Webb did. Hugo and Jacky-Boy were equally shaken by Albie's sudden and random death, but Freddy pulled us all together and calmed us down. I suppose he had a great many of his friends die in Galipoli, and was attuned to the reality.

This morning, we held a funeral for Albie, in which I was a pallbearer. Even through the solid wood coffin, I could pick up the nauseating smell of burnt skin and bone. For the sake of the fellows, I retained my composure, but once the affair was over with I was violently ill. Andrews saw this, and ordered me grounded for the day. Jacky-Boy is up at the moment, but his bus is very much reserved in its manoeuvres.

Training has become a strange ordeal for me. On the one hand, the camaraderie is wonderful, and the flying itself is exhilarating, but the occasional sudden and violent death, possibly of a friend, hangs over us all. I suppose, in many ways, this is a premonition of what our lives will be like in the war. I must put Albie out of my mind, sad as his passing is, and focus on completing my training, if I am ever to earn my wings.
Posted By: Mortuus

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/14/18 05:51 PM

Another entry from 2/LT Thorne. Not enough of interest to put in a letter, yet, so just some scribblings in a notebook about some flying and some talks with fellow students (with apologies to Donald Jack for a blatantly stolen joke).
EDIT: The OP mentions training targets at Catterick and Thetford provided by RAF_Louvert; what mod are they in?
[Linked Image]
Posted By: Maeran

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/15/18 01:47 AM

William Stanley did fly again after lunch. He took an FK3* up and circled around underneath the steel grey clouds at 6000 feet before making a landing that he was quite pleased with. Captain Moller described it as "too steep and too harsh. Keep it up and you shall break the undercarriage."

Dismissed for the day, Stanley left the aerodrome to walk along the main road up to the officers' mess. Every day there were onlookers here; old men, women, men from the factories on Sundays and schoolchildren whenever they could. There had been flying at Doncaster since the first air meeting in 1909, and the people of the town still enjoyed the spectacle.

"You're very brave young man," a lady in an old grey shawl told Stanley as he passed by.
"Thank you madam," the newly fledged pilot replied.
"Them aeroplanes are very dangerous," the lady replied. "Last week a poor soul fell out!"
This gave William reason to pause. "Fell out?"
The woman nodded "Ooh yes. He was very high up. Arms and legs waving. God rest him, the ambulance ran out fast, but he can't have survived that fall."
"How terrible."
"Yes. Every few weeks some poor soul falls out. Very often the aeroplane just keeps on flying away. It's aweful."
Stanley blinked at the woman, "do you often come to watch the flying?"
"Oh yes. It's a modern miracle."

Opposite the main entrance to the racecourse, a large townhouse provided the RFC officers with both a mess and accomodation. It was exceeding richly furnished in the fashion of Edwardian England. Polished wood floors peeked out from under rich Persian rugs. The walls were papered with light coloured textured lincrusta in art nouveau patterns, however it was mostly hidden behind paintings, hunting trophies and sporting prints. This was clearly the house of a sportsman.

Unusually, to Stanley's mind, amongst the foxes and highland stags were posters for the Blue Cross fund. In these the league for the protection of 'Our Dumb Friends,' decried the plight of working horses, especially those serving with the army. There was even a collection box in the mess bar.

[Linked Image]

"It's Lord Lonsdale's house," a greasy haired student pilot explained, "well not his main house. He uses it for the races."
"I thought so," Stanley replied. "There are pictures of him everywhere."
The greasy haired young man blinked. "Do you know him? I'm Barnestaple by the way, how d'you do?"
Stanley shook the proferred hand. "Not personally. I have seen him about, most recently at Windsor just before the war. My name's Stanley. Have you been flying today?"
"Not today. We can't all fly at once. Hopefully tomorrow. Did you go up then?"
"Yes. Just a few circuits to get used to the machines. I say! I have a thirst, is the bar through here. Come along!"

[Linked Image]

There was more flying the next day. Stewart made a cross country flight to the nort east of Doncaster. The confluence of the Trent and the Ouse loomed in the distance before he turned back for home.

After landing Stanley was met by another student pilot.
"Hello what?" The yellow coated man grinned. "You've been up a few times eh?"
"Why yes," Stanley replied, removing his flying gloves.
"Now that you have a handle on the controls, I wonder if you could settle a wager between my friends and I?"
"Oh?" Stanley raised his eyebrows. "What wager is this?"
"We think that no cavalry man can loop a BE2." The pilot rocked on his heels. "Its a skill that it takes an engineer to accomplish."
Stanley scowled. "I say! I was in the Blues you know. I'm as good as any sapper!"
"So you'll do it?" The man wheedled.
"Do what?"
"Loop in a BE. It would have to be over the aerodrome. So that we could see."
Stanley was indignant. "Of course I can loop. Fifty pounds says I can."
Was that a moment of worry on the man's face? "That's a bit rich. However, I think that I can live with the guilt of relieving you of that cash."
"You're on!"

As the man walked back to his friends, Stewart wondered what he had let himself in for.


*BE2 really.

The house belongs to Lord Lonsdale, also known as the yellow earl. He was well known in sporting circles and spent most of the family fortune on extravagance.
He was also a rival to the Earl of Derby (William Stanley's father). The two vied to raise more pals' battalions than the other.

Good stories gentlemen. Your handwriting is far clearer than mine, Mortuus. Mine looks like a spider stepped in some ink.

Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/15/18 02:33 PM

13-14 December, 1915
Le Bourget
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

The Caudron was heading east. The pilot in the cockpit was barely looking for any terrain landmarks anymore to navigate by. He knew where he was going and was confident of reaching his destination without too much trouble. The sky was clear and the sun which was rarely seen this time of year was shining brightly, casting playful reflections and dark shadows inside his cockpit. The autumn leaves on the trees below assaulted his senses with the multitude of hues saturated with brilliant reds, fiery oranges and bright yellows. The roads and train tracks snaked their way on the ground beneath, switching sides from port to starboard and back, as if they were playing hide and seek with the aviateur, who was tracking them. The waters of Marne were shimmering in the distance to the north. Harvested fields and sprawling forests filled the reminder of his vista. Gaston was on his way to Villeneuve-les-Vertus near Epernay as part of his next piloting exercise. Land there and return back, all in one go. The awe inspiring views surrounding his machine would be something he’d enjoy immensely, were it not for the dark plume of smoke his #2 engine was trailing. The trouble started 3/4 of the way to the destination airfield. There was no point turning back now and Gaston decided to fly on. He kept glancing at the ailing engine and giving it the looks as if it were Kaiser himself. He knew he will not hear the end of it when the captain at Le Bourget hears of it. He’ll tear him a new one for sure, but before this unpleasant activity occurs, he will have to get his butt down to earth in one piece and preferably not in flames. The smell of burning oil was noticeable and he was risking the engine catching on fire, but it was either this or getting stranded somewhere in the middle of an empty field with no help in sight. Thankfully the engine stabilized and kept on running albeit with significantly reduced RPMs. He was slowly losing altitude but the aerodrome soon appeared in view and Gaston was able to bring it in. Le Pou was the first person Gaston recognized and it was him who again took care of the Caudron’s sick engine. Once the mechanic had a look, he estimated that the repairs would take a whole day. Broken rings in one of the cylinders were the culprits of this most recent mechanical failure. Gaston braced himself for another phone conversation with his captain.
The next day Gaston was up very early, anxious to be back up in the air and on his way to Le Bourget. He found his Caudron in the hangar being looked over by Le Pou who was scratching the body part that no one should see being scratched. Gaston pretended not to see and instead inquired about the repairs. The mechanic assured him that the engine was now better than new and that he can take off at his leisure. Gaston didn’t waste any time. He thanked Le Pou for his tireless efforts and started his preparations. He was in the air within the hour and flying, by now, down the beaten path toward Paris. As promised, the engine purred like a well-fed kitten and Gaston soon was greeted by the sight of La Ville-Lumière. He could not resist the temptation and took the bus over the city outskirts to get a better look. It was like seeing an old friend. The view of this great metropolis filled Gaston with pride and inspired him with resolve and will to keep it safe from Le Boche. He promptly turned north and came in for the landing. He didn’t care anymore what Le Capitaine had to say about his piloting skills. Gaston has now a new mission. He will be the guardian of the French people. The Sentinel of France.

[Linked Image]

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Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/16/18 03:23 PM

15 December, 1915 22:00
Le Bourget
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

[Linked Image]

Voscadeaux was sitting in the cockpit of his Caudron with the instruments illuminated by a small lightbulb flickering in tune with the droning of the engines, which were currently spitting small plumes of flame from the exhausts. He could see the waxing moon in front of him and made a mental note to keep it at his back for the duration of the flight to keep himself oriented in the right direction to his destination. He was excited to test his skills in this new environment. He wasn’t sure what to expect with darkness surrounding him on all sides. The Caudron started to roll and was soon in the air with the burning oil drums and the lights from the hangars flashing by and then nothing... Total darkness with the exception of the moon, the instrument panel illumination and the receding lights of the aerodrome. Gaston could not see the ground or even the horizon. He couldn’t even tell if he was flying straight, let alone navigate to a distant aerodrome. The feeling of dread grabbed him by the throat and rammed its tentacles all the way down to the pit of his stomach. The entire body was instantly drenched in cold sweat. He couldn’t see and was afraid to make any adjustments as not to upset the balance of the machine. With each second he was flying further into the depths of hell and further away from the safety of the aerodrome. His only reference now was the position of the moon. Gaston quickly made the decision to turn back. He will not lose his life senselessly. He kicked the rudder and watched the moon slide to the side and end up at his back. Gaston was hoping he was still flying level and was desperately searching for any hint of the airfield he had left just a few minutes ago. He finally noticed faint lights to his port side and carefully approached them. It was the aerodrome! He lined his craft with the glowing row of burning oil drums and flew past them, then made a ginger 180 degrees turn. His nose should now be lined up for final approach and Gaston tried feverishly to recall the locations of every nearby tree. He will need to avoid them without ever seeing them. The glow of the airfield was getting closer. He could not see how close the ground was and had to trust his instruments. Gaston had to force himself to avoid descending too early for the fear of ramming into the high berm ahead of the airfield. He travelled the final distance blindly, praying that his altimeter was properly calibrated and he will not simply smash into the pitch below disintegrating the machine and splattering his brains on the nearest tree. This thought was interrupted by a heavy thud. He was on the ground and the Caudron was groaning in protest to the rough handling. Gaston looked at the clock. His entire “mission” lasted 7 minutes and was a total fiasco. A definite fail. What now? Is he a washout? Will Le Capitaine be just too happy to tell him to go pack his bags? Gaston had no answers.

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Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/17/18 01:06 AM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
Catterick AF
Air Training

13 Dec .

Posted for aerobatics at 0910 hrs. The Instructor standing by my a/c said Go up do a few loops side slips then go Higher and do a spin then up again and another. It was not that easy. I did the side slips without a problem. I started loops at 735 Meters pulling out at 200 and 135 Meters. ( The machine protested with loud groans coming from the wings that I thought they would crack ) The motor missed ( carburetor ? ) Last was the spins. The Instructor later said that they looked more like slow corkscrews than spins, but passable.

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Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/18/18 12:54 AM

Carrick, where is everybody else? Christmas shopping?

16 December, 1915
Le Bourget
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

Le Capitaine witnessed the entire event. Gaston’s excuse and then the repeated pleas fell on deaf ears. He was all too happy to dismiss Gaston.
Voscadeaux was to pack his gear and leave first thing in the morning. Gaston didn’t expect anything else from his superior. He didn’t go to sleep that night reflecting on his future.

The sun was up for some time before Gaston realized it. He was sitting on a bench with his kit beside him, waiting for transport to take him back to the train station in Paris.
He was watching someone walking a dog on the airfield. It took him a while before he realized it was a woman. She was wearing the French Army uniform, but no rank was apparent. She came over and asked if he was also waiting for the car to take him to the city. A small consolation, but it looked like Gaston would have a travel companion. Her name was Nicole Girard-Mangin, as they started to talk he learned she was the first female doctor in French Army. Gaston was hugely surprised and fascinated to hear this.
Nicole explained that during the mobilization in 1914 a clerical error occurred and her documents were issued expecting Dr. Gerard Mangin - her ex-husband. Due to the great need for doctors, she was accepted and posted at Bourbonne-les-Bains. Last month she was transferred to the military hospital at Verdun and was flown in just last evening in what she called “the coldest flying machine in the world”. It had to be a Farman. She was now travelling to Paris to personally supervise delivery of the specialized medical equipment that will accompany her back to Verdun hospital.
She, in turn, asked Gaston what brings him to Paris. Reluctantly he recounted his pitiful story, describing in detail his last night’s class and the captain’s reaction and accusations of cowardice. Nicole listened and posed a few questions. She then said she knew a few men with condition described by him and that it never stopped them from becoming pilots. She explained that Gaston was suffering from nyctalopia (night blindness). There was nothing that could be done about his vision, but there was something she could do about the oaf that dismissed him. Gaston could not believe what he was hearing. They went into the offices and Dr. Girard-Mangin had a lengthy discussion with Gaston’s commanding officer. Gaston was back on the flying roster thanks to the good doctor. His captain listened to her diagnosis and reluctantly gave in. Even he knew able pilots were in great demand. He promised Gaston not to let him off the hook this easily and that in place of the night mission, he would have to fly to the front and remain over NML for 1 hour! He called it the reconnaissance exercise. That is after he passes his bombing accuracy tests. With glee in his eyes and a maniacal chuckle he dismissed Gaston, who was still trying to figure out what to make of all of this and who IS this woman?
The car taking Nicole to Paris was idling near the offices. She was sitting in the cab while Gaston was shaking her hand in gratitude and to wish her well on her way. She squeezed his hand and said to look her up if he’s ever in Verdun. The car drove off leaving in its wake one large dust cloud and one lucky student-pilot. He kept on waving goodbye until the car disappeared from view. The most difficult exercise was still ahead of him.

[Linked Image]
Dr. Nicole Girard-Mangin and her dog Dun.

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Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/18/18 04:27 AM

I’ve been on the road with work and haven’t had much stick time the past two weeks, and after tomorrow I have a house full of kids and grandkids for two more weeks, so I’ll have to make up an excuse for my pilot. I’ll fly some catch-up missions, but I fear he will be late getting to France.

MFair, Good Jericho story. We’ll be seeing you in the new year in France! 77_Scout, hope Aleck has a good voyage and journey to St-Omer. Fullofit, that was a great vignette with Dr. Girard-Mangin. You’ll have to remind Gaston that he’s married, but I’m not 100% sure it will make a difference. Maeran, terrific opening to the saga of Stanley, but then you’ve always excelled at this stuff! Mortuus, I am enjoying the beginning – especially since I found my battered copy of “Three Cheers for Me” by Donald Jack. Keep up the good work. Carrick, I’m glad you’ve been keeping the thread occupied through the pre-Christmas rush. Loftyc, I don’t recall that issue with the Aviatik, but it’s been a long time. Lou, Good job on the dead-stick landing. And I love the Norse lesson! And Wulfe, great description of Campbell witnessing his first crash.

An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins
Part Six: In which I meet a farmer and fly about in a defective machine

The BE I flew this week, 2343, was past its prime. So said the Technical Sergeant, and so say all of us. I believe I wore it out on the 7th with a long flight. I was to fly for two hours, making a landing in an open field and returning to Netheravon. I decided to head towards London. Flying directly over the city was forbidden, but I thought I might see Windsor Castle and perhaps put down for tea and scones with His Majesty. The wind, however, had other plans and after an hour I was still only approaching Bracknell. Still, the area offered wide open farmland and I selected a large fallow field devoid of telegraph wires, poplars, and other protuberances, and settled the machine down gently. As I bounced merrily to the downwind edge of the field for takeoff, an older fellow on a motorcycle raced over the grass towards me. Dismounting, he came over to my aircraft and deftly climbed up onto the wing-root.

“Turn off that damned fan,” he shouted and I obliged, suddenly fearful I’d broken some law. “Wonderful piece of kit, this,” he said, patting the front of the cockpit rim.

“I hope you don’t mind my landing here,” I began. “You see, my orders...”

“#%&*$# the orders, man. That was a lovely landing. I intend to take my ticket myself.” Good God. The man was eighty if a day. “I don’t think the flying corps would take me, though. Come, you must have some tea.”

It was freezing and I was tempted and he insisted further and mentioned brandy and I’m a weak man. So it was I spent a wonderful hour with Mr. Sumner, who owned the large farm on which I’d landed. He was a wonderfully interesting fellow with a great fondness for things technical and he asked me enough about my machine to have me worrying he was a German spy. At length he drove me back to the BE in a wagon, together with a farmhand whom I taught to pull on the prop. Having successfully restarted without killing anyone, I took off and headed home, working on my story for Mr. Thomas, our instructor.
The day ended with congratulations from Thomas and the Technical Sergeant on diagnosing a faulty sparking plug and successfully replacing it in the field.

Over the next several days I was to practice dead-stick landings. On the first day I took off into a clear sky, turned south and climbed to just over 2500 feet when the motor quit completely and would not restart. I put the nose down and turned gingerly back to the field but came up short, narrowly missing a fence and a line of chestnut trees.

All was made right in the morning, so I again took off in 2343, looping around far to the south to approach the field from the east. But just before reaching 6000 feet, the Renault died again, this time filling the cockpit with the smell of petrol. I sideslipped immediately to lose altitude and cool the engine, using a technique Jericho had discussed a couple of nights before. I pancaked clumsily onto the aerodrome and was told I still needed two decent landings.

So on the 10th I tried again, by now overly nervous. I came over the field high up, just east of my intended spot. Thinking I had lots of time I spiralled to the east and ended up too far away. Twice I nearly stalled and in the end I flopped the machine short of the mown field, breaking the left side wing spar.
Captain Hampton-Lewis tore a strip off me for being a bloody fool and a rotten pilot and threatened to send me back – but came up short when he remembered I hadn’t transferred from the Army.

Finally on the 11th I managed a perfect landing, rolling right up to my intended spot on the field, and I the afternoon I repeated the show.

[Linked Image]
Starting the glide

Next day it was a free flight with orders to try tight turns but to avoid playing “silly bugger” with the machine. Aerobatics was frowned upon, but we were all keen to try our hands. Swany had discussed spins over dinner one evening. Our machines were the C type, which had a tail fin as opposed to the B type with only a rudder. C type machines were harder to spin. There were those who swore that spins were nearly always unrecoverable, but Thomas had suggested that one had merely to put the nose down, hold everything central, and pray. Oh, and avoid DH2s and Moranes like the plague.

So I climbed to 5000 feet over Salisbury and turned north. After entering a shallow dive to gain speed, I zoomed until I lost all airspeed and then gave full right rudder. The machine fell over and began to turn like a leaf caught in a whirlpool. Before I lost my senses due to the motion I pushed the stick hard forward. Almost at once the BE fell out of the spin and I regained control. I tried the manoeuvre twice more. Spins seemed like child’s play. I thought momentarily of trying a loop, but the lumbering aircraft dissuaded me and I returned to Netheravon content for the moment.

Attached picture Dead-Stick.jpg
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/19/18 12:13 AM

Originally Posted by Raine
Fullofit, that was a great vignette with Dr. Girard-Mangin. You’ll have to remind Gaston that he’s married, but I’m not 100% sure it will make a difference.

Raine, Madame Voscadeaux sleeps soundly, trusting her husband will do the right thing.
Great story, just make sure Technical Sergeant doesn't make James replace all the spark plugs.

Lofty, I had a few QC flights in the Aviatik. You're right, they do want to climb. All 3 of them, B.I, B.II and C.I! How can you stand this? This seems like an issue OBD should be made aware of.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/19/18 10:29 PM

17-18 December, 1915
Le Bourget
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

-“Why does this always happen to me?” Gaston kept on asking himself as he watched two Augustinian monks walk out of the captain’s office all covered in soot and ashes.
-“VOSCADEAUX!” Captain’s voice could clearly be heard not just outside of his office, but throughout most of the aerodrome.
Gaston got up from his chair and entered the office as per his captain’s invitation.

Yesterday morning...

-“Finally some real action.” Gaston could hardly contain himself when he heard that the bombing exercises are up next. “This is what I’m here for.” He was instructed to pick a target and have at it. When he went in the morning to inspect the “ordnance” slung under his Caudron, his enthusiasm was deflated significantly.
-“Students aren’t allowed live ammunition.” Was the tired explanation given by the armorers to all the pilots who came by and complained that these did not look like bombs. ‘The bombs’ were canvas sacks filled with ashes from the kitchen stoves. When dropped and had exploded, they would leave a nice mark on the ground spreading the light grey contents, indicating the impact point. This would aid the pilots adjust their aim as necessary after returning from their bombing run and examining their handiwork.
Gaston decided to attack a bridge north of the aerodrome. He approached it from the south flying along the road. When he was over the bridge he released one of the bags and made a whistling noise to complete the illusion. The sack hit the water to one side of the bridge, leaving no mark. Gaston should have known better! He switched to a different target. One that would leave a mark. A bend in the river cut by a straight line of the road would delineate his new target area. He will try to hit that small piece of land. There was still a chance that his bombs would fall into the water, but it was a chance he was willing to take. After making an about turn and approaching his target from the north he released his second bomb. He made another whistling sound with his mouth and then, after witnessing the impact on the ground he made a sound of an exploding shell from a Soixante-Quinze. Gaston was happy with his aim and decided to give it another go to make sure it wasn’t just luck. He put some distance between the target and his plane and then made a tight turn to line up for another run. Another set of whistling and exploding sounds. By now his moustache was full of spittle, but his egg hit the right spot again. Gaston had one more sack of soot and very little saliva left. He decided to increase the level of difficulty and aim for a small shed on the farm just south of the bridge. He will have to be more precise with such a small target. He was coming fast and had little time to aim. The bomb exploded wide and Gaston could only blame himself for rushing it. Tiny droplets of rain begun to fall from the overcast sky telling him the exercise was over.

This morning...

The weather cleared up overnight and now Gaston was carrying his four sacks of ashes at 2000 m through the clear blue skies. He made the decision to switch it up and pick a target in a totally different location from yesterday. East of the aerodrome he found some ruins surrounded by a small forest.

[Linked Image]

He made his first run on the go to simulate a surprise attack and the bomb hit the east side of the building. He flew over the target and made another run from the south at a reduced height. This time his bomb hit the north end of the target. Gaston turned east and approached the target from the south again. His third bomb, released early, fell on the south side, while Gaston’s machine banked west for the final run. His last bomb bounced of the roof and hit the west face. The building was now covered in a cloud of ashes on all four sides. Gaston made another circuit around the target admiring his work, turned east and made his way to the aerodrome.


-“Sergent Voscadeaux, you are an even bigger idiot than I’ve imagined.” Captain’s friendly voice greeted Gaston as he was walking through his door. “I just had a visit from two monks. Did you know that someone earlier today attacked their monastery? Apparently there was dust and ashes everywhere. I had to explain that it was an accident and that one of our students couldn’t tell the difference between a monastery and ruins. I’ve had it up to HERE with you! Why can’t you follow orders? But you know what? I don’t care. Let someone else deal with you. Tomorrow you’re flying your final examination mission and that’s it. It’s over. Heh, heh ... Over, you hear me? What are you standing here around? DISMISSED!” Gaston didn’t have to be told twice. As he was leaving a thought crossed his mind: “I don’t think the captain likes me.”

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Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/20/18 12:13 AM

I will be away over Christmas, so will catch up with you all in about a week. Looking forward to a good read then!
Posted By: Mortuus

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/20/18 04:35 PM

Hey folks, got another entry for you. Unless I'm going against the rules by doing so (and I didn't see anything in the OP, but I could have missed it), I'm going to do a weekly letter going forward, in the interest of having something substantial to report every time (in case one day in particular has too little happen to make an interesting entry).

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

This one ought to have gone up yesterday, but it took a day to get past the censor (read: I forgot my notepad at work)
Posted By: Maeran

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/20/18 05:29 PM

Not only is it not against any rules to post a weekly report, Mortuus, but it has been my plan for at least the training period. For that exact reason.

As things heat up stories will come much faster, I can assure you.

Good stories. I particularly liked the ash-covered monks fullofit
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/21/18 01:35 AM

Originally Posted by Maeran
I particularly liked the ash-covered monks fullofit

Thanks Maeran, I’m glad you liked it.
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/21/18 02:23 AM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
Catterick AF
Air Training

14 Dec

I was on the Board for Cross country and a Night Flight. I did the X Country flight and landed on a large road then up and back About 38 min each way under a clouded sky. The Night flight was cnx due to rain and wind.
Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/21/18 01:28 PM

That pesky 'Real World' beckoned! I've been keeping up with training, but haven't had the time for write-ups. But, I was able to catch up on everybody's stories today with a cup of tea - perfect start to a day off!

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell.
Hounslow Heath Aerodrome
December 21st, 1915.

3. The Final Days at the Heath.

The last several days have flown past, for it feels as if we have been whipped up into a training frenzy by Andrews. As a result, I've had no time to write my Diary! But, I have a window of opportunity now to do so.

Each day we have been performing more complicated tasks - gone are the simple days of taking off and landing! Two days ago, we were ordered by the Hellhound to take to the skies and deliberately put our buses into spins! I must admit, I had the wind-up as I kicked the rudder hard in a climb, and had a moment of frozen terror as I was revolved around by the out-of-control machine, but the thought of Freddy so matter-of-factly righting his own self-induced spin only moments earlier allowed me to think rationally, and, remembering Andrews' instruction, I righted the spin and gently pulled out of the dive. Well, I must say, once one performs a stunt and survives it, it very suddenly becomes an absolute novelty! Shakily, but with slightly more confidence, I went about my sheepish acrobatics. But, by the time I was due to come down, I'd discovered yet another joy of flying, and I truly felt that I was up on every trick known by B.E pilots!

A new B.E. came in to replace the one that poor Albie crashed, but this one didn't last long either. This time the victim was poor old Hugo Lane, who failed to get out of the way of a tree in time while hedge-hopping behind the barracks. He survived the crash, but died yesterday in hospital. Poor old Hugo! He never was the most able flyer. We were all very sorry to have to bury another friend this morning, but as usual our Kiwi, Freddy, saw us through. That being said, despite my sadness, I accepted Hugo's death almost immediately...

Yesterday, Hugo's smash nastily lingering in our heads, we did our first (and hopefully last) night-flights. Being surrounded by the impossible dark, with no sensation other than the uneasy floating and the roar of the wind and engine, is truly disturbing. I have heard that in clear moonlight night-flying is far easier, but we flew on a cloudy night and so had to suffer in tense uncertainty for the duration, until we were thankfully back on the ground (At Netheravon at first - then we had to fly back!). Jacky-Boy crashed his B.E on landing at Netheravon, but the damage wasn't so bad, and the mechanics say that the machine will be ready to fly again in two days. As for Jacky-Boy, well, I think he has been turned off of night-flying forever! He was positively terrified, and Teddie Lawson and I had to lift him from the wreck! He was still white as a sheet as he arrived back at the Heath by car today (mercifully after we'd laid Hugo to rest).

I have yet to mention a relative newcomer to the training mob, who arrived on the 15th, a lad of just fifteen! The softly-spoken youngster is now known to us as Switch-off.His real name being Raymond Holtcombe, he earned the nickname 'Switch-off' when he nearly had Cpl. Knight's hand off on his very first day at Hounslow. Just before the lucky Corporal was about to swing the propellor, the lad seemed to snap out of a daydream he had been having and cried out, in a shrill voice (which, ashamedly, gave us all a real chuckle) "Wait! Let me switch off!". Needless to say, the dubious mechanics now stare daggers into his back. Unfortunate young Switch-off was met with Andrews' full fury for the stunt, and was shaking in his fug-boots by the end of the ordeal!

[Linked Image]
2nd. Lt. Raymond 'Switch-off' Holtcombe, post flight training.

As it turns out, Switch-off happened to be a marvellous pilot and has already caught up to the usual mob. When he's on the ground, he follows Teddie Lawson around like a nervous pup. We never did figure out why, but we suspect it's because Teddie was the first to speak to him. Not to mention his natural charm, of course!

By any means, we have but one task ahead of us, before we are to head to France - bombing drills. We are finally to use real weaponry, and to learn how to use the B.E. as an instrument of war! Jacky-Boy and I are terribly braced, despite the warnings by Andrews that many a foolhardy trainee has died when failing to get clear of the blast of the bombs. I only hope that my Observer should have been properly trained on his machine gun, so that we can knock a few Huns out of the sky, too!

As I write, I am observing the pilots of No. 24 mock-dogfighting with each other. What a fascinating sight - I only wish I end up on a DeHav myself! As I found out from one of their mob, Lt. Wells, 24 has just received orders to make ready for their departure to France in February. They must be terribly excited - especially while they possess such incredibly manoeuvrable machines!

That's all for now - as I write, Andrews is summoning Freddy and I for our bombing practice. I must prepare, it isn't a short flight to the target range.

Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/22/18 12:21 AM

Great stories all! Wulfe, I hope Switch-off lives to be 15 and a half!

19 December, 1915
Le Bourget
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

Gaston was tracing a route on the map with his finger. It ran north to Oise River, then north-east through Ermenonville Forest then past Compiegne Forest where Oise joins with Aisne and cuts through the front line. This is where Gaston would do his patrol exercise. First, he would fly along the trenches running north-west toward Noyon. This would take roughly 10 minutes, then turn back and fly south-east for another 10 minutes back to the river. He would then fly further south-east toward Crouy for yet another 10 minutes after which he would turn back and repeat the same route until the prescribed 1 hour would elapse. He reached the front lines after a 50 minute flight from Le Bourget and proceeded along the front as planned. A light haze was obscuring the scene below in a few places and when Gaston’s plane got too close to the other side of the NML, the German Flak would let him know about it immediately. Black puffs of smoke appeared close to his location. At first, slightly below and behind, but as he continued the explosions came closer and Gaston corrected his flight path to get out of range. Eventually he completed his 1 hour long reconnaissance mission and took the same way back to the aerodrome. He was glad his training was now complete and before being posted in the new year he will be able to spend the holidays with his family. The next day, after finally receiving his military pilot’s license, a short drive to Paris and purchasing his train ticket, he was now sitting in the Buffet de la Gare de Lyon (now called Le Train Bleu), waiting for his train to Marseille, sipping a glass of red and observing all kinds of travellers passing by. Mostly soldiers, fresh ones leaving, wounded coming. Some businessmen, nurses, and families seeing their loved ones off to war. He even caught a glimpse of two young women without a chaperone blowing kisses to the officers. Youth these days! The times are changing. He looked again at the poster on the wall. It was an advertisement for l’Ècole de Haute Enseignement Commercial. It was the first business school for women, which opened on 2 December and invited women of all walks of life to attend. Gaston wondered what sort of business would they be taught there. One of those days he’ll have to catch a show at Moulin Rouge. The departure time was getting near. He left a tip for the garçon and off he went to find his platform. He will be with Violette and his two little girls soon. The 10 day pass in his pocket was reminding him of how little time he has left. Better get a move on, Gaston!

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The Blue Train Restaurant in Gare de Lyon, Paris

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Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/22/18 05:11 PM

mmmmmmmmmmm it does make one wonder what kind of business
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/22/18 05:22 PM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
Catterick AF
Air Training

Dec 16.

1845 hrs, my 1st night flight. The Instructor said it was just like flying on a cloudy day. Right ! I gunned the power and off in the darkness the a/c leaped. Thank goodness for the Moon and a clear sky even then I kept in sight of the AF. Flying in a wide circle, I flew around a few times. Time to land : I knew that there was Trees in back of me when I took off so decided to try a down wind approach. It was indeed a bounce and go landing , but ended using all the flight path. Down Safe, One more to go.

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Posted By: lederhosen

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/22/18 06:50 PM

Finding that I'm in bit of a writing slump. Hope that will end in 2019.

To keep things up to date, Willi has passed his training and is now on leave till 3rd Jan 1916.
Must say that the night flight and the following 2 bombing runs were quite fun.

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Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/22/18 08:25 PM

Great pics
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/22/18 08:58 PM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
Catterick AF
Air Training

17 Dec

Posted for Xcountry night Flight. The instructor said fly for 30 mins on a heading of 92 the make a port turn ( standard rate turn ) and go for 28 more mins. on a heading of -1. Nothing to it , Old Chap.
Right oh, Only I didn't feel awfully brave flying in the dark without a full moon and out of sight of the Aerodrome. After the time went by everything below was still dark and may have been farm lands with Trees. I started a wide circle and dropped down to 100 meters Afew mins later a spotted waves hitting the shore line. so new I passed it. I pulled around in a 180 standard turn and there off to the starboard wing were lights. Down at last.

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Posted By: Hasse

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/23/18 08:48 AM

I have spent this morning reading all the wonderful stories posted in this thread. Like I wrote earlier, the bar has been set really high for this DID campaign!

The year is approaching its end, so I think it's a good time for me to post the first entry in my pilot's (hopefully long) saga.

[Linked Image]

Julius Alexander Schreck was born in Königsberg, East Prussia, on April 2, 1895, as the second son of army career officer Georg Wilhelm Schreck. The birth was difficult, and Julius’s mother Helga never fully recovered from the ordeal, passing away when her baby boy was only a few months old. Julius’s father, who was already working long hours in the service of the Prussian Great General Staff, began spending even more time away from home. The job of raising Julius and his elder brother Hermann was mostly left to their father’s sister Emmi, who was the wife of a school inspector in Königsberg and herself also a teacher. Tante Emmi, as the boys called her, became like a mother to them, while their relationship with their father always remained somewhat distant and formal.

Julius excelled at school and was fascinated by modern technology, including aviation, which in those days was still in its infancy. He also had more romantic interests, such as the exploration of distant countries and their foreign cultures. Reading Karl May’s adventure stories ignited in young Julius a desire to see the world outside Germany. His good grades opened him the way to the prestigious Friedrich Wilhelm University of Berlin, where he went to study law in the fall of 1913. Julius hoped to become a civil service officer and gain a position in the German Empire’s colonial administration. Meanwhile, his brother Hermann had chosen a different road, becoming a cadet in the Prussian army. Hermann had already graduated as a Leutnant in the infantry when Julius was only beginning his studies.

Then came the fateful summer of 1914. In August, Hermann marched with his regiment towards Paris in the ranks of the powerful German First Army, while the father of the boys, now an Oberstleutnant, helped with the mobilization effort in the War Ministry at Berlin. Julius had had his military service postponed because of his studies, but now he too was swept away by the events and decided to join the army as a volunteer. Julius wanted to become a pilot, but he was instead sent for artillery training into East Prussia. He was gravely disappointed by the army’s decision, but resigned to his fate, expecting the war would be over anyway before he managed to see any action.

As the battles raged across Europe, Julius was learning to become an artillerist. Because of his academic background, he was chosen for officer training, with the promise of a quick promotion to the rank of Leutnant after completion of the course.

But in early January of 1915, Julius fell seriously ill with pneumonia. He was sent for treatment to a military hospital in his old home city of Königsberg. For a while Julius’s life hang in the balance, but after several weeks of intensive care, he finally began to recover.

In March, as Julius’s health was steadily improving, a new patient was brought into his room - an army pilot suffering from a lung injury, which he had received when his plane crashed down somewhere on the Eastern Front. Julius quickly befriended the unlucky aviator and did his best to help him recover from his injuries. Inspired by the man’s stories of flying (and not discouraged by his severe accident!) Julius was encouraged to again apply for pilot training. This time he also enlisted the help of his father, hoping that a recommendation from a moderately high ranking professional officer would help his chances.

Time passed and Julius was finally able to return to his artillery training unit. However, recovery from the pneumonia had took him so long that his coursemates had already graduated and Julius was left in a limbo of sorts, not yet ready for front service. Bored nearly to death while waiting at a depot for the next course to begin, in May 1915 Julius finally received welcome news from Berlin: he was ordered to report to the Flugfeld “Mars” at Bork near Berlin to begin his military pilot training!
Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/23/18 09:26 AM

Welcome, Julius, and best of luck in the new year!

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell
Hounslow Heath Aerodrome
December 23rd,1918

The Training mob here in Hounslow are all suffering from sore heads this morning!

Our bombing practices were a success - at least in the eyes of Andrews! Personally, I found it thrilling. Coming out of a dive, we were instructed to drop our bombs and skid away sharply to the side, to avoid the blast. Even when doing that, the B.E. is thrown up by several feet, just by the force of the bomb going off below! The first time I experienced this, I thought I was for it, but once I realised that I was okay, I rather enjoyed the weird sensation!

Yesterday, we were all summoned, one by one, into Andrews' office. Suspecting that we were again to be put through the ringer, I sheepishly made my way to his door upon my scheduled summoning. Imagine my surprise when Freddy Foster skipped on out of the office, beaming from ear-to-ear, and shouted to me "Oh, just you wait to hear the news!". Inquisitively, I stepped through and stood expectantly on the other side of Andrews' desk.

The Hellhound looked up at me, and, to my astonishment, smiled! I did not know the man was capable of such a feat! As I stood rigidly to attention, he reached into a drawer and produced a set of 'wings', that is, the insignia worn by R.F.C pilots. "Congratulations, Sgt. Campbell, you have completed your training. These are for you". In ecstatic disbelief, I slowly took the wings from his hand, holding them dumbly in front of my face. As I scrutinised my new beloved wings, Andrews continued. "You'll now be flying with No. 20 in Netheravon. Collect your things and depart immediately".

I was practically dizzy when I stepped out of his office. I had done it - I was a true R.F.C Pilot! I at once rushed away to sew on my wings. Later that night, we all had an uproarious binge to celebrate our accomplishment, and we all excitedly nattered about our newly assigned squadrons. Happily, Jacky-Boy and Switch-off are both coming to No. 20 with me! From what I have heard, our new squadron has been equipped with the F.E.2 two-seat fighters! We are all over the moon.

I must away now - we are leaving soon for Netheravon.
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/23/18 02:44 PM


Superb reports and stories everyone, most enjoyable. I finally had a chance to sit down and catch up on them all, (last week was very busy for me). Hasse, welcome aboard, here's hoping Julius will be with us for the duration.

I am off now to get Swany caught up on his training flights, hopefully without further mechanical failures. Later all.

Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/23/18 10:27 PM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
Catterick AF
Air Training

19 Dec

Posted to bombardment Training; 1 St target an X where two roads meet. 4 25lbs Practice Bombs . Result Short fall from 1100 meters. missed by a mile at least.

20 Dec

Second Bombardment exercise: Used 4 Practice Bombs for score. The target was a road from 700 meters. Result 1 Hit within 1000ft. Passed.

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Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/23/18 10:41 PM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
Catterick AF
Air Training

22 Dec

Marksmanship Training: I say Wizard. Shot off a 47 round of 303 cal Ball ammo Great fun.

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Posted By: Ace_Pilto

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/23/18 11:35 PM

2nd Lt Percival Adrian "Drongo" Drummond

News Report (Special Bulletin), South Burnett Times. 21st November, 1914

Hot, humid spring weather may have played a part in a shooting outrage which took place late the other day in Murgon shire. It's reported that an employee of the local bank flipped over his desk and brandished a Colt revolver at several employees and customers while delivering an incoherent tirade on the virtues, or lack thereof, of the modern banking system before discharging all six rounds from his pistol into the bank's clock. The miscreant then bolted out of the door before the gunsmoke cleared and stole a horse that was left saddled and tied to the hitching post of a nearby saloon. Witnesses say he was last seen heading in the direction of Brisbane, local troopers have been dispatched to the area to search for the man, in his thirties, who has been identified as Percival Drummond of 14, Shearers Lane. The town is stunned by his sudden outbursts, Drummond was, by all accounts, a peaceful man who enjoyed cricket, gardening and attending dances at the local town hall. We at the South Burnett Times wonder if "rag" or "ragtime" and its' corrosive effect on the morals and virtues of young men and women may have played a part fomenting a state of mind that resulted in in this young man's escapade.

Fortunately nobody was injured in this scandalous affair and it is expected that a recalcitrant Drummond will stand before the local magistrate to answer for his offenses any day now.

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(A picture of the Q.N.Bank in Murgon Shire Circa 1914)
Posted By: loftyc

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/24/18 12:38 AM

Originally Posted by Fullofit

Lofty, I had a few QC flights in the Aviatik. You're right, they do want to climb. All 3 of them, B.I, B.II and C.I! How can you stand this? This seems like an issue OBD should be made aware of.

that's my point, actually. I can't stand it. but at least now that I know it's not just me or my set-up, I'll ask Pol if it's supposed to be this way. Maybe I can get a field mod...
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/24/18 11:11 PM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
Catterick AF
Air Training


I got my Posting orders for 4 Sqn in France. I will be going Over There.

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Posted By: Ace_Pilto

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/26/18 02:47 AM

30th November, 1914

"What do you mean there's no rum on board?" Drummond asked of the sailor he'd collared for interrogation. "I thought you seafaring types never left port without it?"
The sailor grimaced and Drummond rather wished he hadn't, yellow teeth caught the light of the setting sun. His weather beaten face creased like old canvas. "Requisitioned, the whole country's sugar crop is on its' way to France"
"Well blast it all! I'd have to pick the one tub that wasn't carrying any of it and no rum besides!" Drummond exclaimed.
"Steady on now mate, we've a long journey ahead and getting excited won't make it pass any quicker."
"Nevermind, I'm heading that way anyway. Perhaps I'll catch up with some of it."
"Well be sure and remember the crew of the Omrah if you do." Said the sailor with a wry smile, which fortunately was a step down from his previous grimace and hid most of the sins of his inadequate dentistry.
"No fear sport, I'll send you a bottle or ten for letting me on board without asking too many questions!"


Drummond never cared for the idea of going there but it seemed to be a better option than wasting away at the pleasure of His Majesty in some prison or other. In planning his escape from the mundane Drummond had left himself a cache of supplies and all of his life's savings in an old tree stump outside of town, the horse he'd stolen had got him most of the way into Brisbane before he sold it to a farmer who was similarly inclined to a lack of inquisitiveness that the sailors of the Omrah had shown when he paid for his passage to the bosun who'd showed him his berth and signed him on as a "stores clerk". The one funnelled tramp steamer that Drummond has selected was called the "Omrah" and now he, several AEF troops, the crew of the Omrah and the ship's cat were all on their way to France. Drummond had no idea what he would do when he got there, providence would have to take care of that.
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Note, the Omrah took the first Australian troops to WW1 in 1914.
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/26/18 05:54 PM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC


I haven't had much sleep since arriving in France. The NCO Pilots Quarters at the replacement Center was full so I took a small room on the local economy as I processed in. I asked about places, one old timer said that there was a place in town J ust look for a Red Light above the Door. The location is a Fete Maison 2d Floor, at Moncomme Les Rouge Lumirer. I say , it easy to spot because it has the only Red Light above the Door in the area and the people seem friendly. On the down side , the racket it seems to be a non stop Party with dancing and laughter. Oh well its just for a few days

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Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/26/18 06:55 PM

Greetings, all! hope you all had a great christmas! Graham’s made it to No. 20, and by a twist of fate has joined the Netheravon Mob! I wonder if any of our fellow DiD’ers will be joining Graham in No.20...! Very excited for the beginning of the DiD proper, come new years!

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell
No. 20 Squadron R.F.C.
Netheravon, England.

December 24, 1915.

Part 4: Welcome to the Flying Corps.

Jacky-boy, Switch-off and I said our good-byes to the training mob before heading off to clamber aboard the flat-bed truck that would take us to our new home at No. 20. Freddy Foster’s been assigned to No. 24! The lucky Kiwi’s switched to DeHavs and will be undergoing additional training as a scout pilot at Hounslow! Teddie Lawson’s off to No.1 - straight to France! The lucky sod was grinning all the way as his B.E lifted off, bound for the Channel.

We arrived at maybe quarter-past three, and upon excitedly piling out of the truck we were at once ambushed and snapped into an inspection line by a tough-looking Sergent Major, by the name of Brookings, who promptly took our names down in between frustrated ramblings about picnic baskets and aerial crashes, much of which went straight over our increasingly confounded heads. Happily for Jacky-boy and Switch-off, they were not subjected to Brookings’ unpleasant bawling for long, as a youthful Captain quickly arrived and saw them off in the direction of the Officers’ quarters. I, however, was stuck at the mercy of Brooking’s ramblings.

“Right, you,” he began, in an irritated tone, and gestured for me to follow. ‘I should ‘ope that you know what yer’ doing, Sergeant! My men are gettin’ fed up of fixing up aeroplanes thanks to the like of you carefree young types”. I made to respond, but before I could the Sergeant-Major abruptly stopped and pointed ahead to a smattering of small white huts, at the northern end of the aerodrome. “This is you - first on the far left. Drop yer’ kit off and report to the Men’s mess in a half-hour’. And with that, he marched off at a wicked pace, kicking up white dust-clouds from the gravel path as he went.

As I later discovered, I shared my hut with two other men, both of No. 20; Sgt. Pilot Edmund Archer, a well-mannered painter from Shropshire, and Sgt. Pilot Jim Reynard, a tough-looking Scotsman with an incredible head of wiry, bright red hair. Both men were my seniors, and at first I felt intimidated, but I soon discovered my two compatriots to be perfectly friendly and welcoming. I rather enjoyed the juxtaposition of the quiet, softly-spoken Archer and the exuberant Reynard. In the far-right corner, a fourth bed remained ready-made, awaiting an owner.

Netheravon is an incredible place, much larger than Hounslow. There are all-sorts here, Canadians, Kiwis, Australians, Scots, Irishmen, and even an American or two, I hear! There are also all kinds of aeroplanes here; Avros, DeHavs, B.E’s, and, of course, our F.E.2bs, or ‘Fees’, as Archer and Reynard call them! I saw one fly overhead as I was going about my business, and cannot wait to have my chance at flying one!

I met my C.O today, Major Wilson. After inspecting my file, he informed me as to the organisation of the squadron. At the moment, we had eight Fees, and four B.E.2s, divided between 14 pilots and their observers. As Jacky-Boy, Switch-off and I were the ‘new boys’, we’d be on the B.E.2s, I was disheartened to learn! However, my spirits rose considerably once I found out that this would only be until we reached France, and that I would still be able to fly the Fees as time allows.
Posted By: loftyc

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/27/18 11:58 PM

Fldwbl. Karl Arnt Lofthoven reporting.

Last week Hauptmann Boehm directed me to fly to another field and return. He originally said at least an hour away, but since the choices were either nearby Dusseldorf or else all the way to Berlin, he waived the time stipulation for Dusseldorf. The thing was, though, that when I landed, I very briefly hit the engine kill switch by reflex. I turned back on in time for the engine to keep running, but when I returned to Koln, Herr Boehm only signed my logbook for the time there and not also for the return leg. I argued that it wasn't even a blip, but he merely said "Nein," and walked away. Penalty for the closer aerodrome?

Well, next up, Herr Hauptmann directed me to go up and do "aerobatics." In the Aviatik. And he kept a straight face. So, off we went. I figured also to see if I could get up to 10,000 ft. I flew due east for about 20 minutes, and then headed back due west, simply climbing all the way. Imagine my surprise when my inner sense let me know that indeed we were at 10,000! If it could do that, maybe it was better than I was thinking, so I warned Herr Boehm and tried a roll. Actually just about made it, too!. In for a pfennig, in for a mark as they say, so I put the nose down (a feat in itself!) and as fast as I dared, I pulled back (actually, held the stick neutral) and would you believe that the crate just about flopped over in a loop. Will miracles never cease?! Of course, on the ground, Herr Hauptmann berated me for the sloppiest roll and loop he had ever seen. But I was ready for him: I pointed out that the real aerobatics were on the way out, during which time I flew in a straight steady climb, the whole time using one hand to drink a cup of coffee. Truly, with that plane, a masterful demonstration of airmanship. You've heard of the "Immelman turn?" I'm thinking of calling what I did the "Lofthoven Line." He stared at me without blinking, but in the end he signed my book before walking away.

I've heard that I will go with Herr Hauptmann sometime in the next few days to FFA 10 in Habsheim. When I asked him if he was sure he wanted me as his Emil, would you believe he said "I would trust no other. Besides, no one else gets my sense of humor." I swear my mouth was hanging open long after he had turned and left.
Posted By: Maeran

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/28/18 01:37 AM

I hope everyone had a good christmas. We are nearly at the begining of active service on the campaign. I am looking forward to it!

Here is the next installment of Stanley's training.


"Last week a poor soul fell out."

The comment made in passing by the woman outside the aerodrome haunted Stanley's thoughts. How had he fallen out of an aeroplane? What stunting manoeuvre could throw a pilot to his death? A loop?

William Stanley had been dared to loop and he was not the sort of man to go back on a bet, but he was haunted by the mental image of a body falling through the air. Arms and legs flailing helplessly.

As it was, bad weather stopped flying for a few days. Instead, students were subjected to lectures that bored William tremendously. He was sure that the engineers found the principles behind aeroplane propellers interesting, but he was a man of action and cared only that the spinning fan did its job. Lectures on the principles of reconnaisance were better, to Stanley's mind. Of course, much of it was familiar ground from his days in the cavalry, but the clues to look out for differed in the air.

If the weather should prove flyable, pilots who had completed conversion at Doncaster were mainly engaged in cross country flights. Using a map, and commonly a pocket Bradshaw guide, the intrepid young fliers would try to travel from one destination to another. This was to gain experience in flying hours and practice the navigational skills that Stewart had half listened to in lectures.

On one occasion Stanley resolved to fly north east to the coast near Hull. The reason for his choice was simple; the navigation was very easy. The river Don flowed north to meet the Ouse at Goole, just before the confluence of the Ouse and the Trent formed the Humber estuary. So long as you could see the rivers, anyone could find their way.

As his BE2 rattled its way above scattered clouds, William reflected on the loop. He reasoned that it would be better to practice out here, away from the instructors' disapproving gaze.

So it was that a BE2 came to be stunting over the Humber estuary.

Stanley's first attempt at a loop led to nasty feeling stalls as he failed to bring the aeroplane over fast enough. The nose suddenly dropped and Stewart was scared that the BE2 might spin, but the biplane was highly stable and recovered quicker than even the gentle Shorthorns at Reading.

The next attempt slipped out to the side as he failed to correct with the rudder. But after a while, Stanley was able to bring his aeroplane around on the vertical plane after a starting dive. He couldn't be sure if it looked good from the ground but it felt exhillarating to come back to level flight again in a controlled manner.

A few days after the trip to Hull, Stanley sent Barnstaple to inform the student pilot who had challenged him to make a loop that he should watch Stanley's flight with interest.

As he circled the aerodrome at three thousand feet, Stanley hoped that he had a good audience. "And I hope that I don't give that woman anything to talk about," he added.

Starting with a short dive for speed, Stanley pulled up in a series of zooming climbs. After warming up in this fashion, he dived again to begin a spiralling corkscrew known as the side somersault.

After this first stunt, Stewart righted his aeroplane and flew level for a little while before coming back around to fly over the aerodrome once again. He dived.

With a steady pull back on the stick and his feet gently holding position on the rudder, William Stanley pulled his BE2 into a climb that grew steeper until the machine was inverted.

[Linked Image]

Stanley felt an increasingly familiar shift in weight as the g-forces battled with natural gravity for his soul. He pulled back on the throttle to stop the engine racing and the BE2's nose came down again, completing the circle and winning its pilot £50.

William Stanley was rather pleased with himself.

On the ground student pilots applauded and slapped Stanley on the back in congratulations. Ground crew shook their heads at the wanton risk being taken with their precious aeroplanes.

Moller took Stanley one side after things died down. William thought he was in for a dressing down.
"Not bad," the instructor admitted. "You need to ease off the stick near the top of the loop in order to get a good circle. What you did was more like an egg shape. Still, not bad."
"Oh? Thank you sir." Stanley was a little surprised by this advice.
"So good in fact," Moller continued, "that I think that you can take part in a Doncaster tradition."
"What would that be sir?"
"Glad you asked. As you know, there is usually a gaggle of civilian onlookers on flying days. We like to give them something to talk about, so every now and then we shove a dummy out of an aeroplane." The instructor saw the look on Stanley's face. "A tailor's dummy. We dress it up in flying gear. When it lands we make a big fuss, send the ambulances over quick so nobody sees. Good show all round!

"Anyway, it takes a bit of skill to drop a mannequin close enough to be seen but not so close as to give the game away. Are you up for it?"

Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/28/18 05:05 PM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC

Reported in to 4 Sqn, The unit is UN-tidy with equipment pouring in, but not organized as yet. Only 2 pilots so far no observers or Tents. We are packed into a farms Barn on cots til the rest of the baggage arrive. Another problem is that for an Rfc Sqn there are No Aircraft just 2 trucks and a 75mm cannon some unit left and 3 en-field rifles with no ammo. On the up side, we do have a lot of bacon and eggs for meals.
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/29/18 02:24 PM


Another very enjoyable group of stories to go with my morning coffee, thank you all for sharing.

2nd Lt. Swanson managed to finish up his training at Netheravon despite nearly a week of foul weather leading up to Christmas that grounded all flights. Two days ago he was informed that he would be assigned to 3 Squadron, flying the Moranes. He cringed a bit at this, having heard horror stories about how terrible a mount it was going up against the latest Hun machines. However, being a relatively easygoing sort, he quickly took the news in stride. Swany packed his kit and was sent to Dover where, yesterday morning, he was told to shuttle a new B.E.2c across to the depot at St. Omer. It was a beautiful winter's day and he took to the air shortly before noon. All was going as planned until about midway over the Channel when the engine in his mount developed a miss and a short time later began spitting oil out against the forward cockpit glass. Fortunately Swany had just better than 5,000' of altitude and a helping wind and was able to nurse his bus across and land on the beach some miles west of the St. Inglevert aerodrome. Had it not been for the kind winds he would have had to ditch in the water. After a walk through the French countryside and a number of phone calls a truck and crew were sent from St. Inglevert to pack up the B.E., and Swany is now at the aforementioned aerodrome waiting for his bus to be mended, at which point he will continue on to St. Omer. All this excitement and he hasn't even met the enemy yet.

Lifting off from the field at Dover.
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Watching the city and the white cliffs slip away below.
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Waving goodbye to England.
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Engine trouble at a most inopportune time.
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The French coastline in sight.
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Hoping and praying the winds continue to help and the engine holds.
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Tensions lifting as the turn is made to land on the beach.
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Hello France! Thank God I'm seeing it with dry boots.
[Linked Image]


This really was a white knuckle flight for me as I've only ever made one water landing in WOFF in which I survived. There were some tense minutes where I was quite sure I was going to lose Swany before even getting him to France.

Posted By: lederhosen

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/29/18 05:33 PM

Must say that the ferry mission is one of the best anyone can fly.
Posted By: Hasse

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/29/18 06:22 PM

Yikes, now that was a scary flight, Lou! Glad to see your pilot made it safely across. skyisfalling

Fortunately the Huns don't suffer from ferrying problems! smile2

Julius's first proper story chapter is ready. It became longer than I had expected, but I promise to write shorter ones in the future, once he gets to his squadron. I imagine Raine the Dungeon Master will soon inform me which unit that will be. smile


"Undoubtedly this is the most stupid, senseless and unnecessary war of modern times. It is a war not wanted by Germany, I can assure you, but it was forced on us, and the fact that we were so effectually prepared to defend ourselves is now being used as an argument to convince the world that we desired conflict."

- Crown Prince Wilhelm (1914)

[Linked Image]

Wednesday, December 29th, 1915. Leipziger Strasse, Berlin.

Julius Schreck stood on the sidewalk and watched the massive building of the Prussian Ministry of War across the street. It was the middle of the week and the streets were full of people going about their business. Nobody paid any attention to a lonely, short man wearing an army uniform. Julius was on his way to meet his father Georg, who was an Oberstleutnant in the Prussian army and currently the Chief of the Technical Office of Artillery in the War Ministry.

“No reason to delay the matter”, Julius thought and quickly crossed the street. He arrived at the gate of the ministry building, where he was stopped by a bored-looking guard. “Papers, please!” Julius showed the guard his documents. “I have a meeting with Oberstleutnant Schreck in the Artillery Department.” The guard took a quick look both at the papers and Julius and then nodded, apparently satisfied by what he had seen. “Very well, Herr Offizierstellvertreter. Do you know the way?”

“Yes, I’ve been here before.” The men saluted each other and Julius entered the building.

The corridors of the War Ministry were no less busy than the streets of Berlin. Officials of all ranks and stations wandered about, many of them carrying files and briefcases undoubtedly full of important documents. Sounds of telephones ringing and typewriters clicking filled the background. Julius didn’t want to be late from the meeting (his father was a very punctual man), so he hurried to the next floor where the artillery offices were located.

A long hallway opened from top of the stairs in two directions. A few chairs and benches were placed next to office doors. Some people were sitting on them. Julius paid no attention to them and checked his pocket watch: it was 8.50 AM. He still had ten minutes left, but nevertheless he hurried along the hallway towards the office of his father. The corridor opened into a large open space that was crowded with several writing desks and their assorted paraphernalia. A few clerks were at work there, but Julius had no interest in them. He turned left to his father’s office. The Chief was important enough to have his own secretary, and it was this person Julius now wished to see before meeting his father.

A pretty brown-haired woman with a heart-shaped face was sitting behind a desk that was placed opposite the door leading to the office of Oberstleutnant Schreck. It was the only desk there at the end of the hallway. A few chairs lined the walls, but they were empty. The woman was looking at an open file with a slight frown on her face when Julius approached her.

“Good morning, Leni!”

The woman looked up from her papers and smiled when she saw Julius.

“Good morning, Julius! You made it in time!”

“Of course! The Schreck family is the very model of punctuality”, Julius said with a smile.

“Indeed! And you are also known for your hard work”, Leni continued and nodded at the door with a knowing look on her face.

Julius lowered his voice a bit and glanced at his father’s office. “Does he even leave the room anymore? I’ve heard he’s been working harder than usual, if that’s even possible, because of the Turkish situation.”

“You’ve heard right. I don’t know where he gets all his energy! He’s exhausting the younger staff officers. One of them told me he’d have an easier time at the front - and he wasn’t joking!”

“Good old father! Has he been hard on you too?” Julius asked with a concerned voice.

“No, not at all like on his officers. Actually he’s quite nice towards all the ladies here. But of course we all have to work long days, with this little war being fought and everything.”

Their conversation came to an abrupt end when the door opened. Two men with bushy mustaches stepped out of the room. They were both wearing uniforms of the Ottoman army. Julius saluted the officers who departed without speaking a word. They had left the door open, probably on his father’s request.

“It’s nine o’clock”, Leni said with a quiet voice. Julius nodded without looking at her. Then a big man appeared in the doorway - Oberstleutnant Schreck.

“Julius, good, please come in!” Julius did as his father requested and stepped into the office. Georg closed the door, turned around, looked Julius in the eye for a while (it was a piercing gaze) and then gave his hand for his son to shake. Julius felt intimidated by his father’s presence. He had always been a small and thin boy, quite unlike his father who resembled a heavy-weight wrestler with his thick neck and hands like the paws of a grizzly bear. The elder Schreck was clean-shaven with a bald head. A row of ribbon bars decorated the left breast of his uniform, along with the Iron Cross, 1st class.

“It is good to see you, father. Sadly my time in Berlin is short. I’m to report at the Butzweilerhof field in Cologne on the last day of the year. It’s funny - I don’t even know where they are sending me! But my training is now complete, so I imagine any regular two-seater unit will do. I’ll just have to follow orders and everything will be fine, just like you told me!” Julius realized he had started talking more and faster than he had intended, so abruptly he stopped.

“Good, good. I knew you would make a fine pilot, so I never hesitated writing that recommendation for you”, Georg spoke and then moved over to his desk. “Your brother has been doing great deeds. He was recently awarded the Hohenzollern Order, and he’s now leading a company of his own.” The Oberstleutnant clearly sounded proud of Hermann's achievements.

“Yes, I know. He wrote to me about it. We correspond regularly, or at least as often as the war allows. They’ve been having some tough fights against the French this year.” Julius stood looking at his father, almost at attention.

“Now you will have your own chance at glory! But don’t take any unnecessary risks. A wise soldier knows when to fight and when to stay out of trouble.” Georg turned around and directed his piercing gaze again at Julius.

“I will do my best, father. We have been well trained by our instructors. So I’m not worried about the future.” Julius felt the whole discussion was very awkward. But that was always the case with his father.

“Quite, quite. Well, I don’t wish to delay you unnecessarily long here. And I do have a lot of work at hand! You may know that a British force is under siege at a town called Kut in Mesopotamia! The Turks have a chance at striking a heavy blow against our common enemy there. But they require lots of support from us, especially in matters of heavy equipment. Those two gentlemen you saw a minute ago are actually working with me on improving their artillery."

“Yes, father. I pray for our success.” Julius couldn’t think of anything more intelligent to say.

“Well, then. Before you go, I have a little something for you here!” Georg opened a drawer on his desk and took out a book bound in black leather, which he then proceeded to give to his son. Julius accepted the gift and looked at it. Written on big golden letters was the name of the book and its author:

Gedichte von Karl May

It was a book containing poems by Karl May. Julius opened the cover and looked at the first page. On it was written a dedication: “With Best Regards to Hauptmann Georg Wilhelm Schreck. Karl May, June 15, 1905.” Julius was stunned. His father had given him a book by his favourite author, and it was even signed by May himself!

“I do hope you like it! I bought it back in 1905 and had May sign it for me at the bookstore.”

Julius collected himself and politely thanked his father. The older man seemed pleased by his reaction, allowed himself an uncharacteristic smile, and then escorted his son to the doorway - surprisingly gently, as confused Julius thought.

“Good luck! Remember to write regularly about your adventures!”

“Thank you, father. I will, father.”


Leni gave a puzzled look at Julius. “What happened? You seem like you just saw a ghost!”

Julius shook his head. “No, it’s really nothing. I was just surprised by my father”, he said and showed the book to Leni.

“Well, you’ll have to tell me all about it tonight then!” Leni said and flashed a conquering smile at Julius.

“I will, dear Leni. I will!”
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/29/18 10:17 PM

Wonderful writing gents. I have just been through all the stories but will have to give them another read to absorb them all. Lou, you gave me a fright there Hoss!

Jericho is in France with No3. I will start from there when I get home.

I have been in the woods pretty much since thanksgiving. Home before Christmas Eve and left to come back the day after Christmas. Fulfilling a life long dream since retiring. Boy howdy do I have a wonderful wife! But she does have her limits and I will be back home tomorrow.

Looking forward to this here upcoming rodeo! I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and blessings for the coming New Years.

Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/30/18 05:11 AM

Aleck A. MacKinlay
December 29, 1915

I have been in St. Omer for several days now, at the No. 1 Aircraft depot. What an amazing hub of activity; repair shops and supply buildings bustling with activity and lots of aircraft buzzing in and out on ferry flights and pilot refresher flights.

I am stuck here in what they call the 'Pilot Pool' awaiting assignment to an active squadron. Any day now!

The trip over from Dover was slow, but thankfully I was not stuck on a troop ship with a bunch of regular army sods. The quartermaster at the Dover Marine Station had the good sense to note that a shipment of two Be2c's (in pieces) were on their way to St. Omer accompanied by two mechanics and suggested I travel along. It worked a charm as I had ship and lorry service right to my destination. The one mechanic was a rather dull sort, mostly interested in gambling and booze, but the second chap was quite sharp about aeroplane mechanics and motorcycles so we had some good conversations.

Attached picture Be2c.jpg
Posted By: Maeran

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/31/18 12:50 AM

Ace_Pilto I get the impression that Drongo Drummond is goinng to be quite a character.

I've got two more stories planned for Stanley before the campaign proper starts. Here is a very heavily disguised bombing training mission.

Historical note: they really did drop a dummy from a plane every now and then at Doncaster for the benefit of public onlookers. It was also a tradition to dare trainee pilots to do a loop soon after arrival for advanced training.


The dummy was based on a tailor’s mannequin, but previous drops had knocked it out of shape so much that Stanley felt that he was looking into the face of a scarecrow. He was flying at 4000 feet with the dummy sat in the observer’s position in front of him. Unlike a normal observer, the dummy was slumped over the faring between the seats in such a fashion that Stanley could pull it back and over the side in relative safety.

While circling, Stanley decided that the best area to drop would be the northern edge of the landing field. The buildings, and with them most of the people on the ground, lay along the main road on the southern edge of the field.
“Here goes,” Stanley said aloud to no-one in particular and reached around the windshield into the icy blast of the propeller.
It wasn’t as easy as William had hoped. The aeroplane lurched and diped worryingly as he leaned forward to tug and pull the stuffed flying coat into position. Once all was ready, Stanley looked again at his position. He was well off to the right now. He had to circle around again.

When he judged the line of flight to be right he held the BE2 steady until the aerodrome passed under the front of his lower wing. With a last haul the dummy toppled out on the cockpit and down into space.

William Stanley breathed a deep sigh of relief when he saw that it had not clipped his tail on the way out.
The body fell away, arms and legs waving in a hauntingly realistic fashion. Stanley knew he would have nightmares tonight. He saw that it was going to miss itstarget, but would instead drop into the farmer’s field beyond the aerodrome.
“Good enough for now,” Stanley thought, “but if I were dropping a bomb it would be a poor show.”

“Well done. That looked good,” Moller grinned as Stanley climbed out of the lande BE2. “You really made it look like you were i distress before the drop, what with all the wobbling.”
“I didn’t do that on purpose,” Stanley objected.
“Well don’t tell anyone that old boy.”

Barnstaple found Stanley packing his valise bak at Lonsdale’s house.
“Hullo Barnestaple. I’m off for Christmas. I have leave and I’’m taking advantage of being in England. Lord knows when I’ll be able to spend another Christmas with my family.”
Barnstaple looked glum, “don’t I know it. I haven’t been so lucky, but perhaps I can pop home at some point. Have a good Christmas then.” He offered a hand, which Stanley shook.
“And you too,” Stanley replied. “I hope you get to see your parents. Do look me up in France won’t you?”
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/31/18 09:18 PM

Aleck A. MacKinlay
Dec 31, 1915

Got word yesterday morning that I would be sent immediately to RFC-6 squadron. Was driven by motorcar east to Abeele airfield, arriving late-afternoon.

The place is a converted farm with two fields available for takeoffs and landings, separated by a roadway. Lots of barns and farm buildings converted to shops and hangers. Some of the senior officers are bunked in the old farmhouse, but I am currently billeted in a group of large tents set up in the lee of the south barn. Bloody cold and hopefully soon to move into more permanent lodgings.

Spent the day today getting oriented. We have 14 active pilots and an equal contingent of observers. The squadron has a mix of aeroplanes; the two senior Captains are flying Bristol Scouts, seven or so Lieutenants are flying FE2b's, and five lower ranking pilots (including myself) are flying BE2c's.

I have just met my assigned observer; a 2nd Lewwy by the name of Chris Bathurst. He is an older fellow (27 years old!) with 32 missions under his belt. Word has it that he is "an average observer but lucky". I think I have lucked out to have such an experienced and steady obs/gunner to work with. A little luck is exactly what I need as I have been told to expect my first official active flight soon.

Tomorrow I will be flying, but the CO has restricted me to a few circuits around the airfield so he can assess my skills.

Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/31/18 09:46 PM

Back from Christmas break. Looks like everyone kept themselves occupied.

31 December, 1915
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux
Somewhere between Marseille and Paris

Gaston was sitting in the train compartment taking him back to Paris. His pass has nearly expired and he had to get back to Le Bourget to obtain his transfer orders. He was finishing the last piece of far breton that Violette had made for him before his departure and was now occupying himself by looking through the window and enjoying the vistas going by.
He had a wonderful Christmas with his wife and his children. Giselle had grown so much since his last visit and Bernadette followed him everywhere asking all sorts of questions. Girls are so inquisitive. Both girls asked for a little brother for Christmas. After not seeing Gaston for such a long time even his wife was warming up to the idea after the children went to bed. Gaston had to be firm and agreed to discuss it further AFTER the war.
When will he see his family again? Will he ever see them again?
Gaston flicked off the last of the crumbs from his uniform and adjusted his armband that displayed the pilot’s brevet. He was still getting used to it and the looks the ladies were giving him. By Gaston’s estimate the train will not arrive at its final destination for another few hours. Just enough time for a nice nap. When the train stopped at the Paris station, Gaston was refreshed and ready for the final leg of his journey. Outside of Gare de Lyon, among the usual turmoil and bustle where everyone appeared to be lost, Gaston was able to hail one of the famous Parisian taxis to take him to Le Bourget.
It was difficult to see the road with the thick flakes of snow coming down all around. The taxi driver was an army veteran and the eyepatch he was wearing on his left eye betrayed his inability to serve. Hugo, the taxi driver had an opinion just about everything. The man would not stop talking. As long as his Renault was in motion, so was his mouth. Gaston was certain Hugo was related to his neighbour - Mme Ponsardin, the only other person he knew afflicted by such advanced case of oratory diarrhea.
By the time the car stopped at the gates to the aerodrome, Gaston had been subjected to Hugo’s rants about his wife’s venereal disease and he couldn’t get out of the taxi fast enough. He gave Hugo a fistful of Francs and left as fast as he could without slipping and falling on the iced over path covered by fresh powder. He pretended not to hear Hugo yelling after him that he gave him too much. As far as Gaston was concerned, it was money well spent.
The snow was now coming down harder in large flakes sticking to his nose, eyebrows and his moustache. It crunched underfoot and by the time Gaston reached the barracks he was covered in a thick, white coat. It looks like no one will be flying out on the New Year’s day.

[Linked Image]

Happy New Year to All!

Attached picture Train Station.JPG
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 12/31/18 10:14 PM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
4 Sqn Rfc.

Jan 1916

I say, More supplies. 1 wagon of Tin Hats and Raincoats and shoes and another of Tools, 303 ammo, Revolvers 32 cal. and Tins of corn beef. a few Veg's Bread( but it was stale ) and Dark Rum for our 2 spoon daily ration. along with the rest of the ground crews with Rigging equipment. I appropriated the Tins of the Corn Beef and some Tea and went to the farm down the road and traded for Milk and Cheese. I do say nice neighbor.

Attached picture article-2420949-1BD4C6CD000005DC-127_634x723  maid.jpg
Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/01/19 02:56 AM

Everybody's stories continue to inspire - excellently written, by all! I only hope I can keep up wink

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell
No. 20 Squadron R.F.C,
Netheravon, England.

January 1st, 1916.

The year has begun with snow blanketing the now-silent Netheravon. Through the window of the Sergeants’ mess, I have spent the first hours of my morning trying to penetrate with my gaze the thick wall of sleet that is whipping around angrily outside, beating at the doors to be let in. Early this morning Major Wilson assembled No. 20 and told us that there would be no flying done today - not that we needed to be told! I can scarcely imagine any aeroplane being able to fly in such unfavourable situations.

Jimmy Reynard had suggested that we attempt to procure one of the few motorcars scattered around the aerodrome and head into Salisbury, but, as Archer pointed out, the fierce winter frost in this time of year was treacherous, and often concealed obstacles ahead, and lay traps of invisible ice on roads; It was no friend to drivers and pilots, alike. So, instead, I strained my eyes into the snow and allowed my mind to wander, as Reynard busied himself loading his pipe, and Archer sat down with an Army notebook, sketching aeroplanes. As it turns out, Archer is quite the artist, and our quarters have slowly been decorated by thumb-tacked drawings of his.

Over the last few days, when the weather would allow, pilots have already started departing for France, and their assigned squadrons. The last pilots to have gone were Netheravon’s two resident Americans, Swanson and Jericho, who were bound for No. 3 Squadron. Rumour has it that No.3 are on Moranes. I do not envy them; The Morane Parasols look rather slow and unstable in the air, and every time I see one fly I am fearful that it will suddenly spin, as the poor No.29 pilot did back at Hounslow Heath.

It seems that we of No.20 will be in Blighty a little longer, but Cpt. Bistow, one of our observers, has let slip that we are soon to be bound for France ourselves, and war! According to Bistow, our four B.E.2s are to be replaced by F.E.2s upon our arrival. Jacky Boy, Switch-off and I are terribly excited at this news! A few days ago I met my Observer, Ken Edith, for the first time. To my astoundment, it is a Captain that I shall be ferrying across the skies of France! How amusing that I, a mere Sergeant Pilot, should be leading a Captain into battle! That being said, the broad-shouldered Scot seems completely impartial to rank, a rare trait for a British officer, and I have seen him more than once helping the engine-fitters to carry out their work in the aeroplane hangars and workshops. Edith comes from Evanton, a sleepy little town on Scotland’s Eastern coast, not too far from the Cromarty Firth. As he was happily telling me on our first meet, as a youth he would frequent the Fyrish Monument, from which there is a terrific view of the Firth and, on clear days, the looming, ominous hulk of Ben Wyvis can be seen in the distance.

The snow is falling ever-heavier. I fear that we may not be flying again for a while, and it seems to me that the weather may be sympathising with the Hun! By any means, it will not be long until we are in France, and Captain Boyd, or ‘Taffy’ as we know him, has already begun taking wagers as to which crew will shoot down a Hun first.

Posted By: Ace_Pilto

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/01/19 12:34 PM

1 January, 1915

No rum, no streamers. Not even a firecracker. Just waves and waves and behind them, more waves trying to get past all the other waves. Drummond was sick of it. He was beginning to wonder if he shouldn't have simply let the troopers catch him and put him in goal. Some New Year this was turning out to be. Some of the troops and crew had started a feeble sing-song but it was too cold and they broke up after a few rounds of "Auld Lang Syne" to resume playing cards, trying to sleep in their ridiculous hammocks or just sitting together, huddled, speaking in low murmurs and staring out of the portholes while thinking of home.

The Omrah was approaching the Western tip of Spain according to the crew and Drummond had elected himself as an unofficial ship's lookout. He was quite keen to see something other than water since he'd been deprived of such amusements for longer than he cared to recollect. The ship had put out from Capetown a week or so ago. Was it a week? Drummond had lost track of time in the general malaise of being at sea and had assigned himself a routine of "duties" to prevent himself from going mad. First thing in the morning he took some exercise with the troops on board, they were fairly good natured about allowing him to join in and nobody paid any attention to him as he did jumping jacks, push ups and ran the length of the deck several times before breakfast. After breakfast he helped clear up and, by the time that was done, it was almost time to begin preparing lunch. Breakfast was porridge, or gruel as Drummond called it. He hated the stuff. 'Lunch' was an optimistic word for the flesh of some horrible origin that the cooks scraped out of the many tins in the galley and heated to lukewarm temperature before serving it on hard tack. Dinner was more of the same, to be eaten with a cup of tea and a lime, or, if one was particularly fortunate, an orange.

In between meals Drummond kept watch.

The sun grew weaker as they sailed further north and Drummond shivered, it was unnatural being this cold in January, something ought to be done about it. A fluttering of wings startled him, some kind of sea bird had alit upon the railing and was cocking its head, eyeing Drummond knowingly.

"Well now, what news Mister Gull?" Drummond asked of it.

The gull pecked at something on the railing briefly before letting fly with a stream of excrement and flying off with a harsh cry.

"I suppose that about sums it up." Drummond nodded, watching the gull lazily glide away east. If only he had wings, he'd be shot of this damned tub before you could say "Jack Sprat" and that's a fact.
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/01/19 05:43 PM

Mark Anthony Jericho
RFC3 Auchel/Lozinghem
January 1, 1916

Great stories Gents. Ace, it could have been worse for Drummond. He could have been down wind of the seagull! I knew it might happen but I was very disappointed to find all flights were cancelled

Jericho sat on his cot after putting a few more sticks of wood on the small stove to try and keep his humble abode warm. He had traveled many a mile to get to this point. After arriving at RFC3, today was to be his 1st real wartime flight, only to be told all flights were cancelled! He unloaded his prize Colt 45. He had given it to a friend in Canada and instructed him to send it to him in England once he knew where he would be. It caught up with him the day before he shipped over to France.

He had given his new machine a once over. He was not impressed with the Morane. It had to be the ugliest looking mount he had ever seen. The other pilots had warned him that it was not easy to fly and you had to keep your hand on her at all times. Also, he was told to be careful of the elevator as it was sensitive and would put you on your nose given half a chance. His observer, Captain Whorton seemed a fine fellow. He had flown 35 missions to date. Whorton was a quiet individual which suited Jericho just fine.

The weather had in a funk. He did not like sitting around. He put the 45 back in its shoulder holster and hung it near his cot. Reaching under his bunk he pulled out a book by Mark Twain. He had read Pudd'n Head Wilson before but decided he would give it another go. He lay back down on his cot and began reading.
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/01/19 10:05 PM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
4 Sqn Rfc.

1 Jan 1916.

At last everything is here. Paired off in to Observers and Pilots then the Maj ordered everyone up. I say it was crackers. Machines getting very close. Upon landing , the ADJ posted a few more flights as Training before going Operational on or about the 3rd. All we need now is Fuel, Bombs, Film, Ammo, and Maps !

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Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/02/19 11:52 PM

Aleck A. MacKinlay
January 2, 1916

My first flight has still not happened; two days of bad winter weather have kept everyone grounded. The C.O., Major Mills, called me in today for a quick chat. I get the idea he just wanted to assess the 'new man' and determine my level of training. He apologized for the dismal accommodations (tent!) and explained that the squadron has a slight excess of pilots at the moment in relation to barracks. Although he didn't say it specifically, I get the impression they were expecting me to fill the spot of a dead or injured pilot, but everyone has had the gall to stay healthy and alive due to quiet times at the front. Basically, I can expect to move into warmer quarters as soon as someone gets tagged by the Hun.

I was passed off to Captain Davis for some additional orientation regarding our situation at the front. He told me that most of the shooting will be on the ground ... we are the eyes of the artillery and will be spending lots of time ranging fall of shells around the Ypres salient. I asked about the likelihood being attacked by Fokkers but was assured that I would perhaps run into an Aviatik or two, but enemy single-seat scouts are rare and unlikely to be encountered. Plus, our two Bristol Scouts are available for escort duty so no need to worry. Seems quite reassuring!
Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/03/19 01:02 AM

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell
No. 20 Squadron R.F.C,
Netheravon, England.

January 2nd, 1916.

As we had suspected, there was no flying today again; England is still gently sleeping beneath the snow. Fortunately, the inclement weather seems to have passed us by, and so Jacky-Boy, Jimmy Reynard, Wallace Pearson and I headed into town, bartering a ride with one of the Batmen, who was being sent in to town to pick up food for the kitchen.

On the Salisbury High Road we stopped by a quaint, modest little place to have lunch, named the "Dorothy Cafe". Above the sign of the establishment hung a second sign that read "DAINTY TEAS", and I rather decided that it was my duty to test the boldness of this claim. The interior of the place was very homely; simple oak furniture was dotted around, eight-or-so tables, and in the corner sat an old dusty piano, nestled in behind a slow-burning fireplace. By the entrance was a large window, which was bracketed by deep red curtains, neatly swept to either side, and on the walls hung quaint little oil paintings of some of the landmarks of Salisbury. One particular paining was newer than the rest - an image of a B.E.2 flying over the town. Clearly, the cafe had become frequented by us R.F.C types! I wondered if perhaps an old regular, or an ex-owner had painted the pictures - they did all look of one style. Maybe, whoever they were, they still now painted pictures to pass the time in the trenches.

As we cheerfully greeted the owners, asking for our lunches to be served up, Pearson flopped down onto the piano stool and proceeded to play a delicately subtle rendition of "Keep the Home Fires Burning". By the window, a lone infantryman begun humming along to the tune, staring into his mug of tea while appearing to be half-lost in some private, deep thought. After the first two bars, a faint smile appeared on his lips but, for some reason, to me it seemed like an impossibly sad expression. I only lingered on the face of the tired infantryman for a moment, before my comrades' idle conversations dragged me back in, and we took the table closest to the piano.With Pearson still gently tapping away at the keys, we spoke of the typical subjects; Flying, the identity of the pilot who would shoot down 20's first Hun, and, of course, girls! Naturally, the latter subject led to some outrageous tales, by far the worst coming from Reynard, who told us some stories I dare not repeat, true scandals that stood on the edge of disbelief! During our idle chit-chat, Simon Sarisbury stepped through the door, with his observer, Kris Bistow. Jacky-Boy waved them over, and they pulled up a chair around our table. The loud scrapes of Bistow's chair dragging along were accompanied by a disproving frown from the lady who owned the Cafe - not that the roguish observer took any notice - as Sarisbury went up to the counter to procure their own lunch. Walking up with him, I ran a critical eye down the list of 'dainty teas', and finally went with a liquorice-flavoured beverage (much to the amusement of my colleagues), which I secretly enjoyed, all the while feigning displeasure at the drink. Needless to say, the tea was, in fact, an appropriate level of daintiness.

Finally, once our late-comers had lunched, we packed out of the Dorothy Cafe, all of us leaving small coins as tips for our hostess, who beamed at us and wished us good luck in France. Despite the piano falling silent again, I couldn't help but notice the infantryman now quietly whispering the lyrics of Keep the Home Fires Burning to himself, his voice quivering. "And we gave our glorious laddies, honour bade us do no less" he crooned in his pitiful, teary voice, his palm pressed to his forehead. The sleeve of his uniform bore three wound stripes.

Unfortunately for us, our Batman chauffeur was long gone, and so we walked to the outskirts of town to the conveniently placed Bicycle Depot, the owner of which was a forty-something year old hulking brute of a man, whose grey hair stuck out wildly from underneath a dirty flat-cap. We were happy to discover the man was a fierce patriot, and insisted in a booming voice that we borrow the bicycles for free in order to get back to the aerodrome. As we thanked him and turned to leave, he roared out "For king and country, boys! Go and get those godless Huns!". Jacky-boy rolled his eyes, and whispered to me "Says the bloke who isn't going to France!". Snickering, I mounted the red Raleigh bicycle I'd picked out, and off we went, back to Netheravon through the snow.

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The Bicycle Depot.

Posted By: lederhosen

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/03/19 02:33 PM

Willi arrived today at the front.
Nothing spectakular, Forstschwier flugplatz (east of Colmar) was only 30min flight.
Wetter has turned bad for the next 48hrs though.

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Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/03/19 08:13 PM

Finally I’m back to WOFF and what a great load of stories to sort through. Fullofit, your pictures of the buffet at Gare de Lyon have me craving lunch. Mortuus, that was a close call on the loop. My guy’s CO told him he’s a soldier and not a daredevil and not to mess about doing those “twirly things.” Wulfe, I find your story really evocative of the period and like the feel of the sergeant’s mess as you describe it. You have a great cast of characters. How much is historical and how much is your creation?

Lederhosen, great pictures as always. I like the look of flying out of Freiburg. Good luck over the mountains now that you’re posted. Hasse, another masterpiece is in the making. I liked the scene with Julius’s father and am intrigued by the mysterious Leni. Ace_Pilto, I’m looking forward to seeing Drongo at the front. He seems like a real “larrigan,” as they say in Oz.

Loftyc, best of luck with Fw Lofthoven! And Carrick, maybe Lou can create an energizer bunny award for the most consistent contributor. MFair, does Jericho have plans for that .45?

Maeran, loved the mannequin drop! By the way, did you use William Fry’s Air of Battle as your source for Doncaster info? Lou, your cross-channel flight was a hair raiser. That’s next on Jim Collins’s agenda and I’m getting nervous. Hope to see you in France. Finally, 77_Scout, maybe I’ll meet you in St-Omer soon.
Posted By: Ace_Pilto

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/03/19 09:02 PM

Me too Raine, It's "Larrikin" btw. You were close though, which is a good effort for a Canadian. Not many people are familiar with archaic Australian slang.
Posted By: Hasse

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/03/19 09:17 PM

Should I choose a unit for my pilot myself or will you make the decision, Raine?

I was under the impression that the DID HQ would make the choice, but I may have misunderstood the whole thing.

Great to see so many stories posted in the thread! I will properly read them all in the weekend. cheers
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/04/19 12:01 AM


That's my error. I should have sent it to you. Watch for a PM in the next hour.
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/04/19 12:20 AM

An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins

Part Seven: In which I sprout wings in ways reputable and otherwise

With each day, I became more confident with the BE. No longer did I have to check off in my head all the steps of the starting procedure. No longer was adjusting the mixture a conscious operation. The wind on one’s cheek, a change in the note of the engine’s hum, or a slight looseness in a control told me volumes and the machine simply responded to my thoughts. Perhaps, gradually, I was becoming a pilot.

My first cross-country came up on the 14th and I flew northwest in a frigid, cerulean sky over the downs, past the spires of Oxford, and picked up the shimmer of Draycote Water off to the west. I found Rugby and settled gently onto the small field at Lilbourne, just east of the town, where a superannuated recording officer noted my logbook and I returned to Netheravon, quite pleased with myself.

I’d developed a throaty cough and medicated it with whiskey and lemon. It’s an old family remedy. You place the lemon at the foot of your bed and open the bottle of whiskey as you lie down. When you see two lemons, you’re well again. This time, however, it didn’t work. Instead it developed into a bronchial infection and by the 16th I was ordered into the infirmary as the doctor feared it would develop into pneumonia. Fortunately, the weather turned bad again so I did not miss as much flying as I could have. It bothered me that Jerciho was already in France and Swaney was nearing the end of his training, while I had several more hours to put in.

Swaney visited several times, but it was a lonely Christmas. The infirmary was nearly empty as, I was told, most young pilots simply kill themselves and do not need long caring-for! The sleet drummed on the windows and the skeleton crew of attendants was preoccupied elsewhere. I read several poor novels and played chess with myself (losing badly every time). Finally, on the 27th, I was cleared to fly and in two days completed the remaining elements of my course, which included two mock bombing runs all the way to Thetford. My machine performed flawlessly and I added six hours to my logged time.

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First night flight

On 28 December 1915 the day I’d been dreaming of arrived as Captain Hampton-Lewis strolled into the mess and informed those gathered about that Second Lieutenant James Collins was no longer provisional and had earned the right to put up his wings. He then informed me with a wink that, as I was not wearing the wings he had in his hand, I was improperly dressed and would have to buy a round for the officers present. Swaney, I learned, had received his wings that morning and was bound for France as there was an urgent need for pilots. In fact, he was already posted to No 3 Squadron – a Morane crowd. I ribbed him mercilessly and demanded he buy me a drink now for I was not likely to see him alive again. The Captain then informed me that I had been slotted for 3 Squadron as well, but because of my health another had taken my place.

I was sad not to be joining Swaney and Jericho at No 3, but happy that, unlike Swaney, I had been forced to forego my embarkation leave. So I was heading for London as a freshly-minted flying officer. And I was on my own until 3 January, when I was to report to Masons Yard [1] at 9:30 in the morning for further orders.

The train trip to Paddington was long and crowded. I shared a compartment with two majors and an outsized lady who snored. Quite full of myself, I opened my greatcoat enough to let the newly-sewn wings show. After a long time the balder of the majors leaned forward and peered at them.
“A pilot? Really? How old are you?”

“Nineteen, sir,” I replied.

“Damned foolish thing to do,” he said.

“Quite,” added his companion.

And so the rest of the trip passed in silence. Except for the snoring woman.

I took a taxi to Mayfair and booked myself into the Cavendish, because Captain Hampton-Lewis had recommended it and because it would be a short walk to Mason’s Yard on the 3rd, and I did not intend to be late. Being alone in a strange and wonderful city was a new experience and as soon as I was settled in, I went out and wandered about as in a trance. There was tea to be taken at Fortnum’s [2], and I found Hawkes & Co. on Savile Row, where I got measured for two proper tunics, breeches, and slacks.[3] The issued maternity jacket made me look like a Bohemian waiter. I dined alone at Wilton’s [4] and returned to the hotel to find a gay party underway, populated by RFC officers and beautiful young ladies and presided over by the Cavendish’s proprietress, the daunting Miss Rosa Lewis.

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Rosa Lewis in 1914

I am not used to social occasions, and my experience with young ladies is negligible, but Miss Lewis had me smoking an actress’s Sobranies and learning the foxtrot within the hour. Of course, for the record, I retired later to my virtuous couch. Or that is what I’ll swear to.

I was determined to go to war comfortably and spent several hours in Dunhill’s pipe shop on St. James’s [5] and, just a few feet away, I discovered Berry Brothers, the wine and spirit merchants. There I first tasted the ginger cognac that they had devised for King Edward [6], and by the time I left I’d not only ordered a case (with the promise I’d wire them where to send it to me in France) but I’d secured the rights to sell the product in Canada through Collins’ Distillery. They were rather amused to hear of Collins Yukon Gold Whiskey, but declined the offer of a sample case. Their loss.

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Berry Bros., 3 St James

Most evenings I joined some of the pilots from the hotel for dinner or shows. And before I knew it, the week was gone and I was sitting on a bench at Masons Yard. When my name was called I reported to a captain with one arm, saluted, and accepted a manila envelope with my orders and travel documents. I was to take the train to Farnborough, report by noon on the 4th, and ferry a BE2c to St-Omer where I was to report to the pilot pool.


[1] The RFC despatch office off Duke Street.

[2] Fortnum and Mason, across the street from the Cavendish, has been a purveyor of fine foods since the 1700s.

[3] Hawkes (now Gieves and Hawkes) is still at 1 Savile Row.

[4] Wilton’s is a fine seafood restaurant that had its origin as a shellfish merchant in Haymarket in the 1740s.

[5] Dunhill’s pipes began as a motoring accessory, having been designed to be used in a stiff breeze.

[6] Berry Bros. & Rudd still sell the King’s Ginger, and it’s highly recommended!

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Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/04/19 02:48 AM

Well done all.
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/04/19 02:51 AM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
4 Sqn Rfc.
Allonville, Flanders

Jan 3 1916.

Snow, all flights cancelled. I spent most of my time going over area maps next to the pot belly stove to keep warm.
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/04/19 01:51 PM


Don't forget to check the Dot Visibility rule on page 1 of this thread and ensure your rookie pilots are appropriately short-sighted. The hours required to improve your air vision should be based on hours served on operations, not training or familiarisation, so please note your number of hours when you arrive at your squadron and make your calculations from there.
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/04/19 05:06 PM


Hasse, incredible introduction to Julius, super stuff.

Maeran, the dummy toss was brilliant, and a great bit of historical context. Well done.

Fullofit, another wonderful episode in Gaston’s tale. And the painting is superb.

Ace_Pilto, can’t wait to see how Drummond does when he gets to France. The man’s a character to be sure.

Mark, here’s hoping your pilot and mine can survive the Moranes.

Carrick, your pilots always seem to find the prettiest mademoiselles.

77_Scout, Aleck should not be too anxious to run into the Hun, it will happen soon enough.

Wulfe, Campbell’s reports are outstanding. Love all the historical bits being brought in.

lederhosen, great pics and report. And yes, those landing fields in the middle of the woods do look far too small.

Raine, great story, too bad though that Jim won’t be coming along to 3 Squadron. Good Lord willing his path will cross again with those of Mark and Swany.

I know it’s been said already, but the writing here has really been taken up several notches. It’s a treat to catch up every day. Now, if you will allow me the pleasure, I shall add my own bit to bring Swany somewhat up to date on his adventure.

January 4th, 1916
Auchel, France

Snow and ice and wind, four days straight of it, had 2nd Lt. Swanson feeling right at home in his new digs at No. 3 Squadron. He’d arrived in the small hours of the morning of the New Year, having missed nearly all the celebrations owing to the fact that he’d been bumping along in a tender from Saint-Omer since the night before. After shuttling his repaired mount from Saint-Inglevert to No. 1 Aircraft Depot late in the afternoon of December 31st, landing just as the snow began blowing about in earnest, he was informed that he was to proceed immediately to his new assignment. They were in desperate need of pilots and so time was of the essence. He had but a few minutes to grab a quick bite and a cup of tea and make a stop in the WC while his kit was being transferred from the front office of the B.E.2 to the back of the tender, after which he was off.

What should have been a two-hour drive took all night, due in part to the weather, but in larger part to the inexperience of his driver. The poor fellow, one Corporal Lewis, had no apparent sense of direction whatsoever, and was lost far more often than he was found. Add to this the fact that he seemed terrified to push the Crossley to a speed that might exceed a brisk walking pace. It was a god-awful ride. After countless wrong turns and seemingly endless detours Swany was beyond relieved when, seven hours after starting out, he and his kit were standing in the falling snow outside the door of the Officer’s Mess at Auchel. Offering a less-than-cordial wave good bye, Swany hoped he would never see Corporal Lewis or his wayward truck again as he watched both disappear into the wintery darkness.

The next four days found the entire camp snowed in, with all flights cancelled. It gave Swany time to settle into his new surroundings and to visit with the other American currently in camp, 2nd Lt. Mark Jericho. He already knew the fellow from Canada and Netheravon but they’d only had a passing acquaintance there, despite having a character like Jim Collins as a shared friend. It’s not that they’d been avoiding each other, it was just that they were always off in different directions. Now, however, they were sharing a hut, as the C.O. thought it a fine idea that the Yanks be kept together. And despite the fact that both Swany and Jericho were relatively quiet sorts, after several days with little else to do the two got to talking and realized they had more in common than simply their country of origin. They each enjoyed the outdoors, were quick to learn, and both were cut from a rugged cloth. In addition, the two men each enjoyed the works of Mark Twain, which was discovered when Swany was unpacking his gear and tossed onto his cot a dog-eared copy of “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court”. And perhaps most binding of all, they each found the other’s dialect downright funny; Mark with his southern Mississippi/Texas drawl, and Swany with his northern Scandinavian/Minnesotan/Canadian accent. The Brits in camp generally thought they both sounded odd.

Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/04/19 05:26 PM

Thanks, Raine & Lou! At the moment, the 'cast' are works of fiction, save for Maj. Wilson, who was 20's first C.O. I plan to write in some more historical characters as the story progresses!

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell
No. 20 Squadron R.F.C
Netheravon, England.

January 4th, 1916.

The snow continues to keep us grounded here in Netheravon, and no flying has been done whatsoever since the start of the New Year. On the one hand, the chaps are rather tired of the lack of activity, but I will say that we have been thoroughly enjoying our day-excursions to Salisbury.

Today, I decided to conduct my own inspection of the workshops on the Eastern end of the aerodrome. Maj. Wilson has been toiling day and night to prepare 20 for our eventual deployment to France, and, as a result, the men have been running around in a frenzy collecting deliveries, maintaining our engines, and stocking our inventory for the journey. As I arrived at the workshops, I saw Warrant Officer Billing ordering around a gaggle of corporals, who were carefully unloading three 160hp Beardmore engines from the back of a truck. The engines were to be taken over with us as spares, along with twelve additional Lewis guns and a handful of Sterling Wireless sets, that would be installed in our F.E's overseas. I have been enjoying the modest comforts of the Sergeant's mess while I can, as I have also seen fabric tents being unloaded from trucks yesterday - no more stone walls for us over there! Hopefully it is slightly warmer in France.

Speaking of - I wonder how our boys who have left already are doing! Teddie Lawson promised he would write us at Netheravon, but as of yet no word has come. His letters are probably sitting on some Censor's desk, being appropriately mutilated in case of interception by German Spies.

I found out from Pearson that the Major has, in fact, already seen service in France, with No. 5, and has been previously mentioned in Despatches and received a MC! Rumours have even spread among the men that he is the legendary "Mad Major" - the R.F.C airman that has been seen stunting over German lines in spectacular fashion, as well as strafing the hun trenches. But, that can't be true, for he was just a Captain during his time! I had noticed his speech impediment when I first reported to Wilson, but, again having found this out from Pearson, it turns out that this is not an ailment from birth - but, in fact, the result of a serious air crash in which he badly broke his jaw and fractured his skull, in 1914. Although it is an awful thing to think, I am glad that the Major had the smash. It makes him feel more like one of 'us' - that is, the air fighter - and less like the harsh Captains that I knew in my initial excursion into France with the Sherwood Foresters. I must admit, the constant cold has me worried that a second touch of pneumonia will scupper my second chance at reaching the war.

Grounded again! Hopefully we'll get this war underway soon, though wink
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/04/19 05:41 PM

Aleck A. MacKinlay
January 4, 1916

Another day grounded with blowing snow; shows no sign of letting up. I spent much of the day keeping warm in the pilots room listening to the others talk, mostly about home. With Christmas passing and a new year of war just starting, everyone is feeling pretty low.

I got away to the relative quiet of the mess for a large part of the afternoon, to study my map of the local area. My army-issue map is excellent; a beautiful and colourful prewar bit of art from the Louvert Mapping Co. onto which some diligent soul has sketch the location of airfields, balloons, etc. I have always loved maps and getting to know my way around the area will be critical to my performance as a pilot.

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Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/04/19 06:53 PM

An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins

Part Eight: In which I bid farewell to England, find France, and prepare to mount a killer machine

Mummy was a trifle out of sorts that I had not travelled to Cambridge to spend my leave sipping tea in her parlour with her friends and the vicar, but the wonders of the Cavendish Hotel’s social set and the theatres of the West End and the restaurants of Piccadilly and the Savoy Bar had somehow clouded my view, I suppose. Anyway, she and my sister Dorothy took the train to the city and I found them rooms at Brown’s Hotel, a short walk away. I’d lied to them that the Cavendish was fully booked. They would probably have been scandalized by the nightly revelry there.

I met them at Brown’s and took them to listen to de Groot’s orchestra and dine at the Piccadilly Hotel Grill Room.[1] Dorothy wanted to teach me the foxtrot and was suspicious when she found I already had learned a few steps. But gentlemen never tell...

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"I met them at Brown’s and took them to listen to de Groot’s orchestra and dine at the Piccadilly Hotel Grill Room."

We hired a car and driver to take me to Farnborough early the next morning and Mummy and Dorothy went along to see me off. The trip took a little under two hours and the day was bright and unseasonably warm. There was time for elevenses at a café near the Royal Aircraft Factory. My mother put a brave front on it all, but I could tell she was sick with worry. Dorothy laughed and teased, but her nerves showed as well. For my part, I was itching to be off and quite insensitive to their distress. I assured them that flying was wonderfully fun and very safe, that the Hun scarcely bothered us, and that we would push the enemy out of France and probably Belgium by summer’s end. We parted at the café and I walked to the factory gates alone, looking back only once.

The aircraft I was to ferry to St-Omer was a BE2c equipped with a new type of wireless telegraphy unit, destined for operational trials. A middle-aged civilian electrical engineer named Salter was to accompany me in the forward seat. He’d spent the morning being shown the basics of the Lewis gun, as the machine was to be armed for the flight across the Channel.

We took off around 12:30 in the afternoon and climbed slowly to the east. My kit was stowed behind my seat and together with the slightly portly Salter, his kit, and a collection of electronic bits and pieces, the aircraft struggled for altitude in the crisp air. After an hour, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells slipped under my left wings and, with some of our petrol burned off, the machine edged past 7000 feet. I wanted to cross the Channel at 10000 feet if possible so that I would have the ability to glide a long way if we encountered engine problems. Salter made me laugh, for he was playing with the Lewis like a schoolboy shooting red Indians, only his foes were imaginary Fokkers. Of course, I couldn’t hear the fellow over the engine, but the frozen spittle on his moustache told me he was making the necessary machine gun sounds. He looked back at me with a broad smile and saluted.

We met the coast just west of Dover and turned southeast for France. The needle of the altimeter edged just past the number ten and I at last throttled back slightly and rechecked the mixture as the white cliffs of England disappeared into the haze behind. A few minutes later I estimated we were entering the danger zone – the part of the crossing where we should be too far from either shore to glide for safety. “Just ten minutes, Lord,” I thought. “Let the engine run for ten more minutes and we’ll be fine.”

The engine did its job, buzzing along smoothly as I searched the haze for some signs of the French coast. Nothing. I began to pray again. “Thanks for the ten minutes, Lord. Any chance you could tack on another five or ten minutes of smooth sailing? And sorry about the other night. God bless Mummy and Dorothy. And look after Dad.”

The sun was westering and shining on the water two miles below with blinding force. I thought I saw something and squinted into the glare. There it was again, a shimmering grey shadow dulling the glare. I watched as the streak turned from silver-grey to green with a white border of crashing foam. The shape of Cap Gris Nez emerged, by my estimate about eight miles off to my right.

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"The shape of Cap Gris Nez emerged..."

We turned eastward and followed the coast until the smoke of Calais’ chimneys directed our way southeast, and from that point the shapes of large woods and the canals and main railway line guided us towards St-Omer. We approached the depot and airfield from the southwest and I searched for the section of field at which I’d been ordered to land. Salter had been here before and pointed at a row of hangars at the east end of the complex.

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"Salter had been here before and pointed at a row of hangars at the east end of the complex."

There was a inspection parade underway at the west end of the field and I made a point of passing overhead about fifty feet off the ground and scaring the dignitaries’ horses (I was later to learn that the parade was a reception for General Henderson, who had arrived from England only a short while earlier this day). I reported to the OC Pilots’ Pool, a pleasant fellow with the imposing name of Lieutenant W.F.C. Kennedy-Cochran-Patrick, who said that I should find my hut, get settled, and report to the hangars to get familiarised with machines other than the BE2, because I might be posted to a squadron flying any type. In the mess, I also learned that I was lucky to have found St-Omer at all, because the day before there had been a major fire in the Depot's bomb stores. Only a courageous effort by the major commanding the stores had saved the place from going up. [2]

I did so, and found that besides the ubiquitous BE2, there were two Bristol Scouts, a lone FE2, and one of the dreaded Moranes, of the type familiarly called a “Parasol.” One of the sergeants helped me into a Bristol and was talking me through its peculiarities when Lieut. Patrick appeared and told me to “get down from there.”

“You’ll never see a Bristol,” he said. “There are a few, but only for the experienced men. Let’s try you out on a Morane.” I stared at the thing, which occupied the other side of the same hangar. Its single wide wing hung from a central mast above the fuselage, looking more like the roof of a shed than a flying surface. It took little imagination to see the bloody thing separate itself from the machine in a tight turn. The tail was the real killer, though. The Morane lacked a proper tailplane. Instead, the entire tail surface was an elevator that pivoted on a central rod so that as the rear edge went up, the front edge went down. “Be very gentle with the elevator,” Patrick warned. “It’s twice as sensitive as you’d think, and it doesn’t take much to throw the nose into the ground as you try to lift off. Oh, and the stick is short for a tall fellow like you, so keep a grip on the thing.” I noticed what he meant. One would have to be an orangutan to hold the stick comfortably.

To my great relief, it had begun to snow and the wind was picking up. Patrick swore under his breath and suggested I put off my first flight here until the morning. I would at least live another few hours.


[1] David de Groot's Piccadilly Orchestra played the dining room of the Piccadilly Hotel throughout the war and the 1920s.

[2] Actually, Major Newall was the OC of 12 Sqn, based at St-Omer. He and a corporal broke into the storage shed and extinguished the flames, an action for which the Major received the Albert Medal. It is not known whether the corporal received anything other than burnt boots.

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Posted By: Ace_Pilto

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/04/19 10:07 PM

Lisbon, neutral Portugal. 05 January, 1915

Another day, another delay.

The Omrah had put into Libson, apparently German submarines were wreaking havoc on ships travelling into the channel and, in light of this, the captain had decided that a resupply and a few days in port were in order. Staring at the Portuguese city from the deck of the Omrah was even more torturous for Drummond than staring at the sea, Drummond had no identity papers or passport and, while the crew had been allowed ashore by the Portuguese authorities the contingent of troops, and Drummond, were required to stay aboard. Things weren't all bad though, each evening the crew came back with fresh food for the galley as the tins of mystery meat were getting low, due to the many delays that had hampered the voyage and Drummond had by now made friends with some of the troops, including a 2nd Lieutenant Drummond from Perth whom he had met on the voyage.

It turned out that they had more in common than a surname, the Lieutenant had also worked in a bank, owned by his father in Perth, and had joined the Australian Imperial Force in order to get away from the monotony of life as a clerk. Being from a well-to-do family 2nd Lt Drummond was able to secure a commission for himself in the army through his father's contacts and considered himself lucky to have been sent among the first Australian troops to France. His first name was Peter, he was a typically tall and tanned, blonde haired Westerner with an easy going smile and a dapper moustache that he took a lot of pride in maintaining. Peter had also taken to smoking a pipe in the hopes that, being only 22, this might make him seem more mature to the other men who weren't much younger than himself.

That night the crew had brought back a few bottles of Madeira and Drummond, Peter and the troops enjoyed some fresh oranges, spitted lamb and a healthy amount of the Portuguese wine, which none of them were accustomed to the strength of. Pretty soon their spirits were ebullient and they decided to start a Two up school.

Two up is a very simple game of chance. Two pennies are thrown from a wooden paddle called a 'kip'. The players place bets on whether the coins will land with either two heads, two tails or one tail and one head. Drummond still had a few of pounds from the sale of the horse he had stolen so he joined in the fun.

"Two tails." He called

Two tails came up. Drummond was mildly surprised. He'd never gambled before and the idea that he'd just doubled his money in a heartbeat was exhilarating.

"Let it ride, two tails." He said evenly, trying to contain his excitement. The men laughed, Drummond was mad to make the same bet twice but, as surely as the contrary nature of fortune is prone to behave in such circumstances, double tails came up again.

"Again, two tails"

"Drummond you crazy drongo, you'll never get two tails three times in a row." Peter cried, his cheeks flushed with grog, wreathed in pipe smoke. The men laughed, they were betting heavily against Drummond and, by the time they were ready for the next throw, he stood to win a small fortune.

"Go on then, we'll see. Come in spinner! Two Tails!"

The coins soared and spun through the air in an arc, landing with a tinny clatter on the deck. The men surged forward and huddled around them, showing each other to peer at the result. A wild cheer erupted. Drummond had converted his 5 pounds into just over fifty in only three throws! Fifty pounds was a lordly sum for most of them and Drummond, astounded at his good fortune, decided that he'd pushed his luck far enough. He slipped a couple of bob to one of the crew who'd remained behind for more refreshments, in order to be seen as being a good sport and because he felt slightly guilty at taking the other men's money. Drummond had won himself more than money though. More money than he'd ever had in fact. He'd also earned some new friends and a nickname.


(Note: 'Drongo' is old fashioned Australian slang for 'fool' or 'idiot')
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/05/19 01:57 AM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
4 Sqn Rfc.
Allonville, Flanders

4 Jan : got off to the lines on recon today. It was suppose to be 2 a/c but the other ship wont fire up so Right O I went by me self. I must say, I didnt see much of anything but the pics did after being processed. Only 2 came out out of 10, But HQ was happy.

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Posted By: lederhosen

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/05/19 11:14 AM

Willi Rosenstein
FFA 9b
Colmar, Alsase

[Linked Image]

5 Jan 1916

Well that didn't go very well. I was supposed to fly an orientation flight from Munster to St.Die and back. I have been given the new, and only AV.C1 of the squadron and it let me down.
I just hope no one thinks I'm cursed and all that. Start was 12:20 with a full load of bombs although we were told not to get closer than 4km to the front. Weather was fine, for winter near the Alps!
We took off and climbed to 1600m over Colmar and started for Munster. 20min later and the oil pressure starts to drop. It all went so fast as our motor conked out on us 3min later.
Looking downwards one could see only wine fields and mountains filled with tree's. Where to land ???

At only 1600m we knew that gliding back home was out of the question. By the time we had reached 1000m my passenger, Oblt.Wind, was showing me a strange look on his face. I was new, straight out of flight school, and he didn't know me. I'll bet he was cursing the Hauptmann for this assignment. But one has to keep a brave face. It has been a few years since my stunting at Berlin but I felt that I could land safely. Then I remembered the bombs...all ten of them. I had to write a note to ask what to do about them. Heinrich's face went even whiter, if that was possible. He had forgotten them as well. One quick look around and down went the bombs into the woods.

My first choice to land was an opening but we quickly passed that, and even a second one too. Ahh to hell with it, a decision has to be made, and I'm going to land on a road.
The largest one was still to our front. I had one go at this so I did my best..... and what do ya know, we landed safely about 8km from home...or about a 3hr walk. Heinrich decided to go for help and that I should stay by the aircraft.

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Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/05/19 07:04 PM

Great pics
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/05/19 07:05 PM

The stories are getting good
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/05/19 07:59 PM

Great stories all. Looks like the weather has been keeping everyone on the ground. Lou, properly scary stuff with the engine failure over the Channel! You and MFair are very brave getting assigned to fly the Parasols. Raine, how do you learn to dance foxtrot on a virtuous couch?

5 January, 1916
Le Bourget
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

New Year came and went. The snowfall hasn’t stopped until the 3rd and was quickly followed by a torrential rain, which ceased in the evening of the 4th. Gaston was on pins and needles ever since receiving his orders to transfer to Toul, where he would join Escadrille C17 flying Caudrons. He was anxious to get underway. This would be his longest flight to date and he wanted it for once to be a worry free journey. No breakdowns, no crashes, no getting lost. He would stick to his usual plan, which was to follow the roads, train track and rivers.
There were puddles everywhere. The recently snow-covered green grass once again dominated the take off area. Grass and sodden soil, the two factors responsible for today’s share of slips, falls and stuck-in-mud footwear. Gaston was glad his travel kit included l’antidérapant (“non-slip” - the French word for wine).
He had left Le Bourget at 9:00 and was flying towards Epernay on the by now familiar trail. The weather was improving with each minute and the further east Gaston travelled the more dry it appeared to be. He reached the city one hour later and that marked the furthest point he had ever flown away from his home base. It was all new to him from now on. Gaston continued further east until he reached Chalons and turned southeast to follow a network of roads and train tracks that were crisscrossing each other. This would lead him to the enormous Lake du Der-Chantecoq where he would turn east and pass just as impressive La Val Forest. As the sprawling forest was passing by on his starboard Gaston promised himself to come back here hunting after the war. Oh, the size of the wild boar roaming these woods must be colossal.
Gaston continued his journey eastward until he finally reached Toul city. From there it was just a short hop south to the west edge of the Haye Forest, where the Toul aerodrome was located. Gaston was relieved that everything went well and the weather cooperated. He began his descent and final approach. It was approaching 11:36. He took one last look. It would be his home for the unforeseeable future.

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Toul aerodrome

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Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/05/19 08:40 PM

Fullofit, I think dancing on the virtuous couch was learned from the missionaries. I think that’s what it’s, I mean they call it.

The rain seems to have everyone on pins and needles waiting for what’s to come. Great stories Gents,

Mark Jericho
Auchell aerodrome, France.
Jan. 1916

Jericho sat at the controls of the most ungainly looking beast he had ever seen. He and his observer were to “make a few rounds about the field” so he could get used to the Morane. He blipped the engine, the signal to pull the chocks, and they bounded down the field. Being very conscious of the warnings about the sensitive elevator, he eased forward on the stick to bring the tail up. The Morane bounced twice and he felt the wheels pull free of the earth. Yawing back and forth he slowly gained altitude. Everything he had heard about this machine was true. One had to fly it every second.

After one circle of the field he began to feel comfortable enough to have a look around. “This would be some fine country to explore by horse back” he thought. His observer interrupted his gazing to point out some landmark and he was quickly reminded that there was a job to do and he was out ranked by the Captain behind him. His thoughts returned to the business at hand. After 20 minutes Captain Wharton tapped his shoulder and then to the ground. It was all over to soon and Jericho made a smooth landing on the field. As they disembarked from the Morane, Wharton turned in his direction and said, “tomorrow, weather permitting, we will visit the front lines.” Jericho saluted, “Yes Sir. I’ll be ready Sir.”
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/05/19 10:03 PM

MFair, behindcouch

Congrats on taming the MS!
Posted By: Hasse

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/05/19 10:16 PM


Late December 1915 – Early January 1916.

"The most improper job of any man ... is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity."

- J. R. R. Tolkien on his experiences in the Great War

Julius left Berlin by the evening train on the 30th of December. Leni had managed to leave the Ministry in time to bid adieu to him. No other friends or relatives of Julius were present at the station. Julius didn’t mind it. He had his trusty old army backpack full of personal items, and the memory of a teary-eyed Leni kissing him on the cheek was all that he needed for the trip. Leni had even promised not to cry, but in the end she couldn’t help herself. Julius gave his word that he would stay safe and write regularly.

The train was carrying troops and material, but was not ranked as a particularly important one by the wizards in the Transport Section of the Great General Staff, so Julius and the other passengers had to spend hours waiting for more critical units to pass by. There were only so many hours one could talk about the weather, the potato harvest (which was apparently poor) and other such mundane topics of daily life, so eventually Julius gave up on the socializing, covered himself with his greatcoat and tried to get some sleep.

They arrived at Cologne on the next day after an utterly boring trip. A lorry picked up Julius and a few others from the station and took them straight to the Butzweilerhof airfield on the outskirts of the city, where a military airbase had been established already in 1912. Julius reported at the headquarters building of the Flieger-Ersatz-Abteilung, hoping for an immediate assignment to a flying unit on the front. However, it was not what the powers that be had in mind for him. Julius was told to report to a barracks and wait there for further orders, which would be given as soon as possible.

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Julius was an expert at waiting. It was all he had been doing ever since the start of the war and his training first as an artillerist and then as a flyer. Once again resigned to his fate, Julius went to the barracks and made himself at home there as best as he could. The room he was assigned to was excellent by military standards, and the bed appeared to have seen only little use. He shared the room with a couple of other warrant officers. The men were free to leave the base after 6 PM, so the fellows invited Julius to go with them to Cologne for a bit of sightseeing. Soon it became apparent that the others were mostly interested in seeing the sights that the brothels of the old city had to offer. Julius politely declined their company (he had no intention of betraying Leni's trust) and went on his own to visit some of the famous locations of Cologne.

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He spent a good while marveling the awe-inspiring and world-famous cathedral of the city and posted a card to Leni to let her know he had safely arrived at Butzweilerhof and was now eagerly waiting for the next phase of his adventure to begin.

Julius returned to the field well before midnight and went to sleep in the barracks hoping that tomorrow would finally see him assigned to a squadron somewhere - anywhere! - on the Western front.
Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/06/19 01:07 AM

Truly brilliant tales all round, again! Raine - you have a brilliant way of fleshing out the 'world' of your character past the squadron life! Ace - 'Drongo' Drummond is an expertly crafted character, and feels incredibly 'real'. Brilliant work in really getting into every fine detail of your man! MFair - Enjoying Jericho a lot - just keep a weather eye open at the front wink Hasse - already like the sound of Julius...sounds like he may develop into a cold-blooded killer before this thing's through!

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell
No. 20 Squadron R.F.C
Netheravon, England.

5th January, 1916.

This morning, we were all thrilled to learn that the weather had evened out enough to permit flying again! The Major wasted no time in arranging a new training roster, and by mid-day Lt. Jem Ellis had appeared to give me a quick run-down of the flight leader's hand signals, before summoning Switch-off and I to the aerodrome, for formation flying practice. It was the first time either of us had even flown in the vicinity of another aeroplane, and I must admit that we were both a little nervous. Nevertheless, to the aerodrome we went, excitement mixed with our anxiety, briskly pulling on our flying coats and helmets as we trailed behind Ellis. Our observers were already on the airfield - they were to come up with us, to strengthen our bond in the air, as per the Major's instruction.

Although I am terribly excited to have the chance to fly again, I must admit that I was, rather selfishly, disheartened when I saw that the aircraft that had been prepared for us by the mechanics were three of our B.E.2s. I was hoping to finally pilot a 'Fee', but no such luck today. The ever-cheerful Cpt. Edith met me by the side of our machine, hoisting himself into the passenger's seat with catlike agility. "Looking forward tae oor first flight thagether, Campbell?" he asked me, grinning as he pulled his flying goggles down. I saluted and replied with a well-rehearsed "Yes, sir!", provoking an outburst of laughter from Edith. "Ach! A'm yer Observer, boyo! Nae need te be so formal aboot the rank! 'Mon, in ye get, afore Ellis gets impatient".

Obligingly I boarded my Bus, turning to my left and giving Switch-off a thumbs-up, which the nervous lad returned with a weak smile. The ground crew swung our props and, once they had cleared out, we raced after Ellis down the airfield, before lifting up into the refreshing cold of the morning. The B.E. purred along magnificently, and ahead of me Edith, still beaming, looked over the small farmlands and cottages that rushed below us, occasionally pointing out an old church, or an interesting cloud, or a flock of sheep to me. There seemed to be no reason behind his fascination with certain landmarks - the man merely had a wonderfully childish enjoyment of being in the air. Once we had extended north a little bit, we locked our eyes on to Ellis' B.E out in front.

Aha! The first hand-signal. I recognised it as the command for a "Chevron formation". As per instructed beforehand, Switch-off and I obediently pulled into a diagonal line, to the right of Ellis' B.E. Edith was now focused ahead, all the child-like excitement gone from his face. I was happily surprised by how serious he became when required to be. He'll see me through okay in France, I reckon. In Chevron formation, Ellis led us into a gradual right-hand turn, in which we fought the wind to stay in formation. Our buses were quite close, and I am sure Switch-off felt the pressure every bit as much as I did. Eventually, to our relief, we levelled out again and headed North by North-East, eventually crossing over the top of Upavon Aerodrome, where we could see the pilots below preparing for their own bouts of flying after the bad weather.

After a further ten minutes' flying in the Chevron formation, Ellis seemed satisfied enough to issue his second hand signal - 'V' formation. Being the 'tail-end-charlie', as I've heard some of the boys call it, the oneness was on me to skid over to the left of our formation and ride the throttle until I was line abreast with Switch-off, on Ellis' other side. Focusing hard, I performed the move, and soon we flew along in the 'V'. I felt awfully braced, for in my head we looked perfectly professional. Edith in the front seat flashed me a quick sharp-toothed grin and a thumbs up, before turning back to watch the flight leader.

From here, Ellis had us follow him, still in formation, in a series of climbs and descents. Apparently our flying sufficed, for after this exercise we promptly turned back for Netheravon. We flew quietly along, as I tried to keep my eyes from wandering over the beautiful English countryside - the snow had partly melted now, and the ground below shone brilliantly in a sheet of dew, giving the impression that the land was gleaming as if made of a thousand diamonds. Losing my focus for a moment, I watched below as a quiet little confined church on a hilltop shed some loose snow from its roof.

Suddenly, Edith tapped me on the shoulder, his familiar childlike grin having returned, and pointed out to our right side. I looked over, squinting my eyes, and shrugged. He pointed again, this time more vigorously, and I strained my eyes again, staring intently in the indicated direction. Ah, there! Three more B.E.2s, flying the opposite direction of us! My, they were quite far off - how had Edith seen them so readily? Well, I suppose that's why he is the observer and I, the pilot.

We reached Netheravon just under an hour after we'd set off, and landed one-by-one. Having made a perfect three-point landing, I was feeling very pleased with myself as I jotted down the details of the flight in my log-book. It was then that I realised, my, this was my first proper flight with No. 20! I must celebrate later tonight.

After taxiing to the side of the aerodrome and de-planing, I was briefly congratulated by Ellis on "A job properly done", before deciding to stay out a while longer to watch the other pilots come and go. Around two O'clock I saw Jacky-Boy preparing for his own formation training, accompanied by my fellow Sergeant Pilots, Archer and Jimmy Reynard. But, what was this? The mechanics were wheeling three Fees onto the aerodrome! Ashamedly, I must admit that I was positively green with envy as I watched Jacky-Boy climb into the pilot's position, shooting me a teasing glance as he did so.

Sadly, a black stain marred the day in the form of a letter from Hounslow Heath, sent by Weston and bearing awful news. Freddy Foster is in hospital - badly injured after spinning a De Haviland at low altitude. It is Weston's belief that Freddy's old Galipoli knee-wound meant that he couldn't gain proper mastery of the rudder needed to fly the craft, which as we've now heard can be quite the temperamental beast, but I cannot believe this - Freddy was the best of us at Hounslow in our training days! By any means, poor old Freddy was badly broken up in the smash - some of the men at Hounslow have apparently said he's a goner, but us that knew him are aware that the tough ANZAC is more than capable of pulling through. Weston promises to visit him and write me as to his condition. Still no word from Teddie Lawson in France.
Posted By: loftyc

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/06/19 01:42 PM

6 January, 1916
Fldbl. Karl Arnt Lofthoven reporting.

Herr Boehm and I arrived via train and bus from Koln to Habshiem flugzeug. Met the crew, and got a good feeling about them. After a few bad weather days, we did some orientation flights. on the 4th, we did a loop south and then over to the front. yes, the front! Now here are some neat things: first, it seems that our intelligence dept. had a coup and intercepted an agent for something called the RAF Louvert section, who was carrying a whole selection of maps for the entire front. Seems the Brits have been busy. So finally I got to use a map, courtesy of the enemy. (someone actually started the rumor that the case also had maps predicting the lines all the way through 1918. where do people dream up this stuff?) Now, the map showed a long, thin lake that stretched south, but gave no name; I asked, but everyone was very secretive...hmm, what's that about? Turns out, that "lake" was the Rhein! The Mighty Rhein! Perhaps because of low rainfall(?), the Rhein actually disappears as it runs north from here. Mein Gott!

Well, the flight went fine, except that whenever I looked at the map, if my stick hand twitched, we either stalled or nose-dived, neither of which Made Herr Boehm up front very happy. The next day was a loop to the north, coming by Colmar. Normal flight, and I found the flugeug thanks to the map. Good thing too, since on the final approach, a rod blew in the engine, and I switched off for the landing. I had a brief hope that we would get a new C1 model, but they just gave us a reserve B2 to use. Maybe next time I'll keep the broken engine running.....
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/06/19 01:51 PM


More great reads to go with my morning cuppa. Thanks folks!
And loftyc: the RAF Louvert section? Very funny!

Swany is finding the Morane to be far more to his liking than he imagined it would be. After hearing so many stories from others about what a terror it was to fly he wasn’t sure what to expect. However, he discovered it was actually quite pleasant to go up in, at least he felt it was. Yes, it is very light on the controls; and yes, it demands one’s constant attention. Nonetheless, it floats along gently and provides outstanding visibility to the front, sides, and below. In addition it has a fairly good glide rate which, given Swany’s general bad luck with engine failures, is a plus indeed. He of course has no idea how his new mount will fair in an air battle with the Hun but he is looking forward to finding out, and he imagines he will be finding out soon enough, given the recent reports of enemy activity in his new AO.

January 6th, 1916: 2nd Lt. Randolph Swanson and his observer, Lt. Christopher Dent, lifting off from Auchel for an uneventful, early morning arty spotting mission just east of Mont-Saint-Éloi. The outing did introduce Swany to “Archie”, which startled the young airman at first, but he soon found it more interesting than frightening.
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Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/06/19 08:00 PM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
4 Sqn Rfc.
Allonville, Flanders

Jan 5, 1916.

Posted to a flight of 2 BE's to do a Arty Spot. I say, we were at 4,000 and U could hear the Guns over the motor; Flashes of light and smoke , Dirt thrown 100 feet in the air I say, I am glad to have gone to the Rfc at least a clean cot to sleep in and food.

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Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/06/19 10:33 PM


For those currently flying from Auchel/Lozinghem aerodrome, and for any other interested folks, the following shows where this field was located, if the coordinates given on the Anciens Aerodromes website are correct, (and if my Google Earth skills are worth their salt). Based on how James McCudden described the location of said aerodrome in his book, "Five Years in the Royal Flying Corps", this looks like it could be about right.

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Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/07/19 04:29 PM


January 7th, 1916, Auchel, France

No flying today due to snow and wind, so after breakfast 2nd Lt. Swanson went over to the machine sheds to get a primer on the Le Rhône 9C from the camp's resident expert on such matters, Sergeant James McCudden. The man was a wizard when it came to things mechanical and was a fair teacher to boot, and Swany learned a great deal from him in a few brief hours. Sgt. McCudden at one point produced a oddly shaped bit of metal which he explained had been a ball in one of the main bearing races in the 9C that had propelled him and his pilot over the lines two days earlier. James went on to say that the engine had developed a knock just as they were about to return home, and as they weren't sure what it was they had no idea how long the thing would hold together. Despite wanting to take a direct line back to camp they were forced to make a small detour along the way so that James could fire upon a Fokker monoplane that was giving chase to a returning B.E.2c. The Hun broke off when the bullets began whizzing about him, after which James and his pilot, Sergeant Toni Bayetto, returned home and landed without incident. After a bite to eat, James had torn down the engine and found the offending ball, which was now far more cube-shaped than round. Swany was a bit surprised, and more than relieved, to learn that the Le Rhône was capable of hanging together and serving its intended purpose for quite some time even after such an integral part had gone wonky. He joked with James that, based on the young pilot's track record concerning engine reliability in the various mounts he'd flown to date, the apparent ruggedness of the powerplants in the Moranes would serve to boost his confidence.

Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/07/19 08:05 PM

...Is Swany the first to cross the lines...? Congratulations!! Looks like the war's finally on wink

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell
No. 20 Squadron R.F.C
Netheravon, England.

7 January 1916.

Bad luck on my part; I have fallen ill with influenza. I am not the only one touched by the ailment, Pearson is ill as well. We have both been grounded until further notice, and I have spent the past two days in the medical building, keeping cozy in one of the beds. Fortunately for Pearson and I, we have the ward to ourselves, so things are nice and quiet. Last night, the rain was drumming on the old roof. I have always enjoyed listening to the soft rapping of rain on the rooftop as I drift into sleep.

The medical officer claims it may take several days before I can fly again. Naturally, having only just resumed flying after the period of bad weather, this was most distressing news. By George, 20 might even be in France by then!

No word yet of Freddy. I hope he is okay. No word from Lawson, either.

Real-life illness has grounded Campbell for the foreseeable future frown but, on the bright side, the doc's predicted I should be all better just about in time for No. 20 hopping over the channel! I won't be able to do much writing, but I'll do my best to keep up with everyone's tales!
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/07/19 08:37 PM


Wulfe, sorry to hear of your illness, here's hoping you recover quickly and get back into the campaign soon. I've been fending off a cold myself for the last week, and so far have been able to keep it at bay.

Swany did indeed cross the lines yesterday, and while I don't know if he was the first of our lot here to do such, it was a first for him. To say he was excited upon his return would be an understatement of monumental proportion. The poor boy could hardly contain himself while he filled out his very first AAR, (good Lord willing, the first of many).

Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/07/19 08:39 PM

Aleck A. MacKinlay
January 5, 1916

The weather broke this morning, sunny and bright, so I finally got my first orientation/assessment flight done. With Chris on board I completed two large circles of the airfield. I had no troubles with the BE2 as we finished our training flying the very machine.

But dammit if I didn't get lost. Chris was instructed by the CO not assist me to find my way, so that I would better learn the landmarks around Abeele. It should have been quite easy, what with Abeele flanked to the north and south by easy to spot forests. Somehow I got confused and circled too far north. I came down to land between the wrong set of forests and for the life of me could not find the airfield. Chris finally took pity on me and pointed well to the south, to where the airfield actually was. So embarrassing!

The CO had been watching my maiden flight but apparently became disgusted and walked back to his office when i drifted out of site. He did step out to see my landing, which was one of my best so i hope he has not written me off as a complete incompetent.
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/07/19 11:00 PM

Good stories Keep em flying
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/07/19 11:03 PM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
4 Sqn Rfc.
Allonville, Flanders

7 jan 1916 weather kept us down.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/08/19 12:56 AM

6 January, 1916
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

Capitaine de Taillepied de Bondy was the current CO of Escadrille C17. He took his job seriously and made a habit to see each newly arrived pilot in his unit personally. There were no exceptions and Gaston found himself directly in front of his office desk short while after arriving yesterday. De Bondy was a traditionalist and his lanky frame was sitting rigidly on a wooden chair behind the desk, making perfect 90 degree angles with all his body parts where possible.
- “Sergent Voscadeaux, there will be no silly stunt flying in my escadrille. No loops, or barrel rolls.” Capitaine’s mouth was forming pronounced “r’s” which were rolling off his lips, making sure his aristocratic roots were well on display.
- “Capitaine, I am of the same opinio...”
- “There will also be no interruptions while I’m speaking. I suggest you speak with adjutant Dumas about ALL the rules and regulations pertaining to this outfit.” Capitaine’s ice-blue eyes were piercing Gaston. “Tomorrow morning you will fly 2 circuits around the aerodrome. I want to see 2 perfect circles. Not squares, not triangles. Circles. Is that understood Sergent?” De Bondy kept his gaze fixed on Gaston until the other man saluted and exited his office.
He will definitely need to talk to the adjutant if he wants to stay on Capitaine’s good side.
That was yesterday. Currently Gaston was sitting in the cockpit of the Caudron assigned to him with no observer in front, attempting to impress his new superior by following his orders to a tee. Two perfect doughnuts. Sounds simple enough, especially with the clouds hanging so low that the Capitaine couldn’t possibly follow his flight path. Voscadeaux completed the exercise and landed on the field. Adjutant Dumas was noting something in his notebook, but the Capitaine was nowhere in sight. Gaston was afraid that he’ll have to repeat the exercise for the Capitaine, but adjutant Dumas informed him these two are sufficient and tomorrow he will accompany the rest of the flight to the front lines. Finally some good news!
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/08/19 02:13 PM


Fullofit, Gaston's new CO sounds like trouble, let's hope the Sergent can stay on his good side, or at least out of his line of fire.

Scout, looks like Aleck is having issues with his commander as well. Must be something in the air.

carrick, I feel your pain when it comes to the weather.

More snow and wind at Auchel, so it's another day of no flying. Swany may make a trip into town to see what there is in the place, and to practice his French. Considering his somewhat comical dialect when speaking English, he's doing rather well with French. It helps that he grew up speaking two languages, English and Norwegian, as well as a bit of Chippewa with the local tribal members back home. Languages seems to come naturally to the young fellow which will serve him well in his current situation.

Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/08/19 06:03 PM

Lou, Gaston shouldn’t have any problems with his CO, as long as he keeps his nose clean. Swany, on the other hand, being such a cunning linguist and having free time on his hands is mischief in its purest form. Ladies beware!
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/08/19 08:23 PM

Aleck A. MacKinley
January 6, 1916:

I knew what flight I was going to be assigned at the pilots meeting. Major Mills always assigned a solo flight up to the front and back as a second test for new pilots. According to several of the senior pilots I had talked to, this was standard procedure. Imagine my shock when, after assigning missions two most of the pilots, he announced that my mission for the day would be airfield defense over Condekerque. This caused a chuckle to ripple around the room, which I couldn't quite understand until Major Mills thrust his pointer at the map. Condekerque airfield is located northwest of us near the coast and far, FAR behind enemy lines. It was immediately obvious to me that this mission was a coddling mission, something safe and easy. The Major doesn't think I am ready to be near the front lines.

Sergent White was assigned to accompany me, basically my baby sitter. He did not appear to be very happy about the assignment. As I consulted my flight map, I realized our course went well off the edge of my map. I mentioned this to Chris and he laughed. "Of course it's off the map. The old man is testing your ability to spot landmarks and follow your compass. Didn't you notice that our course is a straight northwest flight out and a straight southeast flight back? Navigation test my boy, navigation!"

So off we went, with me leading our little flight of two BE2's. I pointed my nose northwest and climbed into the mist. Ah, the bloody mist! How is a fellow supposed to find his way when the ground is mostly obscured in mist? On we droned, climbing slowly, the engine whirring steadily and reassuringly. There seemed to be a line of forests along our path; two on the right, one on the left, another on the right, and so on. If I could just remember the pattern I would be able to follow these back home. But on and on we went, with no sign of the coast, and I had soon lost track of all these landmarks. Crap!

Suddenly the coast appeared ahead. Condekerque should be nearby. Yes! There was the airfield just below and to starboard. I was shocked to have arrived exactly on target, but kept a straight face and casually qestured to Chris as if to say "there it is, exactly as I had planned". He gave me a nod and a smile.

I circled the airfield for about 10 minutes before Sergent White signaled that we should head home. I pointed my nose to the southeast, which thankfully put the sun behind Chris's body so that I could fly without the sun beaming directly into my eyes.

Things did not go well on the return trip. Nothing looked familiar. I kept the compass nailed on SE and hoped for the best but my spirits sank lower and lower as I began to see towns and forests I had not seen on the trip out. I was failing my navigation test for a second time.

Suddenly there was a river below us. A river? Oh dear. But also an airfield. Check the map, check the map ... find an airfield by a river. La Gourge airfield!! Well, I was well off course but at least I now knew where I was. I turned sharply to the north and made a beeline directly to our base. I made an excellent landing, which no one saw because they were all scurrying to avoid German bombs that were falling at that very instant. Little damage done to the airfield and hopefully a good distraction from my failure, yet again, to find my way home.

Attached picture Combat Flight Simulator 3 Screenshot 2019.01.08 -
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/09/19 12:13 AM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
4 Sqn Rfc.
Allonville, Flanders

8 Jan 1916.

More low cloud and bad weather. No flights but had a go at Machine-gun practice Then had Orderly Duty.

Attached picture 3.Project-Lanoe  Machine gun.jpg
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/09/19 01:24 AM

77 Scout -- That was a good capture of that "where the heck am I?" sense I know only too well! Fullofit, glad to see Gaston putting his best foot forward at his new escadrille. How long will it last, I wonder? Lou, is Swaney heading out for the blue plate special or the blue light special? Carrick, hope you're back in the air soon. Here is the next chapter in Jim Collins' tale...

An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins

Part Nine: In which I am held aloft by a Parasol

The Morane stood like a prehistoric insect, its wide, high wings spread out above the thin fuselage, vibrating gently with the morning breeze. The ack emmas had propped a ladder against the left side of the fuselage and I began to climb towards the cockpit when they shouted “Other side” in unison. I rounded the tail and an amused corporal pointed at the cut-out in the fuselage for my foot. The procedure had escaped me since yesterday: left foot on the wheel, right foot onto the longeron inside the cut-out, and then an athletic swing of the left leg into the cockpit – a difficult manoeuvre, especially given my height and the need to avoid putting my head through the wing overhead!

I settled in wicker seat and waited while Lieut. McCrimmond, an instructor, climbed into the observer’s seat behind me. McCrimmond needlessly reminded me how sensitive the elevator was and said to be sure that I had plenty of speed before lifting off. The mechanics fussed with the Gnome interminably, or so it seemed, pushing the exhaust valves open and priming each cylinder with a few squirts of petrol. It was necessary to lean slightly forward to reach the short control column comfortably. I had decided over breakfast to hold the stick very, very slightly forward until the tail began to lift. The last thing I wanted was to force the nose into the field accidentally while trying to bring the tail up. To avoid overcorrecting I braced my right forearm against the inside of my knee.

It was time. I confirmed the magneto switches were off and waited as the corporal pulled the prop through its cycle. I echoed the call of “Contact.” With a heave, the corporal pulled the prop down and the Gnome stuttered to life, catching until the popping and banging became a steady gurgling roar. I waved away the chocks and began bumping over the grass. Now with the machine pointed downfield, I took a deep breath and pushed the throttle lever forward. The machine rolled farther than I expected before the rumble from the tail skid grew momentarily fainter and then stopped as the tail lifted off the ground. I used the slightest flex of my wrist to level off and, in a second or two, the Morane took to the air. It was all surprisingly uneventful.

The machine climbed smoothly and I finally exhaled. But at that very instant, the slight breeze seemed to lift the right side of the wing and the whole affair listed to the left. I corrected, and the wing warping seemed to be a sluggish way to get level. And then the machine slewed to the right! I had been terrified of the balanced elevator’s sensitivity, only to find the real devil for me was lateral stability. It took lots of rudder to hold the thing level with any degree of crosswind.

I edged slowly up to 2000 feet and felt McCrimmond patting me on the shoulder. I turned and saw him grinning broadly under his goggles. He gave him an enthusiastic thumbs-up and I smiled like a small child with a good report card!

I gingerly turned to the south and made a wide arc below St-Omer as far as the Lys and back again. As the Aircraft Park and its distinctive racetrack emerged from the haze, I began bleeding off altitude, experimenting with the “blip switch” that cut the ignition and adjusting the mixture. We came in low over the trees, hangars, and sheds at the eastern end of the field. The scrubby brown grass, mixed with a thin dusting of snow, came up to meet the wheels. I blipped twice and let the tail come down for a perfect three-point landing.

But it wasn’t perfect. A gust caught the Morane under that ridiculously high wing and suddenly we were twenty feet above the field. And then the left wing dipped down and we swerved drunkenly down. I let the Gnome roar back to life and pushed the right side of the rudder bar forward. The landing gear hit the ground with a thud while we were still leaning left thirty degrees. In any other machine, the wing would have shattered, but not with the Parasol. We bounced into the air, floated unsteadily, and dropped roughly back to the field, now pointing to the right. I blipped repeatedly and brought the machine under control at last.

In front of the hangars, I switched off and fell back in my seat. “That was a bit of an adventure,” McCrimmond observed. My response was a short and very Anglo-Saxon word.

[Linked Image]
"...I began bleeding off altitude, experimenting with the “blip switch”..."

It was back again in the afternoon, and I promised McCrimmond a drink in the mess for his trouble this morning. He asked if I planned to let him live long enough to enjoy it. This time I used the same technique for locking my arm with the stick slightly forward, but I let the machine pick up more speed before lifting off. The left wing dipped again, but not as dangerously as before. I relaxed when we were up to 3000 feet and tried some sharper turns and manoeuvres, and even stalled the machine. It quickly fell out of the stall with opposite rudder and a lot of blipping with the nose down. Before I knew it, it was time to land.

Again we approached over the hangars. I kept the speed a bit higher than in the morning and more or less flew the Parasol onto the field before blipping until the tail came down. I might not always have a large enough field to use this technique, but the landing was wonderfully smooth because of it. McCrimmond said it was very well done.

I couldn’t wait to get back in the air. There were, however, others in line for our lone Morane. So instead of flying I caught up on my letters home. There was still no news of my posting. Life at the Depot was mildly depressing, with little of the good humour and camaraderie I enjoyed at Netheravon. The newly-arriving pilots were each in their own world, and it made little sense to make friends when we expected to be posted elsewhere any day. The mess food was bland and meagrely handed out, and the mess fees were exorbitant for what we get. On the 9th, I walked into the village of Longuenesse, adjacent to St-Omer. I saw the chateau that served as General Trenchard’s headquarters, and soon after encountered two Canadian doctors from one of the several hospitals that have been established in the area. They were headed to dinner in a small estaminet in the village and I joined them for a fine meal of sole, potatoes, and very good cheap white wine.

Rain started while we ate. Three days passed and it did not let up.

Attached picture Blip.JPG
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/09/19 02:53 AM

Another great tale, Raine. Kinda makes you wanna hop in one of them Parasols and practice those landings. Hope you don’t get posted to one of those aerodromes in the middle of a forest.
Posted By: Ace_Pilto

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/09/19 08:17 PM

January 10, 1915

The morning was cold and grey, the deck of the ship was cold and grey, the sea was cold and grey.

The pier at Portsmouth was cold and grey. Sunlight tried to penetrate the fog and smoke but it gave up somewhere between the sky and the ground and lurked sullenly out of reach.

Drummond watched as his new friends from the AIF formed ranks and marched off into the gathering fog, bound for some holding depot inland where they would be taught the finer points of trench warfare, the merging sport of nations. He felt around in his pocket for the letter that Peter had given him and his temporary papers that had been issued to him by the port authorities. They were still there inside the sealed, waxed envelope of his coat which wasn't quite for an English winter.

The distant sound of voices singing in unison penetrated the fog.

"Up jumped the swagman and sprang into the billabong,
You'll never catch me alive, said he,
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong,
you'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me.

Drummond had never felt more alone. To take his mind off of it he went over the instructions he had been given. Get the train to London from the stations three streets over, take a cab from the station in London to Fleet street and present himself, along with the letter of introduction that Peter had given him to the offices of 'The Right Hon Major Neville Drummond" and present himself for candidacy for enlistment. There was nothing to be down in the dumps about, just put one foot in front of the other and keep on walking.
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/10/19 04:14 PM


A wonderful bit of writing AP, most evocative.

Raine, James is getting his trial by fire when it comes to the Parasol. One of the trickier tasks with the little beast is indeed keeping it on the ground and upright once you have it there. Also, it was the blue plate special Swany found.

Carrick, love the old photo of the mg practice set-up.

Scout, Aleck is suffering the bane of many a WWI pilot, that of trying to sort out just where the hell one is. But he read his map and managed in the end - well done.

Yet another day of foul weather at Auchel, this time rain and wind rather than the snow. And again, no flying. On a brighter note, a Christmas package from home that had first been sent to Netheravon, missing Swany by a day, had been forwarded along and found its way to his new digs. It was sitting on his bunk waiting for him upon his return from a map reading class given by the camp Operations Officer shortly after lunch. The box had clearly been fashioned with board trimmings from his uncle's saw mill, and when Swany pried the top off the smell of pine wafted out, reminding him instantly of home. He dug into the packing of wood shavings and excelsior and began pulling out the paper-wrapped treasures within: three pairs of thick wool socks and a warm scarf to match; two quart jars of blueberry preserves; a bag of black licorice, (the young man's favorite candy); a tin of homemade spritzkakor; and a bottle of akvavit. The final item nestled down in the wooden crate was a gift he'd received from his parent's when he was eight, and the one thing he'd specifically asked to have sent him; his Hardanger fiddle. He lifted the pressed leather case from the packing, gently brushing away the pine shavings. He opened the lid and inspected the instrument, which had survived its journey perfectly. Swany then removed the bow case from its nesting, making a similar inspection of the contents. All was well, and after a brief tuning of the fiddle he began to play an old Norwegian dance melody. The young man smiled broadly and his face glowed as he guided the bow deftly back and forth across the strings. He dearly loved the sound, and it transported him back to holidays on the farm. His eyes began to glisten as he suddenly realized just how much he missed his family and friends in Warroad. As he finished up the tune he dabbed his eyes with the back of his bow hand.

"That's some fancy fiddle work, Swany. You didn't tell me you played an instrument." The young man was momentarily shocked as he spun around to see 2nd Lt. Jericho standing at the door of the hut. Swany had been so wrapped up in the moment that he hadn't even heard him come in.

"Mark! You gafe me a start. Ya, I ah, I'vff been playing since I vas a boy." Swany's mixed Norwegian/Minnesotan/Canadian accent tended to come on stronger when he was startled or stressed.

"Well dang, wished I'd known that sooner, I would'a had my guitar sent along and we could have ourselves a regular show." This time it was Mark's Mississippian/Texan dialect tinting the reply. "That tune you just scratched off there, that was a lively one, good for dancin' I'll wager."

"You betch'ya!", Swany shot back.

For the remainder of the afternoon the two airmen talked of music and home and family, sharing some of the baked goods and candy and liquor that had accompanied Swany's prized fiddle. Mark discovered how well a sugar cookie and a bite of licorice went with a shot of akvavit. Truth be told he made the discovery several times, after which he taught Swany the tune and words to "The Cowboy's Lament". Unbeknownst to the pair, their singing and fiddle accompaniment could be heard quite some distance beyond the hut, and no small mention was made of it in the mess that evening.


Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/10/19 07:08 PM

Originally Posted by RAF_Louvert
. But he read his map and managed in the end - well done.

In truth he read YOUR map. Also well done!! smile
Posted By: Maeran

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/11/19 01:50 AM

In typical me fashion, I need to catch up. William has flown his familiarisation flights which will be told of soon, but first; the Christmas special (yes I know it's January). It's going to be long, so settle in!

[Linked Image]
Lady Alice Stanley, Countess of Derby

Lady Alice stood beside the wide sweeping staircase that dominated the entrance hall of her London town house. As she welcomed her son home, Second Lieutenant William Stanley handed his bag to a servant. Now unencumbered, he rushed forward to embrace his mother’s hand.
“William,” Lay Alice smiled, “I am so glad that you have been able to get leave. This will be a wonderful Christmas, with all of my children around me.”
“So Edward and Oliver are home?”
“Yes. I’m sure that they would want to each give their own news, but both of your brothers are back in England. Victoria is also spending Christmas with us since Neil is overseas.”
“How is she doing? William asked.
“She blooms, William,” Lady Alice smiled.

[Linked Image]
Edward Stanley, The Earl of Derby

Lord Derby was just leaving his study as William approached it. In his middle age, Derby was a heavy set man with a moustache that put many people in mind of a walrus. Following behind him was a moustache that was unmistakable. The face that wore it was known across the globe, but it looked ruddier than normal.
William caught the tail end of their exchange.
“...not enough. They’ll force the prime minister’s hand.”
“I cannot stand for it,” the famous moustache gruffly replied. “Bad for the morale... I say. We have a visitor!”

Lord Derby looked up and saw William. “William! Lord Kitchener, this is my second son, William. He is newly qualified as a pilot for the Flying Corps.”
Two watery eyes assayed William. “The other twin, eh?”
“Yes sir,” William salute the Field Marshall, who returned the salute. “Lord Stanley is my brother.”
“And a fine officer in the Grenadier guards, I understand.” Earl Kitchener’s moustache twitched as a thought occurred to him, “A prestigious regiment, much like Horse Guards. What prompted your change to an irregular unit, Stanley?”
William had been asked this question before and so had an answer. “As a second son, sir, I must make a name for myself in the world. I joined the Royals because I share my father’s fondness for horses.” Lord Derby smiled as his son continued, “And also in the hope that some of the glamour of the cavalry would help my career.”

Lord Kitchener looked at William with interest. Usually men spoke to him in jingoistically patriotic terms rather than revealing the personal ambition that often lay beneath. William went on, “in the initial movements, we had action, but it wasn’t the cavalry charges that I was expecting. As time went on, I realised that the mantle of the cavalry has passed on to the flying corps. If I want to make a name for myself, then I must do so in a new theatre of war. Namely the air, sir.”
Kitchener looked at him in silence for a moment. “So you seek personal glory?”
“I do sir.”
“Very good, Second Lieutenant,” Kitchener’s moustache distorted in a smile. “Ambition drives men to achieve great things. I wish you success in your endeavours.”

[Linked Image]
Edward Stanley junior, Lord Stanley of Bickerstaff

Edward and Stanley were not identical twins, but they were very similar in appearance. As William entered the drawing room, the tall, dark haired Lord Stanley of Preston stood from his chair with grin. He was wearing a navy blue sack suit and a moustache that looked like a starter version of his father’s.
“Bill! I hear that you have sprouted wings. And I always thought it would be a devil’s horns! Congratulations!”
“Thank you Eddie.” William smiled, “Mufti?”
“Mufti?” their sister asked from the couch. “What does that mean?”
The youngest of the family, Oliver answered from beside the window. “He is referring to Eddie’s wearing of civilian clothes, Vicky.”
[Linked Image]
the honerable Oliver Stanley

“Yes indeed,” Edward nodded, “I wanted to escape the army khaki for a while. If I can’t do it here, then where can I?”

“Alright. I shan’t report you to the white feather crowd” William teased. “Vicky! You look radiant. How are you?”
Mrs Victoria Primrose smiled and touched the noticeable bump. “I’m better for seeing my brothers. Since Neil went to Egypt it seems that my only company is the clucking hens of London society.” She paused to take a sip of tea.

“ Of course, with the season open again, I should rather be dancing. However that is increasingly impractical in my condition.
“I do hope that you have your dancing shoes, Bill. Father is throwing a soirée.” She lifted her teacup again and grinned mischievously, “With three eligible sons all home from the war, the debutantes will lay siege to the house!”

[Linked Image]
The war had strained the traditional London season. Most of the aristocracy’s sons had gone to war at the first opportunity. As the war dragged on a second season had begun and the youth of a generation had remained abroad fighting.

The other aspects of the yearly round of parties and courtly still went on. Mostly. Debutantes had not been presented to the King George at a lavish ball this year, although this did not stop them attending the many social gatherings in the hope of attracting the right sort of attention.

The season wasn’t just a marriage market. Businessmen made connections and put deals in place while politicians wove alliances over the hors d’ouvres. All to the delightful sounds of a string quartet.

As a future Earl, Edward was very popular. William had noticed that more than one young lady’s smile had dropped slightly when she realised that she was talking to ‘the wrong twin.’ However, even the second and third sons of an Earl were quite a catch and both Oliver and William had no shortage of flirtatious glances come there way.

“Oh, but that there were time to dance with them all!” William opined. He had noticed that Edward had spent a lot of time with Sibyl Cadogan. Perhaps one less to dance with.

There was a bump against his shoulder.
“Oh! I’m so sorry,” a young woman with her dark hair in a bob and a pastel evening gown said, patting at William’s dress uniform.

There was something about her smile, William thought. A mixture of assurance and nerves. It was quite charming.
“It no trouble at all,” William told the young lady. “I don’t believe that we have met. I am William Stewart; the younger of the twins.”

The young lady smiled warmly, “I know. I am Diana Baldwin. My father is over there arguing, I mean debating about conscription with your father.”

William looked across at the huddle knot of conservative MPs stood around Lord Derby. Diana realised that she was diverting the young man’s attention away.

“I say,” she rallied. “Your uniform looks a bit different. Are those wings? Are you a pilot?”

William was happy to admit that he was.
[Linked Image]
Lady Diana Baldwin
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/11/19 09:04 PM

Aleck A. MacKinlay
January 11, 1916

After two days of snowy weather we were able to resume flying operations. Major Mills indicated that he had enough confidence in me to carry out a simple flight to the front lines. I was tasked with navigating my way to overfly some German positions southeast of Armentieres, and would be followed by Sergent Eric Hunt in a second BE2. Hunt is apparently a fairly fearless type, who can be counted on in a tight situation.

Our proposed path to the target had many good landmarks and I was confident that I could find my way with little trouble. We took off that dawn. I soon discovered that either I had the better plane or Hunt was not a particularly skilled pilot because twice he felt so far behind we lost sight of him. Each time Chris signaled to me that we should turn back to find him.

The ground was covered with snow and I found this a great advantage in navigation; roads and railroads were very easy to spot in contrast to the white fields. I reached the German army positions with no problem and began to circle, thrilled to see the front lines for the first time. I had been warned that we would see flak, and that it would be quite frightening, but not a single shot was fired in our direction.

Exiting a shallow turn to port, I spotted a dot in the sky to the southwest. A wave of fear immediately engulfed me as I was sure we were about to be attacked by one of the dreaded Eindekkers I had heard so much about. I pointed and Chris turned in his seat to see why my face had dropped. He turned back with a look of concern and pointed to the northwest; we had strict instructions to run for home at the first sign of trouble. I nodded and banked in that direction. We passed through a large cloud the obscured us for a few minutes and my fears began to subside. As we exited the cloud I was shocked to see the mystery aircraft ahead to the left, obviously moving to cut off our retreat. My head began to buzz and my stomach seemed to drop through the bottom of me seat.

Chris pulled out his binoculars and scanned the distant aircraft. He turned back and yelled "Aviatik, no worries" and signaled that we should turn back to complete our mission. My bowels were completely liquid at this point and I had no desire to do anything other than head home, but obviously could not let my feelings be known. We overflew the German frontline positions for a few more minutes and then Chris indicated we should head for home. I realize now why he made had me go back; he wanted me to feel the fear and not run away or abandon my mission.

The trip home was uneventful and, thanks to generous landmarks, any questions about my navigation skills seem to have been put to rest. Hunt told me that I had flown well and congratulated me, then indicated he was off to have a word with the mechanics about the poor state of his aircrafts engine. Chris also seemed quite pleased with my performance, but I told him I was honestly scared silly when we saw that enemy aircraft. All he said was, "That's OK Aleck, so was I" with a big grin on his face.

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Posted By: Hasse

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/11/19 09:16 PM

Great stories everybody! With so many pilot careers developing nicely, I'm hoping we won't have any casualties - but of course I know there will be. DID is DID, after all.

In my latest entry, Julius finally makes it to the front, and encounters one of the rising stars of the Fliegertruppen...


“I shan't give this up again, I swear to you.”

- Kaiser Wilhelm II during a visit to the Flanders front, October 1915.

January 5, 1916.

“Happy New Year, Herr Schreck!” The administrative officer said to Julius and flashed a fake smile that resembled the grin of a corpse more than anything.

“Happy New Year, Herr Hauptmann!” Julius stood in one of the offices of the headquarters building where he had been ordered to report early that morning.

“Well then, let’s get down to business, shall we? I imagine you are already eagerly waiting for your assignment? Well, I have some good news for you right here!” The officer paused for a while and kept grinning in a comically macabre fashion. Julius had already learned to dislike the fellow, so even though he was indeed excited to finally hear about his assignment, he kept his feelings under tight control.

“Yes, Herr Hauptmann. I would very much like to hear the news.”

“Excellent! Well, based on your performance at the flight school and the needs of the Fliegertruppen, you are hereby ordered to report to Feldflieger-Abteilung 32 at Bertincourt!” The Hauptmann had a map of the Western Front on his table and pointed at a location in Northern France. “See, it’s this small town here between Amiens and Cambrai. Quite close to the frontline, so you’ll be right there in the middle of it! Pretty exciting, eh? And you’ll be working in support of XIV. Reserve-Korps under 2. Armee command. The British 3rd Army is here opposite you!” The Hauptmann tapped the map excitedly with his finger.

Julius looked at the map and nodded. “Indeed, Herr Hauptmann! I look forward to getting there!”

“Well, that is the next item on the menu, as they say! You will be going there by plane!”

Now Julius was truly surprised. “You mean I get to fly there?”

“Yes, though not by yourself! You will go to Bertincourt as a passenger in a brand new Aviatik C-type!”

At that moment, somebody knocked on the door. “Come in!” The Hauptmann said with a shrill voice. A rather short, blond-haired man with a square jaw stepped inside and briskly saluted the higher-ranking officer.

[Linked Image]

“Offizierstellvertreter Schreck, this is Leutnant Gustav Leffers, one of our finest combat flyers! He will be your pilot!” The Hauptmann had stood up. His smile appeared more genuine now.
The Leutnant approached the desk and shook hands with Julius. “A pleasure to meet you, Herr Schreck. I trust you are ready to leave as soon as possible?” Leffers had a firm grip and a slightly mischievious look in his eyes.

“I am, Herr Leutnant! I just need to get my things and we can start right away!”

“Excellent. But first we need to get you some proper flying gear. It’s rather cold up there, and you’ll freeze to death without thick furs!”

Leffers waited as Julius finished the necessary paperwork with the Hauptmann. Then Julius practically ran to the barracks to fetch his backpack and from there proceeded to the depot building, where he was given his flight gear. From the depot, the men went to the row of hangars, where their Aviatik was already being readied for takeoff by the field mechanics.

Leffers, now wearing a brown flying suit, put his right hand on the plane’s fuselage. The Aviatik had a fresh coat of white paint. “This girl is a brand new machine, straight out of the factory!” Leffers sounded like an enthusiastic rider talking about his horse.

“We flew B-types at Bork, but never a C-type”, Julius said while carefully studying the machine. He was also wearing a flying suit.

“Yes, well, this is really not so different. These are typically armed with a Spandau or two for the observer, but as you can see, we’ll be flying unarmed! Don’t worry, it’ll be perfectly safe. We’ll be staying behind our lines, and the enemy has no interest in harassing us there. In fact, they are quite scared of our Fokkers!” Leffers looked at Julius and smiled encouragingly.

“Herr Leutnant, I understand you’ve scored victories flying the Eindecker?”

“Let’s leave the military formalities aside, shall we? Just follow my instructions and we’ll be fine! I was actually promoted to Leutnant only a couple of months ago. And yes, I have shot down two British machines with our Abteilung’s Fokkers. As a matter of fact, my second victory was only a few days ago. But please, call me Gustav!” Leffers paused for a while before continuing. “However, our unit commander, Hauptmann Viebig, is not so informal. So do remember to address him properly!”

“I will, Herr -- Gustav!” Julius stammered and felt his cheeks turning red.

Leffers chuckled. “It becomes like second nature, doesn’t it? I’m actually a civilian engineer working for the Hamburg-America Line. I had no intention of becoming a soldier - far from it - but I happened to return from America just when the war was breaking out, and, well, the rest is history, as they say!”

“You’ve been to America? I’ve always wanted to travel there!” Julius was instantly reminded of Karl May’s stories of American Indians.

“Well, perhaps you’ll get a chance some day! But let’s get ourselves ready for takeoff now, shall we? We can talk more when we get to Bertincourt.”

[Linked Image]

The weather was cold and the sky was completely covered by a thick layer of clouds as Leffers throttled up and the Aviatik began to accelerate on the field. Soon they were airborne. Julius sat in front of Leffers on the observer’s seat and followed their progress on a map. From Cologne, Leffers took a straight path to Aachen, Liège, Namur, Charleroi and finally to Cambrai and from there to Bertincourt on the southwestern side of Cambrai. The flight was uneventful and the new Aviatik performed well without trouble of any kind. Leffers made a smooth landing on the snow-covered field. As the engine suddenly stopped, the silence that followed felt almost deafening to Julius.

Now it begins, was the thought repeating itself in his mind, over and over again.
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/12/19 12:44 AM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
4 Sqn Rfc.
Allonville, Flanders

11 Jan 1916.

Our 2 machines were doing a Recon at the front when bullets ripped into my kite. 2 Un seen monoplanes had sneaked up behind us and was letting loose a torrent of slugs. My ride took 7 rds mostly holes but one caused fuel to leak, The motor stopped and I faked a spin to shake off the Huns, Landing near Rail road tracks My Ob set out for a farm in the distane to call for help. I found out later that my wing mate was chased off the Recon Hq was not happy.

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Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/12/19 04:43 PM

Wonderful stories Gents. This is really going to be enjoyable reading the exploits of all the pilots. I have finally caught up on everyone's adventures. Great stories, pics and historical context.

Mark Jericho
Auchel aerodrome
Jan. 11, 1916

Jericho sat in his machine with a headache and a queezy belly. The night before Swany had coaxed him into trying some infernal drink that he said was "very good." He did not blame Swany for it. Jericho was a grown man and had made his own decision but it confirmed his belief about alcohol. The stuff was no good for him. He was set to go on his first real combat mission across the lines. C Flight was to recon the lines north of Ypres and note any troop movement. The cold air helped Jericho's outlook a bit as the three machines climbed to altitude toward the front. Captain Whorton, his observer, had spent the last few non flying days going over signals with Jericho as to what he wanted him to do. Jericho payed close attention to the Captain. As he said, "Our lives depend on us understanding each other."

Over the front at 6000' Jericho kept his machine in the 3 position and scanned the sky for any other aircraft. The flight went well. No archie and no contact with enemy aircraft. Jericho was happy to see the Flight Leader turn toward home and he was looking forward to some coffee and his cot. Approaching Auchel there was a smashed up Morane on the field. "Someone bit the bullet" Jericho thought to himself. He then settled his machine on the field well clear of the wreckage and rolled to a stop. As Jericho stepped out Captain Whorton asked him how many enemy machines he saw.

"No enemy machines Sir. I did see 2 BE's off to the south" was his reply.

Captain Whorrton looked at him gravely. "2 Aviatiks went right behind us as 2 Fokkers went right over our heads! Lucky for us the 2 Fokkers were escorting another 2 Aviatiks so they didn't come down to play! You may be a good pilot but you have to be aware of your surroundings if we are going to get through this Lieutenant!"

"Yes Sir Captain." was all Jericho could say.

After a short debriefing, where they learned the pilot and observer of the crashed Morane were ok, Jericho made his way to his tent to find Swany sitting on his cot playing his fiddle which in his present state of mind sounded like the clatter wheels of hell. "Mind laying off the strings for a bit Swany."

"Flight go bad my friend?" Swany asked with a broad smile

"No, the flight went well enough. Its that Devils Brew you talked me into drinking last night. I feel like my head is in a bucket of plaster! You don't have to worry about me drinking any more of it."

Swany lowered his fiddle and looked at Jericho. "Well I thought is was a great time." Swany said in his dialect that Jericho was beginning to understand.

Jericho checked his attitude. "Awe, not to worry my friend. Alcohol has never done anyone in my family any favors. I should thank you for reminding me why I have no use for it."

Jericho liked Swany a lot. A farm boy just like himself. they had a lot in common.

"Let me get some coffee and a bit of a rest to clear my head and tonight we will see if we can strike up another tune' Jericho said forcing a smile.

"Ya" replied Swany with a big grin.

Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/12/19 06:24 PM


Another wonderful group of stories and reports gents, ripping stuff. As Hasse noted, our pilots are really coming to life here, which will make it all the harder when one, or more, of them is lost. Here's hoping they all survive, as unlikely as that will be.
And Mark, Swany will be sure NOT to involve Jericho in any future drinking parties. Truth be told, he doesn't tend to indulge in it much himself.

January 12th, 1916
Auchel, France

2nd Lt. Swanson had his first tangle with the enemy this morning during an early recce of the lines along the eastern edge of Loos. He and his gunner/obs, Lt. Christoper Dent, flew wing for the Sergeants team of Toni Bayetto and James McCudden. It was a bright winter's morning with clear skies and light winds, making the climb towards the eastern horizon quite beautiful. Once the brace of Moranes reached the front lines observations began of the situation below. There was one section of the British trenches that was receiving a heavy bombardment from the German big guns and Swany wondered how anyone could survive in the midst of such a pounding.

About fifteen minutes into the recce work Lt. Dent tapped Swany on the shoulder and pointed to a spot in the sky ahead of them. It was an approaching craft and its outline was immediately recognizable to Swany as it looked precisely as it did on the aeroplane silhouette chart that hung in the ready room. An Eindecker! The Hun came straight at them so Swany gave some extra rudder as he slid his mount off to the left in hopes of getting out of the line of fire. Oddly though, rather than sending out a hail of bullets, the German pilot suddenly turned away. As the Morane slipped past and below the Eindecker Lt. Dent, machine gun at the ready, unleashed several short bursts that immediately set the Hun plane to smoking. Swany was not quite sure what to do next, but before he had time to mull it over Christopher smacked him on the shoulder again and motioned that he should give chase. Swany swung his mount around immediately and started after the disabled ship, noticing then that Bayetto and McCudden were engaged with an Eindecker of their own, and clearly keeping the upper hand. The young pilot wondered if these particular German flyers were as green as he was, given how poorly they were faring in the engagement.

After what seemed like an eternity to Swany, (though in truth it was but several minutes), their prey was back in range. The Hun had been losing altitude the entire time as he flew a long arc that was now bringing him near the lines about three miles south of Loos. At Lt. Dent's instruction, Swany pulled carefully along side the Eindecker. He could see the Hun pilot was struggling to keep his kite in the air. Suddenly, the Lewis gun barked as Lt. Dent opened fire, causing the prop on the enemy craft to grind to a halt. Swany watched as the Eindecker glided down. He lost sight of it below the empennage and so did not see as the Hun ship bounced just on its own side of the lines, ending up on its nose.

After forming back up with Bayetto and McCudden, the flight returned to Auchel. Swany could hardly contain himself, his excitement was so high. The young man was fairly buzzing as he recounted the adventure to the ground crew that wheeled his bus back into the shed. Again, as he retold it while filling out not only his AAR, but a claim form as well. And once more, as he told it yet again in the mess during breakfast. Along with the excitement though, Swany was feeling some fair amount of guilt and had taken Lt. Dent aside at one point to ask why he'd insisted they go after the helpless German flyer. Christopher's face became stern as stone and his eyes blazed as he replied, "You're new to all this so I'm going to forgive you asking, but I can assure you he had it coming. They all do. They're the bloody enemy and I've no compassion for any of them. Don't imagine for a moment that Hun devil would have allowed us to fly away had the situation been reversed." Swany was taken aback by the ferocity of the Lieutenant's reply. He was indeed new to war, and likely did have no right to be asking such a thing from those who no doubt had lost good friends in the fight. Swany suddenly felt foolish for bringing it up. Lt. Dent could see his rebuke of the young airman had landed hard, so he gave a smile and slapped Swany on the back. "No to worry old man, all's forgiven. I'll buy you a drink tonight in the mess and we'll celebrate your baptism."

Watching as a helpless enemy falls away.
[Linked Image]


Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/12/19 08:29 PM

Aleck A. MacKinley
January 12, 1916

Flew my 4th mission today and it was a real combat mission; seems like my orientation and coddling phase is over.

A bombing mission was to be carried out by Lt. McNaughton and 2Lt Harrity, both flying FE2's, and because the mission was in an area prowled by Fokkers an escort by our two Bristol's was attached. Major Mills seemed to add me onto the mission as an afterthought (although I am sure he had planned it out well in advance). "McNaughton and Harrity, I think it best if you take along our new fellow. MacKinley hasn't had a chance to throw anything at the Bosch yet so here's an excellent opportunity for him to see how it's done". I found this quite daunting as it seemed a very serious mission with some of our top pilots. MacNaugton, for example, has four kills; almost an ace.

It should have been simple, just follow the FE2's to the target and drop my 4 Cooper bombs when they did. But I cocked it up. I looked away for a few seconds as we formed up after takeoff and I lost sight of the other planes. Damned if they didn't just disappear. Chris was not impressed and indicated we should circle and climb in the hope of finding them again. After nearly 20 minutes we were up to 6000 feet, still near our airfield, and totally alone. Chris was visibly annoyed and I knew this was a major screw-up that the Major would certainly chew me out over. We would obviously have to abort and land.

Suddenly Chris was pointing to the northeast and mouthing the words "Let's go". He was indicating we should carry on with the mission alone! Right, yes, of course ... we have to go on. I knew it was bloody dangerous but I could see Chris had no intention of us looking like incompetants or cowards, and damnit my anger at myself suddenly flaired into a feeling of powerful determination.

The German army positions were easy to find, located just SE of Lake De Blankaart, and we arrived without further incident. From 7000 feet I could see nothing on the ground but churned earth and a few artillery explosions ... we simply dropped our bombs over the general area with no idea of hitting anything specific. Our bombs whistled away, then shockingly we heard another chorus of whistling bombs coming from above. We couldn't believe our luck as MacNaughton and Harris flew right over our heads in their two FE2b's.

What elation on the flight home as I realized we would arrive back at Abeele in formation and having completed the mission. I was sure we (well mostly I) would get a lecture about keeping close to my flight and paying closer attention, but we had redeemed ourselves in the end. Thank God for Chris ... his instinct to press on was brilliant. With men of his calibre we shall have this war won soon enough.


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Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/12/19 10:19 PM

Wow, great stories all around. Looks like everyone is getting their feet wet, especially Lou with his first claim. Congrats and I hope it will be confirmed, although I find brass usually rejecting that "first" one. They usually need a second claim to take you seriously. Fingers crossed.
Gaston is happy to be finally flying again after the latest winter storms.

11 January, 1916
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

It’s been snowing for the last 4 days. Gaston’s first flight to the front had to be postponed. In the meantime he was able to finally meet his mitrailleur.
Adjutant Dumas was giving Gaston a tour of the aerodrome. “And here we have our mess room,” explained Dumas as they walked into the room. There were only a few pilots present.
“Ah, bon!” Dumas continued. “Let me introduce you to your gunner. You’ll be spending a lot of time together, I expect.”
They approached a lonely figure sitting at one of the tables, loading his pipe with tobacco, which he was picking from a sizeable pouch laying on the table. The man was large and most of his face was covered by a thick beard. His black hair needed a haircut and he seemed even older than Gaston.
Dumas made the introductions, “Adjutant Ernest Becquerel meet Sergent Gaston Voscadeaux. He will be your new pilot.” Ernest raised his eyes to meet Gaston’s. Gaston gave him a meek smile. In return Becquerel made a sound that could only be translated as “Mmmmm” and went back to his pipe. Adjutant Dumas broke the silence, “Wonderful. Now that you’re acquainted, we will continue our tour. You can get to know each other better later.” Gaston wanted at least to shake the man’s hand, but Dumas was already leaving the room. “Glad to have met you and hope to talk to you soon. Bye!” Gaston quickly spat his farewell and ran after Dumas. The small adjutant was waiting for him outside rubbing his hands together for warmth.
“Great! It looks like you two hit it off.” Dumas was excited.
“How can you say that? The man barely said anything.” Gaston was surprised.
“Well, he said more to you in 1 minute than to anyone else during the past week.” Adjutant Dumas was walking quickly. It was cold and the snow kept on falling.
Finally on the 11th the weather turned and the flights resumed. Gaston was assigned to fly as a wingman to Caporal Sourdiac on a bombing mission up north with the target being a reserve lines depot. Capitaine de Bondy specifically instructed Voscadeaux to not cross the lines. “Follow Caporal Sourdiac to the front and then turn back. Is that understood, Voscadeaux?” Captain’s words were still ringing in Gaston’s ears as he was climbing to altitude behind Sourdiac’s machine. His new gunner was sitting in front looking around, keeping a vigilant eye for the Hun’s surprise attack. Gaston concentrated on keeping up with the leader and holding his place in formation. It annoyed him that Caporal Sourdiac kept playing with the throttle, preventing Gaston from keeping consistent distance apart. He nearly lost him when the other one flew into a cloud to keep his flight path to the front as uncomplicated as possible. Voscadeaux kept on stealing quick glances down below to try and navigate by himself, instead of blindly following the aircraft in front. But because Sourdiac kept on adjusting the throttle all the time he had to concentrate on his position, otherwise he’d end up smashing into the Caporal as he sped up and slowed down.
It took all of Gaston’s concentration to fly in formation so much so that it took him by surprise when Ernest turned to face Gaston and pointed south with his gloved hand. At first, Gaston didn’t understand what he was pointing at, but after looking around and realizing they were flying over the NML, he quickly turned the plane around separating from the leader, who waved to them for good luck and continued on his way to the target. Gaston wanted to follow, but remembered his plane wasn’t loaded with bombs. Capitaine de Bondy made sure Gaston would follow his orders this way. It was now up to Gaston to get them back to base. It should be easy. Just fly south, keep the large forest de Puvenelle on his port side and look for the City of Toul when the River Meuse shows up on his starboard. From there on it was child’s play to locate the aerodrome on the outskirts of the forest de Haye. Gaston brought them down safely and rolled to a stop on the grassy landing field of the aerodrome and then waited for his leader to return with the tales of courage and heroism.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/13/19 12:16 PM

12 January, 1916
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

Gaston knew each flight over the lines was dangerous with the Fokker monoplanes prowling the unfriendly skies. Thankfully they were sparse in these parts and the odds of encountering one were low. Besides, Gaston figured that the odds were in his favour anyway. He had two pairs of wings. Fokker had only one. He had two engines. Fokker had only one. He had two guns. Fokker just one. And finally he had the use of two pairs of eyes and the Fokker had only one. Why was he so preoccupied with the enemy scouts so much? It was because today would be his first flight over the lines into the lion’s den. Capitaine de Bondy was satisfied with Gaston’s ability to follow orders and put him on the active duty roster. His first combat mission would be to bomb factories at Pont a Mousson. He quickly marked the target on his map when it was announced at the briefing. Gaston listened carefully and learned he will fly as the wingman for Adjutant Mezergues. He was an agreeable chap from Dijon. The son of a banker, whose father was hell-bent on marrying him off, in order (as he put it) to settle down and cut down on the embarrassing affairs with women of questionable standing. The amount of suitable girls was staggering, but Mezergues wasn’t ready for matrimony and instead chose the military, with the war starting at the most opportune time. As he he cavalry has not seen much action ever since the trenches have been dug, he decided to join L’Aeronautique Militaire and try his luck there. Amazing that with his busy life of l’aviateur he was still able to keep three ladies in Toul. None of them had any idea of the existence of the other two. The lucky dog! Life of a military aviator has its privileges, but it definitely was not the life for Gaston.
He was now following Adjutant Mezergues over the Toul aerodrome having had just taken off and feeling for the first time the full weight of actual bombs slung underneath his Caudron. The bird didn’t feel as sprightly with the additional load, but Voscadeaux didn’t have too much trouble keeping up with the leader. Their two machines were approaching the initial waypoint when all of a sudden one of the leader’s engine begun to smoke. Gaston saw Mezergues make a quick turn back to the aerodrome trailing white smoke. He hoped his leader will make a safe landing. He would hate to see the Adjutant disappoint all three ladies at the same time. But what next? Should he also turn back, or fly to the front solo? He looked to his gunner for an answer. As if he had read his mind Ernest turned around to face him and gave a slight nod of his head in the direction of the Front. Gaston winked back at him and kept the machine on course. Yellow teeth flashed beneath the bushy beard of his gunner. Gaston was pretty sure Ernest was smiling. Adjutant Becquerel propped his elbows on the edge of the nacelle in the same fashion one would do when watching a street parade from the balcony of their apartment.
Voscadeaux followed the train tracks east and then north. Once they’ve reached the front lines he turned east again and aimed for the woods across the NML that he had marked on his map as the area where the factory would be located. He saw the trenches below, but it was quiet and no one paid any attention to the solitary flying machine. Becquerel checked his machine guns and took up his position. It was time to go to work. They have reached the area marked on the map but the factory was nowhere in sight. Gaston flew over once, twice and checked the map again. The factory wasn’t there. How he wished for some smoke from the chimneys to mark the spot, but there was nothing. Ernest looked back at Gaston perplexed and shrugged his shoulders in puzzlement. He couldn’t see it either. Clearly they were in the wrong spot. Gaston desperately started making circles over the target area, hoping to find the factory by chance. The circuits became larger and larger. The Caudron eventually flew too close to the enemy observation balloon and the anti-aircraft artillery below started to pepper the air around them with exploding shells leaving black pockmarks. This was a wake up call for Gaston and a lesson not to hang around the target for too long. He admitted defeat and decided to return to base with full armament. They were followed by angry Flak all the way to NML, reminding them of their failure. Gaston found his way back home easily by following the same train tracks that took him to the target. He was not proud of himself, blaming himself for this failure. Capitaine will certainly have something to say about that. He will have to do better next time. On arrival he saw the machine of Adjutant Mezergues sitting near one of the hangars being fussed over by the mechanics. The Casanova was alright.
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/13/19 01:06 PM


Fullofit, Gaston has discovered what so many WWI pilots have, that it can be damned tricky to sort out exactly where you are and actually find your intended targets thousands of feet below you. I've no doubt though that he'll get the hang of it, he seems a persistent fellow.

Scout, it sounds like Aleck's bombing mission was fairly typical in terms of its results. Getting the eggs close to the mark was about all anyone hoped for, and the explosions tended to cause more jangled nerves than anything else.

2nd Lt. Swanson had more bad luck in terms of engine reliability as he attempted, not once but twice, to complete his assigned sorties today. Both times the Le Rhône left him and his gunner/obs floating back to earth sans power. As most of the lads in camp knew of his Channel crossing incident, as well as his numerous engine failures while at Netheravon, (primarily because he himself had talked about it with individuals in camp), they ribbed him with assorted new nicknames. "Conk" and "Dead Stick" were bandied about a fair amount, but the one that has stuck is the moniker hung on him by his own flight mate, Lt. Dent. When the fellow walked into the mess this afternoon and spied Swany sitting at a far table, sipping at a cup of tea and reading a two-week old newspaper, the cheeky bugger called out, "Well if it isn't our own Lieutenant Swansong! There he is boys, if you want the engine in your bus to sing its last, just leave it in his capable hands." Given the roar of laughter that followed, Swany knew instantly he would be saddled with the handle for the foreseeable future.

Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/13/19 03:25 PM

Lou, First blood and a new name to boot! Here is to a confirmation!

Scout, Oh how many times has that happened. Look away for a second and your flight has disappeared into a black hole. Congrats on completing the mission.

Fullofit, Finding the target can be tough!

Mark Jericho
Auchell aerodrome
Jan. 12, 1916

C Flight was scheduled for a bombing mission today. We were to hit Loos Junction a few miles over the lines. Jericho was back in top form and felt good. It was a beautiful day.

Shortly after takeoff Lt. Chambers, flight leader, signaled engine trouble and turned back. "What are we going to do now" Jericho thought. He question was soon answered when Alford signaled to form up on him and they headed to the target. Crossing the lines Jericho was surprised that there was no Archie. He had been told it could be a little troublesome but not to worry about it too much. He scanned the skies for any other machines. It was more difficult than he thought to stay in formation and scan at the same time but he was getting the hang of it. Looking down he saw a wood with a road going through it and realized they were getting close to the target. He swung in behind Alford as his plan was to drop his eggs when he did. No sooner had he done so he saw Alford's bombs release. He did the same and they both turned toward home.

The trip back was different. The Archie came up to meet them but as he had been told it was more of a show than anything else, mostly exploding behind and below them. Crossing over the lines Jericho realized how tense he was and relaxed. It was a good day.

Back at the field Auchell was buzzing. It seems his pard Swany and his observer had brought down a Hun! "Lucky rascal!" Jericho thought. At debrief Jericho and his observer, Capt. Whorton were told there mission was a rousing success causing heavy damage at the Railyard. "Excellent work!" they were told. As they left the building Whorton slapped Jericho on the back. "Good job Lt.!"

"Thank you Sir" Jericho replied as he went to find Swany to get the story on his Hun.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/13/19 09:41 PM

Lou and MFair, missing the target with your bombs is one thing. Getting to the target area and not finding it is another.
Looks like engine trouble has its repercussions not only for Gaston but for Swany as well. Kids can be so mean.
Jericho has his head screwed on his shoulders pretty well. Following the leader and releasing his bombs at the same time is a sound tactic. This works as long as he’s not in the lead. One of those days he’ll have to make use of that bombsight. Better start practicing.

13 January, 1916
Toul, Verdun Sector
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

As expected, the CO was not impressed with Gaston’s performance yesterday, but that’s just it: that was yesterday. Today is a new day that presents new challenges. Two new surprises waited for him this morning. First was a letter from his wife Violette, who enclosed her picture with the news from home. Gaston had asked for her photograph when he was visiting this Christmas. He will pin the picture to the Caudron’s instrument panel, so that he can keep her close every time he flies.
The second surprise was not so pleasant. After hearing about Gaston’s inability to find the target yesterday, someone on the base thought it would be funny to leave a pair of old glasses for him. They were sitting in the mess hall on the table where Gaston usually ate his meals. There was a note attached to the glasses: Pour Papa Avocado.
Gaston was nervous when the mission target was announced and he revealed how he felt to Adj. Mezergues, who would lead B flight again today. Gabriel, who felt partially responsible for yesterday’s fiasco tried to put Gaston at ease and explained that finding rail yards was much easier than factories. All they had to do is follow the train tracks. Seemed simple enough and hopefully this time around Mezergues would lead them all the way to the target and back.
The sky was relatively clear with only a few clouds here and there. Gaston found the gusts of wind more of a challenge, preventing him from keeping a tight formation. He preferred to keep a healthy distance for the fear of crashing the ships into each other. Sgt. Levy in A flight did not have any problems with keeping formation as he was the only member of that flight and disappeared from view shortly after take off. On the way, they’ve picked up two single-seat scouts as escorts. Wow, those Nieuport 10’s sure looked pretty! Gaston continued to look up and behind to catch one more glimpse of the fighters and imagined what it would be like to fly one of them.
Just as Adj. Mezergues pointed out, finding the rail yard system at Verdun NE junction was made simple by following the tracks all the way in. The leader initiated the bombing run and Gaston followed as close as he dared. They dropped their two 30kg bombs one after another and as they passed overhead they were treated to a fireworks display. All bombs found the target and the entire station was engulfed in black smoke, dust, earth and flaming debris. Gaston was shocked how much damage their bombs inflicted, but soon realized that they must’ve hit the train carrying ammunition. The damage was significant. There was little time to admire their handiwork as the Flak batteries attempted to even the score. Thick black clouds of acrid smoke enveloped their machines and followed them all the way until they flew out of range. Gaston kept close to Mezergues’ machine at full throttle until they both passed the frontlines on their way out. He relaxed only after all the puffs of smoke had disappeared and on the way to the aerodrome started to think that maybe the damage done to this rail yard will in some small way redeem him for yesterday’s mission.
Maybe “Papa Avocado” won’t stick either?
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/13/19 11:19 PM

Nice job Fullofit, seems the squad will have to come up with a new name for Gaston!
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/14/19 12:31 AM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
4 Sqn Rfc.
Allonville, Flanders

13 Jan 1916.

Well , we finally got some help and a few Horses on the 12th and managed to pull most of the ship over to a road. should have whats left rigged and headed for the aerodrome by tonight.

Attached picture RAF-RE8-Crash-WWI-British-Reconnaissance-Bomber.jpg
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/14/19 01:32 AM

Originally Posted by MFair
Nice job Fullofit, seems the squad will have to come up with a new name for Gaston!

MFair, that might be tough. Tomorrow, they’re going to bomb another factory. Gaston is likely to be nervous.
Carrick, you should have landed on the road. biggrin
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/14/19 05:03 PM

Ha Ha
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/14/19 10:13 PM

Aleck A. MacKinlay
January 13, 1916

A cold and sunny morning. Assigned to ferry Chris to the frontlines for artillery spotting. This was my first such mission but fortunately Chris is an old hand at it and I am just his chauffeur. Second Lt. Carwin (a.k.a. Krazy Kaleb) would accompany us in an FE2b for protection, and Captain Davis would be in the area hunting enemy aircraft in his Bristol Scout. If an enemy scout was seen my instructions were to NOT run for home but to stay close to Carwin and let him protect our tail.

As it turned out, we saw no other aircraft on the entire 70 minute mission. The only noteworthy occurrence was some engine excitement. During our climb to operational height (5000 ft) the engine began to make several disturbing noises; a steady knocking, a jangling of some loose metal bracket, and an intermittent 'fart' sound. We could see no errant oil leaks and the oil pressure remained good, while the engine maintained rpms and power. We pressed on and the engine, despite the cacophony of clunks, did it's job and got us home.

Photo: Nearby Droglandt airfield; quite fancy!

Attached picture 2019.01.14 -
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/15/19 03:09 AM

Scout, you’re taking chances with that “worn out” engine. It only takes a moment to have a flambé Aleck.

14 January, 1916 9:05
Toul, Verdun Sector
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

There were some hoots and sniggers this morning at the mission briefing, when it was announced that B flight will be bombing a factory at Vigneulles les Hottonchatel. Some pilots were whispering to each other and secretly pointing in Gaston’s direction. He didn’t pay any attention to that and quite frankly he was fed up with the jabs. Instead, he concentrated on the factory location marked on the map hanging on the wall. He would be led by Adjutant Guytant to the target, but just in case the leader had to turn back, he would be prepared. Sergeant Reille would complete the formation. The baby of the Escadrille needed to get his feet wet after completing his pilot training. At 19, Niels Reille was the youngest pilot in the squad and just like Gaston joined the outfit after the new year.
They were all in the air and heading for the first waypoint following Guytant with Reille lagging behind. Gaston noted the clouds gathering in the north which most likely will obscure the target. This did not bode well for the success of the mission and the factories being an elusive target for him. “Well, let’s not be so pessimistic.” Gaston was trying to think positively. “Let’s concentrate on getting there first. Where is Niels?” Gaston scanned the rear quarters for the new guy when he wasn’t joining the formation, but couldn’t see him. “What if he’s flying somewhere very close and I can’t see him? Below? What I need now is a collision”. Gaston made another scan of the surrounding airspace to no avail. He didn’t realize Sgt. Reille needed to turn back and nurse an ailing engine back down to the aerodrome.
The reduced by one machine formation reached the factories without any problems or encountering any enemy planes. Gaston was able to get some good near misses and Adj. Guytant bombs did about the same amount of damage. The return trip was just as uneventful. Gaston was happy to see Sgt. Reille was able to bring his wounded bird back home in one piece, albeit out of commission for two days. All’s well that ends well.
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/15/19 03:11 AM

Some wonderful stories are maturing. I am thoroughly enjoying Fullofit's cast of characters at Escadrille C17. Maeran, your Christmas story was a tour de force -- but I have come to expect such things from you. Lady Diana Baldwin sent me scrambling t0 see if she married some unknown pilot, but alas! I was interested to discover she was a cousin of Rudyard Kipling. And her father, before becoming Prime Minister, served as parliamentary secretary to Andrew Bonar Law, who was born just a few miles from my home outside Rexton, New Brunswick, Canada. Ace_Pilto, I'm looking forward to Drongo's meeting with his "connection." Lou, congratulations on the claimed Fokker. Your description of how it fell out of control foreshadowed your similar effect on Mark Jericho - MFair will have to steer his boy clear of akvavit in the future. Maybe you can use it in your hut's lanterns instead! Carrick, that was a really close call! Take care, my friend. And Hasse, another brilliant episode. Nice to see your man chauffeured to the front by Gustav Leffers!

Jim Collins has finally started his war...

An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins

Part Ten: In which I take up my sword, meet Archie, and rejoin some old friends

Despite the filthy weather, I managed several more hours on the Morane in the safe confines of St-Omer. Men came and went, yet each morning I pursued the same routine. I rose, washed up in cold water, shaved in tepid water, and dressed for the long walk to the pilots’ pool mess. There I received some bread that I could toast myself at the stove, some weak tea, the ubiquitous plum and apple jam, and a lone hard-boiled egg. There was always the offer of porridge, but I have never been able to keep the stuff down. “Try it with brown sugar,” a chap said. First, there was no brown sugar in sight, and second, anything one must try with brown sugar to get down is certain to be vile.

From there I would return to my hut to bundle up against the elements, pulling on fleece combinations, a silk undershirt, a cotton shirt, heavy twill trousers, a cable knit (non-regulation) sweater, the spencer I’d bought in Salisbury, my fur-lined brown leather flying coat, and chamois and fur-lined cap. I had finally been issued with a pair of the fine “boots, knee, clumsy” which were much warmer than anything else I had put on my feet to date.

Thence to the hangars. There were times when only a BE was available. Patrick had told me only the best pilots were assigned to Moranes, so I pushed for our lone Parasol whenever I could. Still, there were several days when, dressed for real work, I whiled away the hours chatting with the ack emmas and smoking cigarettes and waiting for the sleet and high winds to abate.

On 11 January 1916, I’d just landed from a long flight in the Parasol (in which I’d flown to the east far enough to make out a long brown stain on the horizon – the front!) when word came that a tender would be picking me up in thirty minutes and to have my kit packed. I rushed to my hut and threw everything I owned together, and then sprinted to the offices for orders. Patrick was out for lunch and a dazed corporal shuffled papers for several minutes before uncovering a brown envelope with my name on it. I was bound for 3 Squadron – the same Morane outfit as Swany Swanson!

A driver arrived with an officer from the squadron in tow. It took a second or two to register. The fellow who jumped down from the tender as though dismounting from a horse was lean and lanky and tanned. It was my old cowboy pal from Long Branch and Netheravon, Mark Jericho!

“Took you long enough to get here, partner,” he said with an impish grin.

“I told them I knew you and they didn’t want to let me in France,” I replied. Jericho gave me a playful punch in the chest that I wasn’t ready for. It nearly knocked me down.

“Let’s get out of here. I’m due on patrol in a couple of hours,” he said. “You know that Swany’s with us too, don’t you?” We were bound for a place called Auchel, which was halfway to Arras, an hour’s drive away on the icy pavé. The tender threaded its way through squalid low villages of red brick row houses, small farm buildings with giant manure heaps, and squat stone churches. Everywhere the machinery of war clogged the roads: horses, oxen, wagons, men and more men. Ragged children and women in long aprons and clogs watched the passing show.

The aerodrome sat beside a small straight stretch of road at the edge of Auchel, not far from the neighbouring village of Lozinghem. Rolling hills bordered the town and field, an unusual feature in this otherwise flat part of France. Auchel was a mining town. Steam and smoke curled in grey ribbons from the pitheads with their hoist towers. In the muddy streets. pitmen shuffled home in their grimy blue dungarees and odd, flat wide-brimmed hats, looking like sooty versions of Sancho Panza. A little to the south of the field, two slag-heaps rose like grey pyramids from the countryside. I made a mental note of these, in case we ever had fog.

A row of sturdy wooden hangars lined the southwest edge of the field, which would be a challenge. High ground on one side, buildings on the other, and of course the towering slag-heaps – someone had an evil sense of humour. There was a large wooden building that housed the squadron office and mess. It seemed that the officers and men were, for the most part, billeted in houses behind the office. I made my way to the office and dropped my bag inside the door. Two officers bent over a table near the back wall, examining papers. A corporal clerk banged away on a typewriter. After a minute, one of the officers – they both wore major’s rank – looked up and smiled.

“I say, you’re the new man from Depot. Collins, is it?” I saluted and answered affirmatively. This major had a thin and aristocratic face. “You’ve joined a fine unit, Mr. Collins. Are you up to it?”

“I hope so,” I said, rather weakly or so I thought at the moment.

“Well, you shan’t have me to deal with, I’m afraid. This is Major Harvey-Kelly. He is taking over as your commander as of...” He took out his watch. “Bay, you’re the pukka sahib now, I’m afraid.” Bay was a nickname, I assumed, but its meaning was lost on me.

Major “Bay” grinned and winked in my direction. “Well, then,” he said. “Time to clean up this bloody mess.” Harvey-Kelly had the face of an impudent schoolboy, but he wore the crimson and blue ribbon of the Distinguished Service Order. I was to learn later that he was the first officer of the RFC to land in France. He turned to the orderly corporal and sent him to fetch someone to show me my billet.

“Get settled in and I’ll meet you in A Flight’s hangar in an hour. We’ll need you on patrol as soon as possible and I want you up at once to see the area from the air.”

The billet was scarcely 200 yards from the field, a narrow house of red brick with yellow brick facings around the door and windows. The owners were a couple in their sixties by the name of Poirier. M. Poirier spoke no English and barely intelligible French, but Madame spoke slowly and clearly and I understood that they had two sons, one who was blessé in Paris and the other of whom was dans les tranchées au sud. M. Poirier had a fitful cough and was, I assumed, a former miner. There was another officer in the house, a chap named Bob Lillywhite. He was taciturn and I suppose pleasant enough. Shy, I think, but hardly welcoming. I changed quickly into my flying gear and trudged over to the field.

At the hangar, the Major introduced me to Russel, my observer, who had been in France three weeks. The Major listened while Russel briefed me.

“On takeoff, you’ll fly into the slight rise and trees across the way if you’re not careful. Clear those poplars and level off until you get bags of speed.”

“You’ll need a bit of right rudder under load,” added the Major.

Russel continued. “Climb to 2500 feet before turning east. As you continue to climb, you should see Bethune off the port left side. Don’t pass Bethune or we’ll end up in Berlin. Turn north until we see the Lys. At the river, come back west until the river takes a bow south towards the La Bassée Canal. Don’t go all the way until the canal and river meet. That’s too far west. If you turn south at that bow in the river, you’ll come back directly to Auchel. You might see the road running to Lozinghem and pick up the field, but long before then you’ll see the terrils.”

“The what?” I asked.

“The terrils. Bloody great slag heaps. They’re on the south and east of the town. You’ll want to be gliding into the field long before you approach Auchel. There is a bit of a ridge at the north end of the field, and you’ll need to come in just over the crest to settle down properly.”

“Piece of cake,” I said, not meaning a word of it.

Russel stared at me. “Kill me and I’ll haunt you and yours forever, Collins.”

I took off and did the circuit, following Russel’s directions exactly. I even managed a three-point landing despite the ridge. Russel shook my hand and the major, who was watching from the step of the office, nodded and went inside.

That night there was a raucous send-off for Major Ludlow-Hewitt, whom I understood to be well respected. Once the former CO’s car had removed his besotted carcass, the real party began. To my surprise, the rowdiest man of the lot was the new squadron commander. Harvey-Kelly’s party piece was to declare a selzer battle, from which no man emerged dry. I retired into the night to hunt for the billet shared by Jericho, Swany, and two others. Neither Jericho nor Swany were drinkers, and I expected to find them up. They were in one of the few huts that had been built on the field. When I got there, Jericho was writing a letter and Swany was already asleep. He’d put in a claim for a Fokker this morning and had been “over-served” at dinner.

Jericho brewed a coffee on the pot-bellied stove and added a heaping spoon of sugar. I seldom drank the stuff, but this mug was delicious. There were two armchairs and we sat the shadows cast by a guttering candle and traded life stories, his much more interesting than mine. He spoke of his introduction to “Archie,” as anti-aircraft fire was universally named. In the few days he’d been here, two pilots and their observers had gone missing. He warned me of the dangers of flying over Lille and of failing to check for the “Hun in the sun.”

The next morning I accompanied the Major and Sergeant Bayetto in a three-machine formation. Word had come down within the past few days that all aircraft with objectives over the lines were to fly in formation. It was a new experience and very much harder than I anticipated, requiring complex adjustment of throttle and mixture to keep station. I would settle in for a minute or two and then Major Harvey-Kelly would turn slightly and it would take another five minutes to regain my position.

[Linked Image]
Sgt Toni Bayetto

We were destined for a rail junction far to the south. I resolved to keep things simple and did not take my eyes off the Major, even relying on him to show me where and when to drop my four Hales bombs. I did not even see our target. If truth be told, any old Hun could have flown up behind me and thrown stones at my machine with impunity, for not once do I recall looking about. I relied for my protection entirely on Russel in the rear seat. I was startled by a loud "whump," followed by three more in close succession. Black greasy puffs appeared a few hundred feet in front of the Morane. The leader turned slightly to avoid the next eruption of whumps. "Good morning, Archie," I said to myself. By focusing on the leader I managed to suppress the wind-up. We landed nearly two hours after we took off. The good news was that we apparently hit the target, saw no air Huns, and I remained more or less in formation all the way.

[Linked Image]
"'Good morning, Archie,' I said to myself."

The next day, 14 January, we flew south to the Somme sector to drop more bombs, this time on Hun artillery positions behind Pozières. For the first time I saw other machines in the air (other that those I flew alongside, that is). I saw a lone Morane returning home and, after we dropped our bombs, I saw three dots a few miles to the east. One approached us and passed by while we re-formed west of Bapaume. It turned out to be a lone BE2. The other two were certainly Huns, for when they saw us they dived away to the east and vanished.

The front is a nightmare landscape. For a mile or two on each side of the trench lines the ground is horribly torn. Whole villages are smashed into brick dust and rubble. Roads and rail lines disappear. In the Somme area, the trenches stand out as pale lines, the soil bleached by the upturned chalk. A million shell craters catch the water or snow and ice. The world is plague-scarred.

Attached picture Archie.png
Attached picture Toni Bayetto.png
Posted By: Maeran

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/15/19 10:39 AM

2nd Lieutenant Stanley rode alone in the first class carriage of the train to Dover. There were only a few soldiers travelling out to France at this port. Stanley himself was not going via the bitterly cold ferry crossing. His way was even more bitterly cold.
Stanley was warm in his lonely carriage for now. He smiled as he remembered his final exchange with Diana.
The young debutante had met him at Victoria station prior to his departure.
“I bought you this,” Diana said, as she proffered an envelope. It was distorted slightly by something inside.
“No. Don’t open it yet,” she told him. “Open it on the train.”
William looked into Diana’s eyes, “The past few days have been very important to me. I want you to know that, Diana. I have been preparing to go back to France for so long, and here at the last you have given me a reason to regret going.”
Diana gave him a mock serious look, tilting her head forward and pouting. “Now William. You know it is right and proper to do your duty by your country. I am so proud of you! I hope that you can return as soon as you can so that we might... renew our acquaintance?” Her alabaster hand gently touched the back of his.
“I hope for nothing else, Diana.” Stanley checked the clock, “I have to go. I will write as soon as I can, so that you know how to find me.”
Tears were welling in Diana’s eyes, “please do, please do. And William, one more thing...”
Leaning forward, she kissed him on the lips. It was only for a moment, but it was a moment that blazed in Stanley’s memory.

As the train pulled away from the station, Stanley opened the envelope. Inside was a brooch in the shape of Pegasus, a photograph of Diana smiling gently and a letter.

My William, Every soldier should have a photograph of his sweetheart. I hope that I am not wrong in presuming that I am yours, even after so little time. But as you intend to make yourself some manner of knight in the skies, you should have an appropriate favour from your lady. Did you know that Pegasus was also a twin? His brother was called Chrysaor. This badge has a counterpart that will not leave my person. I hope to show it to you soon when you come back to me victorious. Be careful! Diana.

Stanley re-read the letter several times. He wondered who Chrysaor was for a while and went back to remembering Diana’s kiss.

Dover aerodrome was set behind the mess of barracks and other military facilities near the imposing castle. He reported to the duty office.
“Have you ever flown across the channel before?” The adjutant looked at Stanley in his new flying coat that still creaked as he moved,
“No,” Stanley replied. “After that climb past the castle, I think that nothing will daunt me though.”
“It is a bit steep,” admitted the adjutant. “My advice is climb as high as you can. Don’t even set out to sea before you hit six thousand. Also, you are only going tomorrow.”
“Not enough daylight now. Get some rest and report here at dawn and we’ll send you off.”

[Linked Image]
1st Wing Headquarters, Aire Sur-la-Lys.
The Château occupied by 1 Wing RFC was a place of refined French tastes, which served as a background to the tedium of administration. Stanley sat in one of the salons waiting for any instruction to come. He had thumbed through a book on the life of Wellington that had been left amongst the month old newspapers. He had just found an interesting episode involving Tipu Sultan when a stern faced officer opened the door and admitted another pilot.
“Hullo,” the newcomer broke the silence of the waiting room. “Have you been here long?”
Stanley put the book face down and smiled at the new arrival. “I’ve only been here a day. I ferried a BE2 in to St Omer only to be packed off here. They said I was urgently needed. I’ve been in this salon ever since.”
“That’s the army for you.” The other pilot offered his hand, “Le Blanc-Smith, how d’you do.”
“Stanley. Delighted to meet you. Are you just out too?”
“Oh no. I’ve been with 18 for 2 months. I’m just here on squadron business. Any idea where you’re headed?”
“16 I think. Unless they change their mind.”
“They probably won’t.“

Le Blanc-Smith was called away after 20 minutes, leaving Stanley to wait alone once more. Finally there was a stirring in the next room and William was summoned. His tender had arrived.
The Crossley trundled for half an hour of wet and grey country lanes before a sign indicated that the little town ahead was Merville. The town had the usual French traffic, but in this time of war, Stanley noticed that there were many British soldiers walking along lanes or sat outside cafés.
“Resting behind the lines,” the driver explained over his shoulder.
“Yes, I’ve been here before,” Stanley replied, watching two Tommies trying to negotiate with a washerwoman. “Or somewhere like it.”

After driving through the town and back out amongst the farms, the tender turned right onto a deeply rutted track. Up ahead was a russet coloured farmhouse with a few lorries parked outside. Beyond them, a cluster of canvas tents stood before the poplar lined river.
“Merville aerodrome sir,” the driver told Stanley. “Not much to look at, but we are expanding across the river.”

Stepping into the farmhouse, Stanley found the rooms being used as the squadron offices. They had clearly been a sitting room and a parlour before the RFC took over. The farmer’s furniture had been pushed against a wall to fit desks in. A 2nd Lt with wings on his tunic was acting ass adjutant.

“2nd Lieutenant Stanley, reporting for duty.”
The adjutant looked up glumly. “Oh? A new one.” He waved for an orderly. “Take 2nd Lieutenant Stanley to the barge and give him the empty cabin.” The adjutant then returned to his paperwork.
“Barge?” Stanley asked, but the adjutant ignored him.
“This way sir,” the orderly took Stanley’s bags and beckoned him outside.

“Please don’t mind Lieutenant Ward sir,” the orderly said once they were outside the farmhouse. “He doesn’t mean it. The barge he mentioned is down here.” The man gestured toward the river. “The officer’s have their lodgings and their mess there. The old aerodrome is here to our right.” The orderly nodded to a small field by the river with hangars on the far side. “You might fly from here, but we have been moving across the river. It’s bigger.”
[Linked Image]
The barge was a large boat that had originally been laid down as a cargo barge but fitted as hospital accommodation before the CO of 16 squadron had acquired it somehow for his officers. It was large and spacious and afforded good views. Unfortunately it was the depths of winter and the view was miserable. Across the river and downstream a large open field had more tents, and hangars visible. Some men were busy building a wooden hut.
“That’s the new field sir,” the porter indicated across the river. Beaupré farm, but they’ve taken to calling it ‘La Gorgue.’”

A week had passed since he had arrived at La Gorgue, but to Stanley time had dragged into a tortuous eternity. It seemed that no-one would talk to him. His attempts to make friends had been shrugged off. Not that anyone was very friendly with each other. Captain Gould of A flight gruffly rebuffed any attempt at conversation. Bodham-Whetham of B flight was Stanley’s flight commander, but he seemed to be avoiding him. Stanley didn’t even know who was in charge of C flight.

The Major was somehow worse. Dowding would mutter something to officers every now and again, but he didn’t seem to show any interest in their answers. They called him ‘stuffed shirt,’ and complained about how bad he was for moral.
Stanley had been up for a few familiarisation flights in a BE2c. The west airfield was a tiny L shaped field that was looked terrible to get back onto. Across the river the new field was... unusual.
On the marshy ground between two rivers, four runways had been laid out in grey ashes. They looked like a crude union flag on the earth. The ground was marshy and any attempt to land outside the ash lines would result in the wheels bogging down. Or the aeroplane tipping over in a drainage ditch.

After the first two days bad weather had stopped all flying. Since no-one wanted to talk to him, Stanley found the waiting miserable.

“Things look like they're clearing up,” Major Dowding mumbled to his captains at dinner. “Arrange crews for the morning. There is a lot of work outstanding.”

“Veitch, Stanley, Thayre, Hardy, Storey. In the flight office at 7 on the dot.” Boddam-Whetham warned his flight.
For the rest of the evening Stanley could barely contain his excitement. They were going to do something. His first sortie!

[Linked Image]
Three BE2cs plodded through scattered cloud on their way to their assigned batteries. They were in a group now but Stanley knew that they would split up over the batteries to observe different guns and range them for the artillery.
When the trio were over St Villers. Stanley was watching the ground below in fascination. The way that the trenches stood out from the air amazed him. He had spent time in trenches, but had never realised how obvious their positions were to aerial observation.

There was a sudden noise that startled Stanley from his reverie. Three monoplanes were right behind the BE2s and were shooting at them!

Stanley’s heart was in his mouth. He pushed the stick forward and the aeroplane dove abruptly. Then he pushed on the rudder and swerved before regaining some altitude. He looked around for the Eindekker even as his observer, Storey, heaved on the Lewis gun and tried to get a bead on something nearby.

Stanley saw a trail of smoke and was surprised to see that it was a monoplane, curving away. Another Eindekker was flying away eastwards. Storey pointed down and to Stanley’s right.

The last Eindekker was chasing Thayre and Hardy. Hardy was firing away with his Lewis gun, but the black crossed machine was flying low, hiding below the tail of the British machine.
[Linked Image]
Stanley dived and throttled back. Slowly the Eindekker came into Storey’s field of fire. The captain fired off a brief burst. Even over the roar of the engine, the rattle of the machine gun was painfully load above Stanley’s head.

The Eindekker dived away and turned eastwards. The BE2s were alone again in the sky.

When C flight finally landed back at La Gorgue, Stanley excitedly ran over to check on Thayre and Hardy.
“Did we get that one?”
“I dont’ think we can claim anything,” Hardy replied. “He left before things got dangerous for him. Thanks for encouraging him to ****er off.”

Good stories gents. And congratulations on the first claim Lou.
I was lucky. I was too busy looking at the ground to think about the sky. The Eindekkers really did get the jump on me. Luckily he was a rotten shot or I wouldn’t have had time to dodge.
Historically, Diana married an army captain in 1919. Maybe it didn't work out with William. Maybe it did but he didn't survive DiD. We shall have to see...
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/15/19 03:02 PM

Raine and Maeran, with no disrespect to anyone else, you two are a pair of very fine writers! Excellent stories Gents. Congrats on surviving your 1st combat Maeran.

My hardy thanks to Raine for putting on this DID Campaign. I don't know what it is. Maybe the stories, flying with my peers, or who knows, but there is nothing that gives me a feeling of flying in the war but this. Thanks again mate!
Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/15/19 03:07 PM

Well - I'm back from my Blighty! Apologies for being gone so long, medical complications and the like, you know! Congratulations on drawing first blood, Lou!

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell
No. 20. Squadron R.F.C,
Netheravon, England.

3: Farewell, England...

January 15th, 1916.

Netheravon was near-silent as I stepped into the shining morning dew. For the past week, our aerodrome has been a manic scene, as the truck convoys set to ferry our equipment to France have been darting to-and-fro like so many ants in a colony, and the aeroplane mechanics have been losing sleep - working into ungodly hours of the night, sometimes only by candle-light, to prepare our machines to be flown over. During this time, naturally, not much flying has been done, and so we have been entertaining ourselves with frequent trips back to the Dorothy Cafe, and the comforts of its tea selection and Piano. It seems that we have our player in Pearson, who has led us into several sing-alongs! At first Missus Baker, the hard-faced, rotund wife of the Dorothy's owner (who is currently in France himself), didn't care much at all for our rowdy antics, but now I rather think she enjoys the homely atmosphere. Funnily enough, she has become almost like an auntie to us, occasionally joining in our sing-songs and fretting over us in an endearing staccato cockney tone. "'Ello, my lovelys!" she says as we arrive each day, "What are you going to play us today, then, Wallace? Oh my, Raymond! You're looking awfully thin - don't they feed you proper in the army?". Raymond, or Switch-off, has become particularly attached to Missus Baker, and I rather think she has become something closer to a mother-figure for him. The poor lad, only fifteen, has been suffering from bouts of homesickness recently. The lord only knows how he will fare in France! While we sit at our table by the piano, Switch-off goes round the back to wash dishes with our welcoming host.

Upon Missus Baker's recommendation, I seem to have developed a particular fondness for green tea, and it has become my regular selection off of the 'Dainty Teas' menu, and she has promised to gift me a tin of the stuff to take with me to France.

All in all, life at Netheravon had become very pleasant indeed! We had settled into our routine, and between Pearson's sing-alongs and Jacky-Boy's scandalous late-night stories, we have all developed a wonderful sense of Camaraderie. This seems to transcend rank, as my observer, Cpt. Edith, has even joined our merry gang at the Cafe! At first this made some of us uncomfortable - we had not previously known a Captain willing to fraternise with the lower ranks, much less a Sergeant such as Jimmy Reynard, Archer or myself! But, the cheery Scotsman has become a welcome addition to our mob. But, yesterday, at Noon, the trucks all abruptly packed up and left for Dover. An hour later, the Major assembled the pilots and observers in the Officers' mess (which - by the way - is a perfect picture of luxury! Unlike our modest Sergeants' mess!), and told us the news. The news.

Tomorrow, we were bound for France.

And so, today we headed to the Dorothy for the final time, to say our good-byes and have one last sing-song. It was a solemn affair - although we were chomping at the bit to finally get to the war, none of us wanted to have to leave behind the comforts of our little Cafe, or the pleasantries of its current owner. For that last song, all of us wrapped in a combination of excitement, sorrow, fear, happiness, homesickness, and other emotions, we (including Missus Baker) sung out loudly to the tune of 'There's a Long, Long trail'. I must admit, I was very moved by the experience. I think we all were - and poor Switch-off had to turn away from us to hide the tears in his eyes.

After a final cup of green tea, much to our surprise, the ever-thoughtful Missus Baker presented us all with a small parting gift. For myself - that tin of green tea, which I must endeavour to ration in France. Jacky-Boy was given a tin of regular tea. For Cpt. Edith, a small brass thistle broach, a small reminder of his home country. Pearson, of course, was given several pages of sheet music, which had previously belonged to Mr. Baker before the war, but perhaps the greatest gift of all was bestowed upon Switch-off, who was given a striking red scarf, which Missus Baker had knitted herself in secret, specifically for the young lad.

Later in the day, as I watched Switch-off and his observer ascend in F.E.2 A6332 and swing around towards France, his red scarf around his neck, I felt a sudden pang of stark terror on the boy's behalf. Oh, how young he was, and there he went, off to war! But, I had no time to dwell on the feeling, for Edith and I were up next. Our orders are to ferry one of the B.Es to No. 1 Aircraft Depot, where we would exchange it for another F.E.2.

By the end of the day, we will be in France, and War.

Posted By: lederhosen

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/15/19 03:21 PM

ahh crap...and I mean crap.

FFA9b is grounded due to all pilots having the "Runs"

n.b wife and 2 kids all came down with the flu... oh well
Posted By: Maeran

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/15/19 06:58 PM

Oh dear. Get well soon to all at Jasta Lederhosen.
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/15/19 08:08 PM

January 14, 1916
Post-Action Report by Flight Leader Lt. James Jones

The assigned patrol of enemy frontlines was completed by myself and Sgt White. Second Lieutenant MacKinlay had to turned back with engine trouble as we approached the lines and did not appear to have enough height to make it back to Abeele.

As of this evening, pilot MacKinlay and observer Bathurst are officially listed as missing.
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/16/19 12:07 AM

Poor Lederhosen. He's "flying by the seat of his pants" again!

Get well soon.
Posted By: Maeran

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/16/19 12:16 AM

Originally Posted by 77_Scout

As of this evening, pilot MacKinlay and observer Bathurst are officially listed as missing.

Oh please let the next bit be an amusing storey about MacKinlay and Bathurst being forced to land in the grounds of a vinyard and having to drink themselves free. It's too early for our first casualty.

Fingers crossed
Posted By: Ace_Pilto

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/16/19 08:22 AM

They're probably shacked up with some Frenchies, sipping Ordinaire and making eyes at their daughter.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/16/19 06:35 PM

15 January, 1916 9:02
Toul, Verdun Sector
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

It was a lucky hit. What are the odds when the Flak is so sporadic, so scattered? Nevertheless, it was a hit. Sergent Reille’s machine arched toward the ground on its side like a wounded beast keeling over. The anti-aircraft fire started as they were crossing the lines. Gaston was leading Reille on a bombing run to a troop camp near Mars-la-Tour aerodrome. He always regarded the black puffs of smoke as harmless. More to scare the adversary rather than to hurt. He was proven wrong this morning when he saw the young pilot dive trailing smoke. He still had a job to do. His hands were shaking and he insisted it was because of the engine vibrations. He scanned the sky around him again. Sergent Levy in A flight was trailing him at a higher altitude. Gaston concentrated. The troop camp was coming up ahead. The numerous tents were casting long shadows, making them much more visible. There were only a few small clouds nearby and none over the target. Voscadeaux’s bombs impacted in the middle of the encampment. He didn’t linger and could only imagine the mayhem below. Gaston was already heading back south when he saw Levy drop his bombs and turn back as well. These bombs also found the camp below. There was more Flak on the way and Gaston made sure he would not be an easy target. The weaving disturbed Adjutant Becquerel in the front seat. He gave Gaston the look, but the pilot decided to ignore him. Gaston didn’t want to end up like Reille. Voscadeaux and Levy both returned to base safely, but there was no sign of his wingman. The news came just before noon. The bodies of Reille and his gunner, de Neufville, were being brought back to the aerodrome.
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/16/19 09:34 PM

Dispatch from A.D.M.S Headquarters, Brielen Church, 3rd Division, 2nd Army.
To RFC-6, Abeele Airfield

Pleased to let you know that we have in our care Pilot 2nd-Lt Aleck MacKinley and Observer 2nd-Lt Christopher Bathurst. Both officers are alive and well, with the exception of minor injuries suffered in a landing accident adjacent to Brielen Church, NW of Ypres city outskirts. They wish us to report that the engine of their aircraft was destroyed in-flight as a result of internal explosion, and that a resulting engine fire was quickly blown out by diving of the machine. A landing was affected adjacent to our facility (HQ for Assistant Director of Medical Services) but collision with unseen telegraph wires upended the craft onto its nose with heavy damage. Pilot MacKinlay has a slight concussion and should remain here (until cleared for medically safe travel) for a few days. Observer Bathurst has bruised ribs but is prepared to return immediately to your command and requests a lorry be dispatch to retrieve himself and any salvageable portions of the aircraft.

Photos: Gliding towards Brielen Church after engine and prop blew up, Up-Ended by Telegraph lines
http://simhq.com/forum/tmp/13336.png http://simhq.com/forum/tmp/13337.png

Attached picture Combat Flight Simulator 3 Screenshot 2019.01.15 -
Attached picture Combat Flight Simulator 3 Screenshot 2019.01.15 -
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/16/19 10:29 PM

Scout, great news! It’s way too early to start loosing pilots. That was a close one.
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/16/19 10:53 PM

Scout, so glad Aleck is well and in good hands. I agree with MFair that it's way too early for the war to stop being fun...
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/16/19 11:09 PM

Mark Jericho
Auchell Aerodrome
Jan. 17, 1910

It had been a wonderful time the last few days. The weather had been good and patrols had been up every day. Jericho had done two bombing mission, one to Vimy Junction and another at the front lines West of Lille. Both missions had resulted in heavy damage to the targets and C Flight had been given hardy congratulations by the CO. The Arty spotting mission all the way down to Fricourt had gone well also..His and Swany's pal from training had joined their squadron and it was like old times with the three of them together again. Besides, James was the only one that seemed to have any money should they get the chance to go into town.

"I sure wish I could get a chance to knock off a Hun" Jericho said as he cleaned his 45 Colt.

James looked up from his letter writing and looked astounded at Jericho's statement, "Did you ever stop to think how many you killed dropping those bombs, or how many met their demise when you and Whorton directed all that artillery on to their positions! I wager you have already killed hundreds if not thousands".

Jericho looked up stone faced, "I never thought of that Pard" then went back to cleaning the 45. James rolled his eyes in amusement at his hut mate.

Swany looked up from his book as Jericho was sliding the 45 back into it's oiled leather holster and asked, "you ever use that on anyone while out in the wild west".

Jericho got up and hung the pistol on his makeshift coat rack. As he turned to walk out of their hut he said, "No, not out west."

Swany and James looked at one another in bewilderment. "What do you think about that Swany?" Jim asked.

"I don't know James. Looked like I may have struck a nerve. You know, anytime we ask about his past he always has the same answer, circumstances."

James added, "well don't ask him any more. He was just starting to open up a bit."

James went back to writing his letter and Swany went back to his book.

Jericho was outside looking at the clear night thinking of home.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/17/19 12:12 AM

That’s some dark past Jericho is hiding!
Scout, glad your pilot’s ok. You’re giving Lou run for his money with those engine failures. Wonder what nickname your pilot is going to be stuck with?
Posted By: Hasse

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/17/19 02:29 PM

I'm glad to see Aleck made it! Be careful out there!

So many interesting stories to read in this thread already. IMHO, this DID campaign has had a very strong start when it comes to the quality of writing. So keep it up everybody! cheers

Julius is now serving in his new unit and has his first encounter with the enemy...


"However the world pretends to divide itself, there are only two divisions in the world today – human beings and Germans."

- Rudyard Kipling in the Morning Post, June 22, 1915.

Early January, 1916.

Since his arrival at Bertincourt, life had been extremely busy for Julius. His first day at the field had been spent learning the basics of military service in a frontline aviation unit. He had reported to the Abteilungsführer, Hauptmann Viebig, after which had followed a round of introductions to his new comrades, both pilots and observers. Julius was housed in an old brick building, where he shared one of the rooms with a fellow warrant officer. All in all, housing conditions at the field were excellent and Julius felt he was very lucky compared to the men serving in the trenches, including his brother Hermann.

Early in the morning of January 6th, Hauptmann Viebig ordered Julius to report to the hangars in his flight gear. It was time for his introductory flight, and the Abteilungsführer wanted to see for himself how the newest member of his unit performed in the field. Julius was rather nervous, but the weather was fine and he was only required to takeoff and fly a few circles around the field, which was something he had already practiced many times at the flight school in Bork. Hauptmann Viebig was a determined-looking fellow, and taller than Julius. He was one of the Alte Adler (Old Eagles), men who had earned their pilot’s license already before the war. Compared to the relaxed Leffers, Viebig was a strict military professional - the kind of Prussian military man Julius had known well since childhood. Armed with this knowledge, Julius expected he would get along fine with his commander.

The mechanics had already prepared the Aviatik for takeoff, and after receiving orders from Viebig, Julius climbed into the cockpit. A short while later he was taxiing on the grass field now wet with snowy mud. A final push of the throttle and a gentle pull of the stick, and Julius was airborne. He climbed to 300 metres and then began to circle the field. After ten minutes of circling, Julius took his Aviatik down for a landing. It was a bit bumpy, but went otherwise well. Viebig congratulated Julius, apparently satisfied with his performance.

Next on the menu was a longer familiarization flight to teach Julius the lay of the land in the area of operations of Feldflieger-Abteilung 32. The unit was attached to XIV. Reserve-Korps, which was defending the positions of the Somme front between Bapaume and Péronne. The British 3rd Army was facing them on the other side of the lines. Julius was accompanied on this flight by Oberleutnant Max Weber, one of the detachment’s observer officers. (Weber was not related to the famous sociologist of the same name.)

The good weather continued, so Julius and Max took off later on the same day. The plan was to fly through a series of waypoints to give Julius a basic understanding of the important landmarks in the sector while staying safely behind German lines. First they climbed up to 2000 metres above Bertincourt and then proceed south towards the river Somme and the town of Péronne, which formed the left flank of their army corps’s sector. Julius had never seen the front with his own eyes, so the sight that opened up below them among the scattered clouds of a dim midwinter’s day was sobering. Kilometer after kilometer the muddy and snowy ground was mutilated by lines of trenches, which extended as far as the eye could see. Further south was the sector of the 1. Armee, and somewhere in its trenches Julius’s brother Hermann was leading his company of infantry.

[Linked Image]

Julius’s thoughts were suddenly interrupted by Max, who had turned to face him and was gesturing with his hand towards the west - an enemy airplane! Julius turned his head and attempted to spot their foe. It took a while for his inexperienced eyes to locate the enemy machine, but finally Julius succeeded in spotting him. Now that he knew where to look, it was easy to see the dark shape flying along them in the distance. Julius used his binoculars to get a better view. The enemy plane turned out to be a British two-seater - a B.E. 2.

Julius had been strictly forbidden to look for trouble on this flight, so he contented himself with keeping an eye on the British machine while completing their tour around Péronne. Nothing unexpected happened during the rest of the flight. Julius thought it was relatively simple to navigate in his sector (at least in good weather) with so many towns, woods and the river Somme in the south acting as excellent landmarks.

After landing safely back at Bertincourt Max and Julius immediately informed Viebig of the British plane. The commander ordered Leffers to go search for the two-seater, and soon the would-be flying ace took off with the detachment’s Fokker E.III.

An hour later Leffers returned. He had been unable to find enemy machines. Apparently the British had departed soon after Julius and Max had left Péronne.

It had been an exciting first day of action for Julius. Now he was ready to begin participating in the actual operations of Feldfliger-Abteilung 32.
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/17/19 07:26 PM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
4 Sqn Rfc.
Allonville, Flanders

Jan 17, 1916.

Rigged and Ready, My machine was posted Recon. We acted as Wingman and took notes incase the Camera didn't work. I say bit of a washout what with 7/10th cloud cover and ordered from 2600 meters. Hq was happy and thats what we are here for.

Attached picture CFS3 2019-01-17 11-08-31-24.jpg
Attached picture CFS3 2019-01-17 11-18-01-81.jpg
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/17/19 10:23 PM

Great story Hasse. I’m surprised young Julius was disciplined enough and didn’t attempt to get a “closer look”.
Carrick, another day, another shilling earned.

16 January, 1916 9:05
Toul, Verdun Sector
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

An uneventful recon mission to front sector in the sailent west of St. Mihiel. Voscadeaux lead Sergent Levy to the rendezvous point with a pair of Nieuport scouts from Esc. 65. He noticed them circling about 500 m higher and unwilling to join. Gaston thought maybe they haven’t noticed two large, juicy bombers flying nearby so he decided to climb to their altitude and make his introductions. Despite flying in front of the 2 scouts they still refused to join the formation. Gaston wasn’t amused. He decided to press on without the escort. Judging by their actions they wouldn’t be much help if a Fokker showed up anyway. It was too bad as the fighters tended to attract Flak to themselves, leaving the bombers unmolested. Voscadeaux and Levy completed their 21 minute patrol of the front lines without noticing any new troop concentrations or movements. It was all rather quiet. It was time to get back to base. Another job well done.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/18/19 01:00 AM

17 January, 1916
Toul, Verdun Sector
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

“- ...ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Amen.” The priest made a sign of cross with his hand to bless the two coffins lying side by side, ready to be lowered into the graves that were dug last evening. The two altar boys standing behind the priest looked completely bored having attended countless ceremonies like this one. There were no family members present at this funeral. The closest to family were members of Escadrille C17 present to pay their last respects. The pallbearers lowered the coffins into the ground and the CO was the first to pick up some dirt and throw it on each coffin. The rest of the squad members followed by forming a line. There was a simple wreath hanging from each cross at the head of the grave obscuring the plaque with the names. Sergent Niels Reille 1897-1916 and Caporal Bartlett de Neufville 1880-1916.
And that was it, that was the end of another two lives. Gaston attended many of such funerals ... and worse. He hated this. He hated how savage people have become in spite of the evolution. Killing for what? On whose orders? Le President? Der Kaiser? The King? Madness!
It was late in the afternoon. The ceremony was over and the pilots were dispersing. The only one left standing over the two fresh graves was Gaston’s gunner, Adjutant Ernest Becquerel, as always silent with his pipe between the teeth, shaggy beard and a look of desolation. Gaston paused and wondered what the big bear was thinking. Did he know any of the two men well? Maybe one day he will find out.
Gaston was walking back to the aerodrome replaying in his mind this morning’s mission. There were a few raids lately on their aerodrome, so it was high time to return the favour. Gaston and Caporal Sourdiac were tasked with bombing the Mars-la-Tour aerodrome. Their two machines were complemented by another one in A flight piloted by Sergent Levy. The weather was picture-perfect and the visibility excellent. They were able to find their target with ease and drop their bombs with a good degree of accuracy. A few hangars were set on fire and the large brick house was damaged as well. They were lucky to avoid any enemy scouts and returned safely back with time to spare to prepare for the funeral. Gaston prayed that he would not have to attend another one any time soon.
Posted By: Ace_Pilto

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/18/19 09:22 AM

The queue at the bank was far too long for any nation holding the pretense of running its' affairs with anything even remotely approaching efficiency.

Drummond had 'acquired' a rather large sum of money after introducing the regulars of a London pub to the sport of Two Up. His total wealth now stood at an impressive 200 pounds which was more money than he could have ever imagined possessing and, having recently been fortunate enough to secure a passport and visa from his introduction to the father of Lt Drummond, Percival was preparing for his enlistment.

Drummond Sr had been a funny old buffer, Percy cooked up a story about having been knocked back by the local Army recruiters in Australia due to his dalliance with the local Captain's daughter and then had claimed that he'd stowed away on the Omrah in order to join the war and, being the firebrand patriot that he was Lord Drummond had slapped him on the back and promised him any assistance he required.

"Of course you'll never be able to buy a commission in a decent regiment you know, they don;t like colonials and especially those lacking in verifiable bonafides, you might try the artillery or summink. There's also the *hrmph* Flying Corps"

Drummond thought back to the gull, its' disdainful stream of excrement and the way that it had sailed lazily, easily off into the distance while he remained seabound.

"Yes" He uttered.

"What's that m'boy" The peer of the realm inquired.

"The Flying Corps sir. It's the Flying Corps for me."
Posted By: Hasse

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/18/19 09:34 AM

Originally Posted by Fullofit
Great story Hasse. I’m surprised young Julius was disciplined enough and didn’t attempt to get a “closer look”.

Thanks! cheers

Julius is not very rebellious and tends to follow orders to the letter. He's now particularly careful, trying to prove that he can be a good soldier too, like his father and brother. We will see what happens when he becomes a bit more experienced and comfortable in his new job as an Aviatik chauffeur.

I enjoy reading about Gaston's adventures - it's good to have some French pilots too in the DID! He's stationed in the Verdun sector. As we know, things will become interesting there in late February... Good luck!
Posted By: Ace_Pilto

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/18/19 10:03 AM

18 Jan 1916

The bank clerk raised an eyebrow at Drummond.

"Sir, it's 1916, not 1915."

He handed Drummond a fresh deposit slip. Drummond sighed (And thanked Raine) before filling it out again.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/18/19 11:38 AM

Originally Posted by Hasse
As we know, things will become interesting there in late February... Good luck!

Hasse, They shall not pass! salute
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/18/19 03:15 PM


A brilliant bunch of stories and reports again folks! I just got caught up with all of them during several cups of coffee. Most enjoyable!

2nd Lt. Swanson has had a busy time the last few days. The arrival of his old chum Jim Collins was a most welcomed surprise. Add to that, he was informed yesterday morning, just before patrols went out, that his very first claim was actually confirmed! And during his arty spotting mission shortly after that, he and his gunner/obs, Lt. Christopher Dent, wound up in another scrape, this time with a pair of E.IIIs that engaged them just east of Loos. Swany quickly put the Parasol into a turning dive as he attempted to give the Lieutenant a clear shot at their attackers. The man is a wizard with the Lewis and scared off one of the Eindeckers immediately while the other continued to press his attack. Swany was jinxing and twisting to stay out of the enemy's line of fire, but despite his best efforts the Hun pilot still managed to lace the side of the Morane between both cockpits. It was only pure dumb luck that resulted in neither of the British airmen being hit. After some further turns, dives, and gyrations Christopher at last got a good burst of fire directly into the engine of the Hun plane, causing it to go into a tight spin. They lost sight of the Eindecker as it dropped into the haze beneath them. Brief moments later Swany suddenly realized how low they gotten as bullets from the enemy trenches below went zipping past. The young pilot turned his nose west as fast as he could, and he tossed his bus about in the process to throw off the aim of the gunners. He ended up with a handful of vents in his right wing anyway. Swany and Christopher then attempted to locate the other two members of their flight but to no avail and finally had to give up looking and return to camp without them. They learned later that both had been damaged in fights with other EA and had been forced to land, one on the western edge of Loos, and the other in a field about two miles short of Auchel. Once back home, the team of Swanson and Dent turned in their reports and claim forms and went for breakfast where they were told a short while later that the main wing spar in their mount had been shot through and it would take until tomorrow evening to repair it. There would be no flying for them until the 19th, at the earliest, as the squadron was now short of available aeroplanes. This was just fine with Swany as it would likely take that long for the young man's nerves to settle back down to a reasonable level of calm.

Not what one wants to see coming at them.
[Linked Image]

Also, not what one wants to see coming up behind them. Thank God for a gunner/obs who knows how to shoot.
[Linked Image]

Finding one's self far too low over No Man's Land and incurring the wrath of the enemy gunners.
[Linked Image]

Back at Auchel, relatively safe and sound, despite the holes in the fuselage and wing.
[Linked Image]

Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/18/19 03:41 PM

Lou, congrats on the first confirmed claim! Let’s try two for two. Here’s to dumb luck!
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/18/19 04:04 PM


Thanks Fullofit. I will be very, very surprised if this one gets confirmed as there were no witnesses at all. Swany and Christopher ended up on their own fighting off that last Hun. So, no flight members to confirm, and too far from the British trenches to hope for ground confirmation, but we'll see. Miracles do happen.

Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/18/19 04:13 PM

Well done, Lou.
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/18/19 05:06 PM


Thanks Carrick. I have to say, it is some seriously scary stuff going up against multiple Huns with the Morane. I have a newfound respect for the RL pilots who had to do it, (not that I didn't have great respect for them already, mind you).

Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/19/19 12:44 AM

18 January, 1916 11:05
Toul, Verdun Sector
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

Gaston is getting the hang of locating the factories and managing to place his bombs on target. It helps that he’s already been to this particular one at Vigneulles les Hattonchatel. He led Cpl. Sourdiac in B flight who, along with Adj. Mezergues in A flight, were in turn escorted by no less than 3 N-10’s from Esc 31. It is nice to have a protection flying with you. There is a perceived morale boost when going over the line in force. The job becomes that much easier. Instead of dividing your attention between navigating and scanning for enemy planes, all one has to do now is simply check for your escorting flight. If they remain in their normal position, then you know you’re safe. The escort will spot the enemy long before you do and will give chase, so that you can continue with your mission. Gaston took advantage of that fact and concentrated solely on navigating to the target area. The factories were easily located and attacked by all flight members with the escorts being treated to a fireworks display. There were good hits and they left the factory engulfed in smoke. The return trip was uneventful and everyone landed safely, including all members of the escort flight.
Later that day Adjutant Dumas was giving a tour to the new arrival. It was the replacement for Sergent Reille killed on the 15th. They caught up with Gaston in the mess where he was just finishing his serving of la gnôle. Dumas introduced him as Sgt. Ernest Durand. In Gaston’s eyes the boy wasn’t older than poor Reille. Hopefully he will last longer than him as well.
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/19/19 01:20 AM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
4 Sqn Rfc.
Allonville, Flanders

Jan 18, 1916.

Posted for a 2 a/c Arty Spot, but had problems. The 2nd machine had problems after take off so went home. My lone a/c was conducting the spot for a battery of 75mm quick-fires seemed spot on. However , in 7/10ths cloud cover and at 3000 meters , we didnt see much except 2 mono planes heading for us. As we twisted and turn , My Ob got off 17 Rds of MG fire ( 3 Bursts ) No hits just a lot of noise. What save us was Archie and a few MG nests on our side chased the Huns off.

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Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/19/19 06:59 PM

Great reads with my Saturday morning coffee. Looks like the action is heating up for many of our intrepid rookie pilots. I do hope Aleck's doctor clears him for flying soon so I can join back in smile
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/19/19 10:17 PM

19 January, 1916 10:00
Toul, Verdun Sector
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

It was a miserable day with heavy clouds and ground mist hanging in the air, yet the command insisted the conditions were satisfactory to take the B flight over the lines to bomb troop camp near Mars-la-Tour. This task was assigned to Gaston and Cprl. Sourdiac was to follow him. It was difficult to navigate to the target with most of the ground obscured by thick clouds. Once near the target Gaston noticed two enemy machines flying nearby.

[Linked Image]

Apparently German command was just as reckless with their pilots as the French one. Voscadeaux promised himself to go after them following the attack on the camp. For now he remained committed to attacking the troops as ordered. It was difficult to make out any of the ground features and Gaston almost missed his target completely. He noticed it as he was flying over it.

[Linked Image]

It was too late to drop his bombs and had to turn around for another go. Flying through the clouds made aiming difficult, but Gaston was positive his bombs found the intended target.

[Linked Image]

He immediately switched to tracking the two Aviatiks but they were long gone and out of view when Gaston took extra time to make a second run after he failed to drop his bombs on the initial approach. The Flak was starting to get closer and Voscadeaux decided to abandon his search. His gunner, Becquerel gave up his search as well and announced it by angrily slamming his fist on the edge of the nacelle coaming.
“Don’t you worry. We’ll get them one of those days.” Gaston made a silent promise to his gunner. He quickly glanced at the compass and steered the Caudron south with Cprl. Sourdiac in tow. Finding the way home was much easier despite the gray cloud cover.

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Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/20/19 02:15 PM

Enjoying everybody's stories! I've been playing catch-up a little bit, but catch up I did! wink

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell,
St. Omer Aerodrome, France.
No. 20 Squadron RFC.

January 15 - January 19.

I have been in France for four days now.

On the afternoon of the 15th Archer and I were joined by 2nd Lt. Justin Edwards - we were the last of the 20 Squadron Aeroplanes to leave Netheravon, and we were all on B.E’s. As my machine lifted into the sky, Edith peering over the edge of the front cockpit and waving goodbye to the hangars, I felt a sense of exhilaration at the thought that, in only three hours, I would be at St. Omer, our new home in France! It was only as we banked towards the Southern coast that I realised we had to get across the English Channel first.

During the water crossing, Edith’s face no longer wore his trademark grin. Instead, he sat painfully still, one hand gripping the side of the cockpit. The man had turned white as a sheet - when I asked him about his reaction later, he told me of the countless horror stories he had heard at Netheravon, of pilots engines’ failing in the middle of the Channel, where no machine can glide to land from. Not a soul in that predicament had survived.

By any means, our three B.E’s made it across safe and sound, and we landed at the Aeroplane Depot at St. Omer to collect our new F.E.2s. Edith and I picked out A6338 for ourselves - the rigger at the Depot scoffed at our choice, and let slip “Good luck to you!”, but any of the machines waiting for us were a marked improvement on the B.E’s we arrived in - so we were perfectly content with our choice as we lifted again for the second leg of our journey!

The sky was fading to dusk as we approached our new aerodrome, the Cirrus clouds above bronzed by the sun’s rays against a salmon-pink sky. Ahead of us Edith pointed out a lone Fee wheeling around the sky gaily - it was Jacky-Boy, up getting the lay of the land as per the Major’s instruction. We landed smoothly, as did Archer and Edwards, and de-planed, pulling off our cold-stiff flying gear. A Batman, Cpl. Weston, appeared before us in order to get us all billetted and settled in - after a cup of tea, naturally!

Of course, the Officers were given first refusal on what billetts were available. For the most part, they shacked up in two lovely red-tile roofed halls, which sat just to the rear of the fabric hangars (or at least, the spot in which the hangars would be!). The Commissioned pilots took control of one such hall, and the Observers took the other. Jacky-Boy decided to take Switch-off under his wing, and the pair are sharing a cozy little ‘room’ - thin drywall has been put up to create rooms in the building.

I was to share a large brick building with my compatriots from Netheravon - Archer and Jimmy Reynard. Fortunately, the airfield was excellently equipped for our outfit, and we had the entire Sergeant’s quarters to ourselves! This led to an episode of arranging the beds into two ‘forts’, in a drunken bout of nonsense, which we then proceeded to use as two ‘bases’ for our (rather distasteful, for poor old Jimmy,) re-enactment of the various battles fought in Scottish wars of independence, of old. This eventually led to the iron boiler earning the weird nickname of ‘Stirling Bridge’ after, in an impressive feat of rough-housing, in which Jimmy threw Archer and I, one by one, halfway across the floor and crashing into our ‘Castle’! If Edith had seen it, he may have put the red-headed brawler in for a M.C. But, where were the other NCOs?!

As Weston later explained, once we’d sought him out, the road transport column had become stuck in Rouen, due to the constant sluggish flow of vehicles down the veins of roads, all pumping towards the heart that was the frontlines. On top of that, the convoy had apparently run short on fuel, and would have to stop for more. So - we had arrived, but all of our supplies had not! Nor had the 95-or-so NCOs, including our Ack-Emmas, that left with the convoy - us Sergeant Pilots and Cpl. Weston were the only enlisted men on the aerodrome for now - a daunting thought!

As for our machines, the best three were crowded into the three rickety old wooden workshops for the time being. Our six-or-so fabric hangars were still in Rouen with the convoy! The rest of the machines were simply tied down and left outside.

The next morning, after Archer, Jimmy and I had hastily disassembled our castles and re-arranged the quarters into a presentable condition, Edith and I boarded A6338 and, after Weston had spun our prop (a spectacle in a Fee - he had to duck under the rear struts and stand in-among the ‘birdcage’ tail!) we took off into a foreboding cloudy sky in order to familiarize ourselves with the landscape. East-by-Northeast of us was the city of St. Omer, and just to the Southeast is Lumbres. Both serve as such good landmarks that I scarcely bothered checking the roads and railway lines! We ventured slightly further East, getting as far as the sleepy town of Hazebrooke before turning back. I am very glad of the two large towns near our aerodrome, as there don’t appear to be many landmarks in the immediate area otherwise! Later in the evening, the Major organised our squadron into three flights. I was assigned to ‘B’ flight.

Then, the big day came - the one that we had been equal parts dreading and anticipating - our first excursion to the frontlines.

The day had already gotten off to a good start, as we awoke to the sound of the mass of trucks arriving. Our convoy was here! Immediately after pulling up, NCOs piled out and begun feverishly working to flesh-out the skeleton of our aerodrome. Tents appeared from thin air, hangars were erected in record time, all before our eyes an aerodrome seemed to materialise from out of the silver morning dew!

In among the organised chaos, three Fees were wheeled onto the field by a ragtag group of Ack-Emmas. Edith and I were to make our maiden voyage to the lines alongside two new arrivals to the Squadron, Capt. Graves, an ex. Royal Field Artillery man who was to be our leader in ‘B’ Flight, and 2nd. Lt. Reid. We had been ordered by the Major himself to fly out to Givenchy, in sector FF4105, in order to “get used to flying over the mud”.

As we boarded our machine I was terribly braced, and shared in Edith’s grin as the recently-arrived Ack-Emmas spun my prop (more efficiently than poor old Cpl. Weston), and soon we had lifted, headed East! I was practically buzzing with excitement as Cpt. Graves pointed our flight of three towards Lillers, and found myself already scanning the skies for marauding huns! Edith, I noticed, was doing just the same.

We initially headed East down low, as the sky was nice and blue but heavily clouded, with plenty of low Cumulus. As we passed by the Etang de Romelaere (a small lake, the name of which I learned from our Louvert Mapping Co. Maps, which are excellently detailed), Edith swung around to face me, with the widest cheshire-grin I’ve seen him wear yet, and leaned back to pat me roughly on the shoulder, as if to say “This is it, here we go!”. I laughed and waved him away, as he had effectively completely limited my forward view! Laughing, he slumped back into his seat and begun to restlessly check the Lewis gun in the front Nacelle.

Finally we turned Eastwards over St. Omer, and opened our throttles full. For the third time so far, I was surprised at the extra power the 160hp Beardmore had over the B.E’s 90hp engine. Cpt. Graves led us into a long spiralling climb around St. Omer, during which Edith got out his Eastman Kodak Brownie, a lovely little personal camera which he tended to carry around with him wherever he went, and took a photograph of Reid’s Fee, out in front of us. Thoughtfully, he took a second photograph for me - if this becomes a trend, I will have quite the scrap-book to show around by the time we’ve won the war!

At 7,000 Ft. we headed towards the Front. The trip out was uneventful, save for a chance encounter with a pair of F.E’s from ‘A’ Flight, returning from their own ‘inspection of the Lines’. We waved to each other in passing.

Finally, the front came into view - a shocking dark scar, splitting France’s face in two - and I peered down at the awful hell and carnage below. God, the pictures in the papers barely did it justice, it was a horrendous sight. Edith’s camera stayed put as we crossed over the first darkened patches of mud. Below, I could make out the silent black lines of trenches, stretching out across the front, and felt a surge of pity for the men that had to occupy them. I wonder if my old outfit, the Sherwood Foresters, were down among those trenches I was regarding from the safety of the clouds. For an instant my pity turned to guilt. Just across the lines, the ominous shape of a German ‘Drachen’, or Sausage, balloon hung in the sky, silently watching over the fields of battle. I was at once thrilled to be looking at the enemy for the first time, and would have gone over to attack the balloon, had I not been bound to my flight leader!

We drifted close, but not over, the German lines, and I peered down at them. I saw nothing, but knew that thousands of enemy troops must be down there. Grinning like a child as he did so, Edith pointed the gun towards the lines, before turning back to me and winking. We didn’t linger long - Capt. Graves circled around, with Reid and I in tow, back onto our side. We had scarcely been over the front longer than 10 minutes, however, when the engine behind me suddenly backfired and begun to rumble and groan in an awfully worrying way, before lurching to a halt. It had stopped completely! Concernedly, Edith looked back at me, as I listed away from the formation, firing a distress flare as I did so, and begun to gradually descend. I tried to shout for Edith to find a nearby aerodrome on his map for us to land at, but the wind tore away my voice. Cautiously, I continued my descent and switched the Magnetos off, to prevent a fire should we crash upon landing.

To our right was Bethune - looking at my map, I spotted Hesdigneul Aerodrome nearby, to the South-West. I swung the now-silent Fee around and begun scanning the ground for the aerodrome. Ah, there it is. Gradually I let the Fee fall, calculating where I would need to be, and at what height, in order to make the landing. After a few hair-raising moments, we were down safe and sound, and the Ack-Emmas of No.15 squadron lazily strolled towards us. “Enjun Trooble, Seh?” A Liverpudlian Corporal called out to me, as I hoisted myself from the Nacelle, followed by Edith. I went to respond, but Edith, of course being my senior as a Captain, responded on my behalf. “Aye, she cut oot aroon’ 7,000 feet an’ we had tae glide her in. Hope we’re no causing any bother!”. The Corporal seemed taken aback by the Captain’s lack of condescending tone. “We’ll ‘ave ‘er fixed up right away, seh. I’ll let the Adjutant know yer’ here”. He responded, before gesturing to the other Ack-Emmas to wheel the machine in. As he scampered off, Edith called after him “Call St. Omer - Tell ‘em that Captain Edith and Sergeant Campbell are safely down!”. The corporal waved a hand in acknowledgement.

We lunched with a Captain Ellicott in the Officers’ mess - a rare luxury for me - as Edith nattered away about matters and grievances that occur above my station, before a sheepish knock on the door announced the reappearance of our Scouse Ack-Emma. Poking his head through the door, he spoke: “Seh, your machine is ready t’ go”. Edith beamed. “Why, thank ye, Corporal! Well, we’ll no take up any mair o’ yir time. Thank ye for the lunch!”. And with that, we were promptly off and back into A6338, and within minutes we were back up in the air and heading back to St. Omer. Upon our return, our chief mechanic, a rather cynical fellow, insisted that our bus remain grounded until the next day while he doubly-inspected the work of the 15 Squadron mechanics.

On the morning of the 18th I was pleased to see that ‘B’ flight wasn’t scheduled to go up until quarter-to-three. With the whole day free, Jacky-Boy and I went on an excursion to St. Omer by car (with an unfortunate Ack-Emma conscripted as a chauffeur). I found it to be a beautiful city, yet untouched by the creeping hell of war only a few miles East. Tall, white houses lined the streets, and a Churchyard by a bridge crossing a small stream was a particularly pleasant sight. The people seemed quiet, reserved. Probably hoping the war wouldn’t decimate their homes.

We made our way to a quaint little Cafe - the Vincent - and stepped inside, where we were met with an ocean of green RFC Uniforms. Aha! So we had found the correct locale! We took a seat and a petite, attractive waitress approached us. “Good Morning, Monsieurs!” She happily chirped. “Coffee?”. I nodded. “Please.” She poured the coffee, which tasted exquisite, and beamed at us before running off to fetch us both a menu. We looked through, and were surprised by the variety, given that a war was on! We eventually settled on the breakfast hastily pencilled in at the bottom, which simply read - “Anglais petit déjeuner ”, and were thrilled when a Full English, complete with fried sausages and tomatoes, appeared before us, brought over by the same waitress. “Ah, mon héroïne!” Jacky-Boy explained, and attempted to put an arm around her waist, which was batted away at a speed to rival our Fees. She laughed, backing away from my eager colleague, and spread her arms out. “Monsieur, do you not see all these Aviateurs? You’ll have to do better than them all!” she chuckled, before winking and striding away. The pilots around us chuckled, before going back to their individual conversations.

“Oh, she is delightful,” Jacky-Boy said, grinning at me, and I laughed and shrugged. “True, but it is as the young Mademoiselle says - she has her share of suitors already, clearly!”. Jacky-Boy’s eyes glinted. “No match for me, dear boy. You’ll see”. I laughed again. “Just don’t go into a spin, Jacky-Boy!”. “Whyever not? She has plenty of rudder to kick, I’ll get out of it juuuust fine”. I choked on my coffee.

We made it back with an hour to spare before ‘B’ Flight’s sortie, and I decided to write a quick letter home, detailing my arrival at France and my first experience of the lines and an unintended engine failure. At half-past two, Edith found me and we donned our flying gear. Edith handed me a tub of foul-smelling paste. “Here, boyo, get this oan yer face. It’s whale grease- it keeps the cold awa’ “. Grimacing at the odour, I heeded the Captain’s order.

Laughing merrily at my screwed-up face, Edith slapped me on the back with a force that sent me a step forward. “Ach, ye’ll get used tae the smell in no time at all!”. Miserably I reflected on my own chances with the young waitress if I were to continue wearing the whale grease, as we boarded old A6338.

Our briefing was nice and simple - local, too. We were to make a quick sweep over Boisdinghem, only about 10 miles West of us, before returning to land. To me, it seemed rather like a waste of fuel. Why would we be at any risk so far behind the lines? But, the Major had deemed it necessary, and so up we went in our three F.E.2s. Anyway, the sky was beautifully clear and the wind was low - a perfect flying day!

We happily cruised along for a while near St. Omer, when suddenly I noticed that Edith was staring intently upwards and to the right. I followed his gaze, but saw nothing. Focusing my eyes, I stared into the blue, and picked up three specks. One was far larger than the others, which appeared to be mono-wing designs. A B.E.2 being escorted by two Morane-Saulnier monoplanes. Curious - I was under the impression that only the French used those monoplanes! My interest quickly faded, and I turned back to watch Cpt. Graves’ machine. Ahead of me, Edith seemed agitated and, to my surprise, he begun to ready his Lewis gun. What the devil had gotten into him?

We completed our patrol, and after we landed Edith jumped down from the Nacelle grinning ear-to-ear. “Ha! Guess they Huns didnae fancy it, eh?” he boomed, and I looked at him, puzzled. “Huns? What huns?”. “Och, the Fokkers that went over us!” he retorted, and I gasped. Of course! No, the RFC didn’t have Morane scouts - but they looked just like Eindeckers! And the B.E - why, it must have been an Aviatik!

The 19th begun similarly to the previous day - no sortie until 3PM, plenty of time to visit the the Vincent Cafe, and its alluring waitress. It was less crowded this time, but still peppered by RFC types. As expected, the waitress appeared. “Hello again, Monsieur. Coffee?” I nodded, smiling. “Your eager friend is not with you today,” she stated, as she poured the coffee. “No, he’s out flying this morning”. I replied, and she sighed. “Yes, the mornings can be lonely in here” she replied, and I looked up. Absentmindedly I let slip the response of “Ah, but pretty girls like you don’t ever really get lonely”. “Quoi?” she exclaimed, and leaned back. I went red. “Oh, I, erm, my apologies”. With one hand on her hip, she cocked her head to the side and smirked at me. “You Aviateurs are all so forward!”. I laughed nervously. “A slip of the tongue. Not my intent. Why, I don’t even know your name yet!”. The corners of her mouth flicked upwards. “Jeanne”. I downed my coffee in one go. “Graham”. She extended a hand, which I shook. “Well, Graham, it is a pleasure. Your Coffee is finished - would you like more?”. I paused. “Well, actually, do you happen to have any teas here?” her eyebrow raised in amusement. “Huh. Well, I shall have a look”.

After Jeanne had fished out an old tin of green tea, and I had enjoyed a cup with my breakfast, I made my way back to St. Omer aerodrome in plenty of time for our sortie. Edith appeared, and nodded to me. “Ah, afternoon, Graham. Oot on the Toon again? Fin’ yersel’ a girl there?” he teased, and for the second time I went red. “No,” I lied. “Aye well, forget her because we’ve to look after an observation balloon today. The Hun have been sending Fokkers over te have a crack at it all morning”.

And so, Three O’Clock came around and we boarded our machines, lifting into the sky. Graves led us over St. Omer, where we began to climb. Our balloon was over Bethune, in sector FB6155 - not too far to go. Along the way I listened carefully to my engines, and kept my eyes peeled for huns behind our lines.

Over the mud, the RPM of A6338 begun to drop, and I feared that the temperamental old girl would cut out on us again. Fortunately, she stayed in the air this time. I now see what the Ack-Emma at the Depot meant! As we circled South-West the sun hit our eyes. Squinting, I stared into the light and made out the silhouettes of two machines, coming our way from the English lines. As I stared, I took in the details of their silhouette. Ahead of me, Edith stared also. Squinting, I begun to think that….yes! Aviatiks! I tried to signal Graves, then Reid, but their engines were obscuring their view of me, so I tapped Edith on the shoulder, and pointed. All the laughter gone from his face, and looking scarily serious, he nodded to me. So, it was settled. I begun to climb up to meet the Hun. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Graves and Reid doing the same. We approached the Huns from their front, and without any hesitation Edith fired a quick burst at them. Alarmed, the Huns wavered in the air, before deciding to continue straight over their heads. I followed from below, but Edith’s gun couldn’t get high enough to reach them. Not the front gun, at least…

I levelled out, and begun to overtake the two Aviatiks. Seeing my plan, Edith immediately jumped up and charged the rear-facing Lewis, pointing it upwards in anticipation. I grinned as he started firing up at the Huns, but the top wing obscured my view of the action. I drifted off-course and Edith waved me left, so I turned in to the Aviatiks once more and this time we approached from behind. Edith really let the trailing Hun have it this time, and I let out a cheer as it’s lower Starboard wing broke away! But, the tough German machine merely wobbled, and kept flying. At that point I strayed too close and a hail of gunfire suddenly tore through our machine. In shock, I peeled away, but Edith waved us back on. Steeling my nerves, I continued to chase the wounded Aviatik - we were now getting dangerously close to the Hun lines.

This time, I approached below the tail of the Hun, putting his tail between his observer and us. Edith took aim and fired upwards again, into the fuselage. As we watched, a thin snake-tongue appeared at the side of the aeroplane. I blinked, and looked again...yes, still there! As I watched, the tongue grew, and before my very eyes the Aviatik was suddenly engulfed in flames. Listing away to the side, it fell straight down. It was a terrible sight, and I felt perfectly sick at the thought of the Huns in the machine, burning as they fell. Edith was the man with the gun - he must have felt even worse. We didn’t think of the poor old Hun for long - we had drifted over the lines, and overstayed our welcome, and now Archie was hammering away around us. It was my first time being archied, and it was terrifying. As we flew I could hear the whistle and see the white-hot streams of shrapnel coursing past, and the aeroplane shook with every near-miss. One particularly close burst sent us several feet upwards. Edith gripped the sides of the Nacelle with both hands as we made a desperate run back towards our own lines.

Eventually, the hellish Flak subsided, and we gratefully drifted across the lines. I looked out to the wings, and saw several holes through them from the Aviatik’s return fire, as well as a snapped spar in the upper Port wing. Fearing that the aeroplane may break apart under stress, I made the decision to land at the first English aerodrome I saw. Embarrassingly, we ended up putting in at Hesdigneul again, and we were greeted by our Scouse friend, who whistled as he looked at the bullet holes in our machine. “Busy day, Seh?” he remarked, and the pair of us started laughing like idiots.

Needless to say, the Major was not impressed with us, and coldly ordered us to make our reports, ignoring our claim of an Aviatik sent down in flames.

That night, we had an almighty binge in the mess.

Historical Notes:

1) A6638 was one of the original FE2sin service with No. 20 Squadron.

2) As written, when No.20 arrived at St. Omer, their supplies, which were travelling by road, along with 99(!) NCOs, was stuck behind them due to fuel issues and overcrowded roads!

3) In the town of St. Omer there was a real Vincent cafe, with a real 'Jeanne', who was adored by RFC personnel for her fantastic coffee! Although, our Jeanne has received a little bit of the Hollywulfe treatment wink

Additional Note: Regrettably, it seems that WOFF hasn't saved any of the screenshots I took during my sorties. Sorry frown

Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/20/19 03:40 PM

Hollywulfe, excellent piece of storytelling. Wonder who’s going to put in a claim report on Jeanne first? Congrats on that downed Aviatik even though it went unconfirmed. At least we know.
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/20/19 05:17 PM

Hasse, Julius seems like someone I would like. Too bad we will have to try and kill each other if we meet over the lines.

Carrik, Nigel seems to be doing well.

Fullofit, Your stories are breathing life into Gaston.

Lou, Congratulations on the confirmed victory! Also, its good you survived that last encounter to enjoy it a while longer.

Lt. Mark Jericho
Auchell Aerodrome
Jan. 20, 1916

Jericho got his wish to meet the enemy. He and Whorton had done a few Arty spotting missions and a bombing mission of the front lines West of Lille over the last few days. They had been given a hardy "Excellent work!" for the bombing mission. All had been a walk in the park with fair weather.

On the 18th they were to bomb the front sector south of Dicksmuide. They had two Nieuports as escorts. The wind was throwing the machines all over the sky but other than that the flight was like the others. After dropping their eggs and turning for home Jericho felt a rap on his head, the signal for "enemy near". his blood was up instantly! He stayed in close formation waiting for another signal from Whorton and trying to see anything behind, which was almost impossible. He did catch a glimpse of a Nieuport chasing one the Hun Fokkers but that was it. After five minutes of suspense which seemed like hours Whorton gave the signal for all clear. He told Jericho later that the fight had been inconclusive.

On the 19th they were on a Recon mission NW of Monchy. It was rain and snow on takeoff but had cleared a little over the front. Nearing the patrol area Jericho could see 3, then four specks ahead at their altitude. Even though he had never really seen machines in combat, it was obvious that's what was happening ahead. He reached back and signaled to Whorton. As they neared the fight Jericho could see it was to BE's and two Fokkers. As they drew close one of the BE's broke for home with the Fokker close behind. They passed under Jericho about a 100' below. Jericho saw the German pilot look up at them as they went under! At that moment he heard Whorton fire a long burst as the Fokker cleared their tail. Jericho saw the Fokker peel off and turn NE. He was sure the BE pilot was grateful. He saw the other BE headed home with no enemy in sight. He scanned the sky a second time but it was clear so the 3 machines continued with their Recon work. Jericho was tense now, with his eyes continuously scanning the sky.

Jericho had almost relaxed when Whorton slapped him on his right shoulder which was the signal for a slow climbing right turn. Jericho nearly jumped out of his seat at the signal. He instantly obeyed the Captain's instruction and stealing a glance back saw a Fokker below climbing to meet them. At that moment Whorton gave him a whole drum from his Lewis! The Fokker turned tail with the onslaught, and Whorton gave him the "all clear."

Alford, the flight leader, decided they had had enough excitement for the day and signaled return to base so they all turned northwest. Jericho looked around and could not find No. 3, Dickens. Looking all around he spotted him below and behind. "All safe" he thought to himself. When he looked back again to check on Dickens he was startled to see a Fokker on his tail closing fast. His mind was racing as he calculated what to do and on instinct dove on the Fokker. His action caught Whorton by surprise and he had to grab the sides of the cockpit for support. As Jericho maneuvered to give Whorton a shot, the Fokker peeled away and headed east. As they pulled up beside the other Morane, Dickens and his observer gave a hardy wave. Jericho could see the bullet holes in the fuselage. He waved back and thought to himself, "hope you can return the favor one day Hoss!"

When they landed back at Auchell, Whorton jumped from the machine and turned to Jericho. "Wonderful bit of flying Lt.! You gave me a perfect angle on that Hun! I saw my bullets hit him by God! Wonderful flying, just wonderful!"

Jericho was stunned. That was the first time the Captain had given him a compliment! "Thank you Sir!' Jericho replied.

Dickens and his observer walked up with grins bigger than sunlight. "We owe you one Yank! You sure saved our beacon today old man! How about a drink on us?"

Jericho shook their hands. "I'm sure you would have done the same for me Hoss. No disrespect but I'll pass on the drink, but, If they have any belly wash on, I'll sure have that."

Dickens looked puzzled. "Belly what?" he asked.

"Belly wash! You know, Coffee!"

"It will be my pleasure" Dickens replied.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/20/19 06:40 PM

MFair, that was an exciting read! With flying like that, Jericho is going to be an ace in no time. It also looks like most had drawn first blood already. Meanwhile Gaston still hasn’t even seen a single Fokker. Hopefully it’ll stay like that for a while.
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/20/19 09:37 PM

Thank you Fullofit. Yep, no need for you to be in a hurry to get killed! It’s a long war.

Wolfe, it seems in my haste I did not mention your story, and a whopping good read it was! My apologies Sir. Next time you must have witnesses!
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/21/19 01:32 AM

I've been immersed in two different rounds of labour negotiations, so today has been catch-up day, thanks to a blizzard that kept me inside all day. The writing we're seeing in this campaign is really inspiring. I hope you all find this bit of madness binds you to your pilot so tightly that your reaction to virtual combat has the hint of reality -- hence the "deep immersion" title of the campaign.

Maeran, some great shots of LaGorgue. Your description of the place and its initial atmosphere at this part of the war is really good. Wulfe, you continue to impress. I'm glad to see 20 Sqn safely in St-Omer. And great job picking up on the Cafe Vincent and the lovely Jeanne, heroine of many a memoir. I remember reading about her somewhere. Keep your hands off her, though. I saw her first! We're expected some great stuff from those DH2s.

Fullofit, I feel like Gaston is becoming an old friend. The tale of Reille's demise was a shock. 77_Scout: once again, we're thankful Aleck made it back safely. Ace, Drongo is getting closer to his RFC career -- can't wait to see him get his wings. Hasse, you have given us a real sense of who Julius is. I expect some great things from the boy!

Lou, hats off to you for the campaign's first confirmed victory. Your Morane is becoming a bit of a Hun magnet, so please be careful. Same to you, Carrick. Being attacked by several Fokkers is not fun when you're in a BE2.

Anyway, here's the latest from Jim Collins...

An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins
Part Eleven: In which I encounter a skittish Fokker, an intransigent Gnome, and a connoisseur of Canadian whiskey

The first week at Auchel passed quickly. No 3 Squadron is devoted to spotting for the guns and, on occasion, photographing the Hun lines, and every day I become a little more at ease with our duties. Major Harvey-Kelly, as our Officer Commanding, is not really supposed to fly over the lines, but he explained to me in the mess that “If I see Huns to the east of my position, I can’t be properly over the lines yet.” His logic would extend the lines to Berlin. Still, it is first-rate to have a commander who leads from the front like the Major. I am told that Major Harvey-Kelly never flies without a potato in his coat pocket. It’s there in case he is shot down, he has said. He plans to use it to bribe the Huns into treating him well.[1]

My first experience with ranging for the guns was on the 15th, when I flew with Russel (whom we call “One-ell”) down to La Basée, just north of Lens. I flew with the Major on one side and Sergeant Bayetto on the other and felt quite safe the whole while.

Spotting is great sport, and as the operation of the wireless set falls to the pilot in a Morane, it is very satisfying. The Parasol allows a wonderful field of vision, and my first task was to find the target. East of La Bassée stood a partially-destroyed enclosed farm in which the Hun had established a battery of field guns. I paid out the antenna wire and made contact. Then I confirmed the location and transmitted the location using the coding on my squared map of the area. We were supporting a siege battery – heavy guns. The first round landed short and off-line right. The drill was to correct the line first. I tapped away. It took two rounds to get the shells on line, and two more to bracket the target. I halved the correction and sent one more transmission. The next round sent up a cloud of red dust from the farm’s roof tiles. I sent “OK” and enjoyed the spectacle as our guns removed the Hun battery from God’s creation. And so we returned for tea and toast.

Russel, my observer, and I were flying alongside Lieutenant Lillywhite and Sergeant McCudden on 17 January 1916. Lillywhite had been a flying instructor at Hendon and had flown in Egypt. He was commissioned from the ranks and had been with the squadron for several months.[2] Sgt McCudden was an interesting man. He’d joined the RFC well before the war as a mechanic and was considered the best we had. He had served with 3 Squadron throughout the early days on the war and the 1914 retreat. But of late he was in the air as an observer more than in the shops, and was highly valued by the officers. He’d been recommended for flying training and expected his travel papers any day.

We spotted two Hun two-seaters. They flew rather close to us before we saw each other. I gave chase for five minutes, following them east over the lines. “One-ell” fired a few bursts at long range, but the hostile machines dived away.

The next day was my first real taste of war fighting in the air. Sergeant Bayetto’s machine and mine were to escort Lillywhite and McCudden on a spotting show near Ypres. We were approaching the lines south of that city when I felt a shove on my shoulder. I looked back at Russel and immediately saw the thin outline of a Fokker monoplane diving on us and only a couple of hundred yards away. Russel fired at the machine as I turned to our right and dived slightly to throw Fritz off his aim. The yellow Hunnish machine passed over us and dived away to the northeast. He quickly headed towards his own side of the lines. I could see Bayetto and Lillywhite being assailed by another Fokker about a mile to the east and I headed in their direction. Their Hun disappeared.

Back at Auchel we found a single bullet hole in the right side of our plane, near the wingtip.

Swanson bagged a Hun on the 17th! It took a day for the confirmation to come in, but it did at last. We had quite a binge that night. The Major is taken aback somewhat at our two Americans’ reluctance to drink. Swanson is not quite the Puritan that our cowboy, Jericho, is but he made a single whiskey and soda last the better part of two hours. I’ll have to take the boys on as a project, I’m thinking. You can never fully trust a man with no public vices.

On 19 January I had another new experience. We were one of three machines escorting Major Harvey-Kelly to the lines west of Lens, where he was photographing the enemy defences. We had scarcely approached the front when the Gnome began making a hellish noise and splattering oil on my windscreen. I switched off and headed west, picking my way between heavy clouds that were dropping a cold drizzle on the sodden trenches below. I had bags of altitude and picked out a nice straight stretch of road south of Bethune to put the machine down.

[Linked Image]
"I switched off and headed west..."

Bethune, by the way, is a wonderful spot to visit. Swany and Jericho and I have gone into town several times. There are at least a dozen shops where one can find the most excellent pastries, but by far the most popular is a bakery and café called “Café du Globe.” Jericho may not be an accomplished drinker, but in the Globe I have seen the man devour a dozen fancy pastries and drink an entire pot of tea at a sitting.[3] I regret that we are not hut-mates, but my American chums live in a fine wooden hut at the field while I am billeting in the town a few hundred yards away. Still, we get together nearly every night in the mess.

[Linked Image]
The Grand Place in Béthune, 1914. The Café du Globe can be seen in the background.

On 20 January we flew an uneventful reconnaissance. The highlight of the day came at lunch, when letters from Mum and Dorothy arrived, along with my long-awaited cases of Collins’ Yukon Gold and Berry Brothers’ Ginger Cognac! The Major has condemned the former as “vile rotgut fit only for coolies and Canadians.” The others seem to appreciate its fine nose and warming effect, albeit in alarming quantities. The Ginger, however, has been well received and is hoarded away for special occasions.


[1] According to Maurice Baring, Maj. Harvey-Kelly also carried a reel of cotton (spool of thread to those in N. America) for the same purpose.

[2] Robert John Lillywhite came from a proud cricketing family. His great-uncle William invented round-arm bowling, a cousin James represented Sussex and captained England in the inaugural Test of 1876-77. He joined the Royal Navy but was released on medical grounds. He then took his RAeC ticket and instructed at Hendon, both with the Grahame-White school. Enlisting in the RFC in August 1914, he served in Egypt and then in France with 3 Squadron. Injured in a motorcycle accident, he returned to England and was an inspector of RFC aerodromes. In September 1915 he was commissioned and later returned to duty in France.

[3] The Globe was apparently quite an elegant little place with a piano player. Reserved for officers, it was a favourite of the Prince of Wales and of the poet and historical novelist Robert Graves. The Prince, the future and short-lived Edward VIII, visited the front in late 1915. Graves was an officer in the 3rd Bn, Royal Welch Fusiliers.

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Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/21/19 01:36 AM

20 January, 1916 10:06
Toul, Verdun Sector
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

The word came from the higher-ups that today’s mission will involve bombing the rail yard at Verdun spurline NE junction. The flight will be lead by Adjutant Mezergues with Gaston acting as his wingman. The A flight will be composed of Sergent Levy and Caporal Sourdiac. They will meet up with a single Nieuport from Esc 31, which will provide cover.
Right from the start they’ve lost Sgt. Levy after takeoff with some sort of engine trouble. Voscadeaux tried to see if he made it back safely but lost him in the ground clutter. He’ll have to wait to find out if the crew of the plane is safe after they return from their mission. Gaston noticed 2 Aviatiks on the way to the target but didn’t dare to go after them before the bomb run. Adj. Mezergues led the flight over the target and dropped his bombs first. Gaston aimed and dropped them second, followed by Cpl. Sourdiac.

[Linked Image]

The bombing mission was a success with most of the munitions exploding near the sheds and the trains.

[Linked Image]

Looking back, they saw crates and equipment on fire. On the return leg Gaston saw again, most likely, the same two German planes, but too high to give chase. This is the second day in a row that the luck was on Boche’s side. One of those days it’ll run out and Gaston will be there to take advantage. While on final approach to the Toul aerodrome Gaston saw Sgt. Levy’s aeroplane being recovered by the crews.

[Linked Image]

It looks like the luck was also with them.

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Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/21/19 02:21 AM

Raine, thank you for another delightful and highly educational story. Who would have thought Jericho had such a sweet tooth? By the way, James should probably follow Major’s example and carry a bottle of the fine whiskey in his pocket on every mission in case he is brought down behind enemy lines. winkngrin
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/21/19 06:14 PM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
4 Sqn Rfc.
Allonville, Flanders

Jan 21, 1916.

More supplies arrived enough for a full Recon of 3 a/c Our Bristol + 2 BE's for photo mapping. However the laid plans often go down the Tubes. Our flight ran into those 2 Monoplanes again 1/2 way thru the flight. We scattered the twisted and turned to cover each other. My gunner got off 2 burst 10 rds no hits then I chase one that was dueling with our Bristol Escort. I couldnt get in position but the e/a turned on me and the Bristol got on his tail and shot him down by a forward AF so landed to SEE the e/a.

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Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/22/19 12:14 AM

Screenshots failed to save again! 'K' is the right button to press, isn't it? I blame Hun Spies...

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell,
No. 20 Squadron R.F.C,
St. Omer, France.

20th - 21st January, 1916.

I awoke late in the day to the droning of ‘A’ flight’s engines, as they took off for the morning patrol. ‘B’ Flight had been scheduled for an afternoon reconnaissance photoshoot. Rather than heading again to the Vincent, I decided to mill around the aerodrome, idly chatting with Ack-Emmas and pilots of No. 12 RFC - the other squadron based with us at St. Omer. No. 12 were on B.E’s and had suffered at the hands of the Fokker Eindecker - which, as we are quickly learning from No. 12 and ‘A’ Flight, are the scourge of our machines. At around Noon I bumped into Switch-off, who, to our happiness, has brightened up since his bout of homesickness in Netheravon. He beamed at me from above his crimson scarf, which now never left his neck (apparently he will even sleep wearing it, unless Jacky-Boy is having me on!) and begun to blurt out details of his first sortie to the lines. “Oh, Graham! It was extraordinary! Mud for miles and miles!”. I smiled, and nodded. “Yes, it’s quite the sight” I responded, feeling a strange sense of pity at the youngster’s enthusiasm, as for a brief moment the image of a burning Aviatik flashed into my mind. Absent-mindedly I allowed Switch-off to continue his creeping barrage of recollections, merely smiling and nodding automatically at the end of his sentences. Finally, the lad blurted out something about a “Letter to Mother” and merrily skipped away towards the Officers’ Mess. I breathed out heavily, and checked my watch. 14:30. Time to prepare for our flight.

Poor old 6338 was still being patched up by the Ack-Emmas, and so I was able to talk Archer into letting me borrow his bus, A6333. I mustn’t put a scratch on her, or Archer will have my head! He really has bonded with his machine, and constantly orders (and oversees) maintenance of the engine, guns, fabric, and just about anything else he can imagine might deteriorate on the aeroplane. As I donned my flying gear beside 6333, which was being given one final look over by the NCOs, Edith appeared before me, already fully equipped for our flight, the stench of whale grease invading my senses as he drew closer. Silently, he handed me the tub of the evil stuff, and I reluctantly applied the paste without a word. As I did so, Edith grinned at me, the corners of his thick black moustache curling upwards like that of a circus Strongman. Not long after, Graves appeared with his observer, closely followed by Reid, and we all climbed aboard our Fees. Props were swung, Chocks were cleared away, and we were off.

By now I was familiar with the route to Bethune, and scarcely needed to consult my map. As we approached the front lines, at 2300 feet, we formed a right edge formation, with Reid’s Reccie Bus in the middle, to protect from any possible attack from the front or rear. I sat at the back of the formation, which, admittedly, made me twitch slightly. Early that morning, some of the No. 12 boys were telling me that being ‘Tail End Charlie’, as they called the rearmost aeroplane, meant that the Hun would shoot you before anybody else! Ahead of me, Edith slowly scanned the skies, that same stone-faced coldness about him that he had when we attacked the Aviatiks. Out in front of us, there was a bright flash on the ground, and then I watched in amazement as in the same instant tonnes of earth were thrown skyward, hundreds of feet into the air. It was the beginning of an artillery barrage, fired by our guns on the German positions. Awestruck, I watched as explosion after explosion rocked the earth, one shell landing squarely on top of a farmhouse and simply causing it to vanish, as great clouds of dust raised up angrily and charged West, seeking revenge on the British artillerymen.

We passed the carnage by, and begun to list to the right, for Reid to make his photography run. In the Nacelle of his machine ahead, I saw his Observer lean over the side sickeningly in order to get as little of their Bus into the photograph as possible. I shuddered as I watched - any sudden movements by Reid and he would be tossed out the machine for sure! But Reid was a steady hand, and his Observer stayed put. By now the sky was darkening, the sun casting the clouds in a delicate pink hue, and above our heads the stars began to break through the blue. We circled back towards our own lines, and prepared for a second pass - we would have to act quickly, before the daylight became too dim. Looping around the outskirts of the still-ongoing artillery barrage, Reid’s observer again stood up, readying his camera. At once something caught my eye, an instant flash of light ahead of us. Archie? No - we were too close to our lines. There was another, closer, and this time Edith ducked down in the nacelle, turning back to face me with a worried look on his face. I looked out towards our lines and saw the flash of guns - then, to my shock, I caught a split-second glimpse of an artillery shell as it screamed past. Suddenly realising that we were in-between the guns and their target, and low enough to be right in the line of shot, panic rose in my throat and I gripped the flight stick with white knuckles until we had circled past and away from the arc of fire. Ahead of me, I saw Reid’s observer had ducked back into his seat - they must have noticed the shells too.

By the time Reid had made his second photography run, there was barely any daylight left, and the sky had darkened considerably. Within our own lines, a great white searchlight split the sky in half, slowly tracking something unseen to us, likely a Hun performing a similar task to us. Surely we would never make it back in daylight - a dreaded night-time landing awaited us. Edith knew this too, as I saw him check his wristwatch, frowning, before shooting me another concerned look. I nodded in acknowledgement, and we both turned to stare at Graves, willing him silently to turn us homeward. To our dismay, he instead looped around for a third reconnaissance run. I looked again at the cockpit clock - 4:35 PM. The sky would be pitch black by 5PM, and the ground too. Holding my breath, I followed our long arcing turn to reset our photography run. It seemed far too dark to take any useful pictures by now. We made our third run, and then, to mine and Edith’s elation, Graves turned us for home. We had one more grievance in store, however. As we flew over our trenches, our boys started firing up at us! Our Bus, or rather Archer’s Bus, was hit 6 times. I’m sure I will have to buy his drinks for a week.

As it turned out, I had been rather too dramatic about the dark, as it was a full moon that night and the moon’s rays afforded us enough visibility to make a comfortable landing. Once Edith and I had de-planed and removed our flying gear, we were approached by Jacky-Boy, who had organised a squadron evening trip into St. Omer, in order to conjure up all manner of mischief. Joined by Switch-off, Jimmy Reynard, Archer (whose drinks I did indeed need to supply), Pearson, Reid, and Edwards.

Staying true to his form, Pearson stumbled upon a piano in one of the drinking establishments we encountered, and we stayed there until twelve O’Clock barking out Patriotic songs and getting entirely too merry, before those of us that hadn’t passed out (which didn’t include poor young Switch-off, who we’d shamefully left asleep on a table two taverns ago) eventually made our way back towards St. Omer aerodrome.

As it turns out, our binge couldn’t have come at a worse time, for the next morning we were shaken awake by Cpl. Weston, with the most unwelcome news that we were transferring to Clairmarais. Falling out of bed, we clawed our uniforms on and stumbled out onto the aerodrome, where our Fees awaited us. Of course, Edith and I were among the unlucky airmen scheduled to fly a Bus, rather than drive over with the NCO convoy, and so I climbed into old 6338, rather wishing that the Tommies in the trenches yesterday had aimed better. Our bus seemed to relish in our torment, the sound of the engine piercing our skulls as we lifted into the sky alongside the other two ‘B’ flight Fees, and after a short and most unpleasant flight, in which Edith was sick over the side of the Nacelle, we arrived at our new home. We fell out of our machine, and I turned to Edith. “You were sick…” I mumbled, dumbly, and he shot me a cold look. “Aye, I was aimin’ fir a Hun sheep” he sarcastically responded. I managed a weak chuckle.

Clairmarais was considerably smaller than St. Omer, but we had it to ourselves. The Major and the Captains (including Edith) stayed in a lovely large country estate that sat just behind the hangars. Our Adjutant, Lt. Ellicott, also set his office up in this building. The rest of us were Billeted in St. Omer - and I was not far away from the Vincent! I was eager to visit Jeanne again, but before I got the chance Edith arrived with orders for me. “Switch-Aff’s at No. 1 Depot. He wandered in aboot fifteen minutes after we left. Goan’ over an’ get him, will ye, before the Major catches wind of our wee night raid to Omer!”. And so, enlisting the services of Cpl. Weston as a chauffeur, we went back across to St. Omer and picked up the fragile-looking young lad. He was the picture of misery when we finally collected him, and upon arrival at his Billet (which was on the second floor of the small town-house Jacky-Boy, Jimmy Reynard and I were staying in) he remained in bed for the day. Alcohol certainly doesn’t agree with him yet!

Some good news came when we re-assembled on the aerodrome at two O’clock. We were all to be free of flying duties for the next three days, save for Graves, who was to return to St. Omer to collect a Martinsyde that No. 20 had been charged with evaluating. For the rest of the day I thought it wise not to call upon Jeanne - at least, not in my after-binge state! Jacky-Boy, however, was not to be deterred, and at the first opportunity headed to the Vincent. He returned to our Billet fifteen minutes later, in a mood. “Engine trouble?” I teased. “Oh, shut up, Graham,” he retorted, slamming the door to his room as Jimmy Reynard and I burst into a fit of laughter.

I spent the remainder of the afternoon assembling photographs that Edith had given me into an impromptu scrapbook, fashioned from one of our standard issue notebooks.

[Linked Image]
Capt. Ken Edith, after a clean shave, taken by Jacky-Boy.

[Linked Image]
Testing the Lewis Mounts.

Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/22/19 12:33 AM

21 January, 1916 11:02
Toul, Verdun Sector
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

Adjutant Mezergues was leading Gaston north. He could tell this only by looking at his compass. The weather was terrible and every single little gust of wind made his plane rock and bounce in all directions, despite a full load of bombs. Each and every one of them had the name of the factory at Vigneulles les Hottonchatel written all over them. Gaston attempted to locate Sergent Sourdiac somewhere behind them in the A flight, but gave up rather quickly. Wiping his goggles from the incessant rain Gaston checked the position of the flight leader ahead of him. Mezergues led them through the cloud layers and Voscadeaux started to believe he could get them over the target even in his sleep. When Adjutant gave the signal, they all dropped their bombs in unison, even though no target was visible below. Gaston crossed his fingers for some good hits. It was time to get back. They were crossing the frontlines when they came in contact with two Aviatiks. This was only possible because of a gap that opened up in the otherwise monolithic wall of clouds. They were flying a good distance away: too far to mount an attack, but still close enough to observe each other. Keeping one eye on the leader and the other on the enemy, Gaston noticed some movement in the corner of his eye. Becquerel, his mountain of a man gunner was waving his arms around. Gaston quickly scanned the sky again expecting a Fokker right on their tail, but there was none. The sky was clear, or as clear as a cloudy sky could be. What was he doing? Why was he waving his arms? And then it dawned on him that he must be waving to the Germans. He was waving to them! What does he think they're going to do, wave back? Gaston looked at the machines in the distance and he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. The German crews were waving back! The sight made Gaston smile. He raised his free hand and waved back as well and then they were gone, hidden by the gray wall of precipitation. Voscadeaux looked at his gunner and could only guess that the man was grinning back at him through his bushy beard. He realized it was the first time since Christmas that for that one single minute the war ceased to exist.

[Linked Image]

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Posted By: lederhosen

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/22/19 09:46 AM

[Linked Image]

p.s..... how do you guys attache that smaller pic that expands when you click it at the bottom
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/22/19 06:56 PM

Originally Posted by lederhosen
p.s..... how do you guys attache that smaller pic that expands when you click it at the bottom

Click on 'Attachment Manager', in the Post Options section.
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/22/19 07:20 PM

Aleck A. MacKinlay
January 21, 1916

Good to be back at Abeele and cleared to fly. I will have to catch up my diary regarding my time in hospital when I have a spare few moments. Pretty dismal and I am just happy to be away from that place.

Accommodations here are looking up ... I have been moved into one of the two new shed-barracks recently finished, which is a great improvement.

Chris has been flying with another pilot and so I have been assigned to observer Captain Trevelyan, a rather gung-ho Irishman. He seems quite serious, all business.

Our assigned mission today was to patrol over enemy front lines. Bloody ridiculous! Sending BE2's to patrol into enemy skies?! Standing orders from the top apparently that we are to be 'aggressive' at all times and go looking for a scrap. I think Major Mills is taking this idea a bit far in sending us out is our slow BE2's; isn't that what the Fees and Bristols are for! To top it all off, I was to lead our little flight of two aircraft, on my first day back from a concussion, in a lousy snow storm!

Fortunately we saw not a hint of the enemy ... they are too smart to be flying around in such weather. Had yet another engine failure as we approached home. I landed very carefully on a roadway NE of Abeele and we were home by car by mid afternoon. After reporting to Major Mills, he apparently called in the head mechanic for a severe reprimand. Hopefully my engine problems will improve as a result.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/22/19 10:02 PM

22 January, 1916 11:05
Toul, Verdun Sector
Escadrille C17
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

Well, apparently the blind bombing of the factories didn’t go that well yesterday. The bombs either did very little damage or missed the target altogether. In either case, Gaston was now leading the new guy, Sergent Durand to do what they failed to do yesterday. Before takeoff Durand came up to Gaston and told him not to worry. All Gaston needed to do is to get them over the target and he’ll do the rest. The boy is full of himself, but better that than hiding under his mother’s skirts. A little cockiness never hurt anybody. Getting them over the target was easier said than done. Thick clouds laced the sky as far as eye could see. Gaston was afraid it would be a repeat of yesterday. The kid will be disappointed. They were to meet with their escort, a lonely Nieuport from Esc 65 halfway to the front and Voscadeaux felt relieved when the little scout appeared over their heads. It also made him feel more confident about his navigating skills. With the Nieuport watching over them Gaston concentrated on further navigation to the target, which consisted of looking out for small holes and gaps between the clouds and trying to figure out what that little view represented. It felt to him like he was playing a giant jigsaw puzzle. After 40 minutes of flying north Gaston estimated they should be somewhere near the target. The problem was there was no way of knowing with the thick clouds obscuring most of the ground. Voscadeaux decided to descend to a useful altitude. 1500m, 1300m, 1100m, 1000m, finally the landscape started to appear below. There it is ... a lake! What? There is no lake anywhere near the target. Gaston fumbled for his map and quickly realized he drifted by some 10 km to the west. He sheepishly turned east and started to look for additional landmarks. A gap appeared in the cloud canopy and sun started to peek through. It was at that exact moment that Gaston noticed the factory to his left with the walls bathed in the sunlight. It seemed like a sign from above. “Gott mit uns?” No, my little German friends. “Le Dieu est avec nous!” Voscadeaux aimed his Caudron at the “beacon” and checked on Durand. Still there, still following. As they approached the factories Durand pulled alongside Gaston’s machine. Seeing this Gaston smiled at the boy’s eagerness. Now over the target. Release! Voscadeaux’s and Durand’s bombs raced towards the target, impacting all around the large buildings and smaller sheds. Large columns of black smoke started to rise from the now obliterated factory. Durand went for another pass and more smoke and dust rose from the ruins. They will not recover from this one so quickly. Gaston was already pointed south for their return trip. As Durand rejoined the formation two more bombs hit the ground, too far to do any more damage. It must have been Adjutant Guytant in A flight, who opted for the blind approach from above the clouds. The return trip was uneventful and all flights landed safely. It was only 13:00 but Gaston was ready for a nap. A glass of wine and a nap.

Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/23/19 05:51 PM

Great stories, pics and videos Gents! I am happy to hear the squad is back to normal lederhosen.

Lt. Mark Jericho
Auchell Aerodrome
Jan. 23, 1916

All flights are cancelled. Jericho, James and Swany took transport to Bethune to have a good time. Swany and James were still ribbing Jericho for having to go around three times the night before until he could safely bring the Morane to ground in one piece.

“I thought you were the best pilot in the squad Jericho!” Jeames said with a grin.

“Ya, you had us all wondering if you were shook up.” Swany added

“Dang right I was shook up” Jericho replied. “Between the rain, snow, and it being dark I was a bit disoriented. To high the first time, two low the second time. So I just split the difference.”

“Just having a laugh mate,” James chimed in. “We are just glad you got her down in one piece!” he said as he slapped Jericho on the shoulder.

After a nice dinner with desert the the trio left to see some other sights. Walking in front of them was a French officer talking in stride with a women The conversation between the two was obviously getting heated when the officer stopped and lightly backhanded the young women.

Before James or Swany knew it, Jericho had spun the officer around and decked him with one punch. In an instant he was on the man making a mess of him. Swany grabbed Jericho in a bear hug and pulled him off of the officer. Swany was shouting for Jericho to calm down, using all his strength to hold him at bay. Truth be known Swany was the only one strong enough to hold the out of control man.

Jericho finally can to his senses and relaxed, holding his bloody palms out from under Swan’s arms in surrender. “Let me go Swany. I’m finished.” he said.

“We have to get out of here now!” James said. He slipped the women some money and ushered her away putting his finger to his lips in the universal language of “not a word.”

As they made their way back to Auchell in silence, James turned to Jericho and asked, “What in god’s name got in to you Jericho!?”

Jericho did not look up, “there was no need to treat a lady that way.” he replied.

“You do know that lady as you call her was most likely a prostitute don’t you” James asked.

Jericho looked up at James, “I don’t give a tinkers d#*n if she was the devils daughter. No one is going strike a lady and get away with it.” He then turned to Swany, “ Thanks for stopping me Pard. I would have been in some real trouble otherwise.”

They split up with James back at Auchell with Swany and Jericho making their way to their hut. “Thanks again Pard” Jericho said to Swany. “I owe you one.”
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/23/19 10:54 PM

MFair, And who said chivalry was dead?
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/24/19 01:10 AM

Fullofit, lets hope Jericho can live long enough for this to play out.
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/24/19 02:38 AM

Nice reading to go with my Coffee.
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/24/19 02:40 AM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
4 Sqn Rfc.
Allonville, Flanders

Jan 22, 1916.

Short flight today, The motor went U/S on the take off roll.

Attached picture CFS3 2019-01-23 18-33-48-07.jpg
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/24/19 02:47 AM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
4 Sqn Rfc.
Allonville, Flanders

Jan 23, 1916.

Down in the hanger , working on my kites motor. Just as well due to bad Weather. The Sqn is at full status with 12 Be's and 3 Bristol's Some one said bombs were moving up from supply.

Attached picture Cooper-1.JPG
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/24/19 01:01 PM

Carrick, better be careful with those! And don’t play with the arming mechanism.
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/24/19 04:55 PM

I say , Gotta see what makes em tick.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/24/19 06:39 PM

Originally Posted by carrick58
I say , Gotta see what makes em tick.

A ticking bomb is not a good thing. Run!
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/25/19 03:04 AM

Wow, the stories just keep getting better. Wulfe, you do a great job with Edith's broad Scots dialogue. And I'm getting jealous of your Fee as I bounce around in the Parasol, stalling in every high wind. Fullofit, it feels ominous reading of Gaston's experiences in the days leading up to the meat-grinder of verdun. Great video, too. Lederhosen, it was interesting to see you're in the Pfalz. That's one I haven't flown yet. I'm curious whether it feels at all different from the Morane. 77_Scout, good thing Aleck had a quiet return from hospital. I find the first couple of missions after a lay-off are always dangerous. MFair, I loved your story. Mine below is a tribute to it. Carrick, you were lucky the motor conked out when it did, another five or ten seconds could have put you in the trees!

Special thanks to Maeran for the great story idea and for the lyrics below.

An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins

Part Twelve: In which Bethune meets the Wild West

On the 21st and 22nd of January, I shivered my way through two reconnaissance flights, escorting Captain Mealing. The first flight was to the north of Ypres and the second to the south of Lens, so I got a good tour of the front. Then the snow began in earnest and the wind blew and angry wraiths of driven snow roiled and twisted over the frozen fields and the ice pellets rattled the mess window.

Sgt McCudden, whom I have already mentioned, has distinguished himself as both a mechanic and a fine observer, has been awarded the Croix de Guerre. It was awarded to him personally by General Joffre at an investiture in Lillers.

I spent Sunday 23 January quietly. The padre from Wing was to have held a Sunday Eucharist in one of our hangars but his driver put his car in the ditch, so I spent the entire day in the mess reading a smashing book, The Thirty-Nine Steps. It belongs to Johnson of “C” Flight, and goes next to Jericho. The mess steward is keeping a sign-up sheet for the thing! Around three, Swany and Jericho and I caught a drive to Bethune. We split up for shopping and I got a haircut at “Eugene the coiffeur,” a highly recommended spot. Eugene must have traded his scissors for a rifle as Madame ran the place, and a finer hand with a razor was never seen. She chatted merrily all the while and I understood every fifth word.[1]

[Linked Image]
Grande Place, Bethune

We reunited for a fine dinner at the "Hôtel de France," but the place was full of red tabs and French officers and officials so we repaired to the "Lion d’Or" off the Grande Place. There a lovely young girl named Agnes served a dish of meat and pastry and wonderful little cakes for dessert. Scarcely had we stepped back onto the street, laughing and singing, than Jericho dropped his parcels and sprinted ahead down the pavement. He'd seen a French officer slapping the girl he was with. Jericho appeared like a knight of old and put the officer down in the gutter with one blow. He then put a knee on the fellow’s chest and began to alter his appearance with a rain of punches. Swany pulled him away while I (gallant chap that I am) attended to the maiden. She was clearly unharmed, for she suggested that I looked in need of a drink and suggesting that I could perhaps “visiter chez moi.” Swany was in a great rush to get out of the area, for the Frenchman seemed to be of high rank. Luckily, our rendezvous with the squadron tender was only minutes away and we were soon safely back at Auchel where the tale of Jericho’s defence of a fille de joie brought many laughs – until the following day.

We were attending a lecture on military law given by the CO when, appropriately for the subject, an Assistant Provost Marshal and two grim-faced military policemen with starched brassards on their arms knocked on the door and interrupted Major Harvey-Kelly in mid-dissertation. Apparently, three British officers, two of whom were wearing RFC maternity jackets, had accosted a French colonel in Bethune the previous evening, and he asked if any of our officers had been in town that night.

I looked nervously at Swaney across the aisle, and Swaney looked at Jericho, and Jericho looked at his hands, which bore the scars of the evening in question.

“I am the Commanding Officer of this squadron,” the Major declared with an imperial air, "and I can swear on my honour that not one British officer from this squadron was in Bethune last night.” The A.P.M. touched his riding crop to his hat and thanked the Major. As soon as the door closed and the footsteps subsided he returned to the podium. “Before we resume our discussion on the proper completion of charge sheets, I should mention that all Canadian and American officers present shall be required to open a chit at the bar after dinner and to leave said chit open for at least an hour. Now, let us continue...”

Captain Mealing played the piano that evening while our fellow pilots and observer became sloshed. The boys paraded Jericho around in a chair like the Pope, until too drunk to keep him up there, they let him fall over a table, smashing it to firewood. But it was Major Harvey-Kelly who capped the night off with a song he’d composed on a napkin at the bar, all to the tune of the American song "When Johnny Comes Marching Home":

The shame of France left the Line
Skidoo skidoo
To beat the women and steal the wine
Skidoo skidoo
He met an angry airmen there
Who knocked him right across the square

Don't mistreat her or else beware
The Boxer of Bethune

Born too late for Agincourt
Skidoo skidoo
Too late for Waterloo
Skidoo skidoo
When he saw the Frenchman acting foul
He said "by Jinks, you'll do"

Don't mistreat her or else beware
The Boxer of Bethune

To all the mademoiselles of France
Skidoo skidoo
If you want better; now's your chance!
Skidoo skidoo
Oh, Landlord you've a daughter fair
With lily-white arms and golden hair

So raise a cheer and send a beer
To the Boxer of Bethune


[1] There was a "Eugene: Coiffeur" in Bethune. The place is mentioned in With the Tanks, 1916-1918, by W.H.L. Mason. Mason is also the source for the description of Agnes, the girl at the "Lion d'Or."

Attached picture Bethune2.jpg
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/25/19 07:36 AM

2nd-Lt Aleck A. MacKinlay
January 25, 1916

A very distressful day. Captain Trevelyan and I were tasked with a recon mission to scout for enemy movements near Lake De Blankaart (an area we are getting to know well!). As per new RFC tactics we were escorted by two additional BE2c's and a Bristol Scout.

Apparently we have been too often over this area as the Jerries were on hand to break up the party. My first encounter with the dreaded Fokker monoplane, and there were two of them.!

Bloody Buckminster flew on in his Bristol and didn't even see the enemy. Damned incompetent! Our three BE2's were in deep trouble against two attackers. I stuck close to Miller and we tried to use our mutual arcs of fire to drive off one of the Hun; a very persistent chap that was not easily put off. He seemed to have us dead-to-rights several times but only managed to hit us with a few rounds before giving up. A rookie pilot perhaps? Nonetheless, the bugger wounded both Treveyan (he says to call him Jimmy, but dammit, he seems too serious to be a Jimmy) and myself. 'Jimmy' got a nick on his scalp and I a bullet gash through my leg-calf.

We made it home pretty shook up and scared half to death. The Major sent us both off to Poperinge dressing station for wound treatment. The other fellows all made it home OK, but also pretty shaken by the encounter. Hunt and Marshall had to fend off the second Fokker alone and are lucky to be in one piece.

January 26: Arrived back at Abeele after lunchtime. Will not be able to fly for a couple of days. Lt Mcnaughton and 2nd-Lt Millar were killed in action today, which is a great loss for the Squadron; they had 4 kills to their credit. If they can be downed in a Fee, then what chance do we BE2 pilots have?

Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/25/19 02:55 PM


Great video. That Fokker was a determined fellow. I thought you did an excellent job of positioning yourself so that the other BE could support you. It must have been a real white knuckle flight.
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/25/19 04:10 PM


I just caught myself up with everyone’s adventures here, a pleasure as always.

77_Scout, that was a close one for Aleck. As noted by Raine, an excellent job of evasive flying and working with your wingman. Good video too.

Raine, nice bit of dovetailing into MFair’s latest episode. And I love the song!

Carrick, best to let ticking bombs lie.

MFair, Jericho is a man of chivalry as well as mystery, but I do hope his temper won’t drop him into some real trouble. Lucky Swany was there to keep him from killing that Frenchman.

Fullofit, Gaston has kept himself busy I see. He shouldn’t feel too badly about missing the target from time-to-time as that was par for the course back in the day. Nice video, by the way.

Lederhosen, great journal entry, well done. Also, I think your fellow might actually enjoy Ensisheim, it’s a lovely area.

Wulfe, more great reading, most enjoyable. I envy you the Fee, I always found it to be a fine early-to-mid war bus, both for flying and fighting.

2nd Lt. Swanson is now convinced that the enemy has made killing him and his gunner/obs, Lt. Dent, an utmost priority. With the exception of this morning’s sortie, which was an uneventful and quiet recce of the Hun trenches north of Loos, every outing over the last week has seen Swany and Christopher in go-rounds with multiple Eindeckers. The most harrowing was two days ago on the 23rd. B Flight had reconnoitered the back areas east of Loos and was turning to go home when a trio of Huns swept down upon them. Just when the boys from Auchel thought they had things under control another brace of Eindeckers joined the party. Swany did everything he could think of to keep the enemy from riddling their kite with holes while still providing Lt. Dent some shooting opportunities of his own. As if this weren’t enough, Archie suddenly found their range, savagely bouncing the Morane about in the bleak, rain-filled sky. Luck decided to change sides when Christopher managed a solid hit on the closest Hun, sending him looping down out of control. This discouraged the nasty fellow’s partner who promptly turned tail and headed back east. Swany guided his own mount towards camp at best speed, crossing his fingers that they would make it as the engine was now coughing and sputtering like a Norwegian lumberjack who’d just swallowed his snus. Fortune continued to smile on the pair long enough to get them back to Auchel in one piece, and after turning in their reports and claim forms, the two men went to the mess to take some tea and calm their nerves.

As to the recent claims submitted by Lieutenants Swanson and Dent: the one from a week ago was denied due to lack of corroboration; the one from two days ago was confirmed by a British MG squad in the frontline trenches south of Loos. This means Swany now has two confirmed victories, and the young fellow is as much surprised as he is pleased by this fact. He has also been forced to write home, directing his father to withdraw some of Swany’s savings from the bank and wire it along to him. The young fellow’s chit at the bar has grown to a fairly hefty size, what with the recent victory celebrations and the CO’s orders concerning American and Canadian pilots following the “Bethune Incident”.

Einies and Archie and rain, oh my!
[Linked Image]

Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/25/19 04:46 PM

Thanks, Lou. The song, however, was composed by Maeran. He PM'd MFair and me in a wonderful example of story collaboration. He suggested the investigation and added the song. All I did was add the Major's response to the APM.

You're a Fokker magnet these days. I've just had a nail-biter, and will write it up in the net installment. This war business is getting dangerous.

Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/25/19 05:39 PM

Originally Posted by Fullofit
Originally Posted by carrick58
I say , Gotta see what makes em tick.

A ticking bomb is not a good thing. Run!

rofl too funny!
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/25/19 05:57 PM


Mark, you're right, that was too funny. However, now I'm concerned that Carrick did not take Fullofit's funny, albeit sound, advice quickly enough as he's not posted since. Ka who? Kaboom!

Raine, an excellent collaboration between you and Maeran and MFair. Very well done!

Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/25/19 06:35 PM

Scout, great video! That was some dandy flying to get out of a close call. Happy to hear it was just a slight wound.

Lt. Mark Jericho
Auchell Aerodrome
January 25, 1916

It was a clear beautiful day. Jericho, along with Chambers and Dickens had the morning show to drop a few eggs on Vimy Junction. Jericho was sure the Huns would be afoot also as the weather had prevented any flying the last two days. He was correct. After dropping the eggs and almost back across the lines Wharton opened up which startled Jericho. Looking back he knew what to do and made a climbing turn to right. As he did Wharton got a good burst on the Hun and he decided to take his leave. Dickens’s observer got off a few rounds at him also. Coming in to Auchell Jericho could see a Morane among the tents at the army base near the field. “That’s not good” he thought.

Back at the field the trio was given a “good show” as the report was we damaged the railway. They also learned the pilot and observer who came down at the army base were ok.

The mess was all abuzz as the news of Swany’s second confirmed victory was announced. “Well aren’t you the biggest toad in the pond!” Jericho said to Swany as he sat down next to him. Jericho felt good. He was among good people and the major had backed over the incident at Bethune even thoug he was guilty. Jericho respected the major before but now he had a whole new respect for him. All he had to do now was figure out how was going to pay James and Swany back for the hour of drinking in the mess. After all, it was his doing.
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/26/19 12:20 AM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
4 Sqn Rfc.
Allonville, Flanders

Jan 25 1916.

Wot a mess to clean up. I had just left the shed when that bomb went off. I say, wicked ! Just good luck and standard procedure of an empty bomb casing kept everything safe. Only the detonator went Bang and some loose powder went up in smoke. Oh well they will send up more.

Afternoon: I went up on an Arty adjustment mission had a wireless in the kite to telegraph the battery. It mostly went well with only 2 short rounds. Don't know if any PBI got hurt, but I am sure they blamed us.

Attached picture CFS3 2019-01-25 16-00-01-89.jpg
Attached picture CFS3 2019-01-25 16-00-07-58.jpg
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/26/19 12:22 AM

Raine, your report reads like one of the Barmy OFFers Club “meetings”. It was nice of the Major to cover for the trio ... and volunteer them to cover the cost of the party.
Scout, that was one determined Hun!
Lou, you’re racking it up. Congrats on another confirmed. (And another engine destroyed ...)
MFair, what can I say? Time to set up another tree-cutting wager to pay for all the drinks.
Carrick, close call!

Delicious stories y’all.

25 January, 1916 10:02
Toul, Verdun Sector
Escadrille C17
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

“Denied.” Capitaine de Bondy’s eyes were piercing Gaston again.
“But ...”
“No witness, no claim. I am sorry” CO was firm and Gaston could see there was no malice intended, just strict regulations. Rules are rules. He saluted and left the office. It appears his first victory celebration will have to wait for another time. There was no reason to celebrate anyway. Sgt. Armand Levy and his gunner Sgt. Louis Fraissenet were dead buried somewhere in the mud of NML.
They were bombing enemy front lines north of St. Mihiel salient at northern end of La Foret de la Reine. Gaston led the formation with Levy as his wingman. The new boy, Durand was bringing up the rear in the A flight. They’ve lost him halfway to the front with engine trouble. Thankfully he made it back in one piece.
Voscadeaux and Levy have just finished their bomb runs on enemy forward positions with some well placed hits when a pair of monoplanes came screaming down from the clouds above. They came in fast, too fast and Gaston was able to avoid the attack while they maneuvered for a better position. Becquerel’s gun harassed one that overshot their plane, but Gaston had to brake it off when the second Fokker was attempting to get on his tail. They jostled for position while the first German went after Sgt. Levy. The two pairs split and begun their one-on-one bouts. Gaston managed to keep the Hun in front of him, giving his gunner ample opportunity to get some good hits. Sgt. Voscadeaux didn’t realize how low their fight took them and was reminded by sudden fire from the ground. The Boche were having their revenge after just getting their trenches filled with bombs. Gaston had to break his attack off and his opponent went in the opposite direction, glad of the reprieve, but lost control and crashed into the ground near Fresno-en-Woevre. Levy wasn’t doing nearly as well. Gaston watched as his wingman’s plane made descending circles closely followed by the Eindecker. In the end the Caudron smashed into the ground in a great ball of fire. Gaston tried to chase the other machine, but couldn't catch up. Eventually he turned back and flew home alone. Escadrille C17 has lost another team.

Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/26/19 02:40 PM


MFair, here's hoping Jericho can get a confirmed victory from his last outing. And I agree about the CO at 3 Squadron, a fine man who really looks out for his men.

Carrick, Nigel is lucky he was far enough removed from that "empty" bomb when it went off. I use the quotes because even a detonator can remove a fellow's fingers and possible take out an eye. Your man needs to respect the ordnance and not let the smoke out until a more appropriate time, say when such ordnance is landing on the head of some poor unsuspecting Hun.

Fullofit, another super little video, and Gaston handles that B/R bus of his as if it were a Nieuport scout. Bad luck he was not awarded his most well-deserved claim, the brass hats can be such killjoys. Even worse luck though concerning his squadron mates, yet another pair of graves.

Now then, as to another tree felling wager, I was thinking the same thing seeing as how Swany's wallet has gotten fairly thin as of late. Also, he is getting more than a little fed up with that stand of trees on top of the slag hill at the end of the runway at Auchel. Clearly someone who never flew an aeroplane in his life picked the location for that field.

Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/26/19 05:54 PM

Great flying Fullofit! I envy the Caudron's forward-firing ability. Nice aggressive maneuvering!

Great stories from everyone else. I am a bit awed by the creativity and research on display.
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/26/19 07:49 PM


Some of you will be approaching 25 hours at the front. Don't forget to reset your dot visibility distance when you get there. Have fun!
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/26/19 10:39 PM

Thank you for kind words Lou and Scout!
Lou, I suspect that Caudron's flight model may be a bit generous. It is true, you can handle it like you would a Nieuport.
Scout, Caudron is better than a Fee. Guns in front and in the back PLUS two engines for safety.
Raine, thanks for the reminder!

26 January, 1916 11:03
Toul, Verdun Sector
Escadrille C17
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

“Just get me to the front and I’ll show you how it’s done.”
Yes, that was Sergent Durand, the cocky youth who recently replaced Sgt. Reille. Truth be told his bombs always seemed to find the target, as if by magic.
Gaston was watching in horror from his cockpit as Durand’s machine was engulfed in flames and plummeted to the ground. He was too far away to see if the poor boy was already dead, jumped out, or was trapped in the inferno. Voscadeaux closed his eyes when the wreck was about to hit the earth. Becquerel charged the rear gun. He knew they are next.

[Linked Image]

Earlier this morning, after mission briefing, Adjutant Guytant was going over their flight plan with young Durand listening in and impatiently shifting his weight, eager to get in the air. He would be the sole member of the A flight while Guytant would lead Voscadeaux in the B flight. The conditions were favourable with clear skies and excellent visibility. Once in the air Durand’s machine started slowly slipping more and more to the rear with an unknown issue. He didn’t turn back and dealt with the situation. Gaston thought it was brave of him but perhaps in his youthful enthusiasm a bit foolish. And then it happened. As they were approaching their target Guytant’s Caudron “wobbled”. It was not the usual signal to start the bombing run. Something else. Something was wrong. Gaston immediately begun to scan the sky. He couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary. He looked back again at Durand in the distance and he understood. The aeroplane was trailing black smoke. Gaston immediately thought Durand’s technical issue turned into something more serious and he was sure the young pilot should have turned back home long time ago. And then a second shape emerged from the smoke trail. One with a single set of wings. A Fokker! Voscadeaux looked forward to see what the flight leader would do, but Guytant continued on to complete the mission. Gaston followed and hastily dropped all his bombs on the trenches below. He then quickly made about face checking the sky for any additional Huns and watched as the Boche dealt the final blow to Durand’s machine. As the stricken Caudron fell to the ground, it shed its wings and the reminder of the fuselage resembled a meteorite belching flames and smoke. Gaston couldn’t imagine what the poor Durand had to endure on the way down. He didn’t have much time to ponder as the Fokker was now coming directly at him. Gaston knew there was no point running away. The monoplane was much faster, it would catch him and would be presented with best possible target. Voscadeaux decided to face him and make a stand. He searched for Guytant who was now flying as far from Gaston as possible. Well, at least he will save himself and be able to tell the Capitaine what had happened here. The Eindecker dove head on and ended up behind and below Gaston. As the Hun was regaining altitude, Gaston’s Caudron banked to get the enemy into the firing arc of his gunner, nearly stalling in the process. It was a close one! The German nearly collided with Voscadeaux’s plane in the attempt to gain a favourable position behind. They both tried to stay on each other’s tail by weaving from side to side. For a second Gaston thought he was a goner when the Hun managed to fire a short burst at him. The rounds went wide and the opportunity was lost. The Fokker had to dive to avoid stalling and Becquerel took advantage of that. Bullets ripped through the green fabric of the monoplane’s wings. Ernest continued to fire and Gaston knew they had him on the ropes. The Boche went into a spin and Voscadeaux looked on with glee. Lower and lower the Hun went. One more spin and he will crash and then ... nothing. The Hun levelled out! He faked it all! It was all a sham! Ernest in the front realized they’ve been had. He made a rude gesture and slumped back in his seat with disgust. Gaston didn’t want to give up and dove after the shyster but there was no way to catch him. He was further discouraged from his pursuit by the Flak bursts and reluctantly turned his plane around. On the way back home Gaston overflew the crash site with the crater still in flames.
Rest in peace Sgt. Ernest Durand. Rest in peace Cpl. Geoffrey Gisors. You will be avenged.
Voscadeaux returned back to base where a nervous Adjutant Guytant was already waiting. He was very relieved to see Gaston alive and felt guilty for leaving him alone with the German monoplane. Guytant offered to buy Gaston a bottle of best red available in town to thank him. Gaston gladly accepted the offer. He needed a drink and a way to honour the recently departed. The remaining four pilots of Escadrille C17 piled into the aerodrome’s Peugeot and went to town in search of best red wine they could find. Where would any army be without alcohol?

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Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/27/19 01:03 AM

Great stories they just get better

Sgt Nottings next project if he makes it thru the War

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Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/27/19 02:41 AM

Sounds like hard times are befalling poor old Esc. C.17! Good job on beating back that Fokker, and commiserations to your fallen colleagues. The No.3 Boys continue to astound me with their skill in those Parasols! Now those are some proper pilots... as always, some of the writing on display here just blows me away! Also, thank you Gents for the encouraging comments wink

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell,
No. 20 Squadron R.F.C,
Clairmarais Aerodrome, France.

January 22nd - 26th:

We decided to have our breakfast at the Vincent the following morning, before making our way to the aerodrome. Jacky-Boy didn’t come, still sore from being turned down the night before and not yet ready to attempt another pass on the young mademoiselle. At the door, Jeanne greeted us with her usual alluring cheer, and we took a seat near the back of the establishment, wading past the brown flying-coats, left either folded on the floor or draped over the backs of chairs, of the few R.F.C pilots that had stopped by early, like us.

I watched Jeanne as she skipped off to fetch the Coffee Pot, a faint smile betraying me, before turning back to my colleagues. Across the table from me, Reynard’s eyes flashed with malicious intent above a telling smirk. I reddened, but held his gaze. “What?” I asked, irritatedly. His smirk broke into a grin. “Ye told Jacky that ye fancy his waitress?” he teased. “Don’t be absurd, Reynard!” I retorted, which only elicited a hearty laugh from my red-haired tormentor. “Dinnae worry, it’s only you and half of the RFC!”.

The 23rd was a miserable affair. A day of torrential rain ambushed us early in the morning, and whereas Jacky-Boy and Jimmy Reynard didn’t seem fazed, merely throwing on their flying coats and heading out for the day, Switch-Off and I stayed in to write letters to Blighty and listen to records on a Gramophone for most of the daylight hours. A particular favourite of mine was “Roses of Picardy”.

The morning of the 24th saw us all scrambling madly out of our Billet and high-tailing towards the aerodrome. We had slept in, and were on track to miss our morning briefing! The Major was thoroughly unimpressed as we bundled into the briefing room, just as he had begun speaking. Like school children awaiting the cane, we stood before him sheepishly in a row. He merely sighed, and pointed his riding-crop towards a row of empty seats at the rear of the room. Our ears burning as our colleagues snickered away, we slumped down into the chairs, as Major Wilson cleared his throat. Just as he was about to start speaking for the second time, a telephone behind him rung. He let out another deep sigh, and for a moment I thought he was going to banish the telephone to the back row of seats as well. But, up it came off the receiver, and he spoke in a gruff voice. “Major Wilson, 20 R.F.C”. We sat with baited breath, as if watching a Shakespeare, as Wilson’s brow furrowed, and his moustache twitched. “Yes. Very Well. Good day”. The phone came down with a slam, as the Major whipped round to face us. “B Flight, a Hun machine’s been sighted over St. Omer. Go and get after him!”.

Immediately we bolted up out of our seats and ran towards the door. “Lucky git”, Jacky-Boy grunted as I flashed past him grinning. Edith and I quickly linked up outside, and Edith barked at the Ack-Emmas to roll out A6338. The ground crews had drilled scrambles back in Netheravon, and I was astounded at the speed in which our Fees were ready to go. Graves gave the signal, and we were off.

Not wanting to get caught underneath the marauding Hun, Graves led us to Cassell in order to climb. Frantically, we clawed our way up to 6,000 feet and turned South for St. Omer. Of course, as I’d half-expected, there was no Hun machine to be found. He’d probably cleared off before we’d even lifted! That wouldn’t stop Graves, however, who led us on a wild goose chase, going as far as Dunkirk, and the coastline, to try and find the offending Hun! Or, perhaps he fancied a joy-ride, and our searched provided a good excuse to do so. By any means, it was an eventless search.

That night, Jacky-Boy came back from a patrol of the lines, raving about getting into a fight with an Eindecker - the scrap was inconclusive, but he is the first of us to encounter the dreaded Hun monoplane. Most of us have seen the devilish machines from afar, but have wiseley avoided them. Not Jacky-Boy! As he tells the story, he rushed right at the hun upon spotting him over the lines. Switch-off swears it’s true as well.

It seemed that, after our four days rest, ‘A’ Flight and ‘B’ flight had switched roles. We now took the morning patrols and recons, while ‘A’ took the afternoon patrols. This has given Jacky-Boy plenty of time to visit Jeanne at the Vincent - a fact he wants us all to know! Every time he mentions it to me, I shoot Reynard a wary glance (much to his amusement). By any means, I was not concerned with Jacky-Boy’s antics as Edith handed me the all-too-familiar tub of grease. We donned our flying gear and applied the whale grease to our faces, before Edith readied the reconnaissance camera and we stepped out onto the airfield, headed for our trusty old bus, A6338. We had our final cigarettes of the morning, and climbed aboard.

We adopted our usual strategy, of putting the Recon Bus, flown by McNaughton, in between Graves & myself. Reid & Edwards stayed high and above us, scanning for any enemy machines. After climbing up around St. Omer, we headed towards Armentieres. By the time we reached the lines, the wind had picked up to the point where we were being blown two and fro like autumn leaves. Ahead of me, I saw Edith gripping the forward Lewis gun tightly, as if he feared the wind would carry it away. To our dismay, we also realised that our reconnaissance target was almost completely obscured by thick cumulus clouds, stretching on for several miles into Hunland, as if the Bosche had conscripted them! I made my contempt known to the Hunnish clouds, who responded by throwing another almighty gust of wind up at us.

Suddenly, ahead of me, three specks appeared just above the clouds. I strained my eyes, and it felt as though my stomach had fallen out of the nacelle like a bomb. Eindeckers! Two of them, beside an Aviatik. Edith had seen them too, and now he was gripping the Lewis gun not for balance, but in preparation. With baited breath, we watched as the Huns came right over the top of us, looming above our heads like hawks. Graves turned us away from them - now our top wings obscured them from view. Tensing up in my seat, I watched in bitter anticipation as Edith kept his eyes glued on the threat. At that moment, Archie begun to burst around us. The wind had carried us into German lines!

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Edith remained fixed in position - the Huns either hadn’t seen us, or didn’t care to attack us. I thought back to the first time he had spotted the Hun, over St. Omer. Two Eindeckers & an Aviatik. Were these the same artists, I wondered? That time, they had ignored us, too. By any means, we were over our target, and I could see McNaughton’s observer readying the camera. I held my breath as his observer leaned out of the Nacelle to take the photographs, keeping one eye upwards. To our joy, the Huns abruptly swung to the South and disappeared towards Haubordin. We all collectively breathed out, before McNaughton finished his run and we headed for home.

Lucky old Pearson was approved for a 48 hour pass later that day, and, much to the disappointment of those of us hoping for a sing-song later, early this morning he took the train to Armentieres to revel in some of the city life. No such luck for the rest of us. Today we are off to Arras, on another recon. Maj. Wilson was unimpressed with the photographs that Carey Winchcombe (McNaughton’s observer) had taken, and to “Make up for it”, to quote our fierey C.O, we were being sent back over into Hunland again. We crossed at St. Vaast, our eyes peeled for the dreaded Fokkers. Below us lay St. Vaast, a desolated city of rubble and horror, eerily still in the morning fog. As I stared down at it, I saw the face of a building slowly fall away into the street, kicking up a cloud of dust. As I watched, I wondered where the inhabitants of this skeleton-city had gone, and felt a stab of remorse for the French Civilian, who had had war thrust upon their doorstep for a reason they probably would never fully understand. But, I had no time to dwell on the thought. McNaughton was beginning his run. As before, we watched from our machine as Winchcombe stood up, camera in hand, and leaned dizzyingly over the nacelle’s edge. I shall never envy the Reconnaissance observer. We made our run over the target (a small grouping of factories just outside of Monchy-le-Preux), and McNaughton signalled to us that he wanted to go around again. Fortunately, the skies seemed clear in all directions as Graves obligingly tilted his wings to the right and begun to circle.

As we banked lazily to the right, Edith suddenly turned to face me, pointing out ahead of us. I stared forwards, and...there! I couldn’t believe it! Slightly lower, crossing into our lines, two Fokkers, and an Aviatik! Why, it was the same Huns as before! They crossed underneath us, and to my annoyance Graves again failed to respond. Edith turned to me, staring intently at me. Without a word, I nodded, and brought our bus around to face the unaware Germans. My heart begun pounding as we crept up behind their formation, but, to my dismay, Graves and McNaughton had continued on with their second run. Well, nothing for it, then. We would attack the Hun alone.

Diving below the pack, I crept up on the trailing Fokker. Edith fired upwards into him and he immediately broke away, diving for the safety of his lines. We let him go, and settled in on the still-unaware Aviatik. In the observer’s seat, I saw the exact moment the Hun looked up at us, back down into his cockpit, and then suddenly back up at us in shock. Too late! Edith fired upwards into the Aviatik at point-blank range, and the observer jolted up in his seat, before slumping down, the rear gun falling silent. With the danger removed, I pulled up to sit on the same level as the Aviatik. It was then that I saw a sight I shall never forget. As Edith fired, the German pilot turned to face us with a look of stark terror on his face. He was young - perhaps eighteen or nineteen. A second later, there was a terrific flash, and the young Hun’s face disappeared behind a thick black wall of smoke, as the Aviatik burst immediately into flames.

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An Aviatik's End

Just as this happened, the Observer, who had only been wounded, suddenly reappeared at his gun, and fired off one final defiant burst at us. I jerked in my seat, and skidded away to the right in alarm, hastily making for our lines. As I looked over my shoulder, I saw the Aviatik fall into a nosedive just West of Monchy. I turned back to see Edith behaving strangely in his Nacelle, rocking back and forth. I tapped him on the shoulder, and reeled back in shock as he turned to me, revealing a blood-soaked tunic. By god, he had been hit! He smiled apologetically as I pulled my map from my pocket, to look for the nearest Aerodrome to land at. As I unfolded it, I noticed that it, too, was red with blood. Suddenly I was aware of a dull ache in my left arm. I looked down, and my head spun as I saw my own tunic. Soaked, just like Ediths. I’d been hit, too!

We came down just South of Arras, behind the rear trenches, and fell out of our Fee. Immediately we were escorted to safety by a group of infantrymen, who had watched us coast in. Around this point, I must have passed out, for I only remember waking up in a casualty clearing station, in a bed alongside Edith’s, who was in a restless sleep. I hoisted myself up, crying out in pain as I did so, at which point a pretty young nurse arrived. “Just lay down”, she said in a soothing tone, “You’ve only been grazed. You’re very lucky”. I was in no position to fight her. As she lay me down, I mumbled “My observer…”. She smiled. “He’s okay, too. Just rest, now”.

My eyelids suddenly felt incredibly heavy, and I sunk into blackness.

Uh-Oh! Sgt. Campbell, and his roguish Scots associate have landed themselves in the CCS for five days each! Those boys want to be more careful...

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Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/27/19 12:26 PM

Wow Wulfe, that was a brave move taking on a flight of Fokkers and a C-type on your own. What happened to the second Eindecker? Hope Graham gets well soon and Edith still wants to fly with him. For some strange reason WoFF likes to rotate the observers after a spell in the hospital. Excellent story.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/27/19 02:04 PM

Originally Posted by carrick58
Great stories they just get better

Sgt Nottings next project if he makes it thru the War

Carrick, is this the Grandmother Of All Bombs? eek eek2
Posted By: Hasse

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/27/19 02:13 PM

Some of your pilots are already well on their way to becoming aces! It's interesting how much action they are seeing. In Julius's career at FFA 32 in Bertincourt, it feels like a very different kind of war. I actually prefer it that way, because things will become so deadly as the war progresses. Already in mid 1916, the skies will be full of fighter squadrons, making life miserable for two-seater pilots.

I'm glad there have been no fatalities yet. Once you really get to know the DID pilots, it's always unfortunate when one of them becomes a casualty of war.

Anyway, here's my latest entry...


“We know only that in some strange and melancholy way we have become a wasteland. All the same, we are not often sad.”

- Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front (1929).

Late January, 1916.

Having spent three weeks flying daily missions (weather permitting) with the Aviatiks of Feldflieger-Abteilung 32, life had settled down into a rather comfortable routine for Julius. Up in the air, one could almost imagine there was no war being fought at all - at least until one looked down and saw the trenches and shellholes spreading across the landscape like scars left by some hideous disease on the face of Mother Earth. The job of the Abteilung involved mostly photographic reconnaissance over enemy lines and rear positions and directing the artillery fire of the guns of XIV. Reserve-Korps in the Cambrai sector. Occasionally they dropped bombs on enemy positions, but it was intended as more of a nuisance to the British than as a serious attempt to harm their forces. The bombs were simply too small and their method of delivery too inaccurate to cause damage worth mentioning to the “Tommies” covering in their trenches.

Since his first encounter with a British B.E. 2 on early January, Julius had spotted enemy machines on several occasions. However, none of them had been looking for trouble, and because the job of the Aviatiks was not to hunt enemy airplanes, Julius and his observers had never attempted to intercept the British machines. It was almost like an unwritten agreement between the opposing forces to not bother each other unless absolutely necessary. Only the hunting missions of the Abteilung’s two Fokkers, flown by Leutnant Leffers and Offizierstellvertreter Martin Zander (another rising star of the Fliegertruppen) disrupted this peaceful coexistence in the sky. Leffers had managed to shoot down another B.E. 2 on January 19th, but the machine had gone down behind enemy lines, so the victory remained unconfirmed. Leffers had been disappointed, but he had nevertheless completed the mission assigned to the Fokker pilots: to drive the enemy two-seaters away from German lines.

Julius was enjoying his work as a pilot. Finally he felt like he was doing something useful for the war effort instead of just waiting in the safety of some training centre far from the front. The Army postal service was doing a good job with delivering letters to and from the Abteilung, and Julius was always excited to read words of encouragement from the letters Leni wrote her.

However, there were rumours circulating of a possible new offensive already being planned by the High Command. Were they only rumours? Or was the current rather peaceful situation in the West only the calm before the storm?

Only time would tell. In any case, Julius was firmly determined to do his best and not let down the expectations of his father, come hell or high water.

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Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/27/19 02:16 PM


Wulfe and Fullofit, a wonderful pair of ripping tales if ever there were! Well done both of you. This war is indeed getting dangerous.

Carrick, your man is going to end up scattering himself all over camp if he doesn't stop playing with those bombs. He has a death wish, me thinks.

Hasse, glad to see Julius is doing well, hadn't heard from him for a while.

Not too much to report on 2nd Lt. Swanson. Two quite sorties the last two days: a bombing of the German lines north of Loos, and a recce of the front at Arras. Not a Hun was seen in the skies, which suited Swany just fine.

Posted By: Hasse

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/27/19 03:19 PM

Originally Posted by RAF_Louvert

Not too much to report on 2nd Lt. Swanson. Two quite sorties the last two days: a bombing of the German lines north of Loos, and a recce of the front at Arras. Not a Hun was seen in the skies, which suited Swany just fine.


I find WOFF does a relatively good job of depicting the more peaceful nature of the early war in the air of this time period. But it does change quite rapidly as the year 1916 progresses.

Good luck out there! It's a long war, no need to take any unnecessary risks with Swanson's life. smile2
Posted By: lederhosen

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/27/19 03:36 PM

Finally got a flight in. 24km over but no enemy...whew

Willi was given permission to paint his kit....

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Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/27/19 10:12 PM

Carrick, you need to stay away from the bomb shed!

Fullofit, hard luck with the claim. Loved the video. Some great flying bud. It’s always bad to see a mate go down in flames.

Wulfe, that is a very, very good story! Congratulations on the Aviatik, but be careful going out on your on!

Lederhosen, that is one fantastic paint job on your machine.

Lt. Mark Jericho
Auchell Aerodrome
January 26, 1916

After lounging around most of the morning Jericho, Chambers and Grebbs were learning of today’s mission. Epinoy aerodrome. It was a good ways over the lines but they would have 2 French Neiports for escorts. As the walked out to the machines, Captain Whorton , his observer, turned to him and said, “I hope that French officer that got throttled in Bethune has not been conversing with our escorts squadron Lt.”

“Don’t you have no never mind Captain. Those Frenchies seem to be as interested in ending this war as much as we do.” Jericho replied as he swung himself into the Morane.

The trip to Epinoy was uneventful. Jericho scanned the skies and was as ready as ever for the signal of danger from Wharton. As they made their turn towards home after dropping the eggs Jericho saw 4 Fokker’s diving their way. The escorts turned up to engage but 3 came after Jericho and Whorton. Jericho instantly turned to give Whorton a field of fire at two of them. He could not see the third one. As Whorton opened up Jericho heard bullets slap into their machine. His adrenaline was pumping and he was acting on instinct as Whorton was too busy to give any direction. He could see Chambers and Grebbs to his left and Whorton was still firing. Below and to the right was a cloud and he dove into it holding all the controls as steady as he could. They emerged about a 1000’ lower and he leveled out heading west. He had a quick look back and could see one of the Huns following but at a distance. He could not see his flight anywhere and headed west with one of the determined Huns following. The foe followed them all the way to the lines before he turned back and Whorton gave the “all clear.”

Landing at Auchell, Chambers and Grebbs were no where in sight. Whorton and Jericho examined the holes In the stabilizer. “That’s a little too close for comfort Captain” Jericho said.

“Yeas it was. Diving into the cloud was a good choice at the time but I must remind you that it’s usually best to stay with the flight.”

“Yes Sir” Jericho replied. He knew it was not a reprimand, just another hint to survive.

As they turned to go to debrief they heard Grebbs and Chambers approach the field. “All is well then” the Captain said as he walked to the Majors office

They learned their bombs had hit the target and were given a “good show!” from the Major.
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/27/19 11:20 PM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
4 Sqn Rfc.
Allonville, Flanders

Jan 27, 1916.

4 Sqn is on the attack. The C.O. sent us 2 a/c over the lines to have a go on a Hun Railyard Jct. The bomb run was set for 2700 Meters, but over the Target everything looked alike except for the Roads and trees. The Leader dropped, but where they hit ? I went down to 1200 meters and lined up then dropped. Hits in the Yard damage ? However there was dust and smoke all over a very exciting day.

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Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/28/19 02:29 AM

For the RFC pilots, life is becoming interesting. I think the Fokker plant has put on a night shift because we're running into the things more and more. MFair, good job at getting away in one piece. Carrick, is your Mr. Notting a short form for "Notting left but buttons." Leave the bombs alone, please! Wulfe, that was a brave move. I'll keep my fingers crossed you get a confirmation by the time you're out of the hospital. And Lederhosen, that is one beautiful livery!

An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins
Part Thirteen: In which I narrowly avoid getting holes in me

The next few days were clear and cold, but by now I was becoming quite the old hand at dressing for long patrols. I now flew nearly always with Captain Mealing, who commanded our “A” Flight. I flew to the Captain’s left and, typically, the steadfast Sergeant Bayetto took station to the right.
On the 24th the captain spotted for the heavy guns up north by Ploegstraat, or “Plugstreet” as it was invariably called. We saw some Huns off to the north, but they were not game for a scrap so we went about our business in peace.

It rained all the following day, so I wandered down to the public baths in Auchel for a proper wash-up, and then enjoyed a lunch of eggs and chips and beer. According to the papers, in England they have passed a Conscription Act. Married men are exempt. I’m sure love is in the air all over these days.

I got permission from Major Harvey-Kelly to build myself a small shed on the aerodrome so that I can stay closer to the field when I’m on duty. He said I’m free to use my own resources, but I am to stay clear of the carpenter’s stores, although I may borrow tools. I have begun to make sketches and consult with some of the chaps who know more than I about building.

That night at dinner, the dispatch rider from Wing arrived with the next day’s operations. Our flight was given the longest patrol I’d yet flown. We were to fly far to the south, nearly to the Somme itself. There the captain would take photographs of the Hun defences about Fricourt, where the enemy were building the most formidable positions in depth – line after line of strongpoints and wire, much of it beyond the range of our guns.

Rain fell all the morning on 26 January, washing away the last of the snow of the previous week, but it cleared towards noon. We took off after one o’clock: Mealing, Bayetto, and me. There was some scattered cloud around 1500 feet, but above that the sky was brilliantly clear. The smoke from Bapaume’s chimneys passed by on the left and the captain began his first beat – north to south – while Lieut Talbot, his observer, leaned over the side and began to take his photographs.

We were on the third beat when Sergeant Bayetto dashed in front of the flight commander, waggling his wings. Three specks were approaching from the south about 2000 feet above us, and within seconds one could make out that they were Fokker monoplanes. Talbot stowed his camera and we swung about to the west. My engine was not giving full revs and I bled off some height so as not to be left alone. The other two Moranes were lost to sight, hidden by my wing if indeed they were there at all. I cursed the Gnôme rotary that refused to give its normal reassuring roar. And then it came – bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, bop – a hammering sound. My instruments shattered and two spidery holes appeared in the Triplex screen in front of me. I heard Theobald, my observer, firing away (Russel was on leave).

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"And then it came – bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, bop – a hammering sound."

Mealing had told me not to look about if I heard a Hun’s machine guns but to simply weaver or half-loop under the HA. I forgot that and looked about. I saw past Theobald’s arm the sinister cowling and straight wings of a Fokker scarcely twenty yards behind me. And there was a second Fokker diving on us behind that one. Now at last I half-rolled. Theobald’s gun clattered away. He stopped to change drums and I turned west for a few seconds, only to hear the chatter of the German’s machine gun again. I banked vertically left, dropping down a few hundred more feet. Theobald was back in action, firing first to his right and then his left.

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"I saw past Theobald’s arm the sinister cowling and straight wings of a Fokker scarcely twenty yards behind me. And there was a second Fokker diving on us behind that one."

That is when I noticed the mixture lever in the wrong position. I hadn’t intentionally touched it, but there it was. I enriched the mixture and the engine responded with a healthy growl. Now I zoomed and turned back at the Huns. One of them broke away but the other turned to get behind us. I did another half-loop downwards and dived to the west. It took about thirty second for the Hun to close on us and when he did, we zoomed again and Theobald gave him another drum, firing until the Lewis jammed.

Now we were purely defensive. I weaved and rolled while Theobald pounded at the cocking handle. Finally I heard his drum fall to the floor and he must have loaded another quickly, for he was instantly back in action. We were down to 1500 feet now and passing over our reserve trenches. At last the Hun turned back. It was strictly forbidden of course, but Theobald passed me his package of Black Cats. We each huddled deep in our cockpits and lit our cigarettes. I nearly froze my hand cupping the things for five minutes while we flew to the edge of Albert and turned north. But the feeling of relief at escaping from what seemed certain death was marvellous.

Back at Auchel, Mealing and Bayetto were duly impressed by my machine’s twenty bullet holes. It got us home though, and I’m becoming rather fond of the Morane. Poor Theobald was despondent, though. He'd fired off four drums and the Fokkers were untouched, or so he was certain.

Attached picture Spandau noises.png
Attached picture Huns!.png
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/28/19 11:06 AM

This war IS starting to get dangerous! Great stories Gentlemen. Glad everyone is safe and sound. (Especially Carrick, with his newfound obsession winkngrin )
Posted By: Hasse

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/28/19 11:51 AM

What an intense encounter in Raine's story!

I think the Fokker Scourge is now in full swing for you Entente pilots. Things have been much more quiet on the other side of the hill. But that will change.
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/28/19 02:14 PM

Raine, your writing is really first rate! I thought you were “going west” for a moment. Glad James survived his encounter.
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/28/19 03:30 PM


That was a nail-biter Raine, had me on the edge of my seat! If Jim needs a hand building his shed, Swany is quite adept at such projects.

MFair, Jericho had his hands full as well I see. A good read, and glad that he too made it home in one piece. As Fullofit has already noted, this war is getting downright dangerous.

Carrick, glad to see Nigel used the bombs as intended and not as playthings. That fellow worries me.

Lederhosen, love the livery on that blue bus, very nice!

Hasse, Swany is being as careful as anyone can be in the situation, what with all the Eindeckers milling about.

No flying today for 2nd Lt. Swanson or his G/O. The riggers found several flying wire fittings on the wing of their Morane that had actually begun to elongate from over-stressing, likely from the aerobatics Swany had been doing lately during his encounters with the Hun. Whatever the cause, they had to open up the wing to inspect the spar and gussets at which point they determined there was a day's worth of rebuilding to do to get the kite back to full airworthiness. Ah well, c'est la guerre. Perhaps the young fellow will see how James is coming along with his shed project.

Posted By: loftyc

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/28/19 08:53 PM

wow, a few new pages have been added since last I looked. Fdwbl. Lofthoven is still alive, but he is currently sitting a friend's mastiff, who loves to lick. So if I try to sit at the computer, my hand is constantly nudged off the joystick, which makes it impossible to fly the Av. BII that needs constant stick. I'll be back in the air in a few days, so hopefully nothing major happens down in this corner of the front (Habsheim).

Get the Hun! (oh, wait that's me this time). Umm, kill the Boche! (oops, me again) Oh, I got it - Hals und Beinbruch!
Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/28/19 09:31 PM

A close call, Raine! Great work repelling that devilish Hun!

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell,
No. 20 Squadron R.F.C,
An Unknown Field Hospital, France.

January 28th, 1916.

After a deep and dreamless sleep I slowly faded into consciousness, before remembering yesterday's events and bolting upright. "Easy, boyo..." said a familiar voice, beside me, and I turned to face Edith, his arm in a sling. I laughed out loud at seeing he was okay, but then felt ashamed that my piloting had gotten him shot. "I'm sorry, Edith, I shouldn't have got so-" he cut me off with a wave of his bearlike palm. "Ach, A' thought the observer wis a goner, tae! He tricked us, but we paid him back, eh?". A grin broke out across his face. In my mind, I saw an image of the terrified Hun pilot as he was swallowed alive by smoke. Faintly smiling, I nodded. "Yes, we gave him the right stuff" I agreed. Edith handed me a Woodbine, and as I produced my match-box I was surprised to find that my hands were shaking. I struck once, then twice, but the match wouldn't light. Edith pretended not to notice, to his credit. Seeing my plight, a nurse quickly came over. "Here," she offered, gently taking the offending match out of my hands and striking it, holding it up to my cigarette. "Thank you, nurse" I mumbled, embarrassed, as I inhaled deeply.

As it turned out, we had been awfully lucky. His machine suddenly bursting into flames seemed to have thrown the Hun observer's aim, causing him to fire left of his intended mark. As a result, despite being point blank, Edith had taken a bullet cleanly through the left shoulder, and I had only been grazed, a thin semicircle of flesh being cut from my arm as the bullet sailed past. Fortunately, the wound was not deep enough to damage the nerves, and the medic had little trouble in sewing it shut. From what I understand, the pure shock of the situation was enough to render me unconscious, at which point I'd been carried by stretcher to the Field Hospital, with Edith walking alongside. How embarrassing that I should do that, when Edith's wound was worse than my own!

Unluckily, we hadn't quite been injured enough to be sent back to England (an infliction nicknamed by the boys at the squadron as "Getting a Blighty"), but, I felt no need to complain when I had pretty nurses attending to me. Edith shared this sentiment, that wide grin of his failing to diminish throughout the morning. Around noon, the head nurse appeared and told us that we were bound for No. 33 C.C.S, in Bethune. After a brief trip by road, we arrived and were shown to our beds. The C.C.S was a grim sight, rows of wounded soldiers, some horribly disfigured. One man, a Private with his face completely bandaged and both arms in slings, asked me as I passed if I could scratch the itch in his shin. Feeling sorry for the poor sod, I agreed, but was shocked to find that, when I lifted the bedsheets, his legs had been reduced to stumps above the knee. Feeling sick from the surprise, I hastily asked "Is that okay?", to which the man replied "Much better. Cheers, Guv!". Disturbed, I hastily continued down the row of beds.

Stuck in amid the horrific afterimage of trench warfare, Edith and I shared a cigarette, feeling rather glum. Surely we were only taking up unnecessary space, we were only slightly wounded! Eventually, Edith came to the realisation that we hadn't yet telephoned Clairmarais! He at once called a nurse, and asked to use a telephone. Upon his return, I was surprised to learn that we had both been reported as missing, presumed killed. I only hope they haven't sent the telegram to my poor mother! By any means, Edith relayed the position of A6338 to Maj. Wilson, who said he would dispatch a breakdown crew to retrieve the machine. We were also ordered to return to the aerodrome as soon as we were able. We welcomed the order, as the C.C.S was a gloomy sight, and had made us feel rather glum. Edith, after a considerably impressive bout of sweet-talking, was able to convince the nurse to allow us to leave, and we were able to bribe a corporal who was heading to No. 10 Stationary in St. Omer for supplies, to give us a lift.

We arrived around 4:30 PM, looking like the stereotypical war heroes, in our field-dressings and slings, and made our way towards the Major's office, in the Chateau behind the hangars. On the way we passed Jacky-Boy, who broke into an ear-splitting grin when he saw us. "Ah, here they are! The damned fools who got themselves shot down!" he teased, and I playfully punched him on the arm. "Glad you're both okay". He said, in a softer tone, before patting me on the back and going about his business.

Sheepishly, we entered Major Wilson's office, who turned to face us. For what felt like hours, he stared over us with his ice-blue gaze, taking in every detail of our appearance in an unnerving, methodical manner. "Shot down, eh?" he finally said, and we both reddened. To my immense gratitude, Edith replied. "Aye, sir. We wir' bein' stupit, it'll nae happen again, Sir". Another unbearable silence. "You are not to break formation, unless you have encountered engine trouble or your flight leader has instructed you to do so. If you do so once more, I will send you to the front-lines. We don't need any dud crews around here. As for the state of you both", he gestured to our field dressings, "You can't fly like that. I'm grounding you for the remainder of the month. You'll be assigned to the Adjutant's office, as Clerks, in the meantime". Swallowing nervously, we both echoed "Yes, sir".

Maj. Wilson nodded in approval, and then slowly sat down in the luxurious leather chair that had found its way into his office (no doubt through some tasteful pillaging by a lower rank looking to get in the C.O's good books). Reclining back, he produced a pipe, which he swiftly packed and lit, blowing out great clouds of smoke that hung just above our heads. We saluted, and turned to leave. "One more thing, gentlemen," he called after us, and we froze, turning round to face him and dreading another chewing-out.

"Graves reported you going down out-of-control". We braced ourselves for another lecture. "But, he also saw your Aviatik fall in flames. An excellent show! I congratulate you on your confirmed victory, and I will need your full reports on the matter". Our eyes widened. Dumbfounded, we saluted once more and staggered out of his office. Once we thought we were out of earshot, we began to whoop and cheer, throwing our caps into the air and acting like a pair of giddy schoolchildren. We had officially gotten our Hun! Enthusiastically I trotted off towards the NCO's Mess to type up my report.

Later that night, when I returned to my Billet, Jimmy Reynard and Switch-off gave me a warm welcome. "Ach, Whit did'ye expect, sittin' right oan an Aviatik's tail, ya loonie?" Reynard laughed, while crouching over and observing my bandaged-up arm. I shrugged. "I thought Edith had gotten him!". Switch-off cut in, chirping that "You need a lucky charm, Arthur! I won't fly without my scarf, and my luck has been up!". He proudly waved Missus Baker's red scarf in front of my face. "Perhaps you should take your tin of tea?". I pondered on the thought. "You know, that's a fine idea, Switchy...". He beamed, nodding his head like a puppy. "...but I can't very well take the entire tin! I know what I'll do". Going into the pocket of my tunic, I produced my silk handkerchief. After some rifling around the Billet, I eventually found a small ribbon. Scooping some tea from the tin, I tied it in the handkerchief so that it resembled a miniature bindle. "I shall hang it from the dashboard!" I announced, presenting it to Switch-off. "It's perfect!" he cried, a broad grin spreading across his youthful face.

"Ye's are a pair o' superstitious dafties..." Reynard scoffed in response, before clapping his hands together. "Awricht! Enough O' this heebie-jeebie business! Drinks are oan me, fir' Killer o'er here!". And, so, the events of the night were decided. We headed out into St. Omer for a night of celebratory decadence.


Graham's Report.

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Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/29/19 12:24 AM

Beautifully told story Wulfe. Bravo! Hope the bindle works.

28 January, 1916 11:01
Toul, Verdun Sector
Escadrille C17
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

For the second day in a row Gaston was flying along Adjutant Mezergues to the St. Mihiel salient on a reconnaissance mission. Yesterday was a dull flight and today appears to be more of the same. They were to note any troop and vehicle movements. He was glad they had a Nieuport escort them to the lines, especially after recent Fokker attacks. They were lazily floating over the trenches at a safe altitude and watched as vehicle columns moved below. The other advantage of having an escort was that they could spend more time looking down instead of looking for enemy scouts. The Nieuport would chase them away, or at least warn them ahead of time. Another column went by. Gaston looked up to check on their little friend buzzing above them. Still there. He went back to sleepily following enemy columns when he was shaken out of his reverie by bullets hitting his plane. Gaston jumped out of his skin and looked around. There was nothing. He looked up again at their “protector” that should be watching over them. Still there, flying as if nothing ever happened. Then he noticed Ernest in the front seat tracking something with his forward-firing Lewis. Gaston curiously followed the movement of the machine gun. A pale shape appeared from below flying across their flight path and moving to the rear. A single Aviatik sneaked under their formation and the German gunner was taking potshots at them. Voscadeaux, without thinking much, banked to follow the Boche. They were gaining on him and Becquerel opened fire from a long distance. Gaston was sure he could hear Ernest laugh maniacally. It may have been the wind. They were close now and Gaston could see the starboard aileron had been shot off. He was flying straight as an arrow for fear of going into a spin. Meanwhile Mezergues came around from the other side in a pincer maneuver. The Hun was “surrounded”. Becquerel kept on firing and inflicting more damage. He could see bits of debris flying off the damaged crate, but it kept on going. Not even a small trail of smoke or vapour. And then Becquerel’s ammo run out. Gaston could swear he heard Ernest curse: “ ...erde, merde, merde!” But, again, it could have been the wind. All of a sudden Becquerel jumped to the rear-facing gun and tried to bring it to bear, but it was no use. He paused and looked at Gaston. Gaston didn’t get it. Becquerel “pointed” at the Aviatik with is eyebrows, but was only met with a blank stare. He finally nudged his head toward the Hun and Gaston understood. He dove under the German machine, picked up speed and overtook it. Becquerel resumed his onslaught but the persistent Teuton remained unaffected. Gaston brought his Caudron too close and the German gunner was able to retaliate. More bullet holes appeared in the starboard wing, not too far from Gaston’s head. That was it. The risk was too great and Voscadeaux put an end to it. He let the Boche go and turned back. They were flying too deep into La Bochie. Becquerel was crestfallen. He couldn’t understand how that Hun was still afloat. It’s as if the Aviatik turned into the Aviatank.
As Gaston was in the process of rejoining the formation, their escort had left. Either low on fuel or hit by Flak. No matter, they were done and on their way back home. All of a sudden, Mezergues' engines had stopped as well. His tank must have been punctured during the attack and had to glide the reminder of the way, settling in a clearing on the French side and most importantly: safe. Gaston was the only one to return to the aerodrome albeit with some holes of his own.

Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/29/19 01:51 AM

Carrick, great work in that BE. Hope you stay clear of the Fokkers for a while more. Loftyc, good to see you back. That's an ugly observer you're flying with! Wulfe, another great story and hearty congratulations on bagging a Hun. I hope you get credit. Fullofit, you fired off about three months' pay worth of ammunition at that Aviatik. What was it made of? MFair, many thanks for the comments. Lou, hope your rigging is in order soon.

Jim Collins has struggled to achieve much in the past three days. I'm one day ahead as I'll be travelling again this week.

An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins

Part Fourteen: In which I am plagued by the dreaded pest Gnomus Defectivus

[Linked Image]
"I saw the giant lilac bush at the last second when it jumped out from under the cowling and grabbed the right side of our wing."

“You’re building a shed, pal, not a jævlig cathedral.” Swanson was looking over my shoulder as I sketched ideas for my little readiness hut. “Give me that.” He snatched the paper and pencil and leaned back in the armchair while I leafed through the dog-eared remnants of one of the mess’s back copies of La Vie Parisienne.

In fifteen minutes he threw the pad back at me. He’s sketched a simple hut on posts with stone piled around the footings and a shallow sloped roof.

“If it was made of logs like it should be, we’d make a sod roof and you’d be cosy all winter. But then you’d need lots of birch bark and I haven’t seen too many birch trees around here. Maybe we can get wooden shakes.”

I nodded. “Swaney, if we raise the front I can do a straight roof sloping to the rear of the hut and use corrugated. There are tons of the stuff all over France.”

“Ja,” said Swanson. “But then it wouldn’t be proper Norwegian.”

“Terrible pity, that,” I said. “But it’s the war’s fault after all.” He nodded, smiling. “As soon as we get a day off, let’s grab a truck and go scavenging.”

The weather had turned unseasonably warm and we were blessed – or cursed, if you will – with excellent flying conditions. We flew north towards Ypres on the 27th to note rail and road traffic in Upper Hunland. Our mission was cut short by some aggressive Fokkers, but we had an escort of Nieuports from Escadrille N15 and one of the French pilots succeeded in downing one.

On 28 January 1916, we were bound for Courcelette in Nether Hunland, down in the Somme region. Just as we approached the torn line of the front, my engine began missing badly. I gave Mealing the wash-out signal, a white flare, and set course for the aerodrome at La Bellevue, where we landed, had lunch, and received new sparking plugs.

I got to sleep in on the 29th, for we were not up until nearly two in the afternoon. I accompanied Mealing back to the Somme, Posières this time, where we were to disturb the Huns’ postprandial somnolence with our Hays bombs. Halfway there, the motor began a hellish rattle and I switched off quickly to avoid the risk of the entire engine assembly departing the aircraft without leave. Looking down, I realised how very lucky we were, for the fields near Izel lay below, although there seemed to be machines all over the place. Savy lay only a short glide to the north. It was open and flat and relatively devoid of bothersome poplars. Savy it would be then, I decided.

We glided down to Savy without incident and I turned to the field with plenty of height. Only then did I discover how strong the wind gusts had become. The Morane seemed to hover in place. I put the nose down to avoid stalling. Until the last second I was sure we’d make it, but then I knew we’d land short of the mowed field. It didn’t matter much, though. The edges of the field were not too rough.

I saw the giant lilac bush at the last second when it jumped out from under the cowling and grabbed the right side of our wing. The Morane lurched to a halt in a couple of feet and I heard Theobald’s head on his windscreen, accompanied by loud Anglo-Saxon assertions of my mental inferiority, low birth, and romantic proclivities. We were down safely once again.

Attached picture Savy.png
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/29/19 03:13 AM

Raine, I think Becquerel loads rubber bullets in his drums. Also, I don’t think he is such a good shot, but don’t tell him that.
Very engaging story and it looks like the Gnome Curse had befallen your pilot in addition to Lou and Scout. They must be British made rotaries. Nice touch making that lilac bush so viciously aggressive.
Good luck with your travels. Watch out for the polar vortex.
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/29/19 04:40 AM

Aleck A. MacKinlay
January 28, 1916

Back on the active duty roster. My bullet-gouged calf still hurts like hell and makes entering and exiting the cockpit a slow process. Was very happy to find out this morning that Chris has been reassigned to me as observer/gunner. Stone-faced 'Jimmy' wasn't really my type and pretty glad to not have him on board.

We flew a recon patrol over the frontlines southeast of Armentieres near the Lys River, lead by Lt Jones and his observer Captain Marshall. Captains Davis and Buckminster were assigned to cover us in their Bristol Scouts, and by God if they didn't actually do so rather than gallivanting about looking for glory as usual.

An easy mission with no interference by the Boch.
Posted By: lederhosen

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/29/19 11:02 AM

Todays romp over France......

Was to be an easy raid on Esc.49 at Fontaine.
So after finishing our beer and bratwurst breakfast while waiting for the wogs to ready our "Blue Dragon", we mount our beast and head off south.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Things may be slow in this sector but the view of the land is one that makes the heart pound with enjoyment.
Anyway, south of Mulhouse we pick up 2 Aviatks from FFA 282 also going west. Makes one feel some what safer I suppose.

[Linked Image]

Heiny makes out the airfield and we line up to bomb. Again we miss target....hmmm we gota work on that.
We are finished and I decide to follow our comrades further west, but three spots arriving from the north change my mind.
Now we are in a mad rush to get back over to our side.

[Linked Image]

We just clear the lines and the Franzmänner are about 600m away....500....400... Heiny starts to fire.
I'm almost death from the MG fire going off next to my ears, but I can feel the thud of bullets hitting my Aviatik.
It's no use, I'll have to turn and make us a harder target to shot at. The noise is tremendous, and Heiny is going ape on the guns.
All I can see is the occasiaonal flash of some N10 going under or over us.

It seems that one Franzmann is leaving, so I manage to slip in behind the other while he also attempts to bugger off.
I try to give Heiny a good shot but this guy just keeps turning hard to the right. We manage to get a few bursts in before
I notice steam and oil start to hamper my vision, #%&*$# the engine must of bought it a while back.
Not much to do now but leave and land asap. Lucky for us the enemy had the same idea.

I manage to land near our balloon unit at Didnenheim. Landing was quite shoddy too.
But we are alive.

[Linked Image]

After a closer inspection, especially the tail section, I had my suspicions about Heiny's accuracy.

Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/29/19 05:42 PM

Raine: Ur writting just gets better.

Leaderhosen: What a great looking paint job.
Posted By: Maeran

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/29/19 05:46 PM

Great stories guys. I’m currently running slightly behind in write ups, so this instalment ends on the 21st January.
I am particularly enjoying a French perspective Fullofit, even if Voscadeaux’s poor escadrille is taking a hammering.
Good claim there Wulfe. Shame about the observer getting a shot in. I do like the report.
Superb storytelling as always Raine. You got in your mention of conscription before I did. Stanley's father is in charge of recruitment, so there is something to say there.

Halluin aerodrome was covered by clouds when Stanley arrived. Grumpy Gould had led the flight in at 6000 feet and Stanley could not see a thing. He dropped his bombs on Gould’s cue and hoped that they did some damage. Stanley rather doubted it as the three BE2s turned home.
At least the clouds threw off Archie’s aim, Stanley thought and shuddered. Only on Wednesday, Cobbold and Field had been hit directly while on artillery observation. According to witnesses on the ground, the aeroplane had burned all the way down.

Back at Merville the move to La Gorgue was essentially complete. The aeroplanes, repair shops and transport pool had moved across. The officers were still on their barge on the Lys and so Merville was still occupied after a fashion.
In their floating mess room, the officers sat as Dowding primly read from the day’s orders.
“This is from Brigadier General Trenchard,” the old man (35 years old) announced.
Until the Royal Flying Corps are in possession of a machine as good as or better than the German Fokker it seems that a change in the tactics employed becomes necessary. It is hoped very shortly to obtain a machine that will be able to successfully engage the Fokkers...
“In the meantime, it must be laid down as a hard and fast rule that a machine proceeding on a reconnaissance must be escorted by at least three other fighting machines. These machines must fly in close formation and a reconnaissance should not be continued if any of the machines should become detached. This should apply to both short and long distance reconnaissances. Aeroplanes proceeding on photographic duty any considerable distance east of the German line should be similarly escorted.”

Nearly a week later, Stanley was flying a photo reconnaissance to observe the enemy rear positions near Athies. In principle the BE2c was being escorted by 2 FE2bs from C flight, but the pusher machines were much faster and Stanley could no longer see Tillie or Eastwood.
He could however see the Eindekker. It attacked near Thelus and forced Stanley to break off his photography. Now he turned under the black crossed machine, trying to throw off the German’s aim.
His gunner today was 2AM Digby, who was normally a fitter for B flight, but was filling in as an aerial gunner. The air mechanic manned the Lewis gun and tried to get a shot at their attacker.
There was an opportunity and Digby pulled the trigger, getting three bursts off that seemed deafening to Stanley even over the engine. Of course the muzzle of the Lewis was frighteningly close above his head.

[Linked Image]
Perhaps Digby hit his mark, or perhaps the German pilot made a mistake in his flying. Whatever the reason, Stanley looked over his shoulder in astonishment as the Fokker tipped its wings over and began a tight spiral that only ended with a sudden crash as the monoplane hit the ground.
Grinning madly, Stanley patted Digby on the shoulder in congratulations.

The dinner that evening was a special affair. The officer’s mess on the barge was colourful with the dress uniforms of the varied regiments that pilots and observers had come from before being seconded to the RFC.
At the head of the main table, Major Dowding was joined by a Major wearing the dress uniform of the 3rd Northamptonshire regiment. The newcomer was a slightly round faced man who was only a little older than the majority of the pilots. He spoke genially with an educated but slightly rural accent to Stanley’s ears. Like a country squire. This was Major Powell, who was replacing the ‘stuffed shirt’ as commanding officer.**
Stanley learned a lot about Dowding in the speeches. When the former artilleryman turned pilot had come to 16 Squadron, it was already at Merville, but struggling to manage flying duties with distant billets in the village of La Gorgue, across the river and to the east. Dowding had somehow acquired a hospital barge for the officers and various other amenities. He had also supervised the development of a cooper bomb rack that had won 16 a prize. Over the winter he had worked on the marshy ground of Beaupré Farm across the river, first to accommodate the FE2s of ‘c’ flight and now that ash runways had been put in, the whole squadron. This site, known as La Gorgue allowed a much longer take take-off run that had proved necessary with faster aeroplanes.
Being older than most of his pilots and reserved in nature, Stuffed Shirt cared about the disposition of his men, but had difficulty connecting with them on a personal level. Even tonight, at his farewell dinner, Dowding mumbled his way through speeches and attempted conversations.
Stanley felt the air of relief when the senior staff retired and Merton handed him a brandy.
“I hear you got a Hun?”
*This was Sunday 16th of January 1916.
** I have been able to find out surprisingly little about the new CO. I know his regiment, where he lived (down to the house). I know a few things about his family but no photos, and no record of his RFC career save that he was injured in 1915. So the description is fictional.
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/29/19 06:17 PM

Aleck A. MacKinlay
January 29, 1916

A couple of 'firsts' today. I had my first look at German occupied territory as we actually ventured across the lines to recon a Boch airfield, Houplin near the town of Loos. My other 'first' was to see 'Archie'; a single burst far away as we passed over the airfield. Not sure what all the fuss is about.

We reached the enemy airfield and returned home without incident, but did not record much useful information as Captain Marshall (observer of the FE2 leading our flight) ordered his pilot to head for home at the first sight of Archie. A single burst off their wingtip and they bolted for home. Chris was livid as he had little chance to make observations of activity or aircraft on the field. Chris and Marshall had a rather heated discussion right between our aircraft after we landed. Marshall lost his cool when questioned and told Chris he would report him for insubordination. Chris shot right back that he would be happy to speak with the Major and report Marshall for cowardice. The rest of us pilots and observers eventually intervened to calm the situation. Chris seemed to get in the final argument when he mentioned that we were back early and the Major would want Marshall's explanation as to why. Marshall looked pained at this and said nothing. I think he has lost his nerve and everyone knows it; I hope Mills goes easy on him.

p.s. I have logged a total of 10 hours active flying in 11 flights. This seems pretty low for having been here four weeks now. Weather and injuries ....


Attached picture Landing.jpg
Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/29/19 09:54 PM

Fullofit, that was an exciting chase with the Aviatik! Always a nasty surprise when the Gunner suddenly gets a bead on you like that... Raine, that Parasol is looking a little worse for wear...hopefully you'll have better luck with the scavenging! Welcome back, Aleck MacKinlay! Lederhosen, looks like the R.F.C isn't alone in its dangerous run-ins! Maeran, a good job there, sending an Eindecker down OOC!

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell
No. 20 Squadron RFC.
Clairmarais Aerodrome, France.

January 29th, 1916:

Poor old A6338 was in a sorry state upon her return to Clairmarais. In my haste to land her, I had partially buckled the undercarriage, which now sat crooked and gave her the appearance of straining to take off, even as she sat motionless on the ground. The wings were peppered with holes, and a centre-section strut needed replacing. To make matters worse for the old girl, she had sat out all night in the freezing wintry air, with a radiator full of water, which had now frozen and had all but destroyed the engine. According to the Ack-Emmas, she would need a new Beardmore put in her. Yes, the old girl was in a very sorry state indeed!

She had arrived in the morning, disassembled, on the backs of a pair of trucks. It was a particularly beautiful morning - the countryside presented itself to me in a blanketed suit of greens and yellows, and the grass, touched with frost, gleamed in the sun like an ocean of diamonds. The air hung with a thin veil of mist, giving the landscape almost the effect of being oil-painted, and the gentle wind carried great white clouds across the sky, like snow-peaked mountains lazily migrating Eastwards.

After overseeing the Ack-Emmas unloading A6338 and taking her various parts away to be serviced, I lit up a cigarette. All in all, I was feeling very pleased with life, enjoying the sensation of the chilling morning air on my face. At around 10 O'Clock, I sat down to watch 'A' flight readying themselves for the morning Show. From a distance I saw Switch-Off, with his crimson scarf at his neck, nimbly climb aboard his bus, testing the ailerons and elevators. I stayed around for long enough to watch 'A' flight lift off the ground before heading East, slowly becoming specks on the horizon as they purred towards Hunland. Once they had almost completely faded, I decided that I had better report to the Adjutant's office.

Adjutant Lovell was a shrewd-looking, spectacled man who seemed to have a never-ending cigarette hanging from his mouth. Constantly a cloud of smoke hung above his head, almost resembling a thundercloud looming over his disinterested face. Lovell's personality matched his appearance, and most verbal encounters with the man resulted in feigned interest, or just flat-out boredom on his behalf. Apart from this seemingly boundless detachment, Lovell was also irritable and could quickly become very annoyed indeed, if asked what he deemed to be 'stupid' questions, or if overloaded with information.

By any means, as I stepped into the Adjutant's office, which had a currently-unoccupied clerk's desk, Lovell looked up at me with a tired expression and rather nonchalantly said "Campbell? Good." and handed me a sheet of paper with a list of spare engines. "Get to work finding those".

Of course, although Edith had been assigned to Adjutant's clerk duties also, he was a Captain, and so was currently off enjoying a hearty late lunch at the Vincent, while I was thrust into bureaucracy.

Every now and again my eyes drift out of the small square window to the right of my desk. From there, I can see A6338 being worked on in the workshops. Her engine is taken out now, and the wings are stacked neatly on the side of the hangar, being re-doped as we speak.
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/29/19 11:53 PM

Mark Jericho
Auchell Aerodrome
January 28, 1916

[Linked Image]

Swany was helping James with his shack. It looked to Jericho as if more discussion was taking place than actual work but it was not his rodeo. Carrying a rolled up piece of canvas he walked up to the two as they both looked over their handy work. "How you doin' Pards." They both looked his way. "I got you something" Jericho continued.

He laid a piece of rolled canvas on the dirt and rolled it out. There were 4 forged ornamental wall hooks and a set of forged shelf brackets. "Thought these might make it a little more homey for you" Jericho said.

James knelt down and picked up one of the expertly forged wall hooks looking it over. "Thats a thing of beauty mate. Where did you learn to work iron?" James asked.

"Never knew a cowhand that didn't know his way around a forge Hoss. Besides, I still owe ya' one." Jericho replied.

At that moment a batman ran up to Jericho and said," Pardon Sir but the Major wants C Flight in the ready room in 15 minutes Sir, seems he has a special mission for you."

Thirty minutes later Jericho and 2 other machines were on a special recon mission near Monchy. It was a walk in the sunshine as they never had any trouble and gathered the info on troop movements the Major had asked for.

January 29th.
C Flight took to the skies at 1100 hours for another recon mission SW of Monchy. It was a beautiful clear day and they had just reached altitude and headed south to meet up with the 2 Nieuports that were to escort them on the mission. Jericho was enjoying the wonderful blue sky. He was looking for the escorts as they were approaching Savy Aerodrome when Whorton slapped him for the signal of enemy machines. Jericho was puzzled! "What in blazes is going on" he thought as he looked around to see single wing Fokker swinging around on them. He turned into the Fokker and climbed. As he did, another Fokker cut across his front and Whorton opened up on the one behind. Jericho twisted and turned as he tried to stay out of the trailing Fokker's guns while trying to give Whorton a shot at the same time. He heard bullets slap into the canvas. It was all happening too fast! "How many? Where is the other one?" Jericho's racing thoughts went through his head.

As soon as it started it seemed it was over as Whorton signaled all clear. It was only then that Jericho noticed the Morane was not flying as she should. The controls were sluggish and he had to keep over correcting to keep her level. He spotted Savy down below and started down towards it. Whorton pointed up to where Chambers was circling. Jericho shook his head "No" and pointed at his stick. He made one circle of the aerodrome and brought her in as easy as he could.

Once on the ground Whorton spoke up." I thought I made it clear that we are to stay with the flight Lt.!"

"She's not answering to the controls Captain. Somethings amiss!" Jericho replied.

"Well we will see about this right now Lt.!" Whorton exclaimed as he walked toward the crowd coming out to the field.

One hour later Jericho and Whorton were waiting for the rigger to finish his inspection. He walked to them as they stood outside the tent. Jericho nor Whorton had spoken to each other since the Morane had been wheeled into the tent.

"Well Sir" the rigger started, "You two are mighty lucky. It seems that the elevator and rudder control wires were almost shot through. With all that turning and twisting you were doing, saw the whole thing by the way, the remaining strands stretched out a bit. Might have broke if you had continued that kind of flying Sir. I bet she was a little sluggish........Whorton interupted, "Thank you Sargent. How long before we can be back in the air?"

"Oh, I would say another hour will do it Sir, have you home by tea Sir." The Sargent saluted and returned to the Morane.

Jericho, who had been squatting by the edge of the tent rose to his feet and exhaled deeply and turned to face the Captain. Jericho stared into the Captains eyes for a moment and said. "I'll obey your orders Captain. I'll die with you if need be, but I will not die because of you." Jericho paused "and don't you ever insinuate i'm yellow again." With that he walked off to find some coffee.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/30/19 06:01 PM

Maeran, so you’re finally rid of that gas bag Major. Congrats on the Fokker. Let us know if it gets confirmed.
Scout, sounds like there may be some more friction between Chris and Marshall. Looking forward to it.
Wulfe, another great story and from the sound of it A6338 will end up being a brand new girl. Good luck with the paperwork.
MFair, looks like Jericho will have his hands full with Whorton. What a piece of work, but I’m sure Mark will keep him in check. Great screenshot!

29 January, 1916
Toul, Verdun Sector
Escadrille C17
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

Another uneventful bomb run of enemy front lines in St. Mihiel salient led by Adj. Mezergues and escorted by 2 Nieuports from Esc 65. Good weather. Nothing to write home about.
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/30/19 10:35 PM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
4 Sqn Rfc.
Allonville, Flanders

Jan 30, 1916.

More bombs came up so off our 2 a/c we went to attack an enemy AF. Over enemy airspace we spotted 2 Monoplane scouts coming up. They were too low to stop our bombardment. My bombs hit wide and Exploded in the Trees. Lt. Kings hit the edge of the flying field. By then 1 of the Monoplanes was on Wally's tail so I turned and had a go. My gunner fire off 14 rds at the e/a as we passed under. No good. As I stared to come back around, Wally's machine broke in to flames leaving a black skid mark in the clean blue sky. I pointed for home and nosed down for speed and soon I was doing over 100 miles an hour and clear of the forward firing enemy aeroplanes.

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Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/30/19 10:59 PM

Aleck A. MacKinlay
January 30, 1916

Well, the Major is a hard old sod ... he's showing not a bit of pity of poor old Captain Marshall. Right back we went today, to taunt the German fliers at Lille aerodrome, with Marshall put in command and told to complete the mission or be sacked! Gerber was assigned to pilot the Captain, and I don't think it is any random choice. Gerber is a rather cold-blooded type with three kills to his credit, and I suspect he was told to fly the Captain through hell and high water and not let him buckle.

The Major informed Chris and I that we would be the accompanying plane, and made it obvious that this was his idea of a good lesson in working together. The argument between Chris and Marshall has the old man pretty angry and this is his way of showing everyone under his command that men who don't work well together will be MADE to work together.

The flight to Lille aerodrome went well, and the Captain held his nerve. Gerber flew the two of them through a field of bursting Archie without a scratch. Unfortunately for Chris and I, we were so transfixed on all this drama that we totally missed a Fokker creeping up on our tail. The wiz of bullets snapped me back to our own situation and I thru our BE sideways like a madman. Chris was badly knocked around and was of no use on the gun for several minutes. All I had for defense was to turn with the Fokker and soon found I could out-maneuver him. He was a persistent chap and we spun around each other for almost 15 minutes as I slowly worked my way west to Armentieres. Chris got off about 50 rounds in short bursts with little effect and the Hun eventually realized he could not out-fly me and ran for home.

All in all a good day. Marshall has redeemed himself and Chris is raving to everyone who will listen about me out-flying the Eindekker. It's a bit embarrassing really, but maybe the Major will hear and move us up to a Fee. Oh, that would be something!


Attached picture Scan0002.jpg
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/31/19 01:58 AM

Carrick, poor Wally. RIP. Glad you could get out in one piece.
Scout, I like how Major dealt with Marshall. It's his way or the highway. It's amazing how similar Aleck's battle was to Gaston's today.

30 January, 1916 12:06
Toul, Verdun Sector
Escadrille C17
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

To combat the ever growing Fokker menace, le Capitaine received new orders to tighten formations and fly all missions at full squadron strength. And that is exactly how the orders were being followed. The task was to bomb the aerodrome at Ars near the City of Metz. So it was Adj. Guytant followed by Sgt. Voscadeaux in the ‘B’ Flight, closely being trailed by Adj. Mezergues and Cpl. Sourdiac in ‘A’ Flight.
It was a beautiful day with blue skies and some fluffy clouds to break up the monotony. The formation was nearing the target. Gaston could see Metz at 2 o’clock. He kept glancing at the ‘A’ Flight just behind and marvelled at the precise control the two pilots exerted over their machines. Only a few more minutes until the bombs start to fly. Gaston took another look behind. Something didn’t feel right. Yes, Mezergues and Sourdiac were still following closely, but there was something else. Something out of place. Gaston could feel something was wrong. Movement! Something was coming from behind, below the ‘A’ Flight. He squinted his eyes to filter the glare from the sun and suddenly realized what it was. Instantly his eyes grew large as saucers and his hand automatically pushed the control column. The Caudron stood on its starboard wing under protest and was about to stall. This maneuver probably saved Gaston’s life as the Hun was unable to follow. It all happened in an instant and Becquerel caught unaware was hit in the nose by the widely swinging Lewis. He was knocked back and blacked out for a few moments. In the meantime Gaston was wrestling with the controls of the stalling machine and at the same time fighting to get the monoplane in front of him. He had him! Now, Ernest! Fire! The Fokker was right in front of them, but Becquerel seemed to be dazed by the blow to his nose. He was holding one drenched in blood glove to his face, trying to stop the nosebleed. Finally he came to and let a barrage of bullets towards the Boche. He was letting him have it. Gaston saw bits of wood and canvas fall away from the monoplane and the pilot could do nothing but make counterclockwise turns. Becquerel must have cut his control cables. He was a sitting duck and just like a sitting duck he went down. No fake spins, no tricks. Gaston saw a cloud of dust rise below as the unfortunate Hun hit the ground.
Gaston looked around to get his bearings and continue toward the aerodrome. He still had to drop his load. There, just at the eastern edge of the forest, right across from Metz. That’s where the aerodrome is. He swung the machine to get it on course, when he saw Becquerel swing the MG around. What?! Gaston looked in the direction the gun barrel was pointing. Another Eindecker at 2 o’clock high! More fire, more wild maneuvers. Gaston just prayed this is the only Hun left. They kept spiralling lower and lower. Voscadeaux nearly had him, but Becquerel’s front gun fell silent. The ammo ran out and they could only protect themselves with the rear-facing weapon. Gaston quickly glanced at the compass and immediately disengaged when they were facing south. He was intently observing the monoplane. Will he attack, or will he retreat? He’s going home! He’s had enough. Gaston could see him flying low and straight for the aerodrome. Voscadeaux breathed easier as his Caudron was crossing the lines and getting closer to home, despite the full set of bombs still dangling under the fuselage. Hopefully the rest of the flight inflicted enough damage to call the mission a success. He did see a lot of smoke and fire from the distance.
He was the first one back at the airbase and remained by the aircraft while Becquerel was getting first aid. Soon after, Adjutant Guytant appeared over the aerodrome, circled around and landed. Gaston ran to meet his flight leader. Guytant jumped down all pale. Gaston, not noticing, slapped him on the back with a huge grin and asked:
“Did you see it? Did you see that Boche nosedive into the dirt? We’ll definitely get this one confirmed!” But Adj. Guytant didn’t join in Gaston’s jubilations.
“Sorry Gaston, I didn’t see it. We were going straight for the airfield. I dropped my bombs and started to circle at the rally point. Mezergues and Sourdiac came next. They dropped their bombs and then it happened.” Guytant was white as a sheet of paper.
“They banked in the opposite directions. I saw it all! The two planes smashed into each other right above the airfield and came down as one mass of wood and metal. It’s senseless, so senseless!” Guytant broke down and wept like a little child.
Gaston embraced him, letting the other man whimper against his shoulder.
“It is war and we are soldiers. We are soldiers...” Gaston wasn’t sure he believed his own words.


“I understand Sergent Voscadeaux, but I can’t put in a request without a confirmation.” Capitaine de Bondy’s eyes were resting on hopeful Gaston. They were not piercing him this time.
“Dumas! Get in here!”
The bespectacled adjutant appeared as if out of thin air.
“Oui, mon Capitaine!” He clicked his heels and saluted with an open palm.
“Make some calls around and check if anybody had seen a Fokker go down near Metz.” de Bondy signed a form and handed it to Dumas. The adjutant looked at his commanding officer, then at Gaston.
“Oui, mon Capitaine!” He clicked his heels again, another salute and then he disappeared.
“War. It’s a dirty business, Voscadeaux. Tomorrow we’ll be getting replacements.”

Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/31/19 03:00 PM


As always gents, outstanding reports and stories and pictures and videos. I just spent a most enjoyable hour getting caught up with all of you. I look forward to these reads more than you know.

2nd Lt. Swanson and Lt. Dent are now officially sans aeroplane. After two quiet days of gun-ranging chores the pair was assigned a recce of the front lines down at Monchy-le-Preux. They lifted off at 8:35 this morning into a hazy blue winter sky and proceeded in a southeasterly direction as they climbed to working altitude. They were nearing their assigned area when the Le Rhône curse dropped upon them with a vengeance. The beastly spinning mass let loose with an ear-splitting clatter, spewing oil all across Swany’s windscreen and goggles. The young pilot couldn’t shut the damnable rotary down fast enough before it literally threw itself apart internally and ground to a halt. A plume of thick black smoke trailed behind the bus briefly then hung in the frigid air like an ink smudge. Swany had already determined he was close enough to Savy to glide to it when he noticed the odor of raw fuel. He quickly closed the petcock to the engine, which he'd forgotten to do earlier, and this seemed to lessen the issue but did not eliminate it entirely. The magnetos were off so a fire starting from the sparking plugs was not a concern.

The hapless team of British airmen watched the field at Savy grow larger and larger as they glided down towards it. Several tense minutes later and the Morane bounced lightly on the frosty grass and rolled towards the hangars. The winds were fairly stiff and just before the bus had come to a full stop the tail lifted far enough so that the tip of the propeller caught the ground, causing it to rotate several degrees. Something evil down inside the bowels of engine decided it wasn’t quite done making life hell for Swany and Christopher, and as the broken bits worked against each other a spark shot out. The raw fuel that had pooled about in the cylinders ignited and the entire front of the bus burst into flames. Luckily the two airmen were able to unharness and dive out before the fire made its way into the cockpits. Several mechanics that had been approaching the plane with thoughts of rolling it towards the nearest shed quickly dashed off to grab extinguishers and pails of water. Lieutenants Dent and Swanson stood back and watched the blaze engulf the Parasol. Christopher fished a pack of Murads from an inside pocket, offering one of the cigarettes to Swany, before pulling one for himself.

“No tanks Chris, I don’t smoke.”

“Seems like a fine time to start I should think", the G/O replied as a sly grin flashed across his oil-stained face. "I smoke, our kite certainly is, you don’t want to be odd man out do you?”

Swany laughed and, with the stress of the affair bringing out his Norsk accent full force, responded, “Noo, I supposse not, let me have vun off dose foul tings den.”

Chris handed him the pack as he produced a lighter from another pocket. “There you go Swansong, stout fellow.”

Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/31/19 06:00 PM

Lou, what does Swany need a lighter for?
Tough luck with that Gnome ... or is that good luck?
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/31/19 06:18 PM


Fullofit, whatever type of luck it is I doubt it will matter as the powers-that-be will simply send Swany to the depot at St-Omer to fly a replacement mount back to Auchel. As to the lighter, he was already feeling a bit singed from the Morane and opted for a more controlled flame to light up the Murad.

And let me add, that last episode of yours was ripping.


Posted By: Rick_Rawlings

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/31/19 07:30 PM

Fullofit: "Fokker scourge? What Fokker scourge?"

Love the video posts!
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/31/19 08:00 PM


Toasty Wally was the Sqn's 1st to go.
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/31/19 09:34 PM

Aleck A. MacKinlay
January 31, 1916

It seems we have singled out Lille aerodrome for special antagonism. Not content with overflying them and taunting them, the Major had us back there today to drop some bombs. And who else to carry out the mission than the bloks who were there yesterday? So Gerber lead the way again in his Fee with Chris and i following in our BE2. A new observer, recently arrived Ken Weller, went along with Gerber. The squadron's two Bristols accompanied us for defense but as usual didn't stay very close but we did see them circling over the Hun airfield when we arrived.

I attempted to use my Louvert Mark-1 bombsight but found it inoperable (will have to check the manual to see where we have gone wrong*). Rather than waste my bombs from 7000' I dove down to about 2000' and was able to make a decent drop sighting from a nose-down attitude.

All home safe with no sign of enemy aircraft.


*Well I have read the readme for Lou's bombsight mod and I am no wiser. I have installed with JSGME so should be enabled. I press F11 (Bombadier Seat) ... is that not the correct key? Help!!

Attached picture Screenshot 2019.01.31 -
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/31/19 09:40 PM

Thanks Guys.
Lou, I just tell it how I see it. This stuff writes itself. Full credit to WoFF and the creators.
Rick, it would have been a scourge if Gaston hadn’t noticed the sneaky bat hiding behind the stabilizer.
Carrick, he’s the first of many. Got to get used to it.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/31/19 09:43 PM

Scout, dive-bombing? You’re ahead of the times!
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/31/19 10:04 PM

Originally Posted by Fullofit
Scout, dive-bombing? You’re ahead of the times!

In my defense, it was a very 'shallow' dive (grin). I shall try to get my bombsight working so as to be more historical smile

Just curious what height our pilots would be bombing from in real life. Anyone have some historical info?
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 01/31/19 10:53 PM


Scout, with the early sights any where from 2000' to 7000', and usually towards that upper end. IIRC, they were up around 9000' or slightly better by war's end.

If you happen to use the Mark 1-W I created for WOFF your results should be quite excellent.

Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/01/19 03:18 AM

Originally Posted by RAF_Louvert

If you happen to use the Mark 1-W I created for WOFF your results should be quite excellent.

My problem is that I am trying to use the bombsight mod and it is not working for me. Installed it with JSGME but can't seem to get it to activate in game. Pressing F11 (correct?). I must be missing some crucial element.
Posted By: JJJ65

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/01/19 11:11 AM

Originally Posted by 77_Scout
Originally Posted by RAF_Louvert

If you happen to use the Mark 1-W I created for WOFF your results should be quite excellent.

My problem is that I am trying to use the bombsight mod and it is not working for me. Installed it with JSGME but can't seem to get it to activate in game. Pressing F11 (correct?). I must be missing some crucial element.

Have you tried the mod with different planes, e.g. DH4, Be-2c or Sopwith Strutter? If it works for other planes then there is high possibility of mod bug for this particular aircraft. I think I have noticed that in the past, but I do not remember what plane it was.
Just let me know your results,pls, and I will correct the mod accordingly. Of course, I am talking about this mod - WOFFUEMk-1WBomsightsAll_in_Onemod-v1.4 .
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/01/19 01:08 PM


Jara, I just tested your latest 1.4 all-in-one version of my original bombsight and it works fine for both the B.E.2c and B.E.2c early. It does not work however for the HD version or for the B.E.12. Scout, your pilot is currently flying the B.E.2c so Jara's mod should work for you.

Posted By: JJJ65

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/01/19 03:46 PM

Thx for info, Lou.
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/01/19 05:27 PM

Originally Posted by JJJ65
Of course, I am talking about this mod - WOFFUEMk-1WBomsightsAll_in_Onemod-v1.4 .

I was using V1.0 so was out of date. The newer V1.4 works (did a quick test in a Quick Combat 'Free Flight'). Thanks!!!!

UPDATE: It works in quick-combat but does not work in campaign. Weird.
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/01/19 10:48 PM

Gents, these stories are getting better and better! My hat is off to you all. Hate to see frayed nerves so early in the war. Fantastic reading.

I just realized I am a day ahead but here it is.

Lt. Mark Jericho
Auchell Aerodrome
Feb. 2. 1916

Had it been 5 days since Jericho and Whorton had had their near miss? Jericho thought to himself. It seemed like only yesterday they had landed at Savy with control cables almost shot through. It had turned into a good day after all. Jericho had thought he might have some trouble after giving the Captain a piece of is mind but it seems the Captain was a good sort. After their machine was patched up as Jericho was getting ready to climb into the machine the Captain stopped him. "A word Lieutenant!"

"Sir?" Jericho answered matter of fact.

" I was out of line. You have given me no reason to doubt your bravery." The Captain paused as they looked at each other eye to eye. He then offered his hand to Jericho. "My apologies." the Captain said.

"Jericho shook the Captains hand. "No need for apologies Sir. I know that competing the mission is important to you. I just had a bit more information than you did" Jericho said with a grin.

"Right then!" said the Captain, "lets get this bird home before we miss evening mess."

They had flown back without incident. Both men knew they were in it together until the end, wether it be a good one or a bad one.

The next few days were spent doing recon and arty spotting up and down the line. Nothing out of the ordinary and if not for the shells exploding below it would have been a great time as far as Jericho was concerned. He was having the time of his life. Then came the recon mission NW of Loos. It started well with Chambers flying lead and Jericho number 2. They were on their 3rd round and every thing had been peaceful enough when chambers abruptly turned hard right to the west. Jericho followed instantly and got a the signal for "enemy" at the same time. A glance back and Jericho could see Whorton swinging his Lewis to draw a bead. Jericho then saw a Fokker coming up on Chambers tail to his right. He tried to bring his machine along side to drive it off but he was barely gaining ground as the Fokker opened up on Chambers. He pressed the nose down to gain speed and swung the Morane under the Fokker and came up on the other side. He could see pieces flying off Chambers machine. Whorton opened up on the Fokker chasing Chambers but had not fired but a few rounds when Jericho felt rounds hitting his Morane.

[Linked Image]

He swung the Morane to the left and dove again then instantly turning right back to west. Once Headed west again he was greeted with a horrible sight. Chambers machine was on fire and going down in an arc toward the earth 2000 meters below.

[Linked Image] ]

Again bullets struck the Morane. Jericho knew there were at least 2 Fokkers after them. Whorton was keeping up a steady stream of fire from his Lewis but the tracers were whipping past Jericho left and right. He had not known true terror in his life but this was getting pretty close. He did the only thing he knew to do and that was nose down and get out as fast as he could. He nosed the Morane over weaving left and right with Whorton hammering away with his Lewis and bullets striking the Morane from the 2 Fokkers. Whorton stopped firing but Jericho did not look back. He was intent on crossing the lines at low altitude and maybe let ground fire drive of their foe's as Whorton had told him. He was surprised when Whorton opened back up with his Lewis. "Those boys won't let go!" Jericho thought. At that moment it felt to Jericho as though a horse had kicked him in the calf. It was more a shock than pain. The ground was getting closer as he looked for a place to set the Morane down. "A road ahead!" Jericho yelled out loud. He was going full throttle at treetop level when he cut the engine. The Morane landed way too fast but he kept the nose level and they came to a stop not far from a balloon crew.

"I'm hit!" Jericho said to Whorton as he felt the blood pooling in flying boot.

"Well that makes the both of us then!" the Captain replied. Jericho was startled, he had no idea the Captain had been hit.

"Bad?" Jericho asked as he tried to turn around.

"Not bad enough I'm afraid. This one will not get me back to England."

The balloon crew had arrived and helped the two airmen from the machine and took them to an aid station. The doctor there patched them up with the words, "You do are done flying for a few days."
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/02/19 12:41 AM


Whoa Mark, that was a close one! I sure hope Jericho makes a quick recovery. He's lucky he got the Captain and himself down in one piece. Those Eindeckers are getting way too cocky.

Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/02/19 01:11 AM

Lou is right and may I just add that watching your wingman get pummeled and you can't do anything about it is frustrating. Good going MFair. Lucky to be alive.

31 January, 1916
Toul, Verdun Sector
Escadrille C17
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

There would be no flights today. Becquerel was given 48 hrs leave to take his nose to Toul and have it looked at by an otolaryngologist. Ever since the knock received from the Lewis he was making whistling noises which was driving Gaston bonkers. With Ernest away there simply were not enough observers to man even one flight.
As announced by le Capitaine yesterday, two new men showed up at the aerodrome this morning to replace Durand and Levy. After Adjutant Dumas gave them the usual tour of the aerodrome it was up to Voscadeaux to show them the ropes.
Adjutant Tristian Marcaggi was an agreeable fellow. He was fresh out of flying school and absorbed all information that Gaston could throw at him like a sponge. He was mostly interested in spending his time in the hangars observing the mechanics working on the Caudrons.
Sous Lieutenant Archand Dessarce was a different matter altogether. Throwing his rank around, he would not heed any advice Gaston would try to give him. Voscadeaux could see Dessarce was mishandling the engines but would not listen to any guidance. In fact, after Gaston’s remarks Sous Lieutenant Dessarce would abandon any further instructions and order Gaston to let him be. His rank provided all the knowledge he would need. After this announcement Gaston took his leave and decided to concentrate instead on finishing his bottle of wine waiting for him at the mess.

1 February, 1916
Toul, Verdun Sector
Escadrille C17
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

All flights were still on hold until more observers could be mustered.
Gaston’s Eindecker claim was rejected today due to lack of witnesses. It was a good thing Becquerel was away.
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/02/19 01:16 AM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
4 Sqn Rfc.
Allonville, Flanders

1 Feb 1916.

Went up with 2 a/c to bomb the front lines and met the Hun Monoplanes with forward firing gun. Blimey , we never had a chance. The e/a dropped out of the sun so we never saw them til they opened up on us. I did the best I could Bobing and weaving about the sky. My gunner got off 2 drums full of 303 's and damaged one e/a . He turned away with smoke, Not Confirmed , But we had holes in the elevator and wings and gas leaking out. Ended up being forced down with Infantry amid Shell fire. I found my gunner to be badly wnd. and He stated that he saw our other ship go down with 2 e/a on his tail. Score: 2 Be's lost for 1 unconfirmed damaged.

Attached picture CFS3 2019-02-01 16-50-57-07.jpg
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Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/02/19 01:47 AM

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell
No. 20 Squadron R.F.C.
Clairmarais Aerodrome, France.

February 1st, 1916:

The Adjutant’s office offered only tedious work. As the clerk, I would take inventory on equipment lists, slogging round the hangars and trying to locate any spare engines, damaged machine parts, ammunition crates, etc. One particular point of annoyance was a drum of Lewis ammunition that had gone missing. I thought it would be of no import, but Adjutant Lovell sent me to locate it, all the same. After several hours of scouring the hangars, with no results, I finally retired to the mess for a break - and found it on the writing desk, where some joker had been using it as a paperweight!

By any means, I was finally back on the active flight roster. Edith, however, was not, and as a result I have been assigned to a new observer, Capt. Barry Ackart. We are also flying A6333, as 6338 is waiting to have the new engine fitted. It felt unusual, climbing into an unfamiliar machine alongside an unfamiliar observer, but, as Switch-off had suggested, I had with me my lucky charm, the small ‘bindle’ of loose tea, which I tied to the control column. It made me feel a little better.

We were given the morning O.P today, near Lille. At 10 past 9, up went the Verey light, and five Beardmore engines roared into life. Graves was in charge of ‘B’ Flight for this show, followed by Reid, McNaughton and myself.

The sky was cloudy, but near St. Omer we found a great big disc that seemed to have been cut from the cloud. We skirted the edges of this disc as we climbed up above 5,000 feet, before heading out all the way down the lines, past Arras and down to Bapaume, further than I’d ever gone on a patrol. After a bitterly long and cold trip, we arrived at Beauhamel, and proceeded to patrol between this city, on our side, and Bapaume, on the Bosche side. Above Beauhamel hung a tremendous wall of cloud, stretching for miles upwards like a cliff-face. It was an eerie sight as we flew towards it, for it felt as if the sky were swallowing our little Fees whole!

Into the cloud we went, as it collapsed around us, and I held the stick tightly until we were through the other side. When I got there, Reid & McNaughton had vanished. I re-formated with Graves and we went back to our patrol. Eventually, after a thoroughly dull period of flying back-and-forth through otherwise empty skies, Graves became fed-up and fired the washout signal. We made our individual ways back towards Clairmarais and, wherever they had gotten to, I assume that Reid & McNaughton also saw the signal, for they arrived about ten minutes after Graves & I.

‘C’ Flight are up for the afternoon patrol. Perhaps they shall see some more action.

[Linked Image]

Posted By: JJJ65

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/02/19 06:43 AM

Originally Posted by 77_Scout
Originally Posted by JJJ65
Of course, I am talking about this mod - WOFFUEMk-1WBomsightsAll_in_Onemod-v1.4 .

I was using V1.0 so was out of date. The newer V1.4 works (did a quick test in a Quick Combat 'Free Flight'). Thanks!!!!

UPDATE: It works in quick-combat but does not work in campaign. Weird.

That is definitely problem in RAF_BE2C_sqd.xdp file. I will update the mod with corrected file today or tomorrow.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/02/19 06:16 PM

2 February , 1916 8:21
Toul, Verdun Sector
Escadrille C17
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

Flight operations were resumed today once Adj. Becquerel returned from his leave. Gaston was paired with Sous Lieutenant Dessarce to attack the Verdun rail yard spur line NE junction. Gaston winced with every engine sputter coming from Dessarce’s plane. If he keeps abusing them like that, he will have no engines left for the return flight. They crossed the lines among the usual puffs of Flak welcoming them to the Front. There were no other planes visible anywhere around, which could not be blamed on the weather. The conditions were perfect allowing for excellent visibility. The rail yard would soon be in range when Voscadeaux noticed dark wisps of smoke emanating from Dessarce’s airplane. The wisps grew larger transforming into trails marking the flight’s location for miles. Sous Lieutenant begun to lose altitude and turned west toward the closest front lines. Gaston pressed on watching the smoke trail disappear in the distance. The rail yard came into view and he noticed a train leaving the station. The Caudron was just flying over it and this gave Gaston an idea. He wondered if he could hit it. He aimed and let one of the bombs go, then watched as the train passed under and the bomb exploded harmlessly behind it. Well that was fun Gaston, but next time account for the train’s movement. He aimed again and released his last bomb over the sheds. He watched it explode just short, inflicting minimal damage. There were no excuses for that one. The sheds weren’t moving even one inch. Gaston sighed. He was sure le Capitaine will order them to repeat the mission tomorrow. He swung his crate around and headed for home. Voscadeaux felt indifferent when he learned that Dessarce made it safely back to the ground on the French side. Gaston would prefer the Sous Lieutenant to get a taste of German hospitality for a while and learn some humility.
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/03/19 02:28 PM


Fullofit, sounds like S'Lt. Dessarce is a real prig. It would be nice if something, or someone, would take him down a peg or two. Sorry Gaston's claim was not awarded, those brass hats can be real prigs too.

Wulfe, glad to see that Graham is back on the active roster. Paperwork is such a boar.

Carrick, Nigel and his crew appear to be in the thick of it at the moment. Let's hope things get better for them, else wise there may be none of them left to carry on the fight.

2nd Lt. Swanson had a full day. This morning first thing the Major sent him to St-Omer to fly back his replacement mount - a nice, fresh Morane. Once in the air with it Swany found it to handle beautifully and was quite pleased. He was also stunned once again at just how large the facilities at St-Omer really are.
Upon his return to Auchel he was informed that his new bus would be immediately checked over and made ready for the afternoon mission, a bombing sortie on the Hun aerodrome at Epinoy. Swany looked at the map and was more than a bit nervous when he saw the intended target was at good 15 miles into Hunland. He hoped the new Parasol ran as sweetly there and back as it had from the depot. He needn't have worried, the entire trip went without incident and he and Chris actually got a hit on one of the hangars at Epinoy. On the return home Archie got rather close and bounced them around, but apart from that it was a fine outing. And not a single EA was seen.

Marveling at the size of the facilities at St-Omer.
[Linked Image]

A direct hit at Epinoy!
[Linked Image]

Archie getting just a bit too chummy.
[Linked Image]


Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/03/19 06:12 PM

Lou, I am hoping Becquerel would be able to take him down a peg, or two. We shall see.
Good to see Swany back in the air and in a brand spanking new machine to boot. Hope he treats her better than his last ride.

3 February , 1916 9:02
Toul, Verdun Sector
Escadrille C17
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

Just as Gaston suspected, the C.O. let his displeasure be known regarding their poor performance from yesterday and ordered the two men to complete the mission as originally planned. No slip ups, no more bad engines, no misses.
Voscadeaux was following Dessarce over the rail yard he “visited” yesterday. He paid close attention and took great care to aim his bombs. He didn’t want to come back here third day in a row. His aim was true. First bomb went through the roof of the large shed destroying it and the adjacent structure as well. The second bomb exploded in the middle of the yard, setting on fire many crates with supplies and ammunition. He was pleased with himself and returned to the aerodrome in good spirits. S.Ltn. Dessarce managed to keep his Caudron in one piece ... mostly. As he was making his circuits around the base, the engines begun to smoke again. He was able to land among great billows of black smoke and stench of burnt oil. Gaston simply rolled his eyes and headed for the mess.
Adjutant Dumas announced that a new pilot arrived on the base while they were completing their mission. A certain Sergent Gaspar Tourand. Gaston decided to introduce himself tomorrow in the briefing room. He was parched and in need of wine.

Posted By: Sailor_Steve

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/03/19 10:06 PM

I'm really enjoying all these stories and adventures, but I like the videos the most. Unfortunately I don't know how to make them. Any hints?
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/04/19 12:52 AM

Toul, 3eme Fevrier, 1916

Ma Chere Violette,
I am hoping this letter will find you in good health. I am writing to you only a few words as I don’t have much time. I have great news! Today, after my mission I was called into our Capitaine’s office. You will remember him from my previous letters. Capitaine de Bondy announced that I am being transferred to a new unit. With the ever-growing threat from the Boche aeroplanes the French Command decided to bolster their scout ranks to protect the vulnerable observation machines. This means moving promising pilots to new units. I’ve been chosen to fly scouts! The little contraptions I’ve been telling you about. I have to pack today and take the train this evening to my new aerodrome west of Verdun. I’ve been told I will be joining Escadrille N37, which means I’ll be flying Nieuports! I will write more once I’m there. I hope you are very proud of me and I miss you and the girls very much! Please give Giselle and Bernadette my love.
Ton mari,

When I broke the news to Ernest he was very upset, but after discussing it over a bottle of la gnôle I convinced him to let me go and for him to enlist in pilot school. Perhaps we will meet again?

I had to give Becquerel your picture I kept stuck to the cockpit. He is convinced it is a good luck charm. In return, Ernest gave me his picture when he was still in the army, which I am enclosing in this letter. You’ll finally see what the man looks like.

Attached picture Becquerel.jpg
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/04/19 01:47 AM

Hi Steve, I'm pretty new to this as well and started making these shorts just for the DiD Campaign. If you have a recent nVidia card you should be able to get them going as well. Nvidia comes with gForce Experience, which among other things has a video capture utility. (The other company probably also has a utility similar to this, but I'm not familiar with it.) You can get it to run by pressing Alt+F9 (I think that is the default). When you're in gForce Experience app, go to settings:

[Linked Image]

Then select IN-GAME OVERLAY as shown above and click on another button called settings. An overlay should pop up with more settings.

[Linked Image]

The ones you are interested in are: Video capture, where you can adjust recording's resolution, bitrate and other goodies. The other page is Recordings, where you will tell the program where you want your movies to be stored.

Once you have all that sorted and the OVERLAY enabled you should be able to just press Alt+F9 to start recording once you are flying in WoFF. You should get a little green "light" in the corner of the screen telling you that recording is going on. Keep in mind that the movies will be huge. I'm into 10GB for 1 hour of recording and I think the quality is mediocre. Once you have your recording done - it should be in .MP4 format, you can start cutting it to size in your favourite video editing program. I don't use anything fancy. If you have Win 10, just use the Photos app to open the video there and trim it. If you've managed this far then you're halfway there. In Photos app click in top right menu on "Edit & Create". You will get some fun choices to edit the video with:

[Linked Image]

Pick "Trim" and with the scale at the bottom of the picture adjust the video to only the part you want to see.

[Linked Image]

Hint: the white dots indicate the beginning and the end of the trimmed movie. Drag those white dots with your mouse to the desired moment - the movie will adjust while you're dragging so you can see what's happening. Once you're satisfied with your short version of the movie click on "Save as" and specify where you want it saved on your computer.

You will have to create a YouTube account to post videos there. Or Google video account, or Vimeo. Whatever works best for you. If you already have an account, upload your trimmed video there. You will get a link that looks like something like this: "https://youtu.be/7o_wfuSL". Copy this link to clipboard and you are almost done. Now to place it in this post.

Click on the button "Use Full Editor" below your post. You will get this menu. Click on the video button:

[Linked Image]

Then pick the correct format.

[Linked Image]

Pick YouTube Video if you posted your movie to YouTube. A window will come up where you will paste the video link you copied to clipboard earlier. Click on OK. Finish your post and you should be done.

Good luck and … do join us in the DID Campaign!

Attached picture Settings.JPG
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Attached picture Menu.JPG
Attached picture Video.JPG
Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/04/19 01:50 AM

Congratulations, Gaston, on moving up to Scouts! May you go on to be France's Ace-of-Aces!

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell
No. 20 Squadron R.F.C.,
Clairmarais Aerodrome, France.

February 3rd, 1916.

After our return yesterday, I headed into the Vincent alongside Jacky-Boy. My compatriot certainly had a spring in his step, practically bounding through the door, and I soon discovered why as Jeanne came bounding into his open arms. After their embrace, we were shown to our table, and sat down for a delicious lunch, consisting of an omelette, freshly fried mushrooms and, of course, a cup of green tea for myself.

As Jeanne glided from table to table, pouring coffee and making eyes at the smitten Jacky-Boy, I nudged his arm and gestured with my eyebrows at the waitress. “Well? How did you manage it, you dog?” I asked, with a smirk. With a grin that made it look as if his entire face would split in two, he leaned in close. “I’ll never tell”. He said, and I almost fell out of my seat. “What! You must!” I responded, as the sly fox fell back in his chair, laughing his head off. Three tables away, Jeanne was laughing too.

Lucky Jacky-Boy. I had, too, developed something of a fondness for Jeanne, only I had not acted upon it. By any means, if I was to retain any sort of morality, the opportunity was lost. Jacky-Boy and I finished our lunch, idly chatting among ourselves about our various trips out over the front, as I pushed my disappointment to the back of my mind.

We returned to our Billet, only to find Switch-off dragging a packed suitcase down the front steps. “The C.O says we have to move closer to the aerodrome!” he explained to us, and Jacky-Boy let out a groan, called the Major a ‘Bloody Bore’, and skulked off inside to begin packing up his things.

Our new Billet was a cozy little stone cottage that sat down a road a short walk from the aerodrome, which the four of us were to be bundled into. Pleasantly, it was next-door to a three-storey building which housed some more of our fellows, including Archer and Pearson. Jimmy Reynard was off on the ‘C’ flight show, so we decided that we’d pack his things and bring them along, on his behalf.

It didn’t take us long to settle in and make the place our own. Switch-off’s lucky scarf found a home on the hat-rack by the door, and his gramophone was placed in the corner, on top of an old empty crate. The furniture was hastily rearranged with our future card-games in mind, and Jimmy Reynard decorated the wall above his bunk with several raunchy pictures of young ladies that he’d procured in various magazines in St. Omer. Magazines, I may add, that only Reynard seemed to be able to locate.

After a night of wagering over card-games, in which young Switch-off was made poorer but wiser by us all, we retired for the evening.

The morning rolled in, and once more I marvelled at the frost-touched land as we made our way, sharing cigarettes between us, to the briefing-room. Being far closer to the aerodrome than we were used to, we were even early, to the visible surprise of half of our pilots. Even the immovable Major’s eyebrows raised slightly.

‘B’ flight had the morning show - we were being sent back to Bapaume, this time on a Reconnaissance. Happily, Reynard would be accompanying us as one of the two covering Fees - the other being flown by McNaughton. As we walked towards our machines, Graves & Reid idly discussed the route towards the target - what landmarks to use, et cetera. Reynard, with Bristow (his Observer), sidled up alongside me. “Ho, Cambell, A’ve nivver been that far doon the lines, what’s it like doon there?” he asked, cautiously. I patted him on the back, grinning. “Not a Hun in the sky, Jimmy! And the archie gunners are half-asleep. Save for the length of the trip, it’s a perfectly pleasant show!”. This seemed to reassure Reynard, who breathed a happy sigh of relief as he pulled his flying cap over his red mess of hair.

At my machine I again found Capt. Ackart waiting for me. “Morning, Campbell”. He said, with a slight air of contempt in his voice. It was no secret that the Captain-Observers didn’t care one bit for the idea of flying with a Sergeant-Pilot at the controls. I merely nodded, as I climbed into the Cockpit of A6333, tying my tea-bundle charm around the flight stick. Down the flight-line, I caught Reynard’s eye, and he cheerfully waved to me. The Ack-Emmas presently had our engines purring over, and the Verey light went up. Down the airfield we went, our Beardmores roaring out Forty, Fifty, Sixty miles an hour, and soon we were all up, five machines, soaring into the blue.

We made the usual climb around St. Omer, into a beautifully blue sky with lazy high cumulus rolling forth. One cloud in particular caught my eye, for to me it looked just like one of the four lion statues that stood at the feet of Nelson’s Column in London. I cannot explain why I saw this, but there it was! We passed SOuth under the Lion’s feet, and headed out past the Foret de Nieppe, and towards our target at Bapaume.

After a long and eventless flight, with Reynard & McNaughton flying quite a ways ahead of us, the lines came into view as we crossed over the top of Arras, passing by a pair of B.E’s, who’s crews cheerily waved to us. As our shadows crept into the mud, Ackart and I sharpened up. Above us, a lone French Nieuport wheeled across the sky. Below, our boys in the trenches were having a hard time - every now and then, the ground would rear up as German shells came down around the front-lines. I grimaced in sympathy as I watched one such shell land in the centre of a British trench. Leaving the Tommies to their own war, we crossed into Hunland and Reid’s bus manoeuvred into position to photograph his target. We begun to hear the now-familiar ‘woof-woof’ of Archie around us, as we indifferently glided over the German lines at 5,500 feet, but the fire was just as lazy and inaccurate as yesterday, and we made our rounds without much trouble, and turned for home.

On the return trip, 6333’s engine suddenly begun to splutter, and quickly died. I switched to the Gravity tank, and the engine thankfully coughed into life. Checking my map, and my position, I decided to put in at Izel Les Hameux aerodrome. The Ack-Emmas looked over our machine, and found that a seal on the fuel line had deteriorated and broke away, assuring Ackart that we would be on our way by the early evening. After telephoning Clairmarais, I was invited by a cheery-faced pilot, Lieutenant Lawrence, to join him in No. 13 Squadron’s mess. As it turns out, theirs were the two B.E’s we’d seen coming across the lines. They, too, had been photographing German troop positions around Bapaume, and we discussed the possibility of an upcoming push in the area. We stayed to have our dinner with the chaps of No. 13, who later came out to enviously scrutinise 6333, some of them even asking to climb aboard and get a feel for the cockpit. Ackart allowed this, and after a warm goodbye we headed home, for an evening of songs in our own mess, with Pearson tinkling pleasantly away on the piano.

No pictures this time, I'm afraid! Storytelling may be a little scarce, that pesky 'real world' has been running interference again >:(
Posted By: Sailor_Steve

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/04/19 02:04 AM

Awesome! Thanks for the info. My card is from "The Other Company", but I'm sure from here I'll be able to figure it out. Thanks again.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/04/19 02:55 AM

Originally Posted by Wulfe
Congratulations, Gaston, on moving up to Scouts! May you go on to be France's Ace-of-Aces!

Wulfe, thanks for the vote of confidence! I am not so optimistic myself. A stable two-engined Caudron is a totally different beast to a squirrelly, lose-your-wings-at-any-moment scout. Time will tell.
So, Jeanne’s been spoken for. jawdrop That didn’t take too long.
Also, it looks like there is much more traffic going on in your part of the woods. Gaston barely sees a soul on his patrols. It’s possible he may need glasses.

No pictures this time, I'm afraid! Storytelling may be a little scarce, that pesky 'real world' has been running interference again >:(

What? Not even during halftime? duck
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/04/19 02:56 AM

Originally Posted by Sailor_Steve
Awesome! Thanks for the info. My card is from "The Other Company", but I'm sure from here I'll be able to figure it out. Thanks again.

You are welcome. Let us know how it goes.
Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/04/19 12:00 PM

Originally Posted by Fullofit

So, Jeanne’s been spoken for. jawdrop That didn’t take too long.

Ah, well, I wanted to get a little more out of that 'storyline', but being pressed for time (yes, even during half-time!! wink ) I felt it best to expedite things a little, before I forgot about it entirely! Jacky-Boy isn't complaining.

As for the traffic, it's welcome so long as it remains as only B.E's and Nieuports! Not seen much of anything since Campbell & Edith gave the fokker-aviatik flight a good seeing to...
Posted By: JJJ65

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/04/19 04:05 PM

Originally Posted by JJJ65
Originally Posted by 77_Scout
Originally Posted by JJJ65
Of course, I am talking about this mod - WOFFUEMk-1WBomsightsAll_in_Onemod-v1.4 .

I was using V1.0 so was out of date. The newer V1.4 works (did a quick test in a Quick Combat 'Free Flight'). Thanks!!!!

UPDATE: It works in quick-combat but does not work in campaign. Weird.

That is definitely problem in RAF_BE2C_sqd.xdp file. I will update the mod with corrected file today or tomorrow.

OT - Fixed version of Bombsight mod v1.5 available in this: thread
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/04/19 04:27 PM

About transfers and awards - a reminder

Congrats, Fullofit, on your quick transfer.

In case you are all wondering, about two weeks ago Fullofit had a random visit from the Campaign gods informing him that he could apply for a transfer to Escadrille N37. In keeping with the premise of the Deep Immersion Campaign, this is something we can each hope for in time. In his case, the build-up of French scout squadrons in the Verdun sector (and Gaston's knack for annoying his various bosses) suggested the move. In time, we'll all get the call.

Also, awards will be issued by the Campaign gods, following historic norms. While German pilots can announce their Ehrenbechers when they get them in-game, all other awards will come from the Campaign Gong Fairy (AKA Louvert). The only exception are Lou himself, who'll get his awards from me, and me, who will rely to Lou to confirm any of my pilot's awards.

At least one British mention in despatches is in the works, but since Haig did not issue his first despatch until May 1916, MiD's will not be announced until mid-May -- should the recipient(s) live so long!

Have fun!!!

Posted By: Maeran

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/04/19 05:22 PM

There's always Comic Cuts, Raine. They've been going since 1915
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/04/19 06:29 PM

Originally Posted by Raine
About transfers and awards - a reminder

And believe me, no one was more surprised than Gaston.

BTW, what happens when the Dead is Dead pilot ... dies?
How do we enlist the next one? Does he have to fly training missions? Start in a two-seater? Can he lead a normal life knowing that he has just died in his previous incarnation?
Posted By: Hasse

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/04/19 06:52 PM

Hey, congrats on the transfer!

The powers that be willing, I'll try to keep Julius at Bertincourt for as long as possible. The field is perfectly situated for the coming battle of the Somme, and I imagine that would offer some nice storytelling possibilities... provided that Julius stays alive, of course. *knocks on wood*
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/04/19 09:50 PM

Carrick, Good to you are still causing havoc to the enemy with your bombs and stopped playing with them around the mechanics shed.
Wolfe, I do hope you are keeping your writings to make a book. Shoot, I would buy it. Great stories.
Lou, I hope your new machine has a better engine than your last.
Fullofit, You lucky dog you! A real fighting airplane! Good luck with your new squad!
Raine, you rally are the ringmaster! Maybe I should try making the Major ill what with the big battle coming our way. Need more scout pilots, hint, hint. Seriously, I am enjoying the Morane. I would never had flown it if not for this campaign and it is not a bad machine.

Lt. Mark Jericho
Auchell Aerodrome
Feb.4, 1916

"How is the leg, Mark?" Swany asked.

"Oh, she's fine. You know, I have never been so embarrassed in my life. We get to the aid station and I can feel the blood pooling in my boot. Hurt like blazes too! When the doc starts to take my boot off I'm thinking the foot might come off with it. Well, he gets the boot off and rolls up my trouser leg and there is blood pouring all over the floor. I'm wondering if I'll ever walk again!"

Swany leans over in his chair toward Jericho totally absorbed in the story.

"So then the doc starts washing my calf off and low and behold, it ain't nothing! A pretty good gash for sure but I've seen men with a lot worse throw a little Kerosine on it and never look back. He told me I was lucky and would be back in the air in a few days."

"Its good to have you back." Swany said. After a few minutes of silence Swany asked Jericho, "How did you end up flying coming from out west."

"Well that's a long story Pard. After I left Mississippi, I ended up working on a ranch outside of San Antonio Texas. There was this girl there. Marjorie Stinson. She had a Wright model B. It was tail heavy and prone to stall"

"Wait, Marjorie, a woman!?" Swany asked in surprise.

""You bet, and easy on the eyes too!" Jericho replied. "Anyway, she gave lessons for a dollar a minute and I thought that was just about the most wonderful thing I had seen in my life.I didn't have much else to spend money on and was making $30 dollars and found per month at the time so whenever I could, I would ride down to her place and she would give me lessons. After that me, and another went to Montana and then Canada to see the country. I had saved up a good bit of money by then and not being wise to the world lost it all to a swindler selling stock in an oil company. Really didn't know what to do at that point and ran into a recruiting Sargent who promised me I could see the world and save it to boot. When he asked if I could drive a motor car I told him "no but I can fly an airplane" his eyes lit up like the fourth of July."Jericho stopped suddenly looking away at nothing in particular then back at Swany. "Now I'm in France sitting in a wooden shack talking to a Northerner I don't even understand half the time.... Heck of a world ain't it Pard." Jericho said with a grin.

"What does your family back in Mississippi think about you being in France" Swany asked.

"I'm glad you brought that up Swany" Jericho said as he reached under the mattress and pulled out a letter addressed to Deemer Jericho, Tupelo Mississippi. "If something ever happens to me would you see that she gets this? It's to my mother."

Swany had been with Jericho long enough to know that this was the end of the conversation but decided to pursue it. "Has your father passed?"

Jericho rolled the letter over in his hands looking at it. "He don't enter into the equation Pard" Jericho said matter of fact. "You hungry."

Note:In 1914, Marjorie and Katherine Stinson opened a flying school in San Antonio Tx.
"$30 dollars and found" meant $30 plus droom and board. $30/month was average pay for a cowhand at the turn of the century
Kerosine was used as a cure all for cuts, mange on animals and everything in between. I remember it being used many times in the rural south in my childhood

Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/04/19 09:51 PM

Originally Posted by Fullofit
Originally Posted by Raine
About transfers and awards - a reminder

...BTW, what happens when the Dead is Dead pilot ... dies?
How do we enlist the next one? Does he have to fly training missions? Start in a two-seater? Can he lead a normal life knowing that he has just died in his previous incarnation?

PM me with a new pilot bio and the Campaign gods will take it from there with full instructions. No training requirement, but your initial posting could be anything open to your selected nationality and service.


Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/04/19 10:23 PM

MFair, wait! Was Marjorie tail heavy and prone to stall? I'm so confused.
Raine, thanks for the additional info. Just wanted to know what the price of death is.

4 February , 1916 9:15
Senard, Verdun Sector
Escadrille N37
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

“- Bonjour, I am Sergent Gaston Voscadeaux. Reporting for duty!” Gaston saluted as he entered his new C.O.’s office.
“- Ahh, Bienvenue! Entrez-Vous! You are the pilot who arrived late last night, n’est pas?” Capitaine Louis Joseph Marie Quillien, the commanding officer of Escadrille N37 lifted himself from the armchair and offered Gaston his hand. Gaston looked around the office. The picture on the Capitaine’s desk caught his eye.
“- Is that ...” Gaston was speechless.
“- Yes, he served with us before transferring to MS49.” Capitaine Quillien beamed.

[Linked Image]

“- You ... knew ... Adolphe Pegoud, the King of the Air?” Gaston could not believe his eyes and ears.
“- Yes, we flew together for a few months, but enough about celebrities. Let’s get down to business.” Quillien sat back behind his desk. “- I’m afraid we’ll have to put you to work right away. Are you up for it?” Le Capitaine was looking at a chart behind him on the chalkboard.
“- Oui, mon Capitaine. I am eager to serve!” In fact, Gaston couldn’t wait to get his hands on one of those single-seaters.
“- Bon! You will fly with ...” Still looking at the chart Quillien couldn’t quite decide. “- ... with Caporal Durand. He will be your observer.”
“- Ob... Observer?” Gaston was taken aback.
“- Is that a problem, Sergent Voscadeaux?” The new C.O. was intrigued.
“- I thought we will be flying the Nieuport scouts.” Gaston sounded disappointed.
“- Oh, sorry to disappoint you, mon ami. The scouts are reserved for higher ranked pilots. But don’t worry. Work hard, fly well, stay alive and I’m certain you will find yourself sitting in one of them very soon. Be patient. For now it’s the Nieuport 12 for you. I’m sure you will find it to your liking.” Gaston liked this man, he had the qualities of a great leader. Something that’s been lacking as of late in the French Command.
Caporal Christophe Durand, Gaston’s new observer/gunner was young, very young. His face was covered in zits and easily excitable. And when he was excited, Gaston found him speaking very fast. He reminded him of someone he knew, but couldn’t quite place it. It was only when Christophe spoke of his father that Gaston made the connection. What a small world, Durand’s father drives a taxi in Paris.
Despite this being Gaston’s first mission in the new area, he was picked to lead the ‘B’ Flight. Caporal Mondeme would bring up the rear. They would spot for the artillery NW of the aerodrome just over the lines and they would get cover from the Nieuports 10 of the ‘A’ Flight, composed of S.Ltn. Medeville and Sgt. de Geuser. It was one of those overcast days, dominated by steel-grey clouds. They’ve been hurried along by Flak over the entire stay over the front. They didn’t see many troop positions and the artillery ranging shots never came. Gaston’s first mission at Senard aerodrome was a bust. Hopefully he would be able to prove himself more useful than this and soon.

[Linked Image]

Attached picture Pegoud.JPG
Attached picture 1916-02-04.jpg
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/04/19 11:40 PM

Originally Posted by Maeran
There's always Comic Cuts, Raine. They've been going since 1915

The RFC Communiques, affectionately known as "Comic Cuts", reported on RFC activities on a regular basis from 1915 on. A Mention in Dispatches, however, required being singled out in the Army GOC's despatches and reported in a supplement to the London Gazette. Haig's first despatch hasn't happened yet, The main despatch was issued on 19 May 1916, with supplements to follow (including mentions). So I'm collecting the MiDs for later publication.

There was no medal or special award for an MiD at first. One received only the warm, fuzzy feeling of recognition. At war's end, there were two acknowledgements. First, the recipient got a nice certificate, suitable for framing on one's "I Love Me" wall. Second, a bronze leaf pin was issued, which was to be worn on the ribbon of the Victory Medal or British War Medal.

For the campaign, the Gong Fairy is planning to issue the certificate, I believe. Just pretend you (or your bereaved spouse / parents) got it after the war.
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/05/19 12:10 AM

Fullofit, you crack me up Bud! But, to your point, gentlemen never tell.

Raine, your knowledge of history is very impressive. You have most likely forgotten more than I know.
Posted By: Blade_Meister

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/05/19 12:17 AM

Fullofit, that last pictures is a Classic. Very beautiful shot Sir. Into my WOFF UE favorites folder it goes.
TY Sir.

S!Blade<>< winkngrin
Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/05/19 12:36 AM

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell,
No. 20 Squadron R.F.C,
Clairmarais Aerodrome, France,

February 4th, 1916.

The morning was typical for this time of year, with the frosted-over fields gleaming in the sunlight. By the time I had awoken, Jacky-Boy had already dashed off into town to see Jeanne. No such luck for me - instead, I made my way to the mess, where I found ‘Normie’ McNaughton reading through the latest Communiques, or ‘Comic Cuts’ as the RFC types had taken to calling it, and Archer, who was sketching away while looking out of the window. “Morning, Normie”, I greeted my wingman, and he looked up with a smile. “ ‘Hello, Campbell! Cold morning, hey?”. I nodded, flopping down in the armchair opposite his. “Yes, indeed, although I rather like the cold”. Normie cocked his head to the side. “Well, not me. Anyway, things might be getting a little warmer later on…”. I got the distinct impression he wasn’t referring to the weather. “Oh? How so?” I pressed, and Normie broke out in a fatalistic smile. “We’ve got the Lens show today!” he said, almost triumphantly.

To date, Lens had been the hottest shop that No. 20 has frequented, and every time we go over that way it seems to end up in a scrap. I rather wished that Edith would be flying with me, but he has since been assigned to another pilot, and I am to stay with Ackart. I only hope that he is as courageous as my Scottish ex-colleague.

After having a morning cup of coffee in the mess with Normie, we headed out, as the Ack-Emmas would surely be preparing our machines. I found Ackart waiting beside A6333, and we climbed in. He turned to face me, his face stern. “No antics, Campbell, I don’t want to end up shot like Edith” he said. Shooting him a cold glare, I replied “Certainly not, sir” and pulled down my goggles. I find Ackart more disagreeable with each morning.

Ahead of our machine, I noticed Kris Bristow walking towards Normie’s machine. He turned and waved to me, and I waved back, calling out “Not with Jimmy anymore?”. He shook his head in confirmation - it seems like I’m not the only one to have lost my observer.

We made our final checks, and Ackart loaded the gun as I tied my charm to the control column, and then we were off and headed out past St. Omer, to make our long, wheeling climb. There was plenty of low cumulus, and visibility was fairly poor, and soon we had lost sight of Normie & Tepes. When they finally reappeared - it was from behind the other side of a cloud we were rounding, and we all got the wind right up as we suddenly had two Fees about to barrel headlong into our formation from the left! Graves immediately threw his machine into a steep dive, just avoiding Normie’s undercarriage, and I watched in horror as his observer went over the side of the Nacelle, only staying aboard the machine by clinging to the forward Lewis for dear life! No doubt there would be one hell of a row in the mess later.

[Linked Image]
Mind out!!!

Shakily, Graves put his fee back in front of our now-reunited flight, and we headed out towards the lines before any other mishap could befall us. After a cautious flight, we crossed the lines at Neuve-Chapelle without any further incidents.

After a short while of patrolling, I saw movement in the mud below. Leaning over the side of the canopy, I made out the shape of an Aviatik, being escorted by a Fokker, down near the ground. Sitting ducks for the five of us! I tried to signal to Graves, but he would take no notice, so I expectantly turned to Ackart. He slowly shook his head; ‘NO’. Irritably, I slumped back in my seat. Out on the edge of our trench-lines, another Fokker, alone, weaved left and right through little white archie puffs. I gritted my teeth, anxious to attack something. There were five of us - what chance did the lone Eindecker have? But, Graves was immovable. Soon after, we turned for home. But, this disappointing show had one last unwelcome moment in store for me as, just short of Clairmarais, 6333’s engine cut out again. Switching to Gravity got the Beardmore humming over again, and I put in at Clairmarais, before fetching an engine fitter and informing him that the fuel line seal had gone again.

[Linked Image]
A Temperamental Fee!

At around half past One, after having my lunch in the mess with Normie, I returned to my Billet to find Jacky-Boy happily packing his things into a suitcase. “Going somewhere?” I asked. Without looking up from his packing, he shouted back “I’ve been given a 48-hour pass! I’m off to-” “St. Omer, perhaps?” I interrupted, teasingly. He turned, and winked at me, before going back to his packing. I left him to it, taking a stroll back to the aerodrome, to visit old A6338. I was happy to learn that the engine was to be fitted by the end of the evening, having arrived by truck shortly after ‘B’ flight’s departure. I looked over my machine, beaten-up and holed by Hun gunfire, and felt a great affection for the old girl. Suddenly, a thought occurred to me, and I pulled one mechanic to the side. “Say, do you think you could put in a clasp to hold this?” I asked, producing the small tea-bindle charm. The mechanic knowingly smirked. “Oh, no bother at all, ser! We’ll have it done just as soon as the new Beardmore’s settled in”. I thanked him, and turned to leave. As I went, one of the engine fitters called out “By the way, the new engine’s a peach - she’ll be the envy of the squadron!”. I turned back, grinning. “Excellent stuff! Thank you, gentlemen!”. As one, they touched their caps.

That night, Switch-Off, Jimmy Reynard and I saw Jacky-Boy off, before heading to the mess for the evening sing-song. Sure enough, Pearson was already in position at the battered old Piano, its endearingly out-of-tune voice filling the mess. Abruptly, he stopped, and turned to the crowd of us that had gathered, merrily securing our first drinks of the evening. “Okay chaps, any requests?”. Immediately, Edith called out “Mademoiselle from Armentieres!”, which was answered by an approving cheer from us all.

With our arms around each-other’s shoulders, spilling drinks down each-other’s tunics, we belted out the tune loud, of course reaching a climax at the ever-loved “Hinky-Dinky Parlez-Vous!!!”.

I stumbled back towards my Billet earlier than most, accompanied by Switch-off, who had quickly learned in France that he had no real stomach for alcohol. As we staggered down the freezing road by the aerodrome, I pondered upon my time in France, the reality compared to my initial expectations at Hounslow, in those early days flying B.E’s. Drunkenly, I turned to Switch-off, his scarf pulled up around his face against the chill.

“Say, Switchy, how do you find France?”. He turned to me, his boyish features wearing a look of surprise. After a pause, followed by a stutter, came his response: “Well, whatever do you mean, Graham?”. “I mean, when we were in Hounslow, with Freddy and the other chaps, what did you expect? Do you feel better off, or worse?”. Switch-off’s face tightened, as he begun to concentrate and feel out his response, and for a moment he looked almost of the same age and maturity as the rest of us. “I suppose,” he begun, before falling into another long pause. “I suppose that I am happy. The war is quiet in the air, and we don’t get shot at very much. The poor devils in the trenches must lose their friends an awful lot, but we seem to get on okay”. I nodded slowly. “True, we are lucky in that aspect. For me, I expected more fighting, for it rather feels like I’m not doing my bit”. Switch-off smiled, but looked saddened. “Don’t be so silly, Graham! We’re all doing our bit, you know. You, more so than most of us! Why, you’ve already gotten a Hun, and we all know you’ll jump at the chance to get another!”.

We had nearly reached the door to our Billet, and again Switch-off wore that serious look on his face as he turned to me, unravelling the blood-red scarf from around his throat. “I heard Ackart complaining after you came back today, something about trying to chase a Hun”. I opened my mouth to reply, but Switch-off continued. “You ought to be more careful, Graham”. I fell silent, surprised by the lad’s concern. As we stepped out of the cold February air, he offered one more insight:

“We were all in a terrible funk, the day you and Edith were shot down. Jimmy kept telling us all that you were made of sterner stuff. We tried our best to believe him. When you hadn’t arrived back by nightfall, well, we feared that you’d both been killed. Jack was especially down in the dumps - for days, none of us could say much to him. Only his visits to the Vincent, to see Jeanne seemed to cheer him up. She was terribly kind to him, and sorry that you were missing”.

And that was the first moment that the reality of our war truly set in. We had been lucky so far, at No. 20, with only two men lightly wounded, but the underlying reality of death seemed suddenly to appear from every shadow, whispering and inviting. I wanted to talk to Switch-off some more, but before I had collected my thoughts the boy had succumbed to the night’s decadence, and was sprawled out on his bunk in full uniform, peacefully dozing away. As I removed my tunic, crawling into my own bunk, I bit back a laugh at the thought that, out of our whole outfit, it was this youth, this child who had somehow been sent into this hellish war, who was the most prolific of us all.

Having a terrific time with the campaign so far! Looking at everybody's wonderfully fleshed-out personas, I'm trying to do a little 'character-building' of my own. Hopefully, Campbell, Jacky-Boy, Reynard and the rest of the gang will start to develop a bit more personality in time! Looking forwards to everybody's next installments wink

Oh - P.S - nice new bus, Fullofit! Here’s hoping you can ditch the spare seat soon!

Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/05/19 01:33 AM

Originally Posted by Blade_Meister
Fullofit, that last pictures is a Classic. Very beautiful shot Sir. Into my WOFF UE favorites folder it goes.
TY Sir.

S!Blade<>< winkngrin

You are welcome Blade. Glad you like it. Just wait till we get the SPADs!

[Linked Image]

Unfortunately, that's still long time away. For now I keep coming back to this beauty. It will never leave my hard-drive!

[Linked Image]

Attached picture SPAD.jpg
Attached picture Shot03-08-16-18-45-01.jpg
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/05/19 02:16 AM

Wulfe, that was a terrific story. Love how the characters are developing. There is so much depth to them and you want to dig deeper. Good on you. Can’t wait for more. BTW, that was a close call with the entire formation getting together. Should give Campbell an idea how to dump Ackart, literally.
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/05/19 03:19 AM

After a week on the road, it is great to get back into WOFF! There are so many great tales developing and the personalities are wonderfully real. Lederhosen, sorry to see the Blue Dragon dented! I'm glad you found a good place to put it down in the Alsace. Maeran, I always feel a little sorry for Stuffy Dowding. He was a truly great man cursed with terrible shyness. Your description of his dining-out and the new Major putting his stamp on 16 Squadron is first-rate stuff. 77_Scout, it will be interesting to see how Marshall develops. Congratulations on outflying the Fokker with your BE2. It goes to show us that aggression in the air is your best defence. MFair, thanks for the iron work for Collins's hut! I loved the story of Swaney's visit to him while recuperating and how he trained at the Stinson School in Texas. Great stuff. And I thought the story about Captain Chambers' apology was terrific. Get well soon.

Carrick, sorry to see your wingman go down. Please don't take too many chances in that BE. Lou, the tale of the burning Morane was a nail-biter.

Fullofit, the tale of Gaston Voscadeux just keeps getting better. Too bad the Fokker wasn't confirmed. Seeing two Caudrons collide must have been horrific. And once again, congratulations on your posting to N37. Finally, hats off to Wulfe. Every one of your characters is drawn expertly, and you can almost hear the mess piano playing as you read the stories. Also, the photos are really outstanding. Do you retouch them to make them so crisp?

Here is Jim Collins's next chapter...

An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins

Part Fifteen: In which I meet the ferryman who will escort me over the River Styx one day. His name is Corporal Wilson.

On 30 January my old observer, Russel, failed to return from a patrol with one of our new pilots. We have heard nothing and expect the worst. I became a fixture on Captain Mealing’s left wing, opposite Sergeant Bayetto. For a few missions I flew with a very nice fellow named Hoskins, but then fate intervened in the person of Sergeant-Major Street.

It was on the morning of 3 February, an unseasonably warm morning when the ice and frost was nearly gone and newly-thawed middens filled the air with the sweet odour of dung and dead grass. Swaney and I were laying out the posts for my hut at the far end of the field. We had measured and plumbed and such things, and then Swaney pretty much took over. Mealing had nominated himself managing director of the construction firm and was lending critical observations, mainly of my work. I was lighting a cigarette and considering a tea break when Major Harvey-Kelly and the good Sergeant-Major sauntered up.

“I do hope this will all be done in good taste,” the Major offered. I assured him that the hut would be a fine addition to the efficiency of the squadron and had been carefully designed to conform to the overall aesthetic of its surroundings -- two parts RFC maintenance shed to one part grimy French pit-head, with a dash of Klondike cathouse to make it mine.

“We’re a tad short of observers at present,” the Major said. "Russel’s replacement is delayed and Theobald and Carruthers are on leave. The Sergeant-Major has a solution, though.”

“Corporal Wilson,” the Sergeant-Major said. “You know him, I assume.”

“Haven’t the foggiest.”

“He’s the blacksmith’s helper. Scot. Glasgow man. Ex-P.B.I.”

I smelled a rat. “Why him, Mr. Street?”

“Indeed,” came the cryptic reply. “He’s a keen one, our Corporal Wilson. I’ll send him over before lunch.” We were on for a two o’clock patrol, a run over to Haubourdin to drop bombs on the Hun field. I hoped Cpl. Wilson was a good shot, for the place was rotten with Fokkers by all accounts.

Swaney quickly framed the walls and set the rafters while I did my bit by carrying heavy objects and swearing at splinters. By eleven, the hut had taken shape and Swaney was eying the corrugated sheets we’d pinched from a Welsh division that was in training near Bethune. As they say, if it stays in the Army, it’s not theft. A tall fellow with thin blond hair shambled up to us. He was wearing coveralls and a split-arse cap. He stood somewhat to attention. As I was not wearing headgear he did not salute.

“Surr,” he said. “Ah’m Corporal Wulson. Yon big bugger o’ a Sergeant-Major says ah’m tae learn t’ be a gunner fer ye, surr. If ye dinna mind me sayin’, it’s no my idea o’ fun, surr.”

“Wilson?” I looked him over. His eyes looked bright enough, but he was a big, formless soul with a drinker’s lip and a fairly scruffy bearing. “How long have you been a corporal?”

“Nine months the first time,” he replied. “Two months this time.”

“This time?” I asked.

“Aye, surr. It’s a guid tale. Ah wis a sergeant for a wee bit. But they wisna fair and a’, no surr.” I would get that story later, I decided.

“Can you fire a Lewis gun. Corporal?”

“Aye, sir. Ah’m a regular dead-eye wi' a machine gun, surr.”

That afternoon the Major and Talbot led our patrol, while I took Wilson up with me for the first time. The man managed to get caught on the gun mounting, and in so doing introduced me to a wondrous dockside vocabulary, followed by a meek “Sorry, surr.”

We flew north toward Choques and circled for height before turning east. No sooner had we come in sight of the lines that the engine began a terrible rattle and seemed fit to separate itself from the rest of the Morane. I shut off and looked for a place to put down. The field as Hesdigneul was visible off to the south, an easy glide. I took the descent in a straight line and waited until I was just short of the field to begin weaving in broad esses to lose speed. We settled easily onto the aerodrome and rolled up to the Bessoneaux. I unbuckled and turned to check on Wilson. He was staring straight ahead, pale as a sheet, his hands clamped to the sides of his cockpit.

[Linked Image]
"We settled easily onto the aerodrome..."

“Well, Corporal, I think that calls for a drink, don’t you?” It was then that I noticed the Lewis. There was no drum on the gun. I asked Wilson what he thought he was doing, and the man told me he was waiting for the order to load.

I am doomed.

Attached picture Landing at Hesdigneul.png
Posted By: Hasse

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/05/19 06:32 PM

Fantastic reads, gentlemen! Keep them coming! cheers

Here's the latest from Julius...


“This war, like the next war, is a war to end war.”

- David Lloyd George (1916)

Early February, 1916.

Julius and the other pilots and observers of Feldflieger-Abteilung 32 were sitting in the living room of the brick building which was used to house the flying crews at Bertincourt. It was already dark outside and all the flights of the day had been completed successfully without casualties. Now the men could relax a little before retiring to their beds. The room was somewhat cramped for so many people, but it was comfortably furnished with sofas and a big table in the middle, suitable for playing cards, which was one of their most popular hobbies. Julius had received a letter from Leni, and was trying to read it among the rather noisy crowd. His attempt was suddenly interrupted by Offizierstellvertreter Martin Zander who had noticed the opened envelope and picked it up to look at the names written on it.

“Leni von Steinmetz, Berlin… She wouldn’t happen to be of the Steinmetz family? The one with more than a few generals in their ranks?” Zander held the envelope and gave a curious look at Julius.

“Well, yes, as a matter of fact, she is. Her father is a general in the Prussian army.” Julius lowered the letter he was reading, mildly annoyed by Zander’s question.

Zander slapped his thigh and let out a shrill whistle. “The general’s daughter! Boys, Julius is moving up in life! That’s quite the catch! Is she pretty?”

Now Julius felt even more annoyed. “She’s not a catch, and yes, she’s pretty. Please don’t talk of her like that.”

Zander grinned and made a dismissive gesture with his hand. “Don’t take it so seriously, Julius. I had no idea you were such a ladies’ man! I bet you could teach us valuable lessons on how to court the daughters of Prussian generals!”

Feeling insulted, Julius was about to say something uncharacteristically nasty to Zander, but their argument was then nipped in the bud by the good-mannered Leutnant Leffers. “Don’t push your luck too far, Martin. Otherwise Julius will probably challenge you to a duel and then Hauptmann Viebig will have to find another pilot to fly your Fokker.” Zander laughed and patted Julius on the shoulder. Julius rolled his eyes and returned to his letter.

Oberleutnant Weber, who often flew as Julius’s observer, then spoke. “I heard from my cousin serving in the General Staff’s transport section at Metz that there’s been a remarkable increase in heavy traffic down there in Elsass. Big guns and ammunition are being transported in numbers he hasn’t seen since the summer of 1914! What else could it mean but a new offensive in the West?”

“It could mean your cousin talks too much”, Leffers said with a wry smile. “I suppose a new push is possible, but personally I think the war will be decided in the East. Hindenburg is driving the Russians back there. No such movement has happened in the West in over a year now.”

Weber turned to Julius. “Your father works in the War Ministry. Do you know anything about a new offensive in the West?”

Julius looked up from his letter. “No, I don’t. Besides, my father would never tell me anything like that. He takes the rules very seriously.”

“Smart man! Army rumours are army rumours, no use worrying about them too much.” Leffers leaned forward in his chair and lit his pipe. Tasting the smoke, he continued. “If there is going to be a push, we will know soon enough. No modern military offensive can be carried out without air support!”

The conversation then drifted on to other matters and Julius was finally able to finish reading Leni’s letter. It was business as usual in the capital, with Julius’s father cracking the whip at the Ministry. Leni was worried about the food situation in the city, though the Ministry employees were in a better place than ordinary Berliners.

Julius would have welcomed an offensive, if it meant a quicker end to the war.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/05/19 10:00 PM

February 3, 1916

The Major still seems to be in a bit of shock regarding yesterday's recon report that the Hun airfield at Lille is completely devoid of aircraft or activity. Seems his pet project these last few weeks has been a bit of a boondoggle!

The upside is that our attention switched today to a railyard north of Lens. The crackerjack lads in the mechanics pool have fixed up my bombing sight and it worked a charm. Four Coopers bombs nicely placed right in the middle of the yard. Corwin did well with his eggs as well and we were both quite eager to give our reports on return as I think we really stuffed up the enemies logistics in the area, at least for a few days.

We have seen no enemy aircraft for some time now and things are becoming rather a lark. I mentioned this to Chris and he got quite upset, saying that I would jinks us by saying such things. Didn't realize the old guy was so superstitious.


Attached picture Combat Flight Simulator 3 Screenshot 2019.02.05 -
Attached picture Combat Flight Simulator 3 Screenshot 2019.02.05 -
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/05/19 11:23 PM

Lovely story, Hasse! I visited Bertincourt last year and it's all coming back.

Here's a quick one from Jim Collins...

An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins

Part Sixteen: In which a sentry become insentient

On making our dead-stick landing at Hesdigneul we trundled to the far end of the field before coming to a stop near a Bessonneau. Wilson and I clambered down and I fumbled for a cigarette to celebrate not ending up in a tree. Just then, a RFC sentry in greatcoat, helmet, and webbing ran up to us, bayonet fixed.
“Get your bloody hands up, you Jerry b*****d!” the fellow shouted, waving the pointy end in my face.

“Look here, we’re British,” I said, and moved to push his rifle to one side. But the fellow gave me a poke in the chest, nearly damaging the leather of my flying coat.

“You’re not bloody British, you Hun. Get back,” he said, kicking out at me with one foot. He seemed not really in full control of himself.

That was when Wilson gave me my first lesson in Glasgow diplomacy. “Tak’ yer manky paws aff oor officer!” he said, and in one deft movement, he stepped beside the man’s rifle, crossed his forearms and grabbed the man’s greatcoat lapels. There was a loud crack as Wilson planted his forehead on the sentry’s nose, doing severe damage. I picked up the fallen sentry’s rifle and we made our way over to the nearest brick building.

A sergeant came running up, pistol drawn. I handed him the rifle. “You’ll need to post another sentry,” I told him. “That one’s broken.” An officer approached. I recognized a major’s crown and saluted.

“Have you just assaulted my sentry?” the major asked.

“I did, surr,” Wilson began. “The silly git...” I cut him off with the wave of a hand.

“I ordered the corporal here to disarm him when the man threatened to bayonet me and attempted to kick me, Major. James Collins, Lieutenant, 3 Squadron.”

The major looked from me to Wilson and back to me.

“Was that necessary?” he asked.

“Absolutely, sir,” I said.

“Och aye, surr,” Wilson added. “He was awa’ w’it, that yin, surr...”

“Quite enough, Corporal,” I said.

It cost me a few drinks, but we were spared a board of inquiry and I suggested a refresher lecture in aircraft recognition, as the sentry had clearly mistaken our monoplane for a Fokker. A tender arrived with a recovery team from Auchel and returned Wilson and me to our field. Wilson had met with a cold reception at the other ranks’ mess in Hesdigneul. I stopped the tender in Lozinghem on the way and bought a couple of bottles of beer for the poor fellow. I had some whiskey back in Auchel, but thought the better of becoming the man’s provisioner of fine spirits.

That night we visited Jericho, who is as he put it, “Fixin’ to get back in the saddle.” I took it upon myself to do a little scavenging and came upon a bin of discarded equipment that included two rubber cups with polished steel fastening that screwed into a length of flexible hose. I believe they were intended for administration of ether.

On my return to the field I spoke with the lead AM, explaining what I wanted, and by morning he had done his magic. One of the cups was fastened to a clip beside my seat and the other was similarly arranged in Wilson’s compartment. Each connected by a hose to a fitting in the side of the cockpit, from which a copper pipe ran from one cockpit to the other. With one mask held over the mouth and the other over an ear, it was possible to talk from one position to the other over the sound of the engine. The Ack-Emmas had even rigged a small red electric light that would illuminate at the press of a button to indicate that the other fellow wanted to talk. It involved struggling to adjust one’s helmet, but at least I’d be able to tell Wilson to load his flipping gun!

At two in the afternoon we flew with Mealing and Bayetto up to Ypres. The Captain conducted an artillery shoot while Bayetto and I covered his rear. We also had a French Nieuport watching over us all. After about an hour, Mealing signalled for us to head home. We were at 6000 feet, several miles northwest of Armentières, when I noticed several puffs of white smoke north of the city. There, down around 3000, were two Fokkers. It was most unusual to see them on our side of the lines. I signalled to Mealing and dived to check out the Huns, emboldened by the sight of the French Nieuport doing the same. One of the Huns headed east, but the other one had a mind to scrap with the Nieuport.

The Fokker had not seen us. I turned on the red light and grabbed the speaking tube, holding the mask to my mouth. “Get ready for a Hun on our left side and below. And be sure the gun is loaded this time!”

We came alongside the Fokker and the big black crosses seemed inviting. Wilson began firing short staccato bursts. The Hun began to tumble away. For a moment I was sure we had him, but he levelled out at 1000 feet. We dived on him again, but the Frenchman got to him first and gave him a good clout. Wilson fired a few rounds from long range. The Fokker spun into a beet field northeast of the city.

[Linked Image]
"We dived on him again, but the Frenchman got to him first..."

All credit to the Nieuport, I suppose, but Wilson and I both felt we’d done a good day’s work.

Attached picture Nieuport's kill.png
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/06/19 02:39 AM

I turn my head away for a moment and there are more great stories.
Raine, I was sure you will have to operate the gun yourself, even though it’s physically impossible. Glad Wilson was useful after all. In the sentry’s defence, all Parasols look like a Pfalz A.I biggrin
Hasse, another masterfully crafted story. That Zander boy reeks of trouble. Good thing Leffers is looking after Julius.
Scout, glad you got that bombsight sorted out. Expect more precise ordnance delivery from now on.
Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/06/19 03:27 AM

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell
No. 20 Squadron R.F.C,
Clairmarais Aerodrome, France.

February 5th, 1916.

I was shaken awake by Jimmy Reynard as the sun was beginning its lazy climb into the sky, its rays bathing the land in gold. Overnight, France’s countryside had begun to thaw, the dew flattening the grass and flora with its weight. Nursing a thumping head, I pulled on my tunic and felt my way for the door. “Ach, c’moan, Cammie! We’re gonny be late to briefing!” came Reynard’s impatient voice, and I waved him away weakly. Resigning to my fate, we stepped out into the easy light.

After a brisk walk that turned my stomach, we made it into the briefing room just in time for the Major to grace us with one of his famous disproving looks, as we tried to make ourselves small in our seats. “Okay, chaps, here it is;” he started, once we had settled, and pointed to the blackboard, dressed in flight plans and pre-decided times. “A has the morning patrol over Bapaume at 0900”. There was a collective groan. “Oh, shut up, you lazy devils! ‘B’ Flight, you go up at 1300, and you’re heading to the Hun’s side on an Offensive Patrol over Lens. As for C, you are heading to Arras at 1500. Now, Graves isn’t well today, so, Reid, you’ll be leading ‘B’. That is all”.

Muttering among ourselves, we rolled out of the briefing room, complaining uselessly about our various jobs. Outside, Pearson offered me a cigarette, which I gratefully accepted. “The Lens show again, eh?” he teased. Sighing, I held my arms up. “What can I say, somebody has to go” I responded.

With some time to spare, I decided to head to the mess and write some letters, the first of which was addressed to my parents back in Nottingham. I included the usual information, the state of the squadron and the chaps, some anecdotes of flying. I left out the Aviatik incident, naturally. After sealing the letter and placing it to the side, I produced a second sheet of paper, and mulled over it for a moment. On the table, my lucky charm caught my eye. Of course - I would write Mrs. Baker, back in Salisbury! Leaning over the paper, I penned the following message:

Dear Mrs. Baker,

I hope this letter finds you in good health. You will be happy to hear that we are doing well in France - the Huns don’t bother us much, and the weather has been favourable for flying. Your presents have been well used here. I have only half of my green tea remaining, but I have fashioned myself a lucky charm, a bag of tea wrapped in a napkin, which I refuse to fly without. Young Switch-off puts a similar faith in the scarf you knitted him, and Edith’s brooch has brought him good luck also.

Pearson is still at it in the squadron mess every night, tapping away on the piano, and the sheet music you gifted him has provided us with many enjoyable nights. I have had an idea. Once we are back in England, we should return to your Cafe, and have another sing-song, all of us together.

I must stop writing now, for I am due to go on a patrol soon, but I hope to write you again soon.

Yours, Graham Campbell.

I wrote one more letter, to my old pal Freddie Foster at Hounslow, after realising that I hadn’t yet heard any news of him since his DH2 crash. To him, I wrote:

Dear Freddy,

It is your old pal from Hounslow, Graham Campbell. I received word of your crash, and hope you have recovered well. The chaps in France are doing very well, and my Observer and I have already sent two huns crashing down. I eagerly await your arrival at France, as I know you will give it to the Huns proper, as you did with the Ottomans. How is the De Haviland, by the way? It must be awfully exciting to fly such a fighting machine.

All the best, Graham.

After I had sealed each letter, and dropped them off back at my Billet to post later, it was almost time for ‘B’ flight’s show. I met with Normie and Bristow back on the aerodrome. “Afternoon, Graham. What do you reckon, today?” Normie asked, and suddenly I remembered Switch-off’s warnings from the night prior. “You know, I hope it’s a quiet shop today” I responded. Bristow nodded. “Me too, I’m fed up of aerial scraps - did Jimmy ever tell you about all the scraps we’ve had? That red-headed maniac has put me through the ringer, and I am glad to be rid of him!”. Normie and I laughed, and I patted him on the back. “Not to worry, Bristow, Normie here is perfectly sensible in the air. Never out of place”. “Never out of place!” Bristow roared. “Why, he nearly had me boarding Graves’ machine yesterday! You pilots are all mad as hatters, no mistake!”. We roared with laughter.

Ackart appeared not long after, offering me his usual cold hello, after which we headed to the ready line. To my delight, old 6338 was waiting eagerly for me on the field. As we climbed aboard, the Ack-Emma who was to spin my prop appeared by the side of the cockpit. “Tell us how she goes, Sir, for I daresay we’ve made her the best bus in the entire squadron!”. I grinned. “I can hardly wait to get in the air”. I responded, and the Ack-Emma winked, before disappearing back towards the Beardmore. Checking my instruments, I also noticed the small clasp that had been added to my dashboard, to house my lucky charm. Gratefully, I attached the trinket, and sat back, admiring it.

Without further ado our three machines were off, Reid leading Normie and I into the climb. 6338 roared into the wind with a reinvigorated power, and I failed to contain the foolish look of glee on my face, as I opened the throttle wide. After climbing, we headed to the front, crossing the lines at Loos without incident, and beginning our patrol. The skies seemed mercifully empty as we crossed into Hunland, and stayed so for the entirety of our patrol. In fact, it rather seemed like the war had packed-up, and we were the only three left, for not a single aeroplane, nor an artillery burst, was seen for the entirety of our stay.

After landing, I returned to my Billet, and took the letters to post in St. Omer. While in town, I decided to visit the Vincent, expecting to find Jacky-Boy there. Instead, I found only Jeanne and her usual crowd of RFC admirers - whom I may add, had more than once now given Jacky-Boy a hot time in the Waitresses’ absence. Upon my entry, she broke into a grin and skipped over. “Ah, Graham! How are you?” she asked. “Very well, thank you, Jeanne. What are my chances of a cup of coffee?”. In one exaggerated sweep of the arm, she beckoned me to sit by a small table by the front door. The table was covered by a red-and-white gingham check tablecloth, an intricately-woven bread basket, and two ornate candlesticks, with red candles half-melted down to wax. Pulling up a luxurious wooden chair and falling onto its blue velvet seat, I looked up at Jeanne inquisitively. “”C’est Romantique, no?”. She leaned over to whisper in my ear, and I felt myself redden with embarrassment as I felt her breath on my neck, while the scattered pilots all turned as one to drive their dagger-stares into me. “In the evening, I dine at this table with my...favourite guests…”. She pulled away. Trying to hide my flustered appearance, I smiled and nodded. “Jacky-boy must feel very lucky, then” I said. A wry smile appeared on Jeanne’s rouged lips. “Let me fetch you that coffee”.

I didn’t keep Jeanne, instead letting her flit about the Cafe, serving her admirers as I slowly enjoyed my coffee. As I had just taken the last sip, Jacky-Boy came through the door. “Ah, darling, you’re here!” I cried out, and he snapped round to face me. “Graham? What the bloody - “ “Now, come dear, sit with me!” I crooned. He tried at first to appear angry, but was soon laughing out loud at my silliness. “Fancy a drink, old boy?” he asked, sitting down opposite me. “I was just about to dash off, actually. But, tomorrow I will bring the chaps down and we can have a good old-fashioned No. 20 do, eh?”. Jacky-boy grinned, lighting a cigarette. “Alright, well, I will look forwards to it!”. I waved good-bye to Jeanne, affectionately punched Jacky-Boy on the shoulder, and stepped out into the cool, pinkish haze of the early evening.

Back at Clairmarais, we went through the usual evening routine of drinking and singing along to Pearson’s tunes. However, it was a more muted affair than the night before - I think the chaps may be getting sick and tired of rough mornings. I cannot say I mind, and I know that Switch-off certainly doesn’t.
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/06/19 11:21 AM

Another round of fantastic stories Gents! Always good to see everyone survived the day. Wulfe, the scene with you and Jacky-boy at the special table gave me a laugh! Be safe folks, it’s gett a little edgy up there.
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/06/19 05:03 PM

Wulfe, wonderful episode. I don't think that Jacky-Boy should splurge on a ring any time soon!
Posted By: Maeran

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/06/19 11:55 PM

Excellent stories gentlemen. I'm going to be saying that a lot and I'm happy to be saying it.
Special mention goes to Wulfe. Your characters are brilliantly written!

The out of control claim for the Eindekker was rejected. That isn't surprising really. What is surprising is that Stanley survived what happened next.

Houses of Parliament, London.

Lord Derby rose from his red leather bench in the house of Lords with a slight stiffness. This was partly his age and partly the result of sitting listening to the final reading of the Military Service Bill. He nodded gently and acknowledged other Peers as they filed out to lunch.
There was a lot of talk about how divisive conscription was. Yes, there had been some resignations; but those were only from amongst the more populist of the Liberal party along with that man Henderson from the Labour party. Good riddance to him. What said it all was that the bill was passed within a week of its eventual proposal.

What was interesting was that Lloyd-George had been pressing for conscription. The prime minister on the other hand had tried to put off the question until the final failure of the Derby scheme had made it necessary. And yet Asquith had taken on the responsibility of introducing the bill himself. That might come back to haunt him.

And what of the failure of the Derby scheme? Lord Derby smiled gently as he anticipated the near future. He was a member of the Conservative party, which had always been in favour of conscription. He was still in charge of recruitment, and wouldn't you know? The Derby scheme worked better as a pre-registration for conscription than it did as an encouragement for volunteers.

Derby wondered what there was for pudding.

La Gorgue, France

2nd Lieutenant Stanley was beginning to feel a sense of déjà vu.
“This is the third time we have been to Loos in as many days!” He protested.
Captain Gould glowered at him. “There have been a lot of munitions trains sat there lately. Wing wants us to drop a bomb on them.”
“We did that yesterday sir. With little result I might add. I don’t think our little cooper bombs are going to get the result Wing want.”
“Just do it, Stanley. It’s you and Gilbert. Lieutenant Briers will be escorting you in one of the Fees.
“Very good sir, I’ll go an get Digby.”
“Air mechanic Digby is busy overhauling the engine on 2216.” Gould told Stanley brusquely. “You’re taking McLoughlan.”
Stanley saluted and left his flight commander to go and find his gunner. McLoughlan was a Lieutenant from the Bedfordshires. He seemed a cheery enough chap, but pilots soon learned to be wary of a new observer.

It was mid morning as the three machines approached Loos Junction. Archie warmed up the air for Stanley as he looked for his target on the ground. He wasn’t particularly good at bomb aiming, so was hoping that he could stick close to Gilbert and let his bombs go when he saw Gilbert drop his.

Even as they approached the target, two Fokkers attacked from behind. Stanley loosed his bombs early so that he could concentrate on the threat from behind. He weaved gently right and left, trying to give McLoughlan a shot.

One of the monoplanes concentrated on Gilbert’s BE2. Gilbert banked right, turning away from the formation. Stanley could only watch in horror as smoke began to stream from Gilbert’s engine. Soon, fire was spreading along the fuselage. Mercifully for Stanley, the BE2 was now too far away for him to see what happened to his comrades.

The other Eindekker engaged the FE2 being flown by Briers. The fighting machine should have had a better chance, but Briers was flying straight and level. Stanley took advantage of his lack of an assailant and dived underneath and in front of the FE2. McLoughlan could not miss.

Stanley watched as his observer stared at the German aeroplane. His hands were on the Lewis gun but his the gun remained silent.

The Fokker’s gun was not silent. Bullets smashed into the tail and engine of Briers’ machine. Stanley saw the Fee tip forward as part of the tail plane gave way. Briers and his observer, Trevelyan went into a dive. Their engine was smoking badly and Stanley knew it was not an intentional manoeuvre . His gunner, McLoughlan had not moved.
[Linked Image]
The Fokker turned his attention to Stanley’s BE2. McLoughan just watched as bullets began to thud into the woodwork. Stanley had had enough.

He pushed the stick forward and they dived steeply. Stanley cut the throttle back and banked the dive into a spiral. When they had lost three thousand feet, he levelled off and sped toward the lines. The Eindekker was trailing them for a while, but apparently decided that he had done enough and turned away.

Stanley took them over the lines and past the balloon line before turning north for La Gorgue. McLoughlan was now slumped in his cockpit. Stanley was wondering if he had taken a bullet.

As soon as they landed, Stanley reached forward and checked his gunner.
“Are you alright?”
McLoughlan looked up at him muzzily, as if waking from a stupor. “Ah, what? Ah, fine. I’m fine.”
“Come on, let’s get you out of there.”

Major Powell looked at the report again. Then he placed it back down on the desk and addressed Stanley, who was standing in front of him.
“Grave concerns, Second Lieutenant?”

Stanley tilted his head slightly in a sort of shoulderless shrug. “McLoughlan outranks me sir, so I cannot reprimand him directly. However I must protest at his conduct sir. I consider his inaction a direct threat to any pilot that he flies with and any crew nearby.”
“So you blame Lieutenant McLoughlan for the deaths of Gilbert, Howard, Briers and Trevelyan?”
“No sir. The Hun did that. McLoughlan could have saved them, however, and he failed to defend our own machine.”
Powell sighed, “What do you suggest, Stanley? Court-martial?”
“No sir,” Stanley replied hurriedly. “The consequence would be too severe. I must request that I am no longer assigned McLoughlan as an observer. Furthermore, I would suggest that McLoughlan is not suitable for flying duties at all.”
“Send him back to his regiment eh?” Powell squinted at Stanley. “That carries a stigma. It would mean disgrace.”
“He might live to overcome it,” Stanley told him. “If he flies, then he will take good men with him.”
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/07/19 12:17 AM

Good reading, well done to all.
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/07/19 12:24 AM

Aleck A. MacKinlay
February 6, 1916

Things have been quite routine these last few days. Today we bombed Loos Railway Station, yesterday found us doing photo recon of enemy lines south of Ypres (when the clouds would allow), and the previous day we battered the German airfield at Haborudin. The enemy has not shown his face in days and only some spirited bursts of 'archie' now and then have let us know that a war is still on.

Attached picture Combat Flight Simulator 3 Screenshot 2019.02.06 -
Attached picture Combat Flight Simulator 3 Screenshot 2019.02.06 -
Attached picture Combat Flight Simulator 3 Screenshot 2019.02.06 -
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/07/19 12:55 AM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
4 Sqn Rfc.
Allonville, Flanders

Feb 6 1916.

I say, Back at it. B flight put up 3 machines for Rail yard Bombardment. I was Tail End so spotted some bomb explosions. Then back to the flight line. The Crews all gathered around the Flight Leaders a/c equipped with a gun in the rear seat instead of our standard machines to compare notes on the attack.

Attached picture CFS3 2019-02-06 16-36-18-64.jpg
Attached picture tumblr_namt7bCNSU1qz9tkeo1_500 Comparing notes.jpg
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/07/19 02:00 AM

5 February , 1916 9:04
Senard, Verdun Sector
Escadrille N37
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

Gaston couldn’t decide if he liked or loathed his N12. On the one hand it was fast. It went like stink compared to the lumbering Caudron. He could also see directly ahead with no one obstructing the view. But that was it. The observer was now in the rear. Gaston couldn’t see what the other man was up to or what was happening behind the plane. He couldn’t even communicate anymore, be it by sight or sign. There was also no gun firing forward anymore. Something Gaston missed the most. He can’t point the machine at the enemy anymore and “shoot” using his observer as the extension of his trigger finger. He has to rethink the entire aero battle strategy.
For now it is what it is. And what it is is a reconnaissance mission to front lines north of Verdun. They’ve been going back and forth for the past 15 minutes looking for any troop movements. The Flak keeping them company, jolting them up and sideways with every near miss. Another perk of a tiny aircraft, being thrown about like a leaf. Durand tapped him on the shoulder. What did the kid want now? He turned back with great difficulty to see what the fuss was all about. The young gunner was gesticulating and saying something, but Gaston couldn’t hear a word and just nodded, then turned back to flying this death trap that will lose its lower wings, God forbid he had to dive. Another tap on the shoulder. This time Christophe was holding a glove to his nose. What is he doing? Squeezing his zits? He better not squirt one of those pimples on him. And that’s another thing. Now with the engine directly in front of him all this castor oil seems to spray right in his face and the smell...
The engine coughed, stuttered and switched off with the prop windmilling as if to swallow the last gasp of air before suffocating. Surprised Gaston begun to check the instruments. The air whistled all around him with the Flak suddenly making much more racket than usual. Gaston heard a yelp from the back seat. Durand was getting very excited: “- Mon Dieu! Mon Dieu! We’re going to die! We’re going to crash. We’re going to burn alive and then crash! I don’t want to die! Au secours! There is petrol everywhere. We’re going to burn!”
Petrol? Gaston checked the gauge. The tank was empty. One of those Flak near misses must have punctured the fuel lines. Why did he not smell it? He pointed the crippled Nieuport south in the direction of French positions and checked the altitude. It wasn’t great and it will be close. Durand continued his histerical rant and Voscadeaux had to order him to shut up so he could concentrate on bringing the airplane down. They were low and overflying a large forest. If it were a Caudron, they would have already been dangling off the tips of those spruce firs below, but the little plane kept on gliding until it gently touched down in a clearing SW of Hesse Forest. This was a wonderful machine, a beautiful little plane that brought them safely to earth. Gaston was wrong. He loved this plane.
The farmer that owned the nearby field gave Gaston a ride to the Verdun aerodrome in his Lefebvre tractor while Durand stayed with the machine. He came back with the repair team, who plugged the leak in the tank and filled it with enough petrol to get back to base. They were back at Senard before the evening.

[Linked Image]

Attached picture 1916-02-05.jpg
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/07/19 01:23 PM

The stories are getting better and better! It seems like all are having some close calls. Nice reading Gents.

Lt. Mark Jericho
Auchell Aerodrome
Feb. 7th, 1916

A few days ago the Major had called Jericho into his office. When he arrived there was another Lt. in the room. He was about Jericho's age and well built with a cheerful face. The Major spoke immediately. "Lt. Jericho this is Lt. Christian. He will be your new observer. With our losses lately I am placing Captain Whorton with a less experienced pilot."

Jerico was a little taken aback but recovered quickly. "Yes Major" he replied.

With that the Major motioned the two to the door saying "I'm sure you two have a few things to discuss."

Jericho and Christian left the office. "How many hours do you have Lt.?" Jericho asked.

"15. And please call me Robert if that is fine with you." Christian replied.

"Alright by me" Jercho replied. "You can call me Mark. Lets find a place where we can discuss signals and such. The Huns have been really pesky lately. Are you a good shot?"

"I've scored very well on the range. I have not had the chance to see how I do on a real machine in a fight."

Jericho tried to hide his surprise. "Well Pard, I'm sure we will find out soon enough."

That afternoon Jericho walked over to James's new "ready shack." He walked up to Swany and James. "Well boys, I got me a brand new observer! 15 hours and never been in a fight! Seems like a good sort but we'll see. I sure hate to lose the Captain even though he could'd hit his butt with both hands. Can't tell you how many times I put him in a perfect position and all he ever did was knock off a few feathers. Good man though."

"Well good luck to you old boy. Who knows, he may be a crack shot!" replied James.

The night before Jericho's 1st flight since his slight wounding he had discussed tactics with Swany. Swany had given him some pointers on how to deal with multiple Fokkers. "Turn into them staying level and give your observer a a shot as they pass over but all the while keep inching west. Whatever you do, don't try to out climb them. They will beat you every time" Swany had told him.

"What about three of the bandito's?" Jericho asked.

"Bandito's?" Swany asked with a puzzled look on his face.

"Bandito's! Bad men! The d*#mn Fokkers Pard!"

"Oh, ya! You might want to start praying then!" Swany replied laughing.

Jericho and his new observer flew 2 missions on the 5th and 6th. His observer seemed to do well but as they had no contact with the enemy he had not been tested yet.

On the 7th, their flight of 2 machines took off at 1200 hours to bomb Athies Junction. 2 DH2's from 24 squadron were to be escorts. Jericho could not wait to see one of the new fighters he had heard about. The flight circled at the rendezvous point but the DH2's never showed. "This sure is a bad start" Jericho thought. Nearing the target, Jericho could see 4 machines and he knew it was the 1st flight in combat over the target. He warned Christian and concentrated on staying in formation. As they drew closer he could see 2 Fokkers and the other 2 Moranes of their squadron. Just before his arrival the Fokkers broke off and the two Moranes flew by heading west. One of them was smoking badly. The Archie was light and they had a good drop on the target and headed home without any further contact.

Arriving back at Auchell Jericho could see them removing the observers from the other 2 Moranes. As the ambulance sped away his mechanic told him that both pilots had been nicked, one observer killed and his friend Capt. Whorton was badly wounded.

Jericho turned to Christian pointing to the ambulance in the distance. "Let's hope your a good shot Robert, cause that will be you, me, or both if you can't drive those blasted Germans off."
Posted By: Wulfe

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/07/19 03:58 PM

Gone a day ahead, as I may not be able to write tomorrow! As per usual, brilliant stuff from everyone.

Sgt. Graham A. Campbell
No. 20 Squadron R.F.C
Clairmarais Aerodrome, France.

February 8th, 1916.

On the morning of the 6th, I was called into the Major’s office. Sheepishly knocking on the door, I heard the gruff rumble of the Major as he commanded me to “Step in”. Following his order, I stood nervously to attention at the foot of the grand oak desk, in which the Major stood behind, a glass of scotch rolling around in his hand. “Campbell. I have some things for you”. Me? I thought. “Firstly, your wound stripe” he continued, and produced a small patch, laying it flat on the table”. My eyes flicked downward at it, and I felt strangely prideful. “Secondly, good news for you. I have here for you a 48 hour pass, a small reward for getting the squadron’s first confirmed Hun”. A small, square piece of paper was placed next to the wound stripe. I stood dumbly, staring down at the sheet. After an uncomfortable half-minute, the Major raised his eyebrows. “Well? That’s all!” he said. “Thank you, sir,” I mumbled, scooping up the pass and the stripe and clearing out.

Outside, a broad grin broke out across my face. A 48-hour pass! Without further ado, I found a Corporal idle enough to drive me to St. Omer, where I was dropped off outside Jacky-Boy’s hotel. Inquiring at the front desk, I found out which room was his, and climbing the ornate marble stairs I found it, knocking on the door. Jacky answered, and a surprised smile crossed his face. “What’s this? Moving in?” he asked, gesturing to the small suitcase I had brought with me. “But of course! I’m on leave, don’t you know!” I replied. He laughed, and stepped aside to let me in. Jacky-boy’s own suitcase had already been packed, as he was due to return to Clairmarais later in the day. We lounged about indoors until it was time for him to leave, at which point I escorted him downstairs, and wished him luck back at the squadron.

That evening, I walked through the tall rows of houses and shops, hunting for souvenirs to send home, and to take back to the squadron. Stumbling upon a vineyard, I decided to purchase two bottles of red wine for the Ack-Emmas, to thank them for breathing new life into 6338. For my rigger and engine fitter, I bought a third bottle, for them to share. Next, I found a knitting shop, and purchased myself a cozy scarf, striped red, white and blue, which was thicker and longer than the old knackered white scarf I currently owned. After finding an establishment to have my dinner, which was an exquisite meal of chicken, potatoes, vegetables and a small amount of silverskin onions, doused in a thick gravy, I retired to the hotel, where I informed them that I had taken ownership of Jacky-Boy’s room. They seemed not to mind - the halls had seldom been filled since the outbreak of war.

On the 7th I had a most welcome surprise, as somebody rapped upon my door. I opened it to find the familiar beaming face of Edith, his cap cocked lazily to the side of his broad brow. “Morn’ boyo! The Major’s given me two days aff. A’m next door to ye!” he boomed, and I grinned. As he placed a hand on my shoulder, I noticed that he, too, wore a wound stripe.

We visited Jeanne in the Vincent for our lunch that day, stepping in past the little gingham-check table and sitting by the unoccupied piano. The Cafe was surprisingly quiet, with only two or three other people dotted around the tables. Jeanne sat with us a while, as she had no work to keep her. She was very curious about flying. “So, Graham, what is it like to soar above the sky?” she asked me, wistfully, as if in a dream. “Well, it’s very cold, and unless you’re in a pusher then it’s quite filthy, too”. She raised an inquisitive eyebrow. “Pusher?”. “Oh, yes, our Fees - the aeroplanes we fly, that is - have the propeller in the back, and it pushes us through the sky”. She nodded, beaming. “I see!”. Now, she turned to Edith, her eyes quickly running over him. Not turning her gaze, she then asked me “and who is your friend? We have not met before, I don’t think?”. “Oh, of course, where are my manners! Jeanne, this is Ken Edith. Ken, this is Jeanne”. Edith smiled, extending a bear-like paw towards her. “Charmed, hen”. Before she took his hand, she jumped up in her seat, wearing a look of surprise. “Oh, Capitane Edith! It was you who flew with Graham and shot down the Hun! Jack has told me about it!”. Edith’s smile faded slightly. “Aye, terrible shame, that. Poor devils burnt aw the way doon”. His gaze became distant, as Jeanne shook his hand.

After a pleasant lunch, we returned to the hotel. As we passed, the receptionist called out to us. “Monsieur Campbell? The telephone went for you. A Monsieur Reynard says you must call the squadron immediately”. Puzzled, I thanked her, and took up the phone, dialling the Adjutant’s phone.

“Adjutant, 20 Squadron”. A sharp voice barked. “Yes, hello, it’s Sergeant Campbell. Sergeant Reynard called me earlier?”. “Yes, that’s right. Hold - I’ll fetch him”. After several minutes’ waiting, the familliar voice appeared at the other end of the line. “Cammie?”. “Yes, Reynard, what is it?”. I heard a tired sigh from the other end of the line. “Bristow’s been shot. So has Burr. They got the Loos show the day, and ran inty a Fokker. They got their bus hame, and were bustled inty an ambulance as soon as they got doon. I don’t ken how bad it is. I thought you should know, is aw”. I went cold, my feet suddenly being made of lead. “What! That’s awful! Do you know where they were taken?”. “Naw - A’ve been trying to ask aroond, but nothin’ so far. A’ll ring if I find oot”. The initial shock begun to pass, and I cleared my throat. “Well, thank you for calling, Jimmy. I do hope they are both okay. See you soon”. I hung up.

Edith looked at me, questioningly. “Bristow and Burr are shot” I explained, “had a scrap with a Fokker over Loos”. Edith’s head lowered, and he sighed deeply. Finally, he muttered “Hard luck, poor buggers”.

In the early evening, Edith and I resolved to head back to the aerodrome, to see if there was any news. To our shock, we found the mess in an uproarious state, with a binge in full swing. Faces drunkenly grinned as they belted out tunes to Pearson’s piano, and Switch-off appeared, staggered into me, hugged me, and handed me a drink. “What the bloody hell is this?” I demanded of him, and he pointed over to Reid, and his observer, Billinge, who were being hoisted up by some of the chaps. “They’ve gotten a hun! A Fokker!” Switch-off cried, before breaking into a fit of inebriated laughter and skipping back into the folds of the binge. Edith and I looked at each other, and let out a mighty cheer. No. 20 Squadron had shot down a Fokker! It felt exactly like we had pushed a needle into the heart of the Kaiser himself.

As Reid later explained to me in his drunken excitement, two of our machines had been charged with ferrying a B.E over Roulers on a Reconnaissance show. The B.E crew had been ordered to take aerial photographs of the various roads and rail junctions in which the Hun was supplying reinforcements and munitions to his troops. As they had circled overhead, Billinge spotted no less than five Hun machines coming towards them. Two were Eindeckers, and the other two were Biplane machines.

“Aviatiks?” I asked him, and he shrugged. “Well, we didn’t have a chance to find out, dear boy! As soon as we had seen them, one of those brutish Fokkers went straight after the poor old B.E! Well, the Hun made the mistake of crossing our front, and Billinge gave him a burst as he went. Immediately he slipped away, and his engine begun to smoke - he dove down, and was gone! The second Fokker was a cheeky fellow, and potted away at us, but he was a bad shot and didn’t stick around for our reply. Just now, the Adjutant came by to tell us that it’s been put down as an Out-of-Control!”. Grinning, I heartily congratulated him, and decided that the mess was as hot a place as any to spend the remainder of my 48 hours. Shamefully, poor old Bristow was completely forgotten during the celebrations.

Today, ‘B’ flight had the morning reconnaissance show over Loos. Normie flew the camera Fee, with Bristow’s seat being occupied by Carey Winchcombe. It was half past Eight when we crossed the lines, making our way into Hunland. The sky was shrouded in an ominous cloak of dull grey, and the wind seemed to be offended by our intrusion, as it whipped harshly into our faces as our buses strained to push forwards. More than once, our machines were nearly stalled by the force. As I scanned downward, I noticed that the ground war was no less miserable, as between the gaps in the looming grey clouds below, the occasional staccato flash of an exploding artillery shell would appear, followed by a rolling cloud of debris.

Our Fee received a particularly hard knock from the furious air, which sent us pitching towards Normie. Yelping in surprise, I ducked under him, the undercarriage of his plane sailing over my head, before breaking out to the right and pushing the throttle full forward. I could still see my flight by the time I had recovered, and strained against the weather to settle back into position. Before long, Graves fired the wash-out signal, and we all hastily retreated home.


On February 7th, 1916, No. 20 Squadron R.F.C's first victory was recorded by 2.Lt. G.P.S. Reid (Previously of the Seaforth Highlanders) & Lt. F. Billinge (previously of the Manchester Reg't). The victory was recorded at around 9AM, and was awarded as an out-of-control. Reid & Billinge were crewing FE2b A6331 at the time. The nature of the victory matches the description in this installment of Graham's career! The victory would mark the first of many for 20 Squadron.

Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/07/19 07:43 PM

Wulfe, excellent story and historical note!
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/07/19 08:12 PM

Aleck A. MacKinlay
Februrary 7, 1916

Fly to St. Pol-sur-Mer airfield to pick up a package? My first thought was to protest to the Major that he should send one of the junior pilots but quickly realized that I AM the junior pilot. My next thought was to suggest that Miller would be a better choice, and that I could be of more use exploiting my new found bombing skills, when he informed me that Miller would be accompanying me in a second BE2. Apparently this 'package' came in two parts and both were rather heavy. I could see that there was no getting out of it and off we went, flying with empty forward cockpits. Chris was happy to have a day off and he and Miller's observer went off for breakfast after predicting with a devilish grin that i would never find my way home without him there to help me navigate.

We arrived at St. Pol-sur-Mer and reported to the adjutant. He told us the packages would be ready to be loaded in about half and hour and would we like a quick tour while we waited, otherwise we could just warm up and have coffee. Well bloody hell, we took the tour ... we had seen Nieuports on the field as we landed! We saw lots of Nieuport 10c variants that RNAS-1 is using for offensive reconnaissance, but what really caught our eye was two new single-seat scouts that the RNAS-2 lads have just received. It's a slightly shrunken N-10, or so it looks, but packing a Lewis on the top wing. Makes our Bristol Scouts look quite the folly.

Returning to our aircraft with a severe case of envy, Miller's front seat was stuffed with a medium sized black tin steamer trunk all strapped down. I asked were my package was and was told 'here he comes now', as a smallish middle-aged man struggled toward us in a flying coat and boots that were obvious far to big for him. I could see through the open coat that he was wearing a rumpled black suit; some type of civilian or politician I guessed. 'Who's he?" I asked the adjutant. "Not really your business, Lieutenant. , but you can call him Mr. Davis. Please see him safely back to RNAS-6 and keep inquiries to a minimum."

Back we went with our guest and his trunk, arriving at Abeele with no issues. We were met on the field by Major Mills and he had Mr. Mr. Davis put up in the officers quarters. I have no idea what the fellow is here for, but I am sure we will all know in short order ... everyone knows everyone else's business here within a day or two.

I didn't dwell on it, rather Miller and I rushed off to the mess to eat and warm up, but mostly to tell everyone about the Nieuport 11's we had seen and moan loudly (mostly for show of course) about how #%&*$# lucky the RNAS pilots are.
Posted By: BuckeyeBob

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/08/19 04:49 PM

I continue to be amazed by the top-notch writing and story-telling skills displayed in this thread. Plus, all of you seem to be having a great time! Kudos and thank you to everyone!
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/08/19 09:25 PM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
4 Sqn Rfc.
Allonville, Flanders

Feb 8, 1916.

All Flights Canx due to weather over Targets. Not wanting to get tagged for a Work Detail, I skipped over to our Anti Aeromachine Out post to check the new Equipment for detecting Aero planes

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Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/09/19 11:06 PM

6 February , 1916 9:11
Senard, Verdun Sector
Escadrille N37
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

The orders for today’s mission were simple: Fly over the enemy camp stationed on the banks of the Meuse River in the St. Mihiel salient and spot for the artillery. Make sure to stay in the area for 24 minutes before returning to the base and report. Take Caporal Dreux with you as your wingman in ‘B’ Flight to gain more experience. Don’t worry. S.Ltn. Medeville and Adj. Barnay will fly top cover in the ‘A’ Flight and protect you.
The flight to the front was pleasant with blue skies increasingly being infested with clouds as the planes approached their recon area in the west. Gaston “parked” his Nieuport over the camp and Christophe occupied himself with observing the troops and the fall of ranging shots falling woefully far away from their intended target. Once the allotted time elapsed, Voscadeaux and his wingman gladly returned to clear skies back over Senard.
While in transit Gaston noticed the City of Verdun in the distance. He realized it was the first time he ever saw it from the sky. The city was impressive and he was glad the Boche never came this far and failed to do any damage. He will have to make the point to fly over it one day and see the multitude of forts protecting this area.

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7 February , 1916 9:02
Senard, Verdun Sector
Escadrille N37
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

Back to the St. Mihiel salient for more arty spotting. Gaston was paired with Caporal Papinet in ‘B’ Flight for this run. S.Ltn. Medeville in ‘A’ Flight provided top cover. It was very misty and the visibility was poor. They flew along the lines and observed shells falling near the enemy camp. Durand made some notes and signaled for a return to base. It was “une mission tranquille”. Gaston thought to himself that if it continues like this, he’ll ask one of the mechanics to install a shelf on top of the front cowling, so that he could put his feet up and enjoy the sightseeing trips they are being sent on.

8 February , 1916
Senard, Verdun Sector
Escadrille N37
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

No flights today. Sleet and snow continued to fall throughout the entire day. Gaston occupied himself with inspecting the 7,7 rounds, discarding any that looked suspect and loading the good ones into the Lewis pan magazines. By the end of the day he had a bucket full of discarded rounds. Why do the British call them .303?

9 February , 1916
Senard, Verdun Sector
Escadrille N37
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

Still no luck. More snow. Today Gaston decided to work on the Étéve machine gun mount in the rear seat cockpit of his Nieuport 12. Christophe complained recently it was getting stuck. Voscadeaux, with the help of one of the mechanics disassembled the mount, lubed all moving parts and put it all back together. He tried it out and found it to be smoother than a greased up monkey slipping on a banana peel thrown on a melting iceberg.

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Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/10/19 01:50 AM

Aleck A. MacKinlay
February 8, 1916

All flights cancelled this morning due to steady snowfall. I tried to interest a few of the other pilots in a trip to Poperinge as I have never been. I got no interest from anyone. Apparently the town has only two decent restaurants and that the entire place is typically overflowing with PBI on rest leave from the nearby front around Ypres. Besides the snow is expected to continue like this all day and perhaps into tomorrow so roads will be a disaster in short order even if we could scrounge an automobile.

Several of us had a long leisurely lunch in the mess and I tried to get some news about our mysterious Mr. Davis. Both Hunt and Miller indicated that our Mr. Davis was so-far spending the day in Hanger One with the chief mechanic and Captain Buckminster, occasionally beating a path through the snow back and forth to the metal fabrication shop. Hanger One is where the squadron's two Bristol Scouts are stored so it seems there must be some connection with those aircraft. I've been told the stories of Hawker and Strange brainstorming inventive ideas with regards to a forward firing machine gun on the Bristols here at RNAS-6 last year so i wonder if he is here to examine their handiwork for the higher-ups? If so, he seems to have taken his time getting here.
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/10/19 02:36 PM


Another marvelous hour plus catching up with everyone's adventures here. And while it's been said several times already, I'll repeat it none-the-less: the writing quality and storytelling abilities in this thread are superb! Thanks as always to all of you for sharing these wonderful tales.

Swany is recovering from a wounding he received during his outing two days ago which found the young pilot and his G/O, Lt. Christopher Dent, bombing the Hun aerodrome at Phalempin. No sooner had they done the job when three Eindeckers set upon them. It was a turning, twisting fight all the way back to the mud before their attackers finally gave up and turned away. Unfortunately, by this time, not only had Swany been grazed but Christopher had taken two bullets through his right shoulder, leaving his arm on that side hanging more or less useless. As soon as they landed the intrepid pair were rushed off for medical attention where it was determined that the senior Lieutenant will be out of the fight for a good long time, perhaps even permanently, if he is not able to regain full use of his arm. 2nd Lt. Swanson was far more lucky and will need only a week or so to heal as the bullet that found him skittered along an upper rib on his left side causing little more than some torn flesh and tattered, bloodied clothing. Swany is feeling fairly crushed at the loss of his flying partner, despite Christopher's assurance that there was nothing he could have done differently that would have changed the outcome in the slightest.


Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/10/19 05:59 PM

Scout, it seems we have a mystery eary in this Campagn.

Lt. Mark Jericho
Auchell Aerodrome
Feb. 10, 1916

Jericho eased his damaged Morane for a landing at Auchell. After rolling to a stop the adrenaline poured from his body leaving him exhausted and limp. He laid his head back and pulled his goggles off letting out a big sigh. "That was too d#%n close Robert!"
"It certainly was" Robert replied as he examined the two holes in his flight jacket where a bullet had gone clean through missing him by a fraction. Jericho was going back over the fight in his mind. He, Gridder and Dickens had gone 10 miles behind enemy lines to bomb Avelin aerodrome northwest of Lens. "Why do they keep sending us over there without escorts" he thought. The wind was buffeting them all over the sky and Archie was light but very accurate. After dropping their bombs while forming back up , three of the dreaded Fokkers attacked from the clouds. The formation immediately broke up with Gridder loosing altitude and smoking. Jerico's new observer, Robert Christian kept up a good rate of fire at an enemy Jericho could not see. He did see the other Fokker coming to join the one already on their tail.
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The two airmen were soon taking hits from their antagonist as Jericho turned right and left to stay out of their aim and give Christian a shot. One soon gave up as Christian sent it packing trailing smoke but the other was hanging on like a Mississippi tick! All of the maneuvering had caused them to loose a lot of altitude and Jericho was getting concerned as he was running out of air to maneuver in. They were at 1500' when Christian got in another good burst on the last Hun and sent him on his way.

Something was not right with the Morane. The engine was not holding full RPM and it was all Jericho could do to hold her level. Any attempt at climbing would cause a stall. Low behind the lines with an engine not giving full power, Jericho used all his skill to get a little more height out of her. Crossing the lines this low was suicide. By the time they reached the lines he had gained a little and they crossed without a problem. Jericho relaxed a little but not much much. He was still having a time keeping her airborne, They soon spotted Auchell and he made a beeline for the field not even thinking about circling.

As he climbed out of the plane, Robert reached up to give Jericho a hand. "I tell you what Pard. That was some d@#n fine shooting! You saved our a@$es today! You did fine for your first combat."

Robert was still sticking his finger in the hole in his jacket. "that sure was close" he said to no one in particular.

Gridder and Dickens were ok but their observers did not fair as well. One was badly wounded and the other killed. The flight was given a "Congratulations" for a good mission. "Congratulations for what!" Jericho thought to himself.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/10/19 10:31 PM

Guys, this little war is definitely on. I don't remember the Fokker Scourge being this extremely dangerous in previous careers. What gives?
Lou, you need to buy your human shield, um … I mean your observer a drink. He probably saved your life and will lose his arm in the process. I hope it was the left one. Wonder if the saying: "give one's left arm" came from this? Or was it the right one?
MFair, glad those holes are in the leather, not the hide. wink

10 February , 1916 8:00
Senard, Verdun Sector
Escadrille N37
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

The mix of snow and sleet continued, however to a lesser degree. After two days of being grounded Gaston was ready to take to the air in any kind of meteorological conditions. The command was of the same opinion and flights resumed, despite continuing pockets of inclement weather. To be honest, they could thank constant artillery requests for the non-fly orders being revoked. They were in dire need of spotting aircraft back in the skies doing the ranging missions for them.
Voscadeaux’s orders took him and Caporal Papinet NNW of Senard. The snow stopped as soon as they were only a few kilometers away from the aerodrome. It was hard to believe that blue skies and warm sun were only a step away. Gaston enjoyed the sunlit sky and became upset when he realized their flight path would take them back into the clouds and more snow. They made two passes over the target in the frigid conditions aggravated by snowy gusts and turned south as soon as they could. As a consolation they were not harassed by any Fokker attacks. But poor Durand bore the full brunt of the winter’s angry onslaught. His back faced the slipstream throughout the entire trip and the wet snow clung to him making his leather coat stiff. When they landed, the ground crew had to help the half-frozen gunner out of the rear seat. Gaston was unaffected as he hunched down behind the wind screen wiping the snow accumulation off the glass with his glove.

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Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/11/19 12:14 AM

Lou, that is bad with Swany being out for a few days and his observer on the critical list. Hope you get back soon.

Fullofit, yep, it’s getting pretty dicey up there. It’s definitely the Fokker Scourge!
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/11/19 01:58 PM


I agree, for whatever reason this particular DiD campaign is seeming a lot more dangerous.

Fullofit, I feel Gaston's pain when it comes to that wintery weather. Snow, sleet, and wind is all we've been having up here in "The Land of 10,000 Lakes".

Mark, I see your pilot is having his share of the Einies Three as well. Must be the latest Hun tactic.

Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/11/19 03:35 PM

Lou, has the Colorado Low reached your part of the woods yet? We’re bracing for it like a new Hun offensive.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/11/19 09:57 PM

11 February , 1916 8:00
Senard, Verdun Sector
Escadrille N37
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

The sun was blinding Gaston as he steered his Nieuport east on another recon mission to the St. Mihiel salient. He didn’t mind it one bit, especially with the murky conditions below. He’d rather have sun in his face than mist up to his ears. His observer also preferred sun to snow, especially after the events from yesterday. He was starting to sneeze and a long dribble of snot was hanging frozen from his nose. The lad is catching a cold after last mission.
They’ve overflown the sleepy camp they were to observe with nothing new or exciting to report. It was nice to have Sgt. de Geuser in ‘A’ Flight follow them all the way along, instead of flying off somewhere, who knows where and do who knows what. The two flights returned home as one. Cap. Durand went straight to bed with shivers, after developing a fever.

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Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/12/19 12:36 AM

Nigel Archibald Notting
Sgt, RFC
4 Sqn Rfc.
Allonville, Flanders

Feb 11, 1916.

Posted for a Recon along with Sgt Kelly as Flight Leader. I say just plain bad luck. We had just got over the lines when The Ob in the other a/d waved to look below and I spotted 2 Monoplanes coming up fast. Kelly waved t o head home and that was the last I saw of him. I got one e/a attacking me ,but he went home after my gunner got off 19 rds. at him. We took a few hits ,but made it back. I heard that we had a sqn of machines with front firing guns. I need to trans fer.

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Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/12/19 03:05 AM

Wulfe, wonderful stuff once again. I fear for Jacky that his Jeanne is not a one-man woman. And congratulations on your first confirmed victory!

Maeran, true-to-life flavour in your story about McLoughlan, and a great vignette on the Military Service Bill. Well done!!!

77_Scout – another milk run to Loos. So many of our pilots are filling that airspace. I wonder if something’s up there? And who is the mysterious Mr. Davis?

Fullofit, glad to see you warming up to the Nieuport 12. I share your feelings about the weather.

MFair, good luck with your new observer. He’s held up well in his first mission, but you have been a bit of a Fokker magnet recently.

Carrick, good escape on that last flight!

Lou, speedy recovery. I hope Dent isn’t out of it completely. You made a great pair.

Jim Collins has finally completed his "ready shack." He's been luckier than most of our other pilots in avoiding Fokkers.

An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins

Part Seventeen: In which I bring some taste to a rather vulgar crew

On 7 February, Captain Mealing led us south to the Somme valley again, and again we dropped some bombs on enemy second and third line positions. Really, I thought, the Huns are so well dug in and our bombs are so small that it scarcely merited the fuel. In any event, that big Aussie Mealing was once again a good luck charm, as we saw no Fokkers and the Archie was unusually light.

The weather closed in the next day. My little shed was now fully closed in and roofed over, and I finished putting putty around the two windows in the morning. After a little wheedling with Major H-K, Mealing and I managed to purloin a Crossley for a plundering expedition, and I coaxed Cpl. Wilson away from the blacksmith to drive us. We made our way down rutted roads where ice and mud conspired together to defeat our passage towards the front. Several times military police tried to bar our way there. Captain Mealing told them we were on the hunt for a German aeroplane which we had downed, and we were permitted to continue. Finally we came to the village of Cuinchy, now within the range of German guns, and could go no further. The village had been shelled to rubble. It was perfect. Wilson found a house with a reasonably intact Persian carpet. Soon after I stumbled upon the thing I most craved – a wonderfully baroque French cast iron coal stove. The thing was covered in pale blue enamel and stood on four ornate legs. Its bulging grated front bore a blue and white enamel handle, and upon opening it, Mealing opined that it was large enough to accommodate wood in a pinch. It took all three of us to lift it onto the tender. Another half-hour’s work brought an ebony-inlaid coffee table, a small bookstand, and two dowdy old armchairs, complete with antimacassars. The final triumph was a copper oil lampstand with a fine porcelain tower painted with a Chinese scene.

I noted a number of Welsh and Northumbrian fellows from a tunnelling company in the village. Mealing and I agreed there would be a push here in the spring. Cpl. Wilson’s comment on tunnelling was limited to “Bugger that for a lark.”[1]

We stopped in Bethune on our return trip, where I found a shade for the lamp and Mealing and I went for tea at the Globe. It took some search to retrieve Cpl. Wilson, who’d been told to meet us at the Grand Place at three-thirty. He emerged from a side street close to four o’clock, quite unable to drive home. He blubbered a bit about a “braw wee dicky burd o’ a lassie” who’d over-served him and then turned down his offer of marriage.

I still slept at my billet with the Poiriers, but the little den I’d built (well, actually it was 60% Swaney and 30% Jericho) was a brilliant sanctuary. I set up my folding cot there for days when I might have to wait for the weather, and it promised to be a spot where I could retire to read or write letters when the constant grinding of the mess gramophone got on my nerves. Jericho’s brackets looked smashing on my shelves. And Cpl. Wilson proved surprisingly handy at rigging a pipe to my artful stove.

I didn’t put a lock on the door, although I considered it on the 10th, when I retired to the hut after lunch to discover a large brown cow had been forced into the hut and had done no favours to the Persian rug. I suspected Jericho, mainly because he led a chorus of mooing whenever I entered the mess.
Wilson and I had the early patrol on the 11th, when Sgt Bayetto and his observer, Lieut. Theobald, joined us in escorting Captain Mealing’s machine to drop bombs on positions around Pozières, down near the Somme. We flew through several snow squalls and saw no other aircraft. Over Bapaume we saw some Archie flashes and puffs in the mirk, but the enemy had to be firing blindly at the sound of our engines.

[Linked Image]
"We flew through several snow squalls and saw no other aircraft."

On our return, I found that the little hut now had been adorned with a sign over the door reading, “Madame Foufou’s House of Pleasure.”


[1] These were likely men of the British 170th Tunnelling Company, which worked most of the winter to mine the nearby Hohenzollern Redoubt. They were stationed in and about Cuichy.

Attached picture Snow squall.png
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/12/19 01:03 PM


Raine, Jim's hut has come along nicely. To the parlor stove, Swany had been trying to find just such an item for the digs but was having no luck, so he's quite glad to see that one has been located and installed. As for the cow and the sign, may as well expect such things regularly when one calls attention to one's self by building one's own hut.

Carrick, good luck on Nigel's transfer, though I wouldn't hold my breath on that.

Fullofit, always nice to see the sun in the dead of winter, even if you have to climb above the clouds to do it. To your question about the weather here: it was a deep freeze last week and now we're getting more snow. 20" so far this month alone with another 6" on the way today. Still, I'll take it to the -32F temp and -60F windchill we had earlier. How's it been over your way? Do you deal with lake effect snow there or are the winter winds generally blowing from the west and north?
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/12/19 05:18 PM

Thanks Louvert, I dont have the 35 hrs as of yet only 15 so cant put in paperwork with Staff. I use the Bop up and down method against the Monoplane Menace so My OB gets off a few shots, but its getting more dangerous as they get closer. In summation, I might not make the 35 hrs for Transfer.
Posted By: Maeran

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/12/19 06:52 PM

Carrick, in the BE I favour getting down on the deck when being attacked by Eindeckers. Your observer has no downward field of fire anyway so force your attacker to be above you or underground.

You likely wont shoot him down, but he might make a mistake and spin in with no room to recover. Or get tired and go away. I'm happy with either result in a Quirk
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/12/19 07:30 PM

Originally Posted by RAF_Louvert
Fullofit, always nice to see the sun in the dead of winter, even if you have to climb above the clouds to do it. To your question about the weather here: it was a deep freeze last week and now we're getting more snow. 20" so far this month alone with another 6" on the way today. Still, I'll take it to the -32F temp and -60F windchill we had earlier. How's it been over your way? Do you deal with lake effect snow there or are the winter winds generally blowing from the west and north?

Lou, I’m by the lake, so lake effect snow all the way for me. Had snow coming down since morning, now freezing rain to cover that, then they’re predicting just plain rain so that it all can just freeze together and make life miserable. Thankfully the bosses decided to close the office early to try and beat the highway massacre that is just waiting to happen.

Dear Madame Foufou, please resist the urge to “borrow” other people’s possessions to furnish your House of Pleasure. Despite the noble cause these items have been appropriated for, the original owners of said items would not approve or allow such actions. Now, what’s the address again?
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/12/19 07:32 PM

Originally Posted by Maeran
Carrick, in the BE I favour getting down on the deck when being attacked by Eindeckers. Your observer has no downward field of fire anyway so force your attacker to be above you or underground.

You likely wont shoot him down, but he might make a mistake and spin in with no room to recover. Or get tired and go away. I'm happy with either result in a Quirk

Does flying upside down confuse the Boche at all?
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/12/19 10:50 PM

Great stories all! Fantastic reads Gents.

Lt. Mark Jericho
Auchell Aerodrome

Jericho had heard of Swany getting wounded shortly after debriefing. Walking back to his hut he was not in a cheerful mood. If not for the good work of his gunner, Christian, he may not even be here. Now to find out his hut mate was in the hospital was a bit much. As he entered the hut he saw a batman with Swany's fiddle. "Get your godd#@m hands of that Stewart!" yelled Jericho.

Stewart turned with a start. "I'm sorry Sir! I was just arranging the Lieutenant's things for when he returns Sir!" Jericho stormed over and took the case from Stewart. "I'll take care of Swany's kit while he is away! Now get the h#ll out of here!" Jericho said. "Yes Sir! Pardon Sir!" Stewart said as he made a hasty retreat out the door. Jericho lay the case on Swany's bunk and opened it to make sure it was ok and then slowly closed it back, arranging it on the center of the bunk. He took off his flying kit and started to lay down when there was a commotion outside. "What in blazes now!" Jericho said to himself as he walked back out of his hut. What he saw made him laugh out loud. One of the airmen was coming across the field on a horse at a full gallop! Swany marveled at the beautiful Sorrel. The tragedy was the poor airman was hanging on for dear life! He finally managed to bring the horse to a stop at the end of the field. Everyone on the field was laughing hysterically. Jericho trotted over to the panting airman holding the reigns of the horse. "What seems to be the problem Captain?" Jericho asked.

"When they started the engine on that Morane this bloody animal went crazy! He is supposed to be a retired cavalry horse, I thought they were used to anything!" the Captain replied.

"Well he might be to gunfire and such but obviously he hasn't ever been around flying machines is my guess. It's something new to him. Mind if I give him a try?" Jericho asked.

"Be my quest Lieutenant if dying in the air does not suit you! the Captain replied as he handed the reins to Jericho.

"Thank you Sir" replied Jericho as he rubbed the wild eyed horse's neck. Jericho looked over the animal. It was one fine mount. At least 16 hands and big boned with a very intelligent look. He kept rubbing the gelding and talking to it until it had calmed down and his ears were turned to Jericho and not the idling Morane on the field. At that Jericho moved to the horses side and put his weight in the stirrup and stood up still rubbing the horse's neck. After a minute Jericho eased over into the saddle and relaxed, still rubbing his neck. "That's my boy, no one's going to harm you here. You want to go see what that big nightmare is over there?" Jerico asked the horse. With that he nudged the horse into a walk back to the Morane. When they got within 20 yards of it the big gelding came to a dead stop with ears forward and nostrils flared. He stood for a second and went to turn around. When he did Jericho kept him going in a circle until the horse was facing the Morane again. This went on three times until the horse stood facing the Morane. Jericho reached down and rubbed the horses neck again. After a few minutes the horse started to relax his head. When he did that Jericho nudged him again with his heels. The big gelding went a little closer and the same circus started again. After a few starts and stops they were within 5 yards of the Morane. Jericho turned him away from the Morane and trotted him up and down the edge of the field for a few minutes and then went back to the Morane. The gelding hesitated a little but walked up to it until Jericho stopped him.

By this time everyone on the field was watching the show. Jericho walked the mare over to the Captain and dismounted. "He sure is one fine mount Sir" Jericho said as he rubbed the horse from neck to flank. "That was something to see Lieutenant!" the Captain said.

"Well Sir. He just needed to get a look at it. A horse will stop where it feels safe. You just keep making him face it but don't force him to get any closer than he wants until he feels like it. Is he yours Captain?" Jericho asked.
"I acquired him for the squadron Lieutenant. I thought it might be a good diversion while not flying" the Captain said.
"Well your right there Captain. I don't know of anything better to put a man's mind right than a good horse. What's his name?" Jericho asked.
"I have no idea Lieutenant. What would you like to name him?" asked the Captain.

Jericho stood back and looked over the big Sorrel. How about Moon, Sir?"
"Moon?" the Captain asked with a quizzical look.
"Yes Sir. He looks like he should be called Moon to me Sir" Jericho replied.

"Well Lieutenant. Moon it is" the Captain replied.

Note: If anyone is interested that is horse 101 for "horse boogers"
Posted By: Raine

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/12/19 11:36 PM


Excellent work, and a real lesson for this horse booger. Trust me, If that was me, I'd be playing bongo on the field with my skull, one foot stuck in a stirrup. I'm loving the mysterious Mr. Jericho!
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/13/19 02:55 AM

Wonders will never cease. Now we’ve got ourselves a horse whisperer! Great story MFair. Will Jericho shoe him next? And how DID that cow end up in Collins’ shack? You’ve got some explaining to do.

12 February , 1916 8:02
Senard, Verdun Sector
Escadrille N37
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

Durand is stuck in bed with the fever. His place is taken by Sous Lieutenant Nathaniel Roze for today’s flight to St. Mihiel salient on arty spotting. It is a sleepy day with plenty of drizzle and fog. Gaston could barely keep himself awake. In fact, he is certain he could fly this mission in his sleep but S.Ltn Roze would have none of that. He would tap Gaston on the shoulder constantly pointing to something on the ground all the way to and from the enemy camp. Eventually he grew tired of the sights and left Voscadeaux alone to his piloting duties and to his thoughts. Gaston caught himself nodding off near the aerodrome. It was the sudden shift of gravity that brought him out his daydream. Gaston corrected his plane’s attitude and looked like he meant to do it when Roze looked at him part with trepidation and part suspicion. The temporary observer was not impressed.
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/13/19 04:17 PM


MFair, another wonderful bit revealed about our Jericho. A man of mystery to be sure!

Fullofit, I hope Gaston can get his regular gunner/obs back soon. It does not sound as if SLt. Roza is a fan of the Sergent.

2nd Lt. Swanson is on his way back to camp from No. 10 Stationary Hospital in St. Omer where he has been since his wounding on the 6th. Even though his left side still hurts like the devil he has been cleared to return to flying duty, and he is thrilled for the news as he was beginning to go mad laying about in the ward. Before he left he was visiting with his G/O, Lt. Christopher Dent, and was very pleased to find that he was doing far better than first expected. When the surgeon went in to retrieve the two bullets in his right shoulder it was discovered that one was pressed tight against the main nerve. Once removed it was but a day or two later when Christopher started to regain feeling in his arm, hand, and fingers. As of this morning the stout fellow is now able to use his hand again and can actually raise his arm an inch or two. The doctor is now predicting that, with adequate rest and recovery, Lt. Dent should be able to return to his regular duties at some point in the future. For now though he is to be sent back to England for at least six weeks, which means of course that Swany will be working with a new G/O on his return to Auchel. The young pilot is fine with that as he is beyond pleased that his former flying partner will make a full recovery.

Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/13/19 10:51 PM

Lou, I’m surprised that neither Collins nor Jericho came to visit Swany in the hospital.

13 February , 1916 8:00
Senard, Verdun Sector
Escadrille N37
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

Durand is still sick in bed and Gaston gets physically sick every time he looks at the damp grey skies. Then this little voice in his head that sounds exactly like his darling wife asks him: “Would you prefer to be down there in the mud?” Gaston's immediate response is always a resounding “no” and so, here he is flying another recon mission over the front lines directly north of Senard aerodrome. Along with his wingman, Caporal Papinet and his stand-in observer Roze, they are to note any troop or vehicle movement. Movement? There is plenty of movement with les Bouchers Noirs* mistreating part of the landscape occupied by the Boche. Of course there was movement. The Huns were scurrying away from the shells falling on their heads.

*Les Bouchers Noirs : “ The Black Butchers “ - soldiers in the artillery. The name referred to the colour of the artillery uniforms and the devastating damage their guns inflicted.
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/13/19 11:04 PM

Fullofit, we were to busy fighting off the Huns! When the weather went dud the roads were impassable. Besides, I had to make sure his fiddle was not molested in his absence.
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/13/19 11:15 PM

MFair, you are excused. What's your story, Raine? Had to clean the lipstick off?
Posted By: carrick58

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/14/19 01:32 AM

Full of it: I agree if u can to the deck before he guns U down. as for flying upside down It does confuse me,but maybe not the Huns. On thing that doesn't seem to work is flying in circles with a attacking monoplanes.
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/14/19 02:47 PM


Carrick, the only way flying in circles when defending against an attacking plane works is if you can keep turning inside of them. If you don't have that advantage it is best to get out of Dodge ASAP.

Fullofit, I wouldn't be too hard on the lads for not making it up to St. Omer to call on Swany, there is a war on after all. And what with Jim busy pilfering items for his hut and Mark whispering to horses, it appears they had their hands full.

2nd Lt. Swanson is back in the thick of it with an attack this morning on the railyard at the north end of Lens. His new G/O is a Captain Daniel Craig, a King's Regiment man who transferred to the RFC back in the summer of 1915. He's a bit stodgy, but seems a decent fellow, though Swany has no idea what kind of a shot he is, and no opportunity arose on today's outing to find out. There was a pair of Aviatiks that passed over, but they were too far away to bother wasting ammo on them. The weather was horrible for flying, what with the wind and sleet, but the Brass Hats wanted the job done so off they went. Swany managed to find and hit the target, with one of his bombs igniting what appeared to be a pile of munitions which exploded with a tremendous flash, sending flaming debris everywhere and catching two of the smaller warehouses on fire. After admiring his handiwork briefly the young airmen turned his bus west and fought the wind all the way back to camp. Total time in the air, 2 hours and 16 minutes. By the time Swany was back on the ground his side was aching and he felt frozen through. It took several cups of piping hot tea and a half hour in the mess to get the feeling back in his extremities. Still, it felt good to back in the fight.

A most satisfying sight.
[Linked Image]

Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/14/19 05:53 PM

Great shot Lou! Daniel Craig, huh? Did anybody check if this guy’s not a spy? He probably is a hotshot ... with the ladies. I hope the two of you bond.
Posted By: MFair

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/14/19 06:07 PM

Lt. Mark Jericho
Auchell Aerodrome
Feb. 12, 1916
Today we were tasked with bombing Vimy Junction. Shortly after takeoff my engine started sounding like the clatter wheels of hell! Lucky for me and Christian we had enough height and the engine held together long enough for us to circle back to the field and make a safe landing. While the old crate was wheeled to the hanger, Jericho checked on the new addition to the squadron. Moon seemed to like his new home and Jericho was glad to have him around. The flight returned after a few hours and all were safe reporting no contact and that the railway was damaged.

[Linked Image]

The next few days were well. Swany had returned from the hospital. A bit sore but ready to resume his duties. Jericho hated to admit it to himself but he was beginning to miss the man. Other than freezing half to death and getting shot at for a few hours a day this was not a bad way to make a living thought Jericho thought.

Early on the morning of the 14th, C Flight was to bomb Hallvin Aerodrom. Rain and Snow as usual. Approaching the target the Archie greeted them but it was far from accurate. Jericho was enjoying watching the black puffs when reality hit him and he realized they were over enemy lines and the dreaded Fokkers could be anywhere. He immediately went back to scanning the skies. The dropped their presents for the German fliers and made one circle to assess the damage. When Gridder was satisfied he signaled to head home. The three Moranes turned west as one. Jericho was thinking this might be a good mission when Christian gave him the warning for the enemy. Jericho looked right to see an amazing sight. A Fokker was diving on Gridder and evidently his observer had given the Hun what for as it started to burn and dove past Gridder then in front of Jericho going down in a ball of fire and smoke. Jericho was not sure what Gridder's trouble was but he was loosing altitude. Looking around he saw a Fokker behind them but at some distance. The Fokker followed them to the lines and tried to make one pass but Christian drove him off with a blistering burst from his gun.

[Linked Image]

Jericho made it back to Auchell with Gridder coming in a few minutes later. Jericho was beaming as his flight leader came to a stop near their Morane. He started over to congratulate him when he saw his observer was slumped over in his cockpit. "Oh Lord" thought Jericho. There was nothing they could do. The man had been shot through the heart.
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/14/19 09:05 PM

Aleck A. MacKinlay

February 10, 1916: A routine reconnaissance today north of Ypres. No sign of any enemy aircraft and little action below apart from the odd artillery burst. The entire sector seems rather quiet. Reynolds has a theory that the Jerries are concentrating their attention elsewhere along the front in preparation for a big spring battle that we will get left out of. I really couldn't argue against it.

February 11, 1916: More reconnaissance north of Ypres with no interference from the enemy.

While warming up in the mess with Chris, Mr. Davis entered, apparently with the same idea in mind. He recognized me as the pilot that had ferried him here and, seemingly in a friendly mood joined us. He helped himself to hot tea and stale biscuits, introducing himself as Warren. Chris and I would normally be sociable and ask the usual questions one asks of a new acquaintance in these situations but were a bit tongue tied for fear of probing his apparently secretive visit to RNAS-6. Happily, Warren steered the conversation toward Chris and i, asking about where we were from, how we got into flying, and all that. Surprisingly it turns out that we have a few common acquaintances back in London ... which we figured out when I mentioned the Vickers Flying School. Warren said that he works for Vickers in their design department. This caught my attention and I mentioned to him that I hoped to work for Vickers after the war ends and apprentice there as a junior mechanical engineer. When he found out I was recently graduated from engineering it was like he had found a kindred spirit ... I gather Davis and Buckminster haven't been the most brilliant conversationalists these last few days cooped up in Hanger 1. He is a graduate of the Victoria University of Manchester and we had great fun exchanging stories of pranks and profs for about half an hour before he had to return to his work.

Attached picture Combat Flight Simulator 3 Screenshot 2019.02.14 -
Posted By: 77_Scout

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/15/19 02:00 AM

Aleck A. MacKinlay
February 12, 1916

What a horrible morning; Chenley is dead. We were attacked by two Fokkers as we crossed the Lys River. The Bristols assigned to protect us never saw the threat nor intervened. We tried to keep up a coordinated defense with our rear gunners but it was no use. My engine was shot out and Chris and I had to put down in the rear of our trenches. I watched as Cheney and Weller glided in trailing smoke and cheered when they made a safe landing nearby. But when we got over there Cheney was gone; shot through the chest. Somehow he held on long enough to save Weller and get the plane on the ground. He's a bloody hero! Weller is overcome with emotion and can barely talk, but did sob out that he got one of the attackers. That brings us little solace tonight and everyone in the squadron is in a sorrowful mood.

Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018) - 02/15/19 02:46 AM

14 February , 1916 8:05
Senard, Verdun Sector
Escadrille N37
Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux

In the news, The Bluff in the Ypres salient was taken by the Germans. It will make life very difficult for the British army stationed there.
Durand is back! How Gaston missed that whippersnapper.
Today’s mission? It’s a welcome change from all the reconnaissance conducted