About This File
A mission For First Eagles + Expansion Pack 1 + Nov 08 patch.
Bucky's Quick Mission No.8: 'Woollett's six in a day!' Parts 1 & 2.
These missions are a re-enactment of two aerial combats that took place in the skies above
La Gorgue, 15 miles west of Lille, at approximately 10:30am and 5:00pm on Friday, 12th
April, 1918. The combatants were 43 Sqn's C Flight, led by Captain Henry Winslow Woollett,
(35 Victories), and three (or more) unknown German Jasta's...Woollett was credited with
shooting down six German aircraft during these combats...Three in each!
Henry Woollett, a medical student before the war, joined the RFC in 1916, and was posted
to 24 Sqn in November of that year. He scored one victory flying the (by then) obsolescent
DH2, before converting to the DH5, in which he scored four more victories.
In August 1917, he was sent home to England to become an instructor. He was then posted to
43 Sqn in March 1918. He achieved thirty victories up until early August 1918 (including 11
balloons), when he was again sent home to command three training squadrons.
A brilliant pilot, and an excellent leader, he had great style too: He created quite a stir
among the top brass by wearing a leopard skin flying helmet and matching gauntlets!
This is how Woollett described both actions in his combat report:
"At 10:30am, I led my patrol down on to eight EA just south-east of La Gorgue. I fired about
30 rounds into one single seater; machine spun down and crashed just west of La Gorgue. I
then dived on to another EA (a two seater); this I saw crash just north-east of La Gorgue.
I climbed up and got on the tail of an Albatros and after firing 40 rounds it burst into flames,
falling to pieces. I also saw another EA in flames, and also one crash which was shot down
by Lt Daniel."
"5:00pm. I led patrol down on to thirteen EA just north of LaGorgue. I fired about 30 rounds
into one EA which was going east. This turned over on its back and fell to bits. I then
climbed and got on to the tail of another Albatros; after firing several bursts into him, he
spun down and crashed north-east of La Gorgue.
On returning over lines I climbed up and found another EA at about 2,000 feet; this after
about 20 rounds collapsed in the air and fell to bits. I saw two other EA crash, engaged by
machines of my patrol."
To set the scene:
At this time 43 Sqn were based at Avesnes-Le-Comte, about 10 miles west of Arras.
Equipped with the excellent 110hp Le Rhone Sopwith Camel, 43 Sqn was a formidable unit.
The weather was fine all that day, which allowed a great amount of aerial activity by both
sides along the whole front. Indeed, the RAF Communique for that day states:
"A record number of hours flying was done, a record number of photographs taken, and a
record number of bombs dropped for any 24 hours since the war started."
The Western Front on 12th April 1918 was a target rich environment...
For the sake of surprise, I won't give too much away here, but if you want to re-enact the
events of that day as accurately as possible, then read Woollett's combat report above, and
try to emulate him...Be aware though that if you have your 'Gameplay' settings on 'Hard' (as
you should!) then you'll have just 500 rounds of ammo in each combat...
SO TAKE CAREFUL AIM!
When the mission begins you'll be approaching the front line, with your five wingmen of
C flight at approximately 7,000 ft. Steer a course at anywhere between 15-100 degrees and
make a gentle climb to about 8,000 ft, which is the height Woollett liked to patrol at to take
advantage of the Camel's optimum performance at that altitude.
If you survive this engagement, then make your way home to Arras airfield (see
'Compromises & game limitations').
Have a cup of tea and a lie down, then don your leopard skin flying helmet and gauntlets
again, ready to lead C Flight's 2nd patrol of the day...
This early evening mission begins at around 7,200 ft, so again, you may want to gain a bit
more height, and head for the front line at around 10-90 degrees...This one's a proper
furball, so good luck! Again, consider the mission over if/when you make it home...
In both missions remember; you'll have to give your wingmen the signal to engage
(Usually: 'TAB', then '1' ). Otherwise, you'll be on your own...
Compromises and game limitations:
1. During the spring of 1918 the German offensive had pushed the allies back further than
the actual front line depicted in the game. However, La Gorgue is on the 'Flanders Terrain'
map, so the action takes place above the correct area.
2. The actual German Jasta's that 43 sqn encountered that day are unrecorded, and
unfortunately, the Albatros DVa Jasta skins supplied in the game (numerous as they are) do
not include any appropriate units that were based around the Lille area at that date.
Therefore, I've had to utilise three random units; Jasta's 76b and 34b + 46, for mission parts
1 and 2 respectively. They're nice colour schemes though!
3. The 43 Sqn unit markings depicted in the game, utilise the earlier "white triangle" markings.
At the time of this action they had been changed to two diagonal stripes either side of the
fuselage roundel. They changed on 22/3/18, three weeks earlier...D'oh!
4. Avesnes-Le-Comte, 43 Sqn's airfield is not on the "Flanders Terrain" Map, but Arras airfield
is in the same general area, so I've used that instead.
To fly this mission as intended, the only mod you'll need is:
To be found in the Combat Ace, Downloads, 'Maps/Terrains' section.
Special thanks to Edward for producing this most excellent terrain, without which none of my
missions would be possible!
Although not essential, for extra realism and immersion I would recommend the following
mods, available from the Combat Ace, Downloads site:
'Thicker, Fuller Clouds'.
Found in: 'Maps/Terrains'. 'Environmental Mods'.
Excellent mod that greatly improves the "cotton wool ball" clouds effect.
By yours truly.
Found in: 'Sound Mods'.
For maximum realism I would also recommend that this mission be played with all gameplay
settings set to 'Hard'.
Install the mission by unzipping the downloaded file to the following path:
Alternatively, you can drag and drop the unzipped MSN file directly into your 'Missions'
I hope you enjoy flying this mission and find it both challenging and enjoyable enough to
play it more than once. I've tried to make it as historically accurate and authentic as the
game will allow.
Feel free to change any of the parameters as you wish.
I would welcome any suggestions or general feedback, good, bad or indifferent, via any one
of the FE forums.
References used in creating this mission:
'Sopwith Camel Aces Of WW1'...N. Franks.
'British & Empire Aces Of WW1'...C. Shores.
'Above The Trenches'...C. Shores, N. Franks & R. Guest.
'Royal Air Force Communiques 1918'...C. Cole.
'Sopwith Camel, King Of Combat'...C. Bowyer
'Air Aces Of The 1914-1918 War'...J.M. Bruce & Others.
'Sopwith Camel Squadrons'...L.A. Rogers.
'Aces And Airmen Of WW1'...A.C.Wood.
'W.W.1 Air Map' Website...Created By D.Townsend.
http://patriot.net/~townsend/WW1AirMap2/ (Firefox browser required).