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54 Squadron vs the Stukas....

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September, 1940...Southern England


We were tasked with intercepting a raid against the Ventnor RDF station. Having recently finished our conversion training, and with the corrected modifications* to our Tomahawks, 2 flights were up and airborne, hunting for the Hun.


(*it should be noted these aircraft were originally destined for France; they needed extensive upgrades both at the Curtiss factory and at squadron depot level to rearranged the throttle, and add the needed armour and self sealing tanks. This delayed squadron deployment for almost 3 months)




We spotted the enemy formation over the sea, vectored to them by Ventnor itself. Those controllers surely have big brass ones...none of those ladies left their posts for the duration of intercept.


"Tallyho!" shouted my #6, "Stukas at 1 o'clock"

"Look sharp for their escorts," I called over the R/T.

"They don't have any!!" called by wingman, "Stupid buggers, they're sitting ducks!!"

"Right then," I said, "All chicks, engage!"


I swung out wide to the right, behind for formation as the rest of the lads peeled off and began attacking from the rear.


"Watch out for the gunners!" somebody shouted.


I pushed down and came up under, pulling towards the right...




...trying to rack for formation from front to back, left to right. I know it was a waste of ammo, but it could possibly draw off fire from my mates.


Pulling up through them, I passed by without a shot being fired at me. I could hear my wingman guns going off, as he tried to get the leftmost bird in his sights.




Extending out in front, with my throttle bent to the firewall, I pulled up hard and looped over and behind. Coming up from under, I had 2 buzzards stacked over each other in my sights....I pulled the trigger and held it down for a long burst, racking BOTH of them from stern to stem. As pieces broke off, smoke began to stream out, and they fell away from formation, heading down to the sea.




The R/T was full of chatter with the exultant shouts of my flight as they tore into the almost helpless Nazi dive bombers. As I pulled up and over, I was greeted with concentrated fire from the rear guns of at least 2 of the vultures...I winced as the bullets bounced off my armoured windscreen - actually SEEING the hits, and feeling them impact all along the length of my aircraft.




The engine coughed once, and then everything got real quite. Oh DAMN! I thought...they've gotten my engine!! Setting up my glide, I gently straightened out, and began heading for land. I figured if Icould make, I'd set down as close as possible to the radar station itself. About that time, our controllor called in "Tango flight, mission accomplished. We have no further trade for you at this time" We'd stopped the bombers from hitting our long-range eyes. Even though only ONE made it to it's release point, it's bombs went wide and missed the towers.

My radio was still working, and I called my wingman; "Take the boys home. I'm heading in with a dead engine. I'll land here."

"Righto, skipper. Tango flight, join up on me. Return to base."


I watched as the rejoined, and circled overhead as I made wide S turns to bleed off speed. I'll say one thing for these Tommy-hawks; they sure can take a beating. And the extra punch of the American 50 caliber guns sure shows on the enemy.


Watching the smoke and dust cloud from the bomb that missed, I made a nice slow, easy turn into the wind. "Here's hoping" I thought as I dropped the undercarraige and flaps. I was greeted by the disticnt 'thumps' as the wheels came down and locked. This is good...down in one piece, they'll send over and drag my poor little ship back to base, where it can be fixed and fight again.


20 feet...airspeed 85,....10.....5....BOUNCE as I skimmed over the grass. I wiggled the rudder pedals to loose speed, and get me pointed towards to station's main building. I rolled to a stop 100 yards short of my goal.




As I cut the remaining switches, fuel petcocks, and set the brakes, I noticed the stations' personell were all running towards me, severel bouncing over the field on bicycles. I unstrapped, and clambered out of the cockpit, slipping off down to the ground.

I saluted the WAAF officer in charge, reporting in.

"Can I use your telephone to call my station?"

"Of course, Flying Officer," she said, "But it'll have to wait a mo'. It dosen't smell too good in the house right now."

"Oh?" I looked puzzled, "Why is that"

"That bleeding Nazi dropped his bomb right on the latrine. All the drains are broken, and there's sewage everywhere. How about a nice cuppa tea, then?"


Just another day in the Battle of Britian...




Another one of my 'What If..' skins for an ETO Tomahawk. It's nearly ready, just have to write the readme with the 'Fictional Historical Notes"



kevin stein

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Drool. . .


Want that ETO Tomahawk - have recently been reading about the squadron who flew them from old Blighty - would make a marvellous addition to BoB v0.61 :ok:


Great stuff :good:



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