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JonathanRL

Story Based AAR: Lion from the North

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[A/N: First of all, the reason I put this into its own thread and not in the AAR thread is because this will be a longer, story based AAR. It will follow a Swedish Pilot from flight school to combat missions with more story then your average AAR.

 

I do not know how often I will update this, but I will do it as often as I feel the urge to write down the adventures of my character and the campaign slot reserved for him. The Campaign style is "Dead is Dead, no Alt-N". If he dies in training, this will be a very short AAR.

 

Furthermore, while I made sure as much as possible is accurate, there will be some parts that are not due to artistic licence, but the main goal of this AAR is to combine my desire to tell a story with what I know or think I know about the Swedish Air Force and their methods. I hope you will enjoy it.

 

The Lion from the North

Ljungbyhed, Southern Sweden.

3th of May, 1964

 

I waited a long time for this. Longer than one would think. I touch my hand across the flat surface of the wing. Compared to some of the other aircraft I have seen and serviced, this one is primitive. An old Brit, put into the use of trainer. I am not even going to fly it this time around.

 

The instructors are going to bring us up, one by one. This is the first part of our training. Many of us have never flown, but feel the call of the skies. It is interesting that I know the Lansens technical statistics and best maintenance shortcuts in and out, but I have never actually flown.

 

I used to beg the pilots to bring me up into the backseat for a flight. I got to sit there a few times, but never fly in it. And that is what brought me here.

 

Maybe I should start from the beginning, as most stories do. My name is Johan and I am twenty years old. I spent my youth around Gävle and Söderhamn, watching the airplane soar above us, even scoring kills in the war a few years back when I was just a boy. So when I was called up for my military service, I tried to be a pilot. The officer just laughed at me and told me I had to be employed in order to train as a pilot, but as a favor, he put me into maintenance. I spent twelve months learning to put things apart and together, fix battle damage and load ammunition as quickly as possible. My aircraft of choice to work on was the A 32 Lansen, based at the very air base I had seen them fly my entire life.

 

I made sure to pass with flying colours. It almost backfired, as they wanted to train me as a crew chief. So I made a deal with my boss. I would become a crew chief if I failed flight training. In his notes in my application, he wrote down my expertise maintaining the Lansen. If I passed, I knew what I was most likely going to fly, and it suited me just fine.

 

The instructors are fair and honest with us. They tell us that most of us will never be pilots. That drop-out rates are high, but that they want us to make it. And so, they have their first little test planned for us. Fail this, and you will never become a pilot. Most of us do not see it as a test at all. It is more like a treat, of the kind you get if you have been a nice boy all year. We are going to get to fly for the first time, just a week into training. It is also efficient. If anybody who dreams of flying feels it is not for them, there will be no waste of resources on them.

 

So now I stand before my first taste with Gods blue sky, and is about to plunge into it in a machine of metal, fabric and daring. The Sk 11 Tiger Moth. It is an old aircraft, but to get all the students up in the air, they have to scramble most of the aircraft on the field. Most of the students go up in the newer SK 16 Harvard. Two others got up in SK 12s, usually used to tow gliders. Me? I seemed to have won the grand prize.

 

It does not seem so at first glance, but most of the instructors apparently fight over a chance to fly this old bird. Or it could just be the words Kapten Felix Johansson uses to comfort the fact that I got this piece of flying junk. But his joy to fly the Tiger Moth seems actually to be genuine. I like the aircraft, despite the fact that it is difficult to believe it belongs to the Kungliga Krigsflygskolan. It is painted in bright colours and according to the Captain often used as air shows or when the instructors just want to take a break and fly for the joy of it. I asked if its actually on the aircraft rooster of the Academy. He smiled at me and told me to get in.

 

Mission: Take-Off, Circle the Airstrip and Land.

Mission Role: Passenger

 

It was not a very calm flight, despite promises of the opposite. Then again, I do not really have any experiences to compare it with, but after today, I am quite sure I will. We took off and the Captain made a sharp turn over the parked aircraft, putting the aircraft in a slow circle around the airstrip. Looking down on it, I saw my fellows walk into and out of aircraft, and in the air around us; other instructors flew with other students. The experience of flying with the wind in ones face is beyond description. It was wonderful, and I knew that even if I did not pass my course here, I would get a flight license.

This was what I wanted to do.

 

And I would get the chance to do so sooner than I would think, when the Captain yelled if I wanted to try and take the stick. I was terrified but exited at the same time but my answer was obvious. Taking the stick, I gently moved it back and forth to check the results of my actions. The rudders responded to my command in a very graceful way, and I even dared to take the aircraft into a slow turn before the captain informed me that it was his stick again. Then he told me to hold on, as he put the Aircraft into a steep dive, and then up into a roll. I was screaming with excitement and then laughing as the aircraft stabilized and the Captain put her into a gentle turn that would take us in for landing.

 

As we reached ground, I had to suppress a cheer. Not because we was back on the ground, but because I knew this would not only be something I could do again, but if I passed the course, my profession. The Captain seemed to know what I was thinking and smiled, asking if I liked it. There was only one possible answer…

 

post-14846-0-74865800-1339491302.jpg

 

[A/N: Thanks to Flogger23 for helping me with SK 16 decals who proved to be a pain.]

Edited by JonathanRL
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Pretty cool! Like the Texan and Tiger Moth schemes. BTW, If you want this post clean, just tell me and will erase this entry.

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No, I want comments. The more the merrier. Constructive criticism, comments on plot, aircraft, screenshots and praise or hatemail; pretty much anything goes. :drinks:

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Fantastic Jonathan !! The description of the atmosphere is great, very nice style !!!!!

In the '50's we lived near Eelde where the Dutch flying school was stationed and we always had flying students around in our house as guests (via the fieldhockey they played together with my brother and sister). They just came by or stayed for days for studying. Untill my father asked them to stop it, we regularly had litlle airhows over our house by those guys with (indeed) Tiger Moth's and Harvards and during a holiday at Schiermonnikoog Island there was a dusk low level "bombing raid" with a Beech 18 with closet rolls (!) being thrown out of the passenger door..... Those were the days my friend......

The pilots ended as 747 captains with KLM - we are still in touch with them - so in the end all was well, but the beginning was like your story !!

I have a very nice book with paintings and drawings by Serge Stone about life in the KLu, which also starts out with Tigers and Harvards in the way you so vividly describe ..

Great Job !!:drinks:

Edited by Derk

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Ljungbyhed, Southern Sweden.

12th of June, 1964

 

Not all of us are made for flying. That much is certain. Sometimes, during the lectures you can sometimes feel so stupid that you feel you are one of them. But nowhere is this clearer than after the instructors took us up for our backseat flights. We had three people dropping out, one medical and two who just quit after their first flight. Nobody ever got the chance to talk about it, but the rest of us felt scornful. How could a man not want to fly? Clearly there was something wrong with them. We expected them to get yelled at in public, but the instructors and officers took another stance at it.

 

They seemed to feel that this was only natural, and a lad who questioned one of the dropouts manhood was told sternly to cut it out or get thrown out. This quickly shut the rest of us up. I did however have the courage to ask Kapten Johansson about how many who usually dropped out for simply not wanting to fly. He stared at me and ordered me to present the effects of flight on the human body on the next lecture, robbing me of my free weekend in the process without even having to revoke my Leave.

 

The lecture I had to give did however make me feel more prepared for the next stage of our training. We was going to fly again, but not as passengers. Instead we would be the pilots, and the entire training flight would be in our hands, with the instructor ready to take over if we did something wrong.

 

Mission: Take-Off, Circle the Airstrip and Land.

Mission Role: Pilot-In-Training

 

"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky." - Amelia Earhart

 

You know the Theory. You know the buttons in front of you. You know what you are to do. You know the comforting voice of Captain Johansson pulling jokes and a serious tone to put you at ease.

 

You need all of it.

 

When I looked on the Vampires & Tunnan on the Söderhamn field, near my home it all looked so easy. How they streaked to the stars to do battle. Now, I was given responsibility for two lives and it all comes down to how I moved a stick. It almost felt silly. So I pushed the throttle forward and prepared myself for the moment when my aircraft would lift off the ground. The feeling surprised me, and suddenly I found my wing a little closer to the ground when what is reasonable. I quickly pulled the stick in the other direction and found the other wing closing to the ground. Captain Johansson told me to move the aircraft more gently, and not pull it like I was breaking a formation.

 

It went better from there but I am not sure by how much. Captain Johansson gave me corrections and it was increasingly difficult to keep track on where to fly next. I ended up outside the waypoints two times and had to be reigned back in but I did better than I think it would. Not once did the Captain have to order me to release the stick. The landing however could have gone better. I came in too fast, and the Captain told me to raise the nose. I raised the entire aircraft too fast, and we almost entered a stall. Without thinking, I pulled up and left, and went on the go around. Lowering my landing gear, we then came in for landing. It felt a lot harder than the landing I in the moth, but since the Captain did not complain, I suppose I should not do so either.

 

So I have flown a plane now. Up and down again, and everything in between. There will no doubt be many theoretical and practical lessions to go, but it is a milestone. It was a happy night in the mess hall that day. We skålade for our new life in the air, and for the Air Force.

 

Truly, to Fly is to Live.

 

post-14846-0-14571400-1339521956.jpg

Edited by JonathanRL

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Ljungbyhed, Southern Sweden.

5th of September, 1964

 

It has been a busy summer. All too little time spent on the beach, watching all the pretty girls around here and too much in classrooms. The month before our first solo was gruelling as hell, but the instructors wanted to make sure everybody was to pass. If they did not think you could pass it, they chucked you out. And chucked out people they did. I was sure I would be one of them for sure. My navigation skills was lacking, and during instructor flights I seemed to be a degree or two off course almost every time.

 

There is a certain reluctance to get to know people, but it happens anyway. This is for the obvious reason that if you get a best mate, the bunk can be empty by the next day. I knew that at the beginning, my attitude would be kind but distant. This failed at the same time I met Lars Broman for the first time. He had just returned from AWOL and asked me to cover for him, something that one only did if you could be sure to get away with it. Sure enough, once he had left Kapten Johansson came with the Väbel. They asked me if they had seen Lars. I answered that indeed I had. They asked me if he had recently jumped over the fence, back into the base. Looking Johansson straight in the face, I answered rather truthfully that I had been looking away at the time and was unsure in what direction he had come from.

 

A few hours later, I spotted Lars, drenched in sweat and glared at me, muttering curses under his breath at the Väbel. I grinned at him and asked if it was worth it. He grinned back and said that his lady friend would probably find it romantic that he endured punishment for her. It was good to have Lars as a friend. He was dead useful in tutoring my navigation skills, and especially counteracting for the wind during flight, something I had never gotten the hang on, despite different instructors attempts to explain the subject.

 

So the time came for our first Solos, and we passed them with flying colours. I was nervous as hell. We was to make a shorter flight, along waypoints but I made it okey with just a few pointers from the flight teacher. Some others was not as lucky. We had two crashes with one fatality. This sobered the rest of us up for the risks we took when we went up in the air. A month after our first solo, and the little more tricky manoeuvres we was tough, our teachers declared we would actually get to do something more fun this exercise. As we had recently practised formation flight, most of was begging for more individual action. And that we got.

 

We was to have Dogfight drills.

 

Mission: Intercept "Enemy" and engage the enemy.

Mission Role: Interceptor

 

It was my view that no kill was worth the life of a wingman. . . . Pilots in my unit who lost wingmen on this basis were prohibited from leading a [section]. The were made to fly as wingman, instead. — Colonel Erich 'Bubi' Hartmann, GAF.

 

It turned out we was not to be missing out on the formation practices after all. We would fly 2 vs 2, one wingman, and one Lead and I was somewhat disappointed to be the Wingman for this exercise. Lars would be Section Lead, as the Kapten felt the practice was more bound to actually happen if he navigated the flight. So we took off - routine by now - and headed towards the area where the "enemy would be". We flew around for quite a while, not finding them and we was worried they where not where they where supposed to be. But a few minutes later, two small dots was visible below us. Our target had arrived.

 

Lars pulled his aircraft into a dive without warning me making us split the formation. I tried to follow, but I was already too far behind. He went in behind the opponents wingman and "shot" him down with simulated fire. However, the Leader broke and went after Lars who now had a bogey on his six. As Wingman, my role was to prevent just that. Over the radio, a familiar voice called out "Du är träffad, avbryt." (You are hit, Abort), and I suddenly realised the pilot in the aircraft was Captain Johansson! It seemed however that Lars was reluctant to accept the hit, as he kept manoeuvring, trying to shake the Captain off his tail. The Captain warned him again that he indeed was hit and was to return to base. With a word that is not fit for polite company, he broke off. I had however used this time well to time up my shot on the Captain.

 

"Guns Guns Guns." I called over the radio making sure to push the gun cameras several time to make sure I had the kill recorded. "Not bad" the Captain replied, and ordered the three of us to form up on his wing and return back to the field. I was surprised. I had expected the fight to last longer, and yet it had barely lasted a minute. I asked the Captain about it, knowing he had flown in combat back in ´56. He replied that this was the average length of a dogfight, and that most of the targets would never know what hit them. This was not reassuring tough, and we flew back in silence.

 

After Landing, Lars had to spend another night with the Väbel for not obeying orders and as Johanssen put it "unfit leadership." So I was put in his shoes as Wing Leader. I was not sure I would be able to preform any better in that capacity and I told the Captain so. He smiled and said that he now knew he made the right choice.

 

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Lars breaks to engage

 

post-14846-0-00836600-1339668856.jpg

Confirmed Simulated Kill

Edited by JonathanRL

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[A/N: If you want the SK 16 for yourself, you can find it enclosed: Swedish Trainer.7z ]

 

Ljungbyhed, Southern Sweden.

1th of October, 1964

 

We already had two accidents with the Jets so far. The first one just lost us the aircraft and the trainee, a lad from Stockholm named Hans was crying openly in his bunk that night. He was sure he would be chucked out. His instructor however seemed to speak in favour of him, because he was not chucked out. Not even reprimanded. At the beginning of the course, this would probably have been subject to many harsh comments or jeers, but we are a smaller group now, more sure of each other, and united in a dedication to become pilots in the Air Force. The Second one was a ill omen for all of us. A lad on his first Solo in the J 28B crashed on takeoff and was sent home with a medical discharge. In time, he will be alight, but he will never be able to fly a plane again.

 

Lars is keeping getting into trouble. Half of us wonders how he actually manages to stay here at all. He seems to have a nack for annoying the people in charge, and that is not really a good sign. More then once, Captain Johansson had to pull his neck collar to try and straighten him out. I wonder if he will be the next one to disappear.

 

So, now it was my turn. I knew my cockpit. I knew the Airplane. I knew what I should think of, the differences between 28C and 28B. My first solo in a Jet Fighter.

 

Mission: Take-off, go to Waypoint 1, 2 and 3, then land.

Mission Role: Solo Pilot

 

The waiting was the worst thing. It was before my first solo in the SK 16 as well, but the J 28B is a Jet Fighter. It is not designed to be easy to fly, it is designed to be a lean, mean machine of war. We already had the basics between Jet flight and Prop, and now we was to put them to the test. Gently, I pushed the throttle forward and my Aircraft started moving forward across the runway. It was a great feeling, a feeling of power. This was the aircraft that helped turn the tide on the Soviets in Finland back in ´56 and now it was under my complete command.

 

Adding merely a slow pull on the joystick, I allowed the aircraft to gracefully lift of the ground and almost at once raised my landing gear. It almost cannot be described, the feeling to have such a powerful machine at your literal fingertips. I could not resist, raising my nose slightly more, I made a roll, only to be rewarded with Johanssons sour comment that I was an Air Force Pilot, not a member of the flying circus.

 

It was the first time he had called any of us an Air Force Pilot.

 

I felt invincible. I almost wished the Soviets would send a MiG my way, I was sure I could handle it. The feeling of joy, of power, of taming the Jet on my first solo was overwhelming. I had to force myself back to the reality and focus on where my waypoints where. It was no good if I let the euphoria of flying fill me so I missed what I was actually supposed to do. Carefully remembering what the Captain had said, I made sure my manoeuvres was as graceful as possible and high above Sweden I soared.

 

The flight ended way too soon for my taste. I reached Waypoint 3 and had to put the aircraft back onto the ground. The landing went almost perfect, only a gust of wind to disturb me on the last 100 meters. When the aircraft had landed and the cockpit opened, I put my fist into the air in jubilation. The Captain stood below the Aircraft, smiling up at me.

 

"Can I go again?" was the first thing that blurted out of me. He climbed up to the cockpit and checked my fuel gage, then nodded.

 

post-14846-0-19519800-1339838561.jpg

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Ljungbyhed, Southern Sweden.

6th of January, 1965

 

It was been a tough new year. All our time is spent rehearsing for our final series of tests. We can all master the J 28B Vampire by now, and that is the least that is expected of us. Some of the lads did not cut it and was thrown out, right on the finish line. I cannot imagine how that would feel. Yet, for all the worry amongst the lads that they will be the next to go, I feel confident that I will be here no matter what.

 

It certainly helps that Captain Johansson has taken a liking to me. Maybe it is because I am the only one here from Gävle, or that I impressed him someway, I do not know. That does not mean he cuts me any slack tough, quite the opposite. Yet, instead of goading us to quit, or calling us stupid when we make mistakes, they are more keen to address them, make us learn from them.

 

Today was our last fighter drill before we went on to live weapons on the range. The Captain says he got us something special this time and that the CO had to request it. This got us a little tense. Fighter drills was usually against other cadets or instructors but this was something else.

 

As we stood on the flight line, the Captain addressed the briefing to us. This was another oddity, as he usually did this in a classroom. He stood rigid and ordered us to scramble as four unknowns was heading onto our vector. We ran to our aircraft and strapped in.

 

Mission: Force the JAKTTRÄNING Flight to Retreat

Mission Role: Combat Air Patrol

 

The wingman is absolutely indispensable. I look after the wingman. The wingman looks after me. It's another set of eyes protecting you. That the defensive part. Offensively, it gives you a lot more firepower. We work together. We fight together. The wingman knows what his responsibilities are, and knows what mine are. Wars are not won by individuals. They're won by teams.Lt. Col. Francis S. "Gabby" Gabreski, USAF, 28 victories in WWII and 6.5 MiGs over Korea

 

The feeling of command is not a good one. You get worried sick for every little detail of your wing, and my wing was a little sore. As Number 2, I had Lars. The Captain had demanded that until he "grew up", he would fly Wingman and Lars was not happy one bit about it. He was certain that the Captain despised him and did not want him to score any simulated kills. My other pair was less restless. They where an oddity but did not look the part, two Twins from Stockholm who both sought themselves to the Air Force and nobody had ever thought they would get this far. Now they where some of the few people pegged as "certain" to pass. They where superior in teamwork and they where usually both addressed, rewarded and punished together and always referred to - even by themselves - as "they". Now, Mattias and Markus Berg would have to make up for Lars.

 

Turning slowly, keeping my eyes on the map features where the next waypoint was, I found myself thinking on the task ahead. There was something special about this. We was usually briefed in a much more open manner - down to knowing exactly who we would be flying against. The only reason for withholding that information was if we was not supposed to know... or if the information did not give us any further knowledge.

 

The last part seemed like utter truth once I tough it, and I ordered the wing to spread out a little further. Whatever we was facing, I was not sure we would see them first. Then No: 3 called out that they had spotted four bogeys incoming fast on our right.

 

And Lars broke formation.

 

Turning to face the bogeys head-to-head, I ordered him back but to no avail. Cursing under my breath, I ordered the twins into a Vee Formation. Ahead of me, I saw Lars pushing his Airframe in full speed towards our foes. I on the other hand slowed us down. What we where facing was not other J 28s and Lars was a fool to think he could take four of them by himself. Two of the enemies broke after him and the other two went for us.

 

As we faced the J 29 Tunnans with black squares on the wing, I yelled "FIRE" and our gun cameras spew out film, that later would have shown if this tactic had worked or not. Ordering the Twins to break and chase the pair we just passed, I went after the aircraft chasing Lars. He flew fast, but not well and I was sure the Bogeys had more pictures of him then his own mother. As I came closer, the second one slowed down and broke right. This was either a trap or a diversion, but I decided to push the attack and see if I could force the other one to break. As I saw the J 29 turn in behind me, I slowed down. And was hit. A radio call echoed in my earphones that I was hit and supposed to return to base. I ordered Lars to follow, but my opponents informed me they had told him thrice and that he did not obey.

 

I suddenly wondered how I had missed them telling him he was hit.

 

Taking my Vampire in a shallow turn left back towards the strip, I watched how the twins defeated their pair but was defeated in turn by the second one. Teamwork had prevailed. And if Lars could not work with the team, I would have him chucked out, if it was in my power to even remotely arrange such a thing. The Captain would not be pleased.

 

post-14846-0-56301200-1340211662.jpg

Edited by JonathanRL

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Söderhamn, Hälsingslands Län. Sweden

5th of Mars, 1966

 

It feels like an eternity since I last wrote in this journal. I kept it around during my flight training, but for some reason I never felt like writing down my toughs and feeling. I have been content. Maybe its a sign of the stress or nervousness that I feel I need to write again.

 

Let me do the utmost short version possible.

 

Sweden is at War. I am currently at a Warbase, in the forest. The 151th Attack Division of F 15 Söderhamn is awaiting orders. I have spent my fair share of nights on a warbase, but there is a completely different sense in the air now. Everybody is tense. There is not much talking. Quite a few of us are writing letters.

 

We all know the casualty projections.

 

The Soviets claim this about Törni. That Sweden and Finland are protecting him after he and his band of Exile Finns struck that installation. Strange, considering he was in Washington DC after getting sprung. But they want to blame us. They have not forgotten about the peace of 56. They do not want us primed for war. In short, they do not want us to have the bomb. It has to be the worst secret in the world that we are working on one. Who would not, with the Soviet Union on their doorstep?

 

None of us have had any training on how to deliver one tough. I can imagine you would have to run like hell after you dropped one of those. I keep expecting to hear they dropped one on Stockholm. Or Helsinki. Or Gävle. So far, they have sent in their heavy bombers, and our own Drakens and Jaktlansens have gone up to fend them off. The radio talk about heavy enemy casualties. I am not sure what to believe. I think I want to inflict some myself before I believe what the radio tell me.

 

Mission: Destroy Soviet Naval Force leaving the Gulf of Finland

Mission Role: Naval Strike

 

För Kriget det kan, Förgöra en Man. -Sabaton, En Livstid i Krig.

 

And then the orders came. I heard Major Salwén shout for the pilots to assemble and we rushed towards the improvised staff area. Intelligence at FRA had decrypted a message telling of a convoy heading out today. It was believed to be the main invasion force heading towards Stockholm. E 1 would deploy thirty Lansens to thin out the escorts while it was still in the Gulf of Finland, where Finnish Fighters could assist easily if we got into trouble.

 

He went trough the checks with us again. Be careful when reporting MiG 21s (They could be Finns), Drop the Robot 04 when your leader tells you (More for the Red Russians to evade...), make sure you have a lock (A wasted missile is live enemy), and get back again (The Aircraft is expensive).

 

And before I knew it, I was on my first combat mission. The funny thing is, that it did not feel like a combat mission. Despite the fact that it was a lot less banter, and everybody was more focused on their flying, it could just as well have been one of the countless training missions I went trough with this Squadron.

 

We flew silently, for almost 45 minutes. We did not use the radio. We hardly saw any other aircraft until we reached the rendezvous point where a flight from F 17 Kallinge awaited us. A sharp command cut trough the silence. "All Aircraft, Weapons check." I looked down to make sure the weapon was set to safe, another look outside to see that the Missiles was still under my wings and a third look at the radar where several blips had appeared. I looked ahead again. Sure enough, in the distance we saw the enemy ships. "Rather small for an invasion fleet" somebody said. "Quiet" was the reply. We did not want them to see us before we was ready to launch.

 

As the ships came closer and closer, the command came. "Launch!"

 

I launched both my missiles and followed my Wing Leader, Kapten Lundberg in a slow turn away from the naval formation. The smoke trails of the rockets faded in the distance. Then a cheer erupted. I spun my head, and saw several explosions in the distance. "Hope the Russians can swim" I commented. "The Finns will want to send up a Recce Bird and see what we did to that fleet" Salwén added, quite forgetting that he was not enforcing his own, strict radio discipline.

 

Nothing happened as we returned to our base. Again, the feeling of an exercise was almost overwhelming, like the night ahead would be spent with beer and ladies. By the time we landed however, Salwén had returned to his usual self, and handed out disciplinary punishments for those who had broken the radio silence. I was given the dubious honour of assisting the radio operator to check and monitor the equipment. I relished that assignment. We would get the results of our strike that way, and I wanted to be the first to call out the enemy casualties.

 

I had to wait nearly three hours. I had just returned with a cup of coffee to the operator when he handed me a message.

 

TO: 152th Attack Division

FR: Headquarters

 

Target was soviet convoy reinforcing East German Assets STOP

Enemy casualties are as follows STOP

1 RIGA CLASS FRIGATE

3 TRANSPORTS

4 PATROL BOATS

STOP

 

Confirmed by Finnish Air Force Recon STOP

 

Enemy Tanks have captured Imatra Finland STOP

 

Thirty Aircraft sent. Sixty missiles launched. To destroy something that was not even heading for us. I sighed and went to show the Major.

 

post-14846-0-42821400-1340913614.jpg

Edited by JonathanRL

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Söderhamn, Hälsingslands Län. Sweden

7th of Mars, 1966

 

It felt strange to not do anything at all for an entire day. Our attack on the convoy seemed to have worried the Russians, so they would not deploy an invasion fleet, nor had there been any sign of an attempt to try and deploy ships in the Baltic. They seem scared of what Robot 04 can do to them. I can understand them. The feeling of power enough to sink a ship under your wing fills you with pride and aggression. The entire squadron have almost begged the Russians to deploy troop ships so we can drown them in the cold water of the Baltic.

 

But then Brass decided that holding back an entire Flottilj when their wartime objective did not arrive for the dance was pure and simply folly.

 

Mission: Assist the Finnish Rear Guard at Imatra.

Mission Role: Close Air Support

 

The Finns have lost Imatra, but have still held on valiantly in the outskirts to give citizens and soldiers time to escape. Down to just ten Tanks, the rear guard was about to be overwhelmed and had to withdraw themselves, but they could not do so if Soviet Tanks was to be on their heel.

 

So HQ decided this was the prime time to destroy us some Soviet Tanks.

 

The order was for a four-ship to leave Söderhamn and head for Imatra. This is quite a stretch for the Lansen, and we was warned that we might have to land at secondary airstrips in Finland if we tough we could not make the trip back. Loaded with Attack rockets and the usual Motmedelskapsel, our objective was to destroy as many enemy ground forces as we could. I flied on Kap. Lundbergs wing with the second pair being Löjt. Nyrop with another pilot from my training class, Fän. Lysholm as his Wingman. Before take-off, I talked to Lundberg about how we would identify friend from foe. Tanks look awfully similar from the air, and we had no contact whatsoever with the Finns down there.

 

He looked me straight in the face and told me to think before I fired - better to let a Russian live then a Finn die - follow his lead and watch after myself. I climbed up in the cockpit, looking at the navigator seat that had every flight since my training been empty and begun the start-up checklist.

 

Once again, the flight was uneventful. The Captain where flipping trough his radio set in order to try and find a channel where he could possibly get in touch with any of the ground forces we was to relive but there was no luck. As we turned in over Finland from the Gulf, we saw that things was really bad down there. Smoke was rising from many of the buildings in the city, anti-aircraft fire was firing wildly at a passing flight of Il-28 Beagles.

 

"Mål, Ryssens Pansar. Klockan elva."

 

The Captain had spotted Russian armor. How he knew it was Russian was obvious as it was moving towards the city, firing wildly at nearby houses. He went into a shallow dive and fired his rockets at the armor. Way too soon for my taste, as I did not have enough experience to calculate impact points. He seemed to know this however and stayed on course just until I fired my rockets, when he pulled up. I was not ready and hesitated for barely a second before following him. This saved me.

 

A MiG 21 Fishbed came out of the blue and fired his guns at the Captain. The Captians Lansen was hit, his wing torn to shreds and I saw him Eject, right before I saw the MiG streak past me. My training from Ljungbyhed kicked in, despite myself and I pursued the MiG, shooting him easily out of the sky. His turn had made him bleed speed, and he clearly did not anticipate me trying to shoot him down. I reported my status to Lt. Nyrop who reported their pair was under attack, and that his wingman was also hit. It seemed the two MiGs had devided themselves amongst us two. Before I arrived at Nyrops & Lysholms position, Lysholm had been hit, his engine in flames. Fuming with rage, I took my aim at the second MiG who seemed to have Nyrop in his sight at maximum range and fired, more to devide his attention then anything else.

 

And I got him.

 

I do not know what on that Soviet Built scrap metal I hit, but he went up in a cloud of smoke and flames. "The Sky is ours, Lieutenant." I reported as I formed up on him, without orders. Once again, the dogfight had felt very intensive and over before it really had started. But at least now I knew why they had made the Lansen into a fighter. It worked well enough for the role. Looking down, we saw that the Finns had been destroyed. We had been sent here to protect them, yet we had been busy protecting ourselves. It was disappointing. We had failed the troops down there and I wowed not to do so again. It felt like the entire city burning was our fault. We should had been able to prevent it somehow, destroy more tanks. It was a long way to fly home.

 

We got some well deserved R&R that night, but I decided to stick around the radio tent instead of enjoy myself. We all wanted news about Lysholm & Lundberg. Their fate seemed to increase the wish to know how to handle yourself on the ground, and there was a renewed interest to practice firing with pistol and submachineguns. But no news came until some of us had already left for bed. The Radio Operator ran to me, waving a paper.

 

TO: 152th Attack Division

FR: Headquarters

 

Cap. Lundberg & Fän. Lysholm safe in Finnish hands. Flying them over tomorrow in empty transport STOP

Finns thanks pilots for their help STOP Withdrawal made in reasonably good order STOP

 

post-14846-0-84130000-1341053375.jpg

Rocket Attack on Soviet Tanks

 

post-14846-0-84594200-1341053383.jpg

Confirmed Kill: MiG-21 Fishbed-C

 

post-14846-0-01600400-1341053388.jpg

Confirmed Kill: MiG-21 Fishbed-C

Edited by JonathanRL

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I just want to assure you guys I have not given up on this one. I have just been terribly busy, moving and all ^^

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