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DiD IV Campaign - Flight reports & Player instructions

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The War Diary of Auguste Besson, Escadrille N.23, part 6.

In November, our escadrille was comprised of twelve Nieuport sesquiplanes. When I joined in the summer of 1915, we had had only eight machines. A major effort to increase the number of escadrilles and their size had been underway for many months and was bearing fruit by the end of 1915. We knew that we outnumbered the German air service, though the enemy seemed to have a technological advantage with their Fokker monoplanes, which were armed with machine guns capable of firing safely between the spinning propeller blades. In late 1915, the Fokkers were being seen in ever growing numbers along the front, scoring many victories against poorly armed and ungainly British and French observation two-seater machines.

A major tragedy struck our escadrille on November 22. Captain Schlumberger was test flying a new two-seater machine, the SPAD A.1, with observer Gaston Montézuma. For some reason – probably a mechanical failure in this notoriously unreliable SPAD design – they were forced to land near the frontlines and were subsequently killed by machine gun fire coming from German positions. Their loss came as a great shock to everybody, and the memorial service held in the Châlons cathedral was a very solemn and moving ceremony. Soon after, Captain Louis Robert de Beauchamp took over as the commanding officer of the escadrille. He was also a very competent veteran aviator, having joined the air service already in 1912.

Until this incident, we had been spared from suffering heavy casualties. Hence the loss of two brave men on the same day was keenly felt by everybody in the escadrille. Combined with bad news from practically every front and the lousy winter weather, this resulted in a rather gloomy atmosphere in our unit. However, this only made us more determined to prevail and get revenge on the boche for all the harm they had done to our people in the Great War.

If I had to name a specific moment when there was a loss of innocence in the air war and everything began to turn into a bitter struggle for ultimate victory (losses be damned!), I would say it was that fateful day in November 1915.

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TO BE CONTINUED...

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Great reads Gents. Congratulations on the medals. Alas, more intrepid airmen have fallen. A toast to the new airmen and hopefully a stroke of luck! Peroni, as you have found, if you dive into every fight, you won’t live long! Defence my man, Defence. 
 

Sgt. Elijah Gallagher.  
8RFC.   Marieux.  
BE2c.     
38 missions  51 hours
0 victories 0 claims

8RFC November.  
The squadron had suffered more losses throughout the month. Gallagher was the only one left of the squadron he joined 6 months ago. His long time Observer, Capt. Goon had been replaced by Ltn. Geoffrey Owen. As far as Gallagher was concerned, he was a pompous arse. He wasn’t the best observer in the shed either. Gallagher had not endeared himself to the Lieutenant from the first flight. As he waited by his machine for his first flight with Owen, he hoped he would be of the same caliber as Goon but was disappointed with Owens superior attitude and dismissive nature of all those not his “equal”.  Before climbing into his perch, he instructed Gallagher to lead them in a prayer. “Certainly Sir!” Gallagher replied as he bowed his head. 
“May those who love us, love us,   
and those that don’t love us, may God turn their hearts.  
And if he cannot turn their hearts, my he turn their ankles,   
so we will know them by their limp.”     
Gallagher made the sign of the cross and smiled at Owen who shook his head in disgust and climbed in.    Just before the lines, 3 shapes came out of the clouds to the left and above. The first thing Gallagher saw were the big crosses on the lower wings! He had seen very few and only at long distance. He frantically tried to get Owen’s attention who paid him no mind. He never saw saw them. 
Lucky for 8RFC, none of the new German monoplanes had been spotted in their area. That is until the end of November. On a recon flight near Bethune Gallagher spotted 4 specs above then lost them. The flight leader and the other pilot in the flight kept on course.  Gallagher blew it off as a friendly flight. A few moments later bullets ripped through his lower wing and he dove left. As he looked back he saw 3 of the Monoplanes heading home! “Good thing his aim was bad!” thought Gallagher. How he wished he was in one of those sleek scout planes he had seen. Fortunately, the flight was near their side of the lines and it was a hit and run attack. Missions into enemy territory will be very risky now. Gallagher joined the rest of his flight who had also made a run west. They reported to Douglas on the attack. They all new things will be getting very difficult for the squadron. 

 

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I see two of our brave aviators have been rewarded by the generous Gong Fairy! Well done, gentlemen! 

And there have been casualties too. It's always a bummer to lose a DID pilot, especially when you've invested a lot of time into writing his story and flying his missions. Better luck with your new pilots, guys!

I've noticed that Archie can be pretty nasty with the DID settings we're using now. There's a very real risk of getting blown to smithereens when you fly through a heavy concentration of flak. So far, this has been the biggest excitement in Auguste's DID career. German airplanes seem to be avoiding contact with him. But I think that will change in the coming months, with the battle of Verdun and everything.

Once again we have some excellent writers participating in this DID campaign. So keep the stories coming, it's always nice to read them with a cup (or two) of hot tea!

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Hasse - That was a nasty blow learning of Schlumberger and Montezuma. Those early SPADs were not great although you can see where their later development would end up.

 

Mfair - I'm glad to see Gallagher survived the hit and run attack, especially as he's the sole survivor from when he joined.

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I echo what Albert and Hassel have written - great stories and accounts...  Mfair well done on being the last man standing in 8 RFC

Flight Lieutenant Theodore Aloysius Andrews aka 'Runt' DSC                                                      

HQ Sqn 1 Wing RNAS in Flanders                                                                                                   

St. Pol-sur-Mer

Nieuport 10C1

Missions 59

Flying Hours 86

Confirmed 8

Claims 14

Part 15

30th November 1915

The final couple of weeks were dark days in the life of our squadron.  The weather closed in and a number of the chaps took the deaths of Arthur and Williams particularly hard. in the past we had a couple of flying accidents and one or two near misses but in the 6 months of flying we had lost no one to enemy action.  Noone took the deaths of those fine men harder than the CO Chris Cleaver.  He was a man haunted by that fateful mission (See part 14).  We had some bad weather that grounded us for 48 hours, the next couple of missions were uneventful.  On the 21st November, we were escorting Rod Dallas on a bombing mission.  Cleaver led B flight and it was straightforward, we delivered our eggs on the Hun and flew home.  It was blasted cold, but not untoward, as we were on final approach of St.Pol-sur-Mer Cleavers plane just dropped out of the sky twisting, then exploding as it hit trees to the west of the airfield.  The rest of B flight landed with all haste and ran to the crash site, but there was nothing we could do.  Ground staff were there already the blaze too intense and Cleaver clearly dead.

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Our much loved CO

We buried that fine man with a meaningful service put on by the padre and many a tear from his men.  He was a fine man and much missed - looking forward we are not sure how anyone could replace him.

In other much less important news, I had been awarded the claim for my Aviatik and after a tangle with two brace of Fokker EIs my confirmed victory count has risen to eight.  I am now more often than not leading B flight and I feel something of the responsibility of leading some very fine men, Mulock and Keeble among them.  Simon Ackart is still very much on the scene and has now two victories to his name the rumours are he will marry Monique at Christmas - I am staying far away.

I write this post exhausted, mentally and emotionally drained and hope to receive some leave soon and enjoy time in Blighty, even my father says it would be good to see me.  Maybe home for Christmas? Who knows.

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In dealing with Fokkers the trick is to get very close and aim for the exposed pilot.

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Once hit they go down fast.

 

To Be Continued ...

 

 

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Sergent Simon 'Sid' Grace

Escadrille C9

Epinal

Caudron G4

2 confirmed victories

 

01/12/1915

 

The rain continued to fall as December started and flying was cancelled for the day. Sid decided to speak to the ground crews about an idea he'd had to paint his aircraft.

 

After checking they had some red, green and gold paints available. Thankfully they did and he gave them the design and left them to it.

 

A few hours later and all was done, although it took a lot longer to dry thanks to the awful weather.

 

The weather improved enough to allow flying on the 2nd although the skies remained grey with occasional spatters of rain.

 

The sorties were still one a day at present as the front was relatively quiet, although the local French headquarters were always keen to keep the enemy on their toes.

 

An attack on the front lines was followed by attacks on the airfield at Buhl-Lorraine in improving weather, alongside the routine reconnaissance patrols. On one of them, the Caudrons were escorted by a trio of Nieuport scouts from Escadrille N48.

 

Sid watched them zooming around and was more than a bit envious. He was determined to get himself into a scout escadrille sooner rather than later.

 

Sid hadn't seen any enemy aircraft for some time now although the increasing and accurate flak bursts were more than enough to contend with.

 

On the evening of the 8th, Capitaine Larsy called Sid to his office.

 

Sid entered and saluted, Larsy responded. "Please Sergent, take a seat."

 

"Thank you Capitaine" responded Sid as he sat.

 

"So, how are you mon ami? Glad to be back in the air I assume." asked Larsy.

 

"I'm very good thank you Capitaine and yes, it's good to be able to take the attack to the Boche again." replied Sid.

 

"Indeed and you've been doing plenty of that since your arrival. I never really had any doubts about your determination Sergent, three years in the Légion Étrangère proves that, but I obviously didn't know about your abilities until you started flying. I clearly needn't have worried on either account." smiled Larsy.

 

"Thank you sir for those words. I was taught well, but yes, I'm very determined to do well." replied Sid.

 

"Well, headquarters are very impressed, those two confirmed victories, especially in this quiet sector...that was really something." continued Larsy.

 

"Keep it up Sergent, I see great things ahead for you if you can mon Ami." concluded the Capitaine.

 

"Thank you sir, I fully intend to....." said Sid.

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Seb - What an awful thing to happen to Cleaver, especially with everyone looking on. Runt is fortunate to have a lot of fine pilots around, Rod Dallas, Red Mullock and Noel Keeble. The sooner he is CO and can move Ackhart on the better.

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Jean-Fidele Hierrot, Escadrille N12: November 1915

Jean-Fidele woke up on 1 November to find his Nieuport had been painted over in a green-and-brick red camouflage pattern, along with elongated daggers on either side of the fuselage. Adjutant Raymond de Bernis (“Bernie” for short) explained that given Jean-Fidele’s success taking down German two-seaters from very close range – sometimes as close as 30 yards – he was building a reputation as Le Poignard (“The Dagger”).

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Photograph of Jean-Fidele’s Nieuport 10, 1 Nov 1915

“So, what do you think?” Bernie asked.

“I liked Petit Sous better.”

That first week of November was highly productive for Escadrille N12, especially for Flight B, and particularly for The Dagger. Later that very morning, on 1 November, Jean-Fidele and Armand Callinet led an attack by Flight B onto a formation of Aviatiks from Kasta 6, resulting in Jean-Fidele’s ninth victory. Three days later, Jean-Fidele and Armand had the honor of serving as witnesses to Bernie’s first confirmed kill.

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Raymond de Bernis takes down an Aviatik, 4 Nov 1915

Flight B of Escadrille N12 continued its hot streak a mere 48 hours later, as Georges d’Oisy and Jean-Fidele combined to down a pair of Aviatik C.I’s in formation on the French side of the frontline. This was the first kill for Georges, the tenth for Jean-Fidele.

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Georges d’Oisy’s view of Jean-Fidele’s 11th victory, 6 Nov 1915

As Flight B landed back at Rosnay, Georges was surprisingly – and clearly – shaken up by the encounter. Upon returning to the duty room, Georges reported that he’d been right in front of one of the Aviatiks as Jean-Fidele gave his patented dagger shot from 40-50 yards – and in the process, Georges caught sight of the German pilot slumped over, dead in his seat, with a visible exit wound coming out of his forehead.

“I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen what becomes of Les Boches when I shoot then down, to be honest,” Jean-Fidele confessed.

“You’re a lucky man, then. I don’t know if I’ll ever forget that image.”

Jean-Fidele continued, half-listening to Georges. “I just see my brother Etienne, blown apart in some ditch in Arras. Not so lucky.”

Also not so lucky was that Jean-Fidele’s special Nieuport had taken some damage in that day’s encounter, leaving him with a plain Nieuport 10 for the next day.

That next day’s flight, on the 7th, would put an end to Flight B’s hot streak – for, while trying to down another Aviatik, Jean-Fidele realized he had misjudged his position and was too high to dive under his target. He had to pull up and skid over the top of the German two-seater. In the process, half his landing gear busted off, resulting in a crash landing as the formation returned to Rosnay.

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Crash landing, 7 Nov 1915

Fortunately, Jean-Fidele had anticipated the crash, and was going maybe 45 miles per hour at the time of impact. He did sustain some injuries, but they amounted to just a collection of cuts and bruises, with the occasional gash. While hospitalized for a week, Jean-Fidele received news that his claim from 6 November had been confirmed, while his claim from 7 November – the one that took off his landing gear – had been rejected.

In the meantime, Jean-Fidele read accounts from the Flanders region: tales of the Fokker Scourge, how Entente pilots referred to themselves as “Fokker fodder.” I’d love to have a chance at one of those, Jean-Fidele thought to himself, and found himself dreaming of fiery duels against the dreaded Fokker Eindecker.

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Jean-Fidele dreams of taking on the Fokker Scourge.

Upon Jean-Fidele’s return to the airfield on 15 November, he received notification that Escadrille N12 had received a new pilot: Joseph Marie Xavier de Sevin, who’d been described as a confident flyer with good self-control. “Jo” was an eager student, especially when it came to gunnery, but Jean-Fidele could tell that the new recruit was put off at the idea of receiving those lessons from somebody several years his junior.

Alas, the second half of November consisted mostly of multi-day rain-outs and non-descript patrols along the frontline. There was definitely reduced activity from the neighboring German reconnaissance units – which was just as well, as that meant reduced intelligence to gather on the infantrymen Escadrille N12 was commissioned to protect.

With a scramble mission in the morning, the doldrums came to an abrupt end on 24 November. Three Aviatiks were sighted crossing over the frontline a mere seven miles away, and Jean-Fidele led a flight with Bernie and de Sevin in pursuit. (This, by the way, happened to be de Sevin’s first encounter with the enemy).

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Jean-Fidele & Flight B back in action, 24 Nov 1915

The German formation had over-committed itself to the attack on the airfield at Rosnay, and didn’t have enough time to slip away before finding itself under attack from Flight B. The three men of Flight B quickly disposed of the three Aviatiks, and all three were credited with a kill: Bernie’s second, de Sevin’s first, and Jean-Fidele’s eleventh.

Due to deteriorating weather conditions, the commanding officer was reluctant to send out too many patrols, so Jean-Fidele wound up doing an occasional lone wolf patrol to scour the sector. Apart from an unconfirmed downing of an Aviatik on the 26th, however, the rest of November was uneventful.

END OF MONTH STATS

Confirmed Claims: 11
Missions Flown: 72
Flight Hours: 86.02

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Albrecht - Well done to Jean-Fidele, 11 confirmed victories before 1916 is fine work indeed. More fine work is his paint scheme, the Germans will run a mile.

Edited by AlbertTross
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Sergent Simon 'Sid' Grace

Escadrille C9

Epinal

Caudron G4

2 confirmed victories

 

14th December 1915

The sorties continued throughout the middle of December with varying weather, ranging from cold sleet to relatively mild sun.

 

Sid and Mondeme continued to complete the objectives with determination and skill. There were persistent attacks on the railyard across the lines from Nancy as there seemed to be a lot of freight heading west towards Verdun.

 

On each occasion, Sid flew as low as possible and allowed Mondeme to drop the bombs accurately, causing considerable damage and delays to the flow of enemy troops and equipment.

 

On the evening of the 18th, after a fine evening meal, Capitaine Larsy spoke to Sid and Mondeme.

 

"Gentlemen, although I'd sooner not lose you at present, you are both due some leave. I'd sooner you take it sooner rather than later and you certainly deserve some. Arrange some over the coming days with the adjutant please." explained the Capitaine.

 

"Oui Capitaine" confirmed both of them. Sid had been quite keen to carry on, but now that Capitaine Larsy had mentioned it, a few days in Paris sounded good.

 

"Where will you go mon ami?" asked Sid.

 

"I'll head down to St Etienne, go and see my family, especially if I can't be there at Christmas. What about you? You're welcome to come with me, my mère has plenty of room". replied Mondeme.

 

"Thank you my friend, that's very kind of you, but I fancy a couple of days in Paris, my family are in England and I've not seen them since I joined the Légion." explained Sid.

 

"That's too bad, but Paris will be fun. I'll come with you as far as Paris, I'll have to change trains there for St Etienne." confirmed Mondeme.

 

The pair arranged 72 hour passes with the adjutant as well as transport and a hotel for Sid.

 

They'd leave first thing on the 20th.

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November 28,1915

FFA 33

Bastian's Diary

Just arrived Menen Aerodrome.Very exciting!

Very eager to get air.I saw my workhorse but now.It is Aviatik C.In the training school has B version.C model has machine guns.Luckily!

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Offizierstellvertreter Bastian Dietrick Schubert

Born in Oberstdorf

5 May 1896

At a age of 5 family moved to Freiburg in Württemberg.

His father get a job as a forester.He was eager to hunt and Bastian was always with him as he could.

His markmanship skill was useful later on!

August 1914 Bastian belonged XIII Württember Division.Whole autumn was Race to the Sea.

Result was they were stuck in the mud and trenches.The winter he spent digging and installing barbed wire.

Once he and his komrade were going just that work,shrapnell exploded near.Bastian woke in hospital week later.

No front line service any more.Bastian applied to be a pilot.

 

November 29-30

I am now acquainted with my observer,Oberleutnant Eberhard Blume.Good fellow!

Together we got to know  Aviatik.

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Eberhard and Bastian ready to action!

December 1-2

Flights canceled due the snowfall.

December 3

Photograph mission Ypres-Messines Ridge.

Weather was awful yet!

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Eberhard and his "tools".

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Menen gets behind.

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Ypres ruined city on the right.

Edited by Paroni1
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Virgin flight succeed!

Despite the sleet and rain next day we flew again.

4 Dec.

Photographing Bailleul Aerodrome.

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Variety at field.Fokker EII(Schirmer)Aviatik B(Freye)This machine has photo equipment,no weapons.Addon our Aviatik C.

Over Armentieres.

 

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Flak in action over Bailleul.

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5 Dec.

Artilley Spotting.Transmitter Telefunken in use.

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Our escort:Oberleutnant Victor Schirmer EKK2,2 victories.

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6 Dec.

Special mission!

The female agent must travel to they enemy's side.When in land another agent gets on board.

The place  is located near Poperinge.

 

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Very exciting but everything went smoothly!

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Albert – Welcome to Sergeant Grace. He did brilliantly downing that Aviatik on his first operational patrol in a Caudron. And then you followed up by downing a Fokker! Lovely skin on that machine, by the way.

Seb – Some excellent Christian advice from Davies, there. But something tells me that FLt Andrews is still working on a delicious revenge plot. That is a lovely livery on your Nieuport.

Paroni – Condolences on losing Henri after such a good start. He was not far from the 30 hour mark when you can “improve your eyesight” by increasing the dot visibility range. But let’s welcome Bastian.

Hasse – It took a special breed of man to fly as an observer in the Spad A series machines. As with the similar BE9, there are just so many ways to kill yourself in those machines.

MFair – I absolutely loved Gallagher’s prayer. That was a new one to me. Sounds Irish – is it? Gallagher and Hawkwood are stationed not too far from one another and I have occasionally passed a BE that I suspected came from 8 Squadron. So far, I have not encountered any Fokkers in our sector, but Gallagher has now had that experience and has lived to tell the tale.

Albrecht – Jean-Fidele has a very sinister looking Nieuport now. Congratulations on your eleventh victory. Outstanding for 1915! Good to see he made it through what appeared to be a pretty bad smash-up.

I hope everyone has noted the announcement on the OBD website about the upcoming patch. As many of us are still flying two-seaters, the changes could be very entertaining.

 

War Journal – Sergeant David Armstrong Hawkwood

4 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps

Allonville, France

 

Part 9

Dawn patrol Dec 1915.jpg

November ended with a period of foul weather. To my delight, however, Ned and I were moved into billets in the nearby village around this time. We are sharing a small bedroom belonging to a family called Blandurel. Mr and Mrs Blandurel speak no English so we search painfully for words our languages have in common. They have given us to understand that their son is serving in the French army and they are very concerned for his safety. Apparently, it is the son's room that we are living in. The room has only a single bed. Ned and I flipped a coin to decide who would get the bed and who would have to sleep on their camp cot. Ned won the toss and will have the bed for the month of December. We have resolved to change places at the end of each month. We are in a fortunate position. Most of the other NCOs have occupied several new Armstrong huts with canvas sides. They have coal stoves that are simply not up to the task of keeping the winter chill out. The only NCOs in warm billets like ours are two technical sergeants and our two sergeants-major.

We get quite a laugh out of imagining Sergeant-Major Parson and Sergeant-Major Tinker as roommates. The former is an ex-Guardsman, disciplined and demanding while at work, but relaxed and almost “one of the boys” when at sport. The latter, on the other hand, is an ex Royal Engineer and believes that the only enjoyment in life is to be found polishing one’s boots. They have already started a feud over the decoration of the mess. Tinker has claimed the dining room and insisted that the only proper decoration should be a picture of the King and several hunting prints he has acquired. Anything else is either frivolous or filth in his view. Parson has claimed the anteroom and bar and given the mess members licence to hang all manner of risqué prints acquired in the shops of Amiens or cut from the pages of French magazines. The two men chirp away at one another about their diverging tastes nearly every evening.

We continue to fly every day or two and so far my luck has held. I have encountered enemy aircraft on only two occasions in December. On both occasions a formation of Hun two-seaters passed overhead and we paid no attention to one another. They were more recent models with big, nasty machine guns operated by the observer in the rear seat. The only way for a BE2 to get a crack at them is to fly ahead of them and below. The Hun machines, regrettably, are faster than ours, and such a tactic would be invite disaster. Thus, we embrace the opportunity to be gentlemanly about this whole war nonsense. Lieutenant Clapp went as far as to stand up and lean over to where he could salute the passing Huns one day. The gesture very nearly ended in disaster as he gave the back of his right hand a good smack with the spinning propeller. Fortunately, he lost neither his glove nor his hand, but saluting Huns is no longer an item on his agenda.

Mr Clapp has turned out to be a thoroughly sound fellow. When he meets me at the sheds to relay our orders for each patrol, he is good enough to ask my opinion about various approaches and has often deferred to my views. He takes great interest in technical matters and has been known to spend his off hours watching as the ack emmas do their work.

We observed Christmas comfortably despite having to put on a two-hour reconnaissance patrol at dawn. The wing padre held a short and informal service in the late morning. Christmas dinners began at noon. All the NCOs served the men in the finest tradition of the army. There was goose with chestnut stuffing, turnip and peas, a gravy made with red wine, Christmas pudding with plenty of brandy, fruit and cheeses, and a healthy portion of ale. Following that, we sat down to our own meal and to our surprise, Major Todd showed up with all the officers, who proceeded to change into white aprons and served table for us. They did it all in great good humour and we made quite an afternoon of it. I understand that the officers enjoyed a wonderful meal later that evening. Certainly, few of them looked enthusiastic about flying the next morning.

In the last week of the year the snow came and stayed on the ground. Our muddy field froze solid until it nearly shook one’s back teeth out to take off or land. White wisps curled over the stubble and sleet frosted the tree limbs and rooftops. Flying became an ordeal. Cold penetrated any gap in one’s clothing, and the pain of thawing feet and hands occupied an hour after every patrol. More often now we were rigged with small bombs to drop on the Hun lines. It seems like a foolish thing to me. There is such a small chance of harming a well-entrenched enemy and the Archie that greets us there is most accurate.

New Year’s Eve was rather quiet. Ned and I left the mess and walked back to the Blandurel house around ten o’clock with a bottle of brandy as a gift. It was well appreciated, and we spent a pleasant hour around the kitchen table while Madame served little sausage rolls she had made and Monsieur smoked a wonderful old pipe shaped like a Turk’s head. We talked about – well, none of us really understood enough to know what we talked about, but I’m certain we all wondered what 1916 will bring.

Edited by Raine
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Thanks for the comments on Jean-Fidele's Nieuport 10, everybody! Here's a better (and unedited) shot at what his aircraft looks like now:

image.thumb.png.80d65aefc189dfd8df09bd7cf3675676.png

Edited by Albrecht_Kaseltzer
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Albecht!

Really good looking Nieuport!

Green is new colour with this type!

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Paroni - Welcome to Bastian, fresh from the Wurttembergers. A welcome also to that spy. Not sure her shoes are quite appropriate in a canvas covered aircraft but hey, I could live with that.

 

Raine - Hawkwood seems to have it ok finding a billet even if he has to share a bed. The two SM's sharing is classical, who needs an alarm call with to SM's in the same room. Tinker, great name, he must have been ribbed to death in training.

 

As for the update, yes it sounds very good.....but I'm still looking at getting into single seaters asap.

 

Albrecht - It's a cracker of a skin, definitely..... striking.

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Raine!

Finally the two-seater campaign could become interesting.

Actually you must do something when take photos.

AlbertTross Agreed with you that single seater is top number one yet!

Ps.Beatrice's shoes are comfortable at least!

Edited by Paroni1
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AK, absolutely love the pictures! Glad you brought in that damaged Nieuport without injury. 
AT, enjoy your leave. 1916 will be rough me thinks!   
Paroni, Good luck to Bastian. 
Raine, yes, the prayer, or curse is old Irish. I have noticed Gallagher and Hawkwood are close. May find a line to meet up eh? 

 

 

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Sgt. Elijah Gallagher.  
Marieux Aerodrome.  
8 RFC.  Mid December 

The month started out wet and cold. Gallagher finally went up on the 3rd. Arty spotting east of Arras. After completing the mission and turning for home, 3 Aviatik’s came out of the clouds over the flight. One was smoking and Gallagher saw Dixie’s observer fire at them. He frantically tried to get his new Observer's attention to no avail. “This one will never do!” He thought. As they landed Gallagher saw 2 new machines parked on the field. They were not BE’s. Once out of his mount, he went to look them over.  Bristol Scouts! “I’d give my eye teeth for one of these!” he said out loud. “She’s a beauty she is” answered one of the mechanics.   
While washing up for breakfast, Corporal Nash poked his head into the tent. “Captain Douglas would like to see you ASAP.” Gallagher quickly finished and made his way to the Commander’s office. He saluted upon entering. Lieutenant Dixie was seated already and Captain Douglas motioned Gallagher to have a seat. “As you are both well aware, the new German Monoplane is in our sector. As the two most experienced pilots in the squadron, I want you two to fly escort for any missions that take our machines on their side of the lines.” Gallagher was a bit puzzled until Douglas continued. Lyon will be flying the Bristol’s.” Gallagher could not contain his excitement! “Yes Sir!” he exclaimed. Douglas continued. “I don’t won’t any glory hunting. You are to protect the observation or bombing flight at all cost! Understood?” Dixie and Gallagher said “Yes Sir!” in unison. 
The next day they escorted Bennett to bomb Bertencourt. The Bristol was agile compared to the BE. Gallagher was in Heaven! “It will take a bit of Kentucky Windage to hit with this offset gun!” he thought. He tried to work out the angle of fire in his head as he flew along. Crossing the lines the tension mounted. He scanned the skies for any sign of the enemy. As it turned out, it was a walk in the park. A dammed cold walk at that!   
Another crew was lost the next day. The report was a direct hit from Archie. 
On the 6th, Dixie and Gallagher were to escort Capt. Douglas and another crew for Artillery Spotting NW of Bapaume. As they flew near enemy lines, Gallagher saw 2 green Monoplanes climbing to attack! He waved to Dixie and pointed. They were crossing below him and he dove to attack. He opened fire on the trailing Fokker and it dove out.  He climbed, frantically looking around and spotted two coming around on his tail. Not that he dwelled on the situation but he was conscious of the fact that there were more than 2 of the enemy.  Turning sharply he realized he could out turn the monoplane and soon found himself behind them. He fired again, staying on the tail of the highest one. He could not see Dixie or Douglas. Bullets ripped through his tail! He dove away to the west and leveled out. These two Huns were not finish as they dove after him. He turned to meet the attack and fired as they crossed paths. He found with the offset gun, he could fire that way and stay out of the direct fire of the Fokker. He doubted he hit anything but it made them turn away. As soon as they turned he would dove west again. Each time they came after him again. It took four of these maneuvers before they gave up and broke off. He was now over friendly territory. It took a while for him to finally relax while heading home. Halfway there he met up with Douglas and Dixie. Douglas face him a hearty wave.   
Once on the field Douglas was all smiles. “Magnificent flying Sergeant! Just Magnificent!” Gallagher smiled feebly. “Thank you Sir. That was the most exciting 10 minutes of my life!” 

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8 hours ago, Mfair621 said:

AK, absolutely love the pictures! Glad you brought in that damaged Nieuport without injury. 
AT, enjoy your leave. 1916 will be rough me thinks!   
Paroni, Good luck to Bastian. 
Raine, yes, the prayer, or curse is old Irish. I have noticed Gallagher and Hawkwood are close. May find a line to meet up eh? 

 

 

Yeah, not gonna lie, that mission with the broken wing was the single hardest moment in the campaign so far. Surviving that was a VERY lucky break.

Even the time Jean-Fidele actually crash-landed and was in the hospital for a week wasn't as bad, because the situation didn't demand as much precision - just land normally but very very slowly and you'll at least come out of it alive. With the Nieuport 10 monoplane incident, I had to work my way out of a spin very very carefully and I'm not sure I could have pulled it off had I been anywhere under 5000 feet - I would have just run out of time before I could stabilize.

Hell, to be totally honest I'm not sure I could reliably replicate the feat if I had to do it over. Maybe a 3 to 1 shot.

Edited by Albrecht_Kaseltzer

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AK!

During with my short career with Henry ,i noticed that the wings of the Nieuports were paper!

One tight manouver and then the sounds of destruction began!The lower wings disintegrated in an instant.

So i wish you good luck in the air battle.Bebe's construction is tougher,i hope.

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14 minutes ago, Paroni1 said:

AK!

During with my short career with Henry ,i noticed that the wings of the Nieuports were paper!

One tight manouver and then the sounds of destruction began!The lower wings disintegrated in an instant.

So i wish you good luck in the air battle.Bebe's construction is tougher,i hope.

To be honest, the secret of my success has been that I've gone up solely against Aviatik two-seaters. I literally just crawl up behind them in a straight line at like 60-65mph, go pow-pow-pow, then pull to the side. Very low G stuff, haha.

I do have a feeling that 1916 in a Nieuport against German single-seaters will be what snaps Jean-Fidele's wings in half.

Just remember, all you Nieuport pilots...the blip switch is your friend.

Edited by Albrecht_Kaseltzer

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Mfair - Great tale, so Gallagher sets eyes on the prize, well one of them anyway. A Bristol Scout and what's more it's his. Those Fokkers proved to be that more experienced though and there were more of them. They knew they'd been in a fight though and Gallagher got back ok.

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