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DiD IV Campaign - Flight reports & Player instructions

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3 hours ago, AlbertTross said:

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.

Albert, I noticed 3 sitting in inventory.  Me thinks “this will not do! Something I can defend myself with and not being used.” It’s not a bad machine for the time bot that offset gun will take a little on the job training. Those monoplanes showed up in force quick!

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Battles at Ypres sector are stuck in place.Both sides use photo and recon planes to find out another's plan.

Dec. 7-19

Mostly weather is so rainy or misty that photo quality are not good.





Ypres's bombardment.We use Telefunken  direct artillery  to the right spot.

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6 hours ago, Mfair621 said:

Albert, I noticed 3 sitting in inventory.  Me thinks “this will not do! Something I can defend myself with and not being used.” It’s not a bad machine for the time bot that offset gun will take a little on the job training. Those monoplanes showed up in force quick!

If you're not using it already, the F6 gunsight view is SUPER helpful on that Bristol Scout. After a little acclimation, it's not too difficult on anything you'll be facing in 1915/early 1916 - you just have to be able to approach in a straight line for a couple seconds.

Edited by Albrecht_Kaseltzer
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December 20

Bastian's Diary:

Roth had encountered Nieuport 10 RNAS over the front.Avi was managed to home badly damaged.Englishman crashed No-Man-Land and killed.

Dec. 21-25

Snowfall every day so no flights.

I asked for a Christmas holiday but denied.Verdammt!

The German Press was coming to make a story about the pilots.


The Press would have liked to hear stories air victories but i didn't have any to give.

After this meeting i knew what my goal was.A fighter pilot!



Modest Christmas in Menen.I was so lucky i got a gift fom home.Dry meat and bottle wine!

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Mfair - It's a lovely aircraft to fly the Bristol Scout, the shooting is weird but doable.


Paroni - So Bastian dreams of scouts too. It's a shame about the Christmas leave but at least he got some gifts from home. Fine pictures as always.

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On 17/02/2022 at 3:59 PM, Mfair621 said:

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!”

Great Story Mfair!! So glad your in a Bristol Scout - I love 'em - fun to aim with - But bewarned if you are in a good spot to shoot a two-seater (while in a Bristol Scout) they are in a good position to shoot back. No glory hunting is great advice!

Albrecht - Your plane is top-notch, as is your score! Well done sir rest well on leave my friend!

Raine - A beautiful Christmas read! I am wondering if M. and Mme Blandurel have a daughter too - but dallying with the more deadly of the species isn't working out too well for young "Runt"

Paroni - Again wonderful modelling! Looking forward to seeing what you will achieve in an Aviatik C.  Great things I think!! Be on your guard with Beatrice - loose lips sink ships and all that - and stop wearing her shoes!!!

Albert - Smashing tale and pictures and looking forward to hearing about the fleshpots of Paris!

Flight Lieutenant Theodore Aloysius Andrews aka 'Runt' DSC                                                      

HQ Sqn 1 Wing RNAS in Flanders                                                                                                   

St. Pol-sur-Mer

Nieuport 10C1

Missions 64

Flying Hours 91

Confirmed 10

Claims 18 (one pending)

15th December 1915

Part 16

At the start of the month, the mood in the Squadron was as glum as the weather - pathetic fallacy - they'd call it if this was a novel and not real life.  The loss of Cleaver cuts deep, as of this morning Noel Keeble is acting CO, a good chap from Peterborough, with a lot of experience on seaplanes, which he loves. As much as I like him he is no substitute for the Boss.  There has been a number of chaps transferred out - including Simon Ackart - I suspect Keeble had had enough of him.  Ackart's mind was increasingly on cards and Monique, not on the war, and I'm beginning to realise that Monique has very expensive tastes.  It seems that she sees poor Ackart bottomless pit of gifts.  The lastest, a full fur coat easily cost him a months salary and which to my mind would have been better off clothing one of our chaps or Ackart himself in this blistering cold. It seems Ackart has a gambling problem too - whether Monique need for gifts has driven him to it or it is his own boredom, I don't know.  But he left RNAS-1 owing a number of the chaps a fair bit of money.  He was very bad for morale and Keeble has had enough.  I pity the poor devils who will have to fly with him.   I am beginning to realise that I am better off without her, she may have been the most beautiful creature on God's green earth - but that kind of beauty puts pressure on a chap!  I've stopped carrying her picture with me - It turns out I'm quite a superstitious character and was sure that the first few flights with an empty breast pocket would be my last.  But I am now free!


Noel Keeble


The Skies have mostly been quiet. On the 7th and 8th there was a brief break in the weather - though was even more perishingly cold.  On the 7th We escorted Rod Dallas on another bombing mission of Ghistelles airfield.  We were attacked from below by two brace of Fokker E1s. We shot down all four - though Dallas missed the Airfield. I was credited with two and Murlock and Mctavish one apiece. Taking my Confirmed tally to 10.

On the 8th we were on Patrol of our lines with orders to intercept any hostile aircraft.  I sent one down in flames and scared the life out of another!  Meanwhile, Sid Hoskins on his first flight with the squadron received a confirmed victory on the third. Good lad!  I await confirmation.


To Be Continued....


Edited by Sebtoombs
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Sergent Simon 'Sid' Grace

Escadrille C9


Caudron G4

2 confirmed victories


20th December 1915


The train was rattling along at a fair pace. The carriage Sid and Mondeme were in was packed, soldiers mostly, a couple more pilots and some civilians.


They'd caught the Epinal train on time at 8am and changed onto the Nancy to Paris train at 10.


The carriage was full of cigarette smoke and as Sid didn't smoke it wasn't pleasant. He sat looking out of the window. The weather was decent enough for late December.


Mondeme had been asleep but woke up as the train blew it's whistle. "Sacre bleu, I was hoping we'd be in Paris by now." said Mondeme, yawning.


"Not long now mon ami, 20 minutes or so I think." replied Sid.


Mondeme took a drink from his hip flask and offered it to Sid who also took a glug of the brandy they'd 'aquired' before they left.


"Merci" said Sid.


"So where are you staying these next two nights Sid?" asked Mondeme, he still said it like 'seed' which still amused Sid.


"Two nights in the Hôtel de Vendôme." replied Sid, checking his paperwork.


"Very swish! I've got another 3 hours on the train to look forward to." Mondeme bemoaned.


"It'll be good to see your family, who knows when we'll get the chance again in the coming year." said Sid.


"True, very true. It's a shame you can't go and see your family though." said Mondeme.


"I wouldn't know where to start with them mon ami. I left suddenly, I doubt they even know I joined the French Foreign Legion." replied Sid.


"That's sad, let's hope the chance presents itself one day mon ami." finished Mondeme.


The train screeched to a halt at Gare de l'este station and the pair made their way off. Mondeme had to catch a taxi to the Gare de Lyon to get his train to St Etienne so the pair said their au revoirs and went their separate ways.


Sid checked in to the hotel and after sorting his clothes out ran a hot bath, it felt SO good, he could have spent the whole leave in there, but he eventually got ready and decided on a walk around the town.


The weather was still decent enough as he strolled out in his clean uniform. He walked along the Rue de la Paix. The streets were busy with shoppers and servicemen. He spotted the Cafe de la Paix, it was one of the best restaurants in Paris and was already busy.


As he made his way along, a voice spoke loudly from one of the tables outside the Cafe. "Ahhh a fellow pilote! Bonsoir Sergent".


Sid turned and saw another man in uniform sat at a table. He was a pilot too, an Adjutant.


"Apologies if I startled you, would you care to join me?" said the adjutant.


Sid sat down "thank you sir" he said hesitantly, still unsure who he was speaking to.


"Haha, less of the sir. Let me introduce myself, Nungesser, Charles Nungesser. You can call me Charles." said the pilot.


"Hello Charles, I'm Simon, Simon Grace, although my escadrille call me Sid." responded Simon.


Nungesser got another glass from the waiter and poured a glass of fine champagne for Sid.


The pair talked for some time. Nungesser had recently joined Escadrille 65 flying Nieuport scouts. Sid explained where he was based. He also confirmed he was ex Foreign Legion and originally from England.


Nungesser, initially taken aback, smiled, took a long drag on his cigar and poured Sid another glass. He explained how he'd scored his two victories, how he'd been disciplined after the first one.


When Sid explained he also had two confirmed victories Nungesser was aghast, "two victories, in a Caudron? even an Eindecker!" said Nungesser.


"You must be skilled. We need to get you in scouts mon ami. How do you fancy joining me in 65?" asked Nungesser.


Sid wasn't expecting that, "I'd be honored Charles, I must admit to wanting a chance to fly these new scouts." He responded.


"There is nothing like it Sid, if you have the skill to down two flying a donkey like the Caudron, you'll fly rings around the Boche." exclaimed Nungesser.


"Leave it with me, I'll speak to the CO when I get back." said Nungesser.


The pair continued talking whilst taking in the passers by.


"Where were you planning on eating tonight Sid?" enquired Nungesser.


"I hadn't booked anywhere, I was just going to stroll around and find something." responded Sid.


"Fancy accompanying me? I know a great spot nearby, it's very popular, especially with the ladies." said Nungesser winking.


Sid smiled, "That sounds good to me Charles."


Shortly afterwards the pair left the Cafe de la Paix and after about five minutes walking, they were there. 'Le Consulat' was somewhat off the beaten track but was still busy as the pair entered.


"It looks full Charles." said Sid.


"Nonsense mon ami, patience." replied Nungesser.


After a few moments the mâtre d' approached "ahh Monsieur Nungesser! It is good to see you again. Wait one moment sir." he said.


The next second a table was brought out and immediately decked out with chairs, cloth and accoutrements. Nungesser gave the man a tip and the two pilots sat down.


They ate splendidly and as they drank another bottle of vintage champagne, Sid spotted two ladies across the room. They had been occasionally gazing over at the pilots and now one had caught Sid's attention.


Nungesser saw this too and smiled, "there are no flies on you Sid that's for sure.....come on" said Nungesser who stood up, took the bottle and walked over to the ladies' table.


Sid went too and the pair introduced themselves. The ladies turned out to be out for the evening. They were both nurses in the hospital in town, although they had this evening off.


The one who'd been gazing at Sid made room next to her and he sat down. Her name was Sophie and she was 22. Nungesser seemed engrossed with his lady friend, Theresa.


The four drank and talked for the rest of the evening. Sophie was from Dijon and had been in Paris for two years. Sid wasn't sure how she'd react when he said he was actually from England. Sophie however seemed even more engrossed.


Eventually the four finished, paid up and made their way out. Nungesser and Theresa said their farewells to Sid and Sophie and headed out. Judging by the glint in Charles' eye, he was onto a winner. They agreed to meet back at the Cafe de la Paix tomorrow afternoon.


Sid walked Sophie back to her dwelling which was about 10 minutes away. "Thank you Sid, I've had a lovely evening." said Sophie.


"Me too Sophie, it's been a real pleasure. May I see you again?" asked Sid as they reached her apartment.


"I'd like that very much Sid." said Sophie.


"How about tomorrow?" said Sid.


"I'm in work but I finish at 7pm. If that is not too late?" said Sophie.


"That's fine, shall I call for you here?" asked Sid.


"Yes, that would be perfect, shall we say 8.30?" said Sophie.


"Perfect. I shall look forward to it Sophie." confirmed Sid.


The pair shared a brief kiss and parted. Sid virtually skipped back to his hotel.







Edited by AlbertTross

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What a luck to meet Nungesser!

After that,Sid has no shortage of champagne or women!

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26th December 1915

Bastian's Diary

After Christmas Eberhard and i ordered take photos railway junction at Roullers.It lies far behind enemy lines.




We get photos when started so thick AA flak that we had never experienced such a thing!



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Seb,, nice videos and great shooting!

Albert T, so will be moving to greener pastures?

Paroni, Yep, that Archie gets a bit thick at times. 

Thanks to all for the tips on shooting with the Bristol

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Seb - So Runt has finally seen the back of Ackart. He's a charmer isn't he, a cad, a liar and a gambler. Congratulations to Hoskins and good luck with the confirmation.


Paroni - He's a character that Nungesser that's for sure. Full of bravery and bravado.


Mfair - Hopefully he'll wangle a move, might be a little while away yet. Sid will have to wait and see if Nungesser is as good as his word.




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The War Diary of Auguste Besson, Escadrille N.23, part 7.

December began with poor weather that prevented us from flying. We took advantage of this break by working on our machines and making sure everything was in the best possible shape for continuing flight operations when the weather permitted them again. It rained and snowed a lot, but there were also some bright and beautiful days mixed in with the bad ones. However, the clear days were usually very cold and windy, which made flying our machines rather uncomfortable – there was a great demand for warm winter clothing. Fortunately I had been receiving regular deliveries of woollen clothes from my mother and sister and also Marie, so I was well prepared for the change in weather several weeks before it actually happened. In fact, I had so many extra pairs of woollen gloves that I was able to share them with the rest of the escadrille. I think it is impossible, or at least very difficult, for laymen to understand just how cold it can get in an open cockpit when you are flying at an altitude of 3000 metres with strong winds surrounding your whole body in freezing air!

The greatest excitement we had in December was the visit by the commander of the Second Army, General Pétain, in the middle of the month. The front was quiet, so the general had time to tour his sector and make inspections of his forces and their positions, including the aerodromes of all the escadrilles attached to the Second Army. Pétain had a reputation as a demanding and competent general officer who was also interested in the well-being of the ordinary soldier – a trait that was unfortunately lacking in many other commanders.

We were usually pretty relaxed about military formalities in our escadrille. There was no constant saluting or rigid protocols required by the commanding officer – after all, we all flew and lived together as a close-knit community. However, we could not receive an army commander in such fashion! So we practiced some drill and made sure our uniforms were in tip-top shape for the inspection. Since our men came from various regiments and brought their own uniforms with them, we were a rather colourful band of brothers – ”a d----d camp of gypsies” according to Captain de Beauchamp.

The day of the general’s visit was marred by extremely bad weather, which alternated between rain and snowfall. Consequently the inspection of our parade formation and the awarding of decorations to deserving individuals by the general was performed in a shortened form. Then the general toured our facilities and inspected our machines. He seemed very interested in the Nieuport and asked several questions about the sesquiplane’s abilities and their best use in combat. General Pétain’s visit certainly left a positive impression on us and made us feel good about serving under a general who seemed genuinely interested in military aviation.

I had been hoping to get some leave for Christmas and spend the holidays with my family in Cherbourg. Unfortunately it was not possible. Men who had been serving longer than me on the front took precedence in leave arrangements, and even they were not always so lucky. Overall, the whole system of getting leave was rather strict in our army, which I felt had a negative impact on the morale of the men.

Fortunately one of our pilots, Jean Casale, Marquis de Montfort, a young nobleman from Corsica, had managed to acquire a crate of excellent Martell cognac for Christmas. We made sure these high quality spirits were not wasted during the holidays!

We ended the year by flying a long patrol over the front, and succeeded in spotting a pair of boche Aviatik two-seaters that promptly turned tail and fled into a cloud formation. Despite our best efforts, we were unable to locate them again. Such unsatisfactory encounters were not rare during the dismal winter months.

The year 1915 had been a challenging one for us. We had had some successes and had managed to build up our escadrille’s strength with new pilots and machines, but the general situation along the Western front, or on any front, was far from great. At best, it could be said that we were holding our own against the enemy. But victory seemed to be far away, and all hopes of the war coming to a speedy end had been frustrated by the failed offensives of the year.



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Hasse - So the sun didn't shine for Petain's visit. A real shame that Auguste couldn't wangle some leave, but the gift from Casale should wash the sadness away.

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Sergent Simon 'Sid' Grace

Escadrille C9


Caudron G4

2 confirmed victories


21st December 1915


Sid had slept like a log and after a light breakfast and another bath, he went for a walk. The weather was worsening and getting seriously cold. He walked along the Seine and up towards the Trocadero and the Eiffel tower.


The streets were full again with servicemen and shoppers. He decided to head over to the Cafe de la Paix for a spot of lunch. On reaching the restaurant he entered and was shown to a table. Having ordered some coffee he saw someone else enter. It was Nungesser, Sid waved and Nungesser saw him and came over.


"Ahh bonjour Sid, comment allez-vous?" asked Nungesser.


"I'm very well thank you Charles and you?" responded Sid.


"I'm remarkably well considering." said Nungesser.


"Considering what mon ami?" asked Sid, half knowing what the response was likely to be.


"Being kept up half the night mon ami." responded Nungesser with that engrossing grin.


Sid smiled. "How did you get on my dear fellow?" asked Nungesser.


"It was a lovely evening, I've arranged to meet Sophie this evening." responded Sid.


"Wow, you don't mess around do you. She does seem to be a touch of class." said Nungesser.


"Well I have to head back to my Escadrille this afternoon mon ami. So shall we have some lunch here?" said Nungesser, taking a seat.


"Of course, I'll walk you to the station later too " responded Sid.


"Why thank you. Are you still intent on joining me at 65?" asked Nungesser.


"I'd love to, I guess it depends on my CO of course, he's a good chap." responded Sid.


"Well I'll get Capitaine Féquant to put in an official request." said Nungesser.


The pair talked over a lovely lunch of Croque Monsieur washed down with some wine. Eventually however Nungesser had to take his leave.


After picking up Nungesser's bag, the pair headed over to the train station.


They shook hands, "Au revoir Sid, bon chance and stay safe. I'll write soon although hopefully Féquant will do his stuff." said Nungesser.


"Au revoir Charles, you too mon ami." responded Sid as Nungesser boarded the train.


Afterwards Sid went back to his hotel and went for a swim. The pool was lovely and he thoroughly enjoyed himself.


As the evening approached Sid got himself ready. He was nervous but very excited.


Thankfully he remembered the route to Sophie's and after picking up a bunch of flowers on the way, he was at the apartments.


He rang the bell and after a few moments Sophie came to the door. On seeing Sid she smiled. "I'm just getting ready, do you want to come in?" said Sophie.


Sid presented her with the flowers and followed her in to her apartment. The dwelling was sparsely decorated but definitely had some feminine touches.


Sophie put the flowers in some water and invited Sid to take a seat. "I won't be long Sid." said Sophie, disappearing into her bedroom.


Sid decided to stand and took a look out of the window. There wasn't much of a view, it looked out over a small courtyard towards more apartments.


The chill near the window was considerable so Sid went and sat back down which was near the small stove which served as the main heating it appeared.


After about 10 minutes, Sophie appeared. She looked beautiful, her peach coloured dress finished just past her knee and her hair was in a twirling set of curls. She put a creme coloured hat on and announced herself ready.


"You look amazing." said Sid.


Sophie smiled, "Thank you, you are as handsome as you were last night." she said.


The pair left, "Where are we headed?" asked Sophie. "I thought we'd go and see a show and then some dinner?" responded Sid.


"That sounds wonderful." said Sophie.


Sid hailed a taxi and the pair headed into town. They ended up at the Vaudeville theatre watching a comedy performance.


The performance was good but the highlight for Sid was when Sophie having laughed out loud at a particular joke, leaned into Sid and put her head on his shoulder.


Once the show had ended the pair left and crossed over the road to La Petite Chaise, one of Paris's oldest restaurants.


The pair were seated and ordered their food. They talked about their pasts. Sophie's family were still in Dijon although she'd not seen them since the war started. She had a younger sister, Daphne who was still at school. Her father worked as a tailor in Dijon although most of his work was now military.


Sid explained his family were in Liverpool but he hadn't seen them since he joined the Légion. Sophie hesitated before the next question but eventually said it. Why had he had to join the Légion?


Sid hesitated before answering but thought someone deserves to know the truth. He certainly wasn't ashamed of it and he'd rather it be with someone he actually wanted to tell.


"We were in Liverpool town center and talking with my father's friends, some of whom were military types. The conversation got onto Ireland and the increasing tensions over there. One of the Officers, who seemed to delight in creating arguments, asked me a direct question, did I believe there should be home rule in Ireland? Well, I certainly wasn't going to lie and I'm no rabid fanatic, but I told the truth. I said yes I did, no more no less.


Clearly the officer decided he didn't like the answer or that he didn't like me, as he left and arranged for my application to the Royal Engineers to be cancelled. The manager of my firm called me in a few days later and told me I'd brought dishonor to his firm and that my services were no longer needed. Finally I had an argument with my father. At that point I just decided I'd had enough. I left the next morning, leaving my mother a note, explaining. I had barely enough money to buy the fare to Hull where I caught the ferry to the Netherlands..... the rest.....as they say...is history." stated Sid.


Sophie listened intently, then rose up. Sid thought she was about to walk out. She leant over the table and gave Sid a soft and loving embrace......"you poor thing." she said.


The pair continued talking but Sophie brought her chair nearer Sid. "Do you never wonder about your family Sid?" asked Sophie. She'd meant the question in all innocence but there was something cutting about it.


"When I first left, yes, when I first joined the Légion, definitely. But once the training got tough and I sorted my head out. My thoughts cleared, so maybe the question should be 'do they never wonder about me?'" said Sid.


Sophie realised she'd dug a little too deep and seemed sheepish.


Sid saw this and smiled, "I don't tell many people that Sophie, not even my CO in the Légion knew. Not because I'm embarrassed but that it simply doesn't matter anymore. It all seems so long ago now. I've pledged allegiance to France and right now, France needs me." said Sid, quietly.


Sophie smiled and kissed Sid again. "Can I need you too?" she said as he drew close.


"I was hoping you would say that Sophie. I'd like that very much." said Sid.


The pair eventually finished and walked back to Sophie's apartment.


"I'd invite you in Sid....." said Sophie.


"I can wait Sophie, I have to leave early tomorrow to return to my escadrille. I very much want to see you again......if you want to." said Sid.


"Of course I want to see you again." responded Sophie and the pair embraced deeply.


Eventually they parted, "Please stay safe Simon..... please." said Sophie, pleadingly.


"I'll do my best Sophie. Promise you will write." responded Sid.


"I will, au revoir mon bel anglais." said Sophie.


"Goodbye Sophie." responded Sid.


Sid walked back to the hotel and slept well once more.


In the morning he rose early and headed off to the station for the return journey.


He was looking forward to getting back in the air again.





Edited by AlbertTross
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Albert T, Oh la la! You and Seb know how to charm the beauties. She’s a keeper for sure. Better be careful so she can invite you in on your your next leave. 

Hasse, hope that leave comes soon. A fine read. 

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Sgt. Elijah Gallagher.  
8RFC, Marieux.  
Bristol Scout.  
46 missions. 61 hours.  
1confirmed. 2 claims

After the fight with what turned out to be 4 Fokker’s, the flight crews spent the next hour discussing the situation. It seems after Gallagher sent the first one spinning down, two of the three went after him. Dixie had a short fight with the fourth before rejoining Douglas and the other BE. Dixie was sure Gallagher had sent the Fokker down but did not see it crash. Douglas told Gallagher “If you want to file a claim he would check with the army and see if there were any witnesses”, so Gallagher did so. As no confirmation from the ground came through the claim was denied. 

The following weeks had been bad weather and recon missions had been few. On the 26, after a nice Christmas bash, Douglas gave Dixie and Gallagher permission to patrol the lines from Arras to the Somme and drive away any observation craft. This is what Gallagher lived for! Unencumbered by the slow BE’s, he and Dixie patrolled up and down the lines. It was cloudy and they had no luck. Turning for home Gallagher realized Dixie had drifted onto tue German side of the lines through a break in the clouds. Getting his bearings he noticed Archie.  About a thousand feet below going north up the line was a single Fokker. He signalled Dixie and they dove on the unsuspecting machine. Dixie made the first past and the Fokker went after him. Gallagher was on him in an instant. He pulled up from his dive and lost sight of him. He then saw Dixie chasing the enemy which expertly started to turn the tables. Gallagher made another pass and the Fokker went into a spin. Gallagher tried to keep him in sight and stalled out! Once he got control of his machine he had lost a good bit of altitude. Dixie joined him, pumping a fist into the air and pointing down. There was the remains of the Fokker on our side of the trenches! 

On the 28th, the confirmation came through. Gallagher had his first victory. There was no big celebration as Kirby and Clark had been killed that morning. Gallagher decided it was time to write home. His parents knew where he was but had not heard from him in a long while. Since he was not an American citizen anymore and with as much time that had passed, he figured no one cared Ltn. Elijah Gallagher had cold cocked his commanding officer in the American service and was now a Sergeant in the RFC. 

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Sergent Simon 'Sid' Grace

Escadrille C9


Caudron G4

2 confirmed victories


22nd December 1915


"So, how was your sojourn to Paris mon ami!" said Mondeme as Sid entered the mess.


"Very enjoyable, how were your family?" responded Sid.


"Oh they were fine, I was fed up with them after two hours and wanted to head back." exclaimed Mondeme.


Sid laughed. It was good to be back he thought.


After a few pleasantries with the others, including Capitaine Larsy, Sid was brought up to speed.


Sorties had continued, thankfully without loss but the weather was worsening still and turning seriously wintery.


That evening the snow started in earnest and didn't let up for the next four days. Despite the efforts of the ground crews, no flying was possible over the Christmas period.


The festivities were heartfelt and included carols and a heartfelt rendition of Chant du Départ. A fine meal was had too, with a huge Goose, the centerpiece. Sid however, wanted to get back flying.


On the 26th the ground was cleared enough to allow a reccie out to the lines. On the 27th, clear skies greeted the pilots although it was bitterly cold.


The sortie was out towards Nancy and was passing peacefully enough until Sid spotted aircraft approaching them from higher up.


It was a pair of Aviatiks and Sid didn't waste a moment. He went straight at them and as he passed underneath, Mondeme raked the underside of one of the enemy aircraft.


The enemy split up and Sid's target turned to try and get back to the lines. Sid however had anticipated this and came across between the enemy and safety.


Mondeme did his bit again and this time oily smoke started billowing from the stricken boche.


He lost power and height and a final flurry from Mondeme as Sid pursued the Aviatik had him spiralling down into the ground on the French side of the lines.


Capitaine Larsy, who'd been the other pilot on the sortie was able to confirm the victory meaning Sid now had three confirmations.


Celebrations that night were heartfelt and long. It seemed an age since he's been in the air and now it was like he'd never been away.


Further sorties including several bombing runs brought 1915 to a close.


What would 1916 bring?







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A note on my 1st claim which was denied. I didn’t see it go down but debrief said “Congratulations on downing enemy craft harassing our reccy aircraft” or something of that sort. Since Dixie fired only 6 shots and no hits or claims it had to be me right?  The brass hats said no. That’s the breaks I guess. 

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Mfair - Congratulations to Gallagher on his first confirmed victory. With regards to the declined one, you can only try. Gallagher's actions 'forced the enemy from battle'....would be the official line I imagine.

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Sorry Chaps this is late ... work and family life are a wee bit hectic.  I've not had a chance to read through the reports - I will over a mug of tea and a bun!


Flight Lieutenant Theodore Aloysius Andrews aka 'Runt' DSC                                                      

HQ Sqn 1 Wing RNAS in Flanders                                                                                                   

St. Pol-sur-Mer

Nieuport 10C1

Missions 66

Flying Hours 93

Confirmed 11

Claims 20

Part 17


My flying log

Well, here it is, a new year! beautiful weather but a biting cold.  A light dusting of snow coats the airfield and I warm myself with a hot tea - I'm about to leave the scant warmth of my tent for the airfield.  One of the new chaps is building a few huts for the pilots to call home - I can't wait.  The end of the month has been slightly quieter fighting wise.  It feels like a week or so since I've seen the hun in the air.  we did have one tangle with the Hun before Christmas.   Dallas was bombing Ghistelles (again) and we fought off 4.  I claimed two but both were denied. 






I realise I've stopped praying for the families of the fallen as we celebrated our saviour's birth.  I have asked forgiveness - and will ask the Lord to keep my heart soft in the midst of this bloodshed.  On Boxing Day, as is tradition, the officers cooked and served the other ratings a fairly edible Christmas lunch, I peeled and cooked the roast potatoes!  I think they enjoyed them.

On the 28th I was awarded a new aircraft. A Nieuport 11 Bebe! It seems a jolly fine plane.  I am yet to take it into combat or personalize it.


Happy new year!

To be continued ...

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SLt Jean-Fidele Hierrot: December 1915, Part 1

The month of December started out with rain, and a letter. The former kept Esc N12 out of the air for the first two days of the month, and the latter notified Jean-Fidele that he was to attend a very important meeting on 3 December.

In his diary, Jean-Fidele wrote the following regarding this meeting on the morning of the 3rd:


After I woke up and made myself almost presentable, Bernie [Capitaine Raymond de Pierre de Bernis] escorted me to a room occupied by two uniformed officers sitting at a long conference table. They introduced themselves as Capitaine Marcel Thobie of Escadrille 26, and Commandant Felix Brocard.

Brocard was the first to break the silence, getting straight to the point. "As I'm sure by now you're well aware, Sous Lieutenant, the manner in which you attained your present rank is a poorly-kept secret."

"I signed up, and that's the rank the service gave me," I insisted. "I had nothing to do with that."

"Ah, but on the contrary, you had everything to do with that!"

I wasn't quite sure where Brocard was going with this. Was I about to be court-martialed? I'd gladly settle for a demotion. Maybe l'Aeronautique Militaire needed to make an example of me? But while Brocard was clearly enjoying the moment, I could tell Thobie shared my confusion. No, Brocard was probably just playing the actor, savoring the drama of the moment.

"...For, ever since then, you've worn the uniform of an officer with distinction - you've done everything possible to earn what was originally unearned. Even if you'd started as an NCO, we would be making you a Sous Lieutenant today."

"Commandant, I appreciate that very much."

"Yet you don't seem particularly proud."

"Well...I mean, with all due respect, 'We're no longer dissatisfied with the rank we gave you' could have been sent in the letter. So I'm guessing this is about something else."

Thobie jumped in. "Ah yes, I'm quite glad you picked up on that. You see, while you've performed exemplary service with Escadrille N12, it's been decided that your services are in greater need elsewhere. Nothing has been finalized, but for the time being, assume that your days with this squadron are numbered."

Bernie, generally unflappable, looked peeved. "He's the highest scoring fighter pilot in the history of my squadron - MY squadron. Why is this the first I'm hearing about this?"

Brocard took the opportunity to retake the initiative. "Capitaine, consider this your notification as well. The orders from high command dictate that we are to prepare a fighter wing to assist in an upcoming offensive in the spring or summer. When that fighter wing is assembled, I will be in command, and Sous Lieutenant Hierrot will answer to me."

"Yes....but until that's fully formalized, this remains an internal matter for Escadrille 26 - which, last I checked, still falls under my command," Thobie drily reminded Brocard.

"For now, Capitaine, for now." Brocard could barely disguise his grin in anticipation of some future schadenfreude. "And as for you, Sous Lieutenant, you have an opportunity at a bright future in the service. Keep that in mind from this day forward."

After Brocard and Thobie left, Bernie let out a sigh of resignation. "Well, I can see why they're doing what they're doing. And I can't say I blame them."

I promised Bernie I wasn't going to leave N12 hanging up to dry. "This squadron - our squadron - has good men. There's still time to train, to teach, to learn."

"Then as your commanding officer, Pettit Sous, those are your instructions until further notice."


It is believed that this meeting is what prompted Jean-Fidele to craft le Code de Pilote de Chasse, "the Code of the Fighter Pilot," which consisted of the following tenets:


1. Fighter pilots must work together as a fighter squadron. This is a matter of duty, character, and good faith.
2. Always have an exit plan, some way to disengage. Not every battle can be won, and not every battle is even worth winning.
3. There is safety in high altitude. Never go low over enemy territory, and never lead your fellow fighter pilot into such a fight.
4. The fighter pilot depends on safety in numbers. Do not abandon your fellow fighter pilot from a favorable fight where you can contribute.
5. The fighter pilot's ambitions must not exceed current skill level. When new to combat, it is perfect acceptable to merely scare the enemy out of our territory.
6. What works for the fighter squadron today may not work tomorrow. Be aware of, and keep up to date on, any ongoing trends, developments, and evolutions.

And Jean-Fidele followed this up with le Code de l'Arme, "The Code of the Gun":


1. The code of the gun depends first upon prior mastery of the code of the fighter pilot.
2. When attacking, place the ultimate priority on avoiding a collision. Always give yourself a clear, direct path to pull away.
3. Minimize the rear gunner's range of fire by attacking from behind and below, ideally from the same angle as the opponent's tail. When attacking a formation, minimize crossfire by attacking the rear craft first.
4. Ammunition is limited, so make every bullet count. Do not fire outside of 100 yards.
5. Time within the 100-yard window is limited, so make every second count. Aim quickly within the arc of the enemy's propeller, and correct from there.
6. Favor short bursts of no more than a second at a time. Longer, sustained firing wastes bullets and leads to gun jams.

These codes were to form the basis of instruction for Jean-Fidele's last month in Esc N12.


Edited by Albrecht_Kaseltzer
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SLt Jean-Fidele Hierrot: December 1915, Part II

Jean-Fidele wrote out the following for his final end-of-month report with Escadrille N12:



5 December

On this day, Capitaine de Bernis, Armand Callinet and myself agreed that Callinet and I should share lead of Flight B with Navarre and d'Oisy to form a highly-trained core that can go on training the rest of the squadron upon my transfer to N26.

Flight B made two flights. I led the first, in which Navarre, d'Oisy and myself combined to take down three Aviatiks, none confirmed due to cloud cover and our location about a mile behind enemy lines.

The second was led by Callinet, and resulted in his death due by enemy ground fire.


Bernie and Jean-Fidele agreed that hereafter, N26 would not descend below 3,000 metres over German lines.

The squadron took the next day off to pay tribute to Callinet, who had been Bernie's second-in-command following a brief stint as interim squadron leader. Jean-Fidele was particularly upset: "I owe so much to you, mon frère." It was from Callinet, after all, whom Jean-Fidele learned the elements of combat which had changed his life so drastically over the past two-and-a-half months.



9 December

Today, airmen de Rose and de Sevin joined B Flight to improve their gunnery skills. These lessons paid immediate dividends, for while we were deep within friendly lines, we stumbled upon a flight of three Aviatiks presumably making their way back home. We engaged, successfully downing all three enemy aircraft - one by myself, and one each by de Rose and de Sevin.

All of these victories are now confirmed - my 12th, and I believe the first for de Rose and de Sevin.



The view from de Sevin's cockpit, 9 December 1915



12 December

Balloon defense duty today. Found a pair of Aviatiks wondering too close to our airfield, so we engaged. Navarre and d'Oisy each downed an Aviatik with minimal input on my part - the most promising sign yet that Escadrille N12 has a bright future ahead.

It is my understanding that higher command is inclined to recognize these victories, which is only fitting giving how hard both men have fought for our squadron and our country.



13 December

Today, the squadron took on a new recruit, Adjutant Reuben Viallet.

We had a scramble mission this afternoon, as yet another Aviatik flight was spotted overhead near our airfield at Rosnay. We were not able to take down all three, but I was able to take down two before they could make it back over German lines. I made it a point to demonstrate to B Flight that one drum is plenty to take down a hostile two-seater - for the two that I downed today each took one ammunition drum.

I hear that both of these victories are substantiated, which brings my total to 14.


Victory number fourteen for Jean-Fidele Hierrot, 13 December 1915.



15 December

Today, Adjutant Reuben Viallet died in an accident while landing.

I am becoming increasingly concerned with the quality of the training that incoming pilots receive. I am noticing elementary errors from new pilots that should have been corrected before even reaching frontline duty. I am of the opinion that whoever is responsible for overseeing l'Aeronautique Militaire has not done their due diligence in developing a safe, effective pipeline for pilots to enlist and come out to the frontline. Viallet deserved better than this.



Jean-Fidele witnesses Viallet's death, 15 December 1915.



17 December

Today was yet another day of unnecessary danger and risk-taking. Enemy groundfire continues to grow in intensity and, worse yet, its range and accuracy. Both de Rose and Quellenec sustained wounds taking some days to recuperate, and their aircraft require extensive repair.

Going forward, any flights going over German lines will consist only of myself, de Bernis, Navarre, and d'Oisy until other pilots are deemed ready for combat over hostile territory.




19 December

B Flight conducted its first mission today with the new, reduced lineup: Navarre, d'Oisy and myself carried out a patrol that started out over our own lines to the north and west of Rosnay, before covering hostile territory due north from our airfield. Based on the results today, it appears that this is the proper approach to take going forward.

After roughly an hour in the air, I detected an Aviatik flight entering our airspace, and I directed the flight to engage.

While both Navarre and d'Oisy emptied out their entire ammunition allotment, they were both successful in taking down enemy aircraft. I am proud to serve as a witness for both of these claims. Myself, I unloaded one drum onto a third Aviatik two-seater; since this craft dove below 3000 metres and headed towards enemy territory, I deemed it not worth the risk and allowed the enemy aircraft to go back. I believe I heard this craft crash shortly thereafter due to damage sustained from combat, but I am not able to confirm this.


Jean-Fidele did not include this in his report, but he contemplated how he would have pursued that last Aviatik a month ago - but now, such an action was unthinkable. He had a responsibility to keep himself in one piece, and he had to put forth a positive example for the men learning from him.


The newer, leaner B Flight before combat, 19 December 1915



27 December

A scramble flight today, with several Aviatiks spotted roughly a mile from Rosnay. de Bernis and de Sevin of A Flight both successfully brought down an enemy aircraft, while my flight chased the remaining two-seaters back behind enemy lines. 

Sous Lieutenant Dominique Xambo also made his first appearance in combat today, and survived to tell the tale for now.




Missions: 89
Flight Hours: 103.7
Confirmed Victories: 14

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Sgt. Elijah Gallagher. 
8RFC, Marieux 

Commander Douglas looked on as the 2BE’s lifted off with Gallagher behind them in his Bristol. “Fine young man” he thought. No sooner had the thought left his head as Gallagher’s Bristol burst into flame! It wobbled a bit then slid slipped. Obviously Gallagher was trying to move away from the flames. The machine hit the trees in a ball of flame. Nothing left to do but clean up the mess. 

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