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About Sebtoombs

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  1. I want to thank you too! thank you for keeping these games so alive!
  2. Thank you Albrecht a superb way to finish Runt and Monique’s saga! May Jean-Fidele live long and live to marry Therese! I’m enjoying his tale!
  3. Flight Lieutenant Theodore Aloysius Andrews aka 'Runt' DSC HQ Sqn 1 Wing RNAS in Flanders St. Pol-Sur-Mer Fin. 7th March 1916 Combat report 0940hrs mission was to bomb the Roulers railroad depot and junction. The C.O. said it was of great strategic importance. F/L Roderic Dallas - A Flight - Cauldron G4 - No. 1756 F/L TA Andrews - B Flight - Nieuport 11- No. 3940 F/L Noel Keeble - B Flight - Nieuport 11- No. 3984 F/L Redford Mulock- B Flight - Nieuport 11 - No. 3976 F/Sub Lieutenant Sid Hoskins- B Flight - Nieuport 10C- No. 2589 At 1000 Returned to St. Pol-sur-Mer with engine trouble. Andrews leading B flight escorted Dallas to St. Pol-sur-Mer, then proceed to lead B flight to our target to attack any target of opportunity at the railyard. We made several passes. At 1047 during one such pass, Andrews's undercarriage struck two trees and he was seen to crash into the Railyard. His Nieuport exploded in a fireball. It is unlikely he survived. We made one final pass and returned to St. Pol-sur-Mer landing at 1115. No significant damage was done to the rail yard. Signed F/L N. Keeble DSC MC Theodore Aloysius Andrews final stats 1st June 1915 - 7 March 1916 Missions 80 Hours 110.57 Confirmed Victories 14 5 Aviatik BI 4 Fokker EI 3 Aviatik CI 2 Fokker EIII Claims 27 " And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that Andrews lived happily ever after. For Andrews, it was only the beginning of the real story. All his life in this world ... had only been the cover and the title page: now, at last, he was beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.” Adapted from C.S.Lewis The Last Battle Thanks for all your support chaps!
  4. Sebtoombs

  5. I'm so sorry you have been ill my friend! A wonderful way to explain it all! Truly hope you are fully well again! - Your writing hasn't suffered! Warmest Seb
  6. Flight Lieutenant Theodore Aloysius Andrews aka 'Runt' DSC HQ Sqn 1 Wing RNAS in Flanders St. Pol-Sur-Mer Part 19 2nd March 1916 “You looked rested Runt!” Beamed Red as I walked through the door, his soft Canadian drawl speaking of the deep affection built over countless hours in the air. Nine years my senior but with a boyish twinkle in his eyes and the energy of an 18-year-old. “I feel great Red, itching to get back into the air - I know I’m a sailor but that crossing was damned rough!” I joked. It was good to be back at St. Pol-Sur-Mer. The leave had been wonderful, warm and restful. I went out and painted the town with Davies and Jefferson who are both now training as pilots in the RFC after a year of observing with us. Jefferson was singing a new song called “47 Ginger Headed Sailors”, which I earnestly tried to remember to perhaps teach it to the lads in the mess. Jefferson, bless him, even attempted to set me up with his sister Agnes a pretty nurse at St Bartholomew’s hospital in London with thick dark hair and delightful eyes. It was very kind - in a way - but I found my thoughts returning again and again to Monique. It was good to see and laugh with them both again as well as hear of their adventures in Farnham longhorns. Tamer by far than our days together in the BE2s and Moranes. It was a shame they were RFC chaps as I would love to fly with them both one day. As it is, it turns out there’s a bit of professional jealousy between the pilots of His Majesty's armed forces which I was fairly unaware of. It seems the RFC are concerned that we in the Navy are getting all the good French planes before they can get a look in and it’s causing some bad blood. However, they seem quite excited about the new DH2 and are watching 24 Squadron with great interest. The prospect of new aircraft didn’t stop them from pausing at a Royal Navy recruitment poster and defacing it with the words “Join the Navy to feel a man”. Very droll I’m sure! I also spent time with Archie and my family too - a good two weeks I am refreshed and keen once more! Breguet surrounded by thick wonderful smelling clouds of pipe smoke joined us. Rodrick ‘Breguet’ Dallas is a giant of a man and towers over me at 6ft 2 in his stocking feet, his father a labourer and miner from Queensland brought his boy up tough and big. It always surprises me when he contorts his frame and substantial weight into his Caldron, huge hands gripping the controls that look like a child's toy in his massive paws. “Good to have you back runt. It’s not been the same without you old man!” Breguet and Red stood next to each other shuffling awkwardly and looking at each other out of the corner of their eyes as if communicating some secret. “Here, have a cigarette Runt,” Red offered me his packet of ‘Players’. “No thanks Red, my breathing is better without them - what’s eating the pair of you?” “Monique…” Breguet said, teeth tightly clamping the stem of his pipe jumping. “Go on” “We have seen her at the airfield, she asked about you.” Breguet continued. “That’s nice,” I said in a clipped fashion. My stiff upper lip comes in handy now and again. “Only" he continued, "We’ve seen her chatting to a French pilot, handsome chap, flys a green Nieuport with a dagger emblem on the fuselage used to be based here, got moved on in January. Quite an ace if we remember” “I don’t see what any of this has to do with me chaps”, I wanted to get as far from this conversation as possible. “We saw the Frenchie give her money, it’s not looking good for the old girl at all” Red mused. “We all know Ackart was a toad” Breguet added “But for her to go on the game is too much.” I was silent. I nodded to my companions and left the mess, out into the chill night. Desolate. 3rd March Heavy snow and a 0940hrs patrol over enemy front lines with Red and Keeble. 30 minutes in I developed problems with my engine and had to return to St Pol-sur-Mer. A fine homecoming this! A fine homecoming! 4th March My Nieuport's engine was being repaired - hopefully fit to fly tomorrow. I caught up on paperwork- not wanting to think about Monique and what she’d become. What on Earth had happened to her and was it any of my business? I pondered hitching a lift to Dunkirk and paying the Fountaine’s at Le P'tit Dupont a visit. A request from Admiralty for a report on fighting Aviatik Cs put pay to that - I dutifully responded and tried to ease my heart with some whiskey. The snow is now thick on the ground. 5th March Nieuport was still in for repairs so missed the morning patrol. Selby, my mechanic couldn’t apologise enough, and together we worked on it. By lunchtime, the engine was purring like a cat. 1518hrs Artillery spotting with Breguet in his Cauldron between Menen and Loo. I took three new chaps up with Red. They were Thomas, Adlam and Boscawen. I thought of Tubby as guided our flight through the thick clouds and snow flurries and resolved to do better for these new boys. No HA were spotted but we did locate several Hun batteries along the Lys. I thought of Tubby as guided our flight This evening I'm too tired to contemplate a trip to the Le P'tit Dupont, but maybe it isn’t such a good idea after all. To be continued…..
  7. Flight Lieutenant Theodore Aloysius Andrews aka 'Runt' DSC HQ Sqn 1 Wing RNAS in Flanders St Pol-Sur Mer Nieuport 11 'Bebe' End of February Stats 76 missions 105.83 hours 26 claims / 13 victories
  8. Flight Lieutenant Theodore Aloysius Andrews aka 'Runt' DSC HQ Sqn 1 Wing RNAS in Flanders St. Pol-Sur-Mer Part 18 (Jan 13th- Feb 16th 1916) The second half of January and the beginning of February was a hard month for flying. Patrols were mostly over enemy lines and we were often called to bomb or reconnoitre troop positions, the flying was long, cold and hard. I had two very near misses with death in January and one in February; all will long remain in my memory. The first of these was when we pounced on three Aviatik Cs we spotted while escorting Rodrick Dallas on a recon flight. After separating the threesome and scoring some great hits, I dived on one from above only to be hit by the observer’s accurate fire. My engine took the brunt of the damage but my goggles started filling with blood. Feeling faint from my wounds I pointed the trusty Babe home, and gratefully managed to put her down by an allied observation balloon. I passed out in the cockpit and came to in hospital where I spent six days. On one of those days, passing in and out of consciousness I was visited, I think, by Monique. It may have been a dream of course I was pumped full of morphine … but I am sure, I think she held my hand and prayed. Monique was once again in my thoughts and on my heart. This was hard, after battling for so long to free myself from the yoke of her affections. A near-death experience A long patrol over enemy lines was my first flight back. After an hour in the air while over the lines we spotted a solitary Fokker beneath us - it turned out to be an EIII - B flight was four strong but the little Fokker put up a heroic fight against us, bravely weaving and climbing. A number of times he floated down to Earth falling like a leaf only to snap out of the dive at the last possible moment and ready to fight. While attempting to fight, fly and dance with the enemy Tubby Granger’s Nieuport 10 and my Babe had a collision. I'm not entirely sure what happened, I felt my wheels connect with something, and saw Tubby struggling to fly. I seemed unharmed and Tubby flew west to safety. Plucky German flyer We dispatched the Fokker and returned home expecting to find Tubby at his usual place at the bar ... he didn’t return home. He had landed our side of the lines but was dead with a huge wound in his head - more than likely caused by my careless undercarriage. I am beyond devastated to have caused the death of this fine young man. I can see him smiling waving, enjoying life, loving flying, eager to take the battle to the Hun - only to die beneath my damned wheels. Of course, I say young, he was three years older than me, but 5 months behind me in combat and that’s where my appreciation of age comes from nowadays. The first two weeks of February were quiet - flying patrols, recon and escorting Dallas as well as fighting some lousy weather. I had a third and final close call this morning. Over Ghistelles airfield I spotted a lone EIII. I engaged and forced it to crash into some nearby trees. As I climbed I spotted two other Fokker who pounced on me! I couldn’t see anyone from the squadron and felt utterly alone. I fired a few shots but they were all over me. I decided that discretion was the better part of valour and I dived for home. I was hit a number of times and the port-wing of my Nieuport sheered away in the dive. I thought I was as doomed as Tubby Granger - and would soon be able to give him my personal apologies at St. Peter’s Gates. But by nursing the stick and rudder I was able to flee in a straight line for home. The Fokkers gave a half-hearted pursuit and left me alone as I crossed our lines. I prayed all the way to the nearest airfield and gently, oh so gently, put her down. My 13th victory I am haunted at night with thoughts of Tubby’s death and Monique's face, I am sure I have seen her once or twice around the airfield, I’ve smelt her sweet perfume and perhaps out the corner of my eye as if in mist, spotted her talking to a French pilot … I can’t be sure and I daren't investigate. The CO has noticed the strain around my eyes and the slight quiver in my arm when I hold my cane to walk and has awarded me two weeks home leave. I will be back the first week of March. Damaged port-wing but safe To be continued …
  9. Flight Lieutenant Theodore Aloysius Andrews aka 'Runt' DSC HQ Sqn 1 Wing RNAS in Flanders St Pol-Sur Mer Nieuport 11 'Bebe' 31st Jan 1916 Stats 73 missions 101.6 hours 25 claims / 12 victories
  10. Beautiful skins and pictures. Brilliant work!
  11. Oh Mark, say it isn’t so! I’m so so sad to hear this! He was the last original member of his squadron. I’m heartbroken for you buddy. I haven’t caught up with all the tales but did see this post. I hope Andrews is still around when you get back and that your busy few weeks go well. Take care my friend!
  12. Flight Lieutenant Theodore Aloysius Andrews aka 'Runt' DSC HQ Sqn 1 Wing RNAS in Flanders Part 17 (Jan 1st-Jan13th) Wonderful news cousin Archie (see January 30th) has been given notification of flight training at the Central Flying School, I am utterly delighted and hope one day to fly with him in combat. During bad weather my rigger, mechanic and I managed to personalise my Nieuport 11- I'm quite pleased with it. We decided to keep the bee and lightning strike as it seems to have been noticed up and down the lines. The first few days of January the flying was hampered by the weather. Finally got airborne on the 4th, 15 minutes into the flight I started getting engine problems so had to hand over the flight to Keeble who took charge. My blasted plane took 2 days to repair airborne again on 6th a patrol of our troops. I was flight commander, flying with Keeble, Mulock and a fairly new chap Lathern, only allied aircraft spotted. I was grounded for a few days and was next up on 13th escort duties for Rod Dallas flying 'A'. Spotted 3 Aviatiks crossing our lines so I gave the order to pursue ( Dallas was quite safe) We engaged and destroyed all three. I got a share in one and forced down another - all three were denied us by the powers that be. Then escorted Dallas home. To Be Continued ...
  13. 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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