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About AlbertTross

  1. Obflugm Edward Reimann Marine Feld Jasta I Nieuwmunster 5 confirmed victories (5 unconfirmed) 10th March to 20th March 1917 Edward was introduced to the rest of MFJI by Oberleutnant Saschenberg, following an introductory chat in Saschenberg's office. Although it was all very friendly, Edward had asked about the Halberstadts out on the field. Saschenberg had explained that the jasta had received several Albatros DIII aircraft at the end of February, only for them to be withdrawn the next week due to 'structural issues'. The only aircraft available in numbers as replacement were the Halberstadt DIII's. A pleasant evening in the kasino on the 10th was followed by Edward's first sortie on the 11th. Saschenberg himself led a flight out to the Ypres salient. They were all but there when tracers flew passed Edward's propeller. He turned instinctively and saw several enemy Triplanes zooming in. Despite his relative inexperience in the Halberstadt (he had roughly two hours in the old DII type) he gradually mastered one of the enemy aircraft and blasted him mercilessly. Another burst had the englischer spiralling down into the ground. Edward then saw another Triplane attacking Saschenberg. He worked furiously to get a shot in and eventually managed a few hits which drew Saschenberg's attacker away. Edward saw and seized his chance, he turned across the Triplane and fired long and hard into the foe. More hits and the enemy aircraft smashed into the ground. Saschenberg confirmed both Triplanes for Edward and privately thanked him for saving his bacon. The 12th was a washout and Edward spent time getting to know his fellow pilots. The 13th was a quiet affair as Edward led a trio on a jaunt over to the Nieuwpoort lines. No encounters and nothing to report was the order of the day. The same could be said on the 14th as the same trio defended a Drachen balloon on the Passchendaele ridge. The 15th was following a similar trait until Edward saw flak bursts ahead, out towards the lines. He went to investigate and was rewarded with a formation of enemy Caudrons coming across the front. He signalled to attack and went after the lead aircraft. He came up behind ad the Caudron desperately tried to give the gunner a shot. Edward had other ideas however and fired a long accurate burst into the right engine which spluttered and steamed at first but then burst into flames. The enemy pilot fought hard to retain control of the now unbalanced and burning Caudron but ended up spiralling into the ground near the German lines. The other Caudrons had tried to scarper but Edward went after one of them. His pursuit took him over the lines and he hammered into the Caudron as he drew near. More hits had him in flames and plummeting down into the ground. Edward found himself alone and made his own way back to Nieuwmunster where he landed safely some little while later. One of Edward's victories was confirmed, the other, not a huge surprise to Edward, was rejected ad it had been unseen and fell on the enemy side of the lines. The 16th involved a defensive flight of the railyards of Roulers which was without incident. The 17th had the jasta up in force over Ypres and their patience was rewarded when a flight of ponderous BE2's appeared unescorted. Edward went after one and made short work of the poor englischers. Several good bursts had the engine and fuselage in flames and the aircraft plunging into the depths. He then went after another two seater and again, despite the desperate attempts to evade, the outcome was the same. A burning BE plunging down into the ground near the Ypres salient. Saschenberg confirmed both of Edward's BE's bringing his total to 9 confirmed victories. The 18th was meant to be a sortie down towards Passchendaele again but after several minutes, Edward's windscreen was suddenly covered in oily grease as his engine spluttered and stopped. Thankfully he was able to land safely in an adjacent field. He was left to flounder his way out of the muddy quagmire and back to the airfield, leaving the Halberstadt to the mechanics. On the 19th, Edward was again leading a flight towards the front lines north of Ypres when a flurry of bullets ripped into his wing. He turned to face his foe and saw a trio of Nieuports nearby. His sturdy Halberstadt was still airworthy and eventually got the better of one of the Nieuports although every so often he could hear the rat-a-tat-tat of enemy Lewis guns. He had been dragged lower and lower by the turning Nieuport but got some hits in. Another flurry and the enemy lurched over and spiralled into the ground. Despite it being on the German side of the lines, the claim was rejected however. Edward's score remained 9. The 20th was washed out once more.
  2. AlbertTross

  3. Inge and Edward sat in a fairly dark recess of the Cafe Zaubernuß. The Zaubernuß had been there for many years although it had been some time since Edward has frequented it. As to why the cafe was so named was obvious on first entering. The piquant citrus smell of witch-hazel was obvious from the moment one set foot in the door. A small bundle of the flowers was to be found on each table and was a way of keeping the overpowering stench of cigarette, cigar and pipe smoke at bay. Edward had suggested a drink to Inge as a way of spending some time together and reminiscing. "So what are you upto these days Inge? Are you still with your dad?" asked Edward. "No Edward, I've been a full-time nurse for nearly two years now. I have three days leave and came home to see him" replied Inge. "How is you're father by the way? Well I hope." Edward continued. "He is well. He's looking rather old now but otherwise he's healthy." stated Inge. "I'm assuming you are in the navy looking at your uniform Edward" said Inge. "I'm a naval pilot Inge. I'm home on leave myself and then I'm transferring to a new unit." explained Edward. "Ahh you are a pilot! How wonderful...and dangerous. You look very smart anyway." said Inge. "You look beautiful Inge" said Edward, almost unintentionally, certainly unplanned, but utterly from the heart too. Inge flushed red but smiled nonetheless, "I'm far from beautiful at the moment Edward. It's been a very hard few months and I'm exhausted". explained Inge. "Where are you based?" asked Edward. "At the military hospital in Brussels" replied Inge. The pair continued to talk, Edward ordered another round and the afternoon turned into the evening. "Can I see you tomorrow Inge?" asked Edward. "I'd like that very much Edward" replied Inge. With that the pair went home and Edward slept like a log in his own bed. The next day Edward's mother woke him with a hot coffee. "Danke Mutter" said Edward as he came to. She also handed him a telegram. It was stamped by a navy stamp. Edward teared it open and read...... To Obflugm Edward Reimann stop Transfer has now been authorised stop Report to Oberleutnant Gotthard Sachsenberg at Marine Feld Jasta I at Nieuwmunster stop No later than 1700 hours on 10th March 1917 stop. Edward felt relief, it was now official and he had the green light to start a new chapter of his life. For now though, he had a date to keep. Edward met Inge as planned and spent the day walking along the many rivers and streams that straddled the area around Otterndorf. The weather was fresh but dry and the pair reminisced. "Did you not have a boyfriend Inge? I remember all the boys chased after you when we were younger" asked Edward, only half in jest. "Nothing serious Edward and I'm not one for dalliance." replied Inge. "I apologise Inge I wasn't suggesting for one instant that you were that type." spurted Edward wishing for all the world he'd kept his big mouth shut. Inge laughed "Stop worrying so Edward, I know what you meant.". The pair continued and went for a meal at the Cafe Zaubernuß. At the end of a glorious day, Edward walked Inge home. As they reached Inge's door, she turned and faced Edward. The pair came together and embraced warmly. "Can I see you tomorrow Inge?" asked Edward. "I'm accompanying my father into Hamburg tomorrow morning Edward." replied⁴ Inge. Edward looked rather crestfallen...Inge laughed again, that disarming and warming laugh, "I shall be back in the afternoon so can meet you tomorrow evening Edward". said Inge. "Wonderful! I can't think of much else at the moment Inge....to be honest" stated Edward. Inge smiled warmly again....."me neither" she almost whispered as she kissed him again and went inside. The following day, Edward sorted his travel arrangements out for the trip back to Flanders on the 10th. If all went to plan he'd be there by 4pm. In the evening he and Inge spent more time together. A meal at the Gasthaus zur Schleuse. She was leaving in the morning to return to Brussels. "Promise you will write Edward!" stated Inge as they parted that night. Embracing warmly again, Edward replied "of course I will Inge and given the chance I'll come and see you in Brussels". Inge smiled and after a final embrace, they then parted. Edward went into Hamburg himself on the 9th, and attended to some business on behalf of his mother. Including a meeting with the bank as his mother needed additional funds to attend to several jobs around the family home. He had a lavish meal that evening with his mother and left early on the morning of the 10th. The trip back to Flanders, though long and tiring, went quickly enough and Edward had plenty of time to think about the new adventures ahead, both as a pilot and with Inge. He finally reached the home field of MFJI at about 4.20pm. The daylight was beginning to darken as he climbed out of the lorry and grabbed his baggage. He took a deep breath and looked out across the airfield.....and then frowned as he looked upon the long line of aircraft on the edge of the field....."Halberstadts?!?" He said to himself. Finally he went into the office.
  4. Obflugm Edward Reimann MFFA II Nieuwmunster 5 confirmed victories (4 unconfirmed) 5th March to 10th March 1917 Edward climbed out of the cab which had brought him from the train station to the family home on Stephanstrasse in the centre of Otterndorf. The journey had been a long one travelling through the night and involving several train changes from Ostend, through Brussels to Dortmund and then on to Otterndorf. He'd said quick farewells to the other pilots and had left hastily. Leutnant Wald hadn't even said goodbye, he'd simply stayed in his office. 'Good riddance!' Edward had thought as he left with his bags. He managed some fleeting moments of sleep on the trains although they remained busy despite it being the middle of the night. There were servicemen everywhere, nurses too, although Edward was too tired to pay them much attention. He knocked at the door to his mother's house, after a moment the door opened. His mother, now 50, still had the radiance of her youth. She smiled broadly as she saw her son on the step. "Eddie! She hugged her son warmly and despite Edward cringing at sound of 'Eddie', responded in kind. "Why didn't you write and say you were coming?" his mother reproached him. "It's a long story mother, I'll tell you in due course" responded Edward. "Right now I'm shattered and in need of a bath!" Edward continued. Edward went straight to his old room and threw his bags on the floor and himself on the bed. His mother had kept his room spotless despite it being nearly two years since his last visit. After a rest he went into the kitchen where his mother was busy preparing dinner. "If I'd known you were coming Edward I'd have got more in. For now I do hope a Käsespätzle will suffice!" said his mother. "It will be fine mother" responded Edward. "Where is Eva?" Edward asked. Eva was his older sister, 3 years his elder. "She is in Bochum meine leibe" replied his mother. "Bochum? Why would she be there?" Edward queried. "She is at the teaching hospital there. She's been training as a nurse for the last three months now" replied Edward's mother. The Käsespätzle was wonderful and Edward enjoyed sitting at the family table once more. After dinner he went for a walk through Otterndorf. Not much had changed other than there being a preponderance of navy personnel about. He spotted the Rathaus and his old school. On the Marktstrasse, he stopped at many of the shop windows. Feldmann the Tailor was still there, as was the dairy. Next door, the bakery was busy and smelt wonderful. As he looked in the bakery window at the beautiful kuchen, a soft feminine voice spoke from behind him. "Edward? Is that you?" Edward turned around and saw the owner of the voice. Inge Muller had known Edward since childhood and had lived opposite for many years. Her mother had died a few years ago and Inge lived at home with her father who was a local businessman. Inge was beautiful, beautiful to Edward anyway and seeing her now brought back many memories. "Inge! How wonderful to see you!" Edward exclaimed. To be continued.....
  5. Raine - This Huntington, its hard to tell what's true and what's gobbledegook with him. I'm sure we'll find out more in the coming episodes. A quiet sortie for Douglas and then off on leave. Looking forward to reading his adventures whilst on his jollies.
  6. Obflugm Edward Reimann MFFA II Nieuwmunster 5 confirmed victories (3 unconfirmed victories) 26th February to 5th March 1917 The weather relented enough for a couple of sorties for Edward as the winter chills showed its first signs of ebbing away into spring mildness. On the 26th, reports of enemy movement north of Ypres had orders for Edward to fly above the area whilst Hasse made detailed notes of anything he could see, troops, equipment, shells, transport....anything that might give a clue as to the enemy's intentions. The orders then stated Edward was to fly low over the local command headquarters and drop the notes for immediate actioning by the brass on the ground. The mission itself passed quietly enough, although 'quiet' is hardly the correct word to use for anywhere around the Ypres salient. The bag drop by Hasse was completed successfully and both Edward and Hasse were commended on their return to Nieuwmunster. Commended by headquarters that is, not Leutnant Wald. In fact, Leutnant Wald had been rather distant with Edward ever since Oberleutnant Saschenberg's visit a few days previously. Not actually hostile, just distant. Edward shrugged it off at first as he had his hands full with flying but in the evenings in the kasino, the forced silence between the two was being noticed by others. Ebersbach stated that it was more proof that Wald had been affected by the birth of his child and his enforced absence from it. "Instead of patting you on the back and saying 'well done' for your success, he gets 'insulted' that your success has led to interest from elsewhere!" explained Ebersbach. On the 27th, Edward, Wald and Ebersbach flew an attack on the Bailleul railyard. The weather was perfect and the flak terrible. All three survived however and considerable damage was done to the rolling stock and storehouses. On the 28th however, when another attack was planned, this time on the lines south of Nieuwpoort, only Leutnant Wald managed to reach the lines as both Edward and Ebersbach had to abort due to engine faults. In Edward's case it had been quite dicey as the engine had seized as he banked steeply, leaving him sideslipping towards the ground. Thankfully he had enough altitude to pick up enough speed to land safely. This debacle resulted in a severe dressing down for Chief Engineer Uwe Ziegler. Ziegler, a burly 6 footer from the Hamburg docks, was left crumpled and destroyed by Leutnant Wald's tirade. At one point, both Edward and Ebersbach, who could both hear everything being said, thought about going into Wald's office to save Ziegler further earbashing. As February gave way to March, the weather put paid to the flying on the 1st and 2nd. On the 3rd however Edward was out on a reconnaissance trip to the lines. As he gained height and levelled out for his short trip to the lines he saw flak bursts over towards Oostende. He then froze as five Neuports emerged, however these Neuports did not attack. Instead they flew on, making steady progress, back towards the lines. Edward now saw that they were two-seaters, Neuport XII's if he remembered correctly. He throttled up and came up underneath one of the enemy aircraft. Hasse blasted it from below and rhe Neuports split up and tried to give their gunners a shot at Edward. Edward however used his skill to avoid them and come up behind his original target. A long accurate burst had the Neuport nosing down with the pilot slumped and still. The other Neuports now nosed down and ran. Edward let them go and finished his mission. On his return he completed his report and filed his claim. An hour later Leutnant Wald called Edward to his office. Wald looked stonyfaced as Edward entered. He had paperwork in his hand and briefly looked at it as Edward stood to attention. "I have read your report Oberflugmeister, a satisfactory outcome to the mission requirements it seems." said Wald. "Yes sir, and I was lucky enough to down one of our enemy too." responded Edward. "Indeed, however I should tell you that your claim has been rejected." continued Wald. Edward looked rather perplexed, "Has the claim been investigated? It was over our side of the lines. Have the local commanders been contacted sir?" asked Edward. A glimmer of a thin smile cracked Wald's face, "No Oberflugmeister, I have not contacted the local commanders. They have enough to do than chase around Flanders looking for your claims!" said Wald with barely concealed sarcasm. Edward was about to let loose when Wald moved the paperwork he was holding in front of him. "Your 'new friends' have made a formal request for your immediate transfer to Marine Feld Jasta I. I am instructed to provide a date by which the transfer can be completed!" Wald's tone rose as he finished. "My 'new friends'? I have no idea what you're referring to or insinuating herr Leutnant" said Edward, rather affronted. "Oh piffle Edward! You have clearly instigated this and now Oberleutnant Saschenberg is flexing his military muscles by getting headquarters to side with him. Now, if I refuse their request I will have to provide just cause!" berated Wald. Edward could contain himself no longer "I have no idea why you believe I have anything to do with Oberleutnant Saschenberg's request, or visit the other day! I'm sorry you feel 'affronted Oswald but it has nothing to do with me!" said Edward, forcefully. "Do not call me by my first name Oberflugmeister, may I remind you that I am still your commanding officer until such time as I see fit to let you go!" responded Wald. Edward drew breath slowly and calmed himself, he would not allow himself to fall into a trap, even an obvious one like this. If he continued to argue, Wald could have him charged with insubordination and would probably take great pleasure in doing so it seemed. "That is your perogative.....sir" responded Edward. There was a long and cutting silence until Wald broke the quiet...."I suppose I will have to let you go, but I'm damned if I'll allow it to disrupt the rest of the unit." said Wald. "I'm not sure that I understand....sir" said Edward. Wald did not respond directly and stared out of the window at the darkening skies outside. "I will arrange your transfer to MFJI as soon as possible Oberflugmeister and until that moment you are on leave! See the adjutant for any transport documents you need!" finished Wald, staring out of the window throughout. Edward thought about an abrasive response but thought better of it. "As you request....sir" said Edward, who saluted and turned to leave. Edward arranged travel documents through Belgium and back to Germany with the adjutant. He would leave right away. He barely had time to say goodbye to the rest of the unit. Ebersbach was fuming with Wald but Edward persuaded him not to raise it with the Leutnant. They would meet again someday Edward assured Ebersbach.
  7. Obflugm Edward Reimann MFFA II Neuwmunster 5 confirmed victories (3 unconfirmed victories) 20th February to 25th February 1917 Edward watched as Kehr was led towards the waiting ambulance. Kehr looked sad but calm. Leutnant Wald was also there and was talking to another officer who was holding the paperwork Wald had just given him. Just as Kehr neared the ambulance he stopped and looked at Edward. Kehr beckoned Edward towards him and Edward drew near. "Thank you for your help meine freund" said Kehr and grasped Edward's hand. "I resisted far too much, but you managed to get the truth from me, like a doctor draws the poison from a wound." Kehr continued. "Now the wound can heal" said Edward, smiling. "Get yourself sorted and then you can return freund." finished Edward. "I shall!" finished Kehr and with that he entered the ambulance. Edward flew a relatively uneventful mission that afternoon, directing the artillery fire along the enemy held road towards Bailleul. Bad weather was still hampering the flying however and the next two days were lost. During the afternoon of the 22nd however Leutnant Wald received an unexpected visitor, Oberleutnant Gotthard Sachsenberg. The adjutant showed Saschenberg into Wald's small and simple office and closed the door. "Guten tag, Oswald, I hope you don't mind me calling on you unannounced!" Said Saschenberg as he sat down. "Not at all Gotthard, it is always a pleasure. It seems so long ago now we were at flight school together." Wald responded. " Indeed! I remember those trips into the nearby town all too well!" Gotthard smiled broadly as he spoke. "Me too" responded Wald. He reached into the cupboard underneath his desk and drew out a bottle of Napoleon Brandy. He took two small tumblers from a drawer and placed them down on the desk. He poured two decent measures and handed one to Saschenberg. "What brings you here?" asked Wald. "Danke Oswald. I see that Oberflugmeister Reimann now has five confirmed victories?" enquired Saschenberg, although he already knew the response. "That's correct, he is a fine pilot, we're lucky to have him." responded Wald, taking a decent slurp of his drink. "Indeed WE are" responded Saschenberg, overemphasising the 'we' considerably. "Is it not time you allowed him to fulfill his potential flying scouts with my unit?" asked Saschenberg. Wald's expression tightened slightly but his voice remained clear and calm, "I think that's a decision for me don't you agree Oberleutnant?" responded Wald. "Of course herr Leutnant, but who's decision it is is irrelevant, it is the decision itself which is important." replied Saschenberg. Wald found the logic of that statement difficult to counter so sidestepped it with an equally unequivocal statement, "We two-seater staffels need good pilots too Gotthard. Not just the jastas." said Wald. "Indeed Oswald, but it would be wrong to hold another's promise in check simply to prove a point, don't you agree!" continued Saschenberg, deliberately stoking the flames with a provocative statement. Wald, flushed momentarily then regained his composure, "You always were a presumptuous twit Gotthard" replied Wald with a hint of intention, despite the smile as he spoke. "Indeed Oswald, one needs to take chances if one is to reach one's full potential. Maybe that is why you are still a Leutnant in charge of a handful of fellow pilots and beobachters." responded Saschenberg. "A position I'm more than happy with herr Oberleutnant. I will release Oberflugmeister Reimann from his current duties when I see fit" responded Wald. "Therein lies the difference between us herr Leutnant and maybe the difference between you and Oberflugmeister Reimann too by chance?" responded Saschenberg, finishing his drink and rising from his chair. Wald looked a little miffed, "Did Oberflugmeister Reimann initiate this approach?" asked Leutnant Wald. "Not at all, this visit is purely off the record Oswald. I'm simply stating what we both know to be true. Reimann has excellent potential and can best fulfill this, to the betterment of himself and the fatherland with us at MFJI." finished Saschenberg. The Oberleutnant saluted and Wald responded. "Auf weidersehn, herr Leutnant" said Saschenburg, who duly left. The following day Edward was on a reconnaissance down towards the Bailleul lines again. All seemed well until Hasse spotted flak bursts and three winged shapes closing in with the sun at their backs. "Enemy schwein! Behind and closing" shouted Hasse, as he cocked his weapon. Edward bided his time and left it to the last moment to throw his aircraft to the left. The ploy worked and a Triplane zoomed past the DFW. Edward pulled every move to keep the enemy at bay, until purely by chance, the Triplane appeared directly in front of Edward, albeit momentarily. Edward fired a quick burst into his assailant who now made a dart for his own lines. Edward, with no hope of following, turned for home and landed safely some time later.
  8. Raine - So Bell-Gordon and chums are following Belgian royalty around? At least it ended with a sumptuous meal, 'Moules et Frites' followed by a tasty 'biere', the staple food of Belgium. A professional job on that Roland. They are not easy, even when flown passively, one false move and you get a mouthfull of lead. It seems like your man has a plan to uncover Huntington. Looking forward to seeing what happens next.
  9. Obflugm Edward Reimann MFFA II Nieuwmunster 3 confirmed victories (3 unconfirmed) 10th February to 19th February 1917 The wretched weather had put paid to any flying for two days now. There was little to do but write or play 'skat' although that carried danger as Ebersbach was a patent expert at the game. In fact if it wasn't for Leutnant Wald's strict rules on the amounts being gambled, Ebersbach would be a rich man. During these couple of days, the unit received another pilot, bringing the total to 6 pilots and 6 beobachters. Flugmaat Lothar Dreis was from Bielefeld. He was somewhat older than the the others at 31 and had been working in a naval training school near Kiel for some time before applying for flight training. He was made welcome and was to bunk up with the other lower ranked NCO's, Flugmaat Kehr and Flugmeister Werner Buhr. Buhr, a former boxer from Friesenried, was a likable if simple fellow. He had already gotten used to Flugmaat Kehr's peculiar sleeping. Kehr had a habit of talking in his sleep, rather unintelligible stuff, but as Buhr rather bluntly put it, he was clearly "having a go at somebody". All went well on the evening of the 11th, possibly because Dreis had fallen asleep instantly and deeply due to his tiresome journey. On the 12th however, Dreis was woken by Kehr's nocturnal noises. Whereas Behr would simply roll away and go back asleep, Dreis bellowed loudly, "For heavens sake fellow! Be quiet!". At this, Kehr, although clearly still asleep had got up out of bed and come over to Dreis. He grabbed the shocked Dreis by the shoulders and shook him, almost imploringly. "I can't do it! I can't do it I tell you! It wasn't me!" yelled Kehr as he shook the shoulders of the petrified Dreis. Buhr got up and pulled the now sobbing Kehr away. The commotion had brought, Wald and Edward into the room. Ebersbach being on a 4 day pass. Kehr, who presumably had now woken, was sat on his bed with his head in his hands. Leutnant Wald, looking slightly absurd in his longjohns but with his cap perched on his head, looked at Kehr. He now approached Dreis. "Are you okay now Flugmaat Dreis?" Wald enquired. "Alright! How can I be alright!" said Dreis rather loudly. "I was attacked by that man!" He exclaimed, pointing past Wald towards Kehr. Buhr now interjected "He didn't attack you, don't talk rubbish" he said, again in that blunt manner. "He clearly had a nightmare and your shouting at him drew him towards you!" Buhr continued. A now rather heated argument began between Buhr and the clearly affronted Dreis. Wald, tired and wanting to end this spectacle, brought both of them to silence. He looked at Buhr, "Flugmeister, return to your bed straight away!" said Wald firmly. Wald now stopped momentarily as if in deep thought. Finally he turned to Dreis. "Flugmaat Dreis, will you now return to your bed as well, danke" said Wald, hoping that would be the end of it. "But herr Leutnant, I cannot possibly stay in the same room as this....this... Verrückte!!" exclaimed Dreis. Wald, visibly annoyed, had been hoping to avoid prolonging this any further. He sighed and looked over towards Kehr, now being consoled by Edward. He had but one option left, "Oberflugmeister Reimann, will you please escort Flugmaat Kehr to the lockup please and have a guard posted". said the Leutnant. For a split second, Edward thought of speaking out against this but caught Leutnant Wald's imploring gaze. He picked Kehr up carefully and grabbed his blanket "come on meine freund". Kehr put up no resistance as Edward led him out of the room and over to the tiny lockup at the end of the corridor. The next morning, Edward spoke with Leutnant Wald over breakfast. "What will happen to Kehr now"? Edward asked. "That rather depends on Flugmaat Dreis, Edward. If he decides to make an official complaint....Well I can hardly ignore it." Wald replied. "Let me speak with Kehr please herr Leutnant. There is clearly something troubling him, something constantly toying on his mind and each night it emerges when he's asleep." said Edward. Wald smiled, "I had no idea you practiced psychology Edward, but yes, feel free." He replied. Edward sat with Kehr in the tiny lockup, he could see the straw mattress had not been used. Kehr looked exhausted and forlorn. "Tell me what's troubling you" Edward asked. After much refusals and counters from Kehr. There was a moment when Kehr looked like he was about to blow again but finally, he drew breath deeply and spoke. "Back at the end of '15 I was with my unit on the eastern front. I can't remember the name of the village we were near. I could never pronounce those Ukrainian place names" Kehr smiled thinly as he began. Edward listened intently as Kehr described what happened next. Kehr's unit had been ordered to round up the villagers, roughly 100 old men, women and children. They were ordered to take them into the rear whilst the village was fortressed up as a strongpoint. Kehr continued and told of how, after marching them roughly 2 miles, they were ordered to stop. The Hauptman in charge of Kehr's unit then ordered the villagers to be lined up as if for an inspection. The Hauptman then ordered two platoons, including Kehr's, to form up in front of the villagers. Kehr's platoon leader, now realising what was about to happen, challenged the Hauptman. The Hauptman destroyed the Leutnant with a tyrannical tirade of abuse and threats. Two of the villagers, a man of about 50 and a young girl, maybe 15, also now realised what was about to happen and tried to run. The Hauptman raised his pistol and shot both of them dead as they ran. Kehr described the inevitable rest to Edward who had sat in silence throughout. "You see Edward! I hate myself, I hide it under silly jokes and overbearing ways but it's there.....constantly." finished Kehr. Edward, shocked but now at least informed, was able to explain this to Leutnant Wald. Kehr was removed from duties and a report sent advising immediate referral to a medical unit. On the 13th, the flying resumed. Edward was on his way to the lines to the south of Nieuwpoort again to ascertain enemy positions. All went well until Edward was about to turn and head for home. Bullets tore into the wings of the DFW and Edward instinctively rolled into the direction of the attack. A Nieuport, with British markings zoomed past. Edward, threw the cumbersome two seater around for all it was worth. He could hear the rattle of the enemy's Lewis gun from time to time but the pilot was either a poor shot or Edward's maneuvers were working. Momentarily Hasse was able to get a burst at the enemy aircraft. The englischer now made a fatal error. He tried to run. Edward now rolled around behind the fleeing Nieuport and blasted him. Clearly the enemy pilot did not know about the DFW's armament. Another burst and Hasse watched the enemy roll over into the ground about a kilometre from the German front lines. After a delay of roughly 24 hours, Edward's victory was confirmed thanks to a report from the sector commander. He now had four confirmed victories. After more missions, including Edward (and Hasse's) first use of a wireless system and more days missed thanks to the weather, Edward scored his fifth victory. On a trip towards Ypres, Edward and Wald spotted a fornation of enemy Caudrons. Edward instinctively went after them. He targeted the leader and came up beneath as Hasse kept the others at bay from the rear. He blasted the french machine and another burst had the right engine in flames. Edward continued after the now stricken Caudron and a final burst had both the gunner and pilot slumped and the enemy aircraft heading straight down into the ground. Wald confirmed this one himself and a raucous evening was had, celebrating Edward's fifth victory.
  10. Epower - I saw the reference to West Point, an American of Irish descent....a Bostonian then perhaps. Time will tell I'm sure. So Felix felt need to cleanse his soul. Its a skillful priest who can use his own opaque history to help others to whom it is very much clear and troubling. But then....troubles? what troubles? When there is a delightful mademoiselle to flirt with. Looking forward to the next chapter......
  11. Epower- A warm welcome to Felix, he's clearly had enough life already to fill a book and enough battles to fill another. Vimy Ridge being a prime example. An interesting account of a bloody affair. An Irishman eh, I wonder what we shall learn about his past and his reasons for joining the legion. I'm looking forward to it. As for Edward....he's enjoying the challenge of being combative in his cumbersome two seater but he knows he's running a risk. He does want to fly scouts of course, but hopefully will be around long enough to find out about Kehr.
  12. Raine - Douglas seems to have become something of a flak magnet, he could do with losing that ability. When the weather finally relents from winter to spring there'll be enough for him to worry about I think. Huntington seems one of those who has the unfathomable ability to get on everyone's nerves without really trying. As for Edward, when he's been able to fly it's been fun...certainly. The DFW is a strange bird, it doesn't look structurally tough whereas the Roland does, but it clearly is. It takes a beating and can dive like a SPAD (almost). The main gripe is the lack of forward view, having to lean around the 'upturned bathtub' in front of you.
  13. Obflugm Edward Reimann MFFA II Nieuwmunster 2 confirmed victories 3rd February to 9th February 1917 The weather thankfully eased for a few days and Edward, together with his faithful beobachter Hasse, were kept busy. This was a good thing, as Edward had had some trouble putting the near miss in his previous mission out of his mind. Hasse, who had a habit of dwelling on the morbidity of war, had spent the previous evening getting very intoxicated. Leutnant Wald, who was normally strict with the alcohol intake of his pilots and observers, allowed it on this occasion as he could clearly see how it had affected Hasse. Edward, made of sterner stuff, enjoyed a drink but left it there. Ebersbach had commented that it was all another sure sign of Leutnant Wald's 'softening' since the birth of his child. Edward simply thought it was the sign of a good and empathetic C.O. The sorties over the next few days varied, from bombing raids on the front lines to note taking and photographic reconnaissance of various points along the front from Nieuwpoort to Ypres. On the 5th, Edward was flying towards Menen when he spotted flak bursts over the German side and then spotted a trio of enemy two-seaters crossing his path. For a split second there was hesitancy. Edward searched the sky several times. Then he came to his senses, reproaching himself as he turned to head after the now departing BE2's. He quickly closed the gap and picked a target as the trio of enemy aircraft split up. He went after the leftmost aircraft and blasted the enemy with several good bursts. The BE tried to evade but Edward swung around with him and continued firing into the cockpit. Finally he saw the pilot slump forward and the BE nosed down. It continued down into the ground. As Edward took stock he noticed he had crossed the lines a little and hastily crossed back and returned to his planned mission. Although the claim was inevitably denied (Edward and Hasse were alone and the enemy had fallen over the lines), Leutnant Wald congratulated the pair. The 6th and 7th were washed-out by the weather but on the 9th, Edward was again heading to the Ypres salient. He spotted a lone aircraft ahead. Edward checked his gaze, it couldn't be! Could it? It was! It was a single enemy BE2, well over German lines. Edward couldn't believe his luck, but something bothered him....where was the flak? He scoured the skies but saw nothing, although heavy clouds made it difficult to be thorough. He decided to press home his attack on the enemy aircraft. He came around behind the BE, who had now realised his predicament and tried to run away. Edward fired long and hard into the enemy and another burst was accurate and went straight into the cockpit and slayed the pilot. The BE2 went into a death dive which only ended when it smashed into the ground near Menen. At that moment, Edward saw more aircraft coming out of a nearby cloud. It was a kette of Albatros scouts and Edward breathed a sigh of relief and realised why there had been no flak. The lead Albatros waggled his wings and the pilot waved towards Edward. The trio of Albatros took up position above and behind Edward and escorted him on the rest of his mission. As he landed at Nieuwmunster, Edward rolled up behind the now stationary Albatrix. Climbing down he made his way towards the friendly scouts. The Albatrix pilots met Edward half-way. The leader introduced himself, Oberleutnant Gotthard Sachsenberg. Saschenberg was the newly oppointed C.O. of Marine Feld Jasta I. He congratulated Edward on his victory over the BE2 which he was happy to confirm. He explained his kette had been stalking the enemy aircraft but had lost him in the clouds. Leutnant Wald came over and joined the conversation, he had clearly met Saschenberg before. When Saschenberg explained what had occurred and Leutnant Wald confirmed that Edward now had 3 confirmed victories, he (half) jokingly invited Edward to join him at MFJI. Edward, blushing brightly, thanked the Oberleutnant. Leutnant Wald interjected that Edward was very much needed at MFFA II for the foreseeable. The MFJ pilots stayed long enough to enjoy an evening in the kasino together with Edward, Wald et al.
  14. Obflugm Edward Reimann MLFA II Nieuwmunster 2 confirmed victories 29th January to 2nd February 1917 Edward was sitting in the kasino with several others when Leutnant Wald came in, he had another marineflieger with him. "Meine herren, may I introduce Flugmaat Daniel Kehr". There were muttered welcomes from those gathered. "Flugmaat Kehr is our newest pilot. Please make him feel welcome!" finished Leutnant Wald who turned and left. Edward and Ebersbach made their way over to Kehr. "I am Obflugm Ebersbach and this fine fellow is 'King!'" said Ebersbach. Edward rolled his eyes whilst Kehr simply looked nonplussed. "I'm Obflugm Edward Reimann. Pleased to meet you" explained Edward. "Where are you from?" He enquired. "I hail from Bisingen on the northern edge of the Swabian Jura." confirmed Kehr. The three talked for some time, Flugmaat Kehr was 23 and had originally been conscripted into the 214th Baden Reserve Regiment in 1914 but had applied for a transfer to the kreigsmarine in early 1915. His father had served in the navy and Daniel was accepted and served on several vessels until training as a pilot late in 1916. Although he seemed pleasant and talkative enough, Edward had the impression Kehr was hiding something, covering for some deepset trauma with his chatty and overfriendly nature. Edward let it go for now, there would be time a-plenty to delve deeper. The weather had been bad for days now. Heavy rain had become clear and freezing nights so that the airfield was completely icebound. It was that cold, the mechanics had lit fires underneath the aircraft to prevent the engines and especially the pipes from freezing solid. By the afternoon of the 29th, it had thawed enough for talk of a flight later that day. At that point however a shout went out that incoming aircraft had been spotted. Edward, Ebersbach and Kehr made their way out where several others had already gathered. Edward saw the growing shapes indicating the incoming aircraft. He counted four fairly large aircraft and as there was no siren or flak he assumed they were German. As the aircraft got nearer Leutnant Wald announced "these are our new kites meine herren!". "DFW's! The latest versions, straight out of the factory." Wald continued. "What's happening to our Rolands herr Leutnant?" asked Edward. "We will be keeping three of them" confirmed Wald as the first of the DFW two-seaters landed. The MLFA pilots spent the rest of the day examining their new mounts. Leutnant Wald announced that tomorrow would involve a series of familiarisation flights. Edward spent several hours over the next two days in his new aircraft. He found it a little slower than the Roland but a much better climber and far more manoeuvrable. It could also dive like a hawk and had a forward firing machine gun just like the Roland. On 1st February Edward was sent to photograph the lines south of Nieuwpoort. The photography went well enough but just as he was about to turn for home, a sixth sense made him look up over to his left. As he did he saw an enemy Triplane speeding down, just about to commence his attack. Edward banked steeply towards his attacker but felt the machine shudder as bullets ripped through the wings and fuselage. He pulled a tight turn and Hasse's machine gun barked a response as the Triplane tried to get on their tail. Edward pulled every move but bullets continued to strike the DFW. Finally, a telling burst from Hasse finally made the Triplane cut off and run for home. Edward needed to trim the aircraft all the way home but they landed safely. They had been lucky....VERY lucky and Edward knew it.
  15. End of month stats Obflugm Edward Reimann MLFA II 8 missions - 14 hours 2 confirmed victories 3 unconfirmed

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