Delaying Axis Flights

Todays mission was to try to help close the Axis airfield. Boot, Phoenix and Stickz took PE2s while Talisman & I escorted them in Yak-7bs.

We opted for a loose formation either side of the bombers and as the target came in view Talisman went ahead while I stayed with the bombers just under cloud height.

As the bombers started their shallow dive, I could see Talisman diving in behind a 109 just over the river. However I could see another 109 diving towards Talisman (luckily being pulled away from above the field) and another was above him so as there was nobody near the bombers I went to help.

Talisman quickly dispatched his victim but was about to be shot at.

I warned Talisman then took a shot as I passed and removed the 109s rudder and watched him dive away but I was unable to finish him as the third 109 was also now diving after Talisman.

I dived after him and peppered him which was enough to make him break off and run.

I followed and put a hole in his wing and he dove West with me following close but then Talisman called to say he had disengaged and was running for home so I broke off and turned East.

Meanwhile the bombers had hit the field hard without being seen by the defenders and were running home at treetops,

After a minute I saw two aircraft ahead and Talisman confirmed he was being chased. I was higher than them both so put down my noise to help him again but then the pursuing aircraft broke off and turned West. As he passed below I saw it was the one without a rudder that I assumed had gone home already!

We joined up for the short trip home with the bombers just ahead and with the mission minutes away from ending we quickly put down together.


I didn't sign up for this!

Today my poor spitfire suffered the indignity of being made to carry a bomb!

A bridge only a few miles from the airfield needed bombing to hold up the German tanks and give us time to withdraw relocate to a new airfield and there were no bombers available to do it at short notice so I was given a big bomb and sent to do it.

As advised, I approached at 1000ft and tipped in when nearly over the target but I was a bit premature so re-levelled for a second and pull up to 10k again to get the steepest angle I could. I had been promised I would not reach VNE and could pull out safely as long as I dropped at 6000ft.

The angle was maybe more than the 60 degrees I was told to use but the steeper the angle the lower the chance of missing right?

I tried to drop by 6000ft but it took another second or two more to get the aim right and I actually dropped at 4000ft....

... but it still gave me plenty of time to pull out safely and I only reached about 420mph which was fine. Luckily the drop went well and nobody else will have to do it.

[OOC Note: Actually an offline test to find the best technique for dropping bombs from a Spitfire but this is the easiest place to post photos for the squad to see]

A second wave of incoming raiders

Later that afternoon we had a seconds scramble as another formation of JU87s was spotted heading our way. We were given just enough time to get most of the way to their altitude before they arrived and luckily it turned out our airfield was not the target so we gave chase.

I soon caught up with a trailing pair and gave a burst of 12.7mm at 450m and managed to get one of them leaking and dropping back where I was able to get in close and do further damage before butting a 37mm shell into his fuselage and kill the pilot.

I had to turn aside to avoid hitting my victim so dropped behind the remaining three but as they are so slow I soon caught up and opened fire on my next victim and again managed some good engine damage and silenced the gunner.

They all scattered but I stayed with him putting more Mg & cannon fire into him before watching the pilot bail out. The gunner was obviously dead or badly wounded.

As he had dived the same way as one of his colleagues I was able to quickly switch to the next victim and put several bursts into him as he tried to dive away then when he was close and steady my 37mm took his wing off.

Unfortunately, as I had been damaged by debris just a little earlier, I chopped the throttle to avoid the tumbling wing and broke my driveshaft, damn these Western engines! Luckily the fight had taken place right over our sister field so I had plenty of altitude and energy to get there safely and did not make the mistake again of trying to get back to home base.

I had a little scare on approach as I could not seem to get rid of enough energy to land even with sideslipping then I realised that in my panic I had forgotten to lower the wheels and with a dead engine there had been no warning horn. I was able to get the gear down just in time and the emergency landing turned into a textbook landing on the numbers.

Three bomber kills gave me a nice bonus and I was able to give my poor ground crew a bottle of good vodka each to say sorry for making them spend most of the night replacing my broken drive shaft then send most of the rest home to my dear Zuzanka.


Stopping the raiders but paying a price

Today started with a scramble to intercept some incoming raiders.

I quickly climbed after the lumbering Ju87s and was soon in gun range of a trailing pair.

I put a couple of good cannon hits into one of them and he looked in a bad way and had dropped his bomb so I moved to the second stuka and gave him the same and watched both enter death dives.

Racing after the leading group I picked one out and hit him hard with the 12.7 rounds then got closer and put some cannon shells into him and off came his rudder.

Unfortunately the rudder went right into my propellor and wrecked it.

I saw the Ju87 lose control and start tumbling as I turned back but I stupidly thought I could get all the way back to base and did not go straight to the nearer satellite base. By the time I realised I was not going to make it, it was just too late and was barely able to make land by swooping down and pulling up to stall onto the cliff top.

Disrupting Train Services

Todays task was to destroy the barracks and the train station.   I still don't have a Spitfire IX and the Spitfire V will not take bombs so Cina and I took the opportunity to test out the GA ability of the P39.  The rest of the squadron took Spit IXs with bombs.

At the target Cina dived on the barracks and scored a good hit that devastated the whole compound so I decided to keep my bomb for the station.

A couple more of the Spits dropped their bombs on the barracks then Phoenix did an assessment of the station and made his attack.

The bomb drop was good and Phoenix took out the platform, railway line, a stack of supplies and the main building.

I flew a low pass to check what else needed hitting then made my own attack.

A final pass showed I had added the water tower and a couple of buildings but we had left a pile of crates that were hidden under the trees plus a couple more buildings.

All returned to base safely and landed neatly apart from Klem who let his youthful high spirits get the better of him and was docked a weeks pay for rolling his wheels along the hangar roof on finals.

Don't do this!

Mission over. Time to take a short break and some tea & cigarettes before the next mission.


Clearing The Traffic Jam

Early this morning we received word that an armoured convoy was on its way to  Akhtanizovskaya which would likely allow the Germans to retake the bridge and break through to Golubitskaya.  We were told to make sure they never arrived.

Unfortunately all our bombers were en-route to another target so I was sent in an A20 recently loaned to us by Britain and still in its Maritime Patrol colours that we had not had time to re-paint.

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Defending The Airbase

We had a spate of small raids on the nearby tank base this morning so I was sent up to see if I could catch one and teach them a lesson.   

I had barely been up a few minutes when Volcano called me up to say that fighter bombers had been spotted coming towards the airfield from the North and for me to come back urgently!   I did a quick 180 and thirty seconds later spotted our AA targeting a Bf110 that had dropped it's bombs and was escaping undamaged.

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Defending Velikie Luki

Today I was patrolling Velikie Luki alone.  There had been several attacks earlier by lone bombers and there were fires burning in the city.  A couple of fighters from another squadron were also patrolling and I was supposed to be  off duty but they needed help and the rest of the squadron was off on a mission so I was sent up in the only Yak we had,  one that had been repainted to be sent to Britain for evaluation.

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30th January - Catching the train

Todays mission was to find a locomotive.  Intelligence had information that a new engine was on the way to replace one destroyed earlier this week.   If it gets to its destination it will pick up three AAA carriages before continuing on its way very well defended so our aim was to find it fast.  Red flight comprised myself and Sticks with Cina leading, Blue was Phoenix and Talisman and Green was Boot and Klem

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