AKA Wardogs

IL-2 Sturmovik 1946 => IL-2 Sturmovik 1946 => Topic started by: AKA_Relent on February 10, 2018, 08:37:54 pm

Title: Okinawa 45 campaign, progress
Post by: AKA_Relent on February 10, 2018, 08:37:54 pm
Just a quick update - I worked a few hours on the campaign today, and was able to finish the template mission with all of the objects placed for:
- road routes
- sea routes
- airfields (there will be a few static airstrips, where you spawn on one end like a carrier)

Attached a pic showing most of the sea network, plus the road network, just to give you an idea of how they are set up and why the ships and vehicles go where they go during the campaign :).

Next I will need to copy all of the relevant info from this template mission file and put it in all of the required campaign files.

S! Rel

Title: Re: Okinawa 45 campaign, progress
Post by: AKA_Relent on February 11, 2018, 07:08:39 pm
Worked on the campaign a couple more hours today.  Was able to set up 11 of 14 campaign files, so I just need to finish up those last three, including setting up the tank/vehicle columns and aircraft.  Here's another screen shot of the map showing where the airfields (circled) will be.

S! Rel
Title: Re: Okinawa 45 campaign, progress
Post by: AKA_Goshawk on February 13, 2018, 09:54:50 am
Thanks for posting these. I'll work at getting the maps sent out once completed with them.

Gos
Title: Re: Okinawa 45 campaign, progress
Post by: AKA_Relent on February 16, 2018, 08:26:03 am
I worked on the aircraft file, about halfway through setting it up.  I have to figure out the plane counts etc once that’s done, then can hopefully wrap up the campaign set up.  I also need to update the website so it displays the map etc.  then I can try to generate missions and test to make sure all the various objects - including planes - are spawning correctly.  Then we can test.

S! Rel
Title: Re: Okinawa 45 campaign, progress
Post by: AKA_Goshawk on February 16, 2018, 10:41:47 am
Sounds great, Rel. Thanks for all the efforts.
I've sent maps out for all to use and they should use your images to show the roads and airfields we all use.
Can't wait to have a mission to load onto the server for practice, as I'm using a Solomons mission at the present.

Gos
Title: Re: Okinawa 45 campaign, progress
Post by: AKA_Relent on February 17, 2018, 12:42:42 pm
I'm pretty much done with the campaign set up.  Mainly just need to test...  I've got the map up on the web site, although I need to put a new banner up :):  http://aka-server.no-ip.org

I'll post the plane set/counts soon so you'll see what you're flying/up against.

S! Rel
Title: Re: Okinawa 45 campaign, progress
Post by: AKA_Relent on February 17, 2018, 02:56:31 pm
I see that some of the airfields' fuel/supply amounts don't look right, meaning their placement needs to be adjusted. I need to fix that before I can regenerate a bunch of missions and get things set for the first mission.

I need to take a break as I've been working on this the past few hours.  I'll see what I can do by tomorrow.

S! Rel
Title: Re: Okinawa 45 campaign, progress
Post by: AKA_Ramstein on February 17, 2018, 10:25:04 pm
sorry, i haven't bene practicing the il-2 1946 campaign map.. i remember it from a long while back. just resting and doing a little bit of each sim,, but..... looking good1
Title: Re: Okinawa 45 campaign, progress
Post by: AKA_Relent on February 18, 2018, 04:57:43 pm
I think I'm done, pending any issues that need fixing.  I put up a practice Okinawa 45 mission, so feel free to bang away at it.

S! Rel
Title: Re: Okinawa 45 campaign, progress
Post by: AKA_Goshawk on February 18, 2018, 08:45:44 pm
Tried to fly at about 8:30 PM and could not select an airfield. I'll try again in a bit.
Thanks, Rel.
Title: Re: Okinawa 45 campaign, progress
Post by: AKA_Relent on February 19, 2018, 12:22:13 am
Tried to fly at about 8:30 PM and could not select an airfield. I'll try again in a bit.
Thanks, Rel.

Rgr - I sent you an email, that was me trying a setting, didn’t work.  I put it back the way it was so it should be OK, spawn wise.
Title: Re: Okinawa 45 campaign, progress
Post by: AKA_Ramstein on February 19, 2018, 05:39:46 am
i flew both sides, no problems
Title: Re: Okinawa 45 campaign, progress
Post by: AKA_Goshawk on February 19, 2018, 06:56:04 am
As we are preparing to begin hostile actions in the Pacific theater, I thought it fitting to post a blast from the past to get us in the mood. Greywolf and I met back in the 90's when I was a member of the Pacific Air War Challenge Ladder (run by Vertigo) and he was on the Fighter Duel challenge ladder (run by Duke). I was fortunate enough to work my way to the top seat of the ladder in my challenge with Duke, but was promptly challenged by Greywolf who rightfully deserved the comfy chair at the top of the ladder. Below are the after-action reports and challenge in which Greywolf and I flew with / against each other. I hope you enjoy the read. I had to split it into two after-action reports due to size restrictions in the forum. This first post is regarding my challenge against Duke for the top seat on the ladder.

To: ComPacFD
From: Lt. Goshawk
Subj.: Gos lucks out (vs Duke)

Date: Sept. 23, Monday


"What the hell is that?", Greywolf had asked, shading his eyes against the bright afternoon sun.
"Yeah, what the hell,” started Big Country. He was suddenly cut off in mid-sentence by two large midshipmen, who grabbed him by his arms and picked him up.

These men had been assigned to assist "Big Country" in learning the correct manners of cautious restraint.

"I didn't mean it, guys", he had cried. "I swear I didn't mean it, guys!", he professed as he was dragged across the deck to the starboard side of the ship.

"COME ON GUYS, I DIDN'T MEAN IT. I PROMISE I'LL BE GOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooo", he had screamed as he was flung overboard.

[SPLASH]

The two burly midshipmen had snapped to attention, made a crisp about-face, and marched back to their assigned post astride the stairway leading up from the afterdeck. This was their assigned post, where they would await Big
Country's retrieval from the waters at the stern of the ship.

Greywolf felt relieved that he could finally communicate with other officers and crew on the ship without the resident "echo" from Big Country.

"I hope there's no one up in this weather!” he thought aloud in regard a sudden blast of wind.

"Just Commander Duke, sir!", responded a boson-mate. "He left about an hour ago, but we lost contact with him a while back. He was going to go through some maneuvers with that Goshawk fellow, before Goshawk returned to Coconut Island.

Greywolf had seen many storms at sea before, and thought that the clouds brewing in the western sky appeared nastier than most. His hat was suddenly blown from his head, and the front of his uniform was suddenly and mysteriously drenched by a sudden wall of rain, which drove down upon the men in a maelstrom. The wind pushed against the men with enough force to cause them to step backwards, almost at a run.

The storm had come up very suddenly, and without warning. It had started, the crew supposed, far out to the west, increasing in intensity until it had reached hurricane force, finding its way to the unsuspecting carrier far out to sea. The first hint of the trouble was a series of vapor trails far off in the distant sky. The crew had stood on the port side of the ship for what seemed to be hours, watching the slivers of smoke streak through the western sky. These slivers had grown in length and number, until it resembled a bowlful of spaghetti noodles at 15,000 feet.

"EVERYBODY GET INSIDE!!", screamed the Exec. "DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE AIRCRAFT. MOVE! NOW!!", he snapped orders at the crewmen who were trying to make their way to the Ready-Five craft. The officers and men took shelter inside the safety of the bridge tower. The door slammed behind them as if by some unknown power, trapping them within the chambers of the ship. The water-tight door hatch screws turned on the doors, without aid of the crewmen. The men believed that some sinister force had imprisoned them within the bowels of the ship. None were able to witness the events which were then unfolding in the western sky, except for Big Country, who was still treading water behind the ship. (He was grateful for the ropes and survival rings that were adrift in the wake of the Jim Beam, placed there by him after his third bout with being knocked overboard by Greywolf. (Accidentally, he was sure.)

Big Country watched as streams of vapor continued to build to a large cloudbank. He occasionally noticed as planes fell from the cloud. Over a period of many minutes, he saw three, no four aircraft, (Spits, he thought) fall from the melee, to the waiting sea below. It was clear to Big Country that the epicenter of this storm was centered in the middle of the vicious dogfight taking place in the once-clear sky.

Far to the west, Goshawk and Duke were "duking" it out at 15,000 feet. In the first round, Duke's plane exploded from the fury of 71 cannon hits. The plane erupted into a ball of fire, and fell to the waters below.

In a second round of action, Goshawk was able to penetrate the veteran Ace's plane with 36 rounds of cannon; however the remarkable aim of the "Top-Guy" made the bigger mark. Goshawk's plane crashed from the structural damage caused by only 5 (count 'em) 1-2-3-4-5 bullets from Duke's guns!

In the next round, Goshawk gained a position of advantage and as Duke turned to bring his guns to bear, Goshawk sprayed and prayed his way to 146 hits on the craft old veteran. Duke's plane again exploded.

The last pass found Duke in a high turn, with speed reduced on his plane. Goshawk sent countless rounds in Duke's direction, and as Goshawk passed overhead of Duke's craft, he heard it explode beneath him.

Goshawk looked back at the carnage below. He felt saddened at the loss of the brave Commander, yet blessed with the luck that followed him into the match.

"Hey, Grizzly", he mumbled aloud. "I beat ya to the top!” he smiled.

He turned forward again, and pushed forward on the throttle. "I better go check on Snapshot", he thought; as he flew off to the island just starting to come into view ahead.

Duke's last view of Goshawk was that of a silhouette of the Spit. Mk XIV as it flew into the bright orange globe of the suddenly visible sun.

Thanks for the great fight, Duke. You're a true champ and a gracious opponent. I'll only keep this "Big Comfy Chair" warm for a short while, 'cause I know you'll be back!

The waves started to recede, the doors swung open, and the winds finally started to calm. The deck of the Jim Beam was awash with debris from parts of the planes that were caught on deck as the storm struck. The deck crew ventured cautiously out from the tower, each glancing around as he stepped gingerly onto the deck. They moved as if in slow motion, heading toward the jumbled pile of torn wings, bent wheel struts, shattered glass, and
loose ordinance which once composed the proud "Ready Five" aircraft of the carrier. Gear, rudder, and assorted other body panels littered the run-up and launch areas. A Mae-West was spotted cart-wheeling across the deck, and over the side, down to the churning waters below.

The storm passed. Big Country finally made his way back onto the ship. He held out his arms to the waiting midshipmen. They escorted him back to the side of the Exec, Greywolf.

"Let's get busy cleaning up this mess, men!” Greywolf commanded.

"Aye Aye, sir!” responded Big Country.

Greywolf watched as the young pilot walked off toward the pile of debris and quietly began the duty of patching up the damage incurred by the storm.

"I ain't felt this bummed out since we got PAW'd by that KoKo gal", he thought. "I hope we didn't just get PAW'd again!” he cringed as he cast his eyes in the direction of where Duke's plane should have come into view... and he waited!
 
Title: Re: Okinawa 45 campaign, progress
Post by: AKA_Goshawk on February 19, 2018, 07:00:30 am
Greywolf issued a prompt challenge to win the comfy chair back. This is the challenge and after-action report from our battle. I hope it gets us in the mood for the upcoming campaign.

To: Lt. Goshawk
From: Lt.Cmdr. Greywolf
Subj.: Challenge

Date: Sept. 26, Thursday

Gos,
I don't know how you did it...... but I want to congratulate you on getting to where you are right now, which happens to be in my sights.

Heh heh heh, been waiting for this for a while. You bring that Spit of yours since I have been practicing against it a lot with my "Cat". Make sure you bring your little yellow raft and yourself. I intend to make you use both!
SIR, YOU ARE CHALLENGED!!!!!!!
 
To: Lt.Cmdr. Greywolf
From: Lt. Goshawk
Subj.: Your challenge

Date: 27 Sept., Friday

Yes, Greywolf, it has been a while since we had the pleasure of each other's company at opposite ends of the barrels. Too long! I graciously accept the challenge, AND I wish to make a point here.
We spoke some time back about you flying PAW, and joining the PAW ladder. You were unsure about that, since you did not have the experience with Pacific Air War, and did not want to be mere flotsam for the other pilots to feed upon.
I was willing to join your challenge ladder, knowing full well that I was going to get spanked. I got spanked!! It's time now for you to follow suit, and get aboard the PAW ladder. Are you willing to put yourself in a position of getting defeated in PAW? So, tell you what. We shall fly, and if I beat you, you sign up on PAW. If you win, you don't have to worry about getting spanked on that ladder. Join up, so the pleasure can go both ways. :-)

See you in the air.
 
To: Lt. Goshawk
From: Lt.Cmdr. Greywolf
Subj.: My challenge, your response

Date: Sept. 29, Sunday

Ohhhhhh No you don't....... you low down bird of prey! You have a date with a Wolf!!

Now it's official!!! You are hereby challenged. Name the date of your demise you fowl bird!!! I intend to remove you from your lofty perch, and put a true FD'er into that comfy chair.
For some reason, I now have an appetite for some Goshawk. I only hope I don't choke on all those feathers. <ggggg>
 
To: ComPacFD
From: Lt. Goshawk
Subj.: Request for flight time in Zero for challenge with Greywolf

Date: Sept. 28, 0625 hours

Sir, when are you going to make the AM5-8 Zero available for flying? I have had adequate practice in all of the other models, save this one. I would like to be able to humble the old-timer, "Graywharf", and want to beat him
up with the Zero against his Hellcat. I would like to have bragging rights well into the 21st Century. Please provide clearance for this plane.
Heh-heh-heh
 
To: ComPacFD
From: Lt. Goshawk
Subj.: Greywolf Goosed!!

Date: October 5, Saturday, 1302 hours

"Well, chief, whaddya think?” asked Goshawk as they looked at the tarp covering the two birds of prey.
"I think she's ready and able, sir.” he replied.
"Then let’s have a look at her!", stated the pilot, and he grabbed a corner of the tarp.

Both khaki-clad warriors pulled at the camouflage tarp, exposing the airplanes beneath it. The Japanese "Tony" and the British Spitfire sat near the rear of the hangar, the skins of both planes immediately absorbing the heat of the afternoon sun. The Spitfire showed the results of the chief's night-long labor.

Underneath its sleek belly, nestled between the landing gear door panels, was a newly designed bomb rack. The robin-egg paint was still drying and the smell of dope lingered in the air. The Spit's tires appeared somewhat low on air due to the weight of the 2000 pound bomb slung on the new rack beneath the plane.

"Damn, that's a big bastard!!” commented the pilot. "You sure this thing will work?"

"You'll have only one shot at it, if I figure right", responded the mechanical, if not numerical, genius that Goshawk owed his life to. "It better work!"

Goshawk made the pre-flight checks of the plane and thought of all the guys who had made this mission possible; Grizzly, for his support and planting the seeds of hope for this mission; Snapshot for his rigidity and lack of response; Vapors for his constant pushing; and, Reno for helping to set up the Zero diversion on Greywolf.

With the pre-flight finished, Goshawk manned the plane, powered up the Griffon, signaled his chief to clear the chocks, and taxied to the runway. As the green and brown warbird throttled up, heads began poking out of their huts to see what manner of airplane was creating this new exhaust note. Many had never heard the throaty popping, and rapid throttle response of a European theater design.

Even KoKo, ordinarily apathetic to the airplanes, reached to open the flap of her hut and glanced to see what breed of fighter pilot had been sent to her by the "Gods of Fertility". Her interest was short-lived, however, as Deep6, newly challenged against another opponent, pulled her back into the hut.

"Oooooooh, you new boys are soooo much fun for KoKo", she squealed. "But, choo got to win me first, you horny "half-foot". Wanna nuther drink, fly-boy?"

KoKo did not see Goshawk look her way as he sped past. "This one's for you, sweetie, for coming back to us!” he spoke through the closed canopy of the Spitfire. Those "Beamie" peelots won't ever try to steal you from us again!"

Goshawk pushed the throttle to the stop, and felt the tail of the plane immediately lift off the tarmac. He glanced with apprehension as the ground speed climbed slowly higher. He wondered if the weight of the bomb underneath the fuselage would be too much for even this powerful steed, the Mark XIV.

60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110 were attained before the tires started to skip and the wings bit into the humid air. The end of the runway was closing fast. At 120, the wheels touched their last. The airplane clawed its way into the troposphere. The Griffon screamed as it fought for victory in the battle for lift. At 130 indicated, the plane seemed to hesitate, as if in statement of refusal to press on farther. "Come on, dammit!” directed Goshawk. Beads of sweat turned into droplets which ran down his forehead and into his burning eyes.

"You can make it! I know you can! I know you can! I know you can!” he yelled at the straining bird of prey. He felt certain that this bird was able to hear and respond to every word. Goshawk pulled back the throttle to the 50% mark and waited until he spotted a hint of the teardrop cowling droop a bit.

As the nose of the plane dropped, Gos pushed the throttle to the stops again and felt the response immediately. The wings appeared to rise and the Spit lurched forward in a rapid increase of speed. The airspeed climbed faster now, and it seemed as if maybe the bomb had fallen off the rack.

Goshawk climbed into the eastern sky, into the direction of the USS Jim Beam. He knew that he would find the ship in about a half-hour at his current speed. He rethought the steps he would need to take to place the "gift" at just the right spot on the big ship. He hoped he would catch the deck loaded with planes and figured there'd be Zero's aplenty aboard.

"Greywolf should be shooting them down like drones about now if he fell for the phony messages on the ladder radios", thought Goshawk. "Maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll even find a few of those Zekes on deck and set them afire with this gift of mine".

"I sure hope they're parked close to the bridge tower!” he spoke aloud.

Making the final checks before locating the carrier, Goshawk mentally walked through the steps of the bombing process. This would be his first attempt, and he had to get it right on the first pass. After visualizing the entire bombing run, he caught sight of a faint, but unmistakable phosphorous wake in the distant sea. There was no doubt in the mind of the old veteran as to the identity of the ship creating such turmoil in the waters of the blue Pacific.

The USS Jim Beam was plowing her way south to the warmer Japan currents. She was churning the waters at a speed of 20+ knots. On the bridge, sat Duke in the Captain's chair. He was still cussing the pilot who had recently preened himself in that same chair, leaving feathers and bits of sinew from a feast of bilge-rat. Duke's tedium of launching Zeros for Greywolf's frenzied practice was broken only by the occasional outburst of "Dammit, Goshawk!", when another long flight feather poked him in the arse.

"Send up a Zeke!” was the first request made by Greywolf at 0600 hours.
"Launch Zeke!” came the order in reply at 0601.
"Splash one Zeke!" was the next message from Greywolf at 0630, while lurking about, doing CAP in the heavens above.

"Send up another Zeke!” requested the CAP peelot again.
"Launch another Zeke!” came the order in reply from Duke.
"Splash another Zeke!” would be the outcome,,, over, and over, and over again. Duke was bored, except for the occasional pain in the arse from an errant goshawk feather. He was also getting slightly miffed at the expense of repeatedly sending Zero fighters up to be slaughtered by Greywolf.

This process continued until Duke could suffer the loss and expense of the practice no more. "Hey, Greywolf, why are you wiping out all our Zekes, anyway?” he asked.
"I got a feelin' that Goshawk fella will be coming back, and I'm gonna make him pay for shootin' you up boss!” came the radio reply.

"Well, Jeez, Greywolf, he flew outta here in a Spit. What makes you think he's gonna fly back in a Zero, fer chrissake?” inquired Duke.

"I heard that he was warmin,,,,,,OH MY GAWD!" came the interrupted and startled reply by Greywolf.

Greywolf gasped as he spotted the unmistakable outline of the Spitfire Mark XIV in the distance, and closing fast. As both planes passed to starboard, Greywolf thought he caught the glimpse of something foreign to a Spitfire hanging under the belly of the British fighter. He twisted his head around to catch a fleeting look at the pilot he had sworn to destroy after Duke's demise.

After the pass, Goshawk tried with all his might to turn the plane and meet the Greywolf's Hellcat head on. The weight of the bomb caused the Spitfire to behave sluggishly, and a hail of bullets greeted Goshawk at the next pass. Greywolf's aim was true, damaging the accipiter's bird.

After the second pass, Goshawk started his turn at a higher altitude and allowed the added weight on the plane to assist in a gyro effect of the turn. The barrels of the big 20mm cannons were brought to bear on the sturdy Hellcat. The armor plating, self-sealing tanks, and superb performance were not enough to ward off the destructive capabilities of the huge explosive bullets from the Spitfire. Greywolf's plane was likewise damaged.

Both planes scraped each other on a third pass.

The fourth pass was a turning battle with the Spit pulling a fierce number of "g". After several twists and turns, Greywolf's Hellcat pulled up into the path of the big guns again. Big mistake! After a few hits, Goshawk overflew, allowing the Hellcat to get onto his 6. Goshawk dove for the drink, the weight of the bomb adding to the effect of gravity. The Hellcat dove to follow. After several more turns near the water's edge, Greywolf spun into the waves.

Another pass at altitude with a new Hellcat for Greywolf, resulted in another turning fight. The Spitfire nearly broke up with the effects of "g" force. After several passes and turns, Greywolf tried an Immelmann and was shredded by the big guns on Goshawk's plane.

As Greywolf swam back to the rear of the carrier, trying to grab a life-ring floating there, Goshawk climbed for altitude above the carrier.

At 15,000 feet, the carrier was a mere dash upon the ocean's surface, and visible primarily due to the long wake of the ship. As the ship disappeared beneath the nose of the Spitfire, Goshawk had to rock his wings to keep it in view and line up the bombing run.

It was time for "Operation KoKo" to be avenged!!

Goshawk started his descent!

He pulled the throttle lever all the way back, and extended the crude dive flaps that the chief had fashioned from the gear flaps. He recalled the days in years past when he had to practice bombing with a Warhawk near Pearl.
"A damnable chore!” he thought.

He worked to keep the nose of the Spit centered on the deck of the carrier below. The warm air currents played havoc with his aim. At 10,000 feet, Gos was able to see the outlines of two Zero fighters on the deck.

Meanwhile, aboard the USS Jim Beam, Duke watched with horror as one of his top peelots went into the drink in the Hellcat. He shuddered as he noticed the dark dot in the sky above. He recognized the flight path of the Spitfire as sinisterly similar to the flight paths of the many dive-bombers he had flown escort for over the years. He cringed with the realization of the obvious incident about to unfold on the deck of the carrier.

"ALL HANDS ABANDON SHIP!!" came the order from the ship's speakers.

Men flooded upon the decks and jumped from the ship, through any of the available openings. The first person to hit the water was Big Country, having had plenty of practice, and knowing exactly which direction to jump, or fall. He was also the first person to surface and watch as the Spitfire closed in on the carrier. Big Country realized who was in the Spitfire, and he smiled. He had flown against Goshawk not too long ago and had smote him smartly too, he did!

As the Spit reached 1000 feet, the men in the water noticed a small dark object drop from the bottom of the plane, and head toward the carrier deck. A large fireball blossomed on the deck, amid the Zero fighters waiting for the next "Launch" command from Duke.

The Spitfire then coasted toward the west, back in the direction of Coconut Island.

A bottle was thrown out of the Spitfire's cockpit, landing in the water near Duke. A note was visible in the bottle, as it bobbed in the waves. The commander opened the bottle and extracted the note. It read:

"Boys of the Jim Beam!” the note started.
"It is with sorrow that I bid farewell, if only for a while. I find that I am unable to continue the ladder missions at this time due to circumstances beyond my control. I am hereby going onto the inactive roster until further notice. The bomb is a fair warning for those uncouth scoundrels who might give thought to stealing our fair maiden again. KoKo is not to be tampered with!!"

It went on:

"You are a spirited bunch of guys and we'd sure like to see you all come to Coconut Island. Duke, this especially means you, as well as Dirtdobber, Corncob, Greywolf, Night Train, and even Big Country too. It's a lot drier here on the island, "BC"!"

"Goshawk"
Title: Re: Okinawa 45 campaign, progress
Post by: AKA_Relent on February 19, 2018, 01:00:35 pm
Gos you never were short on words in your ladder stories!  Those bring back fun memories - that’s where I learned how to scissor and also avoid/turn into  the BnZ attacks when we did diss-similar matches in spits vs against 109’s.
Title: Re: Okinawa 45 campaign, progress
Post by: AKA_Goshawk on February 19, 2018, 03:15:53 pm
"Gos you never were short on words in your ladder stories!  Those bring back fun memories"

Rel: Don't think you're gonna get off that easily. Here's one from your own log book memory bank.

***********

No609_Relent's pilotlog entry:
Well that was fun chaps! I think I'm
gonna try that again ;-)... Request
bolter! (MORE...)

Posted By: No609_Relent <jcam_0@my-deja.com> (e249.nas22.sonic.net)
Date: Thursday, 30 September 1999, at 9:46 p.m.


It was 0400 as I staggered out of my quarters towards the briefing hut, pitch black, wet and cold this "fine English September morning", huh! I started thinking about that crazy mission over 3 years prior...

I was just a pilot officer then, but a German speaking one - sheesh just my luck. Jerry surprised the heck out of us with that butcherbird 190, and we had to get a working copy pronto. So just my luck, I'm "volunteered" to be dropped behind
enemy lines, 10 miles from a Jerry airfield in Metz, in eastern France. The French underground had uncovered a staging airfield where 190's were being ferried to airfields closer to the French coast.

Man I should have just said "...put me in the brig now, 'cause I ain't goin'". Huh, "luckily" for me, our C.O. IcePick convinced me it was possible, that "we" might just pull this off...huh, yeah right, "we"! He didn't warn me that if I didn't, I'd likely be shot on site, if the Germans caught up with me. After a night drop, and some brisk walking, I lucked out on the approach to the airfield - hearing a motorcycle approaching from the east. I quickly unrolled a length of rope I had in my survival pack, and tied it to a tree across the road, and ran to the near side, pulling the rope taut after tying it around another tree. It was still early, the sun hadn't quite come up yet, so it would be hard to make out the rope strung a few feet over the dirt roadway...

Riding the motorcycle onto the airfield, with my new uniform on, official id, and papers to deliver, I felt confident I could get into the base without raising any eyebrows. After dropping off the papers to the base commanding officer, I made the
rounds chatting with the pilots and ground crew, trying to look interested. Sheesh, one of the mechanics was beaming about "his new bird", and couldn't wait to show me. He even let me climb into the cockpit of a 190, and described some of the instruments before his "sgt. major" just about ripped him a new back side while I was told in no uncertain terms to "get the hell out of that plane". That character was a mean one, Greywolf I think was his name (I had a feeling I'd be seeing more of him sometime - but in the air). But it was just enough information for me to figure out how to get one of these planes up and out of here...

After about an hour of wandering and looking interested in all this, I was able to sneak back towards a row of about 20 190's. I picked one second from the end, so my movements could be covered from both sides. I climbed into the cockpit, keeping my head low so I could keep out of site just a little longer... Remembering what the overly-enthusiastic mechanic had told me, I primed the engine after confirming this bird had full fuel tanks - and ammo to spare ;-). I was ready to rumble...

Unfortunately for me, that engine did rumble! No sooner had I cranked up the rpm's then about 20 men started running my way from a nearby hanger. Uh oh, I guess they've got this all scheduled - that's "efficient" Jerry for you! I pushed the throttle to the stops and the butcher bird started rolling on freshly paved asphalt. I could hear gunfire now, as a slug crashed through the canopy - still slid back on it's tracks.

As I picked up speed and started my rotation into the air, I could feel how nimble this bird was - no wonder our Spit 1's and 2's were having a tough time with this girl - sheesh!

I kept her low - under 200 feet - to stay below German radar that was sure to be scouring the countryside looking for me. The plan was for me to fly north through Belgium and Holland, then fly north west towards and over the North Sea, and then
west to England and safety. After about 30 minutes of hugging the ground, a shwarm of 109's was vectoring towards me from the west - some ground observers must have spotted me and gave my general direction - damn! I pushed the throttle to the stops, picking up speed past 600kph - wow this bird is fast too. The first two 109's made a boom and zoom pass, but luckily they didn't hit anything. I kept my speed up, hugging the ground to make it hard to pick me out against the backdrop. Then the next two came at me, but they had to slow down for fear they wouldn't pull up. Just at the right time, I rolled the plane 90 degrees to left - man! this thing can roll! As I pulled back on the stick, rolled 180 and pulled back, I was behind them! I lined the rear 109 up and fired the guns. Oh my Lord! What the heck is this think packin?!

The 109 literally blew up! As the forward 109 started jinking, I was able to pull lead and fire a burst into the left wing root. Man, it must have 4 20mm or more, as the wing just tore off!. Hmmm we could use this bird across the channel ;-) I was able to zig zag enough that the first two 109's lost sight of me while they were extending to gain altitude from their dive. From then on it was clear sailing through the rest of Belgium, through Holland and over most of the North Sea...

As I approached the English coast, I radioed that "butcher 1" (my call sign) was approaching Martlesham, to make sure they didn't shoot me down as a German raider. Just as I broke throught the clouds at 5000 feet, I could see the airfield
ahead, about 10 miles. Then out of the corner of my eye I could see 3 spits screaming down on me at 4 o'clock high.... Dammit, they didn't warn them!! I rolled the butcherbird over and split-S'd to get some distance between me and my
"comrades", but they were good and didn't let me extend very far. I could see tracers flying all around me, the excellent roll rate of this bird certainly saving me today. As the first spit raced past me, I could make out the "PR" in front of the
roundel - I was gonna be killed by my bloody own 609 mates!!! I got on the radio and started yelling that I was British, that I just stole this plane from the Jerries! Then I heard a familiar voice reply - "Rel? Is that you?" - It was Kos! "Bloody well
right" I said, "and Ice will have your hide if you put another scratch in this bird!"...

With that pleasant thought, I walked into the briefing room - a strange feeling coming over me. Instead of the usual bunch of chaps mumbling about the next mission, only a handful were in the room, including IcePick, Compans, and Kos.
"Rel", Ice finally said, "Jerry has come up with a new bird - no props, but some kind of jet propulsion". "OK", I said, "But..." then Ice cut me off, "Rel, you're gonna have to go back and do it all over again..."

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!..."

;-)

No.609_Relent, 1999