Campaign 93 Diary

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Campaign 93 Diary

Post  MJDixon on Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:15 pm

Saturday the 29th of June 1940

11am

Reports came in from GHQ this morning of a large german offensive towards Namur and Jodoigne - unfortunately everyone else seemed to be at the pictures watching that new Errol Flynn film or some such, so it was up to me to keep the squadron end up.

Taking off in my Spitfire Mk. I I headed for Jodoigne, receiving a report from another allied pilot that there was a Ju87 'Stuka' over town, but that he couldn't shoot it down himself, having been found lacking in the bullet department - 'Like shooting rats in a barrel!' I thought, as I dove down towards the town looking to give him what for, spotting him chugging around at low altitude, presumably looking for innocent belgian refugees to strafe - I went in for a few runs on him, but he was so slow and turning so sharply that I couldn't get a good line - thankfully after three of four uneventful advances I managed to get lined up on his 7 o'clock low, and fired a long burst into him, raking his cockpit from rear to front and finishing off the burst in his engine and belly - this rewarded me with the sight of the Stuka going into a gentle nose down, with thick brown smoke spewing out behind as he smashed into a field just outside Jodoigne, exploding apart.

Having just downed my first hun I began to regain altitude, but it wasn't long before I saw my second - a lone 109E coming in at my 10 o'clock low - at first I thought he meant to attack me, but he seemed to just fly under me, then reverse his course and head back the way he came - suffice to say by then I was coming up behind him, slowly gaining on his six o'clock position to try to get lined up for a shot, when all of a sudden this 'ruddy great Hurricane comes barrelling in infront of me, spewing his bank of brownings all across the sky at everything other than the 109 - achieving nothing but to make the 109 break to the right and start evading, with me chucking my stick around to follow him - almost fully blacking out and finding myself with a bloodless grey view of an approaching field, thankfully I still had enough wits about me to ease the stick up and avoid a rather unfortunate death by misadventure - letting the blood reflow around my body before again putting myself behind the 109 - firing a burst along him from his six o'clock high position as he went into a loop, starting just behind the wings and working my way up to the engine, seeing him fall out of his loop and head straight into the ground, another Hun smashed to bits and not even lunch time!

Having answered the call and done my duty for squadron, king and country I then started to think about going home, but looking up I saw another lone Spitfire flying along minding his own business - unfortunately I could also see a lone 109 diving down onto his tail at considerable speed 'On your six, break!' I yelled over the R/T, thankfully I was just in time, as the Spit was thrown into a sudden break as the 109 flew harmlessly by before trying to follow the Spitfire down into his maneuver - this was something of a mistake on the huns part, as it bled off a lot of speed and gave me the opportunity to close with him - flying in on his 6 o'clock I again found myself looking at the top of a 109 as it tried to climb and, seeing as it it worked last time - I fired a long burst into the engine and cockpit of the 109 whilst a second Spit fired a burst into him from his 4 o'clock - the result of our combined barrage sending the 109 down in flames.

After a short R/T handshake with the chap who almost got snapped by a snapper, I then headed home for tea, cake and lunch, being down to around 200 - 300 rounds of .303 ammunition, but with two confirmed kills and one shared to my name.

_________________


"I look forward confidently to the exploits of our Fighter Pilots - these splendid men, this brilliant youth, who will have the glory of saving their native land, their island home, and all they love, from the most deadly of all attacks."

- Winston Churchill
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Re: Campaign 93 Diary

Post  speedy77 on Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:49 pm

Nice AAR. Good kills and skills Very Happy 
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Re: Campaign 93 Diary

Post  MJDixon on Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:46 pm

Sunday the 30th of June 1940

8.30pm

We had been expecting enemy air raids for the past few days, but that didn't diminish the shock of seeing it in the flesh - we'd had reports over the radio of a large enemy raid forming along the Dutch coast, heading west towards England, and so the three of us - myself, Speedy and Hinkel, ran from the dispersal hut to our waiting Spitfires, confident that other allied squadrons were also being scrambled to meet the invaders.

We took off together with one or two assorted Spitfires and Hurricanes from surrounding aerodromes and headed out towards the sea east of Ramsgate, to our assigned patrol point 'Digger' - climbing up to around angels 24 to await the arival of the enemy Heinkels - however, instead of meeting the lower altitude Heinkels as we had hoped, we instead found ourselves set upon by a group of high altitude snappers from the north - from around angels 26 to angels 28. We weren't there to get into fights with enemy fighters, and so we tried to disengage to get away from the 109s and keep searching for the all important Heinkels - I found myself set upon by a 110 and, with Speedy coming in on his tail, I dove down towards Ramsgate - seeing Speedy force smoke from the starboard engine of the 110 as he was forced to break away due to the attention of a 109. It was as I was coming out of my dive and turning west that I glanced to my right and could see a large contact some two thousand feet higher, heading towards Canterbury with a lone Hurricane trying to catch up with it - a Heinkel!

I pushed the throttle up to full boost and gave chase of this lone enemy raider, which seemed to be heading straight for Canterbury in some sort of diving attack - thankfully I managed to get into firing range before the Hun had closed on his target - forcing him into a climb to try to throw off my aim - I pulled back on the throttle to avoid an overshoot and eased my nose up to lead into his climb - firing a burst of .303 into his port wing, which rewarded me with the sight of thick flame bursting from his port engine, followed by his wing falling away, with the remnants of the Heinkel flopping down towards the ground.

Having downed this lone raider I then looked up and could see some four or five Heinkels in formation at a much higher altitude than my own, presumably the lone Heinkel I had destroyed must have broken away from the main group - regardless, I was too low to intercept them, especially with another stream of 109s diving down at me, forcing me to once more break away to the south and regain altitude away from the group - meanwhile Speedy found himself in combats with yet more 109s - colliding with one of them, destroying the enemy - but being forced to bail out himself - that's one way to score a kill, but Spitfires don't exactly grow on trees - especially with the Vickers factory ablaze below us.

I continued to try to gain altitude and look for these Heinkels, but by then they must have already been on their way home, as I saw no more sight of them - only a lone 109 engaging a friendly aircraft over the coast - I dove in with Hinkel and gave the 109 a good burst into his 4 o'clock - forcing him to bail out - the 109 smashing down into the channel, with the helpless Pilot drifting down towards the coast with nothing but a long visit to a prisoner of war camp to look forward to.

Having done away with the German rearguard I then returned to base, with the clear understanding that we had completely failed to defend our homeland from the enemy onslaught - I don't know if those allied squadrons that were supposed to reinforce us even took off - all I know is I never saw them...

9:45pm

A second raid materialized late in the evening, but this time I was forced to scramble on my own - Speedy still sat in a field somewhere, or more likely sat in a pub with his parachute draped over his shoulder, whilst the engine of Hinkel's Spitfire had been knocked out, having taken a bullet in the previous engagement.

I flew up to angels 26, not wanting to be bounced again - and was joined by a rag tag bunch of Hurricanes and the odd Spitfire - whatever was left after the last raid, these were of little comfort, however - as it seemed that this raid would be even bigger than the last one - lighting five grid squares bright red on the ops room board as it lumbered across the sea from Holland, but then - to our surprise, the raid veered south away from Britain and began to make its way into northern France.

Presumably the French must have had their own fighter defence force, but I thought they would probably need all the help they could get - and so I headed south towards Montreuil, which seemed to be the target of this diverted enemy raid - but once again I had picked the wrong point to make a stand, as by the time I'd reached Montreuil the raid had once more diverted, this time south east towards Amiens, and all I was left with for my troubles was the sight of two yellow nosed swines diving down on me from 28 thousand feet - I was forced to break away and headed south west down to 15 thousand, eventually throwing the Huns off, but being too far away to intercept the Heinkels, which were by now starting their bomb run on Amiens. Instead I found myself diverted together with a Hurricane to assist a lone allied aircraft that was under attack at low altitude - diving down through the high cloud to be met by the horror of seeing five or six messerschmitt 109s tearing pieces out of this lone allied flyer, who was soon nothing more than a smoking wreck - there wasn't much I could do to help, and so I made one pass - blew apart a 109 that was trying to regain altitude above the fight - and then ran away to the nearest French aerodrome.

It's clear that if we continue to face the enemy outnumbered three or four to one then we have to change our intercept tactics - we cannot stand toe-to-toe against such odds, we must operate at higher altitudes above 26,000 feet and attack from unexpected directions in order to avoid being bounced and dispersed by the enemy escorts, and we have to fly in a tighter formation or we will just be picked off one by one like spring chickens.

_________________


"I look forward confidently to the exploits of our Fighter Pilots - these splendid men, this brilliant youth, who will have the glory of saving their native land, their island home, and all they love, from the most deadly of all attacks."

- Winston Churchill
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Re: Campaign 93 Diary

Post  speedy77 on Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:02 pm

MJDixon wrote:Sunday the 30th of June 1940
- Speedy still sat in a field somewhere, or more likely sat in a pub with his parachute draped over his shoulder, whilst the engine of Hinkel's Spitfire had been knocked out, having taken a bullet in the previous engagement.


I can confirm that crashing into a 109 is not the best tactic, though I did dedicate the third pint of Old Thumper to my fellow pilots.

Had we been able to lift earlier we would have had the alt advantage at the first contact. Unfortunately they were higher and the sheer numbers of 109s meant maintaining our initial height was not possible, and to then climb back up to the bombers took to long.
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Re: Campaign 93 Diary

Post  MJDixon on Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:18 am

Tuesday the 2nd of July 1940

8:15pm

Today we were in for a special job - the word had been sent around from Combined Operations Headquarters asking for skilled Pilots to volunteer for a mission into occupied Zeeland, a mission which Hinkel accepted and, being a skilled pilot with obvious knowledge of the local dialect, was quickly snapped up - being temporarily transfered to one of the new 'special duty' squadrons flying Douglas C-47 Dakotas, with orders to transport a small team of S.O.E agents into occupied territory and land on a beach near the town of Haamstede, meanwhile an S.S.R.F commando unit would be landed by naval transport on the same beach to launch a raid on the town, no doubt in search of some top Jerry brass, or one of those 'Enigma' contraptions.

Meanwhile Speedy and I, not wanting to miss out on all the fun - or the chances of big shiny medals, volunteered to fly fighter cover for the operation, and we soon found ourselves sat in our Spitfires overflying a R.N troop transport as we escorted Hinkel's Dakota up to the beach, and then covered the landing force as the commandos disembarked for the raid.

Fortunately for the landing force, but unfortunately for our chances of big shiny medals - there was no interference from the Luftwaffe during the operation, and so we were sent here and there to look out for enemy ground units or Destroyers coming to spoil the fun - Speedy patrolled the coast south of the town and I north, meanwhile Hinkel made another beach landing just to the east of town - the uneventful patrol continued until I was sent far to the north to look for enemy destroyers coming in from higher up in Holland, but rather than destroyers I stumbled across an enemy transport ship - they must have been pretty surprised to see the enemy so far north as they didn't fire a single anti-aircraft shell as I dove in and strafed the bridge of the ship and along the deck, despite the obvious gun emplacements positioned at the fore and aft of the vessel.

Unfortunately it seemed unlikely they I would be able to sink the enemy ship armed only with a few machineguns, despite my best efforts - so I sent out word on the R/T and soon enough a couple of Bostons had arrived to send the transport to the bottom - the last I saw of it it had flames coming from a hole in its starboard side, after that Speedy and I had to return to base, having patrolled the area for an hour and run quite low on fuel.





_________________


"I look forward confidently to the exploits of our Fighter Pilots - these splendid men, this brilliant youth, who will have the glory of saving their native land, their island home, and all they love, from the most deadly of all attacks."

- Winston Churchill
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Re: Campaign 93 Diary

Post  MJDixon on Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:40 pm

Thursday the 4th of July 1940

8:10pm

Thursday was another 'blitzy' day with good weather and clear skies, and it wasn't long after we came to readiness at 20 hundred hours that we found ourselves being scrambled to intercept an enemy raid in northern France, with myself, Speedy and Marsh scrambling south east together with a chap called Avner, a pilot from another squadron.

After our rather unpleasant experience trying to intercept the last raid, this time we climbed up to 30,000 feet, near to the operational ceiling of our Spitfire Mk. Is, to counter the high altitude escorts the Huns like to put up, and it wasn't long before the high altitude approach paid off - as I looked down to see a Bf109 heading towards us down at 28,000 feet, obviously looking for an easy kill. I would have loved to have given this boche swine a lesson he'd never forget, but we were here to shoot down Heinkels, not escorts, so I made one quick pass to put him off and force him down to a lower altitude, after which I dove south to see if the hun had detatched from a formation of bombers, but no such luck.

Climbing back through angels 28 I then found myself being bounced by a second, higher altitude 109, and began breaking to shake him off, at the same time I heard over the radio that Avner had spotted the Heinkels to the the west of me, down at 16,000 feet, and so, no longer needing to scout around at 28,000, I dove down to the west at full speed, heading towards the bombers and managing to shake off my yellow nosed friend at the same time.

Looking ahead I could see a fight between a group of aircraft at 16,000 feet, with a single Heinkel below the group, spinning down with smoke pouring from one of its engines, having been set upon by Avner - looking back to the main group I could see Avner continuing his attack on a second Heinkel - moving in to fire on the lead Heinkel from its six o'clock position, forcing smoke from both of its engines before I saw an explosion - with the sight of a Spitfire falling down in flames, Avner having taken a waspie which put an end to his brave display, after which it was down to the three of us.

I came in at full speed on the rear Heinkel of the group - firing my .303 into his wing roots as he quickly nosed down, forcing the last of my rounds to fly high, with a few striking the Heinkel's tail as it dove down under my gunsight - I continued on to the smoking lead Heinkel, firing a burst into his port engine to no effect - after which I broke off to the left to swing around and line up to attack the rear Heinkel once more. As I came about I looked up to see Marsh coming in at full speed, firing into the tail of the rear Heinkel, to my surprise he kept on coming and firing into the Heinkel as the two grew nearer and nearer, until eventually the two craft came into contact - with Marsh's Spitfire emerging with one of his wings torn away, and the Heinkel with its tail cut clean off - both crippled aircraft falling down out of sight, leaving only myself and Speedy to face the two remaining Heinkels, with their escort of at least five Bf109s.

Speedy imediately set upon a Heinkel at the rear of the fight and soon reported over the R/T that he had downed the Hun machine, meanwhile I set up to attack the lead Heinkel again and fired another ineffective burst into the starboard wing, before going into a loop to bring me back around and shake off an escorting 109 that had latched onto my tail, by which time Speedy had joined me to attack the lead Heinkel, firing a burst into its wings with no obvious damage to the enemy machine, all the while coming under the fire of no less that four enemy Bf109 escorts that were fast on his tail, whilst I still had to deal with only a single hun after me - not a very efficient allocation of escort strength, but I wasn't going to complain - though I can't say the same for Speedy, as I looked across to see him break off his attack with the four yellow nosed swines close on his tail - I wanted nothing more than to break off from the Heinkel and go to assist my wingman, but our duty was to destroy the enemy bombers - to get into a fight with the escorts would allow them to get through and bomb their target, and so all I could do was wish Speedy luck and continue with my attack - firing another burst into the starboard engine of the Heinkel, which forced the bomber into a sudden yaw to the right - looking back I could see that his starboard prop had siezed, his engine having been knocked out by my last attack, and again I could see Speedy coming in for another run on the Hun machine, trailed as ever by his entourage of angry snappers, yet this time his aim was thrown off by the yawing of the troubled Heinkel, and so again he was forced to break off to line up for another attack as I came in behind for my run, strangely finding myself for a moment flying alongside the swarm of 109s that were chasing after Speedy, before they swerved off after him, leaving me to chase down the Heinkel - the thud of rounds impacting the rear of my Spitfire reminding me that Speedy didn't quite have the attention of all of the 109s, but by then the escorts had had their chance and blown it - as a final burst of machine gun fire into the starboard engine of the crippled Heinkel rewarded me with a sheet of bright flame, as the wing burst apart in an explosion, sending the remnants of the bomber twisting down to the ground, along with our reason for sticking around, as we immediately dove down towards the deck and safety, shaking off all of the chasing 109s before Speedy and I returned to the safety of our airfield.


To be continued...

_________________


"I look forward confidently to the exploits of our Fighter Pilots - these splendid men, this brilliant youth, who will have the glory of saving their native land, their island home, and all they love, from the most deadly of all attacks."

- Winston Churchill
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