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Thread: OTTBYM Mission 2 - "All for one and ONE for BARRY !" by Vagabond 12th October 1916

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    Default OTTBYM Mission 2 - "All for one and ONE for BARRY !" by Vagabond 12th October 1916

    It was one of those rare sunny days that only happen occasionally in Northern France during October, it was 10:30 and I was taking full advantage of the gentle heat from the sun. It had been a long night last night, two German pilots had been brought into the hospital, Nurse Schultz had looked after them in her impeccable manner, then they had received a visit from a chap I was sure I recognised but couldn’t quite place. He reminded me of a dodgy Major from somewhere or other, I knew eventually the time and place would occur to me although I was sure it wasn’t that important.

    During the night I awoke at some ridiculous time, 2:00 or 3:00am and saw the Germans making their way down the ward. I’ve been sleeping badly, dreams of flames and the smell of roasting pork wake me regularly but I was sufficiently compos mentis to shout for the Nurse, one thing led to another and the guards were called, one of the chaps escaped, but the other was retained at His Majesty's pleasure.

    I felt a bit ambivalent about the whole affair as I sat with my back to the shed we call the Mess, a wooden ruler in my left hand and a glass of our potent poteen in my right. I was ruminating on the war in general and Nieuport’s in particular, as well as keeping an eye on the three silver specs in the sky that were growing larger with each passing minute.

    There was a big show on, lots of bombers involved, bombing something really important and we had sent every available pilot to escort them to this really important target - whatever it was. As we only had 3 pilots fit for duty and only a generous soul would consider Berry fit for duty, it was a relief to see all three of them returning.

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    The sun glinted off the silver machines as they descended. These were the new Nieuport 17’s I’d been ruminating on; the Squadron was being re-equipped with them, gradually replacing the polyglot collection of planes that we were currently flying. They were fresh from a French factory, still coated in the aluminium coloured dope they used, I wondered when we would re-paint them the muddy green so beloved of our masters at HQ. Didn’t they realise flying a silver machine filled a man with joy, much more so than flying a muddy green one, I reflected on what the French call joie de vie, then went back to relieving the itching with the ruler.

    Today was the day that I was to go back to the hospital and have the plaster casts removed from both my legs and they were itching like buggery, the only relief was to push the ruler down between the plaster and my leg and wriggle it about as best as I could.

    I took another sip of the poteen and watched the 3 planes land, Biff in perfect control, Taki with panache in spite of the fact that his engine sounded very rough indeed and Berry bounced along the grass field like a jack in a box, the same as always.

    As the three pilots approached, Biff and Berry appeared to be having an animated discussion and Taki was walking a few paces behind them, obviously trying to distance himself from the evident altercation. I gave them a friendly hello and Biff and Taki stopped and returned my greeting but Berry pushed on onto the gloom of the Mess without a word.

    “Trouble” I enquired with a jerk on my head in the direction Berry had taken. “No more than one would expect from a prima donna at the opera” muttered Biff and then said “what are you doing drinking that stuff at this time in the morning” nodding at the glass of poteen in my hand. “Well” I said, “I’ll tell you about it later, just fill me in on the raid first, did you meet up with the bombers, was it a success or not.”

    Taki looked crestfallen and said “We’ve no idea, we neither saw sight nor sound of the bombers and then we had to turn back due to lack of fuel, and that’s when we ran into the Hun”.

    “How did that go then”, I asked “it looks like someone used your plane for target practice and Berry seems to have dripped blood on the floor.”

    “Let me get two more glasses so we can share your Poteen, a man shouldn’t drink this stuff on his own, then I’ll fill you in before I go and make my report to Uncle, said Biff our Flight Commander.

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    When Biff returned and they both had well filled glasses of the noxious stuff he began his tale.

    “We were flying in our normal V formation, the new Nieuport’s are a joy to fly, as manoeuvrable as the Bebe but that extra machine gun makes a hell of a difference to their fighting potential”. “We were lucky I guess, because we ran into an old E.lll accompanying a Halberstadt D.ll and also one of the new Albi’s, I think it was the D.ll rather than the D.l”.

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    “I drew the short straw” Biff continued “because they were also flying in a V formation and the chap in the centre was obviously their CO and flying the Albatros. “We crossed swords immediately and he must have hit an oil pipe or something on my engine because the bally thing started smoking so much I could barely see him through the muck”. “I was sure my tracers were lancing into his plane but you know how strong those Albi’s are, it didn’t seem to have too much effect on the blasted thing”.

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    “Berry was out on my port hand side and he attacked the E.lll, the Hun seemed to be flying it effectively in spite of being out gunned, but they’re pretty much obsolete now, I’m surprised they still put them in the air”. “It might have been this opening pass when Berry got winged, it certainly put his dander up, he was very aggressive today”.

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    “That’s true” said Taki wryly, “anyway I’d made a complete mess of my attack turning in too fast and this big brown Halberstadt fired at me but he was pretty useless and didn’t cause any damage.”

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    Biff continued the story, “as I said I couldn’t see much because of the smoke but I’d already started my climbing Immelmann and I hoped to get on the Albi’s tail, so that I could take full advantage my manoeuvre”.

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    “Problem was, that he was a wily bird and had also Immeled just a shade later than I did, we both opened fire at long range but neither of us seemed to do much damage”.

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    “I’d lost sight of my opponent in the sun” quipped Taki “but I could see you both charging hell for leather at each other”.

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    “Yes” said Biff with a wry smile, “he didn’t give way at all, nerves of steel that man, anyway I’ve no great desire to collide at full speed with some mad kraut and so I banked just before we met”. “I felt a bit like a Spanish Matador’s facing a big black bull, just lifted my cape as he passed by, I could feel the up-draught from his wing we were so close”.

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    Taki continued, “Berry had out flown his opponent and was attacking on his starboard side, this gave him a clear, unopposed shot into the Fokker, and it just burst into flames”. “I wonder if they’ve started distilling potato poteen like we have. Flammable stuff he mused”.

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    “The Fokker started jinking left and right trying to put the flames out, he seemed to be doing a good job of it from what I could see”. Biff interrupted Taki, “you know Berry’s deflection shooting has improved phenomenally since that last leave when we got hold of those shotguns and practiced with some clay pigeon shooting”. “Yes you’re right, maybe I should have a go, I could do with improving my deflection shooting”, muttered Taki.

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    “When I finally found my opponent, I almost missed him, but his return fire was spot on and he damaged my engine”. “These rotaries don’t half make a lot of noise when they’re not running smoothly”.

    “Well that was my day over” continued Taki, “the only problem was, I was facing back towards Hunland and the Halberstadt was going to be between me and home”.

    Probable to Neuenhofen

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    “I was able to get a few more rounds into his plane as I turned for our lines, but not enough to send him down” continued Taki. “I have to say at that point I was more interested in nursing the engine and trying to evade the Halbi than kill it”.

    “He did get a couple more shots into my Nieuport after this but he was pretty hopeless and I evaded him fairly easily before setting off slowly back home”.

    “I was watching Biff and Berry like a hawk, hoping they would be able to get away and join me, I’d still a long way to go and didn’t fancy meeting any more German scouts, especially on my own and with a dodgy engine”.

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    Biff took over the story yet again. It was a bit like watching a music hall duo, but without the humour.

    “I think we must have been jumped by a couple of novices flying the Halberstadt and Fokker, they were probably being tutored by the chap in the Albatros, who was flying pretty well”. “Even though I’d caught him with another fast Immel he was evading hard to port and slipped out of my grasp”.

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    “I’d expected him to Immel and return to attack me” said Biff “but I realised he was flying away from me to save the Elll pilot because he attacked Berry instead”.

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    “Whoever was flying that Elll was a game bird though, as the flames got fiercer….

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    He flew in to support his Flight leader, chewing up Berry’s plane, just as Berry continued to chew up the Albatros”.

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    “I recovered from the dummy the Albatros pilot had sold me” said Biff and was still quite a long way off from them when I saw the Albatros break up in mid air, Berry must have hit him very hard indeed”.

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    Kill to Berry

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    “The Fokker continued to burn as I closed and I think Berry must have been looking over his shoulder to see how it was surviving because….

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    He nearly flew into me, if I hadn’t jinked at the last minute we would both have gone down”.

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    “Maybe he was concentrating on his Immelmann turn, rather than looking over his shoulder I don’t know, either way he Immeled and was chasing after me”. “I could see him shaking his fist in my mirror, which was a little puzzling at the time”.

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    “The poor Fokker pilot was having a bad time with the fire and he turned, right in front of me, just as I opened fire….

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    He just went down, out of control and still in flames”.

    Kill to Biff

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    “The Halberstadt pilot had had enough and beetled off home at this point and I don’t blame him”.

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    “Berry and I joined up, although he kept giving me a hard stare which I didn’t understand either”.

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    “And we quickly caught up with young Taki and as you see all got home safe and sound”.

    “And what was the altercation with Berry all about” I queried. “Oh the daft bugger thought the E.lll was his kill and I should have left it for him” answered Biff. “I told him in no uncertain terms we fly as a team and he can either like it or ask the CO for a transfer”. “I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes if he does ask for the transfer though, the CO will roast him alive”. “You know he doesn’t approve of personal glory and thinks all enemy aircraft downed should be credited to the Squadron not the individual pilot”.

    He paused and then continued, “you know it’s partly your fault young Johnny Vagabond”. “What do you mean” I asked. “Well it stands to reason”. “He’s trying to impress Bunty by ousting you from the Flights top scoring position”. I just grinned and said, “if you take into account all the planes he’s written off with his bad landings he’s miles ahead of me”.

    “OK now your turn” said Taki, “what are you doing drinking the poteen at this time in the morning, you’ll be legless by lunch time”. I must have looked a little shamefaced because his face lit up. “It’s the plaster casts isn’t it”. He laughed out loud.

    “Well if you must know” I responded, “Blackwell from A Flight told me that the hairs on you leg get stuck in the plaster and when they cut the cast off, all the hairs get pulled out by the roots and it hurts like hell”. “This is just a little anaesthetic to dull the pain”.
    Last edited by flash; 07-29-2021 at 03:55.

  2. #2

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    Butchers Bill

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    Lt Montague Anstruther-BrowneRTB – 1 Kill (Danhuber)

    This makes Biff my 3rd Ace Whoopee.

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    2nd Lt Ichiro Takahashi – FRTB Engine – No Kills
    1+4 Landed with panache

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    2ndLt Wilfred Berry– RTB/WIA 1 Kill (Neuenhofen)
    C&W = Rolled 10 +1RTB -1WIA = 10 All's well when you’re a lucky B.

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    Berry is now on 7 kills from 8 missions a pretty amazing kill to mission ratio in C Flight, far better than my 8 from 15 even if some of mine were driving a tandem without a gun for the pilot.

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    Ltn Friedrich Danhuber – SD(FLM)(FT) – No Kills
    C&W = Rolled 8 -2FLM = 6 Injured Skip 1D3 – Rolled 5 Skip 3 Mission

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    Obltn Edmund Neuenhofen – SD(FT) – No Kills (1 Probable Taki FRTB Engine)
    C&W = Rolled 7 -1SD = 6 Injured Skip 1D3 – Rolled 2 Skip 1 Mission

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    Ltn Walter HubrichRTB – No Kills


    Dave – I’m not sure if I’ve got the probable’s right but hope so, and I think you promoted Berry, but I don’t have internet to check. I’ve made the usual crop of rule errors, notably forgetting the +1 for 2nd round of firing at the same target, my excuse this time, is that I was trying to play the game quickly before going on holiday so I could write it up whilst away. I know it’s a different excuse each time, let’s just put it down to a forgetful nature and ineptitude.

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    I’ve painted my Nieuport’s as C flight 29 Squadron, I’ve read that C flight painted the cowling and wheel covers in blue and used blue numbers similar to the ones shown above to denote the Flight and plane number within the flight. I don’t know how accurate this is because most of the pictures I’ve seen vary quite a lot, however I quite like the notion and will stick with it. What I can’t find are any letter and number decals in blue of this style so that I can put them on the fuselage and also on the top wing. Does anyone know of a supplier, I’d be very grateful for any info?

    I used Vallejo silver paint for the planes, the Valom ones were undercoated in white and have come out quite pale, the Ares plane flown by Biff is the green cameo plane and I just painted silver over it, 2 to 3 coats I'm not going to change this but was wondering how close to the Ares Silver/Aluminium colour you think it might be.

    Mike thanks for a good game, I played this out in about 6 turns and got a victory for my chaps and you can’t ask for more than that.

    I just want to say a good bye to Barry (Gully-Raker) it was a pleasure knowing him through the internet and this Forum and especially this sub forum, I've suggested something to Dave that I hope we can take forward but if not - Cheers Barry

    Pip Pip
    Flying Officer Vagabond.
    Last edited by flash; 07-29-2021 at 03:36.

  3. #3

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    John,

    Great AAR I'm going to have to go back and read your previous ones, the characters are getting me hooked lol. Beautiful Nieuports!

  4. #4

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    Super job John, brilliant story as always, great action with lovely models and clearly pictured.
    not sure about this though:
    Nieuport’s are a joy to fly, as manoeuvrable as the Bebe but that extra machine gun makes a hell of a difference to their fighting potential

    Most British N.17's were single gunned with an over-wing Lewis gun, they didn't fit the Vickers as they didn't have a reliable interrupter gear & didn't take the French version.


    Uncle says:

    I say, well done chaps, sorry you couldn't find the bombers but you did your bit clearing the way if they came along later.
    A couple of victories and a new ace in the pack to celebrate; Berry is definitely a 2Lt now so he can be first in the chair !

    Lt Montague Anstruther-Browne is awarded the Military Cross for his fifth victory for King & country
    he also receives a Croix de Guerre with bronze palm from out allies for his continued efforts

    Don't forget the +1RTB !

    PM me the ace skill for Anstruther-Browne

    PS, Miscimi does British decals for N.17 - maybe he can send them via Paul (Tikkifriend)
    Last edited by flash; 07-29-2021 at 04:03.

    "He is wise who watches"

  5. #5

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    Really good AAR and story. I was wondering though ..... How do you make those great smoke trails you use.

  6. #6

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    Great visuals and AAR story.

    REP given

    Baz

  7. #7

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    Three aces - now that's a treat.

    Great AAR - and a suitable tribute to Baz. I needed an OTT AAR after the news.

    I'll try to let El Vagabondo gets some of that beauty sleep he so desperately needs.

    All the planes look good to me but what do I know.



    :cuppa: :cuppa: :cuppa: :cuppa: :cuppa: :cuppa: :cuppa: :cuppa:

  8. #8

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    Nicely done! Congrats on your new ace!

  9. #9

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    Great tales of 'derring do' and a good result for your boys.

    Like your Nieuports - still haven't painted and added numbers to mine.
    At the rate I am going they will be out pasture in favour of SPADs and Pups before I get it done.
    Kind of like all my N.11s from previous campaigns ....


    REP on the way.

    P.S. Forgot to add - Really nice touch adding Barry to your AAR title
    Last edited by Stumptonian; 07-29-2021 at 10:51. Reason: P.S.

  10. #10

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    Great AAR and wonderful Nieuports.

    I'd also be interested in the colour scheme since I have a couple of these on the production line.

  11. #11

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    You've done it yet again young Johny Vagabond Great story telling, lovely visuals and some excellent Nieuport 17s to boot. Two guns on a Brit N17 huh. Think I'd have some of those if I didn't think it would be noticed

    Congrats on the gongs and Berry's confirmed promotion. Drinks all round on him then

    Glad you enjoyed the mission

    Like your tribute to Baz - fine touch that one.

    REP inbound buddy and well deserved as usual

  12. #12

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    Thanks everyone for the comments apart from Dave and Mike, who have brought me down to earth rubbishing my 2 gun Nieuports. Just when I thought I would have a counter to the 2 gun Albatros. I can only plead ignorance and laziness. As I said I'd painted them as 29 Squadron and the plane card I used from this site said they were A gun's and so I happily went with A guns and very effective they were too.

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    These are the plane cards I've picked up and I used the third from the left on the top row as my guide lines, looks like I'm going to have to revise this in the future.

    The observant will have noticed that there are no top wing Lewis guns on my planes, that's because the Ares one was missing and the Valom ones were far too difficult for my fat fingers to make up, so I guess that means they are all really 1 gun planes but firing through the prop.

    Dave I'm off down south tomorrow, I'll send you the Ace skill when I get back if that's ok with you. I'd like to pick something appropriate and as I never use them, appropriate is better than best. I'm planning on coming back home maybe Tuesday but is it Wednesday you have your meeting in Entoyment?

    Thanks for the info on Miscmini, I've seen the decals for Nieuports but it's the letters c and numbers 1,2 and 3 in a curly blue style that I'm after and they don't do them as far as I can see.
    Cheers
    Last edited by Vagabond; 07-29-2021 at 15:31.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baxter View Post
    Really good AAR and story. I was wondering though ..... How do you make those great smoke trails you use.
    Hi Gary, the smoke trails are pipe cleaners as a base and then I had some upholstery stuffing, I teased that out and glued it to the pipe cleaner. then I dipped my fingers in red and black paints and smeared or tamped it onto the stuffing. It was a right mess.
    The stuffing looks very much like the wool that sheep leave behind on barb wire fences.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    ..Dave I'm off down south tomorrow, I'll send you the Ace skill when I get back if that's ok with you. I'd like to pick something appropriate and as I never use them, appropriate is better than best. I'm planning on coming back home maybe Tuesday but is it Wednesday you have your meeting in Entoyment?
    Yep, Wednesday nights from 6pm John. Gary (HuRhu) is planning on joining us too. It would be great to meet you. We'll be doing WW1, played WW2 this week just for a change.

    "He is wise who watches"

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by flash View Post
    Yep, Wednesday nights from 6pm John. Gary (HuRhu) is planning on joining us too. It would be great to meet you. We'll be doing WW1, played WW2 this week just for a change.
    Thanks, I would like to get there but it's probably unlikely. I'll let you know if I can make it. Fingers crossed.
    Cheers

  16. #16

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    John, another good outing for your Bulldogs. Well done old chap.

    Nice tribute to Barry. Catching up on reading all the mission 2s has been bittersweet with all the comments on Barry. So sad he's gone but i'm sure he's here with us in the mess after every mission.



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