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B-17: Queen of the Skies» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Flying Asylum Missions 5 & 6 rss

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Jon Murdock
United States
Euless
Texas
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Journal of Lieut John Smith

Roster:

Capt Earl Hunter - Pilot
Lieut John Smith - Copilort
Lieut Mike Murkel - Navigator
Lieut Paul Shaffer - Bombardier
Mst Sgt Toby Eller - Engineer
Sgt Mal Nugent - Radio Operator
Sgt Lance Solar - Ball Turret
Sgt Gordon Green - Port Turret
Sgt Floyd Walls - Starboard Turret
Sgt Bruce Shelly - Tail Gunner

After our last harrowing run it was 5 days before we were assigned to fly again, took the mechanics quite a while to patch the Asylum back up again. Our third Bombardier is named Paul Shaffer and though he knows that this position seems to be a deathtrap on our plane he seems to be in good spirits....they always seem like that until they realize they're getting shot at for a living. Bruce Shelley is taking over for Melvin Gold at the tail gun.

We just got assigned another mission. Due to the high rate of interception command has decided to hit their airfields again and try to lower their effectiveness. Our target is St. Omer directly across the Channel. I personally wonder if this isn't a short trip out to see if the Asylum is still airworthy after the number of hits she's taken. Still this should be a milk run compared to our last mission and a chance to break the curse by hitting the target and still bringing the whole crew home.

Zone 1: Takeoff

We're in the middle of the formation flying middle in the squadron, the safest spot available. Things are looking up for once.

Zone 2: Inbound

Looks like command figured we'd only need a light escort due to the Mission's range, I hope they're right. Weather is fine, here we go

Our escorts don't help much but resistance seems weak. Only one 110 low off the starboard cheek and one 109 at 3 low. Took hits from the 110 but nothing serious. He came in again at 3 level and Solar in the ball turret cut him up, that's 3 kills for Solar.

Flak appears to be moderate. One burst went off and it looks like we lost the autopilot targeting.....right before bomb release perfect, looks like we get to see how good the green Shaffer is at putting bombs on target.

This kid is brilliant.....if possible I think this exceeds the Abbeville hit on our first mission. The guy deserves a medal for this targeting (98%).

Zone 2: Outbound

Two 109's have decided to come looking for some payback. One of them got off a devastating barrage (walking hits one of 4 hits). They hit the rudder, took out the navigator equipment,and Murkel behind me is howling in pain. Doesn't look lifethreatening just painful. His guns are also out of commission. We can still find our way home as long as we can stay in formation.

Zone 1: Landing

Weather over the airbase looks very bad. This is our riskiest landing yet.

We pulled it off artfully though we were able to see through the rain another bomber that wasn't so lucky, Came down hard and is now on fire....I hope some of the crew survive, it's unlikely all of them will.

We did it though. We broke the Asylum's curse. There will be much celebration tonight.

Mission #6

I just realized our tour of duty is a fifth of the way over. That's very scary considering how many we've lost and how far we have to go. Still my head forces me to do the math. If we continue at this rate we'll lose 12 more men and have another 8 be sent home. If we continue at this rate odds are I won't make it.

Murkel has recovered from his injury and will be joining us again on our next mission.

Capt Earl Hunter - Pilot
Lieut John Smith - Copilort
Lieut Mike Murkel - Navigator
Lieut Paul Shaffer - Bombardier
Mst Sgt Toby Eller - Engineer
Sgt Mal Nugent - Radio Operator
Sgt Lance Solar - Ball Turret
Sgt Gordon Green - Port Turret
Sgt Floyd Walls - Starboard Turret
Sgt Bruce Shelly - Tail Gunner

The brass is sending us on another long range mission, this time to the U-boat yards in Lorient on the west coast of France. I guess we're sending a message to stop torpedoing our convoys. All I can think of is how far we're flying and how long we're going to spend over France.

Zone 1: Takeoff

Again we get middle positions in formation and squadron position, looks like someone likes us.

Zone 2: Outbound

Decent escort, that does it's job forcing all of the enemy to break off before engaging us.

Zone 3: Outbound

No Interception, though now the fun begins as we fly over France.

Zone 4: Outbound

No Interception, this is disturbingly easy.

Zone 5: Outbound

We've left our fighter cover behind and it's almost as if they were waiting for it. 3 of those dangerous 190's coming in high off both cheeks and the front. Shaffer proves he's not just good at bombing by taking down the forward 190. Unfortunately the two survivors are both good. Shelly was hit back in the tail but he insists he's all right and it looks like Murkel's heat has been knocked out.

The bastard got Nugent on his follow up shot, damn it. One more statistic lost to the cause....damn this war.

Vengeance feels cold but I still relish it. Murkel hit the bastard that killed Nugent and the returned the favor, he'll never see home again. I made sure to watch....he never bailed out.

The Captain maintains his normal calm and orders Murkel to take over the Radio Room and use the heat there. We end up dumping Nugent's body to the side. Part of me wonders if the cold will stop the blood from flowing so quickly from his body. Damn idle thoughts

Zone 6: Outbound

Weather looks good. But the reception does not, 5 190's coming in high from all directions. We manage to damage many of them but none of them enough for a solid kill. Here comes the rain of death. They've left us......with little left. The control cables were hit twice and we lost the autopilot again (seems to be a habit). Our run is unlikely to cause any damage at all. Worse still the Radio Rooms Oxygen is hit. If we take another one, we're in trouble.

I really expected more flak but it was sparse and didn't effect us. Shaffer realizes this bomb drop is an all but impossible task but does his best in spite of it all. No joy, mission was a failure. Though I think we might have hit a barn.

Zone 6: Inbound

A group of 190's perfectly imitating the last attack, I've decided God hates us. 3 of the 5 tear into us with abandon (11 shell hits!!!). Shaffer is dead, the Captain is wounded but still functioning, my oxygen is intermittant, the Starboard Wing and Tailroot are both heavily damaged but holding and the Starboard Waist gun is out....and they're not done with us yet.

They come in favoring the right side and with the cheek, waist and nose guns down only the top turret can fire at all. Only one of them hits us from in front high but pulls off a series of shots riddling the whole bomber.....

(writing resumes in new hand)

This is Captain Hunter. We've lost the radio, the tail guns are out, Smith is dead, I was hit again. I can still function, barely. The Asylum is rapidly becoming a ghost plane. And that bastard is coming in again. He's gone and has done no real damage on that pass.

Here come a few 110's low off the front and port cheek. We missed but they break off. The Asylum is a graveyard. I order Walls to move from the inactive starboard waist gun to the tail gun. I'd love to move Shelley to a more effective location but the Navigator's seat has no Oxygen and the only other open seat is the copilots and the Oxygen there is sporadic. I'm trying to show a brave face but I think we all realize our chances of getting home are very bad.

Zone 5: Inbound

No interception. The old girl is still in the air.

Zone 4: Inbound

Back under friendly air support and no one else harassing us.

Zone 3: Inbound

Still holding out and we're almost home. The Luftwaffe are absent

Zone 2: Inbound

No attacks

Zone 1: Landing

Never done a solo landing but I am able to get us down without further damage. We look a motley crew, two wounded, three dead bodies and they'll send the old girl up again in a few days....Can't think about it, must get to the morphine and blessed oblivion.
 
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Edward Wehrenberg
United States
Unspecified
CA
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Wow!!! What a read!!!

I cannot WAIT to start my own aircraft and mission logs!

You're a true inspiration. Love the "writing continues in different hand". Great writing!
 
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