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Subject: Farmer's Daughter over Friedrichshaven, Mission #12 rss

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chris reichl

Appleton
Wisconsin
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Note: Fredrichshaven is not part of the original B-17 Mission list, I got it from an article from the General, not sure which issue, however it gives more missions, even Schweinfurt and Berlin.

This is a log entry from the pilot of the B-17 Bomber" Farmer's Daughter"

Crew:
Pilot- Capt. Chris "Crash" Reichl
Co Pilot- Lt. Tim "Timmy" Simpson
Bombardier- Lt. Gary Allen
Navigator - Lt. Dennis Nagreen
Engineer- Msgt.Barney "BG short for beergut" Gumbel (Yes I know...Simpsons)
Radio- Sgt. Mike "Music" Maker
Ball- Sgt. Troy Zimm
Port Waist- Sgt. Alan Rich
Stbd Waist- Sgt. Tim Roberson
Tail Gunner Sgt. Jim "Bogey" Bogart.

Personal Log of Captain Chris Reichl: It's been our 12th mission since we came to Bassingbourn which has been our home. At least we're finally getting a bit of respect from the other crews, most of which are still mourning the loss of "Lucky Seven", destroyed over Lille*. I guess Lucky wasn't so "lucky". I've come to grips with the having to write letters, not so much as to my wife Anna, but mainly to the mother of Sgt. Balkowski killed over Rouen, and the wife of Lt.Wolf who was killed over Amiens, (our 5th mission!). Imagine the reaction of my crew as we came back from Romeille Sur-Seine when I got the orders for our new mission: Friedrichshaven. Which meant one thing: It was deep in Germany, and that meant zero fighter cover.

Take off: All went well, no problems our usual slot in the formation right in the middle, and we were in the high position of our squadron. Not too bad.

Zone 2- Check our Friendly escort: Poor - Just one or two RAF boys
Check Incoming Enemy- Nil nothing but clear skies over the North Sea

Zone 3- Escort- Poor - I began to wonder if our luck was gonna run out on this one.
Incoming enemy: Nil

Zone 4- Crossing over Belgium
Friendlies: Fair
Incoming Enemy: A few 190s but our "little friends" chased them off.

Zone 5- Crossing deeper
Friendlies- We could only get a few fighters, but they were so low on fuel they stuck with us for a while.
Incoming Enemy: Not a plane in the sky.
Zone 6 Since we had no escort we had to keep our fingers crossed.
So far so good, then They came at us, 5 FW 190s, I think Beergut managed to swat one, our newbie Tailgunner got one as well. I don't know what it was either we were lucky or the Germans were just bad shots. But they missed on us. Although I did hear some swearing on the intercom from the Bombardier, those bullets chipped a bit of the plexiglass near the nose. Plus he had a hit on his O2 tank.

Zone 7 Over the Reich...
Couple 190s just flew right at us, and the same luck. This time our Nav got one finally! and "Music" got one as well. We sure attract FW-190s like flies on...well you know.

Zone 8- Weather over Friedrichshaven- Poor. This was not what I wanted.Although part of me was glad it would make the German Flak gunners have as hard time hitting us as we would bombing them. We had our usual FW-190s. Intercom was filled with "12o Clock High, 12 Level,Vertical Dive 10:30 level and 6 O Clock High". Beergut missed, Bogey (that's our newbie) got his and I think the Nav got his too. I know Zimm got his, the other two missed and only damage we took was a lot of superficial damage and Lt. Simpson swearing as he had a round in his leg. (luckilly it was just a scratch). Beergut was yelling as his guns were damaged. Nothing else.

Now the 88s came at us, and they only got one hit, and they hit our Starboard landing gear. Great..Now I was really beginning to hate this mission.

Now Gary did his thing and to our surprise we were On Target.
There was a lot of cheering but I quickly snapped, "Let's just get home first then we can celebrate!" We had one Top Turret down, I was worried since Beergut was one of our best gunners, and we had a penchant for attracting FW 190 pilots who liked to come at us head on. We turned around and made for home, and as usual we attracted the usual 5 FW 190s, and our luck held, we had hardly a hit. Lots of close calls.

Zone 7- We were slowly making our way back, and this time just one wave, couple 109s which were easy pickings, except all we did was drive them off.

Zone 6- We were close to our cover, and our luck was holding on.

Zone 5- No fighters, all was clear.

Zone 4- I was glad to finally see some friendly escorts. and they were quick to chase off a couple Germans for us.

Zone 3- Still Fair escorts, and they kept the Germans away.

Zone 2, had a bit of company, couple of 110s. But we drove them off.

Landing: I did pretty good with just the Port landing gear and the Tail, brought her in as gentle as a feather.

Debrief- Had to take Lt. Simpson to the Infirmary, minor injuries Doc said he'll be flying soon. We managed 50 % of our bombs on Target. Colonel gave us 48 hour pass. Figure I'll write to the wife...



*Note: "Lucky Seven" was my 1st B-17, when I got the game back in '87. I took a long break until earlier today to see if I could get the 25 missions. Unfortunately "Lucky Seven" was destroyed over Lille on her 24th Mission.
 
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Jim P
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Chris,

Great write up on your mission. Bad luck on your "Lucky Seven", I also had a "LS" assigned to me in an online game, but only flew 16 missions when she went down. Looking forward to mission Lucky "13"!

...I got it from an article from the General, not sure which issue...

That was the General, Issue 23 No. 5. Lots of good destinations too.

Jim P cool
 
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chris reichl

Appleton
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Thanks for clarifying that The General Article. I found some PBEM B-17 Group that had the info. Most of that info can be found at Web-Grognards as well. I'm glad you liked my mission report.


 
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