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

Subject: First campaign flight rss

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Rob Koch
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The Lone Ranger
Courtesy of Amos Burke
Crew:
Pilot: Captain Harold Zimmerman
Copilot: Lieutenant Anthony Shoemaker
Navigator: Lieutenant Edward Brown
Bombardier: Lieutenant Robert Kirk
Engineer: Master Sergeant Craig LeMay
Radio Operator: Sergeant Robert Phillips
Ball Gunner: Sergeant Cary Hoffman
Starboard Waist Gunner: Sergeant Harry Rhodes
Port Waist Gunner: Sergeant Robert Bacon
Tail Gunner: Sergeant Albert Cressey


Mission #1 "Maiden voyage":
The Ranger took off in the early morning with the crew eager for their first sortie. This mission was a simple hop over the channel to leave a present for the Germans. The Ranger was assigned to the middle of the formation (rookie position) and once aloft were heading for the rail yards of Amiens.

Thanks to excellent fighter coverage everything was smooth flying until over the target zone. Over Amiens the Germans managed to muster only a single wave of Fw190's that penetrated the cover fighters. The bandits came in at 1200 High and 0130 Level. Lt. Kirk manning the nose gun was able to knock the 1200 bandit down before he could hit the Ranger. The 0130 bandit opened up and riddled the Navigator station; fortunately, Lt. Brown suffered light wounds. The bandit was chased off by responding cover fighters before he could attack again.

The Germans must have been caught off guard since they only muster a single wave and had no flak to defend themselves. The shock of the first encounter rattled the nerves of Bombardier Kirk enough that he was unable to hit the target with no bombs landing near the target. The Captain turned the Ranger towards base and the cover was excellent and there were no further incidents on the flight home.

Since the Ranger took no major damage, and the crew only a minor wound, there was little effort in touching down in England. After Kirk was evaluated by the medical staff he was released for the next mission.


Mission #2 "Something Simple":
Due to the lackluster performance in the face of little to no opposition the Ranger and crew were assigned something that "they might be able to handle". The target for today is the airfields of St. Omer, a stone's throw across the channel. The Ranger was once again assigned the middle of the formation and once formed up they headed across the channel.

The weather over St. Omer was good and the Germans were awake today. Two waves of fighters were able to get through the strong defensive cover. A lone 109 decided that the Ranger was a good target and came in at 12 o'clock level and into the sights of Bombardier Kirk at the nose gun. Kirk was unable to repeat his success of the first mission and missed completely; however, the plane was unable to hit and broke off it's attack. The second wave was held mostly at bay except another lone 109 that snuck in at 9 o'clock high. LeMay and Bacon both opened fire with LeMay scoring several hits on the fighter causing it to break off, but not before it was able to hit the Ranger in the #2 Engine causing only superficial damage.

The Germans must have been confident in their fighters as there was no flak over the target area. Bombardier Kirk was able to line up and score an impressive 40% on-target delivery before the captain turned for England.

Emboldened by their previous defensive cover the allied fighters became even more aggressive in their defense of the bombers. So strong in fact that the next 2 waves of German fighters were unable to get through their defenses.

With good weather back at base the aircraft had no problems returning safely. Everyone was in high spirits for an amazing performance from both the covering fighters to the bombers. With continued success like this the war is sure to end soon!


Mission #3 "Repeat Performance":
The higher ups were pleased with the performance of the squadron on the road of St. Omer but the damage wasn't as extensive as initially thought. Recon flights showed that the airfields were damaged but not enough to render them inoperable. To try and capitalize on the previous damage the group was ordered to immediately reload and hit the target again. "I hope we can catch them napping again." muttered the Captain.

The weather over St. Omer was poor meaning the chance of hitting the target wasn't great, but is also meant the Germans would have trouble spotting the bombers. Fighter cover was top notch and drove off the only fighter wave the Germans could muster. This appeared to be a repeat of the last mission until the Flak crews took over. Since the last raid the Germans must have rolled in some extra AA as there was heavy flak everywhere. A large burst hit near the Ranger with 3 shells causing a hit to the Radio Room and several to the Tail all of which were superficial.

Lieutenant Kirk was able to track the target, and even with the flak shaking the aircraft, delivered another impressive strike of 30% on-target. The Germans only could get another single wave that was easily drawn off by the fighter cover. Passing back over the target drew another intense barrage of AA fire that hit the Ranger with 2 more bursts of flak with 4 shells finding targets. The bomb bay, radio room, and starboard wing took superficial damage, while the port wing aileron took a solid hit but had no effect on the control of the aircraft.

With good weather back over the base the Ranger landed once again without incident. The crew appear to be nearly invincible in their first forays into Germany.


Mission #4 "Achilles' heel":
Nestled back into the familiar position in the middle of the formation the crew settle in for another quick raid on the industrial complex at Lille. Once again the fighter cover was able to fend off all waves of defenders in zone 2 and the bombers surrounding the Ranger managed to stave off the next wave leaving only the target in sight. The German AA was awake and the coverage was heavy with shells exploding all around the formation. The Germans managed to land a single hit on the Ranger with only a single shell striking the aircraft in the port wing near the outboard fuel tank. It started small and quickly grew... Orange and black quickly engulfed the wing and was spreading. "Fire! Prepare to abandon ship!" Yelled the captain into the intercom before sounding the bells *ring**ring*ring*. Bombs were jettisoned and the crew prepared .... **RRRRRRRrrrriiinnng*

The crew quickly abandoned the craft as they had trained and nobody was injured in the bail out. The Ranger flew on without her crew before the plane broke apart and tumbled to the fields of France below. Sergeant Harry Rhodes and Sergeant Robert Bacon, the waist gunners, landed near a small village and were rescued by French freedom fighters and returned to England. The remaining crew were not as fortunate and were all captured and taken prisoner by the German troops in the area. Rhodes and Bacon were reassigned to another aircraft to continue their duties.


FINAL RESULTS:
The Lone Ranger Failed to Return

Crew:
Pilot: Captain Harold Zimmerman POW
Copilot: Lieutenant Anthony Shoemaker POW
Navigator: Lieutenant Edward Brown POW
Bombardier: Lieutenant Robert Kirk POW
Engineer: Master Sergeant Craig LeMay POW
Radio Operator: Sergeant Robert Phillips POW
Ball Gunner: Sergeant Cary Hoffman POW
Starboard Waist Gunner: Sergeant Harry Rhodes
Port Waist Gunner: Sergeant Robert Bacon
Tail Gunner: Sergeant Albert Cressey POW



Edits: Spelling and added mission #3 & #4
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AMOS BURKE
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The Lone Ranger

It's a shame to send them up without nose art thumbsup
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Rob Koch
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Many thanks Amos! ... I'm getting the hang of the game and wish I realized there was an optional rule for diving to put out fuel fires. But, I think I'll get the core game down first!
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AMOS BURKE
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With solo games you will be able to check up on rules and not hold anyone up
Have fun
Amos

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