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Subject: Bucky Badger, Mission #2 rss

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Tony Holt
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Setup for the campaign and mission #1 can be found here: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1798408/missions-bucky-...
Playing with some, but not all, optional rules.
Even though my campaign begins in August, 1942, I am not using Early Bomber formations, and I do realize the 613th Squadron did not become active until April, 1943.

BTW, found a copy of the 613th Logo:


10 days after mission #1, the Brass decided to once again send the 613th up to "Deliver some Packages" to the Germans. This time, on August 15th, 1942, the target was the U-Boat pens at Saint-Nazaire, France.

The Badger was selected for the mission from among the 22 battle-ready B17-F's, and was assigned spot # 15 in the Low Cell. Mission Lead for this sortie went to the "Just Right".

Take-Off from the base at Polebrook, England, and the first 3 zones of the mission were routine, with nothing to report. In Zone 4, things started to get interesting. Over the English Channel, the squadron was jumped by several Me 109's, and the Badger took a Superficial Damage hit. While trying to return fire, Tail Gunner Billy Ericson, an 18-year old Sgt. from Westbrook, Maine, discovered that both of his machine guns were jammed. Meanwhile, Bomber #2, the "Batter Up" was shot down.

Still over the Channel in Zone 5, things started to fall apart for the Badger. At first, it looked like things were going well as Top Turret Gunner Irwin and Left Waist Gunner Ivanova combined to shoot down an Me110 by shearing its wing off. However, a straggling 110, on a vertical climb attack hit the cockpit and Pilot Arthur Kastner, a 24-year old Captain from Durand, Wisconsin, was hit in the midsection and the damage ruptured his intestines, killing him instantly. The plane was immediately thrown into commotion for several minutes until Co-Pilot, 22-year old Lt. Anthony Turner, from Carrollton, AL was able to settle things down and continue the mission. Engineer Irwin moved up to the Pilot's seat to help fly the plane, and Tail Gunner Ericson moved up to take Irwin's post in the Top Turret.

Now over France, the decision was made by Turner to continue the mission, in Zone 6. The Badger was hit by 3 waves of German fighters, and things went from bad to worse. An Me210 attacking from 10:30 Low gave the Badger some minor damage, and lightly wounded Navigator Kenneth Unger, a 21-year old Lt. from Cheektowaga, NY, a cut on the hand that allowed him to continue his duties. However, a 2nd Me210 hit the Ball Turret, and "Tiny" Milton was seriously lacerated across his face, severely wounding him to the point that he was unable to maintain his station. The fact that the Badger's gunners were able to damage 2 other German fighters was little satisfaction. In the 2nd Wave of German attackers, things completely fell apart (almost literally) for the Badger. A lone Me110, coming in unchallenged from 6:00 low (remember, the Tail Guns were jammed), was able to tear up the Badger and her crew. First it hit the Right Tail Plane Root and also hit the nose section, making the Bombing Controls in-operable. Another shot to the Pilot's compartment hit Co-Pilot (now Pilot) Turner, ripping through his leg, breaking the fibula. With this serious wound, Turner's day was over. But the 110 wasn't done yet. A "Walking Hit" Caused the #3 Engine to "Run Away" and Left Waist Gunner Ivananova received a small cut on his chest. Flight Engineer Irwin, now in control of the plane, managed to feather the prop on Engine #3, just in time to meet the attack of the 3rd Wave of German fighters. This time, a lone Me110, was blown to smithereens by Bombardier Nichols using the Right Cheek Gun to hit the 110's fuel tanks.

With both the Pilot and Co-Pilot out of the fight, and the Bomb Controls not operating, the decision was made to abort the mission and head back to England. Bombardier Nichols moved up to take the Co-Pilot's station next to Irwin.

While the Badger turned for home, the rest of the Squadron stayed on course for Saint-Nazaire. On the return trip, the Badger dropped her bombs over the English Channel, and with the plane seriously short on guns/gunners, Radioman Colston Mitchell went to the rear of the plane to try and get the Tail Guns unjammed should they be needed for another attack (something he failed to accomplish for the rest for the mission). The rest of the squadron was jumped by some fighters further into France, and the "Wicked Witch" was able to shoot one down.

Now over the target, the remainder of the 613th dropped their bombs on a completely obscured U-Boat base, hitting only 24.75% of bombs on target. The "Lightnin' Strikes" led the way with an impressive 60%, while the "Silver Colt" missed entirely.

The adventure for the Badger was not yet over, as over the channel a mechanical failure in the Fuel Pump caused it to malfunction (perhaps from one of the earlier hits thought only to be superficial) and fuel was now unable to be transferred. It was going to be touch-and-go as to whether their would be enough fuel for the return to Polebrook.

In their return trip, the "Miss Angela" was shot down over France, while the "Lightnin' Strikes" showed it could not only hit its bomb target, but also shot down an attacking fighter. The "Maid 'En America" was able to damage yet another fighter.

The Badger was able to eek out enough fuel to make it over the airfield at Polebrook, and the 18-year old Irwin at the controls safely brought the plane down. By the time the rest of the 613th made it back to base, though, the weather had turned poor, and 3 planes, "Target for Tonight", "Stingy" and "Wicked Witch" crashed upon landing and were destroyed.

The wounds to Co-Pilot Turner and Ball Turret Gunner Milton were deemed to be severe enough that they were given a ticket home.

After only 2 missions, the squadron has lost better than 25% of its planes, and the Badger has suffered 40% loss to its crew. At these rates, will any of the planes make it to 25?

What will the next "Target for Today" bring? Stay tuned....
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Tony Holt
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So, what do you all think? Should I continue posting these AAR's here as they happen, or should I wait until the end and post 1 big session report?

What do you all want to see?

Tony
 
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Jack Bennett
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Keep 'em coming, but put them in the Sessions section!
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Randy Lein
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Tony,

Compelling! Keep them coming but yes in the sessions section.

Randy Lein - LEGION WARGAMES
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Tony Holt
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I thought that would be the best place, but it takes sometimes 2, 3 even 4 days for them to be "approved" before they post.

I'll put the rest there, though, when they happen.

Tony
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