Thomas Fowler
United States
New Mexico
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B-17 Combat Diary

Aircraft: Desert Rat Mission#: 16 Mission#/AC: 16
City: Lorient Target: U-Boats
After Action Review:
Pilot, 1st Lt. Thomas Fowler

Ah, so early in the morning…almost no sleep. Got to wonder if I am going to be able to stay awake for this mission. At briefing they told us we’re going to Lorient and the U-Boat base there. We get middle of high squadron today. Guess we’d better go prep the Rat.

On the way out we didn’t see any EA. The Luftwaffe boys must have slept in today…wouldn’t that be great! However, as we came into the target zone, we got hit by two waves (guess they didn’t all sleep in). First a 109 and then a 190 and a 110. Al (TT) damaged the 109, it missed and Adam (TG) knocked ‘em down as he went passed our tail. Right after that, Al hit the 190, which burst into flames and went down and Doc (BG) damaged the 110, which missed us and BOA.

Over the target, we encountered surprisingly light flak, got no hits and Vic (BOM) put 30% of our load on the target. Leaving the target area, we got hit by two more waves, three 109s followed by two 190s. All three 109s missed and BOA, but Al damaged one of them. One 190 missed and BOA, but the other put a hole in the Rat’s SW; nothing but a big, ragged hole…it looked ugly, but she kept flying ok. When he came back around for another try, Rick (PWG) damaged him and he missed us and BOA.

We didn’t see any more EA for awhile, but shortly after regaining our FC, we got hit by another wave of three 109s. The FC took care of two of them, bless their hearts. Then, as the last one came in at 12 o’clock high, Vic blasted him and the pilot bailed out as the 109 went down. The rest of the way back we got hit by more EA, but our formation closed up tight and they were driven off by the ‘17s around us. We got back to base and landed safely. The Crew Chief was happy that the Rat had only the one hole in her. We’re real happy that none of our guys have any holes in them.

Notes: B-17 and crew safe. B-17 repaired-ready to fly.

Enemy fighters destroyed: TG 109x1; TT 190x1; BOM 109x1
Enemy fighters damaged: TT 109x2; BG 110x1; PWG 190x1

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Gil Hansen
United States
Portland
Oregon
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The Rat and her well-seasoned crew is performing with monotonous efficiency, Pat o' Pill. With each new mission log, I'm half expecting disaster...hope not, but the odds are increasing with each run, despite ol' "Dead-Eye Adam" and company.
 
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Thomas Fowler
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New Mexico
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Hi Gil!

Yes, I've noticed the "monotonous efficiency" myself. Some missions in this game are like that; although every time a 190, 109, or even a lucky 110 comes winging in, you never know. It's the flak over the target that makes me wince. With the flak you can't shoot back, just like reality. I've had some B-17s go down after 2-3 missions, and some that lasted longer. The Desert Rat is my longest surviving bomber yet, so after mission 10 I started getting the feeling that "this is the one." Having past mission 16 successfully, I figure she's on borrowed time.
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