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

Subject: Ginger Sweetheart (2) rss

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Addison Edgar
United States
Connecticut
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390th BG, 570th BS, 8th Airforce
AAR of "Ginger Sweetheart", SN: 42-30478
Mission #13 (This Bomber: 2)
Mission Date: 1st November, 1943
Target: Airdrome & Storehouses at Gilze-Rijen, Netherlands
Payload: 24x 100lb General Purpose M30 Bombs
Bomb Drop Percentage: 50%


Mission 13, the halfway point, both in how many missions left to fly, and your survival chance. A small cup of coffee, jam on toast, and a bowl of porridge left much to be desired on the way to briefing. The target for today would be the airbase at Gilze-Rijen in Holland, and as luck would have it, we were assigned to tail-end charlie, the way ‘13’ intended. Fighter cover would be provided by the new Lockheed P-38 Lightnings fresh out of the factories in Burbank, California. Our new crew chief, T/Sgt. Jackson Cribar, personally wished me good luck before boarding the ship, as few men have made it this far. At 0730, I took Ginger Sweetheart off without issue in clear weather and formed up over Framlingham in the tail position. Once the assembly ships peeled away we began the climb to 19,300 feet towards the target.

As we began to cross into the North Sea the oddly shaped P-38s joined up with our formation and flew very closely with us, seemingly eager to please. They would soon be put to the test when a small force of ME-109s found our group and went on the offensive. The P-38s sprang into action and performed well in keeping the fighters off of our backs, though they seemed significantly slower than the old fashioned Messerschmitts. One particular ME-109 cleared the screen of Lightnings and was able to position itself at the rear of our squadron before letting loose a payload of aerial rockets.

“This one’s comin’ awful close. I think it - Oh sonuvabitch!”

One of the rockets exploded quite near our ship, and debris rained down all over Ginger Sweetheart, filling her with pinholes and rendering the tail guns inoperable. One ship was not so lucky, with a rocket setting fire to its starboard wing. I saw the crew trying to stabilize the airplane, but it was no use as the flames began to creep toward the airframe. The ship dipped down across our nose and fell out of the sky trailing 10 chutes. The rockets left our formation dispersed and separated, and while the lead flight was coordinating the regroup, another wave of ME-109s replaced the previous interceptors. Thankfully, the P38s managed to divert them away from us while we got ourselves back into our positions.

By the time we reached the Netherlands, all of the interceptors had vanished, and with minimal sun glare and few clouds, the airdrome lay before us. The lead ship informed over the radio that we were on the bomb run and as we turned on to the target I made note of the absence of flak. 1Lt. Hernandez confirmed that we were on the correct heading and rejoiced at the ideal conditions. The familiar flare signaling ‘bombs away’ went up, and Ginger Sweetheart leapt up a few feet in altitude with 2400 pounds of ordinance suddenly being shed. S/Sgt. Johnson confirmed excellent hits, and could see all sorts of hangers and airplanes ablaze, followed by a sudden massive explosion sending a white ring of power sweeping across the landscape, most definitely caused by the ammo dump detonating.

On the outward leg a retaliation of flak began following us for some time, though meager and inaccurate. Eventually we were out of range of their angry anti-aircraft crews and encountered no fighter opposition on the return trip. A few distant specks shadowed our group for a short time, but eventually simply vanished when the weather began to turn. Clearing the North Sea over England a light haze had formed, and clouds obscured the ground slightly. We began our descent and circled Framlingham, awaiting our turn to land in an orderly fashion. 2Lt. Brooks and I easily put the ship down on the runway in a well executed 3-point landing and taxied to our hardstand.

‘13’ had been defeated.

-Bernard Allen
Captain

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Crew List
Captain Bernard 'Bernie' Allen, Pilot
2nd Lieutenant Lawrence Brooks Jr., Copilot
1st Lieutenant Charles Hernandez, Bombardier
1st Lieutenant Clyde Smith, Navigator
Flight Officer Robert Cook, Engineer
Staff Sergeant Francis Cooper, Radio Operator
Sergeant Frederick Brookstra, Ball Turret
Staff Sergeant James 'Jimmy John' Johnson, Port Waist
Staff Sergeant Floyd Mitchell, Starboard Waist
Sergeant Arthur Dziedziak, Tail Gunner
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Edward Kowynia
United States
Bedford
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Nice AAR for this Mission. I so love this game myself for it's narrative leadings. I have a ship going myself in the base game and am up there in missions but am not going to say at this time which one as I don't want to jinx it. Suffice to say, it is the most missions I have flown in a very long time. Have had several recently with a dreaded roll of 3 on table P-3. Wish me clear skies and strong tailwinds on the remaining missions and same to you and the Ginger Sweetheart.
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Gil Hansen
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Good on ya, mate! Let's just hope that '14' goes as easy...though I'm not betting on it. Just bring 'em home in one piece, Add Man!
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Gil Hansen
United States
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siredofk wrote:
Wish me clear skies and strong tailwinds on the remaining missions

Will do, Sir Ed.
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Thomas Fowler
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New Mexico
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“The law will never make men free; it is men who have got to make the law free.” ― Henry David Thoreau
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Memento rapinas et latrocinia ante ardere!
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Well done Captain Allen, keep on going.

"... assigned to [low squadron, and] tail-end charlie, the way ‘13’ intended."

Yes, clear skies and strong tailwinds on all your remaining missions, both to Sir Ed's crew & bomber, and the Ginger Sweetheart & her crew.
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Addison Edgar
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thank you all for the kind words and positive feedback, and of course only the best wishes for Sir Ed and his flying crew's tour of duty
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