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

Subject: Mission #2: razing the airfields at St. Omer rss

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Mike Bourgeois
British Columbia
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It was a day to be on the pitches bowling out a googley... not stareing down the runway and wondering if this would be a smooth run.

St. Omer is just a long spit across the water from England and the weather was fine. We cruised through the air and saw nothing but the occasional cloud scudding by us from the middle of the pack. Our escort was gadding about... obviously they had no doubts as to the results of our jaunt. Brave boys but a bit flighty when it comes to a serious excursion.

McCoy had just passed on the cricket scores when the first german air troops had come into view. We didn't even see a stray bullet. Our escort hit them hard and sent those german flyboys down in long streams of black and white smoke. I almost felt pity for them... but they'd do for us in a heartbeat.

After passing the air defense we hit the flak guns. It was hard out there... our plane was smashed about by half a dozen close hits. We were blessed though... most damage was superficial. Only the port wing took a true hit. It scraped the paint but that's all she wrote. Still, sadly, it was enough to jolt us off course... we'd drifted just enough from the target that we missed entirely with our payload. Blake told us that to loose our load now would be like spitting into a raging inferno but Clark our pilot said that we couldn't come back with all our eggs in the bowl. So off they went and made a lovely splash somewhere off in the airports motor pool. Some fraulein today is walking home with her Bug a flaming wreck because of us.

On the turnabout we suddenly felt the heat that'd been missing from our first encounter with the flyboys. Perhaps their second string had gone home with their tails strung behind them but these new boys were good. They slashed hard through our escort and even with tight control from the Hurricanes they still broke like a porcelain vase. Three 190's latched onto us and while our crew plastered them with hot lead nothing connected. We were almost as lucky. Two of the camel jockies bounced us around without connecting but the fellow from behind our starboard wing sent a chain of metal through us... we were lucky... damned lucky. Clark the pilot had his hat ventilated and another punched a neat hole in our portside tail plane. As he looped back to try again our cover bagged him... some hausenfrau would be getting a terse note of regrets soon enough.

But we made it back... landing was a dawdle compared to the turnaround on our trip. The weather was still lovely and after clearing up a bit of brown trousers time we went off to find a green sward and something to wet our throat.
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