No more stones. No more spears. No more slings. No more swords. No more weapons! NO MORE SYSTEMS!
You can fire your arrows from the Tower of Babel, but you can never strike God!
Excerpts from the Journal of Cpt. Shane Auzlander
This is a series of session reports recording my missions of B-29. I enjoyed playing B-29, but ultimately I wasn’t really thrilled with it and decided to trade it away. I wanted to play it enough times to really get a final experience before trading it away finally.
Mission 1: A Good Start
We were assigned to the bomber Kali Krash, a beast of a thing. Our first mission was targeting an Aircraft Factory in Tokyo. Despite drifting off course right after takeoff, the Krash found its way to the rendezvous and we made it to Tokyo without even really seeing any Japs. We flew over Tokyo and dropped our bombs right onto the Factory, hitting directly with 50% of our bombs.
David, our Bombardier, was preaching and praying at the Japs the whole time the bombs were coming down on him…I told him nobody would hear him. Again, no enemy planes engaged us on the way home, but we did have our radar bug out on us on the way home. No real problems occurred though.
Victory Total: USAF 20th: 1 Imperial Japan: 0
Mission 2: Fighter Flybys
After the success with the factory at Tokyo, we were sent to Nagoya to just smash the urban districts. We flew out and almost missed the rendezvous, but made it. Later, we encountered a Zero over Japan, but it flew away after missing its pass against us. Later we delivered around 40% of our bombs to the city, and it was an easy bomb drop too!
On the way out of our bombing run another Zero came up to engage us, but after a close pass he dropped away with no damage dealt to either of us. The left gunner, Tiu, who’s usually a strong steady type from some island (Puerto Rico maybe), was really upset about missing both of the fighters. All he could say was, “I can’t believe it!” in that funny accent of his. However, the rest of the flight was quiet and we landed without incident.
Victory Total: USAF 20th: 2 Imperial Japan: 0
Mission 3: First Breath of Danger
The mission to Nagoya had apparently either been too effective or not effective enough because we’re sent back there to bomb the city again. A Hayate flew up from Iwo Jima as we were cruising by, but it’s approach from the rear left it too vulernable and Tim, our Tail Gunner, blew it up while shouting out Football slogans from Florida. We arrived on target, but had trouble locating our target through the clouds and missed.
As we were pulling away, flak hit us hard, jacking up the landing gear on the port wing and smashing up the bombsight and the bomb bay doors. With all the extra drag I wasn’t sure if we’d make it back to base, but we got the landing gear fixed pretty quickly. The bombs had already been dropped, which was a good thing or the Krash would’ve gone up like a Roman Candle! The rest of the flight was uneventful but when I got home I couldn’t help but ponder how close we’d come…just a few seconds more and those bombs would’ve been the end of us…
Victory Total: USAF 20th: 2 Imperial Japan: 0
Mission 4: Reunion at Nagoya
We were going back to Nagoya, again, but this time we were to bomb the aircraft factory there. We’d already come to know the city some so it wasn’t such a burden for us. We kept getting lost and so I complained to Mark, the Navigator, but he quickly pointed out it was mostly due to my piloting errors…hard to tell for sure up here.
The flight out nothing happened and even the flak over the target was light. We managed to deliver around 30% of our payload on target…which was really great considering. As we were pulling out a Tojo came up to engage us, but after a quick pass there wasn’t much to show for it. Iwo Jima sent up another one which Tiu managed to hit at 10:30, but again this wasn’t much worthwhile as it seemed to still be flying when we pulled away.
Victory Total: USAF 20th: 3 Imperial Japan: 0
Mission 5: Helping out the Marines
The Marines and Navy fighting on Okinawa needed some help from us to hit an airfield on that island. We were always glad to help out those poor losers down on the ground. After a brief run in with a Tojo over Iwo Jima, which had no real result, we continued our mission. The weather was killer brutal and the winds were killing our fuel limits. We also nearly collided with other bombers in the formation a couple of times…so many times I had Jamie really ready on the radio in case somebody needed me to pull up or dive down to get out of the way.
Arriving over the island was incredible…I’ve never seen so many ships before in all my life…and to see it all so clearly up here. Apparently Dave wasn’t paying too much attention either because he only managed to score about 10% of the bombs on the airfield, while most of them fell into a nearby grassy knoll. Definitely not a successful mission. However, it was a safe mission and so I have no complains.
Victory Total: USAF 20th: 3 Imperial Japan: 0
Mission 6: Kali Krash Goes Down
A Tokyo Aircraft Factory had its ticked punched, and we were going to make sure they paid up! We got lost pretty quickly into our flight and missed the rendezvous. The crew wanted to turn back, but the decision was mine so I decided we should push ahead. It was a bad idea. I kept screwing up my assessment of where we should be win. We kept having to burn fuel to make up for lost distance. It was really infuriating.
When we arrived over Tokyo a Hein came up and engaged us, but Tim blew it away with the 20mm Cannon…first kill from that piece of junk I’ve heard of...but Tim is a pretty good gunner. We delivered 30% of our bombs onto the Factory and were flying away when a flak shell burst inside the plane! The utility compartment was destroyed, but luckily Tim was only rattled. We got knocked out of our formation and were all alone.
The damage was brutal. Kurt, our flight engineer just kept shaking his head and mumbling to himself about the fuel measures. A Shinden, Hayate, and Hein all tried to engage us on the way back, but none of them were successful, most didn’t even get close to us. We were getting closer to home, but the damage was too great and even though Kurt was able to get us within 60 miles…it was still too far. We started to descend rapidly and so I had Jamie call out an SOS on the radio while Lars and I bulled the Krash down into the ocean. It was as calm as glass…which was an incredible blessing. The Kali Krash skipped along the surface and when she came to a rest started slowly sinking. We got the life rafts out and everybody got on board. We bobbed around for a while, but were picked up before it got too cold.
Thus ends the story of the Kali Krash…she was a good ship.
Victory Total: USAF 20th: 3 Imperial Japan: 1
Mission 7: Buggy Bitch
We were given a new plane, Java Janet. She had a beautiful pin-up painted on her fuselage…I’ll never forget what a whore she was. We were going to Ota to bomb the aircraft factory there. Our luck started off not so good with us almost slamming into another bomber during formation form-up. I had Jamie pass along a few choice phrases about that one. Just before visual sight of Japan, we heard a strange noise, but since nothing seemed to be wrong we just continued on.
As we flew over Ota, Dave tried to open up the Forward Bomb Bay Doors…but they wouldn’t budge. I decided that we needed to get those doors open but could just drop the bombs after we were clear. That’s when the flak started bursting all around us. There was some light damage to the nose (where I was!) and an ammo box burned off in the utility section, but Tim was ok, only his fire extinguisher was destroyed.
Because of the flak, none of our bombs hit the target but went into some hillside instead. Kurt tried to get the portable motor to winch open the bomb bay doors, but it burned out. We were a heavy flying bomb! We were so heavy that we quickly lagged behind the other bombers and fell out of formation. The weight was killing us…but I thought we just might manage that till our Hydraulic Pump failed on us as we were getting back over the ocean. We got past Iwo Jima, but we were already running on fumes. Somewhere between Iwo and the Marianas the Java Janet went into the Pacific.
We managed to land on a calm enough sea. There was some serious jostling though. The bomber went down quick and we were lucky to get both the rafts deployed…but when we looked around we realized Tiu wasn’t on the other raft…he’d never gotten out of the plane. Tim swam over after breaking his way out of the rear blister and crawled into the other raft. David had apparently broken some bones in his leg and kept getting more and more pale. We kept trying to help him out but he died from internal bleeding pretty quickly. Tim was so wet that he quickly caught hypothermia and despite everybody on the other raft trying to help him out he died as well. Jamie, our radio operator went into shock and eventually passed sometime during the brutally long and cold night.
I held Jamie as he died. Four men dead. I hate that Java Janet…
Victory Total: USAF 20th: 3 Imperial Japan: 2
Mission 8: Bali Babe’s First Run
No rest for the dead. Our new bomber, Bali Babe, was to trash the city of Kobe. It’s the farthest we’ve ever flown before…should be interesting. At the outskirts of Japan a Hayate came up and Hutri, Tiu’s replacement on the Left Gunner station, mananaged to light it up and it started smoking, but still made a pass at us.
We arrived over the city and managed to drop 40% of our bombs onto our target zone. There was no flak for once…which was a real blessing. Must not have been expecting us. When we were almost home we ran into a bug and our #2 engine failed, but I managed to feather it. Also, we got closer and a storm damaged our rudder some, but the landing was safe and even smooth. Maybe this bomber will be our lucky charm.
Victory Total: USAF 20th: 4 Imperial Japan: 2
Mission 9: Kissing Flak
The new crew wasn’t doing so bad! We were going to knock out an Aircraft Factory in Nagoya…I feel like I’ve done this before. We flew out and nothing much happened. Robert, the new bombardier gave out condoms to everybody…”just incase”. Not sure what he’s talking about since there’s very few women back on base. Strange, to trade God’s Bomber for a Condom Bomber…We got over the target and Robert’s not just all about condoms…he managed to get 24% of our bombs onto the factory, which was good enough for government work.
The flak going in was light, but coming out they zoned in on our formation and really lit us up. We took a hit to the front which shattered our fire extinguisher (luckily nobody was hurt), and the wings took some hits, but aside from a little vibration in the pedals we didn’t notice much. Trying to get out a Hayate gave us a pass, but couldn’t hit anything. It’s good to be in formation!
Victory Total: USAF 20th: 5 Imperial Japan: 2
Mission 10: Milk Run
We were sent back to Nagoya to hit some other Aircraft Factory. I wish I had something to say, but even though we got there and there was a bomb drop, we didn’t seem to hit anything and nothing much happened. There wasn’t even any flak. Basically…nothing.
Victory Total: USAF 20th: 5 Imperial Japan: 2
Mission 11: Flying at Night
Our tactics had changed and we were now trying night missions. I was ready for the challenge, and all the brass said that we wouldn’t have to expect as much enemy resistance during our missions. This was all good because we were going to Tokyo! We took off flew out. We did well and it was dark indeed. We arrived near Tokyo and honestly…got a little lost. We were flying around trying to find our target zone when Gus (who’d replaced Jamie on the Radio) thought he saw a Zero blazing in on us. We all panicked a bit, until we realized that Zeros don’t fly at night so we all had a good laugh (being my first night mission I kind of jacked the rules).
Finally we found Tokyo and bombed our site…100% drop! What a wake up call for Tojo and the Japs!
Victory Total: USAF 20th: 6 Imperial Japan: 2
Mission 12: Hit a Million Times but it Don’t Hurt
Another night mission, this time against Yokohama city. There was no enemy resistance expected, and Iwo Jima had fallen to the Marines. We took off and we had no guns or gunners of any kind…the brass said we wouldn’t need it. Boy were they wrong! I’d have loved to have Matt in the tail turret on this mission. We arrived over the bomb site but before we could do anything a searchlight caught us. No guns so we couldn’t even try to suppress it. A Toryu came up unseen and really chewed us up. Blasting up our wings in a devastating pass. We took damage to our fuel tanks but nothing serious, an Aileron got destroyed and one of the engines was knocked out. It was brutal.
Then the flak started…and it was thick. We took another hit on the port wing which knocked out the Gyro Flux Capacitor, lucky home is always a little bit easier to find than these Jap cities. Despite all this fire and the problems with our girl we managed to drop a full two thirds of our bombs into our target zone. Then the flak got worse. We took some more hits, but managed to come out without measureable damage. After limping home, the ground crew was amazed at all the holes in the fuselage but the relatively small amount of significant damage. They had her patched up well before our next mission. That Bali Babe is a good girl!
Victory Total: USAF 20th: 7 Imperial Japan: 2
Mission 13: A Swarm of Foes
It was now Osaka’s turn to feel our retribution! Enemy fighter cover was supposed to be heavy, but that didn’t concern us too much, because during the day we had the other members of the formation for support. As we approached Japan, a Zero came up from the rear and Matt was able to hit it, which caused it to veer off. Then, over Osaka the flak was light and we landed 42% of our bombs within the target box, Robert was doing ok!
On the way out of the target zone a Frank came up to engage, but Kendera managed to light him up over on the right and he didn’t cause us any trouble. As we were approaching the ocean, two Zeros attacked us, one from 6:00 and the other from 10:30. We fired on the enemy from astern, and the tail gun jammed! But, the aft rear turret got a good fix and Jesse, the CFC, grunted excitedly when the Zero went up in a ball of flame. The other Zero passed us by with no effect. After a while out at see some Heins attacked our formation, this time Jesse got another kill and we were all starting to get scared that he was liking his job too much!
Victory Total: USAF 20th: 8 Imperial Japan: 2
Mission 14: A Nice Round Figure
Nagoya was becoming like a second home. Again, we were to target the urban areas at night. We took off with none of the gunners or guns on board…though it always makes me nervous when we leave even Matt behind. They packed in a few more bombs, but still…not sure it’s worth it. It was an extremely uneventful mission until we got to the target.
Flak was moderate coming in and we took a few hits, but nothing of substance. We dropped our bombs and what a sweet delivery…100% hit! A perfect run. “Dr. Robert” was going to be handing out condoms tonight for sure! As I watched Nagoya burning, I started to think…how much longer will the Japs keep this up? When will they surrender?
Victory Total: USAF 20th: 9 Imperial Japan: 2
It was my original intention to play a whole scenario of 25 (35?) missions and then post up a session report with pictures and stuff. But, when an opportunity to trade this away for GD '40 I took it. So, that is the end of this report. I actually flew two more missions, and won them both, but they weren't really anything very interesting. I have now started a campaign of Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations and after I get a few more basic plays in I'll start writing up reports of that one.