This is my After-Action-Report from Flanders in Flames XXII Campaign Session 2.
Session 2, Saturday 19th September, 2015 – 18:00GMT
Today was assigned to a escort flight together with my comrade Falke and a bunch of other pilots. Our mission was to escort some S-22 and F.E.2b bombers from Udshtera. We started from our airfield at Ankjzobov at… heading North-East to meet the bombers over Udshtera field. So I jumped into the cockpit of my S-16 fighter and waited for my wingman Falke who was late. I guess he went for a pee. About two or three minutes after the other S-16 took off, I saw Falke coming over, jumping into his S-16 and soon his engine was running. So we started as well and followed the other pilots to our rendevouz with the big birds.
Falke and I were assigned for close escort to Adler, who was flying a S-22 and von Bu in his F.E.2b. Their mission was to destroy a German factory near Nadvornaya. After a 10-15 minutes flight we saw our comrades at about 1500m altitude. We closed the gap and as we were near enough, the bombers turned straight West and we followed to protect them.
When we arrived Lesnaya Slobodka I noticed a strange sound coming off my engine. “Sh!t.” I thoght – I haven’t checked if the mechanics filled up the Castor oil. The engine was loosing power and so I was forced to go down. I reduced the mixture and used the blip switch while going down very fast, heading for the next airfield at Gody-Turka where I had a safe landing. The mechanics at Gody-Turka were nice chaps. They repaired my S-16 instantly while I was cursing these foolish mechanics at Ankjzobov. After half an hour I took off from Gody-Turka and flew back to Ankjzobov where I met Falke again. He told my that Adler and von Bu were shotdown by ground fire. That were sad news.
However, we got some new orders: Escort of a F.E.2b reconaissance fligth from Pjnko. We jumped into a truck and the driver rushed over these dirt tracks in a really stunning speed. There was a third pilot with Falke and me, Izra’il was his name and he was designated to be our flight leader. We hurried up to reach Pjnko and as soon as we arrived the airfield, we jumped into the already warmed S-16, going to take off immediately, except Falke. I guess he went for a pee again. We headed South-West with Falke a bit behind.
Unfortunately we didn’t found our reconaissance flight. Afterwards we heard, that they took all the photos but didn’t made it back home. After a while, we were again around our home base Ankjzobov, Izra’il spotted some bombers from Udshtera and decided to joind them. As we were getting closer, we spotted two Eindeckers a bit higher then we were, chasing the S-22. I guess the Pilot of this S-22 was our comrade Mathias. He tried to hide his big bird in a cloud whele Izra’el, Falke and I attacked the Eindeckers. I was a bit ahead of Falke and Izra’il so I tried a Prop-Hang and fired some rounds on the Eindecker nearest to the S-22 to distract him. Somehow it worked, the turned away from the S-22 and soon I saw one Eindecker diving on Falke’s six. I turned hard towards him, and Falke noticed my move and performed a Split-S. The Eindecker ran away to the North and I followed him. But somehow Flake and Izra’il lost sight of me – they were involved in a dogfight with another Eindecker.
Chasing that Eindecker, suddently I heard machine gun fire and bullets around me – that second Eindecker came to support his wingmen. Damn – now I had to fight two of them. I was constantly turning and twisting and landed some good shots. At one point, one of the Eindeckers came towards me head on and we passed with a distance of less then 1 meter.
It was a real hard fight and the two Eindeckers landed also some hits on my plane. My brave S-16 had tattered top wings, but the engine was still running.
I was fighting them for more than six minutes when I noticed a third grass green Eindecker entering our fight. Hell, 3 vs. 1 – but no cloud near wher I could hide or some wingmen to support me. Since the Eindeckers are much faster and also can dive faster then my S-16 my only chance was to stay in the fight, turning an twisting, until I got some help or they shot me down.
But finally, the moment came where one of the Eindeckers hit me really hard, my poor S-16 got a fuel leak and I got a blood leak and soon after that, I was still turning like crazy, the engine stopped. I ran out of fuel. Now I was fodder for these three huns. But this pilot in that green Eindecker must have been sleeping – seemed that he didn’t noticed, that my engine has stoppend and I was getting slower. He turned into me and in a zoom climb he flew his plane directly into mine – mid air collision. I send a prayer up to the sky.
I lost control and the wreck of my S-16 was spinning to the ground with me inside. No parachute.