Old Guy

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Everything posted by Old Guy

  1. Once Allied pilots learned of the Me-262's weaknesses, they had little trouble with the German jet. The aircraft was faster than any prop plane, but was not very agile. Practically anything other than a heavy bomber could out turn it. Me-262 air-to-air kills usually occurred when the opposing pilot didn't seem the jet in time. Several Allied planes could pick off the Me-262 if they could make a diving attack on one coming off a pass at a bomber formation. But, simplest of all, Allied airmen took to loitering near Me-262 bases and killing the jets when they were short of fuel or returning with an engine out -- a common problem. The jets required a hard surface runway, so they weren't hard to find. Besides, if the jet had been more successful or deployed earlier, what would have happened? American and British jet development would have been stimulated. America was futzing around with the Bell jet, but other designs were on the drawing board and could have been in production very quickly. And even if the Western Allies were slowed by the lack of complete air superiority, the outcome of the war was not in doubt. Two things could easily have happened. One - the Russians would have overrun ALL of Germany and Fick would be posting his tripe from the Gulag. Two - if a stalemate loomed in the West, the nuclear option was available by late summer, 1945. Would we have nuked Berlin? Be glad the Me-262 was not as effective as it could have been, Fick. The consequences of a war stretching into 1946 are not good. For anyone. OG
  2. Fifi may have called you "zuperior", Fick, but she was just being kind. Bridgitte told me you were definitely amateur class, which surprised her since she knew you'd once been a pimp on the Kiel waterfront. I guess your "ladies" never let you sample the wares. If you keep maligning my integrity as an author, I'll release some of the other details I've learned about your past. Fudged a little on your resume, didn't you? OG
  3. Truth hurts, eh, Fick? OG
  4. I remember it well . . . Okay, so some bits of those early years have gone down the history drain. I bought EAW in early 1998, I think. Had so much trouble trying to land and take off, I looked for a forum devoted to that game. It was a quest for knowledge. I hooked up with another forum (can't recall the name) and hung around there for a few months. It vaporized and left a bunch of folks hanging. I then found CSim . . . and the rest is history. And mighty boring stuff it is! I posted the first forum tale in early 2000. Some of those early efforts have been lost. A merciful death to be sure. Now I'm about the same age Whizkid was when I first posted in this joint. 39. OG
  5. This place is too neat and clean. Where are the bar stools? The bar? Calendars with nekkid wimmen? Beer signs? Wanted posters? Uncle Sam wants YOU posters? There are no tables with stains on them, no beat up chairs, no stack of CSim Babes magazines piled on a table. In short, the place looks like a hospital room. Yuck. I'll be back later with a couple cases of beer. I'll bet we can make the place more like a cross between a WW2 briefing room and a sleazy noir bar in no time. OG aka: Constable6 in WT
  6. I have a picture of my Dad kneeling beside a truck tire. He's holding a tire iron. He was also a master sergeant at the time (late 1944 in Belgium). When he showed me the pic he said, "You realize that is a posed picture." "What do you mean?" He laughed. "Master sergeants don't change tires. That's what PFCs are for." OG
  7. Record research can provide surprises. In the process of finding information about my Mom's last husband, who I detested, I discovered that he actually served in Burma during WW2 and was with Merrill's Marauders during their several-month operation behind Japanese lines. He was wounded during that op. I don't know exactly what happened to him but he did receive VA disability benefits for the effects of the wound. Imagine my surprise . . . He was still an ass, no matter what he did during the war. But I honor his service. I wish the lying bastard had been more forthcoming when he was married to Mom. OG
  8. And shortly thereafter the enlisted Marines began telling their "good" officers to start wearing a knotted rope on their caps . . . so said officers wouldn't "accidentally" get shot by a Marine firing from a ship's upper works. Of course, that gambit failed when all the "other" officers took to wearing the rope on their caps. All kidding aside (you're sure I was kidding, right?) here's to the US Marine Corps. OG
  9. Toumal, Looks like a lot of work. I'm not a jet sim fan, but I hope it works out for you and those who are. Back in a former life I was an air traffic controller. Went from flat radar displays, pushing plastic target markers (shrimp boats) to upright digital displays (which could be dropped horizontal when the computer failed, which happened often in the early days. That career came to an end in the now long-forgotten PATCO strike. I went on to other things, including a long stint at writing fictional tales on Combatsim. Good luck. Old Guy
  10. I shoved another stick into the fire and stood up. Someone was coming along the rocky shoreline. It was a slight man wearing a hooded jacket, jeans, and boots. Wellies, I think they're called. The boots, I mean. I believe that's what the lady in the shop called them. I didn't have my hearing aid in at the time, so I might be mistaken. "Top 'o the mornin'," called the man. He grinned. "I believe we've met -- online that is. You must be the "cracked old American" the copper up the road told me about." "I reckon that's me." His face did look familiar and I said as much. "Though lots of faces remind me of someone," I added. "Generally someone I can't recall." "It's been some time," he said. "Bilko was my moniker, back in the day. I suppose it still is -- in some Combatsim database." "Bilko! Of course." I shook my head. "Where's your stick? I'd have known you if you had it." We both laughed. Fat chance. He perched on a handy boulder. "So what's with the fire?" I tossed another bunch of papers into the flames before sitting down on my handy little folding stool. Old bones don't like rock chairs. "Manuscripts. Tales from the olden days. Back when we all flew EAW and spent hours on CSim discussing that and other flight sims along with every other subject under the sun." "Burning your stories? Isn't that a bit -- Nazi-like?" "Not really. These things are meaningless anymore. I can't even remember half the characters. Hardly anybody visits the Combatsim Ready Room these days. Donnie still posts his usual stuff and Stans chimes in with a weather report. Sometimes Fick wanders in with a badly written diatribe. I never was able to understand more than half of what he writes in Germlish." "Me neither, but still -- burning the old tales. A bit drastic, what?" "Symbolic, more like. I have electronic copies ready to go in some time capsule -- as an example of really bad fiction. I just decided it was time to do something to commemorate those good old days when we all flew over these cliffs -- electronically. On our way to battle the Hun." "Some of us flew over them going the other way, if I remember right. Flying an Me-109 or some such." "True. Well. That's what I'm doing." "Seems harmless enough. Except for the tiny screams I hear when the pages take flame. Doesn't that bother you, mate?" "Not anymore. I turned my hearing aid down. High pitched screams don't register." Bilko got to his feet. "I'll let the coppers know you're up to no harm. They don't care for the fire, y'know. Soots up the rocks." "I'm about done anyway." "I'll also call off the SAS Rapid Response types." "You're joking. Why would those guys be interested in an old Montana cowboy?" "They aren't. But your handle, Old Guy, set of a set of long-standing alarms. MI-6, my shop, even got involved." "But . . ." I searched my unreliable memory banks. "I haven't been active in the UK for -- oh -- must be sixty, seventy years. Maybe longer." "The order I saw originated during the Crimean War." "Oh, that." I shrugged. "Nothing of consequence." Quickly changing the subject, I asked, "MI-6? Really?" "Really. That's why I can't use my stick anymore. Doesn't fit with the Double-O image, y'know." "Double-O?" But he was gone out of hearing by the time I mulled that over for a bit. "Double-O. As if." "Ole Bilko can still tell a whopper, can't he?" I was speaking to myself -- a habit leftover from my time in the Gulag. A low droning noise caught my attention. A black-painted C-130 flew low over the Channel, not more than a mile off shore. I watched until it vanished in the haze. I remember reading that the SAS had recently taken delivery of the latest model C-130 -- the ones used specifically by spec ops groups. But, no. Coincidence. Has to be. Bilko a member of MI-6? Unlikely. He wasn't the Old School type. The last bundle of papers went into the fire. I'd lied to Bilko. The screaming was perfectly audible, even with my hearing aid turned off. I felt like a serial killer. I guess I was, if you consider those old stories part of a series. In due course I doused the fire and went looking for a warm pub. Time was I'd have looked for one staffed with bosomy, friendly ladies. But those days are gone. Long gone. End
  11. Yep, here in the mountains of Montana we have no hurricanes. Of course, at the moment we can't SEE the mountains due to smoke from forest fires. Still, I'll take grizzly bears and forest fires over a hurricane any day. :\ OG
  12. Nothing in the UN inventory did very well against the Mig-15. The ability of the Russian plane was a shock to the Air Force. Even the F-86 didn't do well against the Mig until US pilots went back to school and re-learned dogfighting techniques. Then, this same Air Force proceeded to neglect fighter combat training for the next 15 years, concentrating on ungainly interceptors and so-called "multi-use" birds. In 1966 our best dogfighters were the F-8 Crusader and the F-105 (sans bombs). Not until Navy and Air Force pilots learned how to dogfight (AGAIN!) did they manage to deal effectively with Soviet jets. Apparently, once fighter pilots reach the rank of General, they undergo a lobotomy. OG
  13. Great stuff, GF. I mostly fly bombers in the lower levels of WT. Currently using a B-34 with maxed out gunners. They kill a lot of over confident pilots. I'll have to start flying more fighters with your techniques in mind. Old Guy
  14. I nearly missed the turnoff to the Ready Room. The entrance was overgrown with brush. I backed up and eased into the driveway, now paved mostly with broken chunks of asphalt and rotted limbs. Luckily, the Black Truck is used to narrow, rough roads, those being the norm in Montana's national forests. The parking lot proved to be just as decrepit and dark. "Donster must be scamping on maintenance," I muttered. Leaving the Black Truck parked on the weed choked gravel, I made my way to the front door. Overhead, the usually gaudy neon sign loomed black; not even a buzzing noise welcomed me back to our old haunts. I tried the door. It opened at a push, hinges creaking. A faint green glow filled the room. I stepped inside. "Yo! Donster! Gunny!" Silence. "Anybody?" The only sound was the faint hiss of static emanating from an ancient television set on the bar. I shuffled closer, mindful of chairs and tables that used to fill the floor. Only scattered leaves and candy wrappers met my hesitant steps. "He's sold all the furniture." I spoke in a whisper as if afraid to disturb a ghost. The old Ready Room gave me the creeps. Once a crossroads for history, reality, and fiction, I half expected the place to burst into sudden pandemonium. No such luck. Closer now, I could see faint lettering on the TV screen. For a moment I couldn't bring the faded text into focus. Then I remembered my reading glasses. "Hell," I murmured. "Weather reports. Donster and Stans. Just weather reports, one after the other. What the devil is going on?" I reached for the channel selector knob. (I SAID it was an ancient set.) All channels were black and dead except for the one it was on when I came in. Channel 13. "Jeez. Thirteen." I crossed myself and made the sign of the hammer, even though I wasn't religious. No sense taking chances. I backed away from the buzzing television and groped for the door. Just as I reached it the TV emitted a soft sigh and went dark. I kicked up some gravel and other junk as I tore out of there. I didn't feel safe until I passed a couple convenience stores and a burger joint. Then I relaxed and breathed a sigh of relief. I think the Black Truck did the same. Old Guy
  15. Escape Gunnydueces, once a lochias (sergeant) in the army of Leonidas, stooped to enter the Simian Spartan barracks. The word "hovel" came to mind as he stood inside the entrance. The interior looked to have been systematically ransacked. Blankets lay helter-skelter. Bits of hardtack and half-eaten onions lay strewn across the floor. A goat stood on a cot placidly munching a sandal. Two scruffy sheep were tethered at the back. Simians lay on and under the wreckage, some partly clothed, most not. Gunny picked up a small brown jug and sniffed the contents. "Thrice refined wine. No wonder the lads are under the weather." He uttered a cruel laugh and kicked the nearest body. "Rise and shine! Alert! Fire! Flood! Enemy invasion! Get your asses up and outside! On the double!" For a long moment nothing happened. Then the Simians began to twitch and moan as long disused reflexes took charge. The goat snorted with displeasure and bolted out the door. The sheep began bleating in alarm. Gunny walked outside and took up a position a few paces from the entryway. Soon, Simians began dribbling outside. One or two saw Gunny and began to weep. The others simply collapsed, too far under the influence of vile booze to relate to any form of reality. **** To say Gunnydueces was a hard taskmaster was to minimize the elements of cruelty and sadism hiding under a thin veneer of nastiness. Being a Spartan hoplite in his day meant something a very long way from tender mercy or even stern discipline. Trifling as his connection was with humanitarian ideals, his outlook became permanently warped because he survived the glorious battle at the Hot Gates. Wait, you say. The Three Hundred all died. Well, in round numbers, they did. Three did not die. One, a veteran named Delos, fell from the cliffs during the last stand and found himself clinging to a broken mast, remnant of a Great King's ship smashed in an earlier naval battle. He washed ashore two days later. Another, whose name is not recorded, received a hard blow to the head and fell behind a heap of stones, to remain undiscovered in the later cleanup. Wandering witless, he fell afoul of an Athenian scoundrel and vanished from history. Likely he wound up pulling an oar in an Egyptian galley. The third was Gunnydueces. Sent by his lochargos (commander) to find a new source of water, he was set upon by brigands, knocked senseless, stripped of his armor and weapons, and left for dead. Delos became a silent specter, haunting Sparta. People tried to befriend him but he would have none of it, shunning all human contact. His only companion was a mongrel mutt with no name. After a year of this, he and the dog disappeared. Later a traveler reported seeing such a pair in the wilds of Macedonia. They were probably eaten by the savages of that land. Gunnydueces hunted down his attackers and reclaimed his equipment, save for his sword, which the brigands had sold to a passing Persian trader. Surviving the battle the way he did and losing his sword was not as bad as, for instance, having been bested in combat by an Amazon, but though he found grudging acceptance in Sparta, no Hundred would have him, not as a lochias, not as a mere hoplite in the ranks. Embittered, he roamed the country, selling his sword to whoever had silver enough. And, later, during his bout with triple-refined wine, whoever had a copper or two. His new sword he found in the ruins of a seaside villa ransacked by pirates. Known as the "old hoplite" in several city-states, he had not, in fact, passed his fortieth year when he took up the task of training Simian Spartans in the hard tasks of combat. Together he and they stormed Castle Grob in Hell and recovered the key to Hell's Back Gate. But that is a different story. **** Gunny enlisted two Simians, Archeron and Raptorius, to haul buckets of water from a nearby well. Those buckets were upended over the semi-conscious forms of their brethren. Eventually, he managed to form the lads into a rough approximation of a military formation. Just as the last victim struggled up from his knees a pair of hard-bitten females stepped from the barrack hovel and took themselves off, snarling insults at their former Simian partners. Each led a female sheep. The sheep appeared anxious to put a lot of distance between themselves and the wretched refuse lined up in front of Gunny. "I have news," he said, in a low voice. Speaking in low tones makes people want to listen, even those who know they won't want to hear what is being said. He paused a moment, then continued. "The priests have declared you outlaws. Apparently your priest-like behaviors have alienated the few people who might have spoken in your defense." The Simians stood mute. "One boon has been offered," said Gunny. One or two listeners perked up. Everyone else remembered what a "boon" might mean to the old hoplite. "Oldguytukus -- you remember him from our adventure in Hell? He has a task for us. Guard duty on his trading vessel. I promised the priests that I would lead you out of Sparta, take up Oldguytukus on his offer, and see to it that you never, ever return." He smiled. "Now isn't that nice?" "Um." Stanitos, the ugliest Simian, raised one grimy paw. "What if -- what if we don't wanna go, your honor?" Gunny's grin expanded. "No problem. I'll turn you over to the priests. Stoning, I think, is contemplated, along with additional cutting and impaling." Again, the Simians stood mute. "All volunteers, I see." Gunny's voice and demeanor changed. "All right! Get yourself inside that sad excuse for a barracks and grab whatever you want to take with you. You have exactly 100 heartbeats to do that." The Simians twitched. He held up a hand. "Our old pal, Donius Minimus, is sentenced to accompany you lot. Apparently his sins are equal to your own. He'll be along with castoff equipment shortly." "Donius?" muttered Dudeius. His eyes glowed red for an instant, then faded. "He'd sell his mother for a copper." Gunny nodded. "I believe it was half a copper. But he also fathered the lot of you. Surely you have some feeling for him." A chorus of growls assured him that the Simians did, indeed, have feelings for dear old dad. "Inside!" He touched his wrist. "One hundred heartbeats. Starting now!" Two hours later the Spartan Simians marched out, trailed by a single cart pulled by Donius Minimus, once a 4th level initiate in the the pantheon of Spartan gods. The cart carried bags of hardtack and onions. The Simians wore equipment no longer considered usable by real Spartans. Their spears were rusted, their swords bent and nicked. Gunnydueces marched behind the cart. He didn't plan on turning his back on any Simian in the foreseeable future. TBC
  16. Come on, Flicksie. It's be kind to Donster week, hadn't you heard? What? It's not be kind to Donster week? Hamsters? Not Donsters? Okay. I have no problem with being kind to hamsters. Never mind, Flick. I guess it's open season on Donster. Don't get carried away, though. We can always get the medics to drag you back in for more electroshock therapy. OG
  17. Where the hell have all these people been hiding? In the Green Vinyl Lounge? No, that place is a wreck. Maybe the old gang is hanging out at the Symbiotic Saloon. I haven't been there for some time . . . Now. What was that code phrase I used to activate a transfer to the Saloon? Jeez, I can't . . . my memory isn't what it once was. Ah, yes. Now I remember. "My waders are full of eels." Nothing happened for a long moment. Then one wall of my office developed a wide doorway. Dark wood, heavily carved, filled the opening. Black stonework famed the door. The designs on the wood depicted the torments of Hell interspersed with Gothic-lettered signs advertising several brands of Egyptian beer. As I watched one such ad morph into a vile creature inspired no doubt by a Dark Age nightmare, the door swung silently open. "Anubis!" I rose to greet the god. "How are you my dog-headed friend?" "Jackal-headed, dammit." The creature of myth, clad in worn jeans and a Hawaiian shirt, made himself comfortable in a bright red director's chair, which had not been part of my office decor five minutes ago. He removed a pair of expensive sunglasses and sighed. "Ten seconds I'm here already and no beer." "I wasn't expecting company." The excuse was waved away. Proceedings were delayed while I fetched booze and snacks. "What the hell can he want?" I wondered. "I'll probably have to listen to complaints about his latest girlfriend and the plotting of those infernal Priests of Set." He surprised me. "I hear there's a new production. What part do I play? I'll need time to learn my lines. When do we start? Will there be babes?" "There's no story in the works." I shrugged. "Combatsimian Publishing is out of business." "Then why are those clowns showing up in the Ready Room?" "I have no idea. Maybe they all have an interest in Iowa weather reports." "Right." He popped a handful of peanuts. "As if." OG
  18. What does it say about us, that we can't seem to part ways with our past? Me, I drive by now and then because I have no "real" friends. Stans, of course, being a dentist, has no personality. He can take out his latent sociopathic tendencies by slaughtering the local wildlife with high powered weapons, but only in the Ready Room can he assume the facade of a living person. And Donster. Well, we know he spends most of the day lying in a dark corner wrapped in a battered flight jacket now several sizes too large. At night, like a vampire, he dons dark glasses and plants himself in front of a computer screen, there to haunt the Web in search of life, liberty and buxom females. Actually, both of those descriptions sound interesting. Stans, what caliber rifle do you use on cats and barking dogs? Don, tell me where these buxom females hang out. Old Guy
  19. I knew an Air Farce controller who worked the Bien Hoa tower in about 1968. He once had an F-4 lose one engine on takeoff. The pilot immediately jettisoned his payload -- several 500 lb bombs along with a couple napalm canisters and two full fuel tanks -- right into the perimeter mine field. You can imagine the resulting explosions and fire. This war story brought to you by Old Guy's failing memory.
  20. About 12F here in NW Montana. Light snow. The skies are clearing so I can probably go out and fire up my snowblower soon. OG
  21. Right. A craft with no radar, not very good sonar, and ineffective depth charges. Not only that, but the Nips didn't build enough of them to effectively guard convoys. Most Japanese patrol boats ended up as a victim of an American submarine or a skip-bombing B-25. They lie rotting on the ocean floor, right alongside all those freighters and tankers. OG
  22. I finally finished the narrative of my US Army service with emphasis on my time in Vietnam. For my kids and grandkids I'm having a paperback version printed up so they can have something to use as an emergency doorstop or whatever. If anyone here is interested in reading it, I can send it in .pdf format. It's a 15MB file, so it shouldn't cause any problems in attaching it to an email. OG
  23. Thanks for the kind words, Whiz. I should have kept a diary all during my military service, but the letters to my wife serve almost as well. In a diary I would have recorded things I did not put in the letters. My stepfather kept a diary while he was stationed in Iran during WW2 and it makes for interesting reading. I have considered taking the bare bones of my experience and making it into a novel. It couldn't be autobiographical since my tour, although fairly typical of non-combat personnel, is devoid of much real action. I could write it that way and engage in endless soliloquies about the war, the Army, the enemy, the dust and mud, and the ever present foolishness of war -- but Heller already did that with Catch 22. Others have done it as well. No, I was thinking of including action sequences I know about. Things that happened to others. Every tour was different and plenty of so-called non-combat types were engaged in fighting, usually when a convoy was ambushed or during an assault on a firebase, outpost, or MACV compound. During Tet 68, lots of fighting was done by soldiers who don't ordinarily get intimately involved in combat. I once met an MP whose unit was sent into Saigon during Tet. They fought in the dockyard area for over a week. Another controller I used to work with (an Air Force clown!) won a bronze star while helping defend the perimeter of the compound. This also was during Tet. So, I could throw in a few ambushes and maybe have my hero fly as a helicopter door gunner on occasion. Naturally, he'd have to get wounded and have a romantic interlude with a well-endowed nurse. I have to keep the attention of guys like Donnie. Our hero could participate in patrols around Dong Tam and Vinh Long. Out of boredom. I didn't know ordinary soldiers were doing this until I corresponded with a fellow vet who took part in such patrols at about the same time as I was there. Neither base had regular infantry assigned for perimeter defense or patrols. Then, of course, the main character would have to take an R&R to Australia. That country opened up for R&R while I was there and the stories returning GIs told of Aussie women was the stuff of legend. Donnie would love that part. Working title: The Accidental Warrior So, you see, I've given this more than casual attention. Now, I just have to get beyond thinking about it. Sigh. Not likely. OG
  24. Leave it to Stans to blab about the centerfold spread. Donnie has probably passed out just thinking about the possibilities. OG
  25. Invading Russia was the easier choice. All the Wehrmacht had to do was fire up their vehicles and drive over to Russia. Getting to England required wading. And breathing underwater. OG