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Joker

Journal of Sub-Lieutenant Dick Sullivan, RNAS

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March 1, 1917

Can it really be almost a year since graduation? It seems like only yesterday that I was drilling in the quad. If the gang at A&M could see me now – a Limey naval officer!

The boys would crap me out for sure. Seamanship wasn’t on the curriculum in the Corps of Cadets.

Neither was aviation, come to think of it. Yet here I am in Flanders, flying for the Royal Navy. These Sopwiths are queer birds – three wings. They can twist like a tornado, though, and they climb like a homesick angel. The Tripehound is a real peach. I found that out for myself this morning.

Today was my first patrol at the Front. Three of us took off from our aerodrome at Furnes around eight o’clock this morning, heading south to search the lines for Huns. The weather was overcast and dreary, and pretty soon I lost track of my flight leader. That wasn’t going to stop an Aggie, though. I kept heading south at 13,000 feet, hoping I’d catch up sooner or later.

You hear No Man's Land before you see it. Thud, thud, thud, like an approaching giant. That's the barrage, a metal monsoon that never lifts. Soon enough, life starts ebbing from the earth. Green gives way to brown and you notice flashes from shells landing in the muck. Peer closely beneath the clouds and you might make out troops marching behind the lines, perhaps a stray column of trucks. In the trenches, all is still -- motion amounts to suicide. Then you see craters, sterile and sodden, the churned-up quagmire where hope lies buried. Patches of black blossom around your aircraft, and the air itself shudders and screams.

My first look at the war was quite a shock, I can tell you. All I could do was stare at the spectacle. It was like having a ringside seat at the Huntsville prison rodeo. Then I noticed a couple of dots down below, over the trenches. I dropped down, thinking I’d caught the patrol.

Think again! These crates were red and green, with big black crosses on the wings. That didn’t signify Christian charity, either. These mugs wanted me dead.

They were Fokkers, the new Dr.I triplane that some Dutch profiteer built for the Kaiser as an answer to our Sopwiths. And they were good, some kind of good. Pretty soon, a mess of other Huns joined the fight. I didn’t have time to count, but everywhere I looked I saw a Kraut. We swirled around for what seemed like an eternity, long enough for Saint Peter to start checking my passport.

All I could do was keep turning into ‘em, letting off bursts from my Vickers. Those years of duck hunting with Pop paid off -- two of the Fokkers smacked into the mud. Then, all of a sudden, the air was empty. Maybe some RFC chaps showed up. I don’t know for sure, but my kite was handling funny, so I pointed her nose west.

Just when I started to breathe again, Archie opened up. Maybe I'd been drawing ack ack the entire time, and didn't notice in all the excitement. Nobody ever accused me of being a genius. Whatever the case, my Tripehound lurched through black patches of shrapnel, blown about like a leaf in a gully-washer. Then the kite started to yaw something awful. When I looked back, I saw half as much rudder as I’d started out with that morning.

As luck would have it, I ran across an aerodrome just past the lines, so I brought the Sopwith in. It wasn’t a textbook landing. She was a write-off, but I walked away.

Chances are the PBI – that’s the poor bloody infantry – in the trenches saw my Huns go down. Right now, I’ve got claims for two. We’ll see what turns up.

Good bull! I guess I should be yelling. Hullabaloo, caneck, caneck, beat the hell out of Hunland. And I am happy -- to be alive. This isn’t some football game.

I wonder exactly what the blazes I've gotten myself into ...

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Ok im getting this from my brother on the weekend and installing OFF , great AAR Joker :thumbsup::thumbsup:

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This is good stuff Lee. Makes me look rather amatuerish.

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This is good stuff Lee.  Makes me look rather amatuerish.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thanks, Skip! Your AAR isn't amatuerish at all, though -- it's very good.

You've got a distinctive voice, like a salty Marine is telling the story. I like it! :thumbsup:

Says someting about OFF when it inspires us all to start writrng AARs, doesn't it ... ?

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Nice stuff Lee. :thumbsup:

And yeah it does say a lot for the campaign that it makes us tell these stories. I just wish the pilot that has lived for me wasn't based on Blackadder because I ran out of names. :lol:

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Nice stuff Lee.  :thumbsup:

And yeah it does say a lot for the campaign that it makes us tell these stories. I just wish the pilot that has lived for me wasn't based on Blackadder because I ran out of names.  :lol:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thanks, Rick!

Hey, I think you can edit the pilot's name.

Look for the pilot file in the OFF campaign directory, Bloody April I think the folder is called ...

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Yeah I'm sure I could edit it, but that'd be like...like...I dunno, but it wouldn't be right. :lol:

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I think the best thing about it tho Lee, is that these stories w'e're tellin about are actual stuff that happened in game during a flight. I say flight because not every flight ends up a fight.

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I think the best thing about it tho Lee, is that these stories w'e're tellin about are actual stuff that happened in game during a flight.  I say flight because not every flight ends up a fight.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yep, that's one of the things I like about OFF, Shawn. You never know what's going to happen. Of course, you know the Huns are out there somewhere -- what you don't know is whether or not you'll find 'em. Really makes you think!

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Over Flanders' Fields Shep. It's a mod for CFS3, and good enough in fact to make buying CFS3 something less mindnumbingly terrifying than is usually the case. ;)

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Over Flanders' Fields Shep. It's a mod for CFS3, and good enough in fact to make buying CFS3 something less mindnumbingly terrifying than is usually the case. ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Might have to look it up then and try her out.

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Well, if you like "The Great War" then this will certainly trip your trigger. Bi-planes, Tri-planes, the Kaiser and the Red Baron and his little brother Toto to. It's really Lothar, but I couldn't resist.

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