Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Beaufighters over Norway

I've flown several flights from Peterhead airbase in Northern Scotland, across the North Sea to raid German bases in occupied Norway. Each such flight is taking between 50 min and an hour. I have flown two such missions tonight.

On the first, it was mid afternoon on the server and I was alone in the skies. I joined the Norwegian island chain of a coast about 50 miles south of first reconnaissance target of Gossen. By the time I swept across the airfield I was doing 400 mph. I discharged six rockets for one parked german plane. None of his aa got me as I pulled up and out onto course for my next target, Folosen (50 odd miles East along the island chain).

I knew I had found the target area when I was surrounded by the black bursts of flak at around 4000 feet. But for the life of me I couldn't spot the town, its port, or the AA guns. I circled in ever increasing arcs for the next ten minutes, most of the time over patches of norwegian land in a sea of grungy blue. Eventually I recognised one of the islands, aligned myself with the reconnaisance target area, and again swept in low and fast. I didn't get off any rockets (no targets on my flightpath) but got some good photos. As I swept up onto a course for home at about 6000 feet, I went through a barrage of flak. I could see a hole big enough to stick my head through on my left wing. I had lost my rudder, and the plane was generally sluggish. I crept back over the north sea, navigated via the airfield of Banf to my home base. Sadly, I came in too quick and put too much strain on the airframe, cracking up just short of the runway.

Second flight was direct to Folosen with 2 x 500lb bombs for the sub in the harbour my recce had revealed. This time, it was just after sunset, so I had the western glow lighting up my targets as again I swept towards the harbour from the west. This time, however, I banked out over the northern sea to come in on a southerly bearing. Thus, the sub and its neighboring freighter presented their full lengths to my bomb run. Powering over the harbour, I released the bombs from less than 100 feet altitude. As I pulled up hard and fast I registered hits on two of the three AA emplacements at the harbour. Not as good as a sub, but satisfying.

I again flew direct for home, using large airfield at Banf as my IP. Sadly, I again misjudged my landing approach and stalled short of the runway, crashing fatally in the same field that I had earlier.

Good fun.

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