Sunday, August 05, 2007

Midocean at Midday

Flew two brief missions in beaufighter over North Sea at around 3 am local time. Server time was 1130 roughly. There were two other pilots initially, a mosquito flying from Peterhead and a Me 110 from Helda. They seemed to be involved in variously attacking shipping and each other down near the german base.

Sortie 1: I fly due north past the tip of scotland, locating myself over map (roughly) by flying at a steady speed for a certain time on a given bearing. I turn East, hoping to come in towards where I suspect some tankers might present juicy targets. Instead I bump into a submarine, first noticing its AA fire from about 1500 feet. I have to do a 180' circuit to circle in onto its beam at several miles. Too long and too predictable, he has me in his sights as I start my low approach (under 500 feet). Rattled, I take too long to line him up from too far away and are knocked out of the sky by his defensive fire destroying my controls. I note with grim satisfaction that the grid reference of my demise is that which I had intended to be in at the time.

Sortie 2: The lone german pilot has switched to a FW 109 fighter plane. I believe he is about to try and hunt down our bombers. He knows where it was I was last shot down. He might decide to patrol the approaches to that spot. He might, on the otherhand, patrol the seas near our airfield, or the target area of my comrade in the mosquito. I therefore opt to fly further north, and come in towards the same location I had last time on a bearing of SSE rather than E (as previously). Coming in like this would allow me far better observation of likely paths of approach of any FW 190 intent on 'ambushing' me.

All theory, however, because while flying in a straight line and working it all out at only 1000 feet, I flew directly over a sub I hadn't noticed. I was shot out of the sky, again losing various of my controls to their accurate fire, before I'd realised what was happening. I guess at that range, they couldn't miss.

Perhaps I'm fatigued after a pleasantly busy day. Who knows. In any event, I'm off to bed.

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