Squadron Forward continues to move forward. Rich has had some computer issues and I have had some work issues but progress continues to be made!
Painted up my Saxon command group and managed a quick game of Squadron Forward/Bag the Hun this weekend which I thought I would report. This is my Tomahawks 8th battle and they are doing reasonably well. Their reputation is +1 and they have 4 pilots that have scored.
The mission for today was CAP over a convoy returning from Tobruk. Sdr Ldr Puck Poole figured a flight of 4 could handle it and he would turn this one over to his deputy and get some paperwork done. To give Lt Thurlby a hand he would send the Flgt Sgt with him who was a very experience airman and well liked in the squadron.
Before the brief Lt Mason from wing HQ showed up and asked if he could tag along as he needed some flying hours. Lt Thurlby gladly added him to the flight and figured this couldn't be too dangerous a mission if a wing staffer volunteered to go!!
Lt Thurlby liberal 1 kill
Lt Mason [NPC]
F/O Charles cultured sprog
Flt Sgt Skinner generous 2 kills Vet
Sgt Turnhill Fanatic
After boring holes in the sky for several hours Lt Thurlby spotted some Italian bombers low moving in fast. They worked there way around towards the back.
Tomahawks enter to the upper left
I can't afford 6 Italian bombers yet so there
are 3 bases!
This was a full effort on this convoy; 6 SM 79s and 6 CR 42s. The Brits would have their hands full protecting the convoy today!
As they closed they were spotted and the fighters nimbly turned to greet them. Thurlby left Skinner up top to deal with the fighters while he took 2 to bore in on the bombers. A general melee ensued.
Tomahawks starting out well
Lt Thulrby caused one bomber to abort. Flght Sgt Skinner and Lt Mason each got a bomber. Sgt Turnhill must have had his Tomahawk on emergency power too long because his engine started to overheat and he had to leave the battle.
As the bombers dropped low to start their torpedo runs Lt Thurlby lined up for one more shot desperatley trying to defend the ships
The Convoy making the run back to Alexandria
A CR42 snuck up behind him and caused the Lt to temporarily lose control of the Tomahawk. With 10,000 ft to play with he could have righted himself but at less than 500 ft the tomahawk smacked into the souless sea and exploded into a hundred pieces.
3 SM 79s made torpedo runs. The dice were with them as a minesweeper was badly damaged but later towed and
a small merchant ship was sunk
On the return flight Sgt Turnhill's engine didn't make it and he had to crash land the tomahawk. The plane was destroyed and Turnhill WIA. Hopefully he will be back soon.
I declared the mission a win barely. The Italians only had 50% of the bombers get through despite a heavy escort of fighters. Combat losses were 1 fighter for 1 bomber plus a empty merchant. We did not earn any cool points though. Lt Thurlby was not replaced. Puck does not want to promote the next ranking pilot to deputy, Flt Lt Attleburg, because he is not that good. He suggested F/O Oldfield (vet pilot, ranking scorer in the sq with 3 kills) but the old man Grp Capt Randel was polite but said "no". Since the RAF is very rank consious Attleburg will be acting deputy until Puck can figure something else out. This is the kind of situations that Squadron Forward sets up for you!
For those of you that want to play this the Forces generated for the Italians were:
6 CR 42s with 2 veterans, 3 Avg and 1 rookie
6 SM 79s with torpedos
1 large merchant, 3 small merchants 1 V class DD, 2 MS 1 patrol boat