Took a while but here we go....
"The Filthy Few
A co-op campaign for FB+AEP+PF.(4.01)
40+ co-op missions for 4-16 players designed to be played in sequence.
The brainchild of Texas oil baron, Sheldon Marcone and retired US congressman Howard McGinley,
the original idea was to form an army fighter squadron whose personnel were taken from military prisons
around the world. These aircrews, in theory, would have an edge because they would be fighting in exchange
for their freedom, a chance at atonement. And because they could operate independently from the allied
command structure both Marcone and McGinley figured that if they were using unorthodox tactics and
fighting like a guerrilla group, this group of pilots could make a larger difference than just another group
of men sent to the front. Knowing that US involvement in the war was just a matter of time, they approached
General Hap Arnold and, with his support, started the plan in motion.
Shortly after recruitment began focus moved away from Europe as the US entered the war against Japan.
The plan was expanded to create a small carrier force that would act as an independent attack force, harassing
the Japanese in the Pacific right in their back yard. To that end, the USN and the USAAF began to send
troublesome personnel to the programme rather than to correction facilities. Most service personnel
facing confinement jumped at this chance to stay on active duty.
By December 1942, after intensive training, the group was in place and ready to be deployed. In an unusual
combination, the aircrews remained loosely under command of the US Army whilst the sailors were all
still part of the USN. Both branches of the armed service did their best to distance themselves from the
group though, only issuing orders when absolutely necessary.
Command of the group was split between Commodore Sanford J. Moody for the USN and Brigadier General
Jackson Pearce for the USAAF. Interestingly enough, despite the different responsibilities of their command,
both men worked well together and achieved victory after victory.
Because of the lack of direct command, rather than in spite of it, this fighting group of misfits achieved
great success in the war against Japan. Operating independently for the main part, the group kept
showing up deep inside Japanese-held territory, hitting the enemy like a group of marauding pirates,
before disappearing again into the vast Pacific Ocean. Although the enemy forces would search
for this carrier group time and time again, the hunts would prove largely fruitless.
A recurring stumbling block for the group was that the equipment issued to them was always in need
of repair and being who they were, they were always last on the resupply list.
Initially equipped with a Kaiser-built escort carrier (USS Salt Lake Bay) that the USN had rejected
because of stability issues, and 2 pre-war destroyers (USS Arnold and USS Burr),
the group ended up with a second, newer escort carrier (USS Akron Bay) through some back door
dealings between Marcone, McGinley and Henry J. Kaiser. (The carrier had been ordered by the Royal Navy
but was mysteriously diverted). The aircraft they received were too, well past their prime, although
the replacements improved as the war moved on and the group garnered the respect of the "official"
branches of the armed forces.
In this co-op campaign I have tried to recreate some of the missions of this unlikely group
of heroes, if not historically, then at least in spirit. "
Available here. (Thanks Euro Snoopy)