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View Full Version : Beginning of my Novel! Long read but.....



danjama
07-12-2005, 01:45 PM
I would greatly appreciate feedback. I know you lot are good critics cus i go in the movie forum now, so please be brutal with me, and be constructive, i appreciate honesty. Theres no action in this bit but it is a good build up to th next installment ill give when its done. Thank you in advance to anyone takin the time to read it and reply! Here it is:



Combat Tales; Part One.

Debden, England. March 23rd 1944.

Joss woke up that morning in Debden, England, to the mistiest morning yet. His toes were cold, uncovered at the bottom of the inadequately sized blanket.
He rubbed his eyes eagerly to see who was calling him from the door of his hut; just some sergeant ruining his already blemished life. His unit, the 334th FS from the 4th FG, 8th Air Force, had been having the toughest few months. The windows were choked with condensation as usual; it was slowly becoming a comfort to him, a thought surfacing of past sorties cancelled due to bad weather. He pulled on his flying pants and a hand knitted, long sleeve jumper that his mom made before he left for the UK. It was an unequalled comfort to him, a small piece of home away from home! It was all he had in such a complex and unfamiliar environment. His flying boots were next. They were USAAF standard issue, apart from one small difference; little Johnny Gibbs from RAF 30th squadron had got his €œmissus€ to sew his moms name into it. €œGloria€ stitched in large, italic letters just under the fur. €œMan, I miss him. I need to check up on Miss Gibbs, I haven€t seen her for so long€. It had actually been since six months ago just before Johnny was shot down over France. Joss thought to himself for a moment then tried to clear his head, with little success. Johnny was his closest of a small group of friends that he€d lost in the last 15 months of being In England.

The day before he died it was a quiet September Sunday; they both managed to get a weekends leave at the same time so they could hold the long planned picnic that they had been planning for his wife and Joss€ English girlfriend who he met at the base Ball a few months earlier. Johnny was cracking jokes all day about it, €œI really can€t see my parents approving old boy€. He just laughed and took it as light hearted English humour as usual. It was the most pleasurable Sunday though; troubles seemed to wander from the mind, and the sky had appeared to ooze tranquillity. It was that time of year where you appreciated every bit of sunshine and calm you got, because you knew the bitter winter was on the horizon and everything would change, and because you knew that on Monday you would be facing another life threatening mission over Germany; Facing another opportunity to shoot down people who, in any other circumstances, may have been good friends with him.

Ever since he met him in January 1943, they seemed to bond in a compelling way. Johnny told a lot of stories from his Battle of Britain days, which Joss was always keen to hear because of course, he was still a new pilot and hadn€t even flown yet in combat. He enjoyed his stories, but later realised that Johnny glamorised combat to an extent, most probably to protect Joss for as long as possible. That was how it was with the two, even when they first met. They were both on leave in London; it was Joss€s first month of being in England. When they became friends, he finally started to feel welcome in England. €œSome English folks are so cold towards us U.S. folk€ Joss had written in a letter to his mother, he couldn€t understand it. When he€d first arrived and before he knew Johnny, his CO and a few friendly pilots took him to the local pub. The stares he was on the end of were the products of Hitler himself! They were used to it of course, but Joss was completely taken back. Luckily it wasn€t like that a year or so later, in fact, warm relationships had grown between the town and the fighter boys, ties that would last for a lifetime.



Joss and Johnny used to bounce around towns like a couple of kids on a play day, having real €œbenders€ as the English pilots liked to call them. Endless drinking and banter made the journey of war much more bearable for both of them; although Johnny wouldn€t ever admit that it troubled him at all. They used to bounce off of each others jokes, as if they were a planned and revised stand up act. They just had that ability. They clicked. Joss had often thought that Johnny had the sense of humour of an American, but much more intelligence, and more sophistication that he guessed was sewn deep into his English blood. As a result of losing him the last six months had been some of the hardest yet for Joss. It had become so difficult without him. Slowly the roster of people he€d called friends had shrunk; Johnny was the last one to go.


Now his life was just endless streams of replacement pilots and CO€s, all waiting to skip into the action in a childish manner and get shot down in a fierce explosion of burning fire and metal and flesh. Joss would try to explain, combat on the European front is not training! It€s real and it€s fatal. He€d tell them €œGerman aces will counter your moves and land on your six in the blink of an eye. Keep with your wingman or your dead. Never fly strait and level for more than thirty seconds in a combat area. Go into combat with the advantage of height, and come out of the sun or from a blind spot€. All of this advice; conveyed countless times to the rookies. He gave up trying to help them a long time ago, they just didn€t understand. He saw now that they couldn€t understand until they had experienced it. They couldn€t understand until they had been in combat, and countered a German aces moves and got on his six and ultimately, survived. Both sides had aeroplanes at the cutting edge of technology, and it boiled down to the pilots€ skill and luck to survive. Joss believed luck to be the more important factor, and no amount of skill could change a pilot€s luck. He also reckoned that you could tell at first sight whether a new pilot would make it. He was seldom ever wrong.

He walked out into the morning breeze and slung his flying jacket over his shoulder. The nerves of going into combat had appeared again since Johnny died, but he was becoming used to them again by now. They were almost a part of him. His new wingman 2nd Lieutenant Jackson had been panicking behind him trying to pull on his unscathed jacket and adjust his standard issue boots at the same time, quite a whimsical sight. Joss felt sorry for this one, he looked very disconcerted. He was a taller man than Joss, around 6€1, and very rugged looking. He hadn€t had time to shave because he never woke when the rigger called them in their hut less than 20 minutes ago. Joss was beginning to wish he hadn€t shaved, it was bloody freezing outside. Luckily the snow had melted somewhat since February, although they still had the odd snow storm that settled, something that Joss prayed for so that they wouldn€t have to fly. Jackson had thick brown hair that receded at the front just above the creases in his forehead. He was only 23. In reality he was a young man, yet in a fighter pilots world he was almost ready to start instructing. He gave Joss a nervous smile as he looked back at him, then he seemed to resume pondering on his imminent death. I wanted to speak to him, but fear of losing another possible friend mounted over me. His last wingman had succumbed to the wrath of the Nazi pilots just four days ago on a patrol over France. He told him to stick to him, yet he broke off at the sight of a Bf€"109G2 seemingly on his own, and in the process lost any speed and altitude advantage he had had. €œI couldn€t turn in time to get the German pilots wingman that pounced him€ Joss later told the debriefing officer. Joss thought to himself after the incident €œwhy do they always do that€, then broke off and rejoined to the safety of his squadron. Disappointment and anger were the dominant feeling in his guts.

As Joss peered up at the mission board outside the briefing room his heart jumped and seemed to stop with fear. They were flying escort in their P51D€s for a force of 678 B17s from various squadrons in the south of England, a big one joss thought. The target was Berlin, the most feared city to bomb in Germany, also known as the capital. The city was known for its deadly fighter cover and hundreds of 88mm Flak Guns. He looked at his rookie wingman and €œhe sensed my uneasiness with what we had to do today€. In contrast to Joss€ earlier impression, his new wingman returned a look of both understanding and resilience. There was something reassuring and promising in this kid. Joss could see it already despite the fact that he hadn€t even flown with him yet. He followed me into briefing and we sat down. The pilots that filled the hall had collectively started to whisper and stir. Joss in sensing Jackson€s nervous disposition, offered him some gum and he accepted gratefully with a cool smile that he liked in a person, and more importantly, in a wingman.

€œSo where you from€, Joss finally plucked up the courage to brake the invisible barrier between them. He looked surprised for a second, and then stammered €œLong Island€, as if he was made nervous by talking to him. Joss thought he was a bit awe struck at talking to a veteran, a real combat ace. He thought €œhe€d better get used to it if we€re gonna fly together!€ In an attempt to relax him, Joss offered a hand to shake before the silence became too long and became awkward. €œNice to meet you€, €œyeah good to meet you€ he replied. €œI got here last night but you were already asleep€. €œOh sorry, just figured I would get the rest while I had the chance, we€ve been getting a lot of **** lately from upstairs€, €œyeah I heard already from a few guys, saying there€s been a lot of pilots lost lately, something about they are trying to push deeper into Germany and throw in more bombers€, €œthat€s the way it is I guess€ I replied with a thick air of coldness surrounding the words. €œHow many hours you had in the P51?€, €œaround 8 back in the states, but I had 40 in the P47€s before they switched me over, if it€s anything like the P47 I should be fine€. €œWell it aint as good in a dive, and it has zero manoeuvrability at low altitudes, but lucky for us we€ll be up high, and like the 47 it is faster and manoeuvrable there€. He smiled at me again, then we were called to attention by the base commander to endure the mission briefing. It was already Joss€ second tour of duty, actually his 12th mission of his second tour. Joss couldn€t believe how fast it had all gone by. Was it really just two years ago that he joined the Air Force he thought to himself? He still remembered the last day at home before he left for training. He remembered it like it was yesterday.



January 19th 1942, Joss€ home.

It was a warm morning considering it was January, and Joss didn€t start back at college until the 21st. However, he had a feeling he would not be returning this semester. His mobilization papers had arrived that morning after a shorter wait than expected and he was to report for Army Air Force training at the small base just outside town. Every one he knew had already joined one service or another either just before the attack on Pearl that brought the USA head first into the war, or strait after they€d left high school. He didn€t follow their lead in the belief that they would not be entering the war. How wrong he was! In fact, how very wrong they all were. He signed up for the Air Force a day after Pearl Harbour was attacked, young and eager he wanted to get into this war, not by land or boat, but in the clouds where no one could reach him. Higher than he even knew existed. Despite strong dispute from his mom, dad and sister he stood strong that his education would have to wait until after he had done his duty. It was just what every man his age had to do at that time and everyone knew it.

He arrived at the base just before noon, having persuaded his neighbour to drive him down there. He held a small case that was half empty, only containing a change of clothes and some socks and underpants, and also a photograph of his family. The base was basic, a dirt strip, a small tower and a few hangers and maintenance buildings dotted around, and about four blocks of barracks, all contained inside a metal fence, the barrier between him and the outside world. Prior to arriving he had never even been in a plane, the first time he€d heard of a plane was when Lindbergh made his Long Island to Paris flight back in 1927. Joss was just five years old at the time, and barely knew what to make of it, but his parents were **** excited and so began his love of planes. In his teens he built model airplanes out of wood from scratch with just a small carving tool. He had always been good with his hands. He was a very able artist too. The only reference he had of planes were pictures in the newspapers or magazines, and so the models were largely based on those.

Huckebein_UK
07-12-2005, 02:18 PM
I like it mate; I think it's got good potential. How are you planning to make it 'different' to all the other WWII novels though, just out of interest?

One more thing; press 'return' between each line of dialogue if it's uninterrupted - it makes it easier to read. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

croc106
07-12-2005, 02:18 PM
its awsome. im no critic, but if ths was a report (yes i know schools out but hey) it wold give u a A+. so far so good. i want to hear some more, specialy when there in combat.

danjama
07-12-2005, 02:26 PM
thanks alot fellas, swift replys and very positive, http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I will have the next bit up in two weeks or so. I am still collecting ideas on how to make it special, but i have some very good ones dont worry. I wont post them here obviously lol im glad u like it, im just on HL and its impossible to get anyone to look so thanks again.

AerialTarget
07-12-2005, 02:36 PM
Proper punctuation and spacing is vital; proper grammar is also necessary, but can be deviated from in a novel, especially with dialogue.

Huckebein_UK
07-12-2005, 02:52 PM
*sorry, wrong thread... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif*

danjama
07-12-2005, 03:06 PM
aeril target what am i doing wrong please? ive checked and corrected a dozen times and thought i had it right. Grammer...check! Spacing....check! Punctuation....Check! Thanks for ur input but u havnt been very specific mate, any more info would be appreciated. I done English Lit so i thought i was good so far.

Dunkelgrun
07-12-2005, 03:43 PM
Nice start danjama. I'll give it a thorough proofread if you like (it's one of my things - I did the now-defunct T4T site for them); I noticed a couple of things while I read it. Send me a PM if you feel like it.

For the story itself; there's a hell of a lot cranmmed into those opening paragraphs that, when printed, won't fill more than a couple of pages. Perhaps a bit more expansion about the characters and some extra description of the scenery? All we've been told at the moment is that the blanket is under-modelled http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif.

Cheers!

danjama
07-12-2005, 04:02 PM
thanks dunkel, i was thinkin there was a lack of description, but its stuf i was gonna add leter. Im hopin to make a nice scene up of his family home and his childhood between para 1 and 2 in the second chapter! i think it would fit well there. I will be adding lots more depth to everythin later on, so i know what ur sayin mate. When uv proof read it post back please for absolutely anythin u think is worth mentionin. Thanks alot

danjama
07-13-2005, 12:43 PM
come on people please dont let this go by without sayin something, i really really appreciate anything more anyone has to say, Thankyou. I put it up here caus i thought alot of you would be interested. If it bores you a couple paragraphs in, then say that that would help, but read the whole thing it gets better! If u think the whole thing is cack just tell me, ok people.

FlitGun
07-14-2005, 07:32 AM
Reads nice. Very good effort. Here is what I think, disregard as you please. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

I wanted to get to know Joss a bit better in the present, before hearing his life story. I wanted to get to like, admire and sympathise with him. For me it would have been less tiring if his background was given later as an answer to a question you set up in my head. For example his behaviour may well have been affected due to the death of his wingman. He might drop his mess tray, or get into a fight. It could even be his behaviour towards his new wingman. These things would make me want to follow this guy around and eventually ask myself 'why did that happen?, why is he behaving like that?' When you think I might be at this stage then hit me with the past.

Then again, that's just me, others I'm sure would disagree. And maybe, if I wasn't thinking about the quality of your writing I may never have had those thoughts.

<S danjama

Regards,

dazza9806482
07-14-2005, 09:04 AM
I think its good Dan, the flow of your prose is excellent and a real enthusiasim shines through your writing.

In terms of criticism what others have said stands. You need to look at spelling, punctuation, grammar etc.

However I wonder how old you are?

Its not really relevant, but what I would say is if your younger then constant writing will really improve your use of metaphors and descriptive language.

Ocassionally there is a strange metaphor or desrciption where the imagery you are trying to convery doesnt quite gel. Often there is a really astute and emotive description you have used, but all I would say is to be careful of the precise language you use.

Too many dodgy metaphors or askew imagery can damage the credibility of your story. Also dont be afraid of using short, blunt prose. You used this on several occassions and you display a talent for it. It suits the subject and too much flowery 'english literature' type prose can make this type of novel seem forced or laboured.

All in all though I enjoyed it and would like to read more. I couldnt write like you, and my criticism just comes from studying other folks work and reading a hell of a lot (or indeed skimming a hell of a lot).

Keep writing mate

BRASSTURTLE
07-14-2005, 12:47 PM
Overall, I would say very good. But, since you asked, the only thing i noticed was in para 6. You swithed from 3rd person to first & back. it is just a tad confusing. Other than that, i think i would buy it.

danjama
07-16-2005, 11:12 AM
Ive just got online guys, Dazza and Flitgun than you very much, your posts are very valuble to, incredibly in fact. Dazza, i know thanks for spottin that! There is a reason for that though my friend. I started the writing in first person but didnt feel comfy with it so switched to 3rd, and it seems i missed a bit! I did have to change the whole thing mind you so i guess its justified.

I am young Dazza, just 17 so i am takin that point about writing alot more in. I appreciate that u guys responded and liked it. Now im going to work on my second chapter. Maybe experiment with metaphors he he. S~ guys. Thanks again.

Woof603
07-16-2005, 02:09 PM
Originally posted by danjama:
I am young Dazza, just 17 so i am takin that point about writing alot more in. I appreciate that u guys responded and liked it. Now im going to work on my second chapter. Maybe experiment with metaphors he he. S~ guys. Thanks again.

Congratulations, Danjama, you're starting a fine career. Might I suggest that if you haven't already done so you read Len Deighton's book "Fighter" about P51 pilots in WW2. Study it for the brevity and preciseness of Deighton's writing. Keep at it, and all the very best of luck. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

danjama
07-16-2005, 02:34 PM
wow thanks alot woof, ill definately check it out. Resources are always helpful. And thanks for the luck. Good luck 2 u as well whatever u do S~

Low_Flyer_MkII
07-16-2005, 02:44 PM
The Len Deighton book about P-51 pilots is called 'Goodbye Mickey Mouse' it's a great read with some memorable characters in it. I still haven't found a book to rival 'Fighter Pilot' by Paul Ritchey for succinctly describing the experiences of a ...er, fighter pilot.

The best tip I was ever given about my writing was "Watch out for the 'and-itis'" - using 'and once a sentence is enough.

The most useful book I ever read to appreciate just how brief a writing style can be is 'Legends Of The Fall' by Jim Harrison he certainly didn't let long sentences get in the way of a good story.

If you want to be a writer, don't let people talk you out of it - good luck!

danjama
07-16-2005, 03:39 PM
let me take these down mate, now i have a nice log of notes building up. Thanks alot lowflyer, for the inspiration and encouragement too. S~

arcadeace
07-16-2005, 04:36 PM
I enjoyed it danjama. I think its neat you€re allowing your imagination to create personal scenarios from that era. I added some small grammatical changes to help a bit. Also, I €˜corrected€ some of your English to US English, just for fun mate http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif


Joss woke up that morning in Debden, England, to the mistiest morning yet. His toes were cold, uncovered at the bottom of the inadequately sized blanket. He rubbed his eyes eagerly to see who was calling him from the door of his hut; just some sergeant ruining his already blemished life. His unit, the 334th FS from the 4th FG, 8th Air Force, had been having the toughest few months. The windows were choked with condensation as usual; it was slowly becoming a comfort to him, a thought surfacing of past sorties cancelled due to bad weather. He pulled on his flying pants and a hand knitted, long sleeve jumper that his mom made before he left for the UK. It was an unequalled comfort to him, a small piece of home away from home! It was all he had in such a complex and unfamiliar environment. His flying boots were next. They were USAAF standard issue, apart from one small difference. Little Johnny Gibbs from RAF 30th squadron had got his €œmissus€ to sew his moms name into it. €œGloria€ stitched in large, italic letters just under the fur. €œMan, I miss him. I need to check up on Miss Gibbs, I haven€t seen her for so long€. It had actually been since six months ago just before Johnny was shot down over France. Joss thought to himself for a moment then tried to clear his head, with little success. Johnny was his closest of a small group of friends that he€d lost in the last 15 months of being In England.

The day before he died it was a quiet September Sunday; they both managed to get a weekends leave at the same time so they could hold the long planned picnic that they had been planning for his wife and Joss€ English girlfriend who he met at the base Ball a few months earlier. Johnny was cracking jokes all day about it, €œI really can€t see my parents approving old boy€. He just laughed and took it as lighthearted English humor as usual. It was the most pleasurable Sunday though; troubles seemed to wander from the mind, and the sky had appeared to ooze tranquility. It was that time of year where you appreciated every bit of sunshine and calm you got, because you knew the bitter winter was on the horizon and everything would change, and because you knew that on Monday you would be facing another life threatening mission over Germany; Facing another opportunity to shoot down people who, in any other circumstances, may have been good friends with him.

Ever since he met him in January 1943, they seemed to bond in a compelling way. Johnny told a lot of stories from his Battle of Britain days, which Joss was always keen to hear because of course, he was still a new pilot and hadn€t even flown yet in combat. He enjoyed his stories, but later realized that Johnny glamorized combat to an extent, most probably to protect Joss for as long as possible. That was how it was with the two, even when they first met. They were both on leave in London; it was Joss€s first month of being in England. When they became friends, he finally started to feel welcome in England. €œSome English folks are so cold towards us U.S. folk,€ Joss had written in a letter to his mother, he couldn€t understand it. When he€d first arrived and before he knew Johnny, his CO and a few friendly pilots took him to the local pub. The stares he was on the end of were the products of Hitler himself! They were used to it of course, but Joss was completely taken back. Luckily it wasn€t like that a year or so later, in fact, warm relationships had grown between the town and the fighter boys, ties that would last for a lifetime.



Joss and Johnny used to bounce around towns like a couple of kids on a play day, having real €œbenders€ as the English pilots liked to call them. Endless drinking and banter made the journey of war much more bearable for both of them, although Johnny would never admit that it troubled him at all. They used to bounce off of each other€s jokes, as if they were a planned and revised stand up act. They just had that ability. They clicked. Joss had often thought that Johnny had the sense of humor of an American, but much more intelligence, and more sophistication that he guessed was sewn deep into his English blood. As a result of losing him the last six months had been some of the hardest yet for Joss. It had become so difficult without him. Slowly the roster of people he€d called friends had shrunk; Johnny was the last one to go.


Now his life was just endless streams of replacement pilots and CO€s, all waiting to skip into the action in a childish manner and get shot down in a fierce explosion of burning fire and metal and flesh. Joss would try to explain, combat on the European front is not training! It€s real and it€s fatal. He€d tell them €œGerman aces will counter your moves and land on your six in the blink of an eye. Keep with your wingman or your dead. Never fly strait and level for more than thirty seconds in a combat area. Go into combat with the advantage of height, and come out of the sun or from a blind spot€. All of this advice, conveyed countless times to the rookies. He gave up trying to help them a long time ago, they just didn€t understand. He saw now that they couldn€t understand until they had experienced it. They couldn€t understand until they had been in combat, and countered a German aces moves and got on his six and ultimately, survived. Both sides had airplanes at the cutting edge of technology, and it boiled down to the pilots€ skill and luck to survive. Joss believed luck to be the more important factor, and no amount of skill could change a pilot€s luck. He also reckoned that you could tell at first sight whether a new pilot would make it. He was seldom ever wrong.

He walked out into the morning breeze and slung his flying jacket over his shoulder. The nerves of going into combat had appeared again since Johnny died, but he was becoming used to them again by now. They were almost a part of him. His new wingman 2nd Lieutenant Jackson had been panicking behind him trying to pull on his unscathed jacket and adjust his standard issue boots at the same time, quite a whimsical sight. Joss felt sorry for this one, he looked very disconcerted. He was a taller man than Joss, around 6€1, and very rugged looking. He hadn€t had time to shave because he never woke when the rigger called them in their hut less than 20 minutes ago. Joss was beginning to wish he hadn€t shaved as it was bloody freezing outside. Luckily the snow had melted somewhat since February, although they still had the odd snowstorm that settled, something that Joss prayed for so that they wouldn€t have to fly. Jackson had thick brown hair that receded at the front just above the creases in his forehead. He was only 23. In reality he was a young man, yet in a fighter pilots world he was almost ready to start instructing. He gave Joss a nervous smile as he looked back at him, then he seemed to resume pondering on his imminent death. I wanted to speak to him, but fear of losing another possible friend mounted over me. His last wingman had succumbed to the wrath of the Nazi pilots just four days ago on a patrol over France. He told him to stick to him, yet he broke off at the sight of a Bf€"109G2 seemingly on his own, and in the process lost any speed and altitude advantage he had had. €œI couldn€t turn in time to get the German pilots wingman that pounced him,€ Joss later told the debriefing officer. Joss thought to himself after the incident €œwhy do they always do that€, then broke off and rejoined to the safety of his squadron. Disappointment and anger were the dominant feeling in his guts.

As Joss peered up at the mission board outside the briefing room his heart jumped and seemed to stop with fear. They were flying escort in their P51D€s for a force of 678 B17s from various squadrons in the south of England, a big one joss thought. The target was Berlin, the most feared city to bomb in Germany, also known as the capital. The city was known for its deadly fighter cover and hundreds of 88mm Flak Guns. He looked at his rookie wingman and €œhe sensed my uneasiness with what we had to do today€. In contrast to Joss€ earlier impression, his new wingman returned a look of both understanding and resilience. There was something reassuring and promising in this kid. Joss could see it already despite the fact that he hadn€t even flown with him yet. He followed me into briefing and we sat down. The pilots that filled the hall had collectively started to whisper and stir. Joss in sensing Jackson€s nervous disposition, offered him some gum and he accepted gratefully with a cool smile that he liked in a person, and more importantly, in a wingman.

€œSo where you from€, Joss finally plucked up the courage to brake the invisible barrier between them. He looked surprised for a second, and then stammered €œLong Island€, as if he was made nervous by talking to him. Joss thought he was a bit awe struck at talking to a veteran, a real combat ace. He thought €œhe€d better get used to it if we€re gonna fly together!€ In an attempt to relax him, Joss offered a hand to shake before the silence became too long and became awkward. €œNice to meet you€, €œyeah good to meet you€ he replied. €œI got here last night but you were already asleep€. €œOh sorry, just figured I would get the rest while I had the chance, we€ve been getting a lot of **** lately from upstairs€, €œyeah I heard already from a few guys, saying there€s been a lot of pilots lost lately, something about they are trying to push deeper into Germany and throw in more bombers€, €œthat€s the way it is I guess€ I replied with a thick air of coldness surrounding the words. €œHow many hours you had in the P51?€, €œaround 8 back in the states, but I had 40 in the P47€s before they switched me over, if it€s anything like the P47 I should be fine€. €œWell it aint as good in a dive, and it has zero maneuverability at low altitudes, but lucky for us we€ll be up high, and like the 47 it is faster and maneuverable there€. He smiled at me again, then to endure the mission briefing the base commander called us to attention. It was already Joss€ second tour of duty, actually his 12th mission of his second tour. Joss couldn€t believe how fast it had all gone by. Was it really just two years ago that he joined the Air Force he thought to himself? He still remembered the last day at home before he left for training. He remembered it like it was yesterday.



January 19th 1942, Joss€ home.

It was a warm morning considering it was January, and Joss didn€t start back at college until the 21st. However, he had a feeling he would not be returning this semester. His mobilization papers had arrived that morning after a shorter wait than expected and he was to report for Army Air Force training at the small base just outside town. Every one he knew had already joined one service or another either just before the attack on Pearl that brought the USA head first into the war, or strait after they€d left high school. He didn€t follow their lead in the belief that they would not be entering the war. How wrong he was! In fact, how very wrong they all were. He signed up for the Air Force a day after Pearl Harbor was attacked, young and eager he wanted to get into this war, not by land or boat, but in the clouds where no one could reach him. Higher than he even knew existed. Despite strong dispute from his mom, dad and sister he stood strong that his education would have to wait until after he had done his duty. It was just what every man his age had to do at that time and everyone knew it.

He arrived at the base just before noon, having persuaded his neighbor to drive him down there. He held a small case that was half empty, only containing a change of clothes and some socks and underpants, and also a photograph of his family. The base was basic, a dirt strip, a small tower and a few hangers and maintenance buildings dotted around, and about four blocks of barracks, all contained inside a metal fence, the barrier between him and the outside world. Prior to arriving he had never even been in a plane, the first time he€d heard of a plane was when Lindbergh made his Long Island to Paris flight back in 1927. Joss was just five years old at the time, and barely knew what to make of it, but his parents were **** excited and so began his love of planes. In his teens he built model airplanes out of wood from scratch with just a small carving tool. He had always been good with his hands. He was a very able artist too. The only reference he had of planes were pictures in the newspapers or magazines, and so the models were largely based on those.

danjama
07-16-2005, 04:55 PM
hmmm the changes are not obvious, but ok thanks mate. At least i got the chance to read it again lol i really like it.

Woof603
07-16-2005, 07:26 PM
Originally posted by Low_Flyer_MkII:
The Len Deighton book about P-51 pilots is called 'Goodbye Mickey Mouse'


You are so right, Low_Flyer. I'm suffering from the curse of a very long, and overfilled, memory. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif