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bird_brain
04-04-2005, 09:02 PM
I posted this in the mission builders forum, but I will throw it out here too.

I have taken a short break from the Med and I thought some of some of you might be interested in a project I have been working on for a couple of weeks.
It is a Pacific US Marine Corps campaign titled "Cactus Diary". A historically based account of the "Cactus Air Force" on Guadalcanal where you will be a 2nd Lieutenant just out of Flight school. It starts with training in Hawaii, moves through deployment to the Pacific, & then you become a witness to history. It is written from a very different viewpoint from what I have tried before. Here is an example of one of the mission briefs:

******
Mission Name ~ Cactus Diary 3
Carrier takeoff from the USS Long Island

Somewhere in the Pacific
August 20th, 1942

Dear Diary,

We have been at sea since August 2nd and it is just as bad as I thought it would be. After we loaded on the USS Long Island and sailed west, we crossed the equator and all of us "Pollywogs" got the royal treatment. I got herded out of my quarters in my underware and put through all kinds of hell on the flight deck by the other officers and men who had sailed across the equator before. Now I am an official "Shellback" and next time, I will be the one dishing it out!

We stopped at an Island called Suva and some of the more junior guys were traded to VMF 212 at Efate for 12 of their guys who have a little more flight time including a new XO, Captain Marion Carl. They must really be worried about this "special mission" because they are throwing everything but the kitchen sink at us. The best guys they can find, new fighters and now replacing some of the others just because a guy has 50 more flight hours than they do. Oh well, it's not my problem to figure it out. Semper Fi.

At least I have a good idea of where we are going now. We got word at Suva that 1 Australian and 4 American Heavy Cruisers were sunk by the Japanese Navy just off Tulagi while they were supporting the 1st Marine Division. The Marines have taken over an airfield on an Island called Guadalcanal and the Navy guys pulled out and just left them there with no back up at all! According to the crummy charts we have, it is across a wide channel from where we thought we were going.

We have been ordered to gather our kits and stuff them in the radio compartment of our Wildcats because we are about to take off from the Carrier and land at "Cactus". That is the code name for the airfield the Marines have captured and we are going to protect. That's all for now, time to pack.

******

My Dad was a Marine and this is the first US offensive of the war so ..... here we go.
I have a couple of screenies to see if you are interested too.

A shot of Henderson Field in the early days...

http://jyarbrough.homestead.com/Cactus_2.jpg

Taking off past The Pagoda & the USAAF P400s...

http://jyarbrough.homestead.com/Cactus_1.jpg

Meeting the Bettys head on...

http://jyarbrough.homestead.com/F4F_Betty_1.jpg

And coming back for more...

http://jyarbrough.homestead.com/F4F_Betty_2.jpg

Bye bye...

http://jyarbrough.homestead.com/F4F_Betty_3.jpg

I have the first 2 weeks done, but who knows when it will end. More later.

strewth
04-04-2005, 09:10 PM
Sounding REEEAAALLLLY GOOOOOOOD so far.

Looking foward to it http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

timholt
04-04-2005, 09:14 PM
Looking good. One that is badly needed. And, many thanks for your previous most enjoyable efforts. It's unselfish Guys like you, Extreme_one, Polymando and many others who keep the rest of us Plebs amused and happy.

bird_brain
04-04-2005, 09:23 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif
Glad to see some interest! It is almost as much fun to make them as to fly them .... but not quite. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

Saunders1953
04-04-2005, 10:37 PM
Hot ****, Bird-Brain, ever since reading the detailed Catcus AF coverage in Frank's "Guadalcanal" and Lundstrom's "The First Team" books, I've wanted to game it properly, but that was before I even had a home PC, and boardgaming wouldn't have done it justice, even if there had been one on point. Since I got PF, I've made a number of Cactus missions and stole and modified some others,but I haven't tried to make a campaign and mjust mdon't have the energy. I've just started your "Blue" and "Greatest Aces" campaigns, so I know this will be a great effort. I'm sure it will be as much fun as Chuck-Older's WCTF. What's an expected ETA?

P.S. You even have "The Pagoda" at Henderson. Nice touch!

bird_brain
04-04-2005, 10:49 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Saunders1953:
What's an expected ETA? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
All the objects, skins & squadrons are custom made to make it easy for me. I finished the template and am up to mission 8. I have not made an outline like I usually do so I am not even sure how many missions it will be in the end. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif It depends on how the story line goes with "Joe Pilot". I was thinking he would fly with VMF 223 for about a month and be evacuated, only to return with the 1st F4U-1s for a few missions in early 1943.

http://jyarbrough.homestead.com/USMC_F4U1.jpg

How does that sound?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Saunders1953:
P.S. You even have "The Pagoda" at Henderson. Nice touch! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
They ran up a rising sun flag in front of the Pagoda when an air raid was inbound... I don't know if you can see it, but it is there. That is the kind of detail I am shooting for. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Saunders1953
04-04-2005, 10:51 PM
More awesomer!

Diablo310th
04-05-2005, 05:43 AM
bird-brain...this is sounding great. Keep it up and I want when it's finished.

LEXX_Luthor
04-05-2005, 08:29 AM
This is FANTASTIC Marine aviator Diary...with megatons of pics and editor notes.

Diary of a Corsair Pilot in the Solomons, 1943 by Lieutenant Charles C. Winnia
USMC
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>7 March, 1943

God have mercy on our souls. The news came in that we lose our Grummans tomorrow and get F4Us. We get 8 tomorrow or the next day. Have a few hops and go to Cactus where we get 10 more, theoretically. We are not particularly happy, being one of the best trained squadrons to reach this area. Resigned to our fate which may not be as bad as expected.

~~> http://www.scuttlebuttsmallchow.com/winnia.html <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Tallyho1961
04-05-2005, 10:20 AM
We who are about to fly (your new campaign) salute you.

bird_brain
04-05-2005, 10:59 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LEXX_Luthor:
This is FANTASTIC Marine aviator Diary...with megatons of pics and editor notes.
_Diary of a Corsair Pilot in the Solomons, 1943_ by Lieutenant Charles C. Winnia
USMC <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Great link...Thanks.
If anyone else has more Cactus Air Force links or info, I would love to look at it.
Work in progress, you know. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Saunders1953
04-05-2005, 11:15 AM
B-B: Have you read the "First Team" books by John Lundstrum mentioned above? Day by day, practically plane by plane account from December 1941 through end of Guadalcanal battles of the Cactus Air Force and related air groups off/on/around Guadalcanal. Many, many scenario ideas. I could maybe scan some good chapters and send them to you. Osprey has a few good books on the various VF/VMF groups there as well. Btw, I hope your campaign doesn't jump to the Corsairs too quickly. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif I love the Wildcat. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

bird_brain
04-05-2005, 11:42 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Saunders1953:
B-B: Have you read the "First Team" books by John Lundstrum mentioned above? .... Btw, I hope your campaign doesn't jump to the Corsairs too quickly. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif I love the Wildcat. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I have not, but I will look in to it. I have "The Cactus Air Force", by T. Miller, & I have the Osprey Aircraft of the Aces Books.

Don't worry, it is mostly a Wildcat campaign and should wind up with about 30 missions in the F4F-4. I am still looking to see if any of the Cactus vets from the 1st group went back for a 2nd tour in Corsairs, but it is plausable even if it did not really happen.

Capt._Tenneal
04-05-2005, 12:09 PM
Holy He**, birdbrain, Yeaaaah !! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

I was hoping more campaign makers pay attention to the Pacific too. Your work has been very good and I'm looking forward to this.

If I was a dog, I'll be humping your leg right about now ! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

bird_brain
04-05-2005, 12:26 PM
Thanks for the compliments, but I'll skip the leg part if you don't mind. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
I have been wanting to do a Pacific campaign, but it took a while to find a subject that got me interested enough to spend the time. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

Saunders1953
04-05-2005, 12:29 PM
B-B: Those First Team books are $50 a pop hardcover, but I think I have seen them recently in the softcover format, so might be cheaper. The first one covers pre-Pearl to Midway, the second is the GC campaign. They both cover those subjects in truly amazing detail. A superb must read for early PTO buffs.

pacettid
04-05-2005, 12:37 PM
Bird-brain, the plan on how to script it sounds great.

I also agree that Volume 2 of "The First Team", is a must have if you want to do the early part of the USMC campaign the justice it deserves. This book is a bit pricey, but it is well worth it.

bird_brain
04-05-2005, 04:44 PM
I just ordered the 2nd one for $55. It cost a little more with 2-4 day shipping. Most of them were 2-4 weeks. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif
I am not sure how much it has about the Marines in it, but they were all mixed up with the Navy guys by mid September anyway. Thanks for the tip. I will keep going through what I have now & if I find any new stuff when I get "The 1st Team" I can always add it in. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Cadet_Bobo
04-05-2005, 04:57 PM
I got a great copy (used) of the 1st Team Guadalcanal about a month ago, along with Paul S. Dull's "Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy", another blow by blow account from the other side, for about 25 bucks each. "Fighter Squadron at Guadalcanal" by Max Brand and "Bloody Ridge" by Micheal S. Smith are also very insightfull.
Good to see so many Cactus geeks here, I think we need your Campaign!

Bobo

Saunders1953
04-05-2005, 08:29 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I am not sure how much it has about the Marines in it, but they were all mixed up with the Navy guys by mid September anyway. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Bird -Brain: You won't be disappointed. Complete coverage I'd say....Ist MAW, MAG's 11, 14, and 23, VMF'S 112, 121, 122, 212, 223, 224, VMSB'S 131, 141, 132, 142, 231, 232, Marine Utility Sqdrn VMJ-253, and Marine Observation Sqdrn VBMO-251 all covered, in much detail.

Cadet_Bobo, I agree--Brand's and Smith's books are very good. I hadn't heard about the Paul Dull book--sounds great, thanks for the tip!

Saunders1953
04-05-2005, 08:33 PM
Bird-Brain, I forgot--if you want playtesters, give me a holler. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

bird_brain
04-05-2005, 09:44 PM
I might take you up on that. It sounds like you know your Cactus history! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Old_Canuck
04-06-2005, 01:31 AM
This will be bird_brain campaign number 3 for me. All good fun http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Thanks for your hard work, Sir.

FltLt_HardBall
04-06-2005, 03:27 AM
How did you work out the layout of Henderson field? All the pictures I've seen on the net are too narrowly focused, and don't hint at orientation, or where everything is in relation to everything else.

The reason I'm asking is that I'm making an RNZAF campaign (they served alongside the Americans at Guadalcanal from November 1942), and I want to get things as historically accurate as possible.

BTW, did you know that the Pagoda was already modelled? Check it out on the objects list.

bird_brain
04-06-2005, 07:10 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Old_Canuck:
This will be bird_brain campaign number 3 for me. All good fun http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Thanks for your hard work, Sir. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Glad you like them...This one should be the best yet!

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by FltLt_HardBall:
How did you work out the layout of Henderson field?. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I have a number of photos in books but the 1st one below is the best early photo. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/images/g10000/g16312.jpg

http://www.pacificwrecks.com/airfields/solomons/henderson/lunga-point-1942.html

http://www.pacificwrecks.com/airfields/solomons/henderson/henderson-oct43.jpg

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
The reason I'm asking is that I'm making an RNZAF campaign (they served alongside the Americans at Guadalcanal from November 1942), and I want to get things as historically accurate as possible. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
If you want a copy of the .mis file to make your field match mine, send me a PM & I will post it for you. No secrets here. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
BTW, did you know that the Pagoda was already modelled? Check it out on the objects list. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I already used it. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif
What I meant by "Custom made" is that when they made PF, they included all the skins & objects for Cactus. I am sure that similar to the AVG, they were just providing the tools for us mission/campaign builders. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif