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View Full Version : Another night at the Hyperlobby...



DxyFlyr
11-23-2004, 02:08 PM
The shadows of our zeros were still long on the gently rolling deck that morning. There was a bit of a haze, but was otherwise pleasant flying weather. Too bad there was a war on. Bright sun on our backs and calm seas; another good day to die, I thought. We readied up with great anticipation of meeting the enemy over the Islands of the Marianas. As number 3, I had a moment or two to get comfortable in the cockpit; studied my map one last time, opened up the cowl flaps, double checked my wing positions... yes, down and locked. Relax. My mind was focused on the take off. "Remember, not too much elevator, pull the gear in ASAP". Ok, I was mentally ready. Good thing too... my turn. Relax. I ran the throttle up and "Chocks away!" She was screaming, but I crept forward at an agonizingly slow pace. Relax. Begrudgingly, the zero gained speed. The tower slipped past on my left and my tail finally caught some air. The dropping nose revealed the end of the deck; it was ever so rapidly approaching. I was surprised that I quite easily lifted off the deck before it disappeared beneath me. My shoulders slumped a bit as the muscles in my neck released and I finally remembered to exhale. Ok, gear up. Canopy closed. I focused on the flight leader. He had chopped throttle a bit and allowed me to swing into loose formation. Our port wings dipped in unison as we turned toward the objective in the haze beyond. Over my left shoulder I saw the rest of our flight delicately rising off the carrier. The whole fleet was silhouetted against the morning sun's dazzling reflection in the waters. Certainly a beautiful sight. I hoped to see it again soon.

http://home.earthlink.net/~sim4812/Images/01-The_Deck.jpg

We didn't wait for the rest of the flight to join up as our task that morning was to soften the AAA in the target area to assist our ground attack planes that followed. Our briefing explained that the enemy was launching an invasion on the beaches of the island below. We also had troops and artillery down there defending from the heights above those beaches. Already, I could pick out tracer fire between the clouds ahead. We were closer to the island than I had imagined. She already sat prominently out of the water before us, shrouded in a bit of atmosphere. Intense tracer fire (obviously AAA) lit up the other side of the mountain ridge. It was definitely hot over there.

I followed my flight leader as he dropped to about 200m and we slipped over the beaches of the dormant side of the island. The mountain quickly rose to meet us. We skimmed over the crest of a ridge with minimal clearance and suddenly the scene was unfolded before us. The mountain ridge continued to starboard, turned a little and formed a bowl overlooking the beach off our port wing. Our troops on the ridge (then above us) were taking hits from heavy naval bombardment. No ships in sight, however. The beaches were teeming with enemy landing craft. One particular area was concentrated with AAA... this was our target. Hugging the downward slope, we entered the battle parallel to beach and ridge. We were really moving. The palms below us were a blur. I noticed my flight leader making evasive maneuvers. AAA had found us. We were traveling through a tunnel of flak.

http://home.earthlink.net/~sim4812/Images/02-The_Tunnel.jpg

I had no bomb, so I broke off from the lead's direct path toward the very hostile enemy positions. He and his wingman continued in. I held my course close enough to draw some of the fire, but it was too little effect. The lead plane took several devastating hits and plowed in, never releasing his load. I'm unclear what happened to his wingman, but there was no visible damage at the target area.

http://home.earthlink.net/~sim4812/Images/03-The_Target.jpg

I decided that another run on that target was useless, assured death. I turned my attention to enemy planes now appearing at my 12 o'clock. Banking right to avoid the intense flak, I tried to gain altitude to meet the oncoming threat. Maybe I could coax them to meet me above our troops on the ridge. Our AAA, if any remained, may assist me.

http://home.earthlink.net/~sim4812/Images/05-The_Odds.jpg

The enemy was, indeed, intent on our troops. I was totally ignored. I watched the stubby little planes dive in on our positions. Rockets were fired. We took some nasty losses, by the looks of it. Fortunately, I was in good position to fall on the tail of the lead enemy plane as he climbed out of his rocket attack. I fired high and right€¦ and a little early. I know better than that. He rolled violently. Closer now, I fired again. Low and left. This will not be easy. He broke left and I followed. A quick glance over my shoulder showed a number of his mates in hot pursuit. One of them was chasing down my wingman. I should have broken off but I found that following the bandit in his aggressive turns kept his guys from drawing a bead on me. We were low on the deck and screaming fast by that time. He pulled up and right, then left again and I managed my first couple hits on him. I watched the bright flashes on his plane hit broadside just below the cockpit glass. Good solid hits, but short of the engine I was aiming for.

http://home.earthlink.net/~sim4812/Images/06-The_Hit.jpg

He had slowed considerably and I blew past him. I noticed his plane betraying evidences of a stall, a deadly consequence at this altitude. His wingmen continued their pursuit. Their tracers began nipping at my tail. I took a couple hits. It was getting ugly fast. My prey never fully recovered. He crashed shortly after I peeled away.

My pursuers broke off momentarily, and I had a chance to become aware of the awful state I was in. Enemy planes blanketed the sky. Two were coming in from high in front of me, another couple sat just on my tail, and one or two others were in the general vicinity. No friendlies in sight. I called for help but quickly became resigned to my fate. I wasn€t going to make it home. Suddenly, I was "head-on" with another enemy that I had not even noticed.

http://home.earthlink.net/~sim4812/Images/07-The_Pass.jpg

We closed at an astonishing rate. I saw his guns flashing. I pushed the stick and slipped just underneath him. No hits, but that was too close. My evasives were not enough to deter the four or five wildcats on my tail. They were all over themselves to get at me. I banked left. I banked hard right. I gained enough altitude to roll over and dive in the reverse direction. They were still there. I happened into another head-on pass. Again, astonishingly close with similar result. There were too many planes to keep track of. All I could do was present a difficult target and hope for help to arrive.

My senses were jolted by a bright light that filled the cockpit. I heard an explosion behind me. Two of my pursuers collided in the melee as we all roared through a hard turn to port.


http://home.earthlink.net/~sim4812/Images/08-The_Unlucky.jpg

I turned to see pieces of them falling and bouncing along the earth a short distance below. Following a brief moment of relief, another couple enemies fell in to replace the unlucky ones.

I was redlined and the nimble zero was overheating badly. I needed relief€¦ fast. Again, I hoped to maneuver in the area of our troops so that our AAA might assist me. I began to make my way there. About this time, my €œhead-on€ friend returned. This time he was falling on my rear quarter with guns blazing. I heard multiple hits on my wings and fuselage. My nimble fighter was quickly becoming less so. To my horror, I felt a hard jerk as my port wing separated from the fuselage. Here it is, I thought. Too low to bail, I instinctively held full right rudder in a vain attempt to remain airborne. I just had time to look back at the victor in this battle. My vision was a blurry red haze, but through it, I watched him follow me all the way in.

http://home.earthlink.net/~sim4812/Images/09-The_End.jpg


Salute, Mongral! You€re a worthy and honorable foe. And Salute, Seahawk89, you make a mean mission.

Have a great holiday, all!

[edited in some pictures from the track I just remembered I had. Amazing how different the mission was in reality compared to how I had remembered it in this story. lol]

DxyFlyr
11-23-2004, 02:08 PM
The shadows of our zeros were still long on the gently rolling deck that morning. There was a bit of a haze, but was otherwise pleasant flying weather. Too bad there was a war on. Bright sun on our backs and calm seas; another good day to die, I thought. We readied up with great anticipation of meeting the enemy over the Islands of the Marianas. As number 3, I had a moment or two to get comfortable in the cockpit; studied my map one last time, opened up the cowl flaps, double checked my wing positions... yes, down and locked. Relax. My mind was focused on the take off. "Remember, not too much elevator, pull the gear in ASAP". Ok, I was mentally ready. Good thing too... my turn. Relax. I ran the throttle up and "Chocks away!" She was screaming, but I crept forward at an agonizingly slow pace. Relax. Begrudgingly, the zero gained speed. The tower slipped past on my left and my tail finally caught some air. The dropping nose revealed the end of the deck; it was ever so rapidly approaching. I was surprised that I quite easily lifted off the deck before it disappeared beneath me. My shoulders slumped a bit as the muscles in my neck released and I finally remembered to exhale. Ok, gear up. Canopy closed. I focused on the flight leader. He had chopped throttle a bit and allowed me to swing into loose formation. Our port wings dipped in unison as we turned toward the objective in the haze beyond. Over my left shoulder I saw the rest of our flight delicately rising off the carrier. The whole fleet was silhouetted against the morning sun's dazzling reflection in the waters. Certainly a beautiful sight. I hoped to see it again soon.

http://home.earthlink.net/~sim4812/Images/01-The_Deck.jpg

We didn't wait for the rest of the flight to join up as our task that morning was to soften the AAA in the target area to assist our ground attack planes that followed. Our briefing explained that the enemy was launching an invasion on the beaches of the island below. We also had troops and artillery down there defending from the heights above those beaches. Already, I could pick out tracer fire between the clouds ahead. We were closer to the island than I had imagined. She already sat prominently out of the water before us, shrouded in a bit of atmosphere. Intense tracer fire (obviously AAA) lit up the other side of the mountain ridge. It was definitely hot over there.

I followed my flight leader as he dropped to about 200m and we slipped over the beaches of the dormant side of the island. The mountain quickly rose to meet us. We skimmed over the crest of a ridge with minimal clearance and suddenly the scene was unfolded before us. The mountain ridge continued to starboard, turned a little and formed a bowl overlooking the beach off our port wing. Our troops on the ridge (then above us) were taking hits from heavy naval bombardment. No ships in sight, however. The beaches were teeming with enemy landing craft. One particular area was concentrated with AAA... this was our target. Hugging the downward slope, we entered the battle parallel to beach and ridge. We were really moving. The palms below us were a blur. I noticed my flight leader making evasive maneuvers. AAA had found us. We were traveling through a tunnel of flak.

http://home.earthlink.net/~sim4812/Images/02-The_Tunnel.jpg

I had no bomb, so I broke off from the lead's direct path toward the very hostile enemy positions. He and his wingman continued in. I held my course close enough to draw some of the fire, but it was too little effect. The lead plane took several devastating hits and plowed in, never releasing his load. I'm unclear what happened to his wingman, but there was no visible damage at the target area.

http://home.earthlink.net/~sim4812/Images/03-The_Target.jpg

I decided that another run on that target was useless, assured death. I turned my attention to enemy planes now appearing at my 12 o'clock. Banking right to avoid the intense flak, I tried to gain altitude to meet the oncoming threat. Maybe I could coax them to meet me above our troops on the ridge. Our AAA, if any remained, may assist me.

http://home.earthlink.net/~sim4812/Images/05-The_Odds.jpg

The enemy was, indeed, intent on our troops. I was totally ignored. I watched the stubby little planes dive in on our positions. Rockets were fired. We took some nasty losses, by the looks of it. Fortunately, I was in good position to fall on the tail of the lead enemy plane as he climbed out of his rocket attack. I fired high and right€¦ and a little early. I know better than that. He rolled violently. Closer now, I fired again. Low and left. This will not be easy. He broke left and I followed. A quick glance over my shoulder showed a number of his mates in hot pursuit. One of them was chasing down my wingman. I should have broken off but I found that following the bandit in his aggressive turns kept his guys from drawing a bead on me. We were low on the deck and screaming fast by that time. He pulled up and right, then left again and I managed my first couple hits on him. I watched the bright flashes on his plane hit broadside just below the cockpit glass. Good solid hits, but short of the engine I was aiming for.

http://home.earthlink.net/~sim4812/Images/06-The_Hit.jpg

He had slowed considerably and I blew past him. I noticed his plane betraying evidences of a stall, a deadly consequence at this altitude. His wingmen continued their pursuit. Their tracers began nipping at my tail. I took a couple hits. It was getting ugly fast. My prey never fully recovered. He crashed shortly after I peeled away.

My pursuers broke off momentarily, and I had a chance to become aware of the awful state I was in. Enemy planes blanketed the sky. Two were coming in from high in front of me, another couple sat just on my tail, and one or two others were in the general vicinity. No friendlies in sight. I called for help but quickly became resigned to my fate. I wasn€t going to make it home. Suddenly, I was "head-on" with another enemy that I had not even noticed.

http://home.earthlink.net/~sim4812/Images/07-The_Pass.jpg

We closed at an astonishing rate. I saw his guns flashing. I pushed the stick and slipped just underneath him. No hits, but that was too close. My evasives were not enough to deter the four or five wildcats on my tail. They were all over themselves to get at me. I banked left. I banked hard right. I gained enough altitude to roll over and dive in the reverse direction. They were still there. I happened into another head-on pass. Again, astonishingly close with similar result. There were too many planes to keep track of. All I could do was present a difficult target and hope for help to arrive.

My senses were jolted by a bright light that filled the cockpit. I heard an explosion behind me. Two of my pursuers collided in the melee as we all roared through a hard turn to port.


http://home.earthlink.net/~sim4812/Images/08-The_Unlucky.jpg

I turned to see pieces of them falling and bouncing along the earth a short distance below. Following a brief moment of relief, another couple enemies fell in to replace the unlucky ones.

I was redlined and the nimble zero was overheating badly. I needed relief€¦ fast. Again, I hoped to maneuver in the area of our troops so that our AAA might assist me. I began to make my way there. About this time, my €œhead-on€ friend returned. This time he was falling on my rear quarter with guns blazing. I heard multiple hits on my wings and fuselage. My nimble fighter was quickly becoming less so. To my horror, I felt a hard jerk as my port wing separated from the fuselage. Here it is, I thought. Too low to bail, I instinctively held full right rudder in a vain attempt to remain airborne. I just had time to look back at the victor in this battle. My vision was a blurry red haze, but through it, I watched him follow me all the way in.

http://home.earthlink.net/~sim4812/Images/09-The_End.jpg


Salute, Mongral! You€re a worthy and honorable foe. And Salute, Seahawk89, you make a mean mission.

Have a great holiday, all!

[edited in some pictures from the track I just remembered I had. Amazing how different the mission was in reality compared to how I had remembered it in this story. lol]

Billy_BigBoy
11-23-2004, 02:32 PM
ough, that hurts...

Great story DxyFlyr
Haven't been in hyperlobbby since PF came out, but this story will have me back upthere soon I guess

actionhank1786
11-23-2004, 02:37 PM
I always did hate the ground http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
It's solic characteristics have been the baine of my existance for some time now http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Prangerman
11-23-2004, 03:59 PM
I'm an HL addict - always one more flight then I'll go to bed. Always go to bed too late, but I can sit through the most boring meetings the next day reliving that tight turn, getting the crosshairs on the enemy a/c, and the stream of tracer...

...as someone nails me from my six. D'oh

DxyFlyr
11-23-2004, 08:23 PM
Thanks, guys.

I remembered that I had taken a track of this mission and went back and inserted some pics. Hope that adds some interest.

I was amused to see just how different the reality of the mission was compared to my recount of it. I imagine it was similar in real life... especially when there was no track to go back and view (other than gun cams, I suppose).

[edited for speeeeling]