It went down well in the end. We had five pilots online:
later joined by Viper, who made a welcome return.
For our first sortie OD and Mram attacked a raid of 10+ He111’s in the Solent. Joined by practically every squadron on the server it was a masacre. The escort of Bf109s was dealth with, the bombers dropped like flies. OD managed to bag, it is believed, Dietrich in his Ju88, as he tried to hide underneath the formation to use their guns as cover. OD and Mram accounted for at least three aircraft – according to netstats, it appears server stats have not been updated. There was nearly a catstrophe as a random Hurricane made a landing underneath OD and across the runway as he landed a damaged Spitfire with a wounded pilot. The end result was a flipped Spitfire and a crash landed Hurricane – with some swearing off comms!
Puff arrived online and EAF delivered three Spitfires from our supply reserve, to ensure we’d have plenty for the duration of the evening. Topsy joined the fray and flew from an open base. We flew on and reports came in of very high 109s over the Isle of Wight. We encountered them once as they tried to drag us into a trap, in the normal manner, we saw through it and climbed away to the North. Heading back to the area at 30,000ft we didn’t encounter them again but there were a lot of Spitfires in the area! The 109s seemed to have got it wrong this time as they made us well aware of the target area, they had knocked out Ventnor RADAR earlier in the day, and as the first raid didn’t get through the second had to go for the same target. As a result the fighters had to RTB, due to fuel, before the raid arrived. We then pounced on the second raid and again the Blue team dropped like flies, with burning He-111s falling from the sky in droves – it seemed more hazardous to fly underneath them than behind; as bits kept falling past on fire!
After this we were returning to base when flak was spotted and a solitary contact was found. Eventually OD found a 109 and chased it off towards the Isle of Wight, scoring hits across the wings and tail. With the radiator perforated and low on ammo OD had to turn back to Bembridge. Flying at 4 feet above the runway at 380mph the 109 followed and was ripped to shreds by the airfield defences, with Mram ready to pounce and wipe him out. The 109 ended up shedding a wing and crashing to the north of the airfield.
After this action Puff and Mram called it a night. Viper joined the fray and escorted OD and Topsy on a raid to Dieppe airfield, due to raids being suspected to be flying from the area. The raid cratered the runway and both OD and Topsy returned home. Unfortunately, Viper was bounced on the return journey and pilot killed. We had hoped to catch aircraft on the ground or coming in to land, but the area appeared empty.
All in all a fitting send off to Storm of War – the Long War 3. Hopefully the server will not shut down, a solution will be found for maintaining it in at least it’s current form – maybe with some adaptions. It will be a big loss to the community to lose it; but real life has to come first.