After losing two bombers in my first nine missions, I created a new plane and crew. This one is the Winged Avenger.
I kept a few notes of the four missions I flew last night, so you can get a feel of how games pan out.
The first mission (Mission 10) was the last of the 'intermediate' ones, which all take place within the range of fighter cover. Once again it was an attack on the aircraft works at Meaulte; a simple hop across the Channel and an easy run for a new plane and crew.
Despite the fighter cover Winged Avenger came under attack twice from FW190s which dived straight down onto it. On a second pass one of them seriously wounded the radio-operator, Sgt. Jonah Dorsey. Flak over the target knocked out the tail-guns too. This also threw off the bombardier's aim, and they completely missed the target. The only attack on the way home saw the ball-gunner, Sgt. Bert McKnight, shoot down an Me110; the crew's first kill. The plane landed safely. Sgt. Dorsey was invalided home and replaced by Sgt. Duane Spence.
Some hits in the game translate to Superficial Damage. This has no effect, but I recorded the number of times it came up so that you can get a feel for how much action the plane saw. On this mission the Winged Avenger came home with 3 Superficial Damage.
The trip out was uneventful, but despite bad weather over the target the Winged Avenger drew a lot of attention from enemy aircraft.
The Winged Avenger turned for home, but came under attack from a lone FW190, which caused a hairy moment when one of its shots hit a fuel tank, and a number of light wounds on the crew, including the bombardier, and both waist gunners.
There was heavy flak over the objective, and one burst seriously wounded Sgt. Anthony, leaving the Winged Avenger without its tail-guns for the trip home. The flak, plus the loss of teh autopilot to an earlier attack, meant that, once again, Winged Avenger's crew completely missed the target.
The trip home was mostly uneventful - fortunate for a plane with two gun-positions out of action. The only serious attack saw the navigator, Lieut. Wayne Beach, shoot down an FW190, bringing the crew's total for this mission to three.
The plane landed safely, but Sgt. Anthony died of his wounds, leaving the crew down two members. Superficial Damage amounted to 18, showing that the aircraft had seen some considerable action.
The two new crew members were the third radio-operator, Sgt. Peter Hook, and a new tail-gunner, Sgt. Lyle Holden.
On the way out the bomber was attacked by five Me109s, but they saw them off with negligible damage, and both the ball- and tail-gunners picked up kills. Two more Me109s were shot down over the target.
Fortunately despite this damage the pilot brought the Winged Avenger down safely, albeit not without risk. The plane had taken 5 Superficial Damage. Most of the actual damage was caused by one flak burst over the target and that final Me109 pass on the way home. The crew had shot down six enemy aircraft, all Me109s; Lieut. Wayne Beach took one, Sgt. Holden on the tail-gun got two and Sgt. McKnight three, promoting him to an ace.
This was the bomber after it landed.
Navigator - Lieut. W. Beach (4 missions - 2 kills)
Engineer - Mst. Sgt. H. Mahoney (4 missions)
Starboard Waist - Sgt. O. McBride (0 missions)
Tail Gun - Sgt. L. Holden (1 mission - 2 kills)