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Bloody good show 485th! We cleared the area as tasked. 
Sad to see Mr Walsh hit more than a bum note ! Will advertise for another new wingman in the classified section of “Joy Boy Monthly” and hope for the best.

Excellent work Tom for getting us all into the correct airfield.

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First mission with the Group all back together, as the 485th awaited the necessary repairs to runways and dispersal areas to A-78 Florennes/Juizanne to allow sufficient operational and logistical capacity to support them. It's good to have you boys flying from your true home.

Furthermore, it's good to see the majority of you back from your operations today gents, and mostly in one piece, though I see a few of you picked up some souvenirs...

Okay, to recap: 402nd were to reconnoiter the front lines to the east of Houffalize down to Bastogne, with the 485th assigned to strike enemy units that were counterattacking, also to the East of Houffalize. A prompt form up and push to targets was made by both groups after wheels up from A-78.

The 402nd leader, again eager to not not miss out on any targets of opportunity that might present themselves, elected to carry a brace of 1000lb'ers. En route to target a gaggle of bogeys was spotted to the North near Barvaux by some of the more eagle-eyed members of the squadron, but Leakage Leader, Lt Per Fesser held true to his mission objective and proceeded to RV with the RAF Tempests that were to provide air cover.

On arriving in the vicinity of the front lines much AAA was witnessed coming up from positions on the enemy side, so Lt. Fesser called Red Flight into attack, leaving White Flight as high cover. On the run in White Lead, 2nd Lt. Fenton Rea called that other friendly aircraft were also attacking the same targets but it was too late - as Red 1 & 2 had already released their ordnance. As it turned out is was the 485th that were under the falling bombs! Fortunately no friendly casualties arose from the bombing, though Maj Payne-Less of the 485th apparently picked up a light shrapnel wound. He thus far hasn't elucidated as to where this injury was received, causing much speculation among the ranks of the 402nd...

Suitably, chastened by this error, the 402nd decided to deconflict and continued on their patrol route, eventually coming upon a collection of enemy AAA guns and supporting units guarding bridges nestled in the deep valleys of the River Wilz, East of Bastogne. With heavily tree lined slopes and some tricky approach and egress paths the going was dicey at times, and there was some close calls on the pull-outs from the attack runs, though no casualties, thankfully. The flak, however was not quite so kind; Red 3 Lt Arjen Efftee caught a burst of 20mm in one engine, damaging it heavily and holing the fuel tanks on the port side. Thus, he was obliged to abort the attack and limped back to Florennes with his wingman, 2nd Lt. Bert Finknottle, faithfully as ever, escorting him home. He landed on fumes but managed crawl back to dispersal where no doubt his crew chief is swearing going to have a busy few days.

The remainder of Red Flight and the 3 aircraft of White Flight took a very poor view of this and provided some swift retribution; soon nothing was moving on the ground in the area and the squadron could claim 14 ground targets destroyed. Lt. Fesser called a rejoin and a patrol back up the front lines to continue the reconnaissance. Bogeys were spotted near Houffalize as the squadron prepared to turn for home but these turned out to be friendly. 

The 485th maintain their reputation as a premier Close Air Support unit; they worked over their target thoroughly, leaving nothing alive and despite not being their highest scoring mission of recent times (12 ground kills) it must be remembered that tanks, particularly heavy armour are an exceedingly difficult target to destroy, requiring a direct hit or very near miss to cause fatal damage. According to reports just coming back from the front, two Stugs a Panzer IV and a Tiger were knocked out by Zenith squadron, along with some AAA guns and a handful of artillery guns - no mean feat and one which the ground forces are decidedly appreciative of. I suspect yet more 'lubrication'  may be finding it's way from the front into the 485th restroom! The only fly in the ointment was the loss of 2nd Lt. Joe Walsh on his first mission with the squadron - whilst with us only a short while, his dexterity and acumen on the guitar was briefly put to great use in the mess of an evening and we lament the passing of a young and obviously gifted fellow. We await news of his replacement.

Well done to 485th for integrating so quickly and thoroughly into the operational tempo of their new base, and to both squadrons for their professionalism during form up for takeoff and their airmanship in the crowded pattern during approach to land. Great job all round there gents. 

Weather reports show a band of heavy rain moving through this evening and hanging around most of tomorrow, so ops are off until November 2nd [to be flown on Sunday October 18th 2020]  [Now Tuesday October 27th 2020]so take a break, and maybe the 402nd boys can show the 485th the delights of Charleroi - though most of them either have the Clap or have already been claimed by the 402nd! 


402nd Sqn Log 30-10-44 a.PNG

402nd Sqn Log 30-10-44 b.PNG

485th Sqn Log 30-10-44 a.PNG

485th Sqn Log 30-10-44 b.PNG

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After our first month of action in Belgium here are some Top-Trump stats for you guys:

370th Fighter Group missions flown: 28

370th Fighter Group sorties flown: 200

370th Fighter Group Air Kills: 60

370th Fighter Group Ground Kills: 266

Top Scoring Squadron, Air Kills: 402nd - 36

Top Scoring Squadron, Ground Kills: 485th - 140

Top Scoring Pilots, Air Kills:

2nd Lt. Fenton Rea, 402nd - 7

Lt. Arjen Efftee, 402nd - 6

Lt. Per Fesser, 402nd - 5

Top Scoring Pilots, Ground Kills: 

Maj. Mick Payne-Less, 485th - 41

2nd Lt. Fenton Rea, 402nd - 40

Lt. Arjen Efftee, 402nd - 29


Further Stats:

485th FS:

Gr. Kills/Sortie   Air Kills/Sortie   Losses/Sortie
1.32   0.23   0.066


402nd FS:

Gr. Kills/Sortie   Air Kills/Sortie   Losses/Sortie
1.34   0.38   0.074
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1 hour ago, DD_Fenrir said:

 so take a break, and maybe the 402nd boys can show the 485th the delights of Charleroi - though most of them either have the Clap or have already been claimed by the 402nd! 

Well, you 402 boys should take precautions to avoid the Clap and keep your internal claiming to yourselves.....the delights of Charleroi are well known to 485, Cecille du Coqsucquer is a FIRM favourite with 485 and could show you 402 LIMPOS a thing or two....but, no need, 485 are here :)

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6 hours ago, Sid said:

...could show you 402 LIMPOS ...

Given that even monosyllabic English seems to a challenge for the 485th, I was most surprised to see one of their ilk speaking Portugese, but thanks for the compliment Siddly, the 402nd do have certain high standards of hygiene and presentability we like to maintain. 

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14 minutes ago, delta7 said:

Did i not get credit for light tank destroyed, it showed in game.

Neg, Dave, sorry. Looks like PWCG is missing things, either that or the logs aren't picking up certain events. If it's any consolation, FT should have got 2 or 3 further G/K's as I saw his in game kill tally at 5 + 1 units, yet he was only credited with 3 by PWCG.

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Understood Dave. What I will start doing is logging instances of when this is happening and to whom, just to make sure that it's happening randomly to everyone and not just a select unfortunate few,.

Thus far Wingflyr has reported the same previously, it happened to FT last mission and also to myself at least once. It does seem to crop up more when multiple users are attacking the same target in a short time period - just like when you dive in sequentially as a flight on a bombing run.... this why I suspect what I've said before:

I will post over in the PWCG thread and see what Pat makes of this....

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10 hours ago, DD_Fenrir said:

I will post over in the PWCG thread and see what Pat makes of this....

Further to this I have posted at the PWCG board on the Il-2 Sturmovik forums:



Pat seems to think this shouldn't be happening but needs more information to be able to narrow down why this is a thing.

So, next mission out can I ask those of you who make ground kills to attempt to remember what and when you destroyed a ground target (if any!), or better yet take a screenshot of the little techno-chat message that pops up  saying"xxxx was destroyed by PilotX", and I will take a screenshot of the in game scoreboard. This way I have some solid evidence to present to Pat when/if PWCG doesn't record the right kills and he can start comparing the logfiles to both what we have seen in game and then to PWCG itself to establish whether PWCG is making any boo-boos in interpreting the logs.

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7 hours ago, Jabo said:

What does TDY stand for on the claims board Tom?

Hey Nick. Means Temporary Duty.

Essentially the service person is still on the roster and administratively belongs to the squadron however the have been seconded to another post for a period. In this case we imagine it's Group, Wing or Fighter Command HQ.

Means that should either Rox or Arthur get the itch to fly with us at a rare moment of opportunity they still have a slot open. Should we get more active members wishing to participate then I'll bump the TDY members to 401st FS to make way for the new bods, but for now, there's no need.

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Here's some footage from Tuesday to whet your appetite for today's mission and to mark the first time both squadrons operated from home base. I hope to capture some combat on film in future missions:

Capturing the Cacophony (turn it up loud 😉)


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