Stephen Dale's Alb Heroics Holds Off Two Camels
Ethan's Observer Survives 9,000-foot Free Fall Without Parachute
The most exciting game played by the Indy Squadron on Feb 16th was the third and final mission of the night, featuring two 130 hp Sopwith Camels (Rick, Stephen) against one LVG two-seater (Ethan) and his escort, an Albatros DVa (Stephen Dale) in March 1918.
Stephen's Camel pilot (Lt. Darian Donahue, 7/3) picked up his third confirmed kill when he shot the pilot of Ethan's LVG dead with a head wound. Ethan's two-seater plummeted for more than 9,000 feet before smashing into No Man's Land. His observer crawled from the wreckage unhurt and returned to his own lines safely.
Rick's experienced Camel pilot, Lt. Christopher Ridley-Scott (13/3) tackled Stephen Dale's well-flown Albatros and began a 2-on-1 fight that lasted for 11 amazing turns. Both Rick and Stephen's Camels were plagued by gun jams, and the two Sopwith's took turns tailing the lone German. Each time Stephen Dale would evade his pursuer and renew his attack. After nearly an hour of playing time Stephen Dale was still alive and kicking, and according to Rick, played some of the best Dawn Patrol of his career.
If there's another Albatros pilot who has survived 11 turns alone in the sky against two Camels (one of them experienced level), I've not heard of it yet. That was a remarkable stand by any measure and made for a fun ending to the night.
The first mission of the day was set in September 1916, the earliest date possible for a Dawn Patrol mission. Two British FE 8's (Rick and Stephen Dale) flew against a pair of Fokker E.III's (Ethan and Stephen), but the better-armed Fokker's were unable to bring down the slower but more robust FE 8's. It was an interesting mission with fun, seldom-used airplanes. Vzfw. Wilhelm Weyerhausen (Stephen, 11/1) gained his 11th mission as a German Early War pilot.
The night's only balloon mission produced two kills but no casualties when two Sopwith Dolphins (Stephen and Stephen Dale) attacked a pair of Pfalz DIIIa's in June 1918.
Captain Purvis Leiter (Stephen, 47/28) latched onto the tail of Ethan's Pfalz early in the scrap and scored heavy damage on the German plane. Ethan chose to cut his engine and glide to a crash-landing behind German lines rather than risk being killed. The victory was Leiter's 28th. Ethan's pilot survived to fight another day.
Meanwhile, Stephen Dale chose to attack the 300-foot German balloon solo, with predictable results. Rick manned the defensive anti-aircraft guns with his usual lethality, scoring head-on hits from both AA positions and machine guns. Stephen Dale's Dolphin took 6 engine hits in a single turn and immediately caught fire. He was fortunate to miss the balloon on the way down (it was not destroyed in his attack), and he crashed heavily in a nearby field.
Stephen Dale's Dolphin pilot was immediately captured, but he escaped prison camp and has now returned to his unit for further action.
The Indy Squadron has moved its official March gaming day to Who's Yer Con, the free Indianapolis-based gaming convention held Friday and Saturday, March 15-16, 2013.
Dawn Patrol gaming slots will be held on Friday at 12 noon and 5 pm, and on Saturday at both 10 am and 3 pm.
It is important to note that these four slots are official Indy Squadron games. That means players participating in any of these events will become eligible for the Indy Squadron championship in November. This is the first time that outside convention games have counted toward Indy Squadron championship eligibility, so those of you who haven't played at Indy yet this year can attend the Con and establish your eligibility at the same time.
The Clarion Waterfront Hotel will host this year's Who's Yer Con. The address and all hours, events and information can be seen on the Con's official web site.
The Fits Society's own George Henion serves as the Director of Operations for Who's Yer Con and we hope to see him at a game as well. His position will also be a nice boost for Dawn Patrol and we hope to gain some new players at the Con.
Last year's event was attended by four Indy players and gained positive reviews from everyone. It is free. There are no parking fees, entry fees or game tickets. Everyone gets a "swag bag" of free goodies and products. The staff is friendly and the games are small and lively.
You will not run into massive crowds or parking problems. Who's Yer Con is still in its infancy as a gaming convention and it is still very user-friendly. We hope to see you there.