Night Fighter Ace, Mission Evening 6

The crisp winter night air slowly gave way to the renewal of spring as the 6th night of gaming operations took the squadron from February 1944 to mid-March 1944. All the pilots now had built up enough experience to buy special skills to enhance their ability to intercept and take down the bombers invading the Reich’s night skies.

Interceptions with subsequent victories were lower than usual with the squadron only shooting down five bombers in three successive evenings. The darkening moon clearly interfered with the squadron’s success as it contacted no bombers at all! FW Koznarsky took a chance to try to gain the initiative with a Mosquito fighter but failed, succeeding only getting his plane shot to pieces though no hit caused critical damage (a crew hit was luckily rolled for a crewman that was not in the Ju-88, meaning no crew took a hit – very lucky!) Now that every plane flying has the upward firing “Schräge Musik” (Jazz Music/Slanted Music – several guns were located behind the cockpit and angle upwards at 70 degrees and would target the vulnerable wings), the standard attack on a bomber is to attack first with this weapon (the bomber cannot return fire) and then come around for a second pass, looking to finish off the plane.

Ju-88 G-6 with Schräge Musik

Luftwaffe intelligence determined that the British were due to shift operations starting in March 1944 leaving Berlin as a backwater. While interceptions would be possible, the length of time the pilots would be in the air would drop considerably [Adjutant: for instance, while based in Berlin missions that would intercept planes over Frankfurt would only fly in three endurance boxes, whereas in Dutch or French bases they would fly four endurance boxes. More time in the air = more chances to intercept and shoot down planes]. The pilots reviewed the intel reports and decided to request a transfer to Münster. This move cost every enlisted pilot 2 Prestige Points (PP); Hpt Griess was able to make this transfer for 1 PP as part of his “perk” for getting promoted. During the final mission of February (No moon -2 to interceptions), the pilots flew their planes to their new home in western Germany, near the Netherlands, and prepared for spring operations.

Unfortunately, I could not find any photos of British bombers, safely in the UK with SM damage. Only artists’ renditions are available or…
Computer game renditions of what SM looked like.

In the first evening in Münster, despite a Dark (-1) moon, all five pilots got contacts and four pilots brought down a bomber, with Fw Murphy bagging two! – this was as good as the previous three nights combined. This final mission of the month was cause for celebration as Fw Williams’ original pilot was released from the hospital and, again, took to the skies. Unfortunately, this good news was offset by the news that Hpt Griess’ plane took serious damage and he was seriously wounded, shot through the arm and missing six missions, out until the beginning of April. Welcome to Münster boys.

The second mission in western Germany was uneventful except for Fw Koznarsky who was able to “swim in the bomber stream” and intercept seven! planes, though was only able to take down four of them. Fw Mickel’s luck left him as he was unable to take down any of the three bombers he intercepted. For his efforts, Fw Koznarsky was awarded the Knight’s Cross with Oakleaves but would miss the next mission as he flew to Berlin to receive this award from the Leader himself.

Every pilot looked forward to the bright moon (+1 to intercept) evening as they anticipated better hunting results. Fw Mickel, newly recovered from his injuries, was very anxious to return to the skies. The evening did not disappoint as every pilot in the air caught and shot down bombers. The evening’s tally was Hpt Griess 5 kills! (replacement pilot), Fw Williams 2 kills and Fws Mickel and Murphy one plane each. The unit celebrated their successful evening back in the barracks.

Unfortunately, the British, knowing that full moon missions were extremely dangerous, chose not to bomb Germany during that turn. Such a shame as the +2 for interceptions was sure to bring success to the pilots! [Adjutant: as an aside, the squadron noted that no one was taking advantage of “extended bursts” any longer as interceptions were easier to come by and the chance of jamming were not worth the risk. Pilots also run the risk of being “blinded” making it tougher to find the bomber as a target. The newer planes with Jazz Music guns likely played a role in this change, as well. The Ace pilots also shied away from taking off during evenings when the weather socked in operations. That +3 modifier for landing in socked in weather is extremely dangerous, even with landing skill and the FuB1 2F Blind approach receiver. Discretion, clearly, is the better part of valor.]

The final mission of the evening was a tremendous success with every pilot flying, intercepting and shooting down at least one British bomber. Hpt Griess and Fw Koznarsky made the most of the Bomber stream skill, shooting down 8 planes between them. Fws Mickel, Murphy and Williams added to their tallies making this the best night ever by the squadron. Shouts of revelry and celebrations were heard throughout the early morning with whispers of “What happens in Münster, stays in Münster” being mentioned by multiple crewmen.

The squadron tallies for the original pilots stand currently at:

Hauptmann Gary Griess – 20 kills

Night Fighter Ace has a neat “extra” where you can put your rank, medals and list your skills. Instead of “Points” I listed each pilot’s kills.

Feldwebel Michael Koznarsky – 49 kills

Feldwebel Dale Mickel – 22 kills

Feldwebel Scott Murphy – 13 kills

Feldwebel Scott Williams – 13 kills

Posted in: Games

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.