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LUFTWAFFE PILOT BIOGRAPHY
– The Transporter
====================================

 

I always wanted to fly.

 

Can I say that?  It seems so trite. So kitsch. It's what everybody seems to say.  However for me it is true.  Flying has been my life, and it has taken me so very far.

 

It would never have been possible were it not for my father.  When he passed away he left me a small income.  Not much, but it was enough.  With it I was able to travel, and to leave Europe and the hurts and blames of the Great War behind. 

 

I learned to fly in Johannesburg, and for a time flew mailbags in West Africa on the Ghana route.  Such beautiful country, I dream of it still.   I crashed my first aircraft there at about the same time the economy back in Germany crashed too.  Seemingly overnight, I lost both my mail contract and my father's income.  Without money or prospects I drifted south.  Finally in Cape Town with the last of my savings, I booked passage on a steamer, headed east. 

 

I wandered for a time and ended up on the island of Papua New Guinea, flying the old Junkers W34s for an Australian mining company.  In New Guinea the prejudice of the old world was left behind. Nobody cared who you were before, or where you came from.  Nobody cared if you were German.  I moved passengers and supplies from Wau to the remote goldfields of Edie Creek.  I flew in the new workers and I took out the sick.  I brought the beer.

 

The weather was lousy, but the money was good.  While the rest of world wallowed in economic depression, it was a boom time for New Guinea gold.  The mine grew.  So too did the fleet of aircraft, and I flew them all.

 

Time passed and my bank balance increased.  Eventually, my savings and my logbook full, I realised it was time to come home.  For I wished more than anything now to see my Homeland again and to start a family. 

 

I boarded a steamer heading west, then up through the Suez canal.  Across the Mediterranean and north by train through Italy.  I returned home to a country transformed.   My first stop was to a good tailor.  Then, experienced, tanned and fit - I presented myself and my logbook to the Lufthansa offices in Berlin...

 

Those were the days, those few short years.  A golden time.  A time when the uniform of a German airman inspired trust and respect, and was welcomed anywhere in the world.  I flew industrialists and businessmen across Europe.  I flew carefree travellers to the Alps in Switzerland and in Italy, and I flew them home again.  I carried foreigners and countrymen alike in safety and comfort.  Our aircraft were immaculate.  Our uniforms a source of pride.

 

Such a time, gone forever now. 

 

The world has run mad.  Where once I carried the rich and well to do.  Now I carry people from all walks of life.  From stone-faced Fallschirmjäger, to mere boys with no business being in uniform.  I have carried fuel, livestock and ammunition beyond measure. I have struggled in every climate, helping unload scores of different cargoes.  And I have sat in the pilot's seat, engines ticking over and hands upon the throttles.  As my passengers are lifted aboard, bloody and screaming.

 

I always wanted to fly...

 

Somebody once told me, a mile of good runway can take you anywhere.  I do not doubt it.  I have seen so many miles of runway in my time.  I just never dreamed they would lead me to this.

 

If anyone should find this letter, I trust they will ensure it reaches my daughter.  So that one day when she is grown she might understand something of her father.  Of how he took to the air.  If not of where he fell.

 

Elsa $[lastName], daughter of $[firstName] and Hilde $[lastName]
Bäckerstraße 7
81737 München

Edited by Feathered_IV
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Feathered, these are really good. I think you should start early on the IJN and USN/USMC ones, I want to read more :biggrin:

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Kept me hooked - very well done!!

One small thing - Was the W34 that old then? Started service in 26. I figure maybe "beaut up" or "worn out" or "abused" would be better than "old." Just a thought!

Cheers
 

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Thanks guys.  I really do appreciate it.

 

Hobo, I was thinking that at the time of the person writing, the W34 would have been 10-15 years old and well obsolete by then.  If you think it reads strangely however, just let me know and I'll be glad to change it.

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=====================================
LUFTWAFFE PILOT BIOGRAPHY
- Der Halsschmerzen
====================================

 

Medals are all that matters.  That's what I say! 

 

Let the old men and the politicians rant and rave over their Lebensraum and their Aryan destiny.  What does any of that matter to me?  The future belongs to the young.  And when this war is fought and won; those with the Knight's Cross around their necks will be the only ones that matter. 

 

A man with medals at his chest and throat will be the elite in any company.  A smart uniform and my fair share of decorations will open doors that would otherwise be closed to me.  My words will carry weight.  All my wishes will be granted.  Whether at work or at play.  Or in love...

 

And after all, who can deny a Hero of anything?

 

My training is done and I'm off to Russia any day now.  I'm ready too.  I know I am.  My instructor said I'm as good as anybody.  Certainly as good as any Ivan, I'll wager.  Just point me at them, and I'll show you how its done!

 

I must admit though; When I received the news of my posting abroad, I was disappointed not to be going to France.  They say its like a rest cure there.  A holiday.  A good clean fight with the Tommies during the day.  Then all the comforts of home and more besides at night.  You can get anything in France.  Anything at all, and it's yours for the taking.  Just walk into any store.  Just grab what you like and send it home - and it's all on credit!

 

Not at all like in Russia.  Definitely not like in Russia.  Just one scruffy little village after another they say, and no night-life to speak of.  They even have lice.  Lice.  Just think of it!

 

Still, its not all bad.  They say the victories come quick and easy in the East.  If you want rapid promotion and some fast recognition...  Russia is the place to be.

 

So there's the plan.  A quick stint of service in the East.  Just enough to make a name for myself.  Six months.  Maybe a year at most if the war lasts that long.  I'll get some easy victories, and play the newsreel cameras and news photographers like a fiddle.  Get some eye-catching markings on my machine perhaps.  Something they won't be able to resist showing in the cinemas back home.  Old-man Richthofen had his little red triplane, so why not something for me?

 

Then once the medals start flowing in, I can get a transfer home and back out of that dung heap.  My father is an influential man after all.  He knows the Herr Doktor, and he knows the value of a Hero for a son.  Maybe I can even get a spot on one of those home defence units.  Somewhere handy to Berlin...  Oh yes, that's the way to do it!

 

Mark my words - Medals are all that matter...

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Thanks to Feathered and everyone else who contributed. I can't wait to see the fruits of your labor in the upcoming campaign.

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Trying my hand at this.

 

The Instructor

 

The other cadets in the academy were all born in the big cities, even my closest friends – Zhora was from Voroshilovograd, Vanya and Grisha were from Kharkov, and the Alenchiev twins came from Moscow! Muscovites, all the way down in the Ukranian steppe! You're probably thinking, “how did a country boy like you end up among them, in Chuguev?"

 

You see, my parents were peasants but I left home very early to study in Kharkov, the closest thing to a big city near us. My brother had shown me the way – he went to Moscow to find work in 1931, but he traded the steel cranes for piston engines and wings. Sasha went from the fields, the wooden houses and the hardships of simple folk, to the skyscrapers he wanted to help build. His wings took him further away and now Captain Aleksandr $[lastName] has been to places I could only dream of seeing. He’s told me about the sunburnt fields in Spain, the cliffs in Crimea and the endless steppes of Mongolia. I want to hear what he thinks of the snowy forests of Finland, but I haven’t met him since. Nobody has, to be exact, except my mother in her dreams.

 

My class graduated in decent shape. A single U-2 was wrecked during the first solo flight of Denis Tikhonov. An engine failure while approaching the runway made us one airplane and one pilot shorter. His parents had died when he was young, and he had no siblings either. We had become his family, and we grieved like family. I completed the course without problems, except my first ever flight. I was nervous, I vomited all over the cockpit, Lieutenant Kalitvinets aborted the mission and gave me a second chance the next morning. I came prepared that time – I didn’t have any breakfast, so there was nothing to put out!

 

With my own wings, I’ve taught enough city kids and peasants alike to fill a regiment over the past year. I went from Starshina $[lastName] to $[startRank] $[lastName], and the cadets showed me the same respect I used to show my instructors but towards the last week of the course it always went down to first names.

 

The instructor life got old quickly though – I didn’t join the Army to teach kids who will then fly the newest planes, I joined to fly them myself! After two or ten requests my immediate superior Major Chernov, or Evgeniy Petrovich like we instructors called him, promised to put a word in for me but nothing came until the second Monday of July in 1941.

 

Evgeniy Petrovich, Zhora Safinskiy and I were ordered to report to Kharkov immediately. Nobody said a word during the whole drive in Zhora's black car. The climb up the stairs of the regional headquarters was equally silent, as was the wait outside the brown door to see the colonel. Cigarettes were lit, matches passed around instinctively, and constant shouting on the phone behind the door. When the boss finally called us in, after what felt like an hour, he skipped the introductions and gestured at me and Safinskiy.

 

“To Moscow, report in two days the latest. Comrade Chernov is right, you won’t kill any Fascists aboard those cropdusters here. From there you will be posted to conversion regiments, and learn how to fight. Get out, don’t forget your papers. Chernov, you fly to Kiev today. Kalitvinets will take over from you.”

 

On the way back Evgeniy Petrovich drove while Zhora and I argued if we should fly or take the train to Moscow. At the aerodrome Chernov shook our hands and went to pack his belongings. “$[age] isn’t the right age to die, $[firstName]. Let’s meet here by New Year’s eve, friends”, he said. Two months later Kiev fell.

Edited by 216th_Lucas_From_Hell
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Wow, I love that line; we had become his family, and we grieved like family.  Fabulous work Lucas!

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Loosely based on the careers of Valentin Nikolaev and Grigoriy Fedotov.

 

The Poacher

 

<p>$[name] was born in Vladimirskiy Oblast, on $[birthdate] in a family of railway workers. After some years, his family moved to Moscow but their younger son's eagerness and dedication to become a sportsman secured him tryouts with Kazan's flourishing railway team. Thanks to an impressive performance and his parent's connections the future footballer started playing as a forward for Kazanka’s youth team in 1936, staying there until the end of 1938.</p>

 

<p>Standing at 172cm, $[lastName] joined the army in 1939 and like many footballers who were drafted, his professional career was funnelled to CDKA, the Red Army Central House in Moscow. An athletic person from an early age, $[firstName] was capable of shooting with both feet and could jump higher than most defenders. He made up for his modest height and unremarkable technique with speed, strength and an acute understanding of the game to get to the best scoring positions before his markers. A stellar debut season saw the forward score an impressive 21 goals between May and November to become the league's top scorer, most of them from within the six-yard box, but despite his efforts the so-called ‘Team of Lieutenants’ finished third, behind Tbilisi's Dynamo and CDKA's rivals and champions, Moscow’s Spartak.</p>

 

<p>A promising start to the 1940 season saw $[name] score an impressive ten goals in the opening seven games of the season, but a broken ankle sustained during a car crash in July ended his year prematurely. Without their main offensive threat, CDKA failed to break into the top three while Moscow’s Dynamo took the trophy home for the third time. During his recovery, $[lastName] took up flight lessons and finished his course on March 1941.</p>

 

<p>Fit and ready to return, $[name] played in all 11 matches by his club, renamed Red Army. His last game for the club was Red Army's last for the season too – a 1-1 home draw against Traktor. The result left the Army’s men 6th on the table, but the Fascist invasion in June cut the season short. $[startRank] $[lastName] wrote requests to his superiors demanding a transfer to the front from the 27th June, and these were followed by frequent demands.</p>

 

<p>Finally, the forward was denied infantry service but thanks to his satisfactory results at flight school and good disciplinary record he secured a transfer to an aviation conversion regiment to learn how to operate combat aircraft. An offer to fly U-2 trainers in the rear areas of the front had already been refused prior to that. On $[startDate], $[startRank] $[name] arrived at $[startSquad] for frontline aviation duties, having scored more goals and flown less hours than all of his comrades there.</p>

Edited by 216th_Lucas_From_Hell

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On the wings of education

 

<p>Born on $[birthdate] in the village of Alekseevka in the east of Ukraine to a family of peasants, $[name] finished education on schedule. Fit for the academic life, gifted with an impressive ease to learn and a serene temper that was extremely approachable, $[lastName] went on to graduate simultaneously from Zaparozhia’s pedagogical institute and the local aeroclub with excellent marks.</p>

 

<p>From the institute, $[name] became a teacher of Biology and Chemistry in a Zaparozhia school. A promising career in the pedagogical area had begun, but less than a year later the Fascist attack on the western borders of the Soviet Union prompted the intelligent pilot to be transferred from the peaceful classrooms to the strict discipline of Stalingrad’s aviation school.</p>

 

<p>A thorough if short course starting from the familiar U-2 and going into the trickier UTI-4 trainer gave $[lastName] the fundamental theory required to become a combat pilot, but the fighting spirit and reactions in face of the enemy's wall of fire were not something the tired teachers at Stalingrad could pass on with the chalkboard scribbles and drawings. Final conversion training into modern models was planned but eventually cancelled – the front needed the new Yakovlev, Mikoyan and Ilyushin models more than any school.</p>

 

<p>On the same day of the course's completion, now $[startRank] $[name] was assigned to $[startSquadronName] in August 1941. The regiment had already been flying combat missions and was no strange to the heat of aerial battle, the deaths of comrades and the inevitably short life expectancy of newly formed pilots like $[firstName]. This was a far cry from the quiet life riding the outdated Polikarpovs at Stalingrad.</p>

 

<p>On the very first day, the stern regiment commander immediately took $[lastName] for a clerk – intelligent, quiet and serene like an elder, how’s that a fighter pilot? A training accident right on the first adaptation flight aboard new aircraft only made things worse. $[startRank] $[lastName] took off successfully, and followed the flight leader comfortably as they climbed left around the airfield. As the Captain took $[lastName] through a series of manoeuvres in formation to show what the machine was capable of, the novice panicked after getting too close to the leader and took impulsive action to avoid a collision. The aircraft entered a spin, and despite its pilot's best efforts recovery came too close to the ground – crashing into a tree line at 300 km/h, $[lastName]’s journey had gone from classroom to cockpit to hospital.</p>

 

<p>Upon returning after what felt like an eternity, news came that the Colonel was already set on shipping the newcomer back to the rear where such weak types belonged, but an intervention by the one of the unit's most decorated pilots changed things around.</p>

 

<p>“The kid goes from Ukraine to Stalingrad, smashes into the woods and stands in front of us in one piece! Not bad, Gypsy! Don’t worry, we'll teach you how to fly like a true falcon.”</p>

 

<p>On $[startDate], thousands of kilometres from home, $[name]’s name appeared in the briefing form for the regiment’s next combat mission.</p>

Edited by 216th_Lucas_From_Hell
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Trouble from the Volga

 

<p>He didn't exactly take to his parents, that's for sure. How else could you explain it? A son born into a family of five children, whose parents were renowned teachers, suddenly put all his good education behind to fly one of these dangerous aeroplanes around?!</p>

 

<p>But this story goes way back, before the wings or the smell of querosene. $[firstName] had a build well beyond his friends and relatives. Strong like oak and measuring close to 2 metres at age 16, his strong and impulsive character earned him a bad reputation among teachers. «$[lastName], shut your mouth» was heard at least once a day within the school walls, and warnings from the directors were not few. But what could they do in the end? The tall devil's parents taught in the same school, all the other students loved him and the worst of all, he had good grades!</p>

 

<p>It was more or less a dogma in the school that if they were patient enough, if they could tolerate his antics just a little bit longer, $[name] would find his way and eventually graduate to become a model professional, someone his parents could finally be proud of. Everything was going to plan, but as always $[lastName] found ways to be disruptive – after finishing middle school, he announced to his parents and teachers that he was leaving home and, with immediate effect, was now a student of the Kuybishev aviation club instead. The poor teachers were in shock of course, and rightfully so.</p>

 

<p>Like all of his usual schemes, this had some trickery to it. Besides learning to fly, he was also enrolled into the Construction Institute full time, but this only emerged later to his parents – you see, after the shock the $[lastName]s spent two whole months without speaking to $[firstName]. One way or another the teachers were right – having picked his path, $[name] took his studies seriously and finished both his construction and flying studies together, taking up the job of instructor at the local aeroclub.</p>

 

<p>Without warning his family beforehand, $[firstName] enlisted as a pilot and in January 1940 secured a posting to the famous Chkalov Military Aviation School, where he would become a fully trained combat pilot. Fresh out of the production line, his character earned him repeated arguments with superiors, and gave him enough trouble. When what was his regiment then received orders to relocate to the Finnish border, the commander didn't feel he was fit for actual combat – too reckless, he remarked.</p>

 

<p>But now things were different. Reckless or not, pilots were needed all over the front, and exactly two weeks after the German invasion $[startRank] $[name] was picked for conversion training. After he had failed to see combat, the war had come to him, and the disruptive giant would now fly again. He wrote to his parents announcing this.</p>

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Maestro

 

<p>$[name] was born on $[birthDate] in the settlement of Nikolaevskiy by the outskirts of Nikolaev, near Stalingrad. Raised in a family of factory workers, $[lastName] finished middle school and went on to study at the local polytechnic college. Successful graduation meant either a professional formation or access to higher education, and neither seemed like bad ideas for the children of workers and peasants.</p>

 

<p>With a little creativity, a friend in the selection committee and just enough sympathy to convince sceptics, $[name] managed to enrol in Moscow's famous conservatory, in the faculty of composers. This was no small feat, as the institute had been led by no other than Pete Chaikovsky at the time of its opening!</p>

 

<p>In the middle of the 1930s the Soviet government uttered a clear shout – “Komsomols members, to the airplanes!” Having achieved eligibility for the programme, $[firstName] decided to add that to an already wide skills set. The composer finished basic flight instruction at Saratovsk's aviation school a year later and thanks to a steady hand and a good relationship with its commander, an immediate posting to the Central Aerial Instruction School in Moscow came.</p>

 

<p>Another year, another course completed, and $[lastName] was ready to teach aspiring pilots to fly. Work for a competent flying instructor was abundant, and rightfully so! First came a transfer to the aeroclub in Nalchik by the Caucasus, then a brief successful stint at Chernigov, followed by a far posting to Nikolaev in Ukraine. Upon meeting every group of students, $[firstName] would tell them “you need to fly like you dance to music, young ones. The sound of the engine must inspire you, otherwise you’re not birds soaring high but potato sacks strapped to a seat.”</p>

 

<p>A skilful instructor with good references across the Soviet Union, $[name]’s work didn’t go unnoticed. After being drafted to the Army and starting a combat aviation course in Kacha near Sevastopol with the goal of becoming an instructor there, all plans went out of the window: today, at 4 AM, the German army had attacked the borders of the Soviet Union. It was time to head to the front, and the next day a joint letter by the cadets requesting the course to be accelerated as to allow for immediate posting to the borders found its way to the commander’s desk. $[firstName] was the first to sign it.</p>

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The Soldier

 

<p>You could say I've adapted well to the new surroundings, yes. The lads insist it's because I'm a good storyteller but I think it's my clothes. But where are my manners, of course! I am $[startRank] $[firstName] Vasilyevich $[lastName], combat pilot. I arrived here yesterday, transferred from my previous regiment... rather, from what was left of it.</p>

 

<p>I'm from the nice and warm city of Makhachkala in the heart of Dagestan, nicely positioned with the sun rising from the Caspian Sea and setting into the Black Sea. My parents are regular working folk, and I miss them very much. The letters come often though, that helps. When I was little we moved to Novocherkassk, near Rostov. I spent my childhood near the Don, and the 8 years I have of education were completed there too. When I was old enough, I joined the Nizhneshilovskiy aeroclub and learned how to fly there. You see, Rostov's and Novocherkassk's didn't have any spaces and I didn't know anyone who could help me wiggle my way in there. I'm thankful in the end, the instructors were kind and I made some friends easily.</p>

 

<p>After school I joined the local polytechnic and studied to become a photographer. I brought some photos I made back then along with me, most of them were left with my parents but I managed to bring a few if you want to see them later. A year after graduating like most folks my age I was drafted into the Red Army's ranks. Life wasn't bad there, though the food was, but my main complaint was that I had been drafted as an infantryman! A transfer request to the battalion commander six months later was heard but only halfway - they sent me from infantry to cavalry. It was only after I went to the army headquarters' office, fed up of the smelly interior of tanks and shovelling horse dejects, that I got my transfer to the Yeisk naval aviation school.</p>

 

<p>A year later, course completed and all documentation in order, the news came: the Soviet Union had been invaded. You might have guessed that as a pilot - a qualified military pilot, mind you - I would have been sent straight to conversion training or even directly to a frontline regiment, right? I thought so too, but the bosses had different plans. The first orders came, and I was to be transferred to an rifle division in Moldova. I'll never forget what felt like a century in that hot train, full of tense people waiting to see war for the first time, with myself wondering how many days I would last. When we arrived to Kiev the division I and a few trainmates were supposed to join had already ceased to exist. All of us were reassigned to a cavalry unit stationed by Chisinau where I first saw the enemy, blood and the death of dear comrades.</p>

 

<p>The defining point of my journey came in the two weeks I spent there. As we retreated with the little equipment and manpower we had left, Fascist dive bombers found our position conveniently driving along the road to Ukraine. Without opposition, as if playing a game at a carnival, they dove down on our column and dropped their bombs directly onto us. With the little time I had I jumped off the armoured car and ran to cover behind a tree. The noise was deafening. Engines, sirens, explosions, the crackling of ammunition detonating inside burning vehicles, soldiers screaming in pain, an officer could be heard praying while covered in blood... I sat behind that tree waiting for the bombers to go away. When I approached the burning wreck of my car it dawned on me that the last of my friends from the train to Kiev were gone. That was more than I could take, and once our column reached the next city I demanded to the first general I saw to be sent to an aviation regiment. I had already flown the U-2 and R-5 at school, and I had a few hours on the I-16 as well!  I could do better than sit around while Hitler's cronies set me on fire inside a tin can.</p>

 

<p>Some fast paperwork got me transferred to a fighter regiment three days later. It was more of a squadron than a regiment at this point, with only five I-16s and seven pilots plus me left. Bad weather prevented any flying that day but the next morning we set out with all our aircraft and I was part of the mission. Carrying RS rockets, we were told to hunt down and destroy enemy infantry columns. Unfortunately, halfway to the target a large group of Messerschmitts came over us and broke our formation. Two of them figured me out for an easy target and despite evading their fire for a whole minute I fell victim to them eventually. After some cannon shells set a fuel tank on fire, I bailed out with whatever altitude I had left, with my flight suit on fire. Through luck or a fate I landed on a shallow creek, which kept me from both burning and drowning to death. The scars on my arms are a reminder of that time though, and it helps me keep my eye on the skies at all times. The next day when I returned to the airbase there was only one Ishak parked there, and it was clear the regiment was no more... so, long story short, I was transferred to $[startSquadronName].</p>

 

<p>When I arrived here the squadron commander took me for some lost soldier, but I can't blame him. The infantry overalls are the only clothes I have left, how could he know I was a pilot?</p>

Edited by 216th_Lucas_From_Hell

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The Technician

 

<b>The small town aviator was born in Novonikolaevsk, what today we call Novosibirsk. He came to be in $[birthDate, son of a poor family that had resettled from Vyatsk. They say need makes the man and that holds true here – at the young age of 14, $[name] started working for Sibstroitrest fitting roofs on the company’s buildings after school.</b>

 

<b>A man of true Siberian character, he fell in love with aviation at an early age. It was a school morning, but $[firstName] and his classmates had gotten word that the first aeroplane was coming to Novosibirsk. The children skipped school, and were harshly punished at home afterwards, but the sight of the metallic Junkers arriving then soaring again cast a spell of long-lasting effects – after daydreaming about it for a week, $[firstName] walked up to his parents and shouted to them: “I will become a pilot, and a pilot only!”</b>

 

<b>To become an aviator however you had to be a qualified specialist, and a roof fitter was not exactly that. To the dismay of his parents, after completing 7th Class $[lastName] quit his job at Sibstroitrest and enrolled at the local FZU. He cut ties with this father but sent the little allowance he earned to his mother and siblings. Living in a dormitory room shared with fifteen other students, all they had to eat was a loaf of bread a day with some water on the side. Hungry as they were, the boys helped each other and after four years $[name] and his roommates were declared specialists – little $[firstName] was going to become an aviator!</b>

 

<b>The process seemed straightforward enough at first glance. After submitting his application, he was told to report at Perm’s Aviation School. Four years of hard work made the long train ride seem like nothing, but upon arrival $[lastName] was told of the news: ‘starting last week, in Perm we only graduate mechanics now.’ He hadn’t even earned his wings and they had already been cut! With no option but to follow through, $[lastName] took consolation from learning the ins and out of the Army's aircraft. Weekly letters were written to the division commander, to the chief of the local military district and even to the Commissar of Defence, comrade Voroshilov. $[firstName] could still only think about flying, but as time went his letters stopped being ignored and instead received clear rejections – why would the Army let go of such a crafty technician?</b>

 

<b>As earlier in life, $[name] had to engineer his own way out of this problem. Encouraged by a chance meeting with Hero of the Soviet Union and famous test pilot Stepan Suprun, he managed to sign up for an aviation instruction course at the local aeroclub in September during his holidays. In exactly seventeen days, after sweet-talking an instructor into it, $[firstName] completed the supposedly two-year course and had finally become a qualified pilot – grade “Excellent”. The documents were enough for a transfer to Kacha’s military flight school where he again ranked “Excellent” and completed the course in less than a year.</b>

 

<b>His first assignment took $[name] to $[startSquadName] by the western borders of the Soviet Union where he served for six months until a shortage of qualified instructors took him to Krasnodar. The news around the world gave a clear signal however – qualified pilots were needed on the front, and on $[startDate] $[startRank] $[lastName] saw his first combat, back at $[startSquadronName].</b>

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Can we submit biographies for Bodenplatte?

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Decided to chance it; here's a Bodenplatte  biography submission for an FW190D unit while at the same time tackling the nachwuchs aviator theme as well:

 

Not your brother's home defense

 

The family name of $[name] opened a few doors that let me make it into Luftwaffe flight training. And despite the odds, and some very nosy Mustangs I considered myself lucky to complete pilot training in one piece. A few other doors opened the same way I was sent to that unit, or rather, his unit.

 

The train that took me to the closest city wasn’t anywhere near the schedule and more then one passenger cast a rather weary glance in my direction as I made my way off the platform. I knew that the mail still got through. I suddenly pick up a familiar face in the crowd. The face wore the uniform of a Major of the Luftwaffe.

 

It’s him! He had been a freshly promoted Hauptmann back then, when he brought Paul’s remains home for burial. I remembered his face back then as being haggard and tired. It had not improved, at all.

 

Just as taught in training I came to a rigid pose of attention and present a regular military salute to the Herr Major, who can only shake his head in disgust before he returns. “Forget that nonsense for now, Wilhelm. Grab your kit and follow me.”

 

I grab my two suitcases and follow the major out of the station to his Kubelwagen, where the driver was rather busy chatting with a couple of girls. The corporal jumps to attention as the Major firmly plants his flying boot wearing foot on the car fender.

 

I ignore the glances the two men cast at each other as I am somewhat preoccupied by storing my gear in the trunk of the car. Not 30 seconds later, we set off on a speed that I consider interesting for a ground vehicle. And then I also get to see the shape the city is in.

 

“Is it really that bad?”

 

I get no answer. Not a word is said while we drive on. Soon the ruins of the city fall behind us. Out in the country I notice both the driver (whilst at the same time keeping an eye on the road) and the major are looking up and checking their surroundings.

 

And yet, I’m the first one to freeze as I hear an aircraft engine. I start to check the sky with lightning speed, just like that time in the trainer.

 

“There he is!” A few very tense seconds pass before I hear the Major exhale “it’s one of ours.”

 

It was indeed one of ours, one of the new FW 190s known as Doras. The plane waggled its wings as it passed us, causing the Major to shake his head yet again. For a brief moment I thought I heard him mutter “Idiot.” I take note of the plane markings.

 

The so called Langnase doesn’t stay with us. After a twenty minute drive we finally reach the airfield or rather, a place that in an earlier time must have resembled an airfield. I hear movement behind as the Major begins to get up.

 

The driver halts the vehicle near a guard shack. Out in the distance near the far edge of the field, there are a couple of fires, burning rather brightly. However, that isn’t what captures my attention.

 

My attention is soon focused on what I suppose is the runway, where an aircraft is burning rather brightly as well. A fire engine is close by, but the firemen do not seem to be in a hurry. A quick glance at what remains of the aircraft soon confirms my worst fears. It had been the idiot…

 

A few hours later I’m dirty, tired and in my new quarters. I had helped with some of the repairs and other chores that had come out of the allied Jabo sweep that had visited the airfield. I had finished unpacking my suitcases as there was a knock at the door.

 

It was the Major. He got straight to the point “Feldwebel Schreiber, I wish I could have trained you more, but due to the current situation you will have to fly with the Staffel tommorow.” He left before I could say anything else.

 

I looked at the calendar. It was September 1944, although I would be flying, I was starting to wonder wheter or not I would see the end of the war, or end up just like my brother Paul….

 

 

 

 

 

 

And for balance purposes, a possible Tempest campaign start/bio

 

Everybody wants a Spitfire, only you're not getting one

 

 

Lad, everybody wants a Spitfire..” The words of the training officer echoed through my mind in nearly the same manner as the engines on the Dakota were droning. I had tried to get onto a Spitfire squadron that would remain in England. Instead, I received a posting to a place I had heard of before, but didn’t want to go; 2nd TAF, on the continent.

 

That was when the training officer had told me that everyone wanted Spitfires, and not everyone was going to get one. Instead, I first ended up having to do more course work and flight training, on early versions of the venerable Spitfire Mk IX that was equipped with something called a Gyro gunsight. Oddly enough I found that part interesting.

 

The other part of the training consisted of doing rather high speed landings. I wondered what that was all about. The only half muttered answer that I could understand was that it concerned ‘some new type of fighter.’

 

So now here I was, in a Dakota transport, somewhere over the continent, bound for who knows where and….

 

Thomas Rosewood was someone who had ended up in the same boat as me. He was RCAF while I was RAF, his family did something with large department stores (as he called them) mine was heavily invested in shipping, and therefore mine was also a Navy family. I suppose that when you’re the youngest, you have bit more leeway in pursuing the more different arts and crafts out there. Thus unlike my 3 brothers, I went into the RAF.

 

Rosewood had tapped me on the shoulder and motioned for me to look out the window “Look at that.”

 

Right beside us, there was a fighter plane. It definitely wasn’t a Spitfire because everybody on the plane would have recognized that plane everywhere. “That almost looks like a Typhoon.” Rosewood remarked.

 

It’s not, it’s a Tempest.” I answered. I had had a chance to read an article on said fighter during a little journey into London.

 

We landed ten minutes later and, since we where the replacement pilots, we were promptly summoned to the CO’s office. Both Rosewood and I stood at rigid attention as we waited for him to finish on his paperwork. Over his head, just below a clock, there was a calendar. It was September 1944, and I felt might just be a long war...

 

 

Edited by Sharpe43
didn't want the tempest campaign merged.
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Those are way too specific, i.e., they can't be referring to a specific aircraft type, since these biographies are being used for all variety of planes.

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14 minutes ago, LukeFF said:

Those are way too specific, i.e., they can't be referring to a specific aircraft type, since these biographies are being used for all variety of planes.

In the case of the Luftwaffe I'm not going to argue that you're right. However in the case of the Tempest I will submit the following; There were an awful lot of Spitfire squadrons in 2 TAF and ADGB. And in this case I also wanted to leave a little room for a 'you're finally going to get a Spitfire' bio..   

 

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In any case, if you want some constructive input..

More general historical narrative, less 'comic book'

Think of something you'd read in a history book.

 

Where born/raised, heritage, school, what did his parents do (farmers, shopkeepers) how introduced to flying, does he have a girl back home, where he trained, etc.

 

I'll post one when I finish the 352nd squadron histories for Black Six

 

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Want me to write a pilot biography for a working class son of a iron worker from Cambridge MA born in the 20s? ( based offa family member)

Only thing is he ended up in 47s in Italy.. But that could be changed

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Posted (edited)

  He remembered the first time he'd seen one up close. Emerald green body and wings as bright and yellow as the sun. It came down from the sky looking as though it must certainly crash into the ground. But the nose lifted and the engine snorted and popped and it touched down as softly as a hummingbird landing on a flower. 

  The airplane had arrived for the county fair, it's pilot hoping to make some money giving short rides around the fair grounds. People began to crowd around it.

   The pilot climbed from the tight looking cockpit and jumped down onto the grass. In his sheepskin collared flight jacket and goggles he couldn't have appeared more dashing and heroic. He looked like Errol Flynn and Thomas was mesmerized. He wanted to be him.

   "All right, c'mon," the flyer was saying as he lifted his goggles from his eyes and rested them on his forehead. "The thrill of a lifetime! How many of you have flown in an airplane? None of you I'd bet! Here's your chance! Only five dollars for the thrill of your life!"

   Thomas squeezed his father's hand, tightly.

   "Please Dad! Please!"

  "Thomas...I ..I don't know. It's just so...." But Thomas wouldn't let him finish.

   "Dad! I'll do anything! Anything" Thomas could almost feel the tears welling up in his eyes. 

    Thomas's father took a deep breath. He stared at Thomas for some time and then looked up at the pilot. 

    "Is it safe?" His father yelled out over the crowd.

     "Why, heck yeah," answered the flyer. "I'm here safe and sound...ain't I?" Then he added, "Don't worry, It's gonna be the greatest experience of yer life!"

     "No, not me! My son, here!"

    Thomas couldn't believe what he was hearing. His heart was pounding as though it would leap from his chest.

    "Well sure!" said the dashing aviator. "Send the boy over with the five bucks and let's fly!"

      It had seemed like a dream. Being strapped into the airplane's wicker seat, the air filled with the scent of gasoline and oil. The thunder of the engine starting and the propellar disappearing and becoming a blur. The wood, metal, and fabric around Thomas coming alive and shaking and suddenly moving!  The unforgettable feeling of the earth dropping away and the air moving around him like a storm. He was no longer part of that other world. He was in a world where gravity no longer mattered and men lived in the skies. He wanted desperately to be part of that world. He knew immediately, that his life had been changed forever. 

 

Edited by Poochnboo
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Everyone,

 

It's time to finish rounding up content for the BOBP Career. At this time, I really need some British and German Pilot Biographies. I have American handled. 

 

I can a offer a little cash for the work. Step up if you have some writing skills and are interested. Please do not PM me. Post in this thread. My PM box is overwhelmed.

 

Jason

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Chance my arm 3500 characters if you count spaces.

 

Spoiler

RAF biography

 

$firstname $lastname had been born in Haverfordwest, SW Wales in 1924. His mother worked on a local farm whilst his Father was a fireman. He had a sister 4years his junior.

To a 15 year old the war seemed a long way away. He had even been amused when his Father joined the local home guard. The nearest it seemed to come was the refugee children that would arrive occasionally from the south of England with their unfathomable accents.

However there was a lot of local air activity, Coastal and fighter command were very active from several airfields.

That all changed dramatically in 1940 when air raids hit the nearby town of Pembroke Dock. The coastal command airfield there was targeted. A raid in August caused heavy damage when oil tanks were hit. The fires burned for weeks, worse than that, his father was among the badly injured. For the young $firstname the war had become real. By then he was working in a local garage as a mechanic having left school at 14. If you were not noticeably intelligent, then extra school work was not going to earn you a living.

He was far too young to join up, but fuelled by his rage, this did not stop him trying. It was all to no avail, his young features betrayed his youth.

Finally, in 1942 he was accepted, his father had died and he had helped his mother earn money to bring up his younger sister. He worked during the day, and rode despatch messages dodging tank convoys at night. Part of him was ashamed that he did not want to be at home, but the desire to escape was overwhelming.

He wanted to be a pilot, although had never experienced flying. The recruitment office thought he would be suitable as mechanic due to his experience maintaining motor engines.

A friend advised him to take it, he had heard that once in it was not unheard of to transfer.

The 3 months training to become an aero engine flight mechanic was easy following the 4 weeks of boot camp designed to give you a very thick skin and as many blisters as humanly possible.

He had also been subjected to several extra duties due to his persistence in questioning instructors, NCO’s and any one else who he thought would listen on how he could become a pilot. Many asked did not have a lot of patience.

Training over, he was posted to Finningley, far from home, in Yorkshire. Wellingtons flew from there as 25 OTU (Operational Training Unit). Within 2 months of his arrival, rumours flew that his new unit was to be disbanded. However, a flying training unit, with a sympathetic engineering officer impressed by his engineering ability had enabled him to get some off duty flying experience. By the time that 18 OTU had taken up residence he had his chance to begin flying training.

He passed the medicals, sailed through aptitude tests, although he found that even a potential pilot did not remove the ‘baby’ label every NCO in creation seemed to label him with.

Flying was something else that he seemed to find a natural affinity for. In due course he proudly received his pilot wings, but it would take him 3 days to travel home to show his family. However even that trip was short compared to his present destination with an operational squadron based in Europe. Not for the first time, and hopefully not the last, he was heading for somewhere that 3years ago he never knew existed.

The rage had diminished with time, replaced with a mix of excitement and trepidation. Training and the experience gained seeing damaged bombers and injured crews returning had taught him that no one was immortal.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Jason_Williams said:

At this time, I really need some British and German Pilot Biographies. I have American handled. 

 

Post in this thread.

 

===================================

 Farmer's Son ~ British pilot biography

===================================

 

$[name] was born on $[birthdate] at Fairfield Villas in Wetherby, West Riding of Yorkshire. $[firstName] had a rural upbringing, growing up on the family farm with his older brother and younger sister. His father worked the farm while his Mum took care of the house and the chickens they kept in the back yard.  $[firstName] attended Crossley Street Primary School, and after he moved on to Secondary School, he worked with his brother and father in the fields. He was just a skinny red headed kid, but he dreamed of flying one of those aeroplanes he often saw crossing the sky over the farm in the afternoons. His father was having none of that rubbish, and was adamant that he carry on the family business. $[firstName] knew that his future calling was up in the clouds with the winged machines, but for now he just watched, biding his time and working the days away until he was old enough to make his own way. 

 

Mr. $[lastName] passed away in 1937 and Mrs. $[lastName] finally agreed to let $[firstName] pursue his dreams outside the farm and family. $[firstName] found a job as a trainee pharmacist in Leeds. While working his way up there, he learned to fly with the RAF Volunteer Reserve on weekends. He was an adept pupil, and did so well that he eventually became an instructor at the Yorkshire Flying School in Yeadon in 1938. 

 

As war broke out in 1939, $[firstName] had gathered over 1000 hours of flight time at the school. He was inducted into the RAF as an NCO and sent to France in support of the British troops fighting there. He flew a Hurricane during the Battle of France and did well for himself, earning the respect of his squadron mates for his natural flying abilities and calm nature under pressure. His unit was moved back to Britain before the Germans marched in to Paris, and he made it back home safely. He was allowed to take leave and visit his family on their farm and spend some time away from the aviator's life he had so longed for as a child. 

 

By the summer of 1940, France had surrendered to Germany. The British Expeditionary Force had been defeated at Dunkirk and it was apparent that war was imminent for Britain. $[name] was ordered back to duty and stationed at Gravesend Airfield. He grew accustomed to the daily routine of waking up in his hut by the runway, having a cup of tea and eating breakfast. Then it was out to check the aircraft over and make sure it was ready to go on a moments notice. He would get his parachute and flying helmet out and hang them over the control column of the plane so everything was ready. Then the only thing left was trying to relax while waiting for the phone to ring, signaling an incoming raid. $[name] fought gallantly throughout the Battle of Britain and through his well practiced skill, and a lot of luck, he managed to survive the German onslaught.

 

After the Battle of Britain, $[startRank]$[lastName] was given an extensive leave to rest and recuperate. He was called back to active duty on $[startDate] and posted to ${startSquadronName]. Even after all he had accomplished at the age of $[age], there was still a lot of work ahead to achieve victory over the Axis powers.

 

Edited by Jaegermeister

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I'll have a go - here's a fictional Canadian pilot flying with the RAF. I believe there were supposed to be RCAF squadrons represented in the area of BoBp but since you haven't specifically requested RCAF I've done it as if they are flying for the Brits directly, which happened quite often anyway. 

The Second Son
 

$[name] was born on $[birthdate] to a carpenter and his wife in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, the second of two sons.
 

His parents sheltered him as best they could from the privations of the Great Depression, and $[firstName] grew up a cheerful and optimistic lad, burgeoning with curiousity (and at times, mischief). He was in many ways the opposite of his older brother, Richard, who was of a more stoic bent. Nevertheless, $[firstName] idolized his elder sibling and his attempts at emulation bordered on hero-worship.
 

Even in 1940, with the Dominion of Canada declaring war on Germany alongside Britain, the brewing conflict in far-off Europe was a remote thing to $[firstName] – at least until Richard announced, with his characteristic reserve, that he was joining the Royal Canadian Air Force to fight overseas. Soon after, the elder $[lastName] was deployed to Britain to fly Halifax bombers in the night time raids in the deadly skies over Nazi-occupied Europe.
 

$[firstName] longed to follow his brother into the service, but his ambitions were initially frustrated by his parents, who wished to keep at least one of their children from the front. He consumed all news of the war with voracity, where before he had been largely indifferent.He exchanged letters frequently with his brother, gleaning scraps from what little real information made it past the censors.
 

One day, the letters stopped coming.

Soon after, another letter arrived. In grimly formal language, the $[lastName] family was informed that Richard’s bomber had failed to return from a night-time raid over the continent, and he was presumed Killed in Action.
 

$[firstName] was shaken by the loss of his brother; beyond anger and grief, he spiraled into depression. The man who emerged from the tragedy had shed curiousity and mischief for grim determination, and ignoring his parents’ tearful protests, he enlisted in the RCAF to pick up where his brother had left off.
 

Completing initial training under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in Western Canada at the age of $[age], he was sent overseas to Britain to join the RAF, enduring the misery, boredom, and occasional U-Boat inspired terror of the Atlantic crossing. There he completed his training on single-engine fighters.
 

After many delays and being shuffled from squadron to squadron all over the British Isles, $[firstName] finally received his first combat posting on $[startDate]: as a $[startRank] with $[startSquadronName].
 

At last, $[name] had reached the war. Would he share his elder brother’s fate, or would he have the combination of skill and luck a pilot needed to return home alive?

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Posted (edited)

Here's another one.

 

=========================================
 South African Soldier’s Son ~ RAF pilot biography
=========================================


In the early morning hours of $[birthdate], a second son was born to the $[lastName] family at the Butterworth hospital in the Transkeian native territory of South Africa. They named the young boy $[name], after his grandfather, who had been an officer in the British Royal Horse Artillery before emigrating to South Africa. The proud new father had carried on the military tradition by joining the army when he was only 15, and fighting on the British side in the Boer War and the Natal Rebellion. He had just returned to Butterworth on short leave from fighting the Kaiser’s troops in South West Africa to witness his son’s birth. 


The Kaiser surrendered, Mr. $[lastName] returned home to his wife and two sons, and they moved to the small town of Keetmanshoop in the backcountry of South West Africa where $[firstName] attended the local school. He proved to have a quick mind and a talent for mathematics, but also managed to get into trouble with the headmaster on more than one occasion. The $[lastName] family moved to a farm on the banks of the Auob river outside of town, where the boys learned to hunt along the riverbank. Their father shared his first hand knowledge of guns and shooting, and taught them to hunt game to supplement the income he made as a lawyer in town. There was not much sporting activity in the small town school, so $[firstName] occupied his spare time with hunting, swimming and hiking in the rugged wilderness surrounding their home. Mechanical things attracted  $[firstName], and he spent many hours building things with his Meccano set. After being fascinated seeing an airliner fly over his school one day, his attention turned to building model aeroplanes in multiple varieties. He helped his father work on their family automobile, and turned out to have a natural ability with mechanics and understanding the inner workings of machinery and motors.


$[firstName] had a quick mind, and passed the Junior Certificate Examination at Keetmanshoop, and qualified to go to Victoria Boys’ High School in Grahamstown. While boarding at the school, $[firstName] did well in academics and although he never excelled at team sports, he enjoyed participating on the Rugger team. He graduated from Grahamstown, but work was hard to find in the depressed economy of the mid 1930’s. He eventually found work in a garage as an auto mechanic and made just enough money to get by. Hoping to improve his lot and be closer to the aeroplanes he found so interesting, $[firstName] applied for a position with the South African Air Force. He was rejected by the recruiting board, but instead of giving up, he moved to Johannesburg to attend community college. While attending school, he found work at a local gold mine and did very well there. He played tennis and swam in the afternoons to stay fit, and continued to hunt the local wild game to keep his shooting skills sharp.


As war broke out in Europe, the Minister of Defense created a training program known as the Special Service Batallion. It was designed to teach young men out of college how to fly in an effort to create employment for them in the expanding aviation industry. $[firstName] eagerly applied for the program and was accepted as a flight cadet. He gave up his job at the mine for the opportunity to finally fly the beautiful machines he had been thinking about. Learning the daily routine as a cadet was difficult, but with his excellent physical fitness and quick mind, $[firstName] did well with adapting to the spit and polish of military life. 


One day while reading the Johannesburg Star, SSB Cadet $[lastName] saw an add from the British Royal Air Force that declared they were starting a recruiting drive to dramatically expand the size of the military forces in response to the deteriorating political climate in Europe. He wrote a letter to the recruiting office and soon afterward met to discuss details of the new RAF short service plan. The recruiter told him that all he had to do was get to London, apply in person for a medical examination, and pass the recruitment board. The recruiter assured him that he was just the type they needed and had all the right qualifications. They were particularly keen to recruit pilots from the around the Empire.

      
$[firstName] $[lastName] borrowed thirty pounds sterling from his mother, paid off his cadet enrollment, and found a mechanic job on a steamer bound for England the following week. After arrival in London, $[firstName] took the letter of introduction given to him by the recruiting officer in Johannesburg, to the Air Ministry in Whitehall. He sat in front of a panel of three highly decorated officers, with the center one being an Air Vice-Marshal, and answered all of their questions about why he had come so far to join the RAF. Satisfied with what they heard, $[firstName] was accepted as a pilot recruit in the Royal Air Force.


As part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan or "The Plan", Cadet $[lastName] set sail for Canada where he arrived 5 days later. After being processed through the No.1 Manning Center in Toronto, the selection committee qualified him for the pilot training program. He attended a 4 week Initial Training school and then was assigned to No. 7 Elementary Flying Training School in Windsor, Ontario flying the Tiger Moth biplane. After eight weeks there, he moved to No.14 Service Flight Training School at Aylmer, Ontario for advanced training on the American Harvard II aircraft. After nearly 7 months of flight training in Canada, Cadet $[lastName] again crossed the Atlantic back to England.


A 16 week operational training program was then completed at Netheravon Airfield with No.1 Flying Training School in Wiltshire. Special emphasis was placed on tactical ground support and cooperation with the British Army ground forces before $[startRank]$[lastName] at the age of $[age] was posted to operational duty with ${startSquadronName] on $[startDate].

Edited by Jaegermeister

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Red and Jager,

 

That's the spirit. Keep going! I like. I need 6 regular British blokes and 4 commonwealth. 

 

Jason

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My attempt, might need some editing by native speakers - feel free to rewrite as needed.

 

=======================================================

Aviator from occupied country - Czechoslovak pilot biography (RAF)
=======================================================

 

$[name] was born into the rather poor family of a small farmer in a remote village in Southern Moravia on $[birthdate]. After finishing secondary grammar school, $[firstName] became an apprentice in the mechanical engineering company in Brno. Around that time he visited his first airshow and immediately fell in love. Coincidently, he came across a recruitment poster for the new Czechoslovak Air Force and decided to give up his job and pursue his career as a pilot.

 

In 1934 he attended, and in 1937 graduated from, the Military Academy in Hranice as a Pilot Officer and soon he found himself flying observation biplanes with the 2nd Air Regiment based in Olomouc.

 

His joy did not last long. Germany occupied Czechoslovakia on 15 March 1939 and dissolved the Czechoslovak Air Force the next day. Being ordered by their superiors to hand over the planes, weapons and equipment to Germans without any sign of resistance, $[name], felt angered and frustrated.

 

He was not the only one. Following the informal hints of their senior officers about the possibility to fight the Germans abroad, on the night of 25 June $[name] and six other Czechoslovaks illegally crossed the border in a coal train going from Ostrava to Bohumín, a former Czechoslovak town which Poland had annexed in October 1938. The group reported to the Czechoslovak Consulate in Kraków, Poland, where other escaped Czechoslovak Air Force personnel were being assembled.

 

Since the Polish authorities had shown little interest in the Czechoslovak Air Force airmen who were trickling into their country and would not allow independent Czechoslovak units to be established on Polish territory, $[name] along with others sailed from Poland to France, which agreed to admit 4000 Czechoslovaks into the French Foreign Legion.

 

After Germany invaded Poland in September 1939 and subsequently France declared war on Germany, further negotiations between French government and Czechoslovak exile government made it possible for $[name] to transfer to the Armée de l'Air, where he underwent initiation training and due to previous experience was quickly assigned to the fighter wing operating near Paris, where he scored his first victories against German bombers.

 

On 22 June 1940 France surrendered and once again, the Czechoslovak personnel had to flee to the next country willing to stand up and fight. $[name]'s group escaped to Morocco, North Africa, where they boarded a ferry to Gibraltar. 20 days after they left Gibraltar aboard the ship David Livingstone, they reached Cardiff Docks in Wales, UK.

 

$[firstName] immediately asked to join Royal Air Force and so in August 1940 he was posted to OTU to go through the conversion training to learn about RAF structures, tactics and procedures, RAF aircraft and last but not least, to learn English.

 

After several successful tours with No. 312 (Czechoslovak) Squadron RAF, which at this stage of war did not see much action, $[startRank] $[name] decided to bend the rules a bit and asked to be transferred to $[startSquadronName] to fight Germans over their own territory. So a new chapter of $[firstName]'s life begins on $[startDate].

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Jason_Williams said:

I need 6 regular British blokes and 4 commonwealth. 

 

Here's another regular British Bloke... If you could call Johnnie Johnson "regular" 😀 BTW if no one noticed, the first one was "Ginger" Lacey and the 2nd was "Pat" Pattle

 

=================================
  Rugby Player ~ RAF pilot biography
=================================


Born on $[birthdate] in Barrow-upon-Soar in rural Leicestershire, $[name] was the son of a local Constabulary officer stationed in Melton Mowbray where the $[lastName] family lived at Welby Lane. Young $[firstName] first attended the local Camden Street Junior School. During this time, Mr. and Mrs. $[lastName] presented $[firstName] with a younger brother. 


As $[firstName] grew older, his Uncle Charley became a great influence on his life. As a 2nd Lieutenant with the Royal Fusiliers in the Great War, Charley had won a Military Cross and frequently told stories of adventure to young $[firstName]. He managed a 3,000 acre rubber plantation in Malaya, but came back to England to stay with the family regularly. Charley must have seen some special potential in $[firstName], because he paid for him to attend and board at Loughborough Grammar School. This was a great improvement in status as his father could not afford it on his meager policeman's pay. Unfortunately, his career there came to an abrupt end when he was expelled for swimming in the school pool with a girl. 


$[firstName] attended the University College of Nottingham where he studied civil engineering. He graduated with his degree and took a position at Loughton in Essex. While working and living in Essex, $[firstName] was an aggressive sportsman, playing Rugby for Chingford Rugby Club.  In a game against Park House, he was brought down heavily on a frozen field and broke his collar bone. After his injury, the bone was improperly set and did not heal correctly. This injury had serious consequences and almost ended his flying career before it had even begun.


$[firstName] had started taking flying lessons at his own expense, and applied to join the Auxiliary Air Force. He soon found out that the AAF had a strictly enforced social code and he was not at the aristocratic level of society to be included in it's membership. His interview included only one question...  $[lastName], with whom do you hunt? He answered, Well, I don't hunt, I shoot... and that was the end of it.


With Adolf Hitler forcing his influence on Europe and his expansionist policies becoming evident, the Royal Air Force increased it's rearmament programme. The British military expansion plan led to the creation of the RAF Volunteer Reserve, which allowed for more training slots for reserve NCOs on a local level. $[firstName] applied for a slot with the VR, but was denied this opportunity for pilot training as well. Still wanting to serve his country with global war looming in the future, $[firstName] joined the mounted Leicestershire Yeomanry, where he had many enjoyable days charging over the countryside in the saddle.


Before long, and to his great surprise,  $[name] received a letter from the Air Ministry stating that his application to the RAFVR had been approved and that he should report for a medical examination at the Headquarters located on Store Street in London. He passed the exam and became a NCO pilot in training.


$[firstName] began flying training on weekends at Stapleford Tawney near North Weald. He also took ground school two days a week on Store Street. On September 1st, 1939, that all changed. Hitler invaded Poland and all the RAF reserve forces were mobilized. That included $[name], who was sent to No. 2 Initial Training Wing. Following classification as a future fighter pilot, he was sent to No. 22 Elementary Flying Training School in Cambridge, where he soloed a Tiger Moth less than 2 months later.  After passing all his flight tests with a mark of Average, $[lastName] was posted to No. 5 Service FlyingTraining School near Chester where he flew a Miles Master monoplane to practice instrument flying, forced landings and navigation. After a couple of night flights and a final cross country exercise, $[lastName] had won his wings.


During operational training, it became apparent that the old Rugby injury was a severe problem, causing numbness and pain in his right arm during high G maneuvers. The medical officers gave him a choice. Either have surgery for the collar bone to be reset, or take an assignment in a non-pilot crew position. He immediately made the decision to have the surgery even though it would involve a lengthy recovery period.

 

With his arm feeling like new at the age of $[age], $[startRank] $[lastName] was finally posted to ${startSquadronName] for active combat duty on $[startDate]. It had taken a long time to get here, but he was ready for the task ahead and determined to be the best fighter pilot Britain had ever seen!

 

 

Edited by Jaegermeister

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Posted (edited)

Here's one more for today...

 

======================================

 Mechanic ~ RAF commonwealth pilot biography

======================================

 

$[name] was born in Invercargill, New Zealand on $[birthdate], the first of three children in his family. His father was a transport truck driver, carrying farm animals and general merchandise around the Southland community. $[firstName] attended the Invercargill South School and then Southland Technical College where he studied mechanical engineering. After graduation, he continued his technical studies while working as an apprentice motor mechanic.

 

$[firstName] finished his apprenticeship and began working for a car dealership, where he earned a reputation as a reliable and capable employee. His father had moved the family to a small rural farm a couple of years prior, but had lost his regular job so $[firstName] helped support his parents and family with the money he earned working on automobile motors.


$[firstName] saw his first aeroplane when he was just eight years old and had been interested in aviation ever since. He took his first flight in a de Havilland passenger plane and decided he wanted to fly the machines himself. He promptly enrolled in the Royal New Zealand Air Force Civil Reserve to pursue his ambitions, but due to his experience with engineering and motor mechanics, the RNZAF wanted him to work as a ground mechanic. He resorted to taking evening classes in navigation, electricity and Morse code to convince them he was qualified to be a pilot.
 
The global war was raging on all fronts and the British Commonwealth was in dire need of support for its armed forces from any area it could be mustered. Due to the urgent need for trained pilots in Great Britain, Mr. $[lastName] finally got his way and was called up for active flight training with the RNZAF. He began flight training at No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School, near Dunedin. Upon completion of the basic training course, he soloed in a Tiger Moth biplane. The flight instructor assigned to $[lastName] criticized his lack natural flying ability and clumsiness in the air, but had to admit that he had a perfect understanding of the machine and how to get the best performance out of it. He was rated a below average pilot, but nonetheless he was allowed to continue on to No. 1 Service Flying Training School at Wigram, near Christchurch. 
 
Pilot Cadet $[lastName] completed the flight curriculum there, but once again he was marked down on his check out flights for failing to impress the Instructor with a smooth ride. He then progressed to the Advanced Training School, also at Wigram, after passing his wings examination. He did much better there, primarily due to outstanding scores in aerial gunnery practice. 
 
$[name] completed his flight training and was commissioned as a pilot in the RNZAF. He was ordered to report to Great Britain to serve with the Royal Air Force, and departed from Auckland aboard The Dominion Monarch to meet his appointment with destiny. It was a long and stress filled trip across the South Atlantic, and around Cape Horn, before turning north towards Gibraltar and the North Atlantic approach. The close, crowded quarters and dark nights with nothing to do but wait for the dull thud signaling a torpedo strike were the worst moments of his life. $[firstName] knew that the end could come at any time, and there was nothing he could do about it.
 
After his safe arrival in Liverpool Harbor, $[lastName] reported to the RAF's No. 56 Operational Training Unit, in Lincolnshire. There he learned to fly the Hawker Hurricane and was assessed as an above average pilot. On $[startDate], $[startRank] $[lastName] was posted to $[startSquadronName] and began his career as the RAF fighter pilot he longed to be.
Edited by Jaegermeister

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Here's an attempt from me and inspired by Brendan Finucane.

 

=======================================================

The Rebel's Son – Irish RAF pilot
=======================================================

 

$[name] was born to an English mother and Irish father in the Dublin suburb of Rathmines on $[birthdate]. The second of two brothers, his father regaled both boys with stories about fighting in the Irish War of Independence and Civil War. One one occasion, $[name] and his family had a lucky escape when they were caught up in a gun battle between British soldiers and the IRA.

 

After two wars, life returned to a semblance of normality. $[name] developed a keen sense of adventure and his frequent acts of mischief tended to regularly land him in trouble at his strict Catholic school. Things changed in 1932 when the brothers attended their first ever airshow at Baldonnel where they had the chance to take a short flight. For $[name], life quickly changed forever and after a secondary school education where he became proficient at boxing, rugby and fencing, the family moved back to his mother’s native Chester.

 

At age 18, $[name] eventually managed to get a part-time job as a postman in London where his burning desire to take to the skies only intensified. Acutely aware of increasing tensions with Germany, he decided to join the Royal Air Force. Despite his father’s Republican past, he readily agreed with the decision, believing military discipline and structure would bode well for his youngest son.

 

At age 19, $[name] parked his postal bike outside the Air Ministry at Kingsway and handed in his application. He was accepted and trained on the Tiger Moth at Sywell where he had several mishaps. One misty damp morning saw his aircraft collide with a hedgerow during landing while he experienced a burst tire on a second occasion. Despite those setbacks, he escaped unscathed, before flying solo and swiftly progressing onto the Hawker Hart and Hawker Fury.

 

Later considered a competent pilot by his peers, he was posted to No. 19 Squadron at Hornchurch. His first operational missions were in Spitfires covering the evacuation of Dunkirk where he managed to survive a ditching. His participation in the Battle of Britain was brief. During a melee with BF-109s, $[name] was hit by cannon fire. He managed to bail-out of his burning Spitfire but spent the almost two years recovering from his wounds.

 

During a brutal period of physiotherapy which saw him move between multiple hospitals, he met and married a nurse named Helen. Despite all that happened, he was still determined to get back into the fight and vowed not to waste any more good Dublin blood. By 1944, his recovery was complete and he was posted to ${startSquadronName] on $[startDate], ready to give the Germans some much-needed payback.

Edited by dun_aenghus

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The Fife Flyer  -  Scottish Pilot (RAF)

 

$[name] was born in the East Neuk of Fife, Scotland on $[birthdate]. Home was  a wee But `n’ Ben  in the small fishing hamlet of Cellardyke located on the North shore of the River Forth where the river meets the gray and tempestuous North Sea.One of four children he was raised with his three sisters in this small bustling fishing community. He lived in the `East End’ opposite the cottage of the great Captain Rodger, once owner of the Tea Clipper ‘Taeping’ and within only yards of the harbour and the sea.

 

His parents and generations before them were all fisherfolk and their lives were totally dependent on the ‘silver darling’, the herring that filled the seas around Scotland and which provided a staple diet for all.
         
As a child $[first name] was up at first light to the harbour - pennies to be earned, money to help support the family. At an early age he was apprenticed to a local engineering shop and soon after passed the entrance exams for the nearby Waid Naval Orphan Academy for the sons of poor mariners and fishermen. It was here that his education truly flourished!

 

It was in 1935 he first became truly aware of, and involved with aircraft. A local doctor building a Mignet HM.14 Flying Flea desperately sought help from the local trades, $[first name] curiosity got the better of him and so it began. All of his spare time was spent in the Hangar (cow shed) eagerly watching, listening and assisting where possible. His urge to` fly the Flea' became too great and eventually his begging and pleading paid off – this event was to change his life forever.

 

In late 1937 $[name] was eventually accepted as pupil pilot on a two-month, civilian-run, elementary training course where he learnt aviation theory and logged 55 hours flying. On completion $[first name] was selected by the RAF for commissioning and was sent to RAF Duxbridge for Officer training then onward to complete the comprehensive RAF flying training and to gain his wings.

 

On 16 October 1939, only one month after declaration of war, Luftwaffe JU88 bombers of 1./KG30 conducted the very first air attack of the war on UK soil when Royal Naval warships were bombed only a short distance away up the river Forth. Soon after, a lone HE-111 being pursued by fighters after failing to attack it’s target at RAF Leuchars,  jettisoned it’s stick of 8 bombs upon the community in Cellardyke - For $[name] the war was now becoming very personal.

 

After tours on both 602 and 603 Squadrons based in Scotland, $[name] was desperate to be amongst the action, war in Europe was raging and he was having no part of it. Having submitted numerous unsuccessful posting applications he was eventually called before the Squadron commander. “ $[first name] you lucky sod, the last application has gone through. You’re posted with immediate effect. So  $[startRank] $[lastName] get your bum down to $[startSquadronName]. Good luck and stay safe, the 2TAF deserve you”... Oh yes, you’re travel warrant is on the Admin desk!

 

Edited by Pajeka

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Here's an attempt for a British pilot. I'm trying some 'non-standard' origin stories for flavor and to reflect different experiences of people throughout the war.

A Foot in Two Worlds

$[name] had been born in London, but he had never truly felt at home there. His parents had immigrated to England from Germany in the lead up to the Great War, set up a butcher's shop, and weathered the tide of anti-German sentiment during and after the conflict.  #[firstName]'s birth was a source of joy for his parents, who doted on him as their only child. But outside the home, things were different. His early life was spent enduring hostility from the other children and even their parents. As he grew to manhood and the wartime animosity dwindled, he was able to fade into British society, but he was always intensely aware of his own otherness.

His interest in flight started early - he somehow felt that the wide blue sky above the clouds could be a refuge from the petty concerns below. The clarity of mind, the synthesis between man and machine, all the glory of flight helped him forget his enforced remoteness. He scraped together what money he could for flying lessons, working in his parent's butcher shop by day and working as a dock labourer by night. His parents were supportive of his fascination, if a little puzzled by his zeal. 

 

As German aggression on the continent threatened to ignite an all-out war between the country of his birth and the homeland of his ancestors, $[name] again found himself the subject of veiled suspicion and whispered rumor in his neighbourhood. His close friends dismissed his concerns but he knew better. His parents, too, tried to reassure him, but he saw their business drying up. At the same time, he recognized that the war brewing on the continent was the result of the same forces that marginalized him in his own country and turned his neighbours against him - mistrust, resentment and hate. The fact that 

He resolved to prove himself as much a British subject as any other man, while striking a blow against fascism and its ills. As Britain declared on Germany in 1939, $[name] enlisted in the Royal Air Force at the age of $[age] .

The war caught the British somewhat flatfooted, and the urgent need for pilots meant men from all walks of life and from all over the world were flooding into the ranks of the RAF. The air force took on an international character. In an ironic twist, $[firstName] found himself falling in most readily with the exiled Czechs and Poles, who had borne the brunt of the Nazi advance and were now coming to terms with being a stranger in a foreign land. He admired their grim determination to fight on in the face of defeat, and sought to emulate it himself. Training was gruelling, and the need for new pilots to take on the Luftwaffe meant training was accelerated - here, his previous civilian training assisted him as others struggled with the basics, and if he was not the best pilot around, he could at least hold his own. He became something of a favourite among the new recruits, taking a leadership role, offering friendship and help to every man regardless of their background,. $[firstname] evaluated a man based on two things - his willingness to learn and to fight.

If the gruelling training regimen had brought them together, combat forged them into a keen blade. Fighting alongside men from a dozen nations, $[name] saw action in the Battle of Britain, across the Channel over France, and elsewhere. He served a brief stint in North Africa before where he was shot down behind enemy lines, where he lived for nearly a month trying to escape to friendly territory, subsisting on supplies scavenged from enemy encampments and abandoned vehicles. Here, his ability to speak German helped him finally talk his way past enemy patrols posing as a lost German soldier (after ditching his RAF uniform in favor of stolen Wehrmacht dress) and back to his own lines. Sent back to Britain for an extended debriefing about his time evading the enemy, he was then given a post at a training squadron away from the fighting to recuperate from his ordeal and pass on his combat experience. But he was soon itching for a return to the front. Somehow, in the shadow of the most brutal conflict the world had yet seen, he had found a place he belonged.

Finally, after badgering his superiors constantly for months, he received a new posting. He was to deploy to the continent on $[startDate] with $[startSquadronName] , taking a position as $[startRank].

The enemy was battered, but it was not finished yet, and $[name] was poised to help deliver a killing blow...

Edited by RedKestrel
Fixed a couple errors

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Guys,

 

Keep em' coming! Some ideas for some British/English ones.

 

Aristocratic family, musician, fisherman, financial sector, transfer from other military unit i.e. infantry, civilian pilot, college athlete, farmer etc.

 

Feel free to borrow stories from actual pilots.

 

Jason

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The story of LC Wade, 25 confirmed victories with the RAF in North Africa and Italy;

 

====================================

Yankee RAF Volunteer ~ RAF pilot biography

====================================

 

$[name] was born in a small East Texas town near the Louisiana border on $[birthdate]. The $[lastName] family and their two sons lived in the farming community of Broaddus during the Great Depression, until $[firstName] was seven years old. At that time, they moved to a small farm in Reklaw, Texas where he went to the local school and helped with the farm work. Working in the fields in East Texas left plenty of time for daydreaming, and whenever a plane passed over, $[firstName] would stop whatever he was doing and say to himself “Someday I will fly one of those planes”.

 

At age 19, $[firstName] decided to leave the family farm and make his own way in life. He longed for something more than what he had seen on the farm, so he traveled to Tucson, Arizona to take advantage of a new deal plan he heard about. He enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corps, which provided jobs for young men needing work during those difficult times. Unfortunately, after working with them for a while he found he was doing the same things he had been doing on the farm. Driving a team of mules, building roads, and planting trees in a National Forest.

 

With news of war in Europe all over the headlines, $[firstName] decided it was time to become a pilot and go to Europe to fight against the Nazis. His mind was made up, and he started taking flying lessons at the local airfield, where an ex World War I pilot was teaching classes in an old Jenny Biplane. $[firstName] earned a private pilot’s license and racked up 80 hours of flying time before he decided he was ready to join the US Army Air Corps. With license in hand, he went into the recruiting office, only to be turned down because of his lack of education. He had only graduated high school, and they required at least two years of college as a prerequisite.

 

Undeterred, he was soon plotting to join the British Royal Air Force. Due to heavy losses during the Battle of Britain, the RAF was recruiting American pilots for its war effort. $[firstName] went to Ontario, Canada and spoke to the recruiting Officer in the RAF office in Toronto. Fearful that he might be rejected again, $[firstName] claimed that he had learned to fly at age 16, when he and three friends had purchased a plane, and a World War I flying buddy of his father’s had taught them to fly. He also said that his father had been an ace in World War I.

 

$[firstName] was accepted by the RAF for pilot training in Canada. The American government had already agreed to make American citizens applying to the RAF or the RCAF in Canada exempt from the draft, so there were no legal problems with the arrangement. After completing Initial Training, Elementary Flying Training and Service Flying Training courses in Canada, $[name] was sent to No. 52 Operational Training Unit in North Essex, England, where he received 3 weeks flight training in the Hawker Hurricane fighter.

 

On $[startDate], $[startRank] $[lastName] at the age of $[age], was assigned to $[startSquadronName] and began his career as a pilot with the Royal Air Force.

 

Edited by Jaegermeister

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I'll take a stab at the aristocrat. This one might be a bit of a downer lol, but what the heck.

The Ex-Dandy

$[name] was a young man guaranteed to go places. He was the first born of a wealthy aristocratic family on, coming into the world triumphantly on $[birthdate]. His father, the Fourteenth Earl of Southwick, was a wealthy and powerful man, proud ancestral owner of a sprawling estate, thousands of acres of well-tended farmland, and numerous business interests ranging from shipping to munitions. $[firstName] was well aware of exactly how powerful and wealthy his family was, and leveraged that to live a life of indulgence and excitement. No drink was too expensive, no travel too extravagant. He spent time all over Europe, blissfully ignorant of the rumblings of oncoming war as he downed cocktails and rubbed shoulders with the elite of the elite.

The first $[name] knew of the war was when his father forbid him to take a trip he had been planning to Prague. He had a flaming row with his father that night, only to wake up hungover the next day to the news that Czechoslovakia had been occupied by the Germans. This was quite the inconvenience to young $[name], who nevertheless planned an even more extravagant journey to Paris, where he spent a week carousing with his closest friend, William.

The years flew by, and all the while the rumblings of war went completely unnoticed by the dandy duo.

When the British finally did declare war, $[firstName] was caught somewhat off guard. However, his friend William quickly convinced him, in a fit of patriotism, that both young men should join the armed forces to 'do their bit'. $[firstName] decided on the spot that he would join the Royal Air Force, on the logic that if fast cars were fun then fast planes would be even better, and the ladies loved a dashing pilot, didn't they? William agreed, the Earl was cautiously in favour of his layabout son finally shouldering some responsibility, and just like that the boys were off.

$[name]'s privilege served him well in the RAF; his aristocratic background and powerful family greased his way very effectively. He and William managed to stay together through early training, through operational training on Hurricanes, and then, before they were really even aware of it, into combat operations in Spitfires in the Battle of Britain.

Wealth and breeding had always served $[firstName] well, insulating him from the worst of the consequences of his actions. He would soon find that war was less forgiving.

In August 1940, on a scramble over Kent, their flight spotted a group of He-111 bombers escorted by Bf-109s. Elated at a chance for a fight at last, $[name] and William both dove to attack the enemy, each picking out a 109 to bounce, completely ignoring the calls of their flight leader to maintain formation. Focused on their targets, neither man saw the other 109s flying high cover well above them.

William did not know he was being bounced until his engine erupted into flames in front of him. $[name] only noticed the attack when he heard his friend screaming over the radio. He could do nothing but watch helplessly as his friend's aircraft spiraled earthward, wreathed in flames as William burned to death in his cockpit. 

Shocked and grieving, $[name] remembered nothing else of the swirling dogfight he found himself engaged in - he only remembered landing, his guns unfired, his hands shaking, and his confidence utterly shattered. After a thorough dressing down from his flight leader for defying orders, he sought his bunk, ignoring the inquiries of his batman about the success of the sortie.

A numb fear haunted $[name]'s every moment in the air from that point on, and his sleep was disturbed by images of burning planes. His japes and boasting were replaced with silence and brooding; he became nearly unrecognizable to his comrades. Day after day they went up, their attempts to intercept German formations frustrated by weather or by faulty directions from radar operators - for which $[name] was thankful. Finally, after a week, he found himself once again in the fires of combat.

They were bounced again by 109s from above; he was tail-end Charlie, and just happened to glance over his shoulder and see the enemy diving out of the sun. A vicious break turn was executed purely on instinct, a call was made to his fellow squad mates to warn them, and then everything was a blur of tumbling aircraft, the smoke and flash of guns, and discordant chatter on the radio.

When he landed some twenty minutes later in a daze, his fellow pilots came to greet and congratulate him. When he asked why, they pointed to the nose of his craft, splashed with oil, coolant and gouged from scattered debris from the aircraft he had destroyed. 

After that day, $[name]'s previous confidence returned, not as the brash fire of misspent youth but as the smoulder of competence. By the end of the Battle of Britain, he had added more kills to his tally, and as time went on he became known for his grim, businesslike demeanor and coolness under pressure. $[name] became known as a man you wanted on your wing in a fight, but his reputation as a playboy receded into the past. Warfare stripped away all his softness and impulsiveness and left him an austere gentleman on the ground and a cold killer in the air, with a countenance well beyond his age of $[age].

$[name] took his new posting to $[startSquadronName] in stride, arriving on $[startDate] and making no comment on the primitive condition of the frontline airfields or the meagre quality of the food and drink. He went to bed early, as was his habit now. When he slept, he dreamed of burning planes and screaming pilots.

The war, $[firstName] knew, would be over soon. He would see to it himself, if necessary.

 
Edited by RedKestrel
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Sorry writing is not my strength, thanks for the contributions everyone!

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