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RE: The little ship that could.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 4/25/2014 3:48:52 AM   


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dawn breaks wet and Humid over 55th division, now on the outskirts of Cototabo.
Private Kishi passes Hosho his small bowl of breakfast, "Another Hot one today?
Hosho takes the proffered bowl..........."Yes, but not the sort of Hot you are missing in Kyoto eh?"
Kishi grins. "Nor the wet"
Hosho sniffs his breakfast. So far, so good. No air attacks upon them, yet. Supplies still plentiful. The march, long, hard, hot yes...but at least on good hard roads.
A range of hills lie to the south, still purple and dark in the morning light....somewhere there, we will meet the enemy again. What a lonely, useless place to die.
But not today yes?. No, today, a full belly, an easy road. It may even stop raining.
Death , not scheduled for today then...........
Orders are being passed up and down the road, "Prepare to move out!, fires out!, combat formation march!, and keep your eyes peeled for the Buka's!"

I have my rifle. I have my men. Good boots, a full haversack. My thousand stitch belt.
I need nothing else then.
Let us march on, yes?

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3091
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/25/2014 4:05:19 AM   


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There is no leave in Hiroshima
Destroyer Susuzuki refuels, and with seven other destroyers sails again.

"This is the Captain..........we are to escort carrier Unryu into port, Tokyo in all probability. All hands are to observe all Submarine precautions. That is all"

Hirate and Okano are again sharing watches. Hirate in the fwd boiler room, Okano in the aft engine room. Already, both men feel at home, a vast amount of the machinery down here is exactly the same as Zuiho's , laid out a lot differently, for sure, but the boilers are the same, the pumps are the same, the turbines the same.

But she does not go like Zuiho.
In this , she is not the same
Not at all.
She goes fast.

Special sea duty men have barely secured, Japan still close behind, and her Captain "would like to stretch her legs" , for a little while if you please.

''revolutions 320 "
Hirate grins
This could be interesting, could be fun.............

Okano licks his lips............clenches, unclenches his fists, ."On the circ pump!, close main engine drains, on second air ejector!"
And steadily, steadily he winds the throttle open..........

Hirate twists his throttle, turns, spins the valves to the second fuel pump, "In 4!, in 5!, grabs the blower throttle, twists it to full.

The blowers scream, the furnace roars, a baneful glow fills the boiler room, hells gate is all but open.
Susuzuki buries her arse, the rooster tail builds.

She goes fast.
Oh yes.
This is what destroyers do, can do. Across the pacific swells she slices, wind in her hair, wild.

The captain tests her helm, hard to port, to starboard, vibrating, rattling, she slams her flanks into the piling up sea.........
Men will curse, men will hang on
But most will cannot be a destroyer man in a moment like this, and not.

The captain, satisfied "that all is good, yes?" will slow her down, and rejoin the formation.

back to business
back to the war
Fun over, for now.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3092
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/25/2014 4:21:56 AM   


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Ogowas eagles do fly this time

27 strong, Ogowa leading, they sweep towards Dadjangas

The fly high
they fly fast

They weave between great floating mountains in the sky.

They arrive, undetected, with the hieght, with numbers
Ogowa observes the enemy fighters climbing up towards them, straggling across the sky

I have everything.................
One click of the mike.........."Attack!"

The negative Gee as the dive commences, the roar rising, the throttle full, the vibrations of this mad, mad journey begin to increase

Streaming down, fighters ahead, fighters behind, the hellcats?, yes, helllcats, wildcats, rising towards them, our pass going through them.........

hellcats falling

Turn, turn you barsted, , gods, fighters wheeling everywhere.......Diogowa, yes, still with me, still sticking like glue...
Yes, yes My friend, I see them, corsairs, coming down.........
hard up, at them!
Firing, tarcer, flashing fighter passing, a picture..mickey mouse!, they are such a beautiful blue...........
Breathing, breathing, sucking them in, head swivelling, swivelling, the earth rising, falling, a target, chase, bank, twist, bukA!!!!, he gets away
Rolling, climbing, a chance, stick hard over, into the belly, delicate touch, a little flap ney?.........the hell cat twists, turns, too slow my friend, too slow
The thumb presses, the tracer streaks, a flare, the hellcat burns, falls, a time to exhualt, swivel the head, look, hunt, seek, fight, live, try to kill............

Ogowas eagles sweep.
They have the hieght, the bounce, the numbers

6 George are lost
34 hellcats, wildcats and corsairs are claimed.

Ogowa sits in his mess (the tent, that masquerades as the mess) and quietly listens to the excited chatter of his men.
A thousand combats are being re fought, a hundred kills reclaimed.

His men are happy
Morale, there will never be moral like this again...........

Finally, finally, we have are S@#t together............

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3093
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/27/2014 7:27:30 AM   


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In the dawns early light, Susuzuki and her sisters find Unryu, still gamely striking north for Japan.
No signals are passed, the ships sliding almost reverently into formation around the battered hulk.
Hirate and Okano join many of their new ship mates along the guardrails, staring at the burnt and blackened hull, the seared , bent superstructure.
Unryu has passed through the fires of helll, and somehow, somehow, survived.
Beside Hirate, one of their fellow stokers whistles....."Look at the paint peeled along her sides.......the fires, if you ask me, you have to be mad to serve on a carrier, floating bomb that they are................."

the two stokers do not answer.

When no one is looking, Hirate will wipe some moisture from his eye................its the wind, you know, the wind..............

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3094
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/27/2014 7:32:52 AM   


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The enemy are marching south near georgetown, daily now, recons are seen over palembang.
Dadjangas is operational............

High command orders every tanker (and of these there are still surprisingly a great many), to make empty, or full, or even half full, for Takao. 3 CVE remain. Maybe a CVL can be made available. 2 CA rest, although bent, at Batavia.
All these ships will unload at Takao, and together, make what will in all likely hood be the last great fuel run.

It will have to be fought through, of this, one can almost be almost certain.

It will need destroyers, this last convoy.

There will be 8 spare ones in Tokyo bay tomorrow.

They will do.

Issue the orders.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3095
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/27/2014 7:35:30 AM   


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Franks sweep over dadjangas, meet a wall of fighters nearly 100 strong.


Every man in the DEI, in the Celebes, is told to prepare to evacuate. When Singapore falls, as it must soon, they will be lost.
better to die in its rubble, than by starvation.

Starvation is for civilians, the useless mouths of the empire.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3096
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/28/2014 11:20:32 AM   


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Extract from "Falling Cherry Blossoms" a Japanese fighter pilots war

Another day, another sweep.
I lead them, 107 strong to Dadjangas, that black hole of death, sucking men and machines into its insatiable maw.
We clear the skies, a snarling circus.
We kill 30 enemy
We bomb Dadjangas, closing it.
Our follow on forces sink ships, a great many ships.

But it means nothing.
I lose 6 men. Crack veterans. Irreplaceable men.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3097
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/28/2014 11:29:33 AM   


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The first bombers strike 55th division, strike at Hosho and his men.
After watching the fighters, the bombers stream south overhead, all day, a frustrating experience.

There is little harm done, and later, a great moment, Mitchel bombers coming over the hills, low and fast, and killed, to the last, by KI 44's .

The prince trots past, on yet another new white horse (where in the hell does he get them?)
He see's Hosho, gestures to the smoke rising ahead. "Dadjangas has fallen , but this is not over yet, is it!"
Overhead, the snarl of Japanese aero engines again fills the air.

No, I must agree, thinks Hosho. This is not over yet.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3098
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/29/2014 7:38:30 AM   


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Long pigs B-29 takes a new target today, droning over minanado at 30000 feet, the bombs vanishing down upon Cebu miles below.
Little opposition rises to meet them, a handful of the stubby jacks, a few elderly Tojo's.
Long Pig finds it somewhat boring.
Bigglesworth finds it a relief, as much as he likes the man, he still is a Jonah........
Japans air force is elsewhere, circling or sweeping Dadjangas
They are winning
Ogowas eagles 110 strong today, meet no opposition
The airfield is pounded, pounded hard. But for those damn bulldozers, one could call it closed...........

Enemy troops, however, are now pushing northwards, brushing up against new Japanese regiments 50 miles to the airfields North
They probe.
2 to 1 odds, it seems.

Japan prays they will not attack. Reinforcements, good reinforcements, are almost there.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3099
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/29/2014 7:42:52 AM   


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55th Division Marches.
marches hard.
There will be no stopping tonight, no rest for any one until the front is reached.

The hills are growing ever larger ahead.

And now, for the first time, in the evening, the faint rumble of the guns.

Hosho see's what many do not. They are currently upon a plain, if the front fails now, it will be the enemy defending the hills looking down on them, and not the other way around.
"Come on you barsteds", he growls, again and again. If his men think this is tough ,one cannot imagine what pain would ensue if that happened............

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3100
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/29/2014 7:44:38 AM   


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Susuzuki reaches Tokyo.
Fuel, food, stores, spares.
Mail delivered. No mail recieved.

No rest for the wicked this day.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3101
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/2/2014 10:52:05 PM   


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(turns are very slow)

Japan has air superiority over Dadjangas
The franks sweep today, by the third raid, little rises to meet them
The bombers crater the field, a kelidoscope of types, bettie, peggies, Lilly's, to Jills, kates, vals

The field may be closed, any shipping in the harbour sunk, but it avails the defences to the North little
The enemy attack, and are held, but barely.
Tomorrow, if it can carry a bomb, all planes will attack the allied front lines, the reinforcements are going to be too late.

Lose here, and lose everything.

(allied deliberate attack, 1 to 2, 1498 AV to 808, adjusted, 697 to 1354.
But caso's were horrendous for japan)

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3102
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/2/2014 11:03:53 PM   


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At first, they ignore them
But now, stunned, incredulous, Hosho and his men watch them pass.
long lines of japanese soldiers, streaming, listless, down cast, North, away from the battle.
Angrily Hosho takes one of them by his laple. "What are you doing?"
Un seeing, unfocussed eyes turn to him.
"Are you retreating?, who told you to retire?.........."
'Nobody sir...............I ,...........I am just following my friends"

Hosho has retreated before. retired 1000's of miles in fact, but always, always, they have fought, delayed, fought again, retained their formations............but this?, this rabble?"
'Do you feel no shame! should die first!. japan men never run away!"
Suddenly the mans eyes do focus. Angrily he shakes himself free " Truk you, you barsted!. Go to your glorious death!, You will think different when the tanks come!"

A murmer of anger from Hosho's men. They gather about him, but some of the retreating soldiers too gather.
And too many, far too many hands are resting upon weapons...........

Angrily Hosho shoves him away. This is not worth it..........
But what the hell is happening to our Army?
Loudly he addresses all about him " To hell with it. Let them go men. We are 55th division. We will show these peasants how to fight!"

The parties seperate. The march South continues. The font is clearly heard now, a continous rumble in the air.
22 miles to go.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3103
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/2/2014 11:08:01 PM   


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Susuzuki rides comfortably across the swells, steaming steadily east, 200 miles south of Japan.
Hirate and Okano have settled in.
They have their watches, new uniforms, new bunks, and already, new, and welcoming crew mates.

This, they already know, is a good ship.
She displays all the signs. Clean. Well maintained, disciplined.
This is a happy ship.

More importantly, she appears to be a fighting ship.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3104
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/2/2014 11:12:27 PM   


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'You have flown your last mission Son"
'Sir?" Long pig looks up at the commander
"I am taking you off operations, you have done your trips........besides, we can't have you risking becoming a reverse Ace"
the Commander grins.
"So I am going home?"
'Its a long way, how about a little R and R in Australia first?"

And just like that, Long pig will leave the war.

But some how I think, not adventure.................

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3105
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/5/2014 10:13:39 AM   


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Air superiority
Two little words

That mean so, so much.

With out it, armies die.

50 odd miles north of dadjangas, the allied troops attack again.

They have been bombed, continously from dawn, to dusk.
On paper, they have 2 to 1 odds.
In reality, barely 1 man in 8 is effective..........

The attack collapses

Under an umbrella of steel, Hosho's men march
faster, heroes of the empire, baulwark of japan, faster!

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3106
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/7/2014 8:48:57 AM   


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They have not even yet attempted to start salvaging the wrecks, the great many wrecks, that litter the bay against which daewin nestles.
Nor, it must be said, has much been done to the shattered city.
The port is repaired, the roads are clear. The rest...........mostly burnt rubble

But not the Bush inn
It stands, inviolet, an island of completeness, in this sea of rubble.
The Bush Inn, the indestructible Bush Inn.

darwin has clung to the Bush Inn for nigh on 4 years now, as long as a man can obtain a beer in the Bush Inn, there is hope, there is life.
For many a thirsty sailor, for many a very thirsty Soldier or airman, the fact that despite all the bombings, the bombardments, this place still stands, is conclusive proof, undoubtable proof that God exists.

Long Pig, Bigglesworth are in the Bush Inn. They have ben here a long, long day.
Some time back, a lot of beers back, they made (as you do) new, life long friends with some sailors they will never remember come tomorrow morning.
But right now...........

One of the sailors, a particularily drunk one (for he has just heard of his posting to a CVE, so who are we to blame) leans towards Long pig.
'So,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,so,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,have you done the dance, my friend.......?"
Long pig blinks, attempts to assimulate the question..........."dance?"
"can't be a sailor mate, can't be one of us,, until you have.........."

'dance of the flamers mate..........."

Bigglesworths eyes, drooping at this time, widen.........'I say, old chap, please don't"

Like many things Bigglesworth has done, or said, he really should have pushed the point.

And thus the night of tragedy.

A naked Long pig. a rolled up newspaper up his butt, a match...........

All, I think would have been good, God, we know, protects drunks, especially, in this, his favourite pub.

But for the fart...............

darwin has a sea of rubble.
In the centre, the remains of the bush Inn.........burnt to the ground..............

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3107
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/7/2014 12:29:30 PM   

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Ah, the Dance of the Flaming A***oles. Have heard the legend but thankfully never saw the ceremony.

Must have been some powerful fart from LongPig. Did the locals roast him for the cannibals of Papua?


No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3108
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/7/2014 12:44:48 PM   
british exil

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Jonas seems to affect land objects as well or was it because sailors were involved in the incident at the Bush Inn?

Long Pig survived I gather?



"It is not enough to expect a man to pay for the best, you must also give him what he pays for." Alfred Dunhill


(in reply to BBfanboy)
Post #: 3109
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/10/2014 9:10:59 AM   


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Turns still painfully slow.............


Ogowa climbs yet again into the cockpit of his fighter
774 times he has gone through these motions, done his pre flight checks.

100's of times, he has known that ahead lies battle, potential death.

How many more times?
How many times do they have to go to the well?
It seems a life time since that first hudson, that first kill.........

The joy in battle is gone
Only grimness remains.

he glances over to the fighter to his right. Diogowa nods, grins, raises his left hand.
A banana..........gods, the man is such a clown.

But without him, I would have given up so long ago......................

he returns the nod, places the goggles over his eyes, fixes the mask, tastes the cold oxygen......

The beast vibrates under him. Numbly, he pushes the throttle forward

To battle
Mission number 775

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3110
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/10/2014 9:13:18 AM   


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ORIGINAL: british exil

Jonas seems to affect land objects as well or was it because sailors were involved in the incident at the Bush Inn?

Long Pig survived I gather?


yes, privately between you and me, he's not happy............but not as un happy as the rest of Darwin is

(in reply to british exil)
Post #: 3111
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/13/2014 11:08:47 AM   


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Susuzuki rolls easily across the swells.
It is a delightful day, the sea crystal blue, deep, sparkling, the air warm, clear.
Hirate and Okano lounge on the fantail of the destroyer, chatting with new friends, feeling the breeze, watching the wake trail endlessly behind.
The deck vibrates, the propellers beat deep below them.

It is a sailors day
"What do you think Hirate?"
Of what?
"this, the ship, the Susuzuki?"
Hirate looks about. Looks at the steady, war bitten men about him. Feels the ship alive about him.
"Good, my friend...........good"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3112
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/13/2014 11:16:37 AM   


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Ogowas eagles kill 15
For 1 lost

reinforcements, replacements are flowing in.
Ogowa, Diogowa climb down from their birds, grinning.
They have not killed, not even fired today.
It does not matter.
The enemy have fallen before them.

"We are Hunters eh Diogowa, hunters again!"
Diogowa grins.
It is true though.................Ogowa's eagles.
Birds of prey
Killers aloft .

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3113
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/13/2014 11:34:53 AM   


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Hiroshima bay

battleship Yamato
She lies quietly, water lapping her great flanks

4 years old now, four hard years.
Her decks are stained dark, soot spoiling her decks, camoflage prepared for the dark nights that must lay ahead.
Her flanks are stained now, rust streams from a hundred places, her superstructure faded.
There is no paint left in Japan now.
Paint needs oil, and there is little enough of that left now for niceties , for looks.
Yet, and yet. Yamato lies quietly, magnificent, strength itself.

Yamamato, Fleet commander climbs the gangway to the great quarterdeck.

He can almost feel her power flow into him,strengthening him.
A strength he needs.

I have failed.
I have failed Japan, her people, my emperor.

There is nothing I can do, to redeem my honour.
Nothing but this last thing

Admiral Yamamto, has come aboard.
To take personal command of japans last fleet.
To take it south, one last time
No return. Honour restored.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3114
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/13/2014 11:47:42 AM   
Long pig


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This is like a series of hyku, magnificent!

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3115
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/13/2014 4:19:44 PM   


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Blood on the water
Families mourning
The passing of spring.


Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.
Sun Tzu

(in reply to Long pig)
Post #: 3116
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/15/2014 8:14:01 AM   


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Susuzuki slides into takao bay, anchors.
For the next two hours Hirate and Okano will be very busy, takaking her plant down to an hours notice for sea.
The Aft boiler will be shut down, the systems cross connected between units
The turbines will be shut down, but the vacuum will be reduced to only 15 inches, turning gear will be engaged.
In short, her engines remain hot.
Should the enemy appear, vacuum can be quickly re raised, her engines re flashed.

The boiler shut down will conduct bottom blows, a task, an unpleasant task hirate had almost forgotten about. Yet, somehow, not to have to work with smelly diesels, and their bloody oil leaks, is compensation enough.

The work proceeds , the routines. War, or no war, they will remain

"All hands, not on watch, muster focastle"

Hirate and Okano join the crowded ranks.
A small dias has been raised. With a mighty yell, the coxswain calls them to the attention, as all coxswains in any Navy do.
The captain mounts the Dias.

"Men, look about you"

And for Hirate, its the first time that he does.
Everywhere, fading in the mists, the long low shapes of tankers ride, all of them, high out of the water.
'There are 40 tankers here, almost all we have in the Empire."
Hirate studies their Captain. Grey. Grim. Almost, almost like , what was his name?. Hasegawa? the old man who died........
But harder. A lot harder

'We are to escort these vessels, these vital vessels to Palembang, batavia, Soerabaya. Dangerous enough. But now, and for the last week, a British carrier task force has been operating of Georgetown.and we know how close that is to Singapore."

Silence greets this. Hirate feels, knows it. The enemy does not scare Susuzuki, does not daunt them.
"If we are interfered with, I intend to do the one thing, one thing only. Attack them. I know you will not let me down"
"That is all"

The Captain steps down, the coxswain roars again

The sun shines, a beautiful day, calm, warm. Susuzuki rides easily
Gird yourself, men of Susuzuki. .Mars calls you.

(in reply to kaleun)
Post #: 3117
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/15/2014 8:22:43 AM   


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For a week now, 55th division has marched towards the hills. Now, for the last three days the road has slowly swung west, skirting them, beginning to rise in barren foot hills.
The weary men are but two miles from the mountain pass proper, when the division halts

Then the terrible news.

"we are going the wrong way"

About face, turn east, and march again.
Order, counter order, disorder


(game mechanics had decided best way to reach dajangles was not through the hex I am defending........aaaaaarrrrgh!)

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3118
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/16/2014 11:05:54 PM   


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extract from "falling Cheery Blosoms, a fighter pilots war'
.............the days seemed to begin to merge into each other, a never ending cycle of flying, of fighting, of returning, counting the dead, counting the killed. faces, cherised faces begin to disa pear. men, who have survived so long, taken , as if fate played with us like a cat plays wioth a mouse.
This day was a particularily brutal day. 130 plus of us sweeping again over Dajangas. The allies met us, coasairs, T bolts, twin tailed devils.
We lost 20 planes this day, for but three kills, 10 more men lost.I think now, think over that statement. Lost
We were all lost.
Souls adrift in never ending torment, doomed to cycle through terror and pain, again, and again, and again


(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3119
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/16/2014 11:08:55 PM   


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55th division is bombed, but still marches 12 miles, desperate to atone for the blunder

The Prince is gone. Removed overnight, replaced by gods know who.
But Hosho and his men do not need to know him, they simply must obey.
"55th Division will not stop or rest until we reach the line"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3120
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