XO's Report. 3/21/99
Well, here it is...609 website Mk III. Those of you who have recently joined the squadron may be somewhat confused as to what exactly is going on. For those of you...here's the beef;
No609 Sqn was founded earlier this year (January?) by Davy 'Pyker' Flament, a Belgian pilot who wished to form 609 Sqn, in part, due to its historically having a large quotient of Belgian pilots on its roster during WWII. The first site was improved upon and moved to a new address this month. Shortly afterwards Pyker regrettably had to step down as C.O., due to an incredibly high internet bill -flat rate calls being not available in Belgium. The squadron wishes to extend its thanks to Pyker for getting us off the tarmac. Many of us took the King's Shilling due to Pyker's aggressive recruiting techniques (see example below)
JOIN 609 SQUADRON! JOIN 609 SQUADRON! JOIN 609....etc
and we all owe him a debt of gratitude for his sterling efforts during the last few months. We wish to continue to honour the Belgian pilots who fought for 609 Sqn and will include the table of pilot statistics originally included in the squadron's 'history' section. This is beginning to sound like an obituary, but Pyker has promised to join us again at a later time when either his financial situation improves or Belgium decides to enter the communications age. Until then Davy..........S!
I've been working on this thing now for 5 days and nights, much to the chagrin of my wife. It's my first attempt at websitedom and at this point I'm praying its all going to work. If you are reading this, I guess it has. Please be patient with me, as I'm figuring it all out as I go. Things may be a bit slow at first, but please bear in mind that I'm working on it.
The new site will include regular (weekly) updates in the 'News' section from myself, the skipper (Ice-Pick), the training officer (Kosmikwind) and the new squadron adjutant (Maddog). We will also include updates on any (please God) war situations and progress reports by section leaders. So...bookmark this site and use it! I hope to get the forum up and running soon too. Also, check out our new photo album. If you like the results and would like a warry picture of you in the hotseat, let me know and I'll tell you what I need from you. This squadron is only going to work with your help. It cannot be down to 2 or 3 people. I need you to send in any historical information you may come across regarding 609 Sqn, photos, quotes, tactical-tips...whatever. Make your voice heard. Lastly, I hope you're all not too disappointed, but I consciously avoided many of the bells-and-whistles seen on other sites. I wanted to give it more of a sombre, WWII tone and I prefer information to gimmicks. So chaps, I sincerely hope you like the new site. See you all soon. Compans. ('Sir' to you - you bunch of scruff )
Well, its late. Just about to upload all of this onto the site. I've spoken to some of you and we agreed it was better to get this up as a rough draft and actually have a home again for the squadron. There are several little teething problems; I couldn't get the table colour to show up on many of the tables and frames surrounding the images....only the cell colour. Claris charges $3.00 a minute for tech support and I had a maddening conversation at about 10 cents a syllable in which I learned nothing. This kind of thing is disgraceful. Getting the tables right on the roster is tricky. Some of the cells look bigger than others etc...this will get fixed. Please give me some feedback on how the site is working for you. The photo album page may be slow....but its a dandy. If anyone knows anything about Claris Homepage I'd love to hear from you, providing we can communicate free of charge. There will be a password for this page eventually, so we can avoid prying Axis eyes. Forum to come and Porter has promised to write a history of the squadron. This has been a lot of work guys, and your input really makes a difference. If you have anything you'd like to contribute....mail me. Once again, this is a work in progress and I'm not completely satisfied with it...but it'll have to do. Keep in touch. Comp.
Skipper's weekly report
Hello all! and welcome to the new home
of the revitalized 609Sqn. We've been through some changes lately as most of you
know right now, and this is one of them. I'll be talking to you
every so often with things I feel should be discussed and notes of
interest to all, so please check back regularly, so you don't miss out. I
know you all join with me in thanking Mr.Compans for his splendid
job with the web site, and thanks for the rush to get us a new
home. Ok fellow 609ers this is yours. Help out and make this a place
to be proud of! It's up to each of you. Squadron Leader No 609 Sqn.
Hello all! and welcome to the new home of the revitalized 609Sqn.
We've been through some changes lately as most of you know right
now, and this is one of them. I'll be talking to you every so often
with things I feel should be discussed and notes of interest to all, so
please check back regularly, so you don't miss out. I know you all
join with me in thanking Mr.Compans for his splendid job with the
web site, and thanks for the rush to get us a new home. Ok fellow
609ers this is yours. Help out and make this a place to be proud of!
It's up to each of you.
Squadron Leader No 609 Sqn.
Well, by now I know that you all like the new homepage, which has made me very happy. I'm continuing to update it as I go along. We have been added to the webring again, so we're truly back in business. Take a look at the new jazzy webring gif at the bottom of the 'home' page. Very nice. Still no word from 609 Sqn Association, which is dissapointing. We have however, forged a link with RAF Manston, (see links) who are home to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. They now have us listed on their site. You can all help out by getting us listed wherever you can...yahoo,museums etc... This really brings in a lot of trade and we do need new recruits. It'd be nice to get weekly reports from all section leaders. Opinions, suggestions, whatever. I'm looking into chatbox technology for our bar...it will come. I have had a couple of requests for photo portraits for our album. For those of you, here's what I need from you;
4-6 portraits of you.
They need to have been taken in natural light. No flash!
They can be from any angle...head-on shots are the least useful, but send me 1 of these anyway.
It doesn't matter if they're snapshot-ty. The one of me was taken from a photo of myself drinking beer at a blues festival with a bandanna on my head.
If you want one of you in the cockpit, (and I know you do) you should be looking over your left shoulder.
If you're going to scan them, do not reduce the pixel size. If you can't get to a scanner, e-mail me and I'll send you my address so you can send them by post.
Training was great chaps. I shall never forget the sight of all those green lat boxes! Following requests, the Skipper now has his corner. It's under 'HQ' in the menu. The HQ will eventually be a jumping off point for all kinds of goodies. War Room, a bar, adjutant's and training officer's corners etc...
There was some confusion as to the training schedule. Its been written up under training for a week, so if you're in any doubt take another look. Also, some people mentioned they hadn't seen the Skipper's Report on this page. You have to keep checking, as this site is now being updated regularly.
We desperately need new recruits. Its up to everyone to try and get people interested. If you're online, pester people. We're getting a good name for ourselves and people are curious about the squadron. If there's a war, we'll need to be at full strength. So, if you're online, take fifteen minutes of your time to chat to potential 609ers. See you all soon.
Lots happening at the moment; rumours of a war still abound. New secret H.Q. with offices for Skipper, Training Officer and Adjutant. Be sure to read their weekly reports. Several new pilots have joined us thanks to the sterling recruiting efforts of Maddog and Kos. Sections'll be up to full strength in 3 weeks. I came offline at the zone the other evening, checked my e-mail, and was amazed to find a letter from a veteran WWII 609 pilot, inquiring as to whether we had modelled ourselves after the squadron he had flown with during the war. I wrote back and recieved this letter yesterday;
Dear Sam Morrow
I have not heard of your Game ; Yes I flew with 609 Sqd late in the war.
After OTU at Ishmaelia in the Middle East I with 30 others were flown back to England & converted onto Typhoons.
Joined 609 Sqd. in March 1945 as the Canadian Army was crossing the Rhine. 609 attacked flack positions to protect the gliders with troops aboard.
All our operations were rocket attacks on ground targets . Cab rank and special targets.
My best achievement was blowing up a train South of Bremen on April 10th; The day before my 21st birthday.
Our Squadron had a reputation for accurate rocket results -we often averaged 16 feet from the centre of our objective.
I would like to know more about your Game.
David Linacre Ex 609 Sqd.
I have written back to David, asking him if he would like to join us in our chatroom (when we get it). If he agrees, I'm sure there'll be several amongst you who'd like to ask him a thing or two about his experiences. We are truly honoured with this unique contact.
Anyway, I'll sign off now and hope to see you all for another fun saturday in the expert room. I shall leave you with an amusing quote from my wife on our little obsession;
I had just finished reading the excellent, though dubiously titled ' I Flew For the Fuhrer' by Heinz Knoke. She was teasing me about the title, and I protested saying, " Yeah, buts its actually really well written". "Yeah, right", she replied, "You're like one of those guys who say they buy Playboy for the articles". She has a point.
Things really seem to be moving these days, and I'm having problems keeping up with everything that needs to go into the homepage!
Our HQ section is really taking off, with Kos' fantastic guncam shots. If you're not a 609 member, you really are missing out. So...join. The HQ is sort of like the 2/3 of the iceberg not visible from the surface.
I recieved another very short letter from our friend David Linacre;
One must be interested
I will be in UK in June 1999 , any assistance I can give ?
I had asked David if he could give us some information on element and section tactics, and, it seems he is willing to do so. No pressure, but if Fros'd like to interview him for the page, it'd be great. I checked out David's name on the 609 Sqn roster, and there it is. There is very little information on him though, so an interview would be a contribution to history. David's an Australian, by the way. Its nice to know that we're not only doing this for the game, but are building ties such as this one.
Here is this week's Skipper's Report;
Training was a little confusing Saturday with the ever present lag and the
expert room locking out some of us, so element training is
Warm Thanks go out to Compans and Kosmik for the awesome
pictures that have added a flair to our web site. I also would like to
welcome all of the many new recruits that have joined the 609, and I'm
sure that the Vets will make them feel at home. Gents, also our rules
for training day must be adhered to. There is a schedule so please stick
to it. Free flying can be done, but only after training is completed. Also
to the new recruits, training is mandatory, and few showed up. It would
also be a good time to meet each of the Vets, so please do what's
possible to show up.
That's it for this week.
609 Squadron Leader
One last thing. We need a publicity officer to deal with sending out our address to links pages on other sites. I don't have time to do all this. Any takers?
See you all soon. Comp.
Recieved this important information from our adjutant yesterday;
Dear fellow 609 pilots,
Concentrating on the paperwork as always but here is a report from the WAR and recruiting front.
Today WAR is declared on the "Geisthafte Ritter Gruppe"(GRG_Kruger_KO). We are waiting on an answer to see if GRG_Kruger_KO accept the challenge. Salute from 609 Squadron to the Geisthafte Ritter Gruppe. If they do, we have to set up a schedule that will start in May 1999 and take a period of 5 / 6 weeks. (e.g. 1940 / 1945).
In the name of our Commander of 609 squadron, No609_Ice Pick, we declare WAR to the Geisthafte Ritter Gruppe.
If you accept this WAR, please mail this to [email protected] as soon as possible.
The battle shall take place on the (war) zone and will take 5 weeks, starting may 1940. Eg. (may1999)
For the times at which the battles will take place, we shall inform you in short notice. (Schedule is in consideration).
If you accept this WAR-declaration, we would like to set up a timetable which fits us all.
We fight with honor and defend our belief that the skill of our pilots and the performance of our planes will bring us victory.
We hope to hear from you soon.
The missions will take place on the (WAR) zone (room will be chosen later).
Thus Gentlemen, we might have a WAR on our hands.
Train the maneuvers, section flight, team flight and targeting for your squad to win this. Do take notice of the Con's which are on the 609 site [HQ] and program them into your cockpit.
Tally Ho chaps, lets get them. (if they accept...or get them anyway).
So, it looks as if we've got a row on our hands. You've all been doing a wonderful job with recruiting and the new chaps I've met seem to be a nice bunch. However, most of you have not been seen. I understand that you have families and cant make it to training sometimes but please let the skipper know that you're still about. If we dont see you after 3 weeks, we'll have to take you off the squadron roster. With war just around the corner we need you to train. As we cant give you the element coms for 3 weeks until you're official, it's important that you make your prescence felt. Please let us know that you're still around! We have had recruits join in the past, only to be a name on the roster. This is why we have brought in the evaluation table. REMEMBER...you are being judged not so much on your flying skills, but on your dedication to 609 Sqn.
We still need a publicity officer; this would involve setting up 2 or 3 links a day. 15 minutes out of your life. I recently got the stats for webring visits per site. We are not even on the list. Admittedly the site's not been up for long, but there was a table for the last two weeks. I don't have time to do this and would really appreciate someone coming forward.
See you soon.
War...it's official! Our adjutant recieved this from The Geisthafte Ritter Gruppe two nights ago;
"Salute No. 609,
Thank you for your kind words. After discussing the issue with my Kommand
Staff, I am very happy to announce that we graciously accept your invitation to
WAR. We also believe that conducting this with the No. 609 sq will be a fun,
exciting, and great learning experience for us as well. Please allow me to
extend an invitation to your Kommand personnel to meet with mine in our GRG
chatroom on a day that is convenient for you. Here we can discuss the basic
ideas behind the war and also get to know each other as friends before we set
about the dirty business of meeting in battle. I thank you again for your kind
considerations in inviting us to this WAR. I believe that together we can make
this a fun and memorable experience for all.
Dietrich Kruger, Oberst
So...we're on. Great work Maddog! Please show The GRG the same courtesy that they are showing us. Lets make this an honourable war. Remember, you each carry the good name of No 609 on your shoulders.
I am also pleased to announce that the 609 recruiting drive can now wind down. We have many, many fine new pilots. You've all done a fantastic job, and once again, special thanks go out to Maddog. This effectively means that you no longer have to go out of your way to recruit, but if anyone shows interest, give them our address.
Training was great on Saturday, with many old and new friends present. My count was around fifteen No609 pilots there. Fantastic!
I had the pleasure of meeting some of our new pilots this week...Dupradier, Munster, Viper, Ghost, Destroyer, Rookie and Nwby. Others may have been online at different times to me, but remember...you must show up! Also remember that there is a training schedule on saturdays which has been up for three weeks now. Please stick to it. If you're getting bored with flying for an hour as a two-man section it only means that you're getting good at it. We must get to the point where two man tactics are second nature, and this will only happen by learning the drill back-to-front. Its up to section officers to enforce this on training days.
We have some excellent new pilots and some are coming up to evaluation. Can't wait to have these chaps posted to our regular sections. If you are a section leader and have any requests for particular pilots to be assigned to your mob, let me know. We have lost Porter temporarily, as he is minding his in-laws house. He is grounded out there, but still comes online for a chat. Hang in there Porter! I am also very happy to announce the return of our old skipper, Pyker. He will now be leading Green Section. Welcome home Davy from us all!
I have spent some time over the weekend contacting other RAF Squadrons in the hope that in the future, we can have more communication between us all. I thought that it'd be great if we could have a united front on both allied and Axis sides, and conduct a unified war. (Note: this will NOT apply for our upcoming war against GRG). I have recieved very favorable replies to this end from Nos 602 and 71 Sqns as well as from 'Bader's Bus Company'. Please say hello to any of these chaps if you see them online.
See you soon. Compans.
The Skipper's report is being put into this section as it pertains to you all;
War has been declared, and accepted by the Enemy! Training to some does not appear serious. This is an order -training will be Done as per the schedule approved by myself. Deviations, will only approved by me or the X.O. Failure to comply will reflect for advancement etc...no exceptions!
I wish to thank MadDog for his excellent efforts in recruiting,and in getting our war together. I also,wish to thank Kosmik for his efforts in recruiting, his fine pictures, and instruction to help us all.
I at this time wish to say to the new recruits-Gentlemen, the ones that have shown up are a fine bunch of lads, and I'll gladly lead them into war -welcome, and Thank You for choosing No609. To the people that have as yet not shown -the time is almost up. Get with someone if you can't show and make it known, otherwise we'll be forced to say Good Bye! Gentlemen, this is the whole ball of wax -have fun, make friends, maintain your honor at all times-and most important of all-ENJOY!
S! Watch your Six!
I have once again seen many of you online and am very chuffed with the turnout. Try and be there for Saturday training. Your prescence counts. For some of you, this should be your last weekend before you get your wings. Once again, looking forward to having you on the team and getting to know you better. I shall leave those of you this week with the RAF motto;
( " By Trial to the Stars " )
First of all an important message from the Skipper;
Training was a bit of a shambles on saturday despite the good turnout. I once again had to spend much of my time reminding people not to fly against non-609 members, to practice element flying etc etc. Every week someone asks me what the schedule is. Read the rules. Its been up there in 'Training' for six weeks or so. Officers should be laying down the law about training on saturdays, and if you're not, you aren't doing your job. If you're not sure about any squadron policy, make the effort to read the homepage regularly. Any new stuff goes up as soon as I get the time to do it.
Aside from that, we're all looking forward to having our new pilots allocated to their regular sections. Many of these pilots are new to No 609, but are veterans of EAW and the zone and have dealt with their 3 week trial period really well. To those of you who have shown up...its been a real pleasure. If you are a section leader and you have any requests for particular pilots to be in your mob, let me or the Skipper know. So far I've had requests from Pyker for B_Lacksky (Green Section) and from Kosmik for Rookie and Viper (Blue Section). We also need to think about forming another flight, as we have 22 pilots on our books and they're still coming. I think we need to form an Antipodean section, as we now have Munster and Destroyer, two fine flyers from down-under. This would enable them to train with better lag, and to work out their own time schedule, which is tricky for them so many hours ahead of the rest of us.
And lastly, I saw a really good film last week called 'Land Girls', set in England during the Second World War. There are some brief but excellent shots of a Spitfire whirling about the sky over rolling hills and a great sequence with a 109. Made me all homesick, so it did.
An important message from the Skipper;
Gentlemen -609 is a Squadron. It is for fun, yes, but there are rules and regs that will be adhered to! If you feel you can not follow them, or choose not to, then I suggest you inform me and we'll part as friends but, part we will. I am surprised at the veterans etc...that still ask "what are the comms?" Everyone who has gone to the website should have them!
Section Leaders are also responsible to follow the rules, and to ensure that the men under them comply. From this day forward -YOU will be accountable! Training on Saturdays will go as scheduled -period. If that's too much to ask -leave the squadron. If this is too hard for all of you-I'll leave-y'all decide! Let me know. On Saturday we are going to have a Squadron meeting -I suggest everyone be there!
Also, from this day forward there will be a rotation of the Officers as OOD, (officer of the day) charged with compliance of rules during training etc...this will occur every Saturday. Let's get it together Gentlemen-we have a WAR to win.
By this time I expect you've all read GRG Kruger's outline of rules for mission games during the upcoming war. Here are mine, based on mayhem games. Both these and Kruger's are rough drafts and will be subject to alterations.
I would like to propose a few things for the upcoming war;
In mayhem games both sides will be given time to form up. The German side will head at 00 degrees for 2 minutes, the British at 180 degrees for the same. This will give both sides time to get in formation if desired.
Only confirmed kills will count. A confirmed kill is one which is displayed on the screen next to a players name. A kill may also be considered confirmed if the pilot who was shot down verifies this after the game, or another pilot witnessed it. The plane must be seen to actually crash for this to take effect. A spin or accidental crash resulting in a pilot loss will be counted as a loss for that side but not a victory for the other side.
Once you have been killed you must leave the game. Respawns usually increase the amount of lag in a game. Rearming usually has the same effect.
If a game is to be called off due to lag this must be done in the form-up phase when both teams are heading in opposite directions. That way there will be no disputes as to someone being hit whilst typing a message to the other side. Lag is an unfortunate fact of life and we will have to live with it. If a side initiates a conversation regarding lag (early on) the opposing side must not attack.
5.Running out of Ammo/ Damaged planes.
If a player runs out of ammo he may opt to stay in the game or leave. If he decides to leave he must land first. Likewise any damaged planes must make it back to the coast or the pilot must bail out. Planes must still try to make it home if they are damaged and they are the last plane left in the game. If not damaged the player may quit as usual. It might be an idea to make a distinction between pilots killed and planes lost for each side. Regardless, the opposing side will count either as a kill. I would like 609 Sqn to have 3 kill catagories which reflect the actual system used by the British during the Second World War.
a. Confirmed Kill
b. Probable Kill
A confirmed kill is one which is verified either by the A1 or another pilot, either hostile or friendly.
A Probable kill is one which is not confirmed by the A1 or any other pilot except the one making the claim. This may be due to the fact that pilots able to verify a kill are in another game shortly after, or leave the zone for whatever reason.
Damaged. This takes effect when a plane leaves the combat area due to severe damage to the aeroplane. For a pilot to claim a 'damaged' victory, his victim must have been trailing smoke due to his gunfire. If the smoking plane is subsequently destroyed by another pilot's fire, this will count as 1/2 a kill for each player.
Each side should have a duty officer present in a password protected room to debrief all pilots after an action. Their job will be to determine kill scores fairly. ie, shared victories may be disputed etc and to title kills 'confirmed' 'probable' or 'damaged'. It may be an idea to give each game a title...ie. 'Spitfest' so that results may be compared by both allied and axis duty officers later on. Any conflicting results that cannot be settled will only add to the realism of our war! Pilots may not enter another game until after they are debriefed.
If you are shot down, damaged or have to bail out, even if there was no-one around to see, this should be reported by YOU. Lets keep this sportsmanlike. May the best man win! Any results between 609 Sqn and GRG will not count if occuring outside official war times agreed by both sides.
First, I wish to remind you all that tomorrow (saturday) is to be given over to a general meeting in the 'Worldwide' room. This meeting will take the form of speeches on certain subjects from the Skipper, followed (when prompted by the chair) by an open discussion. As we all know, its easy for talk online to degenerate into everyone talking at once so...one mike please! If you have something to say please type in a ' ! ' or ' ? ' and the chair will type your name, at which point you have the mike. We tried this in our meeting with GRG and it worked famously. We also have several pilots up for evaluation this weekend, and those passing will be announced by the Skipper at the meeting. At certain points the Squadron Leader may call for a Squadron Salute. He will call "609 Squadron...Attention!" The Skipper will then S! first, followed by the rest of the squadron. After the meeting pilots passing evaluation will be given the HQ password in private. For those of you, you are reminded to give this information to noone. If you are in any doubt as to a pilots regular status...check the roster.
I am happy to announce that Porter has stepped forward to take on duties as our publicity officer. This will involve contacting other flight-related sites and posting up our info to their links pages. Thanks Porter. Also, check out his new pic in Photo Album. If you are a regular 609 pilot and would like to have one of these done, send me;
4-6 portraits of you.
They need to have been taken in natural light. No flash!
They can be from any angle...head-on shots are the least useful, but send me 1 of these anyway.
It doesn't matter if they're snapshot-ty. The one of me was taken from a photo of myself drinking beer at a blues festival with a bandanna on my head. Colour photos are fine.
If you want one of you in the cockpit, (and I know you do) you should be looking over your left shoulder. (see my pic for angle). Icepick sent me some like this, sitting at the wheel of his pick-up. The pose is almost identical to those of pilots in the cockpit.
If you're going to scan them, do not reduce the pixel size. If you can't get to a scanner, e-mail me and I'll send you my address so you can send them by post. Please send in bitmap,gif or jpg formats.