Well, news on the grapevine has it that The Wing was not a popular idea. You all seem to favour keeping 609 as one squadron. If this is the case we'll have to have a meeting to discuss how this is to be organised. Thanks again to all those who showed interest and concern over this issue.
I was sitting at home this evening when who should phone me but the Skipper! It was great to chat about 609 business without having to type. Thanks Pick! Incidentally, we are meeting in August at an airshow featuring the planes of ' The Confederate Airforce'. This will take place in Frederick MD, and I would like to extend an open invitation to any 609ers and their families who'd like to join us. Can't wait!
Pick also informed me that European Air War 2 will be coming out this winter, featuring flyable bombers and other goodies. I have not been able to find information on this online. If anyone has an URL, please post it.
I have been flying mainly at Kali of late and, if you haven't already forked out $20.00 for this, it really is a must. The lag is much, much better and you can usually fly one on one for three or four planes before the warp sets in. It's also a good place to meet as a squadron, and to meet other serious flyers. We have had some very challenging run-ins with German pilots, notably Llv 34 Snefens, Locutis, Greywolf and others, who really know how to handle a 109. I have tremendous respect for these guys who have enough dedication to master a tricky plane like this.
I recently bought a book which, for those of you who have $30.00 to spend, is a real must. Its called 'Fighter Combat -Tactics and Maneuvering' by Robert L. Shaw. and is published by Naval Institute Press, Annapolis Maryland. (1985). This book should be considered as The Bible for anyone wishing to learn anything regarding fighter combat. It covers every maneuvre (defensive and offensive) in detail -gunnery, section/element tactics etc. I really cannot recommend it enough.
No609 continues to grow, both in stature and size. We have two new pilots from the antipodes to boost our already strong Aussie contingent. As of writing, I'm still waiting on Methat's Orange Section report. Every other section has replied, and I would advise you all to take a look at what section leaders have to say. I would like to propose a meeting of all section leaders soon to discuss the state of the squadron. We have had some compliments from other pilots regarding the excellent teamwork of 609ers in 2v2 fights. It seems that training is beginning to pay off. For those of you who have just joined, please remember that we pride ourselves on our teamwork. We are not a squadron of lone wolves. I would also like to remind new pilots that we do not tolerate any swearing online. There was a message from the Skipper in the forum regarding this. If it happens again, you will be dismissed from the squadron. It's all up there in 'Rules and Regs' so you have no excuses. Here is this week's skipper's report, which pertains to you all.
Here's another letter regarding the wing;
With regard to the impending decision on whether 609 squadron should be split into two squadrons, my vote is keep it one unit. Here are my main reasons:
Unit name recognition...609 squadron members are recognized as some of the best skilled online EAW pilots around, as well as a bloody classy bunch of blokes. Splitting the squadron would certainly take away that recognition for those pilots that were put into a second squad, at least in the short term, maybe longer.
One identity...If we split, we are no longer one identity. In my opinion, we are the class of the WW2 online squadrons. If we are split into two squads, that "honor" may be lost, and be tough to re-capture. Although it may encourage some good inter-squad competition, there may be the formation of a "we're better than you" attitude, which could only hurt.
Family atmosphere... Even though I personally have established online friendships with non-609 online EAW pilots, I truly get the feeling I'm with "another family" while participating in the Saturday morning (for me) training, or during the week with the likes of Kos, OzZiggy, Shredd, Comp, IcePick, etc. It would be a shame to see some of my online buddies split off to another group and have to focus on that group's training, etc.
Depth of personnel...As time goes by, it is inevitable that some online pilots will lose interest in the squadron (blasphemy!). If/when that starts to happen, having a slightly overpopulated squadron will be a blessing in disguise. Even if that doesn't happen, with as many members as we have, only a percentage are available at a given time. Keeping the squadron as one unit will preserve some depth and ensure enough pilots for an online wars, etc.
Sharing tactics... If we split, some of the tactics we share now might not be as available as they are now. Even if the 609 squadron web site is used for both squads, competition may cause some information to be held back between squads. Even if that doesn't happen, just the fact that the squads are split up means that pilots that used to communicate don't anymore, as they may be flying with other pilots in their new squad.
Well that's all I can think of for now. Bottom line, leave 609 as one squad, period. It makes sense in so many ways. At this point, with the evaluees, we have 3 extra pilots considering the 2 vacant sections, and the 2 spots in Orange section. Lets stop the recruiting for a while and see what happens. Lets enjoy a full squadron for a while before we try to build a second one.
I'm off this weekend, so I won't be able to make the meeting. As it stands, it seems that squadron opinion is for keeping 609 as one squad. This is from letters and speaking to you online. Fair enough. As I won't be there on Saturday, I will just say that personally, if we are not to have a wing, I'd like to keep numbers down to what we have now, including those trainees who will pass in the next few weeks. Many of these trainees haven't shown so the overspill shouldnt be too drastic. I feel that 50 pilots (as some of you have quoted) will be far too many for ONE squad. Lets leave it at three flights OR form another squad. Please forgive me for taking the liberty of having my say twice, but I do feel that as squadron desk jockey, I get a good idea of the logistical problems involved with coordinating a lot of pilots. Just my opinion though. This is your squadron and I'm proud to serve in your interests. We have made amazing advances over the last few months and I'm constantly getting whupped by pilots who were green when they joined not long ago. It just goes to show that No609 is working as a team (or that my flying skills really suck), and information is being shared. Thanks to all those who wrote to me regarding the wing/squad issue. Please CONTINUE to contribute to this site. It makes my job so much easier. By the way...could someone take minutes of the meeting for me? Ta. Comp.
There is to be a meeting on Saturday regarding the Wing /Squadron expansion. Unfortunately I will be unable to attend as I'm going out of town, but it's essential that it happens as soon as possible. I believe that the Skipper shares my views, so that side of the debate will be aired. As of writing, I am still awaiting section reports from Methats and Viper. Destroyer recently sent me some ammendments to White Section training schedule. White Section should check this out on their page. Comp.
If you go to Aircraft Notes/Spit 1a you'll notice that I have ammended the charts. We now have a comparative chart (God, I'm a geek) of data for the real Spit 1a and the one modelled in EAW. I took it up for a 'testflight' yesterday and tried to match the authentic data. The results were interesting. After doing this I decided it might be fun to have a squadron competition to see who can beat these records. For instance...the official rate of climb in a Spit 1a is 20,000 ft in 8 mins. The best I could do during my flight was 16,500 ft. This record has my name next to it and I'm sure someone could beat it, in which case your name'll be up there. First Spit into the stratosphere wins my copy of Combat Flight Simulator. Also, during my flight, I flew up to Scotland to see what it was like. When you get to the edge of the map there are huge pyramid looking things. Or maybe I flew into Myst or something. If anyone gets bored, see whats at the other edges and you'll get Icepick's copy of Screaming Demons Over Europe. Comp.
I have now recieved Section Reports from White, Yellow and Green Sections. You can view them in HQ/Skipper's Corner/Section Reports. I need the reports from the remaining section leaders. These are important, as it gives us an idea of how the squadron is progressing. I also need your views on the 'Wing' (see previous news for details), and your tips and flying notes on the Spit 1a. To this end I have set up a page called 'Aircraft Notes'. Go to HQ/War room/Aircraft Notes/. If you have the time please send me your tips, as this will eventually be a wonderful source of first hand information for new and old pilots alike. To get the ball rolling, here's my views on the Wing.
As we all know, our three flights are just about full. To that end we need to start thinking about expansion. I believe a new squadron would fit the bill for these reasons;
1. It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of individual pilots. There just isn't the time to get to know everyone on a personal basis. In this way, pilots may eventually get overlooked or lose interest. I feel that 36 pilots is more than enough for one squadron.
2. Individual sections are beginning to achieve their own identity, through training, location etc... This is also somewhat due to their section colour. We have pretty much run out of different usable colours and I feel this identity would be lost by calling a section 'B Flight Red Section', 'C Flight Red Section' etc...
3. The new squadron would be run on the same principles as No609 and would share many of the pages on our site. Of course, the new squadron could request different areas and improvements if needed. I feel a sense of healthy competition would exist between No609 and the new squad, which would be good for all of us.
The new Skipper's report is in, and has been posted below for the benefit of our trainee pilots. Also, new tips from Oz in the training Officer's section. These will also be posted in 'Tips' for future reference. I have had a number of requests for pilot photos for our photo album, and I would dearly love to bring this up to date. However, I seem to have to answer the same questions all the time, so here again are the requirements if you'd like to have one done. Please take note of these as they're very important;
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.
I have had several requests from people wanting their head merged with a particular pilot shot. You can send me this shot but please be aware that it usually takes a few tries with various photos for me to find the right one for you. Many different factors go into this...body type, angle of head, light quality etc. It's easy for the end result to look 'stuck on' and I do want to keep this page up to a standard.
See you soon. Comp.
Inspired by yesterday's turnout, I resolved to make a start on the much needed squadron history page. I'm still waiting on Pyker (who is busy with exams), and the page is all there for you when you're done. I did however, make a start on '609 Aces'. For those of you who don't know, No609 had many notable pilots and, like us, was a truly international squadron. You can get there by going to 'History' on the menu and following directions from there. If you have any further info or discrepencies on the pilots mentioned, let me know. Or maybe you have some information or photos on other pilots from your own research. I will continue to add to this section of the homepage. Pyker has some actual wartime guncam shots taken by No 609, which would also make a nice subsection. Cheers lads. Compans.
Post Training. I have to say, that was the most fun I've ever had at training. It seems like everybody is involved, and really working on element/section stuff now. We had some excellent 2v2 scraps, despite the usual lag. If you are getting fed up with it (and we all do from time to time), remember that if Microprose doesn't fix the bugs, a better game'll surely come along. When it does, we'll be trained and ready. So hang in there! White section have implemented a new training policy whereby they will fly one type of plane per training session. Kos suggested we all do this. I would like to take this a stage further and ask you all to send me your tips on the plane of the week. I can compile them and put them on site as a reference source. This week's plane was the Spitfire 1A.
The Squadron Officers had a brief meeting to discuss what to do with the squadron after all three flights had been filled. Some thought we should form another squadron as part of a wing, others that we should add more flights to 609. We agreed that we should open this up to everyone in the squadron. Please send me your opinions and I'll post them in 'Mailbox' in the HQ.
Training turnout was amazing with at least nineteen 609ers present at one time. As Officer of the Day, Destroyer said a pilot from outside of the squadron came into the expert room and asked in all seriousness, "Is this the 609 homepage". If you're not present for these huge gatherings, you really are missing out. White Section now start training one hour earlier as I believe many of them are there until 2am or so. Thanks chaps for your commitment to 609. Don't know how we did without you for so long. Porter showed up at training, no longer MIA. He has been working a sixty hour week, and had notified the Skipper earlier, so...apologies Mr. P. Air Sea Rescue have been recalled. That's about it for now. Have a good one chaps. Comp.
Training day again. Note to self: Do not get drunk on Friday nights. Its 8.30am here and, as usual I'm nursing a hangover. What must it have been like flying a sortie with one? Bill Dunn wrote that the pure oxygen bottle was a sure cure. Wonder if I can buy any locally?
But enough of these ramblings. First of all, as of writing I have not recieved any Section News from A Flight leaders. The request went out about a week ago, and I did write to all of you. Please try to get these to me for posting by tomorrow. I would also like similar reports now from all other section leaders . See previous news report for details of what you need to send.
I have recieved a detailed set of section tactics from Destroyer, complete with training timetables and diagrams. These are specifically designed for White Section, but they can be viewed by all in 'White Section News'. Remember, your section pages can be used for whatever you like...send me stuff!
I recently wrote to our publicity officer, Porter, who has been MIA for several weeks now. Has anyone seen him online? If we don't hear from him in the next couple of days, we will need a new publicity officer and also another pilot for Red Section. If you can't make it online regularly, or you lose interest in the squadron, please show your section the courtesy of telling them so they can find a replacement.
I have not recieved any Training Officer/s, Adjutant or Skipper's reports for several weeks. This may be due to our war being on hold, but please send something in if you get the time. The Skipper is working nights at present, and is unable to fly as often. Lets hope his schedule changes in the not too distant future. We miss you Pick!
See you all later today. Comp.
As our squadron grows, it becomes harder to get an overall picture of what is happening in individual sections. Remember...the section is your home in the squadron. To this end, I have decided to implement a Section Leaders Reports area in HQ. I will ask for these once a month or so. Section Leaders must write to me briefly outlining their training schedule and progress. This can include any tactical innovations you have implemented, individual assessments/improvements in pilot flying skill etc. I want to get an idea of what's happening at training sessions. We will do this by Flights. So, for this coming Sunday 20th June, (at the latest) I will need reports from all three A Flight Section Leaders. These will then go into the HQ.
We need to step up recruiting again for a while. The situation is far from desperate, but we have five pilots awaiting assessment and ten positions to fill. Orange Section is in need of two more European pilots, and there are none from this region being trained. We also have a problem with Regsomble who was mistakenly (by me) identified as coming from the States. Reg is actually from Australia. As we have no more pilots, trained or otherwise from down-under, Regsomble has been assigned to Black Section. I hope this is ok with you Reg. To help with this kind of thing, I've added a 'Country' column to the trainee pilot table in the roster.
Finally, I recieved a really fine 609 Sqn screen-saver from Pyker. I won't spoil things by telling you what's on it, but it is a must for all of you. E mail Pyker for a download. He also has a 609 History page written in French which Kos has agreed to translate into Queens English. Get your specs on Kos. This page is much needed! See you soon. Comp.
First of all, thanks to all those who wrote to me with section colour suggestions for C Flight. Purple was not popular and likewise Maroon. The new colours have been finalised as Black, Grey and Brown. However, after an HQ discussion on Saturday, it was unanimously decided that Destroyer should be made Flt Leader for C Flight and consequently White Section have been moved from B Flight to C Flight. Black Section is our new section in B Flight, with Viper being promoted to Flt Lt as their commanding officer. Three new evaluees are also in this section; Regsomble, Wolfman and Cass. (Thanks Wolfman for being so patient whilst waiting for a section assignment). Zorro has replaced Intruder (who is busy with work at present) as Kos' wingman and Relentlessone has replaced Viper as Shredd's wingman. Due to Maddog's heavy work load, Shap has been promoted to Flt Lt and now heads Yellow Section. Congratulations to all those who passed evaluation, and to those promoted. If you are in any doubt as to the details of the reshuffle...check the roster. After my hard drive crashed, I lost all records of pilot nationality, so please check your details and inform me of any mistakes. Zorro...I need your e mail address.
The exiting news on the horizon is that we will shortly have a full squadron of three flights. 36 pilots...who would have believed it three months ago? Many thanks to all our enthusiastic pilots who have helped recruit and keep 609 Sqn afloat. The upshot of all this will be the formation of a new squadron as part of a wing. Icepick will then be 'Winco' and has agreed to fly with a white flying helmet. We need to find out which squadrons were teamed with No609 during the war. If you have info...do tell.
And on a final, sadder note. We recently discovered that ZSG_Lady Titania was insulted online. The offending party made implications as to ZSG holding Nazi sympathies etc. The person was not a member of No609, I hasten to add. A certain allied squadron leader has also recently angered many Axis flyers with the same sort of remarks. I know our pilots to be some of the most chivalrous online. If you are a new pilot, please remember that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated. See you all soon. Comp.
The Skipper has posted a message in the forum to the effect that our war with ZSG has been postponed indefinitely. I am unclear at present as to the reason for this but will keep you informed as to furthur developments. Do not despair though. We have had several offers from various Axis Squadrons keen to engage No609 in the blue yonder, so keep your training up!
I recently recieved an excellent set of element tactics plus illustrations from Methats. Check out 'The Trap' in 'Element Comms and Tactics' (page 2) in the HQ. Thanks Methats for a job well done. We need all of you to keep this thing going. Most of you have several months combat experience under your belts by now. So share your expertise with the rest of 609!
The Skipper has declared an end to active recruiting. This effectively means that we no longer have to seek out pilots online. However, last night I was chatting to two pilots who were very impressed and interested in our squadron, so I directed them to the homepage. We have several pilots waiting to be evaluated, and I have consequently created a 'C Flight' in the roster. We will have a meeting soon to work out section leaders etc. Remember, promotions come from attendance and enthusiasm, as well as flying abilities. If you're a regular, chances are you're in the running. Unfortunately, the choice of colours left for C Flight is somewhat limited. We have a Maroon, Brown and Purple section (possibly commanded by the pilot formerly known as Prince). Pink section kept popping into my head, but who'd want to be head of pink section? Likewise 'Violet', 'Cerisse', 'Raspberry', Lavender and 'Turquoise'. If any of you can think of alternative, preferably butch colours, I'm all ears. Comp.
As you may know, my computer crashed a few days ago leaving me with nothing on my hard drive. All that work on visuals gone to wherever electronic blips go when they leave your hard drive. Ah well...you live and learn. I just found out how to download our site, and it's back. Panic over. The roster has been updated as best I can, as I lost all information on pilots...where they are from etc... If I have made any errors, please write to me. We had a great war meeting on Saturday. Much was discussed. There is to be a special site set up especially for our war by Kruger which will include rules and stats. Thanks to all our friends/foes at ZRG. Section leaders and HQ staff had a long discussion afterwards regarding the problem of our phenomenal rate of growth. To those of you who don't know, we had around 7 or 8 regular pilots 2 months ago. We now have almost two whole flights plus several more pilots waiting in the wings (pun entirely intended) and new recruits pouring in every week. Obviously not all of these pass evaluation, and pilots do leave, but for the main we have a really solid base of 20-25 flyers. The Skipper put it best when he said we're learning all this as we go along and we're naturally going to have growing pains. The upshot of all this is that 609 Squadron will stop at 3 flights, at which point we will form a second squadron as part of a wing. One of the problems we have at the moment is that its difficult to get to know 30-40 pilots and their flying abilities. I've been away for a couple of weeks and the character of the squadron has changed completely with the new influx of pilots. Here's where you come in. It is too much work for those of us in HQ to keep track of everything that is going on. The squadron must function primarily on a section basis. If a wingman does not show for training it is his Section Leader's duty to find out why. White section (as stated elsewhere) are an exemplorary example of this. They know each-other, discuss tactics, and are generally extremely conscientious in their roles within their section and the squadron as a whole. If you command a section you should follow their example. There are no excuses. If you are unclear as to the whereabouts of your men you are not doing your job properly.
Kos has agreed to take on the job of Adjutant in addition to his roles as Flight Leader of B Flight, Section Leader of Blue Section and Training Officer. A virtual medal is surely forthcoming. OzZiggy has agreed to split the job of Training Officer with Kos. For those of you with any questions, one of these two of our keenest pilots are usually about to answer them. Lastly, we need your input for the home page. The 'Mailbox' section of HQ is virtually unused. Tell me about your experiences with leader/wingman comms and the finer points of element tactics. The whole point of being in a squadron is to share this information. That's about it for now. See you before you see me. Comp.
Howdy again everyone. I'm back from my vacation and am conducting a much overdue update to the homepage. The big news is that Maddog has resigned as Adjutant due to pressures at work. Although this is a great loss to the squadron, we all understand and he has asked me to communicate that he will still be flying as much as possible. He has done a wonderful job and will be sorely missed. In case you didn't know, the squadron had around 6 or 7 regular pilots two months ago. We now have 20 plus, mainly due to his efforts. And whilst on the subject, I have to say that the summer will be hard on me too. I play at festivals on some weekends and my attendance on Saturdays will be patchy. So...expect some delays with updates to this page. If you wish, I will step down as X.O. and take up the post of Desk Jockey for the squad. Let me know how you feel about this. Please check out the Skipper's reports as there are two new entrys. Well, thats about it for now. See you all up yonder. Comp.