8th Air Force Grows Again!
Mike Backstrom and Rich Moyer enjoy
the new Paradise airfield as the 8th Air Force grows again to
fill the room.
No wonder Paul Risner wins so much
- he has Reverend Keith as his wingman. A little help from the
chaplain never hurts.
Flight Officer Michael Lam shows Roger
Covington and Earl Schultz the ropes.
Peter Pollard brings in a Me-109 attack
out of the sun and through the dice roller.
The 20th Annual B-17 Tournament:
Record Set as the Air War over Germany Intensifies!
HEADLINES FROM ENGLAND, midsummer 1943
B-17 again flummoxed the CD with a record turnout and
posted its seventh straight attendance increase as 77 daring
pilots, including our first-ever "all-female" squadron,
turned out for "Black Thursday:" the climax of 20 years
of tournament planning, gaming and history!
Our three missions again took us to the heart of Nazi Germany,
but in numbers never seen before.
Mission 1: Marienburg; an 11-zone mission that pushed
the planes and crews to the limit! Losses were light due to good
fighter cover and poor Luftwaffe response!
Mission 2: Munster; a 7-zone mission where losses were
low and opposing fighters fell victim to concentrated fire from
the gunners of the100th Bomb Group (H).
Mission 3: We saw the end of the milk runs as
we returned to Schweinfurt, to bomb the ball-bearing factories.
This mission simulated "Black Thursday" the bloodiest
day in the history of the 8th Air Force. For the first time,
the "Bloody Hundredth" faced the Luftwaffe's new night-fighter,
the twin-engine, cannon-firing Me-410! The combination of heavy
fighter cover and intense flak caused severe losses.
After all was said and done, B-17 crowned a new champion,
Steve Sabatino and a new Sand Man: Roger Covington. I'm not sure
who was envied more.
On Friday Night, we assembled again in record numbers with
60 present at the Officers Club for our After Action Party featuring
a debriefing, the awarding of medals and honors, a trip to the
prize table and refreshments. Among the gathering were eight
past champions, representing 13 past events.
SPECIAL NOTE FOR 2012:
2012 will be our 21st year, as a group, with the same GM and
game system. Word has it we will put 100 flyers into the air
for our biggest missions yet and, later at the O-Club, we are
expecting a visit from the USO!
As always, we owe a debt of gratitude to the "Command"
structure of the B-17 tournament:
"Col." David Terry, Gamemaster;
"Capt." Mike Lam, Assistant Gamemaster;
"Maj." Keith Hunsinger, Assistant Gamemaster;
"Capt." Mark Yoshikawa, Assistant Gamemaster;
"Maj." Paul Risner O-Club OIC and Morale Officer; and...
...of course all the other B-17 players, our friends all,
who are the cast of fliers that make this such a fun experience
each year. Thanks to all and see you in 2012!
Humorous sidenote: As the convention drew to an end
I sent Harry Flawd off in search of four "young studs"
to carry our display case to its storage area. Being a recent
and reluctant initiate into the Senior Citizens club, I emphasized
"young" having already had my share of struggles with
said display case. Anyway, Harry comes back a few minutes later
with a few volunteers who included none other than B17
GM Dave Terry. Now Dave and I go waaay back—having thrown dice
at each other before a lot of these young whippersnappers were
born. I look at Dave and then I tell Harry: "I thought I
told you to bring back YOUNG studs." Harry blurts back apologetically:
"he was all I could catch". Dave took umbrage at this
and with great bravado hoisted the case and off we went. He was
moving a lot slower when we came back, though.
The Mafia's blackshirt squadrom is
out in force again. Chris Daly, Ken Richards, Gus Collars, Tim
Rogers, Bill Beckman and Daniel Lawall fly again.
Paul Weintraub and Ruth Evinger struggle
through the flak as Ace Of Aces champ Joe Belyeu observes
this less chivalrous form of air combat.