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Mission over South_Vietnam map - Debriefing

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Anatoli

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Posts: 26

Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 7:02 am

Location: Rennes - France

Post Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:04 pm

Mission over South_Vietnam map - Debriefing

Hello... :)

Here is a second debriefing of a mission that we played on Friday, Dec. 2.

We were 9 pilots, divided into 3 groups:

Group 1 : A-26 "straffer" of GB I/19 Gascogne - Callsign: "Cinzano" - Cpt Fox (1), Lt Catsy (2) and Lt Strasbourg (3). -

Group 2 : P-63 "Kingcobra" GC II / 6 Normandie-Niemen - Callsign: "Rayak" - Bebel Lt (1), Sgt RIP (2), Sgt Nash (3) and Sgt Toto (4).

Group 3 : 2 P-63 "Kingcobra" GC II / 6 Normandie-Niemen - Callsign: "Rayak" - Lt Belly (5) and Sgt Anatoli (6).


Here is the brief summary of this mission :


Tan Son Nhut airfield, Saigon, February 3, 1951 - 15:00 - Briefing Room

Joint Briefing of the pilots of GC II / 6 Normandie-Niemen (fighters), GB I/19 I/34 Gascogne (bombers) and GT Béarn (paratroopers transport).


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The situation has changed in Indochina! The arrival of the new commander in chief of CEFEO (French Expeditionary Corps in the Far East - General de Lattre de Tassigny) 2 months ago, has already caused a stir within the army Command. The morale of the Army is back, and some tactical successes have been recorded in the Mekong Delta.

Unfortunately, the Viet Minh did not remain inactive. Much better equipped since China has shifted into the Communist camp, it hits more violently and stronger, and seems to be organized more efficiently.

The fortified army camp of Staeng Treng (AD-AE/19) in Cambodia has not given any news for the last 24 hours. Heavy fighting took place in the area, and it seems that a newly formed Vietminh division annihilated the French garrison.

A "Criquet" flew over the area in the morning, and was damaged by heavy AAA. It could however go back to Kratsié. The fortified camp and the tray that allows to cross the Mekong River (from bank to bank) have fallen into the hands of VietMinh. Staeng Treng is a major strategic position, as located in the middle of a river knot...

In addition, it appears that the Vietminh want to use this area to transit and store equipment (ammunition, weapons, food ...).

General De Lattre personally decided to organize a rapid response to prevent the Vietminh to reinforce in the area.

An airborne assault of the 3rd Colonial Parachute Battalion is scheduled for late afternoon today. They will have the task of regaining control of the fortified camp, and the ferry which is less than 1 km from the camp on the banks of the river. The code name of the target (the camp and the tray) is "Cigogne".

To ensure the success of this operation, it is essential that the sector is "treated" by aviation prior to drop the paratroopers.

The takeoff of the "Toucan" from Béarn is scheduled for 1650 (20 minutes after the cockpit arrival of the A-26 and P-63), and the paratroopers drop should be effective at 1730. The Toucan will be escorted by two P-63 (Group 3) during the flight. The 3 Toucan callsign are : "Delta - Lima", "Delta - Romeo" and "Delta - Whisky."

the A-26 "strafer" of Gascogne (Group 1) and P-63 "Kingcobra" of NN (Group 2) will be responsible for cleaning the area of all the AAA batteries that were installed by VietMinh. If the AAA guns are not neutralized before release of the parachute battalion, it could be a real slaughter ...

After neutralization of the AAA guns, the planes should remain in place in order to cover the arrival of the Toucan. Return on Tan Son Nhut is expected once the drop is made.

The weather is not good : visibility is poor.

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Debriefing (in pictures) :


The four Kingcobra (group n°2) move toward the runway, where the 3 A-26 (group n°1) are already lined up. Two bombs of 250 lbs and two additional guns were installed on every P-63.

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The controle at Tan Son Nhut announces take-off clearance.
Cpt Fox, leader of the "Cinzano", order full throttle...

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... Followed by the NN Kingcobra led by Lt Bebel.

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Lt. Belly (Rayak 5), leader of the patrol which will escort the Toucan of Béarn, ordered to taxi in order to reach the 3 transport planes (Toucan).

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20 minutes after the strike force takeoff, the 3 Toucan take off with paratroopers on board.

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The two fighters of the NN follow after a few seconds.

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During the flight towards the objective, the A-26 crews check once again wether the armament works. Cinzano 1 and 2 are equipped with multiple 250 and 500 lbs bombs, while Cinzano 3 embarked parafrag bombs.

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The Rayak Group 2 are quiet and very focused during the flight. Visibility is poor ...

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After 25 minutes flying, group n°2 starts its last turning before the arrival on "Cigogne"... The tension is palpable ...

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The "Cinzano" flight past the Rayak, as the bombers will ignitiate the attack.

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The objective, "Cigogne", appears at distance ... Here, the military camp occupied by the Vietminh.

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On the ground, a convoy of ammunition moves toward the newly conquered camp. Infantry walks on the side of the road.

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Suddenly, the activity seems to freeze ... The men look up to the sky, for a very distant hum seems to emerge from the fog ...

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Anti-aircraft guns located on the hill next to the camp seems to perceive the danger ahead ...

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At the tray located at 1 km from the camp, the Bo-Dois ( = VietMinh soldiers) hold their breath ...

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30 seconds before the attack, Rayak leader looks over his shoulder to check wether is wingmen are in position. They are!

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Cinzano Leader suddenly gives the order to attack! The apparatus of Gascogne' A-26 soar towards the targets. The tray is visible in the foreground, and the camp behind. AAA guns on the hill opened fire, as the one located in the northwest of the camp.

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The first pass of Cinzano is destructive ... A position of AAA already flames ...

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Cinzano 2 dashes in turn ...

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... While Leader Cinzano goes through the camp at very low altitude, creating panic among Vietnamese Bo-Dois (= soldiers).

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The first passage of the A-26 made heavy damages : several AAA guns are out of order.

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But the Vietminh opened fire on the attackers ... Their firepower is impressive and surprised the French aviators ...

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While the A-26 prepare a second attack, the Rayak (who observed departures of AAA fire during the A-26' attack) positionned and rush toward their targets.

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Rayak 3 and 4 spotted the AAA guns on the hill and made a pass that destroyed the guns.

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The Cinzano performed a second pass and straffed the camp in which Light AAA guns are ambushed ...

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The A-26 is a formidable weapon with machine guns grouped in the nose of the aircraft ...

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The ability of the A-26 Pilot allows multiple positions to be neutralized...

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But during a resource, Cinzano 3 (Sgt Strasbourg) received a direct hitt in the right wing. The pilot announced it on the radio ...

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Meanwhile, the two other A-26 renew an attack...

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... Immediately followed by the Kingcobra.

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The pilots were shocked when they saw a plane hitting the ground ... They heard the desperate voice of their comrade that preceded on the radio... This was Rayak Leader (Lt Bebel), probably affected by a direct hit.

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Enraged, pilots continue their attack, in defiance of the impending danger ...

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The attack continues again and again, with several pilot announced that they have been lightly hit by AAA bursts in their planes.

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At the same time, Cinzano 3, which was previously hit on its right wing, managed to reach the vicinity of the Kratsié airfield (which was codenamed "Bird's Nest" for the occasion), but unfortunately, the aircraft becomes out of control.

He decides to bail out ... The whole crew members were safely recovered by friendly troops three hours later.

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On the combat zone, the intensity of AAA decreased. But there is still active guns ... On ground, it seems there is a total confusion among the enemy troops, severely shaken by the fury of the French attacks ...

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The Kingcobra are short of ammunition or almost. Rayak 2 (which took the leading of the group n°2) calls the 2 Kingkobra (group n°3) that escort Toucan for help on radio ; he asks them to leave the Toucan in order to come as soon as possible in the combat area to neutralize the remaining enemy forces.

Meanwhile, Cinzano Leader has just taken a hit in its left engine. He announced he returns to Tan Son Nhut (Kratsié airfield is too short to accommodate the A-26).

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Rayak 5 and 6 arrive on the combat zone on time, and have an opportunity to make a strafing on the camp and the convoy of ammunition.

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AAA was almost killed ... The familiar figure of Toucan now appears on the horizon ... Aboard the Toucan, men of the 3rd Colonial Parachute Battalion are ready ...

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Delta-Lima, leader of the Toucan from Béarn group, gives green light for the jump ... Paratroopers rush through the doors opened, and jump on the poorly defended enemy positions due to the previous planes attacks...

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Rayak 2 remains in support of the paratroopers drop, and observes the conduct of operations, while the order to go back to Tan Son Nhut Airbase was given by radio.

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On the way back home, 2 Kingcobra previuosly hit during the raid announced that they would not reach Tan Son Nhut. Order is given to them to proceed to "Bird's Nest" (Kratsié airfield) where they will be able to land. Rayak 4 arises in disaster, and is slightly injured. His plane will be recoverable after a heavy work on it.

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Pilots remain quiet during the flight back, as they think to what happened to their Leader. The beauty of the indochinese landscape at sunset helps the pilots to relax ...

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Toucan are also on route to Saigon ...

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After a long flight time, Cinzano leader arrives to Tan Son Nhut and lands his damaged aircraft with only one engine. The mechanics are going to have a lot of works ...

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Rayak 5 and 6 are on the way home. Rayak 5 (Lt belly) announces that its engine begins to show signs of weakness (he is among those who have been hit during the raid). But the Kingcobra should make it!

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Rayak 2 (Sgt Rip) and Cinzanno 2 (Lt Catsy), who remained on cover of the paratroopers assault on "Cigogne", are also on the way back home. Sgt Rip did not have the opportunity to drop his bombs during the attack, although he made some effective strafing passes ...

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Sun goes down ...

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Rayak 5 and 6 arrive to Tan Son Nhut ...

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Rayak 2 and Cinzano 2 also arrive safely ...

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Cinzano 2 lands.

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Toucan of GT Béarn also land, after making a flight over Saigon.

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It is now up to Rayak 2 to land, once the Toucan stored in the parking area ...

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Mission ends at the mess in sharing a few beers ... In memory of Rayak Leader.

The 3rd Parachute Battalion was able to jump on the target in relatively good conditions, and the camp was retaken after a brief and violent struggle. The VietMinh withdrew to the north...

... They will be back soon...

;)


As a "bonus", here is my pilot logbook for the last 2 missions :

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Last edited by Anatoli on Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Jambo

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Posts: 2008

Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 5:59 pm

Location: Germany

Post Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:04 am

Re: Mission over South_Vietnam map - Debriefing

Hi Anatoli,

Brilliant! S! Very nice story, very cool pictures and very greatly told!

Awesome! 8)

Thank you very much for sharing!

Jambo :wink:

P.S. it seems there's a picture missing? No. 32!?
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LeBigTed

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Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:49 am

Location: BUC, near L. Blériot's Aéroparc !!!

Post Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:31 am

Re: Mission over South_Vietnam map - Debriefing

Hi Anatoli,

THANKS A LOT FOR SHARING THAT !!!!!

Very Very Very Well Done !!!

Awesome pics and well described !!!!

Can't wait to read / see more ;o)

Btw, I wish you Merry Christmas ;o)

Ted :mrgreen:
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Anatoli

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Posts: 26

Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 7:02 am

Location: Rennes - France

Post Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:26 pm

Re: Mission over South_Vietnam map - Debriefing

Thank you guys...

Glad you enjoyed it... :wink:

The picture 32 does not exist anymore... Impossible to find it... :shock: :oops:

Merry Christmas to you m8s...

:D
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Mission_bug

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Location: UK

Post Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:16 pm

Re: Mission over South_Vietnam map - Debriefing

Superb debrief Anatoli as always, thank you very much for taking us through the mission. 8)

Glad to see you and the squad are making the most of the map. :wink:

Wishing you all the very best, Pete. :D

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