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Excalibur Squadron OOC 2: The Song Remains the Same

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The Tiger Kingdom
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Excalibur Squadron OOC 2: The Song Remains the Same

Postby The Tiger Kingdom » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:20 am

Image

Excalibur Overture

Mediterranean sunlight-
Sweet Parisian rain-
Bright Arctic starlight-
The song remains the same-

Sing out 'Lili Marlene', dance the Jitterbug too-
City lights are oh so bright, as we go diving...climbing...flying...through...
*



Welcome to Excalibur Squadron

(Yes, this little paragraph is technically all you need to read before applying)
Welcome, one and all, to my pride and joy, my long-running WW2 Character RP/timesink extraordinaire. The plot? Put as simply as possible, an elite Royal Air Force fighter squadron, capable of fighting as commandos on the ground as well as fighter pilots in the air, travels around the world, fighting the Axis forces of Germany, Italy, and Japan (or whoever needs fighting against on behalf of democracy, really) wherever the greatest damage can be done. These men are comprised of almost every Allied nationality, with their diversity of skills and backgrounds making the squadron all the deadlier. It's all-out Historical Action and Adventure here, to be sure. Do-or-die air battles, POW rescues, airstrikes deep into the heart of enemy territory, covert infiltration...all are par for the course for Excalibur Squadron. If you're interested, read on below for a raft of further detail.
Tally-ho men, for King and Country!

When the ink was still drying on the Versailles Treaty, few would ever have guessed that only two decades later, over an obscure dispute over land rights to a small and rather insignificant Polish town, mankind would hurl itself into a war far greater in scope and bloodletting than been witnessed even at the charnel-houses of the Somme and Verdun. Many even dared themselves the hope that such pointless, horrific carnage would precede some kind of general winding-down of warfare as an idea, that technology and the scientific principle had decidedly established, once and for all, that warfare was now too bloody and catastrophically damaging to society and civilization to continue. It was an admirable hope, and on some level, it even made a kind of rational sense.

Unfortunately, humanity found it far easier, on the whole, to collectively raise their tolerance for blood, violence, and death than it did to rid itself of the instinct to control and dominate.

Technology and science would continue to advance further than ever before in the service of warfare, with unimaginable cost to the future, as the Great War began to fade into the deliberately-forgotten past and society moved into the 1920s and 1930s. Some corners of the world prospered like never before, which made forgetting about the War to End All Wars all that much easier. Some corners slowly began to realize, even though they might have won the war, that they had paid far too high a price in every sense of the term. Some corners resented being left behind as the spoils of the last war were divided amongst the victors, and resentfully plotted to take what they see as their fair share by any means necessary.

And some corners, devastated by war, failed by their governments, and left pariahs on the world stage, abandoned and scorned the ideas of liberal progressivism and humanism that had guided the learned world for centuries, and found newer, more exciting, and harsher answers to the old questions.

As time wore on and the 1920s drew to a sudden and unmistakable end with the greatest worldwide economic crisis ever seen, the Depression hit all these parts of the world with considerable force, but not the same effect. In America, the prosperity and wealth-drunk glamour of the Roaring Twenties was brought to a sudden halt as unemployment skyrocketed and economic growth basically halted, a trend it would take years to even begin to reverse, deepening American isolationist feeling. In Britain and France, the economic downturn made administering their Empires prohibitively expensive, and maintaining a powerful army and navy increasingly difficult in the face of cuts at every level of expenditure and rumbling social unrest from the Right and Left wings.

Not hit quite as hard initially due to its inward-looking policies, Japan saw the solution to its economic woes, as well as the growing problems caused by the nation's expanding population and limited resource base, in its historical nemesis - China. As its plans grow, the eyes of the Empire shift west, east and south, towards the prosperous Dutch East Indies, Singapore, India, the Philippines, and American island possessions in the Pacific. Denied what it felt its due at the victor's table at Versailles, and smarting from what it perceives (not without reason) as a consistent legacy of Japan being humiliated by Western powers, seizing these territories would solve their economic problems, avenge historical slights, and satisfy Japanese honor by giving their nation an undeniable place in the rising sun. In Germany, the Depression was the figurative nail in the coffin (the last of very, very many) of any hope of a democratic German government surviving, as the street clashes between far-right and far-left wing groups intensified and destroyed the political mainstream, leaving Germany wide-open to be conquered by a fiery right-wing demagogue. Italy had democratically handed power over to a right-wing strongman who dreamed of becoming the new Caesar.

The exception to the chaos was Russia, which was embroiled in a different kind of societal failure - already figuratively cut off from the world economy by its new Bolshevik masters, Russian society had already collapsed into the hopeless, iron-fisted dystopia of Stalin's rule, forming a frightening precedent for many, and inspiring many more to struggle to bring such a revolution to their own lands.

The stage was set. The forces of world democracy were weakened, timid, divided, and afraid. The forces of world totalitarianism were champing at the bit for conflict, ardently re-militarizing themselves, building strong armies, navies, and aerial forces. Attempts at international control were contemptuously tossed aside. Well-intentioned efforts at international reconciliation were turned into meaningless farces as the totalitarian powers walked all over the negotiating table. In the democratic countries, there was no shortage of people who could see the writing on the wall, but there was no shortage of people who didn't want to start another World War, for their own reasons. The Versailles Treaty, Manchuria, the Rhineland, China, Austria, Czechoslovakia, all were sacrificed to the depredations of the tyrants, who turned their own countries into models of perfect order...at tremendous cost for their own populations (especially those whom the government deemed unfit to join their "New Orders").

And when the final line was drawn at Danzig that plunged the world into a global war, few were ready for such a thing. Neither side had counted on it, but the Allies - Britain, France, and their empires - and the Axis - Nazi Germany alone, soon joined by Italy - were now caught in a global war once again. Massive fleets were deployed, huge armies raised, and unparalleled air power was raised by both sides.

Desperately seeking an advantage, the new First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy - a scion of a noble family, a cavalryman, a war correspondent, a Boer prison-camp escapee, a Conservative MP, a published author in his own right, a previous First Sea Lord, and a temporary commander of a battalion of Grenadier Guards named Winston Churchill, tosses off an idle idea in conversation with the General Staff - what if a combat squadron of pilots could be put together combining ground and air specializations, with each man a pilot and a commando, trained in both aerial and terrestrial warfare? In theory, if men with such rare skill could be found, this would create a group of special forces with unparalleled striking power and combat flexibility. Seeing relatively little harm in indulging the First Lord on such a relatively small scale, the plan was approved. As a symbol of Imperial unity and Allied cooperation, membership in this special forces group was opened to all Allied nations, allowing highly skilled volunteers sympathetic to the Allied cause to lend their skills to the group (after passing some fairly strenuous background checks, of course).

And so did Number 319 Special Operations (Excalibur) Squadron come into existence, assembling many of the world's greatest pilots and warriors under one banner, one command, and one goal. It would serve as the concealed and fiercely sharpened dagger of the Allied cause, striking in secrecy and with unmatchable precision and force at all those across the world who would threaten world freedom and world peace, a weapon that could prove that the Axis were not invincible nor the Allies doomed to ignominious failure - a living testimony, to those few who knew of its existence beyond the rumors and shadows that grew around them as word of their surreptitious deeds spread, that the triumph of authoritarianism and despotism was not foreordained, that the myth of Axis invincibility was just that - a myth, and that the democracies of the world were not going to take being absorbed and destroyed without sending their best into the fight. Excalibur Squadron would not be without losses, for it suffered many. It would suffer pain, and reversal, and loss, and betrayal. But it would endure.

For though the world may have had nightmares of the Second World War bringing an end to Western civilization under the jackboots of the Axis powers, the Axis forces would have nightmares about the mysterious Allied force known only as Excalibur Squadron.

Its first roster was quickly assembled, and placed under the direct command of the Marshal of the Royal Air Force. Within hours of its creation, Excalibur would depart on its first mission - and the legend was born. the mystique quickly began to spread: stories of a Polish general mysteriously rescued from a German prison camp, a German warship mysteriously destroyed in Uruguay, a German plot to seize the French Navy during the Fall of France foiled at the last minute in Paris, the sudden appearance of an unregistered and unidentified fighter squadron at the peak of a German bombing raid on London set to destroy Whitehall that turned back the German bomber horde, and rumors of a strange and arcane expedition into the Sahara in search of hidden German gold are only some of the legends surrounding the mysterious force. But such a winning streak could not last forever - a defeat at the hands of the Waffen-SS during a mission in Spain nearly ended the squadron, and now only a desperate rescue attempt can hope to prevent Excalibur's dissolution.

As these words are written, it is the beginning of the year 1941, and the British Empire stands alone against Germany and Italy. The Second World War has been raging for a year and a half. Poland, Denmark, Norway, the Low Countries, and France have all fallen to the Nazi scourge. The forces of the Soviet Union lay massive and immobile to the east, their intentions unknowable beyond their non-aggression agreement with Hitler. Japan begins to stir from its long-running war with China to plan for further conquests in the Pacific and southern Asia. Britain looks to repel Axis forces from Africa, with promising results - but none can say for sure whether the campaign can be concluded quickly, before further Axis forces arrive. Though the armories of America are open to Britain now, the nation itself has yet to rouse itself to fight for its survival - and whether it shall ever do so in time is still in doubt.

The war has gone on for longer than many imagined. It has been far more costly than most anticipated, and the stakes now far higher than a dispute over access to a land corridor to Danzig. At stake is whether or not any semblance of human freedom and liberty shall endure on Earth. To ensure that such freedom will survive, the greatest of the free world's warriors have been gathered together, and will undertake the most dangerous missions, straining under the most impossible odds, fighting a war almost entirely of their own, to ensure that despotism shall not triumph - at any and all costs.

Their war has only just begun.


Before getting to the rules, there is what I like to call "THE CHIEF RULE", and that is this:
Excalibur Squadron is an intellectual property that is copyrighted by me alone, under the US copyright code. As such, I own everything here in terms of plot, characters, etc. By being a part of this RP, you are giving your consent to this being the standard operating procedure. I may well decide to make money off of Excalibur in the future, and as such, need to have the necessary infrastructure in place to ensure that somebody else can't just walk in here and steal ES from under my nose.
If you have any questions, feel free to TG me about it.


1. Don't be an ass. Really, you know what I mean. Be courteous, be polite, whatever. Just get along.

2. Inactivity. That's a thing. And it's annoying as hell. I've tried implementing systems, I've tried being nice about it, and it just doesn't work, so it comes down to this:
If I judge you to be inactive, you're out. Period.
Here, I'm defining "inactivity" in a manner hearkening back to the judgements of the Honorable Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart: "I'll know it when I see it."
So to avoid that, post in IC and OOC regularly.

3. No godmodding. Real surprise, right? I know we're an elite squadron and all, but there is a difference between being an well-trained, dashing, and experienced pilot/commando and just being a damn superhero. No killing 50 Nazi planes at a go. No taking on a battalion of armed Japanese soldiers with nothing more than your fists. You get the idea.

4. I expect good posts from you people. I do not intend for this to be a throwaway RP for people to post one-liners and poorly written posts. Good grammar is a must. Detail is great. Interactions with other characters are great. Description is great. Make each post as good as it possibly can be. I don't want to see throwaways.

5. As far as I can foresee, I am not going to be appointing co-OPs. Do not ask to be a co-OP. You are only asking to get your own heart broken.
Also, it's kinda rude.

5a. If I ever, due to some act of god/debilitating mental illness/honest mistake, ever WERE to establish co-OPs, you are to listen to them as though they were me. Were they to exist, they would be solely appointed and managed by me and none other.

6. If you can't post in the IC or OOC regularly, make sure that I know that. If you drop out sans notice, you've got no justification to complain when you get cut. There re numerous things that count as fine excuses, like family stuff, but make sure to let me know.

7. Actual English proficiency is required.

8. Nobody in ES is allowed to build cairns. We need the stones for things that are actually productive.

9. I reserve the right to deny any and all applications for any reason I see fit.

10. I reserve the right to cut anybody from the RP I see fit, at any time, for any reason.

11. Providing inspiration, intentional or otherwise, to self-appointed liberators of India is strictly forbidden.

12. No outside food.

A New Player's Guide To Excalibur - Written by Morrdh, edited by The Tiger Kingdom

What Is Excalibur Squadron?

In short Excalibur Squadron is an as-historically-accurate as-possible RP set during the Second World War.

The squadron itself is made up of pilot-commandos which was setup under the orders of Winston Churchill and tasked with special operations and raids against Axis forces. Each of the squadron's operations take place as a RP in its own right in the style of Pulp Action and WW2 action films.

Recommended Media

Movies/TV:

Band of Brothers
633 Squadron
Mosquito Squadron
The Dambusters
The Last Drop
Kelly's Heroes
Where Eagles Dare
The Battle of Britain film
The Great Escape
A Bridge Too Far
Memphis Belle
Yamato (Otoko-tachi no Yamato)

Books:

Any of William Breuer's "*INSERT HERE*...of WW2" books
The Rogue/Wraith Squadron series entire - Michael Stackpole/Aaron Allston
Churchill's books
Beyond Band of Brothers
With the Old Breed
Those old Time-Life WW2 encyclopedias
The Seven Pillars of Wisdom
The Stackpole Military History Series
The Mint

Games:

Secret Weapons Over Normandy
Ace Combats 4/5/Zero
Assassin's Creed


Great, How Do I Get Started?

First off you need to think of a character and then fill out the character application before waiting to be accepted into the squadron. To help with this here are some pointers;

Background

Your character will have grown up in the Interwar period of the 1920s and '30s, so they may have lost relatives early on due to the First World War of the post-war Influenza Epidemic that ravaged the entire world and killed millions. Early part of the 1920s had civil wars in Ireland, Russia and China from 1927 as well as a General Strike in Britain. The Wall Street Crash came in 1929 with the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl in the US soon after, whilst towards the latter half of the 1930s saw an Arab Revolt in Palestine and civil war break out in Spain. Britain wasn't entirely trouble free during this period either as war with Germany loomed on the horizon, 1936 alone saw the Battle of Cable Street and a constitutional crisis as three Kings sat on the throne of the UK and its Dominions of the British Commonwealth.

There are plenty of cases to earn some flying experience; either as a stunt pilot, crop duster, the numerous small wars and of course the military. Though for the military route your character must have been at least 19 years old to have joined, though some combat experience could've have come from the Spanish Civil War for example.

Becoming Part of the Squadron

As stated above your character would've been 19 years old when they joined the military, so age wise being in their early 20s would work. Since Excalibur technically comes under the RAF's remit it is best that you used a RAF rank (which works the same for any British Commonwealth air force except that of South Africa which used army ranks) for your character, I've included these below with an army rank for comparison where needed;

Sergeant:- This is the lowest rank that could fly aircraft in the RAF, alot of the pilots in the Battle of Britain were of this rank.

Flight Sergeant:- It is a senior NCO rank equivalent to a staff sergeant in the army, only recommend if your character has been in the military for at least five years straight.

Warrant Officer:- The most senior NCO rank, only use if your character as been in the service for 10 years straight and is in their 30s-40s.

Pilot Officer:- Lowest commissioned rank used and normally denotes an officer who has elected to join as a non-graduate direct entrant officer (aka non-university educated), graduate entries usually only spend a week at this rank after training before being promoted to Flying Officer. It is equivalent to a second lieutenant in the army.

Flying Officer:- Junior commissioned rank and is equivalent to a lieutenant in the army.

Flight Lieutenant:- Another junior commissioned rank and is equivalent to a captain in the army, this would be the highest rank that'll be accepted.

What If I Wanna Play A Chick Lolz?
:eyebrow:

So you want to play a female character, ok but remember that historically aside from within the Soviet Armed Forces and some resistance forces women didn't typically get to be in combat. If you still wish to play a female character then there are a few things to keep in mind.

*Your character would be part of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force which was formed on 28th June 1939, but WAAFs didn't normally play and Britain's women pilots flew non-combat roles as part of the Air Transport Auxiliary.

*From February 1940 it was not possible to join the WAAF directly as an officer.

*Also the WAAF's ranks were a bit different.

Aircraftwoman = Aircraftman, lowest enlisted rank and equal to a private in the army.
Leading Aircraftwoman = Leading Aircraftman, next rank up.
Corporal, same as the RAF and the army.
Sergeant, again same as the RAF and army.
Flight Sergeant, same as the normal RAF rank.
Warrant Officer, once again the same as the normal RAF rank.
Assistant Section Officer = Pilot Officer.
Section Officer = Flying Officer.
Flight Officer = Flight Lieutenant.

But I Don't Wanna be A Pilot/Part Of The RAF!

Then I suggest dropping The Tiger Kingdom a TG.



Excalibur Squadron Roster - REVISED FOR LIMITED REBOOT:

Red Flight:
Sword 1/Sword Leader: Squadron Leader Captain Robert Page - The American Tiger Kingdom - British
Sword 2: Flying Officer Zeke Thomas - Grenartia - American
Sword 3: Flying Officer Kenneth Carson - Organized States - Canadian/American
Sword 4:
White Flight:
Sword 5: Flight Lieutenant Geoffrey Talbot - Two Jerseys - British
Sword 6: Flying Officer Cliff McTavish - Gibberan - American
Sword 7: Sous-Lieutenant (Flying Officer) Henri Vodat - United Kingdom of Poland - French/Russian
Sword 8:
Blue Flight:
Sword 9: Flight Lieutenant Harry White - Morrdh - British
Sword 10: Flying Officer Gareth Cowell - Heavonia - British
Sword 11: Flight Lieutenant Benjamin Silva - "Nighthawk" - Len Hyet - American
Sword 12:




Excalibur Squadron Sleeping Arrangements for HMS LlamreiFeel free to let (Gren) know when corrections are needed
Suite 1:
-Captain/Squadron Leader Robert Page
-Captain/Squadron Leader Robert Page's Office
Suite 2:
-Flight Lieutenant Alexandra Noble
-Corporal Kaya Waddock
Suite 3:
-Flying Officer Andrew Carter
Suite 4:
-Flying Officer Charles Fodder
-Flying Officer Douglas Stanford
Suite 5:
-Staff Sergeant Aircrew Sebastian Smithington-Smythe
/td][td]Suite 6:
-Flight Sergeant Jimmy Thibodeaux


Squadron Allies and Affiliates
Flight Lieutenant Alexandra Noble - The American Tiger Kingdom - British
Major Roy Cutler - American Tiger Kingdom - British
Major Reginald Royce -American Tiger Kingdom - British
Corporal(WAAF) Kaya Waddock - Morrdh - Australian
Valérie Adèle Marchand - Two Jerseys - French
Captain Albert Higgins - Morrdh - British
Horatio Bruce MacChomp-Chomp - American Tiger Kingdom - Atlantic
Commander Anthony B. Smollett, RN - Gibberan - British
Captain Malcolm A. MacFinn, RN - American Tiger Kingdom - Scottish as all get out
The Llamrei Crew - American Tiger Kingdom - Multinational
Sergeant Marius Coetzee - American Tiger Kingdom - South African
"Lieutenant William Reide" - American Tiger Kingdom - "South African"
Squadron Leader Bruce Kyner - American Tiger Kingdom - Australian




Joshua Charles Benson - The Two Jerseys - British



Applications

Squadron Member App
Code: Select all
[b]Name:
Date of Birth:
Rank:
Physical Description/Picture:
Place of Origin:
Flight/Flight Combat Experience (MANDATORY):
Ground Combat Experience:
Specialties (air or ground - communications, demolitions, disguises, languages, etc.):
Weapons of Choice:
RP Experience:
Personal History/Bio (more than one line please):[/b]

HMS Llamrei Crew Member App
Code: Select all
Name:
Age:
Rank:
Physical Description/Picture:
Country of Origin:
Sea/Sea Combat Experience (MANDATORY):
Other Combat Experience:
Specialties (air or ground - communications, demolitions, disguises, languages, etc.):
Weapons of Choice:
RP Experience:
Personal History/Bio (more than one line please):

Non-combat character app:
Code: Select all
Name:
Age:
Occupation:
Physical Description/Picture:
Country of Origin:
RP Experience:
Personal History/Bio (more than one line please):

Decoration request form:
Code: Select all
- Name of Nominator:
- Rank of Nominator:
- Name of Nominee
- Rank of Nominee:
- Decoration Deserved:
- Actions Meriting Said Decoration:

Promotion request form:
Code: Select all
Name of Promotion Nominee:
Current Rank of Nominee:
Rank to be Promoted to:
Justification for Promotion:
(I reserve the right to reject all applications based on reasons that may only be apparent to me. All rights reserved.)



Operations/Battles:

- Operation Lancer - September 20th -October 3rd, 1939: Success
- Operation Falkland - November 1939: Partial Success - Mission success due in part to German plans - BEING REVISED
- Operation Guillotine - June 1940: Ultimately a draw - mission was accomplished at the cost of one pilot dead and one captured, ultimately, target was not fully neutralized
- Operation Mordred - July-August 1940: Actual raid made moot due to enemy attack, enemies successfully turned back and SS raid neutralized
- Operation Cambyses - September-October 1940: Success
- Operation Taurus - November 12th-17th, 1940: Mission a complete failure - suspect enemy misinformation as main cause. Over 40% casualties sustained.
- Operation Highwire - December 29th, 1940/January 7th, 1941: Both phases of mission total success. Four of the seven missing Excalibur operatives were retrieved (the only ones still believed to be alive), and a German officer was captured alive.



[align=center]Backstory Archive

- Get Your Wings, Part I - Nowhere Man - Page arrives in Iraq.
- Get Your Wings, Part II - Pure and Easy - Page gets a drubbing.
- Forging the Sword, Part I - Vagabond Of The Western World - A young Lieutenant Robert Page arrives in a tramp steamer to join the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War.
- Forging the Sword, Part II - The Fly - Page opts to take a chance on a dangerous aircraft.
- Forging the Sword, Part III - Hammer to Fall - Page draws first blood against a Nationalist bomber group, and proves himself to the squadron.
- Forging the Sword, Part IV - Chain Lightning - A stormy battle over Jarama Valley claims the life of Page's wingman.
- Forging the Sword, Part V - Fireball - A milk-run mission turns into a slaughter Page only survives by the skin of his teeth.
- Forging the Sword, Part VI - Back in the Saddle - Page survives his crash, is rescued by a local band of Republican partisans, and is determined to continue the mission, even with his injuries paining him at every step.
- Forging the Sword, Part VII - No Prayer for the Dying - Embarking on a recon mission in a last-ditch attempt to find a way to destroy the Fascist forward headquarters, Page is confronted firsthand with the horror of war.
- Forging the Sword Part VIII - Cold As Ice - Page falls rather badly.
- Forging the Sword Part IX - Come Together - The plan to attack the Fascist headquarters is revealed.
- Forging the Sword Part X - Heading Out to the Highway - Page and Izzy hit the road.
- Forging the Sword, Part XI - Lady Double Dealer - The ambush is laid and sprung, with the Nationalists not seeing their fate until it's far, far too late.
- Forging the Sword, Part XII - Undercover of the Night - With the Fascist uniforms, the raid can finally begin.
- Forging the Sword, Part XIII - Shot In The Dark - The assault on the Fascist HQ kicks off swimmingly.
- Forging the Sword, Part XIV - Movin' On - The bandits get out of dodge, the Condor Legion asserts themselves, and Page thinks about his future.
- The Prisoner, Part I - Into the Void - Page's descent into hell begins.
- The Prisoner, Part II - Complete Control - Konrad chats with a friendly SS doktor about Page's future.
- The Prisoner, Part III - Fade to Black - The mind can only last so long under hellish conditions without breaking somewhere.
- The Prisoner, Part IV - Architecture of Aggression - Page gets a shock.
- The Prisoner, Part V - The Evil That Men Do - Konrad makes Page an offer.
- The Prisoner, Part VI - Born to Lose... - The situation's quickly slipping out of Konrad's fingers.
- The Prisoner, Part VII - ...Live to Win - Page reaches the end of the line.
- Within You Without You - Things get weird.

- All I Can Do Is Write About It, Part I - Paul's letter, July 1940.

- Hurts So Good - Knuckles get bloodied on the Illustrious.
- She's Leaving Home - Alix gets sick of hanging around.
- Hell Bent for Leather - Page confers with a colleague.
- Torn and Frayed - Page gets to work.
- Back in Black - Page gets a new face.

- The Talbot Files, Part I: Somewhere in France with You - Talbot's recon flight over France goes badly wrong.
- The Talbot Files, Part II: Wish Me Luck as You Wave Me Goodbye - Talbot tells his side of the story in the aftermath of Part 1, and deals with the repercussions.
- The Talbot Files, Part III: The General's Fast Asleep - Talbot has a meeting with the ACM, and is extended a rather special offer.
- The Talbot Files, Part IV: Is That the Way to Treat a Sweetheart? - Talbot gets the news of his transfer, and deals with an unappreciated competitor.
- The Talbot Files, Part V: Who's Taking You Home Tonight? - Talbot takes the opportunity to unwind with some friends while off-duty.
- The Talbot Files, Part VI: The First Quarrel - Even recovering from his injuries in the aftermath of battle, Talbot manages to stir up some trouble in the infirmary.
- The Talbot Files, Part VII: Two Sleepy People - Talbot makes a friend while convalescing.
- The Talbot Files, Part VIII: Just a Few Angry Words - Talbot leaves the hospital in style.
- The Talbot Files, Part IX: It’s Home - Talbot has a bit of an unconventional homecoming.
- The Talbot Files, Part X: Wishing (Will Make It So) - Talbot has a night on the town, and gets to meet a rather famous singer.
- The Talbot Files, Part XI: Heart to Heart - Talbot and Vera realize that Ellie's paramour is an unforgivable cad.
- The Talbot Files, Part XII: It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie - After some investigation, Talbot suspects said cad may be quite a bit shadier than originally thought.
- The Talbot Files, Part XIII: Alone - Talbot's interrogation begins in earnest.
- The Talbot Files, Part XIV: We Three (My Echo, My Shadow, and Me) - The watery torture continues.
- The Enemy Within, Part I - Conspiracies are afoot in the heart of the city.
- The Enemy Within, Part II - The plot thickens in the Dorchester bar.

- Fleeting Memories of a Madman: Part One 'FIX SWORDS!' - Smythe is forced to make a change in management to hold the trench-line.

- Sabres In The Night, Part I - Charlie begins his training in the deadly art of night-fighting.
- Sabres In The Night, Part II - Charlie's first day of NF training commences, and he meets his new gunner.
- Sabres In The Night, Part III - Even before their first flight begins, Charlie and his observer Rankin are nearly at each others' throats.
- Sabres In The Night, Part IV - Charlie has his first midnight dogfight over Bromley.
- Sabres In The Night, Part V - A night ambush goes over like a lead balloon for Charlie.
- Sabres In The Night, Part VI - Charlie's safe after his crash...but for how long?
- Sabres In The Night, Part VII - Charlie enjoys the hospitality of the French Resistance.
- Sabres In The Night, Part VIII - The French Resistance creates an opening for Charlie to escape back to England.
- Setting Of The Sun, Part I - The birth of the state of Israel isn't exactly a calm process for Charlie.
- Setting Of The Sun, Part II- The Egyptians do a real number on Charlie's airfield.
- Setting Of The Sun, Part III - Charlie gets conscripted.

- On A Wing And A Prayer, Part I - Charlie gets shanghai'd into a mysterious new mission.
- On A Wing And A Prayer, Part II - The mysterious new mission becomes slightly less mysterious.
- On A Wing And A Prayer, Part III - Charlie gets his briefing for the recon flight.
- On A Wing And A Prayer, Part IV - Charlie sets off on a very long flight.
- On A Wing And A Prayer, Part V - The Germans greet Charlie upon arrival.
- On A Wing And A Prayer, Part VI - Charlie has a bumpy landing.
- Baghdad Days, Part I - Charlie arrives in the Middle East.
- Baghdad Days, Part II - Charlie helps out the mechanics.
- The Debris of War, Part I - Things take a turn for the worse for Kaya.

- My Cold Dead Hands - Silva makes a daring escape.
- My Cold Dead Hands Part Two: In Shining Armor - Silva cleans house, and manages to save a fair senorita in the process.
- My Cold Dead Hands Part Three: Let Slip the Dogs of War - Silva turns out the lights on the Italians.
- My Cold Dead Hands Part Four: Though I Walk in the Shadow of the Valley - Silva visits some old friends.

- Stanford's Story Part I - A hot air battle over Dunkirk serves as Stanford's baptism of fire.
- Stanford's Story Part II - Stanford receives grim news.
- Stanford's Story Part III - Stanford plays with a kill over Dunkirk.
- Stanford's Story Part IV - An attempt to get clearance for a solo Kraut hunt doesn't go as Stanford plans.
- Stanford's Story Part V - Adlertag is a bitter time for Stanford as well, as his home airfield is hit by a German bombing raid.
- Stanford's Story Part VI - Stanford gets the privilege of dogfighting with the current German Ace of Aces, Major Werner Molders, over London.
- Stanford's Story Part VII - Another massive air battle over England draws Stanford's 41 Squadron into the fight.
- Stanford's Story Part VIII - Stanford joins the "Big Wings" to fight the Luftwaffe's last main push to establish air superiority over England, and gets a transfer order in the aftermath.
- Stanford's Story: Reaping the Whirlwind: Part I - Doug has a change of scenery with the bomber boys at RAF Bywater, with a big raid in the works.
- Stanford's Story: Reaping the Whirlwind: Part II - Doug meets the Group Captain of his new squadron.
- Stanford's Story: Reaping the Whirlwind: Part III - The target gets picked for Doug's bomber team.
- Stanford's Story: Reaping the Whirlwind: Part IV - The checklist is checked.
- Stanford's Story: Reaping the Whirlwind: Part V - The night raid gets going.
- Stanford's Story: Reaping the Whirlwind: Part VI - The raid is right on target.
- Stanford's Story: Reaping the Whirlwind: Part VII - The bombs fall.
- Stanford's Story: Reaping the Whirlwind: Part VIII - Fade to black.

- Origins - Young Monroe and his cousin take things a little too far with a crop-duster.
- Unnamed Monroe Bray Story #002 - In 2005, Monroe reminisces with his grandson.

- Sortie to Hell, Part I - Bad Timing - James arrives in Spain.
- Sortie to Hell: Part II; Shadows of the Night - James is taken an unwilling guest of the OVRA.

- Letters to Mary, Part I - First installment.
- In Troubled Hours - Part I - Cropdusting, Close Calls, and Spain - The farm life doesn't quite suit Andrew anymore.
- In Troubled Hours - Part II - Fighting Fascists In the Air and Commies on the Ground - For Andrew, Spain can be just as dangerous among friends as it is in the air.
- In Troubled Hours - Part III - The Rampant 109 - Andrew runs out of luck.

- Clipped Wings, Part I - Nobody - Melody gets back on her feet.
Last edited by The Tiger Kingdom on Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:55 am, edited 69 times in total.
When the war is over
Got to start again
Try to hold a trace of what it was back then
You and I we sent each other stories
Just a page I'm lost in all its glory
How can I go home and not get blown away

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The Tiger Kingdom
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Page's App and Dossier

Postby The Tiger Kingdom » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:21 am

Name: Robert John Page
Age: 26
Rank: Army Captain, RAF Squadron Leader. Page gets dual commission because of the dual nature of the squadron (and because of his experience in both aerial and ground combat).
Physical Description/Picture:
Image

Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Flight Combat Experience: Joined the Royal Air Force in 1933, officer training completed in 1934. Served in No.19 Fighter Squadron immediately after graduation from RAF College Cranwell, and then with No.274 Fighter Squadron at RAF Station Hinaidi, participating in several peacekeeping actions there. Transferred back to 19 Squadron in late 1935. Resigned from service in late 1936 in order to join the Spanish International Brigades. Flew for "Cazador Squadron" from December of 1936 to late April of 1937, with several kills confirmed against Nationalist air forces, including CTV and Condor Legion elements. Returned to the RAF in late 1938 and reinstated as Flight Lieutenant, restored to active service. Promoted to Squadron Leader at outbreak of war, originally in order to take command of No.19 Fighter Squadron, but was shifted to command of No. 319 Fighter Squadron at RAF Manston Heath.
Ground Combat Experience: Some experience gained in peacekeeping operations in Iraq. More expertise gained in Spain, where he served as a resistance fighter with the "Navarre Liberation Front" partisan group. As a result of their training, Page is adept in numerous facets of ground combat, including survival skills, small-unit leadership, and irregular combat techniques.
Specialties:Aforementioned leadership experience. Extensive ground combat experience. As of 1939, he's the most experienced combat pilot in the RAF. Capable of speaking limited German, French, and Spanish.
Personal History/Bio:

In every era, there are always men and women whose lives are tied irrevocably to the grand sweep of their modernity. They are not content with living their lives in the background of the age, unwilling to exist simply as an "ordinary person". Instead, they live their lives with no quarter - tearing themselves free of the confines of society and throwing themselves relentlessly into life's adventures, regardless (or perhaps because) of the foolishness and danger of doing so. These people are the adventurers...the explorers...the romantics...the idealists, rebels, and ground-breakers of the world, who dare to perpetually venture over the hills and far away. These are the men who make history - and in turn, are changed by it in ways impossible to foresee or predict.

Sometimes, these individuals are spurred on in their mad pursuits by the fires of ideology and personal belief - the desire to right the wrongs of the world and make life better for their fellow man. Some of these men are motivated by the desperate desire to prove their bravery or their skill, to somebody else, to the world at large, or even just to themselves. And some simply do it because they enjoy the danger, finding the thrills of such a life compelling enough reason to stay out on the bleeding edge.

While history hasn't reached a verdict on which of these categories he belongs to, nobody can deny that Robert John Page is one of these men. At various times, he's been a Royal Air Force fighter pilot, a volunteer freedom fighter for the Spanish Republicans, and an elite commando in the service of the Special Operations Executive, reaching the apex of his career (thus far) as the Squadron Leader of No.319 "Excalibur" Squadron, the SOE's unique combined ground/air assault force. He's fought across the world: in Iraq, Spain, Egypt, South Africa, the British Isles themselves, and will no doubt see combat with Excalibur in countless more countries before their war is finished. His remarkable career is testament to either truly amazing courage and devotion in the service of country, liberty, and democracy - or alternately, an uncontrolled craving for danger bordering on a death wish.

Of course, it goes without saying that these two extremes are far from mutually exclusive.

The early life of the man who would come to lead Excalibur Squadron through the Second World War, however, was mundane. Page was born on 5th October, 1914 in Canterbury to David and Sian Page, only a few months after the outbreak of the First World War, which was already raging in the fields and forests of northern France.

It's worth digressing here to discuss Page Senior's military career, as a great deal of evidence points to his experiences in the Great War greatly influencing his elder son. By the time Robert was born, his father had already gone to fight, the elder Page having left his factory job with a few dozen of his co-workers and joined up with the 6th (Service) Battalion of the Royal East Kent Regiment, a "Pals Battalion" composed exclusively of Canterbury-area factory workers. Many of these battalions had already been formed across Britain - the idea being that a unit drawing from existing local organizations (football clubs, office-workers, farmers, and so on) within a tightly circumscribed area would create a powerful, pre-existing bond of camaraderie within the unit that typically-structured units would take months to create.

And it was true that such bonds were formed. But what was only realized too late was that if one of these battalions had one bad day on the front, then some little town somewhere in Britain would be bearing all the losses practically alone.

Page Senior never spoke of these days to his family, but the surviving service records of the 6th Battalion reveal the ordeal the unit suffered. The first months of training were simple enough, but after their deployment to Belgium, things quickly got tougher as they were attached to the 12th (Eastern) Division for the conclusion of the tough battles for the Ploegsteert Woods. By late summer 1915, the situation around the Woods had cooled, but this didn't last, as the 12th was pulled into the fray at the Battle of Loos, a grinding, pointless stalemate of a battle that achieved nil. One might count the career of General John French among the casualties - he was relieved of command shortly after the battle's disappointing conclusion, replaced by Douglas Haig (who would surely learn from French's experience and avoid such wasteful battles in the future). 6th Battalion took 25% casualties, and Page Senior was invalided home after being shot in the shoulder near the village of Corons.

Back in Britain by October 1915, the elder Page's happiness at leaving the battlefield (and meeting his son for the first time) was tempered by the unavoidable fact that soon, when he was well enough, he'd have to return to the muddy slaughterhouse of the Western Front. He was no coward, but his war experience had been one of almost unrelenting carnage and terror, and the idea of returning to it was enough to make him lose his appetite and give him constant nightmares. The fact that many of the comrades he'd lost in France were old friends of his only deepened the wounds.

It was during this time that an idea hatched in his mind. The Army hadn't been fighting alone at Loos - they'd been joined by the newest branch of the British military, the Royal Flying Corps. The RFC had made a big impression on the Tommies, flying observation and reconnaissance missions above the hellish fray, even winging in to bomb the German forts. On the ground, those positions dominated the battlefield, and assaulting them was a near-suicidal plan.
But from above, the Germans in their trenches were helpless, their only recourse being to hide their heads and take cover as the planes zoomed and twirled above. Aerial work looked to be far better than foot-slogging.

...Maybe that was where he should be instead?

Working quickly to avoid being sent back to the front before his plan could go into effect, the elder Page sent off a barrage of letters to every possible authority he could find out about, alternately requesting and pleading for a chance to transfer into the RFC. After taking considerable care to detail his proven bravery, mental aptitude, and physical fitness for the role (glossing over his wounds), he finally got his one-in-a-thousand chance when his transfer was accepted. Maybe his war was still far from over, but at least he didn't have to charge any more machine-guns.

After recovering, Page Senior went through aircrew training, and then served the rest of the war as a fighter pilot on the Western Front, surviving through two years of the RFC's neigh-unsustainable attrition. Records indicate he served at hot spots like the Somme and Arras, but little else his known. His career after transferring in was unremarkable, but competent.

At the end of the war, David Page was happily demobilized and returned home for good, while the rest of his squadron departed for German occupation duty. After returning home, he quickly relocated his young family away from Canterbury, to the nearby town of Dover on the English southern coast. Returning to factory work, he was more than happy to put his soldiering life behind him forever. As if to cement the reality of his return to contented home life, his second son Paul was born in late 1919.

Here, the focus shifts from the Page senior to his older son. The young Robert's life was an ordinary one by all accounts - undramatic, but happy. He was very close to his parents, both of whom were more than happy to shower him and his brother with love and attention now that the horror of the Great War had finally passed their family by.
It didn't sink in until later in his life how lucky he was in this regard. Some of his friends didn't seem to have fathers around, and his mother always got very quiet and sad whenever he asked why this was, never answering. It took some growing up before he connected the dots.

From an early age, Page began to take an interest (as many boys do) in action stories. Eagerly pestering his parents for any book in the shops that had a colorful illustration of a heavily mustached fellow fighting villainous ne'er-do-wells on the cover, a lurid title promising dangerous derring-do (such as Curse of the Rajah's Tomb, The Unstoppable Iron Men of Ypres, A Thousand Miles From Anywhere: Exploring the Sahara with the Desert Devils of the Sudan, and Through the Amazon By Canoe - A True Tale of Terror, Treachery, and Treasure!), and a back cover promising more lurid adventure and pulse-pounding thrills than you could shake a stick at, Page quickly became a voracious reader. Many of these stories were set in the Great War, which raised a question in the young boy's mind:
What had his dad done in the war?

Once he'd gotten up the courage to ask directly, it quickly became clear that the older man was not enamored with the idea of revisiting his war years, and tried to dodge the question as artfully as he possibly could. But the boy was persistent, and finally, the old man sat his son down and told him an abridged, significantly whitewashed version of his war story, in the process leaving out time in the Army entirely. He'd hoped to perhaps tame the boy's interest in this sort of crazy romanticism before it ran away with him by emphasizing how dull his service had been, and how little he missed it - but he almost immediately realized that he'd made a mistake. The second he admitted that he had been a fighter pilot on the Western Front, Robert's boyish and fevered imagination caught on fire. His father's attempts to downplay his experiences were just his father - his father the war hero - playing it cool, trying to be modest in spite of his amazing accomplishments.
Just like the real heroes!

Before this, Robert had entertained all sorts of fanciful thoughts as to what he'd like to be when he grew up, depending on which phase he was going through at the time. One week, he'd be dead-set on becoming a sailor and adventuring across the seven seas...the next, he'd be a sea explorer, coming face to face with all sorts of bizarre and never-before-seen creatures from the far deep...and the next, he'd be a treasure hunter, braving the ruined temples and cities of lost civilizations in search of priceless artifacts and the forgotten knowledge of the past. The one thing that stayed constant was that he would not be an "ordinary person". The idea of living as a working-class stiff, like his father happily did, made him feel ill. The old stories, histories, and pulps were his way forward, his happy escape from the dullness of working-class English life, bathing all of these fantasies in a perfect golden light. A chance meeting with one of his personal heroes during this time amplified this faith even more.

But it was all decided now. All this dabbling and playacting was over. He would be a combat pilot, soaring through the air like a cross between an eagle and a knight of old. It was the most alluring vision of adventure that he'd yet seen, and what was more, it felt right to him.
It was in his blood, after all.

As the young Page grew up into adolescence, he never wavered in his pursuit of this dream. In school, he was on the favorable side of ordinary when it came to his academics. He was definitely a bright lad, and could get good grades when he applied himself, but he never really went out of his way to apply himself. He wasn't much of a social butterfly, either - in contrast to his brother, who seemed to make friends effortlessly even from a young age, Robert seemed much happier to simply curl up with a book when school ended (sometimes, he didn't even wait that long. Many teachers quickly got annoyed at the boy's proclivity to read from a concealed book under the desk when he got bored during a lecture). In short, he allowed himself to be ordinary at school. His teachers saw him as one of their better students with a good deal of potential, but they could detect his disengagement from the classroom, as though his mind were somewhere else, and sighed to themselves as they wished that he would just commit himself a little bit more to his studies. And indeed, they were right - he really was a million miles away, his head up in the wild blue yonder.

Once Page began to age out of school and realized (with no small amount of excitement) that the time when he could actually apply to join the RAF as a pilot was within sight, his parents finally began to take his ambitions seriously (his brother . His mother quietly and passive-aggressively predicted all sorts of dire things for him if he joined up: how it wasn't decent or moral work for a smart, kind boy, how it was dirty and dangerous, how difficult it was, how poorly the men were paid...it had all the impact of rain on a duck's back. He could tell she didn't really know what she was talking about, and though he couldn't hold it against her, there was nothing that she could tell him that could divert him. His father was a different story. It threw Robert for a loop how totally the old man had left the service behind. It didn't fit into his narrative about how great a pilot's life would be at all, and in the back of his mind, that worried him a little. Gently, the old veteran tried to discourage his elder son, but he realized early on that he'd long since lost that battle.

And so, on his eighteenth birthday, lightheartedly bidding his parents farewell as they looked on with a mixture of worry and pride, Robert Page swaggered into the recruitment office and filled out his RAF enlistment papers, shipping out to the Officer's College at Cranwell before the day was out. Here, he would undergo months of intensive training in all facets of aerial combat, as well as the considerable suite of other skills he'd develop as an officer in His Majesty's Armed Forces. On the train, he felt like he was walking on air - chattering excitedly with his fellow officer candidates, his future comrades, all heading out together on their first steps to getting their wings. It felt as though his destiny was finally at hand.

Arriving at Cranwell that night, the scales left quickly fell from Page's eyes as the reality of what the training would require of him became clear. It wouldn't be easy - becoming a combat flyer was going to be work. Not one to back down from a challenge, he threw himself wholeheartedly into the coursework. It was an intense process, but as the weeks went on, he studied hard, and soon became one of the top trainees in the class as his cadre readied themselves to fly for the first time.

To his dismay, he found that the feeling of fellowship he'd eagerly anticipated amongst his fellow knights of the air was a hollow thing. The RAF of 1932 was an institution far removed from the camaraderie and fraternity of its wartime glory days (such as they were, given all the death). It had been greatly downsized, and its leaders were now far more interested in arguing and sniping at each other over the minutiae of their pet airpower theories than they were in creating an elite, unified fighting force. The RAF was now scattered piecemeal across the Empire, operating a menagerie of different aircraft of wildly varying quality, with squadrons frequently operating alone in remote locations totally independent of each other. Since Germany's defeat, the RAF was no longer needed to be Britain's sword and shield over the battlefield. After all, the only remaining air forces in the world that could compare to the RAF belonged to France and the USA, both friendly states (the USSR's air force remaining an unknown factor at the time).

Instead, the RAF was to be an ungainly warhammer. The squadrons had been spread throughout the Empire for a reason: Britain controlled vast swathes of territory inhabited by millions of restive natives. As the Boer War had proven, pacifying these natives by land campaigning would be extremely inefficient, but airpower promised a better way. Natives, poor sports that they were, were deucedly good at hiding and taking pot-shots at unsuspecting Tommies, but when confronted with a squadron of bombers bearing down on them, engines roaring, they'd break and run from sheer shock and awe. The bomber was the wonder-weapon of the age now and its advocates were in the ascendance, promising that vast armadas of aircraft loaded up with high explosives would be able to lay waste to armies, fleets, cities, and whole nations at will in a matter of days. To their sneering analyses, the fighter aircraft was a sad joke - it might be able to down a plane or two, but throw enough bombers at them (equipped with turrets, of course), and enough would always get through.

So, the RAF reduced to one-sided peacekeeping efforts across vast stretches of desert, jungle, and savannah, its budget slashed, its aircraft growing more obsolete by the day, and its officer corps mostly consisting either of washed up old relics from the last war or partisan hacks who could quote tracts of Trenchard, Mitchell, and Douhet from memory but had no combat experience of their own...the prospects available within the service to a young, working-class, naive fighter pilot with no connections and no political savvy were poor. Cranwell was ground zero for this sort of navel-gazing complacency, and Page quickly took a dislike to it - the snobby cliquishness seemed to ooze from the walls.

But he pushed that aside. It was disappointing that he didn't have too much in common with his fellow trainees, but he was used to being disconnected from the flow of student life at this point. All that did was give him more time alone...more time to study, and to submerge himself in the training as his cadre began their classroom education. For weeks, he sequestered himself in a self-imposed isolation not too far removed from that of the monk working fervently at his holy duties - diligently showing up for the lectures, drills, and training, and then vanishing into his quarters in the off-hours without fail to study navigation, flight engineering, flight dynamics...the list went on (although he didn't have a taste for the theory stuff - all this "bomber will always get through" pontificating seemed like bollocks to him). Amongst his classmates, he quickly acquired a reputation as an odd one, when they bothered to think about him at all - few knew anything about him beyond his name, and while his manners were unquestionably those of the "lower orders", they didn't feel much like picking on him for it. His quiet was a little...unsettling, if they were honest.

His studying paid off when the class transitioned from the classroom to the flight line. As the class hesitantly went up for their first flights in the Tiger Moths, many of the Ruperts, Tristans, and Jontys who had coasted through their coursework found themselves dragged back down to Earth (not literally, but there were close calls) once they were a few hundred feet up with only a little fabric, metal, and wire keeping them from plummeting. But for Page, who had trained relentlessly for this handful of minutes, his first flight contained no surprises. It was everything that he'd spent all those adolescent years imagining - the most joyful experience of his life. Even his instructors were taken aback by how quickly he grasped the basics of flight. It was like that for all the remaining weeks of training as Page progressed by leaps and bounds, and when graduation arrived in July of 1933, he was the top of his class - no surprise at all, to him.

This was his calling. What excuse did he have to not be the best?

While he didn't fit into the social fabric of the RAF, his superiors couldn't deny his talent. As a result of his excellent training results, he snagged a plum assignment - a spot in 19 Squadron, one of the Home Defense squadrons stationed at RAF Duxford. The Home Squadrons were always the most well-equipped and accommodated, and competition for open spots was intense. It was a perfect place to start his career, and Page intended to make the most of it. When he arrived at Duxford, met the other members of his squadron, and familiarized himself with the deadly new Bulldog fighter that the squadron flew, he knew he'd finally arrived.

And then he hit a wall.

The insidious complacency he'd hoped would vanish once he left Cranwell were just as inescapable at Duxford. The other pilots were more of the same - strutting martinets with more opinions than brains, silly twits from families who already had sons in the Guards or the Navy and had to find something else for them to do, the old fossils still clinging on...there was no escape. The spirit of adventure that he'd craved to find in the RAF seemed to have departed completely, although it must be said that Page didn't look for it in his comrades for very long. He looked for mirror images of himself, failed to find any - and he was greatly disappointed.

This was what he'd spend the rest of his life doing?

Sitting around while a bunch of posh wankers planned weekend hunting trips, kissed officer ass, and compared fortunes, while old men told each other the same war stories they'd told for years, like dogs chewing at the same bone...with only routine training flights to divert him? This was the apex of adventure? There wasn't even any novelty, much less any excitement in the landscape. It was just the same old England that he'd always lived in. It was time he faced it - the novelty of life as a pilot was beginning to wear off. What was replacing it was a worrying sense that the workaday grind that he'd sought to escape by being a pilot had finally ensnared him. His impatience grew to a fever pitch, and while he never got to the point of outright wishing for a war to start to alleviate his boredom, he came close.

In such an environment, Page didn't do well. Though his piloting talent was obvious to anyone who paid attention, the young Pilot Officer stuck out like a sore thumb amongst his comrades. He didn't fit in at all - he was withdrawn, moody, and difficult to instruct. Though he had the raw talent, he demonstrated little aptitude for leadership or for operating as part of a group. He flew dangerously when he didn't have to, risking both his machine and himself on a regular basis, constantly trying to one-up everybody else in the squadron, including his own Squadron Leader. In the parlance of the time, Page just wasn't a team player - his ambitions began and ended at going off and being the hero on his own when combat came down, trusting in his own formidable skill (and in nobody else's) to win the day.

What exactly they were to do with such a difficult but promising young officer was no easy question for his Squadron Leader, but it was obvious that something would have to change. They couldn't punish him just for his attitude - not directly - but the RAF had ways of "encouraging" men such as him to shape up.

When the solution finally came in the autumn of 1934, it was a mixed judgement. In recognition of his flying prowess, Page was promoted to Flying Officer - but he was also slated to leave the pleasant pastures of England behind to fill a vacant spot in No. 274 Squadron, one of the most obscure, neglected fighter groups in the entire Royal Air Force, stationed at the sprawling but primitive Hinaidi airbase in the desert wastes of Iraq. The Kingdom was nothing more than a puppet state, and the RAF were de facto rulers of the land - lending their support to the Iraqi King from the airbases scattered around the desert in exchange for his fealty. Page didn't quite know how to react when he got the news of his transfer - while the prospect of a year in the wastes of Iraq was certainly not one to be scoffed at, he was so sick of being at Duxford that the prospect of leaving it behind for literally anywhere else had an undeniable appeal about it

Following an extensive voyage by land, sea, and air (ship to Haifa, train to Jerusalem, plane to Iraq) Page's transfer was made effective by December 1st, 1934 when he finally arrived at Hinaidi. It was every bit as grim and ramshackle as he'd feared. Hinaidi was a bomber base first, an army base second, and a fighter station somewhere much lower on the totem pole. 274 Squadron, the only fighter squadron between Alexandria and the Raj, was effectively the Fighter Command's dumping ground - stationed there in the extraordinarily unlikely eventuality of some sort of Turkish or Soviet invasion, the unit was really a way for the RAF to get rid of pilots who were un-promotable, too old, too unreliable, too outspoken, had made too many enemies, or some combination thereof, in a way that would cause less trouble than a discharge. Being assigned to this hot and desolate place wasn't a career setback. It was a death sentence.

Nevertheless, the new Flying Officer Page quickly took a shine to the place. Its primitivity, lack of pretension, and the real sense of freedom and independence from all the stultifying snobbishness that had plagued the RAF at home inspired him. He even managed to make a few friends amongst the washouts around the place - not the least of which was No. 274's hard-luck, hard-bitten, hard-drinking commander, Squadron Leader Johnny Kyner, a WW1 flying ace from Australia whose career had long ago hit the skids.

Page, still bent on his dreams of flying glory, saw in Kyner the experience and skill he desired for himself - and for reasons of his own, Kyner saw some glint of promise in Page as well. It took some convincing, but Page finally convinced the Squadron Leader to take him under his wing (both literally and metaphorically) and teach him all that he knew of aerial combat. Kyner, who was far more accustomed to dealing with slackers, incompetents, and other miscellaneous malcontents amongst the new arrivals, was both impressed and somewhat worried by Page's monomaniacal focus on improving his flying. The sterile lessons he'd learned back at Cranwell began to merge with gut-instinct survival and combat tactics, coming straight from the hard-won experience of a first-generation ace pilot.

As the long, impossibly hot months rolled by, the only evidence of the change of seasons coming with the flooding and draining of the Tigris, Page realized to his surprise that he was happier than he'd ever been since he joined the RAF. He could feel his reflexes becoming quicker, his eyes becoming sharper, his toolbox of maneuvers and tactics growing larger and more expert by the day. Every morning before dawn, he was out on the flight line readying himself for the exercises, which commenced as the day's heat peaked and would continue until dark, after which he'd keep studying until lights-out, the casual conditions around Hinaidi often allowing him to dabble in specialist subjects such as ground-crew work, recon flying, even bombing, that he'd never got a chance to explore back in Britain. It was practically a return to the monastical days of the Cranwell College - only this time, without all the restrictions that living back in polite society imposed. Hinaidi's remote location was a blessing as well, as all that meant was that there were no distractions from the work. Such a rigorous schedule coupled with the spartan conditions strained his body as well as his mind, and he found himself becoming increasingly fit. The only thing still anchoring him to Britain were the letters he occasionally sent and received from his family - beyond that, Page felt like he'd been born anew.

The others in his squadron at first regarded Page's after-hours training, both by himself and with Kyner, with a snigger and a roll of the eyes. They dismissed him as either crazy or futilely attempting to brown-nose his way home. But eventually, Page's singleminded devotion, coupled with his rising skill, began to impress even them. Soon, he found himself the informal leader of a little cadre of flyers wanting to learn from him, and the Flying Officer proudly began to mentor them as Kyner had done for him. The group, dubbed the "Yard-Birds" by one of the ground-crew due to their habit of wearing their planes down through the strenuous training, requiring replacement parts culled from the base's massive scrapyard (history doesn't record whether the name was intended to be affectionate or derogatory), began to drag 274 Squadron out of its doldrums. It was here that Page first got a taste of actual leadership experience, as his merry band practiced group dogfighting techniques.

Towards the end of his Iraqi tour, the situation in the Kingdom really started getting dangerous. Bandit raids from the Bedouin tribes in the area (usually targeting British oil companies operating in the area, including IPC and Ryder Oil) hit a sharp upswing around this time, and the RAF squadrons at Hinaidi were the first line of defense. 274 Squadron were frequently called out to serve as fast spotters for the bombers, sighting Bedouin encampments or war parties traversing the dunes, and then calling in their locations so the bombers could hit them with harshly-worded letters or bombs as necessary. This was Page's first "combat" experience, and even though it was rather mundane work, he was thrilled.

The Bedouin unrest came to a head in late November of 1935 with the so-called "Ryder Raid" - the epithet given to an attack by native tribesmen on a Ryder Oil Company vehicle convoy. The attackers killed several Ryder employees, stole several vehicles, and abducted a British citizen - who, as a crowning provocation, was the fiance of the Ryder CEO. Ransom demands followed shortly thereafter, threatening that unless ROC paid millions of pounds of "restitution" and left Iraq immediately, the hostage would be killed and attacks would continue indefinitely.

When news of the raid reached Hinaidi, 274 Squadron was immediately scrambled to locate the attackers for the bombers, a policy Page and several other pilots vocally opposed - in light of the fact that the natives were taking hostages, aiming to carpet-bomb them out of existence seemed a ridiculously ill-conceived idea. Nevertheless, with the full sanction of Ryder Oil, 274 Squadron flew out on spotting duty with the bombers, with Page along for the ride. What exactly happened over the next day is difficult to ascertain with any certainty, many of the records being either classified or unaccountably lost. All that can be told for certain is that in the course of the mission, Page's aircraft was lost in the desert and he was reported MIA - and then returned to Hinaidi with the hostage four days later, both of them alive.

This triumphant return marked the apex and the conclusion of Page's Iraq service. After a stay in the Hinaidi infirmary to recover from his wounds, Page was transferred back to Britain with a bone-deep tan and Flight Lieutenant insignias on his shoulders. For all that he had dreaded going, he was truly sad to leave the deserts of Iraq behind him - but returning to the comfort of England had definitely had its perks as well. Iraq had finally given him a chance at the thrills he'd craved for the early part of his career, and while his lust for adventure was far from sated, it was now at least appeased. Slotted back into his old spot in 19 Squadron, his comrades noticed that the new Flight Lieutenant Page was far more even-tempered and easygoing than he had been before - the old moodiness had greatly subsided, and he was now more than ready to take his place as part of the squadron. For about six months, things were quiet in Page's life as he re-acclimatized to home routine, finally finding a great deal of the acceptance he'd wanted.

And then all that began to change - the catalyst this time coming from the Continent.

During his absence from the European scene, the old enemy was stirring. The ominous overtones of the rise of the Nazi Party and their Fuhrer to supremacy in Germany were getting stronger, the dark seeds of vengeance and hatred that their words had planted within the heart of the German nation beginning to ripen and bear bitter, poisonous fruit. The Rhineland had already been lost to German depredation, and Allied air parity had been lost the year before. And the Nazis never ceased shrieking out for more. It seemed that Nazism and Fascism were on the ascent across Europe, and there was little that Britain or France could do to bring it to heel.

Up until this point, Page had been apolitical - politics had just been something he never paid any attention to, a world as vaguely distasteful as it was boring. But as he watched the newsreels, read the papers, and kept his ears open more and more to the worried scuttlebutt going through the RAF about the German regime, he began to feel a gut-level fear and loathing towards these Teutonic warmongers. His father and countless others had fought - with millions more losing their lives in the process - to keep the world safe from German aggression, and here were Britain and France letting it all happen again.

Had they forgotten?
Were they so cowed that they couldn't see the present for what it was?
Couldn't they see the patterns?

Couldn't they see the furious, spittle-spewing visage of the German Fuhrer, his face contorted in paroxysms of rage as he pounded the podium and bayed for blood and revenge against the enemies of the German nation, with thousands of soldiers parading below him, warplanes flying above, and thousands more hysterically pledging their eternal loyalty to his leadership?
Was it not obvious what he was getting at?

The threat of the Nazis hung heavy over Page's head, but not everybody felt the same way. The RAF was content with discussing and analyzing the German threat as something far away and inconsequential, just a lot of hot air from Hitler to get the people excited that could be put down with the bombers in a matter of days if things got dangerous. To Page, such thoughts smacked of denial - the thought that the Luftwaffe might actually be able to present an existential threat to the RAF, or that Bomber Command wouldn't be able to stop Hitler if the balloon went up were possibilities nobody wanted to think about.

Even worse, some of his comrades, to Page's bewilderment, actually approved of what Hitler was doing. They spoke disparagingly of the weakness of their own government compared to the virile, powerful Nazi state, many of them believing that the Nazis were not only saving Europe from godless hordes of Russia, but were providing a blueprint of society for all of Europe to follow. To them, Germany was casting aside decadent notions of mass government to permanently put the reins of the state in the hands of those with the strength to deserve it.

But the worst part of all was that while he himself was disgusted with what they stood for, to his profound discomfort, Page couldn't entirely deny the appeal of the far-right himself. The pageantry, the majesty, and the sheer emotional and militaristic power of how the newly Reich presented itself to the world was undeniable. It tapped into some dark, primal wellspring within his own soul, too, and that terrified him.
It was evil. He could feel it in his bones. In spite of the fact that talking about millions of real people in the language of the pulpit and the pulp novel seemed juvenile, he knew no better word he could think of to describe what Hitler had unleashed on Earth.

For months, he had to face his fears alone. Britain was not about to take any action to arrest Hitler's aggression - whatever Rubicon the Nazis needed to cross to finally bring about a reckoning for all their aggression was far away indeed. But soon enough, the situation changed in a way that both excited and intrigued him.

In 1936, revolution came to Spain. Azana's election as the President of the Spanish Republic, coupled with the rising violence between monarchist and socialist factions across the country, prompted a brutal military coup that split the country in half. On one side, Azana's Republicans were supported by the country's leftists and had the support of many of the peasants and industrial workers across the Spanish heartland. On the other, the Nationalist rebels under Franco had the support of the conservatives, the royalists, the Church, and most of the Spanish Army and Navy. The country was plunged into a bitter civil war that quickly fell into a stalemate.

That stalemate, however, didn't last long. Britain and France, to nobody's surprise, sanctimoniously announced their total neutrality with regard to the conflict and cut off any arms exports to the warring sides (the Nationalists, exploiting a loophole, nonetheless procured a great deal of equipment from the US and Britain). The two nations congratulated themselves on their wise restraint - but all that did was allow less scrupulous nations to enter the scene. The USSR agreed to supply the Republicans at an extortionate cost, strengthening the radicals within the Republic. On the other side, the Italians and Germans had struck a similar deal with the Nationalists, allowing "volunteer troops" with the latest aircraft and tanks from both nations to serve with Franco's forces. Desperate to equal the Nationalists' new Axis friends, the Republicans put out a worldwide call - any soldier who would come and fight to defend the Republic in its hour of need would be welcomed with open arms and rewarded handsomely.

To Page, sitting enraptured in the theater watching the newsreels and devouring whatever news on the war he could find, such an offer was perfectly calibrated to appeal to him - on top of the irresistible promise of more action, there was a moral underpinning to his lust for adventure as well. Defending the Spanish Republic from the fascists went beyond excitement, it was a way to finally take action against these right-wing bullies and to take the stand for freedom and democracy. And as the routine of RAF life dragged on, the appeal of going abroad once again rose to an irresistible pitch. If the Germans were there, then he'd just have to be there as well...on the other side.

Throughout the summer of 1936, he prepared for his new odyssey. He trained ever harder, building on what he'd learned in Iraq so that when the time came, he'd be able to take anybody on in the air, be he Spaniard, Italian, or German. On his off-hours, he skulked around London and discovered a local pub frequented by socialists, left-wing radicals, and fellow-travelers of all kinds - the exact kind of place that would have a deep affection for the Republic. After making it known that he was a pilot looking to do his bit for democracy in Spain (and after some fancy talking by Page to get around having no Communist bona fides), the staff clued him in: as soon as he was ready to go, the Party would pay for his transportation across the Channel and to the Spanish border. From there, it would be up to him to actually enter Spain and make his way to Republican territory. No doubt about it - it would be risky.

But steeling himself to cross the Pyrenees was far from the hardest part of leaving. After a few clumsy attempts to hint at what he was planning to his family, he decided he would never have the nerve to actually come right out and say that he would be leaving England to go to war in Spain. Instead, he decided to leave a long letter explaining what he'd done, to be left at home right before his departure along with a pledge to send a portion of whatever money he made home. It took him weeks to get the letter written, and even once he'd finished, it felt like he hadn't done it right - he just couldn't convey how strongly he felt about this new adventure in words, and knew his family would likely never forgive him for being so cavalier about his life, going off to fight and maybe die in a foreign land as part of a war he barely understood.

That still didn't change anything, though.

The moment of truth came as autumn set in. To the his squadron's shock, Page declined to re-enlist in the RAF when it came time in early November. Turned back out onto the street, he headed to London, entered his pub, surreptitiously received his fare, and then headed for King's Cross, boarding the train that would take him to the Continent and to the war.

It took a week of solid traveling and a very hairy border crossing to get from London to Albacete, where the International Brigades were headquartered. This was where the nascent British Battalion was forming, the only dedicated unit in the Republican ranks for British recruits. The handful of pilots who had turned up were earmarked to be the Battalion's air support and were entered into the Republican Order of Battle as "Cazador (Hunter) Squadron". After a week of waiting around, topped off with an awkward interview with the local commissar assigned to the squadron, Page and his new buddies were put back on the train and sent north - towards Madrid.

Stationed at an airfield somewhere to the north of the embattled Spanish capital, Page found that the alienation of his early days with the RAF had been nothing compared to what he was in for now. All the other British flyers here were heavily politicized and were, to a man, hardcore communists who'd come to Spain to help foment a worldwide left-wing revolution. But unlike the washouts at Hinaidi, many of these men were also truly skilled flyers, some of them mercenary veterans of various obscure, bloody wars in far-off places like Mexico and the Chaco. The young Flight Lieutenant was quickly left out of the squadron fraternity.

To these old hands and fellow-travelers, Page was not somebody who inspired trust - at best, he was still an unblooded rookie (only 22 at the time) who knew nothing of actual aerial combat, and at worst, he was a pampered middle-class bourgeois who might even be a counterrevolutionary spy. Page, a scholar of pulp but a babe in the woods when it came to the theorizing of Marx, Engels, and Luxemburg, quickly found himself on the outs with the rest of the Cazadors. He couldn't find many friends with the local Spaniards who worked at the airfield, either. Speaking only guidebook Spanish, Page had nothing better to rely on than the classic British skill at dealing with Johnny Foreigner, with all the miscommunication that that entailed.

As usual, Page found his salvation in the air. The squadron, at first assigned only antique French biplanes that had been smuggled into the country by Andre Marty's Stalinists, found itself in luck when the latest Soviet aid came in: the group was assigned a flight of highly advanced I-16 monoplanes, a craft as dangerous to fly as it was to fly against. It had only been in combat for a few months, and already it had made itself a vicious reputation as a "widowmaker" amongst the Republic's pilots - its own maneuverability worked against it, as it was all too easy to push the plane beyond its safe envelope and into an irrecoverable position. When the planes were handed over to the squadron to equip one of its three flights, the Cazador flight lead had to request volunteers to fly them. Page was among them - and, somewhat to his own surprise, was picked for the job (perhaps the flight lead regarded the planes as so dangerous that newbies like Page were better choices to handle them than the veterans, who were more valuable).

It was not a decision that his flight lead regretted. When the squadron first scrambled for combat, Page took to the air like a tiger unleashed, cutting through the Fascist planes with abandon. He attained the singular achievement of making ace in his very first dogfight, defending the aerodrome from a surprise Fascist air raid (although this is disputable, as one of his kills was through "acrobatics" - a kill that might easily be attributed to opposing pilot error). Slowly, Page made a reputation as the squadron kept up their operations over the Northern Front of the Republican lines. In numerous battles throughout the winter of '36 and spring of '37 - including a dramatic series of air battles with the Condor Legion in the middle of a storm over the war-torn Jarama Valley, the lonely, three-quarters-surrounded British Battalion entrenched on the infamous "Suicide Hill" far below - Page established himself with aplomb, downing multiple Legion planes as the Battalion held out from Nationalist charges on all sides, winning the respect (or at least, the toleration) of his new comrades. For a while, their little part of the war, a small part of a very big picture that had begun to feel increasingly hopeless after the Nationalist victories of 1936, was looking up.

And then, in late April of 1937, all of that changed forever.

It was a routine mission: the Cazadors (who had transferred from Madrid to the Navarre front) would cover a Republican bomber group as they attempted to bomb a Fascist forward headquarters some miles west of Bilbao, aiming to to disrupt the Nationalist high command to open the way for a Republican offensive shortly thereafter. The Navarre front was one of the most promising areas of the war for the Republic, and a solid victory here might be the turning point for the theater, allowing the Republic to turn the Nationalist northern flank.

But the raid was suicide from the start. The Republican path of approach unknowingly took them right through a valley that was only discovered too late to be filled to the brim with anti-aircraft artillery - 88mm cannons, the best in the world, provided and crewed by the Condor Legion. The planes took heavy losses as they scrambled to evade the fire and carry out their mission, but their struggle was in vain. Not a single bomb fell on target. Page was among the casualties - an 88 shell had gone right through one of his wings, and he only survived the resulting crash-landing by the skin of his teeth. Knocked unconscious and badly hurt, his plane wrecked and burning, his crash-landing seemed to only have prolonged the inevitable by scant minutes.

Death did not come for him that day. Instead, he was pulled from the flaming wreckage by a timely band of allies: a group of Republican-aligned Trotskyite partisans who had been operating in the area for some time, known as the Navarre Liberation Front. The Flight Lieutenant was taken to the NLF's headquarters, a cave complex high in the Basque foothills. Here, he met with the NLF's commander, one "Enrico Vasquez", and his wounds were treated. After partially recovering, Page told the NLF of his mission and impressed upon them how crucial it was that it succeed - if the headquarters was not destroyed, the entire Republican offensive could become a catastrophe. Swayed by his words, the partisans reluctantly agreed to mount an attack on the HQ to pick up where Cazador Squadron had failed.

The raid took several days to prepare. Utilizing stolen Nationalist uniforms, the NLF sneaked into the Fascist compound in the dead of night, masquerading as a Nationalist squad returning the wounded Page to captivity - and they proceeded to tear the place apart. The compound was overwhelmed, the garrison's commanding general cut down trying to flee, the buildings torched before the Nationalists even realized what was happening, and by the time reinforcements arrived at the base to see what all the noise was about, the NLF had long since vanished into the hills.

This was the beginning of a new chapter in Page's life. A few weeks later, after passing through Guernica and surviving the infamous firebombing by the skin of their teeth, the NLF deposited Page back at the Cazador aerodrome near Bilbao - but within hours, he had gone AWOL to return to the partisans. Page never gave any reason to the Republic as to why he left. Shortly thereafter, the depleted Cazador Squadron was officially disbanded and its members transferred to other elements of the Brigades.

For the next year and a half, Page went from being an ace pilot to being a Spanish desperado, a guerrilla warrior with the NLF, fighting tooth and nail to subvert the Nationalists wherever they could be found. The partisan band - never numbering more than thirty men and women (in the great tradition of left-wing radicalism, women served in the NLF with the same rights and privileges as men) - quickly became known as the "Demons of the Pyrenees" to the frightened Nationalists in the valleys below.

They did their best work at night: trapping Nationalist columns in canyon or forest ambushes, destroying supply dumps and isolated outposts, crippling airfields (on a few, legendary occasions) and liberating villages from the Fascists in quick raiding actions, always hitting with maximum force, annihilating the opposition, and then leaving the scene before Fascist reinforcements or air support could arrive. Under Vasquez's leadership, and with Page in his vanguard, the NLF began to become truly notorious - wild criminals to some, and folk heroes to many others. Even the Allied and Axis governments began to cast a worried eye over the band's actions.

But it was a futile fight. Though they fought masterfully, the NLF was never anything more than a tiny part of a large war, and the simple truth was that the Republican government was not capable of standing up to the Nationalist onslaught. The Fascists had the advantage of a clear leadership structure, while the Republican government was constantly beset by infighting from the impossible alliance of radical movements that made it up. And what was true at the start of the war only became more evident as it went on - the Fascist governments in Europe continued to send the Nationalists all the support they wanted, while the Republicans couldn't find a friend anywhere.

By mid-1938, the tide was clearly turning against the Republic. It was at this point that the Republican government made a bizarre move: in an attempt to neutralize the Condor Legion and bring the Nationalists to the negotiating table, the Republican government disbanded the International Brigades, sending all of the foreign volunteers home. it was hoped that such a move would create international pressure that would force the Nationalists to disband the Condor Legion and CTV. The move was, predictably, a disastrous misfire - all it did was strip the Republic of some of its most powerful forces left, giving heart to the Nationalists for their final push. To Page, this strategy was inexplicable - a sure sign that the Republic was about to crack wide open, and that the war was over. In his eyes, the only option left open was for them to head to France or Portugal, somewhere where they could be safe. They had fought a gallant war, after all, and there was no reason for them to throw their lives away for a now-pointless cause.

His Republican comrades disagreed. They insisted on fighting on, some of them because they still believed the war to be winnable, others because the idea of giving up on the Revolution was unimaginable, and others because they simply couldn't face defeat. He stood alone. For weeks, Page tried to convince his friends to leave with him, but he did not succeed. Finally, one snowy morning, his comrades awoke to find that Page had gone.

The war ended with a Nationalist victory some weeks later.

Page turned up in Britain once again a week after his disappearance, looking scruffy and scarred, but no worse for wear. He immediately tried to re-enlist in the RAF, only to encounter considerable difficulty in doing so: his service in the Brigades had set off all kinds of alarms in the RAF's hierarchy, and the idea of letting a Communist mole back into Fighter Command was a worrying one. However, unable to deny Page's impressive record with the RAF (as well as the apocryphal accounts of the havoc he'd wreaked in Spain), the RAF decided to give him one more chance - after a battery of interviews designed to prove his loyalty to King and Country.

Passing the tests with flying colors, Page was shifted back to 19 Squadron as a Flight Lieutenant for the third and final time in February of 1939. In his absence, the international situation had grown infinitely more dangerous, and war with Germany looked imminent. For the first time, the RAF looked to be taking the Germans seriously - and Page's combat expertise was suddenly in high demand, especially given that he had fought against the German Condor Legion in Spain. After all of his loyalty tests were finished, Page's commanders were champing at the bit for whatever information he could give them about German planes and forces that he'd encountered. Unaccustomed to all the attention, Page shared everything he knew.

By the time autumn of 1939 came, it was obvious that Page would soon receive his Squadron Leader tabs. His service had been exemplary, and he was certainly the most experienced pilot in the entire RAF. War had never been closer - both Britain and France had drawn the line in the sand at the Polish-German border while Germany threatened dire consequences if Danzig was not returned to their control, the USSR remaining as sinister and taciturn as always. Britain needed as many experienced officers as it could get, and Page fit the bill. What he'd spent all those years striving for - for unmatched skill in the air, for the adventures, to be accepted in a fraternity of pilots that he respected and trusted - were his, now. He'd get his own squadron, and the respect he'd always wanted. Maybe there would be a war. Page couldn't bring himself to hope for one, but if it came, he'd be more prepared than anybody for it.

Even the equipment was finally a match for his expectations: in his absence, the RAF had commissioned a new fighter from Supermarine, designed from the ground up to be the most advanced in the world. When Page saw it for the first time in all of its deadly, sexy glory (contrasting beautifully against the brutal lines of the German 109s he'd battled over Jarama), it practically brought him to his knees - and when he flew it for the first time, it really did.
It was called the Spitfire.

War finally did arrive on the 1st of September 1939, when German tanks rolled into Poland and called the West's bluff. For half a decade, Britain and France had tolerated untold aggression from the Germans, endured unspeakable abuses and constant provocation from the demented demagogue ruling Germany with his cadre of fanatic followers, swallowed all his threats and believed all his rhetoric about the unchallengeable might of his mighty armed forces. But it didn't matter anymore, for finally, the dignity, pride, and the will of the free European peoples would not tolerate another insult, could not stand another attack on their liberty and their safety. Britain and France would fight, and the RAF would lead. Page's promotion to Squadron Leader went through the same day as the declarations of war.

Then Page was caught in the wheels of history in a way he never saw coming.

Unknown to him, a secret project had been brewing for some time between the Army, the RAF, and their French counterparts, all masterminded by the returning First Sea Lord - a recalcitrant, charismatic, eloquent, and viciously idealistic former MP from a distinguished heritage who had been something of an adventurer himself in his youth. This project would fuse airpower with commando tactics of the type used in Spain in order to create a uniquely flexible force: a flying commando squadron, as skilled in ground combat as they were in the air - a force he informally dubbed "Excalibur Squadron".

And the First Lord had decided that Page was the man to lead Excalibur to victory.

In every era, there are men and women who experience the sweep of their modernity in ways that others can only dream of. At this crucial turning point in history, as the entire world hangs in the balance between liberty and tyranny, Robert Page - the dreamer, the prodigy, the quester, the Brigadier, the knight of the air - and the men (and women) he leads with Excalibur Squadron will have the entire burden of the Allied cause placed on their shoulders. Everything is at stake. No job can be too dangerous, no risk can be too great. If they fall, the free world itself might follow.

But while others might crumple under the pressure, Page is in his element. This is what he's prepared his entire life for. His confidence in himself and the people around him is second to none. The whole world - from the Poles, to the Sahara Desert, to the Russian steppe, to the American prairie, to the freezing wasteland seas of the Atlantic, to the shores of the Pacific Islands, to the sweltering Indian jungles, and to the green and pleasant lands of England will be their battleground.

If Excalibur is to bear the fate of the world on their shoulders like Atlas holding the heavens from the Earth, then with Page's leadership, they will be as a rock.

And this is a rock that shall not roll.
Last edited by The Tiger Kingdom on Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:23 am, edited 95 times in total.
When the war is over
Got to start again
Try to hold a trace of what it was back then
You and I we sent each other stories
Just a page I'm lost in all its glory
How can I go home and not get blown away

User avatar
The Tiger Kingdom
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Posts: 12103
Founded: May 04, 2012
Left-Leaning College State

Ali's App and Dossier

Postby The Tiger Kingdom » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:22 am

Name: Alexandra ("Alix") Elizabeth Victoria Noble
Age: 22 (Born 6/16/18)
Rank: Flight Lieutenant (RAF)
Physical Description/Picture:
Image

Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Flight/Flight Combat Experience: Pre-war civilian flight training. Combat flight training completed under the Taliesin Program. Has now flown in several combat operations with Excalibur, demonstrating considerable flying skill.
Ground Combat Experience: None before joining Excalibur. Has undergone accelerated commando training with Page and the nascent Squadron, again as part of the Taliesin Program.
Specialties: Alix is a polyglot - in addition to English, she can speak French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Russian fluently. Also, to put it bluntly, her gender and appearance is practically an advantage unto itself in covert operations, given that women aren't usually combat operatives. Has quite a head for combat planning.
RP Experience: i sort of have an idea of what i'm doing on a day to day basis
Personal History/Bio:

If one could examine the ancient, tea-sodden heart of Britain, forged at Hastings in 1066 from a fusing of Norman and Saxon metal to make English iron, and then melded over the ages with Scottish, Irish, and Welsh alloys in the blazing crucible of war to make an unconquerable core of pure British steel, one would undoubtedly see the names of innumerable distinguished families carved into its surface. These were the families who had valiantly and diligently served Britain's land and people through the ages, not only including the famed dynasties who had held the throne or the loftiest titles, like the Tudors, Plantagenets, or Saxe-Coburg-Gothas Windsors, but the humbler names, too, whose loyal and unflagging labor had made the British state one of the most enduring and dominant nations in the history of the world. Many names would be faded or obliterated by time: lineages that had long since died out, intermarried to extinction, or who had lost their honor and esteem through some unfortunate contrivance of human fallibility or fate. Some might even have been erased deliberately - such was the stain of their dishonor.

But other names would remain as sharp and clear as though they had been etched yesterday, their venerable honor perennially renewed by new hands as the latest generations of these storied families rose to uphold the legacies of their ancestors and maintain their worthy place in Albion's esteem. With a tradition of quiet but outstanding service to the nation and Crown recorded through four centuries, even amongst this storied pantheon, the apt name of the Noble family shines out with a pride and distinction second to none. Over their centuries, their work done on behalf of the United Kingdom has known few limits - Nobles have at various times served as MPs, colonial governors, military leaders, explorers, and in all manner of other roles. But more than anything else, the Noble tradition is a diplomatic one. Over a dozen Nobles through the years have been worked for the Foreign Office, representing the Empire to the courts and governments throughout the rest of the world.

Alix Noble is heir to this formidable family history. Even the circumstances of her entrance into the world were remarkably international - she was born on board the trans-Atlantic liner SS Olympic midway through a voyage from Southampton to London, her father being a diplomatic attache to the British Embassy in Washington D.C. and her mother being a highborn American philanthropist. Her early life was spent
Last edited by The Tiger Kingdom on Sat Aug 08, 2015 3:03 am, edited 18 times in total.
When the war is over
Got to start again
Try to hold a trace of what it was back then
You and I we sent each other stories
Just a page I'm lost in all its glory
How can I go home and not get blown away

User avatar
The Tiger Kingdom
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 12103
Founded: May 04, 2012
Left-Leaning College State

The Majors' App

Postby The Tiger Kingdom » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:22 am

Name: Roy Cutler III/ Reginald Royce
Age: Cutler is 45, Royce is 47.
Rank: Both are Majors.
Physical Description/Picture:
Image

Image

Country of Origin: Britain (both)
Flight/Flight Combat Experience: Neither of them have any.
Ground Combat Experience: Cutler served as a general's aide from 1914-1918, and was then reassigned to a peacekeeping battalion in Belfast from 1919-1922, during the Irish Partition. Royce was assigned to a colonial battalion stationed in East Africa from 1916-1918.
Specialties (air or ground - communications, demolitions, disguises, languages, etc.): General command and administrative tasks.
Weapons of Choice: Royce - S&W Model 10, Cutler - Browning Hi-Power, other people
RP Experience: Created the best RP on NS.
Personal History/Bio (more than one line please):

Cutler - Born into an upper-class military family who had served as officers of the British Army for generations, it was never much in doubt what young Roy Cutler would be doing for a living once he came of age. His father had been a Captain in the Army of the Raj, and as a result was never around much when his son was growing up. When the Great War came, Cutler saw it as a perfect way to make a name for himself - in the right circles. He had little appetite for an excess of danger. Educated at Sandhurst, he kept his eyes open for the best kind of posting: prestigious, safe, and comfortable.

Thankfully for him, his family name opened up a lot of doors, and he was assigned to be an adjutant to a Brigadier-General in charge of recruiting during the outbreak of war. It wasn't quite as glorious as he would've liked, but it was most definitely safe (although Cutler would tell and retell a dubious story in later years that he had been nearly killed by a falling bomb during a Zeppelin raid while trying to guide a group of schoolchildren to a bomb shelter. This story has never been independently verified, and Cutler always tried to change the subject upon deeper questioning).

In 1916, his assignment came to an end. With nothing but glowing reviews from his previous CO (who noted approvingly that the young Lieutenant Cutler was a hard worker, as loyal as a bulldog, witty and cultured, and had an "unfailingly positive and can-do outlook", Cutler had several options for his transfer - he could go to join the staff of General Hubert Gough, commander of the Fifth "New" Army (the previous staff officer in that position having been killed in a freak unexploded-ordnance accident), several dozen miles comfortably behind the Somme trenchlines, , or accept a promotion and head to the trenches to lead a company for the upcoming "backbreaker" offensives, meant to push the German lines decisively back, shorten the front, and relieve pressure on the French fortresses at Verdun. Cutler took the former option. The officer who eventually accepted the latter option offered to Cutler was cut in half by German machine-gun fire within thirty-seconds of the first British charge.

Cutler stayed in that position for nearly the remainder of the war. There was a scare in April of 1918, when Gough was dismissed in the aftermath of the German "Michael" offensive of March (widely rumored to be due to his oft-supposed incompetence), but Cutler managed to ingratiate himself with Gough's successor, General William Peyton, so much that he managed to keep his old job under a new commander. When Armistice Day rolled around, Cutler could look back on his war record with some pride. He'd played a major part in assisting several very important men in very important tactical and strategic decisions, and made sure all the necessary paperwork for such was in order - sure, admittedly it wasn't the most physically dangerous job on the books, but then, not everybody was lucky enough to get the opportunity to be such an obvious hero, right? The young Lieutenant was entirely happy with his subtler, more understated contribution to ultimate victory.

Such an understated role didn't last long. Promoted to Captain after the Armistice, he was transferred to a command position of an infantry company stationed in Belfast during the height of what were known as the Troubles. There had already been a major Republican uprising during the war (known as the Easter Rising), and the situation was only getting more intense. Cutler's company was assigned to pursuing and driving out the IRA wherever they could be found, as well as helping to train a Unionist vigilante group that would work to augment the RIC - the infamous Black and Tans.

Cutler enjoyed the job. it wasn't overly dangerous, provided he didn't go out in the open (or into the countryside) all that much, and it was clearly work that needed to be done - the Irish were going about their rebellion in a most disgusting and uncivilized way, using bombs and gangs of assassins to pick off Unionists, the Royal Irish Constabulary, and British Army forces. To his eternal shock and horror, the Captain got a closer look at this disgracefully underhanded method of waging war firsthand - on the way to a routine inspection of the troops, an IRA fragmentation bomb exploded underneath his car. His driver was killed, while Cutler himself suffered a pair of badly cut-up feet, (eventually necessitating the amputation of a pair of toes), as well as several shrapnel wounds to the posterior and lower back (one piece only missing an artery by about a quarter-inch).

That was the end of Cutler's excursions into any sort of combat-related danger. He was shipped home, and assumed several staff officer positions over the interwar years
while recovering from his wounds, now with scars to prove how brave he was (and to the confusion and surprise of many of those who knew him, married Ms. Peggy Dalton in 1938 - AKA Ms. Brighton 1935. Considerably younger than him, nobody was quite able to explain how exactly that had happened). When the Second World War rolled around, a man of Cutler's impeccable administrative record was seen as the ideal asset to the fledgling SOE, as well as a commensensical brake on any potential overly-fanciful special-operations plans. As such, Cutler was assigned to supervise the SOE's main direct-action force, No. 319 Squadron.

Royce - Born in Plymouth in 1893, Reginald Royce bucked the family trend or working as sailors and shipyard workers for the Merchant Marine, and joined up with the Army when the Great War arose (his reasoning for this seems to have been based around the fact that he had a strange and anomalous phobia of water, which would be rather a significant impediment for a sailor). He was assigned to a supply battalion as a truck driver - carrying massive loads of ammunition and supplies to the front and carrying the wounded and the dead back. Even though it wasn't as dangerous as the trenches, it was no picnic - vicious artillery bombardments and even the occasional air bombing raid were simply facts of life behind the lines, and Royce lost numerous friends in those particular ways.

However, by mid-1916, the war had become so viciously costly that the British Army began to look around at noncombatant units, such as the supply battalions, and to cut them to the bone to dredge up more men to do standard infantry work. Royce was one of these men. However, his assignment was quite atypical - he was actually reassigned from the supply battalion to an infantry brigade set to ship out to East Africa as part of a massive combined British-Belgian attempt to crush the ragtag German forces in Tanganyika, which were on a massive roll at the time, defeating much larger Allied colonial forces and vanishing into the jungles and savannahs.

Temporarily suppressing his aquaphobia for the long sea voyage, Royce didn't exactly have much of a good war in East Africa either. Almost as soon as he stepped ashore, he caught dysentery and was hospitalized for three full months. This was hardly uncommon, as far, far more British soldiers were put out of action due to sickness than through Askari bullets and bayonets.

After recovering from his horrific bout of illness, he finally made it to the front lines. There, he distinguished himself on the long pursuit of Lettow-Vorbeck's army, and during the Battle of Mahiwa, despite the fact that the battle was a fairly catastrophic Allied loss, he won the DSC due to his "near-suicidal bravery", single-handedly manning a Vickers machine-gun during the retreat in the teeth of the Askari advance so that as many wounded could be evacuated as possible, his loader having been mortally wounded.

A promotion from the rank of Corporal to Sergeant soon followed, and when the tiring, inconclusive, dissatisfying pursuit of Vorbeck finally ended with the signing of the Armistice on 11/11/18, he decided to begin the pathway to an officer's position. In the years that followed, he worked his way up the ranks, studying the methods of unconventional warfare that had made the Askaris such a difficult force to pin down and fight. This knowledge and expertise was highly in demand when Churchill put out the call to develop a branch of the military specifically for irregular warfare. In the interwar period, Royce also learned to fly, and made an in-depth study of the application of air power in the service of unconventional warfare. His experiences will be invaluable to Excalibur Squadron in the months and years to come.
Last edited by The Tiger Kingdom on Mon May 19, 2014 1:19 am, edited 3 times in total.
When the war is over
Got to start again
Try to hold a trace of what it was back then
You and I we sent each other stories
Just a page I'm lost in all its glory
How can I go home and not get blown away

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The Tiger Kingdom
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Founded: May 04, 2012
Left-Leaning College State

Postby The Tiger Kingdom » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:22 am

662050, PAGE, R.J.                                                           Page  1   of  4 

RECORD OF PERSONNEL - CONFIDENTIAL
for Air Ministry internal use ONLY

Photo (200px)

    Name:  PAGE, Robert John                                               Service Number:  662050 
Date of Birth: 5th October 19 15 Place of Birth: Dover, Kent
Gender: Male Height: 5 ft. 11in. Weight: 11 st. 1 lb.
Choose: Male, Female Round to nearest inch Round to nearest pound
Hair: Brown (light) Eyes: Blue
Note details and variations in shade/colour in parentheses
Nationality: British subject (United Kingdom)
Permanent Residence: On base (RAF Tempsford)
Marital Status: Single, Unmarried No. of Dependents, [No. of Dependent Minors]: 0 , [ 0 ]
Choose: Single unmarried, Single divorced, Married, Widower/Widowed
Addendum & Erratum: Distinguishing mark: scar on back of neck due to off-duty injury
Note: hair color can seemingly shift from middling to very light brown depending on lighting
conditions



Date of Enlistment: 5 October 19 33
Place of Enlistment: Dover, Kent
Branch: Regular RAF (Class AA2 Commission),transferred with squadron to joint SOE/RAF oversight
Choose: Regular R.A.F., Auxiliary, Women's Auxiliary, Volunteer Reserve, Medical Services, P.M.R.A.F.N.S., Other (list details)
Rank & Date of Seniority: Officer Cadet, 6th October 1933; Pilot Officer, 3rd November 1933;
Flying Officer, 9th April 1934; Flight Lieutenant, 3rd December, 1936; Captain/Squadron Leader, 17th
August 1939
Date of Separation: - - 19 -
Reason for Separation: -
Choose: Expiration of enlistment term, Retirement, General demobilization, Hardship/Medical grounds, Disciplinary action,
Resignation of commission, Other (list details)

662050 PAGE, R.J.                                                           Page  2   of  4 


UNIT POSTINGS:

No. 5 Flight Training School, 6th October 1933;
Royal Air Force College Cranwell, 11th March 1934;
No. 19 Squadron (RAF Duxford), September 10th, 1934;
No. 84 Squadron (RAF Hinaidi), November 5th, 1934;
No. 19 Squadron, (RAF Duxford), 3rd March 1936;
Interlude of Service, 3rd December 1936*;
No. 19 Squadron, (RAF Duxford), 28th October, 1938;
No. 319 Squadron (RAF Manston Heath), 15th September, 1939;

No 319 Squadron (RAF/SOE Tempsford), 5th June, 1940
* Interlude due to nonrenewal of enlistment - see miscellaneous notes

AWARDS, DECORATIONS, HONOURS, ETC.:

Pilot Brevet, 10th March 1934;
Order of the Spanish Republic, 16th May, 1937*;
Medal of the International Brigades, 2nd October 1937*;
Laureate Plate of Madrid, 3rd July, 1938*;
Mentioned in Dispatches, 4th October, 1939;
Order of Polonia Restutita, 10th October, 1939*;
Air Force Medal, 27th December, 1939;
Distinguished Flying Medal, 7th June, 1940;
Conspicuous Gallantry Medal, 1st September, 1940

*Medals awarded in foreign service or from foreign sources

DISCIPLINARY RECORD:

- 14th August, 1935:


TRAINING & QUALIFICATIONS:

- Basic/combat flight training: No. 5 Flight Training School (single and twin-engined aircraft).
- Officership training: RAF College Cranwell
- Confirmed accredited for carrier/water landings and takeoffs.
- Type qualifications: de Havilland TIGER MOTH (30th December, 1933), Bristol BULLDOG
(14th February, 1934), Gloster GAUNTLET (25th April, 1934), Lockheed ELECTRA (2nd September, 1934)
Westland WAPITI (6th October, 1935), Hawker HURRICANE (11th May, 1936) Polikarpov I-16* (5th February, 1937),
Supermarine SPITFIRE (9th March, 1939), Messerschmitt BF109-E** (24th October, 1939),
Junkers JU52** (10th January, 1940)
, Bristol BLENHEIM (15th February, 1940), Vickers WELLINGTON
(13th March, 1940), Consolidated CATALINA (15th April, 1940)
- Demonstrated aptitude with navigation skills, aerial gunnery, leadership skills, general aircraft maintenance, low-level
flying, high-altitude flying, and assorted ground combat skills and abilities
- * Accreditation confirmed sans paperwork based on experience with such aircraft in Spanish Civil War
- **Training done on captured enemy examples

662050 PAGE, R.J.                                                           Page  3   of  4 

SERVICE RECORD:

- 5 October, 1933: Enlisted into R.A.F. at Dover, Kent; posted to No. 5 Flying Training School with rank of Acting
Pilot Officer, effective 6th October 1933.
- 10 March, 1934: Passed basic and combat flight training, awarded Pilot Brevet.
- 11 April, 1934: Application to RAF College Cranwell for officership courses accepted, transfer effective
14 April, 1934.
- December 13th, 1934: Officership courses completed, graduates successfully and is commissioned as a Pilot
Officer effective December 14th, 1934. Assigned to No. 19 Squadron, effective December 16th, 1934.
- 5 June, 1935: Promoted to Flying Officer and transferred to No. 274 Squadron, effective 29 July, 1935.
- 2 March, 1936: Promoted to Flight Lieutenant and transferred to No. 19 Squadron, both effective 3 March, 1936.
- 16th December, 1936: F/LT. PAGE's enlistment status not reconfirmed; active status terminated.
- *Note: F/LT. PAGE's service in the Spanish Civil War with the Fuerza Aerea de la Republica Espanola
occurred during this time. No accurate records exist for F/LT. PAGE's activities during this service, due
to the unavailability, destruction, or simple lack of adequate Spanish records. When questioned,
he claims no less than 14 kills in aerial combat, which would place him amongst the highest-scoring aces
of the Spanish Civil War. Interviews with surviving members of "Cazador" Squadron seem to roughly corroborate
these numbers, although no interview subject could vouch for more than a handful of kills. The officer's ground
operations with the so-called "Navarre Liberation Front" are even less well attested, and as there was no possibility of
independent corroboration, the interview results with F/LT. PAGE will not be reported here, instead being located in
"Miscellaneous Notes".
- 11 November 1938: F/LT. PAGE submits re-enlistment request to RAF. Request is accepted, with
full reinstatement of Flight Lieutenant rank and transfer to No. 19 Squadron.
- 3 March 1939: On a routine patrol flight, F/LT. PAGE and wingman F/O AYRTON report making contact with
a pair of twin-engine aircraft over the North Sea approx. 20 km. E of Scarborough. Contacts identified as DORNIER
DO-17 recon aircraft, and were non-responsive to radio communications. After a high-speed pass
by F/LT. PAGE, both aircraft fled the scene at high speed. Incident attributed at the time as German
planes being off course; in retrospect, more likely a test of British air defenses.
- 17 August, 1939: CPT. PAGE promoted to Squadron Leader rank, pending transfer to squadron command position,
continues as active member of No. 19 Squadron.
- 3 September, 1939: No. 19 Squadron scrambled at 1120 hours due to air raid alert for London upon declaration of war.
No enemy contacts visible. Squadron returned to base approx. 3 hours later.
- 4 September, 1939: First letter sent to CIGS by First Sea Lord Winston Churchill, envisioning an
international combined ground-air operations squadron.

- 8 September, 1939: Second letter sent, CPT. PAGE mentioned by name as possible leadership
choice for such a group. The unused squadron number .

- 9 September, 1939: CIGS replies, confirming that the RAF will oblige and create such a squadron,
with CPT. PAGE the first choice for leadership candidate.

- 15 September, 1939: No. 319 Squadron officially registered as an active squadron.
- 27th September, 1939: CPT. PAGE and squadron members officially transferred to
No. 319 Squadron. Transfer is concurrentwith the assignment of Operation LANCER. PAGE also assigned rank of Captain due
to integrated ground/air assignments.

- 30 September, 1939 - 3rd October, 1939: Operation LANCER is carried out by No.319 Squadron under
the command of CPT. PAGE, with the objective of freeing the imprisoned Polish General Wladyslaw Sikorski
from the Stutthof prison camp,
near Danzig. Operation carried out in conjunction with RN vessel
HMS Trident, used for insertion
of the squadron, as well as with the cooperation of elements of the Swedish Air Force and government
in allowing No.319 Squadron landing privileges inside Swedish territory. Operational objectives achieved
with no friendly loss of life.
AERIAL VICTORIES CLAIMED: (1); i.: Messerschmitt Bf 110 - destroyed, over Baltic Sea by automatic gunfire from JU 52
CLAIMS CONFIRMED DESTROYED: (1); confirmed by eyewitnesses
CLAIMS PROBABLY DESTROYED: none
CLAIMS CONFIRMED DAMAGED: none
CLAIMS UNSUBSTANTIATED: none

- 10 November, 1939 - 23 December, 1939 - CPT. PAGE leads No.319 Squadron for the duration of OPERATION
FALKLAND, the hunt for the KMS GRAF SPEE in the South Atlantic. Using HMS GLORIOUS and her task force as
the base of operations, CPT. PAGE and Excalibur Squadron successfully pursued and damaged the SPEE, forcing
it to take shelter in the roadstead of the port of Montevideo, Uruguay. No.319 Squadron also sunk an unknown
German ship accompanying the SPEE during the operation, which according to Naval Intelligence, may have been
a German aircraft carrier converted from the transport ship EUROPA. Several German aircraft launched from
this mystery ship were also destroyed in aerial combat with No.319 Squadron, several by CPT. PAGE. In the
aftermath of the SPEE's arrival in Montevideo, CPT. PAGE and No.319 Squadron were authorized by the Office of
the Air Marshal* to pursue and destroy the SPEE in Montevideo harbor via sabotage, before it could flee and
attempt a breakout. This phase of the mission was successful, and the SPEE was destroyed before it could
depart the roadstead.
AERIAL VICTORIES CLAIMED: (5); i.ii.iii.iv.v: Messerschmitt Bf 109s - engaged over South Atlantic
CLAIMS CONFIRMED DESTROYED: (2); confirmed by eyewitnesses/gun camera footage
CLAIMS PROBABLY DESTROYED: none
CLAIMS CONFIRMED DAMAGED: (2); confirmed by gun-camera footage
CLAIMS UNSUBSTANTIATED: (1); unconfirmed
TOTAL AERIAL VICTORIES TO DATE: (6) destroyed, (0) probable, (2) damaged, (1) unsubstantiated
(Note: CPT. PAGE also has cause to claim this German "mystery carrier" as a kill, judging from gun-camera footage
and descriptions of the sinking from Excalibur pilots)
* For further details, see the disciplinary record of RAF Personnel File #752895.

- 2 January 1940 - April 2nd, 1940: Due to lull in combat operations, CPT. PAGE, with permission from RAF, initiates "Multirole"
training project, centered around training No. 319 Squadron members on as many different types of aircraft as possible, in order
to improve overall combat ability. Training program involves temporary and permanent reassignment of several Swordfish, Fulmar,
Wellington, Blenheim, Defiant, and other aircraft to Excalibur. Program is regarded as a success - despite "crash-course" scheduling,
many squadron members have been verified as proficient on the new aircraft.

- 1 June, 1940 - 5 June, 1940: CPT. PAGE leads No. 319 Squadron for the duration of Operation GUILLOTINE, the objective being the
identification and destruction of a German/fascist French subversion cell believed to be operating in the vicinity of Paris, attempting to gain control of the French Marin and potentially the French government as well.
As the control of said fleet (including one aircraft carrier, several advanced battleships, multiple cruisers, and several dozen
destroyers and submarines) was extraordinarily critical to the outcome of the war, No. 319 Squadron was deployed to Paris to
ensure it didn't fall into enemy hands. As it was feared the French government may have been compromised by pro-German forces,
the Third Republic was not informed. En route, Excalibur was diverted to Dunkirk, where they were assigned to cover a small convoy of
hospital ships outbound from the harbor from dive-bomber attack. The convoy successfully returned to Portsmouth without losses,
however, F/LT. MCARVON was confirmed KIA in the battle.
Upon arriving in Paris shortly thereafter, CPT. PAGE and No. 319 Squadron made hostile contact with several German operatives in
the city, unearthing evidence that in addition to German infiltration of the city itself, several battalions of the French Army stationed
nearby and near the French naval base at Toulon had been effectively taken over by right-wing French collaborators. It is believed that
the German infiltrators in Paris intended to work with their sympathizers to seize the city, and use the Eiffel Tower's radio broadcasting
capabilities to coordinate this move with the seizure of the ships at Toulon. This plot was foiled after Excalibur's neutralizing of an SS
infiltration team in actual broadcasting room of the Eiffel Tower, destroying the equipment necessary to convey the ship-seizure order.
This led to the successful evacuation of the French Fleet from Toulon, keeping them out of German hands, at least temporarily.
Upon Excalibur's return to Britain (and synchronous with their transfer to SOE command RAF/SOE Tempsford from RAF Manston Heath),
CPT. PAGE submitted an extremely unorthodox request to have CMPN./CMDR NOBLE of the WRAF instituted as a full combat
member of the squadron. This request was based upon the already prominent role CMPN./CMDR NOBLE had taken in the
planning and execution of Excalibur operations as one of AIR/MSHL. NEWALL's staff aides, which was compounded by her
commendable actions in combat during the Paris incursion. As such, the request was approved (see the Service Record
of RAF Personnel File #752895).
AERIAL VICTORIES CLAIMED: i.ii.iii. Heinkel HE100s (engaged over Dunkirk), iv.v. Messerschmitt ME109s (engaged
over Dunkirk), vi.vii. JU87 Stukas (engaged over Dunkirk),
CLAIMS CONFIRMED DESTROYED: 7 (confirmed by gun-camera footage and eyewitnesses)
CLAIMS PROBABLY DESTROYED: None
CLAIMS CONFIRMED DAMAGED: None
CLAIMS UNSUBSTANTIATED: None
TOTAL AERIAL VICTORIES TO DATE: (13) destroyed, (0) probable, (2) damaged, (1) unsubstantiated

- 30 June, 1940: CPT. PAGE leads Excalibur on a rescue operation as a coda to Operation GUILLOTINE.
During the Guillotine, F./O. CLAYTON fell behind and was assumed dead, however, information soon arose
that an RAF pilot matching CLAYTON's description had been found badly wounded in the aftermath of the
Paris firefight, and was to be sent back to Germany for internment. The operation, utilizing CPT. PAGE and
F./LT. NOBLE as disguised German pilots (in addition to the JU52 captured during OPERATION LANCER), was
a total success - F./O./ CLAYTON was successfully rescued and returned to RAF/SOE Tempsford. However,
the JU52 was badly damaged upon landing. Upon further assessment, it was
- 13 August, 1940: CPT. PAGE and Excalibur Squadron are assigned to undertake Operation MORDRED,
a reconnaissance mission to the port of Calais and the surrounding environs in order to scout out the
German preparations for the invasion of Britain. However, the operation is scrapped after the commencement
of Luftwaffe aerial bombing on British soil that same day (labelled "Adlertag", by the Luftwaffe). CPT. PAGE
and Excalibur were diverted to intercepting a massive German bomber stream over London, which was
successfully halted, with massive German losses.
AERIAL VICTORIES CLAIMED: i.ii.iii: JU87 Stukas engaged over RAF/SOE Tempsford. iv: ME109 engaged over RAF
Tempsford. v.vi.vii.ix.x: JU88s engaged over London. xi.xii, xii: ME109s over London. xiv: ME110 over London. xv, xvi: DO17s
engaged over London.
CLAIMS CONFIRMED DESTROYED: 15 (confirmed by gun-camera footage)
CLAIMS PROBABLY DESTROYED: None
CLAIMS CONFIRMED DAMAGED: 1 (confirmed by gun-camera footage)
CLAIMS UNSUBSTANTIATED: None
TOTAL AERIAL VICTORIES TO DATE: (28) destroyed, (0) probable, (3) damaged, (1) unsubstantiated
- 19 August, 1940: Prime Minister Churchill arrives at RAF Tempsford to congratulate and decorate No. 319
(Excalibur) Squadron personally. However, the function was disrupted by the arrival of a team of SS commandos
arriving in captured Wellington bombers (believed to have been abandoned in France during Operation DYNAMO),
with their intent likely being to neutralize the PM in some way. CPT. Page leads Excalibur through the defense of
the airfield, culminating with the annihilation of the SS force. Its commander is taken into custody.


662050 PAGE, R.J.                                                           Page  4   of  4 


MISCELLANEOUS NOTES:

- Notes on enlistment status: CPT. PAGE was not in RAF enlisted service from 16th December 1936 to
November 17th, 1938, due to the expiration and nonrenewal of his enlistment term. This has not been noted
on this form for reasons of continuity and simplicity due to his re-enlistment in 1938, and due to the fact
that his lapse of service was made explicitly clear to be temporary, pending his return from foreign service.

- Notes on foreign air service: During this time, CPT. PAGE served in the Republican Internationalist Brigades
in the Spanish Civil War as a fighter pilot, serving in the 1st Fighter Squadron attached to the so-called
"British Battalion". According to interviewed sources and intelligence reports, CPT. PAGE served with
notable valor and skill against Nationalist forces, recording several enemy kills and temporarily leading
the squadron in battle. During this campaign, records note that CPT. PAGE was shot down by ground
fire on 19/4/37, during the so-called "War In The North" in the areas of the Basque Country and Bilbao.

- Notes on foreign ground service: CPT. PAGE, after the same crash as noted above, was also involved
in Republican (and Republican-aligned) ground campaigns. He was rescued from his crash site by a
Republican-affiliated partisan group, who then escaped the Northern combat zone in an attempt to
flee Nationalist forces in the area. Upon their return to Republican-controlled territory, CPT. PAGE
returned to his squadron, only to discover that they were now crucially short of planes, and that
he would be unable to return to flying service in the foreseeable future. CPT. PAGE then endeavored
to rejoin his partisan allies to fight with them in various campaigns across Spain, until said group
was contacted by the Internationalist Brigades in approx. February 1938 in an attempt to get CPT.
PAGE to return to active squadron service. CPT. PAGE did respond, and served with the 1st Squadron
in a flying capacity again until the dissolution of the Internationalist brigades in October of 1938.

- Observations on physical health (20/8/39) - it is apparent that CPT. PAGE has suffered no lingering
aftereffects of his crash in Spain. According to the CPT.'s own recollections (as no records exist from
the crash),his injuries were mostly limited to cuts and lacerations, although he did suffer several
broken ribs in the crash and the immediate aftermath. His recovery from such injuries, however,
seems to have been complete. In summation, CPT. PAGE is entirely fit for full combat service,
on the air or on the ground, in the opinion of this office.

- Notes on political status: concerns were raised upon CPT. PAGE's return from Spain that he was
perhaps permanently ideologically compromised by his voluntary service in a foreign air force, and that
furthermore, his service in itself betrayed a potentially dangerous leftist bias. In several interviews
conducted after his return to service, meant to ascertain his continuing ideological compatibility and
loyalty to the Royal Air Force and the United Kingdom as a whole, CPT. PAGE was found to have an
admitted preference for leftist social policies (in his words, his family "[were] committed Labour voters")
and a sympathy for policies normally linked with leftists and fellow-travelers, such as nationalized healthcare,
the "welfare state", the right of the worker to unionize, etc. However, it was the opinion of the interviewer
that these views were not outside the realm of normalcy of politically-acceptable leftist thought, and
found that CPT. PAGE's given rationale for joining the Republican side of the conflict (that being that he
was intensely desirous of real combat experience and believed that the Fascist side were morally in the
wrong more than the Leftists were) was far more likely an explanation for his service than some sort of
concealed leftist allegiance. It helped his case that CPT. PAGE spoke well of several Conservative
politicians as well, including M.P. CHURCHILL and M.P. EDEN.

- Observations on personality (21/8/39) - CPT. PAGE has been described by fellow pilots and officers
as an intelligent, reasonable, and capable officer, as well as a man not afraid to go amongst the men
and join them for typical off-duty merrymaking. In his off hours, he's known to favor reading
(primarily historical books and texts), maintaining and tinkering with his aircraft on a level
described by his colleagues as "near-compulsive", and partaking in said merrymaking with
friends. He doesn't drink to excess, although he does smoke.

There are also accounts from several of his peers that occasionally, CPT. PAGE will be
struck with severe melancholy for hours at a time. While this doesn't visibly impede the
execution of his duties, it usually does entail social withdrawal. When asked for the particular
cause of this lachrymosity, the only answer ever given was that he was "thinking about Spain".
We believe that this is likely due to the unsuccessful conclusion of the war for his side,
and anticipate this particular element of CPT. PAGE's psychological makeup will likely
fade with time. When prompted to elaborate about his Spanish experience, he gave
away nothing that would indicate he was suffering from combat fatigue, "shell-shock", or
undue stress as a direct result of his service. Aside from this single example, CPT. PAGE seems
remarkably well-adjusted as a pilot and as an officer.

- After due consideration, CPT. PAGE has been put forward as a possible
leadership candidate for the First Sea Lord's Excalibur Squadron project.


- I want this one. He's got the skills, the experience, and he's clearly not afraid to make a fight - W.C.
Last edited by The Tiger Kingdom on Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
When the war is over
Got to start again
Try to hold a trace of what it was back then
You and I we sent each other stories
Just a page I'm lost in all its glory
How can I go home and not get blown away

User avatar
Len Hyet
Powerbroker
 
Posts: 8484
Founded: Jun 25, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Len Hyet » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:33 am

LORD I WAS BORN A RAMBLIN MAN!
=][= Lord Inquisitor, Ordo Pontem Habitant, Custodes in Flamma, Diripientes Paleis Homines, Qui Arguere Ad Hominem, Defensores Logicae

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The balkens
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 18751
Founded: Sep 19, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby The balkens » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:35 am

it has that new thread smell to it.
Last edited by The balkens on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Len Hyet
Powerbroker
 
Posts: 8484
Founded: Jun 25, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Len Hyet » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:36 am

The balkens wrote:it has that new server smell to it.

*sniff*
Smells like burnt CPUs and exhaust fans.
=][= Lord Inquisitor, Ordo Pontem Habitant, Custodes in Flamma, Diripientes Paleis Homines, Qui Arguere Ad Hominem, Defensores Logicae

User avatar
The balkens
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 18751
Founded: Sep 19, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby The balkens » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:37 am

Len Hyet wrote:
The balkens wrote:it has that new server smell to it.

*sniff*
Smells like burnt CPUs and exhaust fans.



then what are those stains? :p

User avatar
Len Hyet
Powerbroker
 
Posts: 8484
Founded: Jun 25, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Len Hyet » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:39 am

The balkens wrote:
Len Hyet wrote:*sniff*
Smells like burnt CPUs and exhaust fans.



then what are those stains? :p

OH FUCK WHERE'S MON
=][= Lord Inquisitor, Ordo Pontem Habitant, Custodes in Flamma, Diripientes Paleis Homines, Qui Arguere Ad Hominem, Defensores Logicae

User avatar
Kouralia
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 15013
Founded: Oct 30, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby Kouralia » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:42 am

<.<
>.>
^.^
send doots
Islas Malvinas
The Times of Kurton - National News Source
Risen Britannia wrote:"England has been invaded at various points throughout its history. Fortunately, every invader mysteriously became English when they took over, thus leaving England undefeated."

User avatar
The balkens
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 18751
Founded: Sep 19, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby The balkens » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:44 am

Kouralia wrote:<.<
>.>
^.^

:hug:

User avatar
Kouralia
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 15013
Founded: Oct 30, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby Kouralia » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:57 am

The balkens wrote:
Kouralia wrote:<.<
>.>
^.^

:hug:

:lol:

Oh, TK, if Smythe's rank is incorrect, should it be changed?
send doots
Islas Malvinas
The Times of Kurton - National News Source
Risen Britannia wrote:"England has been invaded at various points throughout its history. Fortunately, every invader mysteriously became English when they took over, thus leaving England undefeated."

User avatar
The balkens
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 18751
Founded: Sep 19, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby The balkens » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:59 am

Kouralia wrote:
The balkens wrote: :hug:

:lol:

Oh, TK, if Smythe's rank is incorrect, should it be changed?


master tea fetcher. *nods*

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Kassaran
Powerbroker
 
Posts: 9316
Founded: Jun 16, 2013
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Kassaran » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:04 am

So I feel it is time to re-make my application and make an official file on my character seeing as how I have no intentions of leaving this RP anytime soon.
Can someone give me the format for how everything should be or at least something along those lines?
Beware: Walls of Text Generally appear Above this Sig.
The Teutonic Republic wrote:"Hammer" in Russian means "Dicks" in Finnish.

This can't be a coincidence
Korva wrote:Q: How effective would this thing be if we assume it would be very effective?
A: Very effective
The Knockout Gun Gals wrote:
The United Remnants of America wrote:You keep that cheap Chinese knock-off away from the real OG.
Same goes for Task Force Rainbow.

bloody hell, mate.
that's a real deal. We just don't buy the license rights.
Currently Enlisted in the United States Army.

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United Kingdom of Poland
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Founded: Jun 08, 2012
Left-Leaning College State

Postby United Kingdom of Poland » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:20 am

tiger did you end the last one with a DW refrence

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Len Hyet
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Founded: Jun 25, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Len Hyet » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:44 am

United Kingdom of Poland wrote:tiger did you end the last one with a DW refrence

*smack*

It's a Churchill quote.
=][= Lord Inquisitor, Ordo Pontem Habitant, Custodes in Flamma, Diripientes Paleis Homines, Qui Arguere Ad Hominem, Defensores Logicae

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United Kingdom of Poland
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Posts: 6461
Founded: Jun 08, 2012
Left-Leaning College State

Postby United Kingdom of Poland » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:50 am

Len Hyet wrote:
United Kingdom of Poland wrote:tiger did you end the last one with a DW refrence

*smack*

It's a Churchill quote.

sorry sounded a lot like a Dr. quote.
And I've been up since 5 am
Last edited by United Kingdom of Poland on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Kouralia
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Posts: 15013
Founded: Oct 30, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby Kouralia » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:51 am

United Kingdom of Poland wrote:
Len Hyet wrote:*smack*

It's a Churchill quote.

sorry sounded a lot like a Dr. quote.

He doesn't like endings.
send doots
Islas Malvinas
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Risen Britannia wrote:"England has been invaded at various points throughout its history. Fortunately, every invader mysteriously became English when they took over, thus leaving England undefeated."

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Len Hyet
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Founded: Jun 25, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Len Hyet » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:51 am

United Kingdom of Poland wrote:
Len Hyet wrote:*smack*

It's a Churchill quote.

sorry sounded a lot like a Dr. quote.
And I've been up since 5 am

Watching you
=][= Lord Inquisitor, Ordo Pontem Habitant, Custodes in Flamma, Diripientes Paleis Homines, Qui Arguere Ad Hominem, Defensores Logicae

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United Kingdom of Poland
Negotiator
 
Posts: 6461
Founded: Jun 08, 2012
Left-Leaning College State

Postby United Kingdom of Poland » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:59 am

Len Hyet wrote:
United Kingdom of Poland wrote:sorry sounded a lot like a Dr. quote.
And I've been up since 5 am

Watching you

well I'm watching you watching me.

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Len Hyet
Powerbroker
 
Posts: 8484
Founded: Jun 25, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Len Hyet » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:00 pm

United Kingdom of Poland wrote:
Len Hyet wrote:Watching you

well I'm watching you watching me.

Watching you watching me watching you
=][= Lord Inquisitor, Ordo Pontem Habitant, Custodes in Flamma, Diripientes Paleis Homines, Qui Arguere Ad Hominem, Defensores Logicae

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The balkens
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Posts: 18751
Founded: Sep 19, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby The balkens » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:00 pm

United Kingdom of Poland wrote:
Len Hyet wrote:Watching you

well I'm watching you watching me.


im watching all of y'all.

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Len Hyet
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Posts: 8484
Founded: Jun 25, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Len Hyet » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:01 pm

The balkens wrote:
United Kingdom of Poland wrote:well I'm watching you watching me.


im watching all of y'all.

Watching you watching us watching me watching him watching me
=][= Lord Inquisitor, Ordo Pontem Habitant, Custodes in Flamma, Diripientes Paleis Homines, Qui Arguere Ad Hominem, Defensores Logicae

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Kassaran
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Posts: 9316
Founded: Jun 16, 2013
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Kassaran » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:02 pm

The balkens wrote:
United Kingdom of Poland wrote:well I'm watching you watching me.


im watching all of y'all.


Shhhhh!!!
Stop talking! Mon might hear you! She might not see all, but she definitely hears all! :?

Oh sh*t, here she comes!
*jumps into nearby barrel, peeks out of the conveniently placed knothole*
Beware: Walls of Text Generally appear Above this Sig.
The Teutonic Republic wrote:"Hammer" in Russian means "Dicks" in Finnish.

This can't be a coincidence
Korva wrote:Q: How effective would this thing be if we assume it would be very effective?
A: Very effective
The Knockout Gun Gals wrote:
The United Remnants of America wrote:You keep that cheap Chinese knock-off away from the real OG.
Same goes for Task Force Rainbow.

bloody hell, mate.
that's a real deal. We just don't buy the license rights.
Currently Enlisted in the United States Army.

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