With the release of the Mosquito for IL-2 Battle of Normandy, I was anxious to get a little Mosquito time as quickly as possible. I hopped into Combat Box last night to do a quick flight and managed a mostly successful mission. Here’s the story.
The plan and the takeoff
The scenario that was playing at the time was Combat Box’s eastern front focused Crimea mission. Not the ideal backdrop for the Mosquito from a historical perspective but a useful and fun one when it came to flying the aircraft.
We decided to set out from the airbase at Anapa, work our way up the coast line, cross the Kerch Strait, and attack an artillery position.
Spawning at Anapa revealed a predictable yet thoroughly enjoyable fact. Everyone wanted to check out the Mosquito. To the left of me? a half dozen Mosquitos. To the right? Something similar. And one P-38 just to break it up.
The Mosquito is a bit of a handful on takeoff and so one of the hazards departing this airbase were the other Mosquito pilots. One was busy doing uncontrolled donuts just off to the right side of the flight line. Another was having trouble getting it going.
I wove my way up the middle and took off.
Now it was time to find my friend and before long we established contact and he lead the way down the coast with myself in close proximity.
Inbound to target
With a few hours of DCS: Mosquito already under my belt I was instantly at home in the cockpit. I knew my way around most of the systems and knew what I needed to think about when it came to managing the engines. Radiator controls for example are either all the way closed or all the way open.
Skimming beneath some thick clouds, we made our way down the coast and across the Kerch Strait. On the right was our target. An artillery position guarding the mouth of the strait.
I had good visibility on the target so I rolled in first while the second Mosquito in the formation rolled in about 10-seconds later. Just enough to give us ample separation on the bomb run.
I picked a target and released two bombs. Then, I targeted a flak battery located almost immediately behind my bomb drop target. My shots were accurate and the flak gun exploded. Behind me, my bombs also exploded destroying a tent, some supply crates and a couple of artillery pieces.
Meanwhile, the number two in the formation was running in and dropped a single bomb on his target. That one exploded to good effect!
He broke left while I went right and over the water. Unfortunately one of the remaining flak batteries opened up and hit his Mosquito causing damage to the wing, fuel tank, and rudder. He made a turn for home while I dropped my two remaining 500lb bombs on another cluster of targets. These bombs landed perfectly and destroyed the target just a few seconds later.
Disaster on the way home
With a damaged Mosquito and us out of bombs, it was time for an exit. Tracing our route back down the coast, the number 2 aircraft was struggling to stay straight and speed was reduced. I stayed with him offering mutual protection.
We had made it most of the way back to the base when I suddenly exploded.
A FW190 had tracked us back, staying in our blind spots, and taking advantage of the crippled speed to catch us both. Within a minute the Focke Wulf had made short work of both Mosquitos and the mission was over.
A successful strike, but at a terrible price.