The full campaign of Skies Above Britain begins skirmishing over the English Channel. By design, the bomber formations I was tasked with intercepting were more than likely Stukas but the more coastward targets of the Luftwaffe made it difficult for No. 725 Squadron to intercept the formations before their ordnance was dropped on British targets. Complicating these difficulties furthering were the prolonged engagements over the Channel where any pilots of mine that bailed out would most certainly not be rescued from the chop.
Over 6 patrols from early July to early August, the squadron lost 9 pilots (out of 20) – 2 discharged due to major injuries and 7 died in combat. With only a trickle of replacements, the squadron is now composed of green and fatigued pilots who are barely holding it together as the air war progresses inland.
We certainly have our work cut out for us as we head into Chapter 2: The Hardest Days.