Writer's notes: Man, my stream of consciousness is buzzing again and I'm off on a tangent. My brother Joe gave me this idea and he's helping me write this. It's meant primarily as an introspection piece about the thoughts of a Luftwaffe pilot in WWII. We hope to write it as a bit poignant with some action. So, I'm reading up on the Messerschmidt Bf-109G-10. Seeing as how I'm mired in a CSI and a Star Wars fic, I'll be tempted to have starfighters whip past Imperial Star Destroyers while someone does blood spatter analysis.
Without further ado...
A Pilot's Tale
It is the summer of 1944 and I am Hauptmann Erich Von Baer of Jagdgeschwader 27 of the Luftwaffe. We are stationed in Champfleurry in occupied France. Although I am only 23, I have been fighting in this damn war for four years.
I began my career during Operation Sealion, the anticipated invasion of England. It was a different time…a time so long ago…beyond the lives of many fallen pilots. I was honored to fly the Emil, the earlier version of our Messerschmidt Bf-109. Flying against the RAF was akin to the jousting of knights; evenly matched opponents in evenly matched aircraft fighting man to man in the skies over London. It appealed to my Prussian aristocratic tastes.
The Americans…what can I say? They are like the New York gangs they love to talk about. Since February, they kill us on the ground and they come at us in masses that we cannot compete with. In my last battle, I led a dozen fighters against 60 of their Mustangs…we came home with six. I can still see their faces…those of the lost. The Schnapps on my desk no longer has the numbing effect that I desire.
Last week, we were visited by Reichmarshall Hermann Goering…the fool. He struts about like a prancing pony in his ice cream uniform, telling us of the Fatherland and the defense of the Reich. He actually believes we are winning. He gave me a second Knights Cross with Oak Leaves for my 41st victory. How different I feel with this second award…so different than the first I received in 1940. How jubilant I was, thinking victory was only days away. How I recall that Hawker Hurricane on fire, ablaze under the fire of my 20mm cannon. How hollow I am now under the unending bombardment of Allied warplanes. The medal sits in my locker…untouched.
I see now the frightened faces of the new leutnants. They are no more than children. Leutnant Obermeyer is 19 and Leutnant Huber is only days over 18. They have only 20 hours in the Messerschmidt…the American packs will devour them. I have seen the quality of the American pilots improve by leaps and bounds, while our men are ground into dust…the white star is everywhere.
Alas, I dream of my Elise, safe in Berlin. I dream of her blonde hair and the scent of her skin…her crystal blue eyes so full of hope and longing. Surely, the Allies cannot touch her there. I no longer fight for the cause…or even the Fatherland – I fight for her. I should not think such things out loud, however, or those Gestapo dogs may take offense. Shooting down a P-51 is difficult…taking out one of us is easy.
As I lay down at night on this bed in a French manor on this Fifth of June, 1944, my thoughts journey to Elise and her sweet voice, calling me back…back from this unending war.