Author Topic: Canada's twenty four hour war.  (Read 1855 times)

Offline pigflyer

  • If reality is real, give me whatif. Really?
Canada's twenty four hour war.
« on: August 14, 2016, 11:11:14 PM »
     I will post more pics on physical models, aero space.                                                                               

    Canada's twenty four hour war.

The end of April 1975 is remembered for the fall of Saigon. However, Canada was having a little fight of her own almost unnoticed by the rest of the world, and she did it with precision.

USS Lake Champlain was sold off to Canada in late 1969, A Ticonderoga class carrier, (sub Essex class) she was rebuilt in thirty four months and fitted to take the FGA 10 version of the spey powered phantom. Along side the F4 would be the AV8A and the sea king. In Canadian service the ship was named HMCS Freedom. As Saigon was falling, HMCS Freedom was sailing in the south pacific ocean, having just completed the upgrade of the 22 F4's on-board.

Freedom's supply ship, the Lady Champagne, broadcast a distress signal late on the 28Th of April, 1975. Her engines were offline after a fire and she was adrift, being taken off course by the current. Unfortunately, Lady Champagne was drifting into waters claimed by the recently established country of Paranay, formed after a military coup, and run by General Jaurez and his ruling council.

Reported by the patrol boat PN-3, a lightly armed craft, the Lady was ordered out of Paranayan  waters on threat of boarding or worse. Her condition was not considered, Jaurez being the all powerful conqueror etc. The situation was relayed by the Lady to the carrier and Captain George Pickerel, Canadian Maritime forces Command, set course toward his fellow countrymen at full speed.

Just after first light on the 29Th, two mystere 1V fighters of the Paranayan air corps swept in and strafed the Lady C. With their twin 30mm cannon. Radio calls from the ship were ignored as the fighters came round again for a rocket attack.
The Lady Champagne was left with several small fires and only three life rafts serviceable, and five dead crewmen.  Three more were injured.

An hour later four more mystere fighters were spotted inbound, and the patrol boat closed in.

Orders received aboard the Freedom gave the captain wide authority as the senior man in the area, and he meant to make full use of that fact. The main factor in this case being, “If fired upon first”. As far as Captain Pickerel was concerned, that had already happened.

Lt/Cdr Simon DuPont saluted the catapult officer and pushed back in his seat. He never got tired of the rush as he launched of the deck of a carrier. His F4 was the Canadian configured FGA 10 model, unlike other naval variants, this one carried a 20mm Vulcan cannon pod, as well as four sparrow and four sidewinder air to air missiles. The Gib, or guy in back, was his usual partner, Lt 'Mack' Trent, experienced and reliable.

Catching up in the air and settling on the rear left quarter of Maple leader was Maple two, Lt 'Hazy' Weatherman and his Gib, Lt Norman Green. Once joined up, they climbed to three thousand feet and opened up the taps.

The four mystere aircraft set up a race track pattern over the target, trying to spot any defences the spy vessel may have mounted. After a few circuits the flight leader, Capt. Lopez, decided that the four light machine guns (point five browning in fact) that he could see was it. He was about to make his career by sinking a ship.

Maple section had pushed forward on the stick to remove the G load and leaped forward in a shallow dive to 1500 feet, and not slowed until 'Norm Green' called the tally ho on the bandits. At maximum firing range he locked up one of the four aircraft over the Lady Champagne, and seconds later Lt Trent followed suit.

“Captain! Look!” Called the XO, Stephan Cloak on the bridge of the Lady. “It just blew up!”

And as Captain Clarke looked up a second aggressor lost a wing and spun into the sea, close to PN-3.

Hazy had ripple launched two sparrows, the second had given a short fart and dropped into the ocean, the great white hope of Vietnam fame struck again. However his second missile worked as per the manual and crashed into it's target, just in front of the right wing root. Seconds later Lt/Cdr DuPont  claimed a kill as his first sparrow struck, the second carrying on in a straight line until it too found the ocean below. 

Seeing his number two and three blow up, Capt. Lopez dumped his rockets and called number four in close. They quartered the sky looking for the enemy, and just made out the smoke trails left by the missiles. Arming guns, they turned to honour the threat as all good fighter pilots should.

“Take 'em up two” Called DuPont, receiving two clicks in response. The F4 was good in the vertical, not so much turning tightly with a more nimble fighter like the French mystere. At 12000 Maple section saw the enemy below, performing a thatch weave while looking for the Canadians.
“Rolling” said DuPont. “Click click”

Pulling out of the split S, the two F4s hit the brakes as the pipper in each sight settled on a target. Now at 2500 feet, 500 below the two mystere, both F4s had a good lock, as advertised by the growl in their headphones. “Fox two, maple one.”  “Fox two maple two.”

Four 'winders burned away ahead of the phantoms, heading for the Paranayan fighters, just as Capt. Lopez checked six.

DuPont swore as both his 'winders shot past the target and disappeared. Capt. Lopez, having called the break, was not so lucky. Both maple two's heat seekers ploughed into his jet pipe and blew him out of existence.

Number four saw the missiles go off to the side as he broke left, it was easier that way, pushing the stick rather than pulling it, and then pulling into as tight a turn as he dare to throw off his attackers.

Maple two pulled up and away to reposition and heard maple three call twenty miles out. Two more F4 phantoms coming to cover the lady.

DuPont had expected a left break, the easier move, so he was ready to break up and to his right, barrel roll right and come round well inside the bandits turn. Switching to guns as he did so, barely even thinking as he did it, he had good lead on the target and mashed the trigger for a 2.5 second burst of 20mm API and HE with tracer.

Maple two confirmed the last bandit as trailing black smoke and debris as it headed for the bottom of the Pacific.

Mr James Callaghan, Britain's foreign secretary, was trying to talk sense to General Jaurez. Jaurez had taken the call thinking he had the upper hand and international recognition, what with the Canadian spy ship now in range of shore artillery. It was 21 hours and fourteen minutes since he had declared the Lady Champagne as trespassing in Paranayan waters. His call, despite orders to the contrary, was interrupted by a nervous looking major, with a note.
“Excuse me Mr Callaghan, I am afraid matters of state interrupt us.”

After a pause of around three minutes, General Jaurez resumed his international call, Jim Callaghan, having already been appraised of things was not surprised at what the General said.

The note was brief, but enough to tell the general that it was all over. Six phantoms had attacked air base west, dropping cluster bombs all over the hangers and flight line. Two more cratered the runway with HE ten minutes after sunset. Eleven mystere and six vampire aircraft were destroyed, the remaining four badly damaged.

Air base east fared no better after six more phantoms gave it the same treatment. Two C46, five C47 and seven vampire aircraft destroyed, leaving just three trainers operational for the whole air corps.

Two Canadian destroyers had wiped out the shore batteries of the Paranay army, sunk the PN-3 and were towing the Lady Champagne into friendly waters. Captain Pickerel was giving the General one hour to reinstate the territory to its former owners, surrender to them or him, or Captain Pickerel would resume hostilities and keel haul him on the Freedom. And that would be rather serious on an aircraft carrier.

“Mr Callaghan” the General continued, “While you are on the phone, I would very much like to ask you about asylum at the nearest British embassy?”   

Fourteen months later, George Pickerel DSO, was head of the promotion list.

« Last Edit: August 14, 2016, 11:18:33 PM by pigflyer »
If I don't plan it, it can't go wrong!

If it's great, I did it. If it's naff, I found it.

Offline apophenia

  • Suffered two full days of rapid-fire hallucinations and yet had not a single usuable whif concept in the lot !?!
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Re: Canada's twenty four hour war.
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2016, 03:42:14 AM »
Great backstory pigflyer and interesting choice of ex-Lake Champlain. A year older than Canada's retired HMCS Bonaventure but that little bit bigger too. And I like that 883 Fighter Squadron is back in business :) (Maybe 883 could be the West Coast-based squadron while 871 remains at Shearwater?)

I'm imagining your two Canadian destroyers as Improved Restigouche Escorts - perhaps HMCS Kootenay (DDE 258) newly returned to service, and HMCS Terra Nova (DDE 259)? The IRE's twin 3"/70 Mk.6 Vickers guns would indeed have played havoc with those Paranay shore batteries!

Was Britain's Foreign Secretary acting as an intermediary between Paranay and Canada? Just wondering why Canada's Secretary of State for External Affairs, Mitchell Sharp, wasn't involved?

Will you indulge me a few anal-retentive, rivet-counting Canuck suggestions? None of this is meant as criticism of a great and thought-provoking story. And, hopefully, my ramblings might include an interesting 'factoid' or two  ;)

Canadian Phantom: Why a R-R Spey version? A J79-powered Phantom would have at least some parts commonality with CAF Starfighters (the last CF-104 wasn't stood down until March 1986).

Aircraft Designation: LCdr DuPont's Phantom would have had a CAF designation, not a Royal Navy-style Mark number. For whifs, the designation 'CF-110' is often used for Phantoms. It works for your timeline since the RW CSR-110 Albatross flying boats were struck off in August 1971.

Likely Canada would have kept the Phantom name but 'Spectre' has the advantage of working in both official languages. Of course, you could just call 'em CF-4s which is inevitably what the CF-110 would have been known as in service ;)

"Canadian Maritime forces Command": In RW 1973, the complete name would have been Canadian Armed Forces Maritime Command.

Supply Ship: 'HMCS Lady Champagne' is an amusing name but doesn't fit with post-WWII Canadian ship naming traditions. In RW 1973, Maritime Command's supply ships were HMCS Provider (AOR 508) and the two relatively newly-commissioned Protecteur class ships, HMCS Preserver (AOR 510) and HMCS Protecteur (AOR 509).

So, for AORs, two Anglo names to one French. Naming traditions also demand linguistic balance. Sticking with names beginning with 'P', how about 'HMCS Pourvoyeur' - 'Provider' in French - (AOR 511)  :D

Canadian Carrier Names: The RW Canadian Navy had three Majestic class carriers. HMCS Magnificent and HMCS Warrior retained their RN names. But post-WWII DND naming policy allocated recognizably Canadian island names to aircraft carrier. Hence, HMS Powerful became HMCS Bonaventure - after Bonaventure Island in the Gulf of St Lawrence.

How about a West Coast island name for CVS 39 to balance HMCS Bonaventure? One with a naval connection is Moresby Island in the Queen Charlottes (named for RAdm Fairfax Moresby). So, 'HMCS Moresby'?

Or? ...][url][/url]

For more on RCN/CF naming traditions, see: Canadian Warship Names by LCdr (Ret'd) David J. Freeman, Vanwell, 2001.

Decorations: George Pickerel, MMM? Unless Capt Pickerel was awarded the DSO by the British, being made a Member of Canada's Order of Military Merit (OMM) would seem more likely.

Okay, rivet-counter mode off ... with luck, some that will have been of interest.

Thanks again for your inspiring story  :)
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.

Offline pigflyer

  • If reality is real, give me whatif. Really?
Re: Canada's twenty four hour war.
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2016, 12:00:52 AM »
Hi Apophenia, many thanks for the comments, feed back is always good to have, I shall try to answer your questions for you.

The carrier class was for both size and because of the availability at the time. The spey was chosen for two reasons, 1- less reliance on the U.S. 2- better low level performance and
fuel usage. (Also, as I posted in the model section, the inspiration was from Gekko's profiles, which are all F4 M/K types.)

I know little about ships, and as a Brit, even less about Canadian or other countries fleets. I checked on the ranks for the period, but gave no thought to the medals etc.
Britain was, as you guessed, a neutral intermediary, simply concerned with saving lives through peaceful ressolution. Knowing that the Capt. Had been left to  take the rap
or the glory, no instructions or barriers from a comfy armchair at home, it was expected that that meant he could fight with nothing tied behind his back, unlike the U.S. in

CAFMC did not come up on the web site I used, just CFMC. As for the FGA designation, I deliberately used it to describe the capabilities of the MK 10, without a whole paragraph
dedicated to it. In a similar way to the Sea Harrier FRS1 re the F/A 2, a change in normal Royal Navy designations.

Lastly, names of vessels; I try not to represent particular units if i can get away with it, so as not to insult others by leaving them out. I deliberately did not name the two
destroyers, and chose ship names that I hoped would not have been used by the Canadians. 883 was a fluke, the decals were so old I did not realise it was a unit number,
and as for the tail marking, it went better with the camo I thought.

At the heart of the story, I simply wanted to say, "If you pick a fight with Canada, get used to an ass kicking!"

Glad you liked the story, and that you took enough interest to use rivet counter mode, but use it sparingly. And I repeat, feed back is always good.
Many thanks again.
Cheers, Ian.
If I don't plan it, it can't go wrong!

If it's great, I did it. If it's naff, I found it.

Offline apophenia

  • Suffered two full days of rapid-fire hallucinations and yet had not a single usuable whif concept in the lot !?!
  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Canada's twenty four hour war.
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2016, 05:30:24 AM »
Thanks for accepting the rivet-counting mode in its intended spirit  :D

Your Spey choice makes perfect sense to me. And good fluke on No.883  ;)

CAFMC vs CFMC: This could only make sense in Canada. The RCN became CAFMC (or, more usually, MARCOM) after Unification in Feb 1968. So, CAFMC was the full acronym during your timeline. Then, in the early '90s, the 'Armed' was dropped,  CAFMC becoming CFMC until 2013 when the 'Armed' was returned . But, by that time, Maritime Command had had its 'Royal Canadian Navy' title restored (in Aug 2011). Clear as mud, right?  ;D
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.