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Author Topic: Dogfights Over the Coral Sea  (Read 5350 times)
bigjackmac
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Posts: 1856


« Reply #30 on: 27 September 2019, 03:42:47 AM »

Thanks guys, and you're absolutely right, Phil, ol' Ensign Green kinda got screwed by the vagaries/necessities of war.

V/R,
Jack
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bigjackmac
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Posts: 1856


« Reply #31 on: 02 October 2019, 08:22:40 PM »

All,

1130
8 May 1942

Greetings, and welcome to my return to the Pacific!  Both the US Navy and Imperial Japanese Navy are on the prowl in the southwestern Pacific; the Japanese have their eyes on Australia, or at least cutting off the lines of communication between the US and Australia, and the Americans are looking to not allow that to happen.  On 3-4 May 1942, while fighting raged on New Guinea, the Japanese attempted secure their flank, sending an invasion fleet into the Solomon Islands to put troops ashore on Tulagi (across the channel from Guadalcanal), in order to conduct an amphibious assault on Port Moresby on 10 May.

But the Americans noted the Japanese invasion force in the Solomons, and the USS Yorktown launched strike aircraft that sunk or damaged several Japanese warships, though now the Japanese were aware the US carriers were in the vicinity, made doubly worse by the fact the Americans were shorthanded: they had only the Yorktown and the Lexington in the area because the Hornet and Enterprise had just returned to Pearl Harbor following the Doolittle Raid.  These were faced by the Japanese fleet carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku, and the light carrier Shoho.  The two opposing forces marshalled their troops, refueled, consolidated, and began searching in earnest for each other.

Yesterday morning, Lt(jg) Casey led the fighter escort for the Lexington strike force which, combined with the Yorktown's strike force, managed to sink the Japanese light carrier Shoho.  But the Killer Pelicans' escorts had a rough go: they downed three Zeros and damaged another, but they lost one Wildcat, had the other three damaged, and five of their six assigned dive bombers were shot down, the sixth returning to the Lexington, damaged.  Lt Casey scored two more kills to become a Veteran (total of four kills), but he was shot down and badly wounded, which will cause him to miss the Battle of Midway.

Both sides carried out preparation for battle throughout the night, then launched scouts shortly after 0600 the next morning, to find the other side's carriers.  The Americans got lucky first, sighting the Japanese carriers at 0820, though the Japanese were only two minutes behind.  Both sides hurried to turn into the wind and launch their strike groups!  The Japanese launched 18 fighters, 33 dive bombers, and 18 torpedo bombers, while the Yorktown and Lexington launched a combined 15 Wildcats, 39 Dauntlesses, and 21 Devastators, though the Lexington's contingent was about 10 minutes behind the Yorktown's.

At 1055 the Lexington's air search radar acquired the inbound Japanese strike group at a range of 68 nautical miles and vectored nine Wildcats to intercept; it was 1113 local time when Lt(jg) Fitzsimmons again led the Lexington CAP into battle.  And this time he found the enemy, but it didn't work out very well for the Americans.  Lt Fitzsimmons and Lt Allen saw their aircraft damaged, Ens Chipman had to disengage and retreat, but that wasn't the worst of it.  Three Wildcats were shot down, with Ensign Camili being wounded, but Ensigns Gordon and Mann were killed in action, while no Japanese aircraft were shot down, and enemy torpedo bombers managed to put three torpedoes into the USS Lexington.

At 1123, radar contact acquired another Japanese strike group, comprised of Val dive bombers escorted by Zeros, and vectored the Lexington's Combat Air Patrol to intercept.  The six Wildcats charged headlong into the Japanese formation, suffering two aircraft lost (and one pilot KIA) and one damaged in brutal action that saw Ensign Head awarded the Navy Cross for shooting down four enemy aircraft!  Lt Allen added another two kills, and Ensign Chipman added one, with the rest of the Japanese aircraft breaking off the attack, so not a single Val dive bomber was able to press home the attack.  However, the Lexington is still in trouble caused by the torpedo hits earlier.

It is now 1130, and Lt Case is leading a four-ship escort for "Scouting Two's" SBD Dauntless dive bombers to attack the Japanese carrier Shokaku.

Also, I finally made some changes for US Navy deflection shooting and for the sturdier Wildcats (to reflect pilot armor and self-sealing tanks), they're in this blog post.
 

The Japanese "Natural Born Killer," AKA, "Super Ace," zooms in, opens fire and damages LtCmdr Case's Wildcat, then continues his slashing attack, headed straight for the Dauntlesses.


This happens far too often, so I'm going to start making head to head attacks way more dangerous for the attacker.


And some Zeros were about to learn to respect defensive fire from the Dauntlesses!

To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
https://oldleadbreed.blogspot.com/2019/10/coral-sea-day-2-fight-5.html

LtCmdr Case immediately ordered the Wildcats to reform, and they climbed to join the SBD Dauntlesses of Bombing Two, where they were also joined by Ensign Didier in his Wildcat.

Coming up next!

V/R,
Jack
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Terry37
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Posts: 1139



« Reply #32 on: 03 October 2019, 10:46:40 PM »

Really enjoying your reports, and they sure make me want to get back into aerial games - but can't get any local interest!!!!

Terry
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bigjackmac
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Posts: 1856


« Reply #33 on: 03 October 2019, 11:29:12 PM »

Terry,

Thanks a bunch man, and m glad you like them, and I appreciate you saying so!  My batrep posts have been lonely places lately Wink

I plan on playing the last two Coral Sea fights this weekend, will post ASAP.

Regarding your inability to gin up interest, may I remind you that these are all solo affairs? Wink

V/R,
Jack
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bigjackmac
Brigadier
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Posts: 1856


« Reply #34 on: 07 October 2019, 01:33:12 PM »

All,

1140
8 May 1942

Greetings, and welcome to my return to the Pacific! Both the US Navy and Imperial Japanese Navy are on the prowl in the southwestern Pacific; the Japanese have their eyes on Australia, or at least cutting off the lines of communication between the US and Australia, and the Americans are looking to not allow that to happen. On 3-4 May 1942, while fighting raged on New Guinea, the Japanese attempted secure their flank, sending an invasion fleet into the Solomon Islands to put troops ashore on Tulagi (across the channel from Guadalcanal), in order to conduct an amphibious assault on Port Moresby on 10 May.

But the Americans noted the Japanese invasion force in the Solomons, and the USS Yorktown launched strike aircraft that sunk or damaged several Japanese warships, though now the Japanese were aware the US carriers were in the vicinity, made doubly worse by the fact the Americans were shorthanded: they had only the Yorktown and the Lexington in the area because the Hornet and Enterprise had just returned to Pearl Harbor following the Doolittle Raid. These were faced by the Japanese fleet carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku, and the light carrier Shoho. The two opposing forces marshalled their troops, refueled, consolidated, and began searching in earnest for each other.

This morning, Lt(jg) Casey led the fighter escort for the Lexington strike force which, combined with the Yorktown's strike force, managed to sink the Japanese light carrier Shoho. But the Killer Pelicans' escorts had a rough go: they downed three Zeros and damaged another, but they lost one Wildcat, had the other three damaged, and five of their six assigned dive bombers were shot down, the sixth returning to the Lexington, damaged. Lt Casey scored two more kills to become a Veteran (total of four kills), but he was shot down and badly wounded, which will cause him to miss the Battle of Midway.

Both sides carried out preparation for battle throughout the night, then launched scouts shortly after 0600 the next morning, to find the other side's carriers. The Americans got lucky first, sighting the Japanese carriers at 0820, though the Japanese were only two minutes behind. Both sides hurried to turn into the wind and launch their strike groups! The Japanese launched 18 fighters, 33 dive bombers, and 18 torpedo bombers, while the Yorktown and Lexington launched a combined 15 Wildcats, 39 Dauntlesses, and 21 Devastators, though the Lexington's contingent was about 10 minutes behind the Yorktown's.

At 1055 the Lexington's air search radar acquired the inbound Japanese strike group at a range of 68 nautical miles and vectored nine Wildcats to intercept; it was 1113 local time when Lt(jg) Fitzsimmons again led the Lexington CAP into battle. And this time he found the enemy, but it didn't work out very well for the Americans. Lt Fitzsimmons and Lt Allen saw their aircraft damaged, Ens Chipman had to disengage and retreat, but that wasn't the worst of it. Three Wildcats were shot down, with Ensign Camili being wounded, but Ensigns Gordon and Mann were killed in action, while no Japanese aircraft were shot down, and enemy torpedo bombers managed to put three torpedoes into the USS Lexington.

At 1123, radar contact acquired another Japanese strike group, comprised of Val dive bombers escorted by Zeros, and vectored the Lexington's Combat Air Patrol to intercept. The six Wildcats charged headlong into the Japanese formation, suffering two aircraft lost (and one pilot KIA) and one damaged in brutal action that saw Ensign Head awarded the Navy Cross for shooting down four enemy aircraft! Lt Allen added another two kills, and Ensign Chipman added one, with the rest of the Japanese aircraft breaking off the attack, so not a single Val dive bomber was able to press home the attack. However, the Lexington is still in trouble caused by the torpedo hits earlier.

At 1130, LtCmdr Case led a four-ship escort for "Scouting Two's" SBD Dauntless dive bombers to attack the Japanese carrier Shokaku. The Japanese CAP was successful, shooting down four of the SBDs and forcing the last two to return to base, damaged, though they lost four of their own (two to defensive fire from SBDs!), with LtCmdr Case and Ens Riggins both scoring kills.

It is now 1140, and LtCmdr Case has re-formed his flight, which is now escorting Bombing Two's SBD Dauntlesses as the Americans make a run on the Japanese carrier Zuikaku.
       

The Japanese draw first blood.


But the swarming Wildcats are more than able to hold their own.


And the next thing you know, the Wildcats pull off high and right as the Dauntlesses form line astern and make their run on the Zuikaku...

To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
https://oldleadbreed.blogspot.com/2019/10/coral-sea-day-2-fight-6.html?m=1

As the Lexington’s strike group forms up for the flight home, the Japanese strike groups that struck the Lady Lex and Yorktown are doing the same, though they suddenly realize they’ll have to run a gauntlet of fire as the Lexington’s CAP is between them and their carriers!  That fight is next.

V/R,
Jack
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Ithoriel
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Posts: 7252



« Reply #35 on: 07 October 2019, 01:46:00 PM »

Finally catching up with these Jack - brilliant stuff!
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FierceKitty
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Posts: 11246


The dog is a peasant. The cat is a gentleman.


« Reply #36 on: 07 October 2019, 01:59:53 PM »

Finally catching up with these Jacks....

Interesting. Usually it's the aces who get the attention.
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ianrs54
Playtester
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WWW
« Reply #37 on: 07 October 2019, 04:16:32 PM »

Someone put the cat out !
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Ithoriel
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Posts: 7252



« Reply #38 on: 07 October 2019, 04:23:17 PM »

Is he on fire? Smiley

Also ... I've been misquoted, get him a job as a journalist.
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FierceKitty
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Posts: 11246


The dog is a peasant. The cat is a gentleman.


« Reply #39 on: 08 October 2019, 02:11:39 AM »

Your al jelos coz I thort of it furst.
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bigjackmac
Brigadier
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Posts: 1856


« Reply #40 on: 08 October 2019, 09:43:26 PM »

Thanks, Ithoriel, glad you like them!

V/R,
Jack
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bigjackmac
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Posts: 1856


« Reply #41 on: 10 October 2019, 02:05:55 PM »

All,

1150
8 May 1942

Yesterday morning, Lt(jg) Casey led the fighter escort for the Lexington strike force which, combined with the Yorktown's strike force, managed to sink the Japanese light carrier Shoho. But the Killer Pelicans' escorts had a rough go: they downed three Zeros and damaged another, but they lost one Wildcat, had the other three damaged, and five of their six assigned dive bombers were shot down, the sixth returning to the Lexington, damaged. Lt Casey scored two more kills to become a Veteran (total of four kills), but he was shot down and badly wounded, which will cause him to miss the Battle of Midway.

Both sides carried out preparation for battle throughout the night, then launched scouts shortly after 0600 the next morning, to find the other side's carriers. The Americans got lucky first, sighting the Japanese carriers at 0820, though the Japanese were only two minutes behind. Both sides hurried to turn into the wind and launch their strike groups! The Japanese launched 18 fighters, 33 dive bombers, and 18 torpedo bombers, while the Yorktown and Lexington launched a combined 15 Wildcats, 39 Dauntlesses, and 21 Devastators, though the Lexington's contingent was about 10 minutes behind the Yorktown's.

At 1055 the Lexington's air search radar acquired the inbound Japanese strike group at a range of 68 nautical miles and vectored nine Wildcats to intercept; it was 1113 local time when Lt(jg) Fitzsimmons again led the Lexington CAP into battle. And this time he found the enemy, but it didn't work out very well for the Americans. Lt Fitzsimmons and Lt Allen saw their aircraft damaged, Ens Chipman had to disengage and retreat, but that wasn't the worst of it. Three Wildcats were shot down, with Ensign Camili being wounded, but Ensigns Gordon and Mann were killed in action, while no Japanese aircraft were shot down, and enemy torpedo bombers managed to put three torpedoes into the USS Lexington.

At 1123, radar contact acquired another Japanese strike group, comprised of Val dive bombers escorted by Zeros, and vectored the Lexington's Combat Air Patrol to intercept. The six Wildcats charged headlong into the Japanese formation, suffering two aircraft lost (and one pilot KIA) and one damaged in brutal action that saw Ensign Head awarded the Navy Cross for shooting down four enemy aircraft! Lt Allen added another two kills, and Ensign Chipman added one, with the rest of the Japanese aircraft breaking off the attack, so not a single Val dive bomber was able to press home the attack. However, the Lexington is still in trouble caused by the torpedo hits earlier.

At 1130, LtCmdr Case led a four-ship escort for "Scouting Two's" SBD Dauntless dive bombers to attack the Japanese carrier Shokaku. The Japanese CAP was successful, shooting down four of the SBDs and forcing the last two to return to base, damaged, though they lost four of their own (two to defensive fire from SBDs!), with LtCmdr Case and Ens Riggins both scoring kills.

At 1140, LtCmdr Case re-formed his flight of Wildcats and had them escort Bombing Two's SBD Dauntlesses into an attack on the Japanese carrier Zuikaku. In a wild fight that saw two Dauntlesses shoot down enemy Zeros, then four Dauntlesses arrive over the target but fail to land a single bomb on the target's deck, LtCmdr Case's fighters came through unscathed while downing a single Japanese fighter.

It is now 1150 and the remaining members of the Lexington's CAP, Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Allen, Ensign Chipman, and Ensign Head, are watching as the Japanese strike group that just hit the Lexington is forming up and turning north, straight into them. Lt Allen calls "Tally Ho!" and the three Wildcats zoom in to take one last running shot at the enemy strike group.
     

Lt Allen jumps on Zero 01’s tail and gives him the what-for.


But later, Zero 01 gets the chance to return the favor.

To see how the fight turned out, please check the blog at:
https://oldleadbreed.blogspot.com/2019/10/coral-sea-day-2-fight-7.html?m=1

There’s one fight left: The Japanese strike group has escaped the Lexington's CAP, as they are flying back to the Zuikaku, they run into the Lexington's returning strike group, let by LtCmdr Case and his flight of escorts. Coming up next!

V/R,
Jack
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mad lemmey
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« Reply #42 on: 10 October 2019, 05:31:51 PM »

Lawks, busy
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Off to the Shed of Decency.

Chekov's Gun, Occam's Razor, and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle walk into a bar. You won't believe what happens next!

2016 Pendraken Painting Competion Participation Prize  (Lucky Dip Catagory) Winner 😎
bigjackmac
Brigadier
*
Posts: 1856


« Reply #43 on: 17 October 2019, 01:55:21 AM »

All,

1200
8 May 1942

Greetings, and welcome to my return to the Pacific!  Both the US Navy and Imperial Japanese Navy are on the prowl in the southwestern Pacific; the Japanese have their eyes on Australia, or at least cutting off the lines of communication between the US and Australia, and the Americans are looking to not allow that to happen.  On 3-4 May 1942, while fighting raged on New Guinea, the Japanese attempted secure their flank, sending an invasion fleet into the Solomon Islands to put troops ashore on Tulagi (across the channel from Guadalcanal), in order to conduct an amphibious assault on Port Moresby on 10 May.

But the Americans noted the Japanese invasion force in the Solomons, and the USS Yorktown launched strike aircraft that sunk or damaged several Japanese warships, though now the Japanese were aware the US carriers were in the vicinity, made doubly worse by the fact the Americans were shorthanded: they had only the Yorktown and the Lexington in the area because the Hornet and Enterprise had just returned to Pearl Harbor following the Doolittle Raid.  These were faced by the Japanese fleet carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku, and the light carrier Shoho.  The two opposing forces marshalled their troops, refueled, consolidated, and began searching in earnest for each other.

This morning, Lt(jg) Casey led the fighter escort for the Lexington strike force which, combined with the Yorktown's strike force, managed to sink the Japanese light carrier Shoho.  But the Killer Pelicans' escorts had a rough go: they downed three Zeros and damaged another, but they lost one Wildcat, had the other three damaged, and five of their six assigned dive bombers were shot down, the sixth returning to the Lexington, damaged.  Lt Casey scored two more kills to become a Veteran (total of four kills), but he was shot down and badly wounded, which will cause him to miss the Battle of Midway.

Both sides carried out preparation for battle throughout the night, then launched scouts shortly after 0600 the next morning, to find the other side's carriers.  The Americans got lucky first, sighting the Japanese carriers at 0820, though the Japanese were only two minutes behind.  Both sides hurried to turn into the wind and launch their strike groups!  The Japanese launched 18 fighters, 33 dive bombers, and 18 torpedo bombers, while the Yorktown and Lexington launched a combined 15 Wildcats, 39 Dauntlesses, and 21 Devastators, though the Lexington's contingent was about 10 minutes behind the Yorktown's.

At 1055 the Lexington's air search radar acquired the inbound Japanese strike group at a range of 68 nautical miles and vectored nine Wildcats to intercept; it was 1113 local time when Lt(jg) Fitzsimmons again led the Lexington CAP into battle.  And this time he found the enemy, but it didn't work out very well for the Americans.  Lt Fitzsimmons and Lt Allen saw their aircraft damaged, Ens Chipman had to disengage and retreat, but that wasn't the worst of it.  Three Wildcats were shot down, with Ensign Camili being wounded, but Ensigns Gordon and Mann were killed in action, while no Japanese aircraft were shot down, and enemy torpedo bombers managed to put three torpedoes into the USS Lexington.

At 1123, radar contact acquired another Japanese strike group, comprised of Val dive bombers escorted by Zeros, and vectored the Lexington's Combat Air Patrol to intercept.  The six Wildcats charged headlong into the Japanese formation, suffering two aircraft lost (and one pilot KIA) and one damaged in brutal action that saw Ensign Head awarded the Navy Cross for shooting down four enemy aircraft!  Lt Allen added another two kills, and Ensign Chipman added one, with the rest of the Japanese aircraft breaking off the attack, so not a single Val dive bomber was able to press home the attack.  However, the Lexington is still in trouble caused by the torpedo hits earlier.

At 1130, LtCmdr Case led a four-ship escort for "Scouting Two's" SBD Dauntless dive bombers to attack the Japanese carrier Shokaku.  The Japanese CAP was successful, shooting down four of the SBDs and forcing the last two to return to base, damaged, though they lost four of their own (two to defensive fire from SBDs!), with LtCmdr Case and Ens Riggins both scoring kills.

At 1140, LtCmdr Case re-formed his flight of Wildcats and had them escort Bombing Two's SBD Dauntlesses into an attack on the Japanese carrier Zuikaku.  In a wild fight that saw two Dauntlesses shoot down enemy Zeros, then four Dauntlesses arrive over the target but fail to land a single bomb on the target's deck, LtCmdr Case's fighters came through unscathed while downing a single Japaanese fighter.

At 1150, the remaining members of the Lexington's CAP (Lieuntenant (Junior Grade) Allen, Ensign Chipman, and Ensign Head) found themselves between the Japanese strike group and their carrier, so they threw themselves once again at the enemy.  In the end, Ens Chipman scored two kills and Lt Allen scored one, but both were shot down, while three Kates, a Val, and a Zero escaped to fight again.

But it's now 1200, and the Lexington's strike group is on the way back to the carrier when it spots the Japanese strike group returning to their carrier.  LtCmdr Case calls "Tally Ho!" and the four Wildcats zoom in to take one last running shot at the enemy.


LtCmdr Case (far left) is already working over some Kates when Ensign Didier pulls in behind to help out (top right).

To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
https://oldleadbreed.blogspot.com/2019/10/coral-sea-day-2-fight-8.html

And that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes the aerial dogfights over the Coral Sea on 7 and 8 May 1942.  Here's how it shook out:

Sorties: 37
Losses: 12 F4F Wildcats, with 3 pilots KIA and 4 pilots WIA
Kills: 22 (13 A6M Zeros, 6 D3A Vals, and 3 B5N Kates)
The Killer Pelicans led three strikes that lost 10 of 18 SBD Dauntlesses.  The Killer Pelicans had one pilot awarded the Navy Cross (Ensign Head) and two pilots receive the Bronze Star with 'V' device (Lt Casey and Ensign Riggins).

The series of fights was a lot of fun; well, okay, not a lot of fun, I sure took my lumps!  But it was fun, and the process worked.  This series of fights was really a great laboratory to figure out exactly what I wanted/needed to do to balance aircraft capabilities and pilot skills.  I think I've got it down, and so I'm ready to keep it rolling.  Next up, I need to play a few fights over New Guinea with my Army squadron, the Chickenhawks, then it's time to stage the invasion of Guadalcanal, finally.

V/R,
Jack
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mad lemmey
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« Reply #44 on: 17 October 2019, 12:41:40 PM »

Safe trip then.  Cool
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Chekov's Gun, Occam's Razor, and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle walk into a bar. You won't believe what happens next!

2016 Pendraken Painting Competion Participation Prize  (Lucky Dip Catagory) Winner 😎
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