"CEF History"

1998-2002
In the beginning, there was OK D-Day and it was good, but the Commonwealth was just a ragtag group of walk-ons on game day morning, with no leadership and no real missions. They weren’t taken very seriously, either. They needed help very desperately.

 

2003
Several players decided that we would take command of the unit and try to make it fun for the troops that signed up. We were given the task of taking and holding Green Bridge (Pegasus Bridge) and little else. All we had to do was to hold it until the 101st came through, after they took Saint-Lô. We still weren’t being taken seriously. We were dropped off nearly right on top of our objective and took it in less than 20 minutes, without any resistance. We sat in a defensive posture for a while and then a runner from the 2nd Ranger Battalion came to us with a plea for help. The 101st was stalemated. We quickly made an attack plan. We left the entire Canadian 1st PIB and one company of the 9th PIR to guard the bridge and the rest of us went into the woods with the Rangers. We circled around the back side of Saint-Lô and 52 troops burst out of the bushes with five minutes left on the clock. The Germans were quickly taken by surprise and we routed them in vicious house to house fighting. Three Rangers and the Commonwealth XO made it to the fuel dump and a Ranger set off the pyrotechnics, with 30 seconds to spare, to win the points. Later, we linked up with the 1st Ranger Battalion and fought from Firebase Charlie to the airfield.

Commonwealth CO: Colonel Jim Blakley
Commonwealth XO: Lieutenant Ray “HarlyHunk” Adams
British 9th PIR: Lieutenant Gary Varner (with 34 troops)
Canadian 1st PIB: Lieutenant Marco Carbone (with 34 troops)

 

2004
Once again, we were given the task of taking and holding Green Bridge (Pegasus Bridge) for the 101st, but this time, we were let off at the farthest southwest point on the property. We knew something was up, when the promoter himself showed up to see us off. We had no more than left the road, when we were ambushed by the Germans. That in itself isn’t so bad, except there shouldn’t have been any Germans in a wooded area with no strategic or tactical importance. We had been set up! The British 9th took up the left flank, while the Canadian 1st continued ahead. We fought the Germans up one hill and down the next until there was no resistance. We later learned that there were about 100 Germans in the woods waiting for us. They swore that there were twice that many Commonwealth. Little did they know, we just fought like twice as many. We arrived at our objective with 45 minutes left on the clock and it looked like the 101st was going to take their objective also. We deployed our troops and fought off three counter-attacks to take the bridge from us. After the time expired, the Commonwealth became the spearhead of nearly every attack for the rest of the day, with the Canadian 1st PIB in the fore and the 9th PIR protecting the left flank. Our battles were Pegasus Bridge, Firebase Alpha, Mound Field, Firebase Bravo, Ghost Village and Orange Bridge. It was a great day!

Commonwealth CO: Colonel Jim Blakley
Commonwealth XO: Lieutenant Colonel Ray “HarlyHunk” Adams
British 9th PIR: Lieutenant Colonel Ray “HarlyHunk” Adams (with 18 troops)
Canadian 1st PIB: Major Marco Carbone (with 36 troops)

 

2005
Colonel Blakley couldn’t make the event at the last minute, so HarlyHunk took over as the new CO and placed Major Varner in the XO spot. HarlyHunk changed his game name to Sir Raymond and started several new traditions for the Commonwealth. There was a tea for the Allied officers on Thursday afternoon at 4:00 PM, nearly all of the troops wore DPM with unit and rank patches, the officers and NCOs wore red aiguillettes in the parade and we started in on the anti-tank business. The overall battle plan was the same as last year, with a new twist. Now, everyone wanted the Commonwealth to come and help them with their objectives. Almost every planning session included the Commonwealth as a major unit and a vicious fighting force. There were some changes to the field, also. All of the firebases got a face lift with concrete bunkers and trenches. There were concrete bunkers dispersed throughout the field, most of the mounds were removed, the Manor was built and the Cherbourg Bridge was installed between FBB and the Airfield. We started out for Pegasus Bridge from the camping area. Fifteen minutes later, we were there, with not a German in sight. We were the first ones to take our objective! We fired on one lone German, who wandered into our area by mistake. He was quickly eliminated. About the time we found out that Saint-Lô was empty of Germans and the 82nd had taken their objective with only token resistance, it started pouring rain. We had our troops get into the concrete bunkers around the bridge and try to keep their markers and paint dry. When the rain let up, the 82nd Pathfinders showed up to relieve us and we got back into the fray. Again, we led the attack on the Manor, charged into Firebase Alpha, charged into the trenches at the Atlantic Wall, charged into Firebase Bravo, defended the trenches at Firebase Bravo against the German counter-attack, took Cherbourg Bridge, cleaned out Ghost Village and then got in on the fighting for the Airfield. Another great day!

Commonwealth CO: Lieutenant Colonel Sir Raymond H. Adams III, GCB
Commonwealth XO: Major Gary Varner
British 9th PIR: Major Gary Varner with 44 troops
Canadian 1st PIB: Captain Joe “Apache1” Rivard with 28 troops

2006
This year is starting out on the right foot for the Commonwealth! We now have been given the task of taking the southern part of the field and will create four new units to add to our force. The East Yorkshire Regiment, the Royal Winnipeg Rifles Regiment, the 41 Royal Marines Commando and the 13th/18thRoyal Hussars, Royal Armoured Corps. Sir Raymond has been promoted to Brigadier. Emails have been flying and many of the German emails say that they don’t ever want to go up against the Commonwealth again.

We had a rather fine turn out for the event with a total of 122 troops present. The EYR was not activated this year, but this was the year of the Commonwealth! We introduced a team t-shirt, which was well received by the troops. It seemed that everywhere you turned around, there was the Commonwealth! The tea on Thursday afternoon, followed by the commissioning ceremony of the First Expeditionary Force, were great hits. The Commonwealth won the following events:

Best Allied Costume: Sir Raymond
Best Tank: Commonwealth Tank “Wallace”
Best Mohawk: Cheez-it
Bikini Contest: Mistress Audrey
Most Allied Tank Kills: Calamity Jane (11)
Second Most Allied Tank Kills: Jhuoho (9)
Troops from Farthest Distance: Two from Bosnia

Even though the Allies lost this year, the score doesn’t reflect how hard the points were fought for. At every turn, the Commonwealth troops were charging into the fray with markers blazing, surprising the Axis with the ferocity of Commonwealth play. It was a proud day, as not one of the Commonwealth missions was an overwhelming loss or win. With the exception of Pegasus Bridge, the Commonwealth was outnumbered 2.5 or 3 to 1 at all of it’s objectives.

Commonwealth CO: Brigadier Sir Raymond H. Adams III, GCB
Commonwealth XO: Lieutenant Colonel Andrew “Ferg” Ferguson (Commander 6th Airbourne Division)
British 9th PIR: Major Gary Varner
Canadian 1st PIB: Major Bo “Boom Boom” Blackburn
Canadian Royal Winnipeg Rifles: Major Joe “Apache 1” Rivard
41 Royal Marines Commando: Captain Zack Edwards
13th/18th Royal Hussars: Lieutenant Ken Spencer

 

2007
We OWNED the southern part of the field! All of the German players say that if they have to lose, they’ll lose to the guys in maroon, who bring their A+ game. We had a total of 141 troops present. The EYR was activated this year, the Royal Winnipeg Rifles was deactivated and we had 15 Brits fly over to play with us! The Allies won an overwhelming victory. The Commonwealth came to kick butt and take names, then eat the list, cuz we just didn’t care. The ferocity of Commonwealth play was demonstrated at each turn, with the Commonwealth forces outnumbered at about 2:1, on the day. 141 troops, 4 tanks, and 2 artillery pieces.

0900 hours: Game on
0925 hours: Sword falls
0930 hours: Pegasus falls
1055 hours: Caen falls
1335 hours: Colleville falls
1418 hours: Brecourt Manor falls

Commonwealth CO: Major General Sir Raymond H. Adams III, GCB
Commonwealth XO: Colonel Andrew “Ferg” Ferguson (Commander 6th Airbourne Division)
Commonwealth XO: Lt. Colonel Joshua “Priest” Chappell (Commander 3rd Infantry Division)
British 9th PIR: Major Jim “TAG” Edwards
British 9th PIR, Company C (Royal Artillery): Captain George “Snipes” Miller
Canadian 1st PIB: Lieutenant Colin “Ghost” Townson
British East Yorkshire Regiment: Lieutenant Allen “Boondox” Boone
Canadian Scottish Regiment, Company C: Lieutenant Danial “Ghostduck” Montgomery
41 Royal Marines Commando: Captain Zack Edwards
13th/18th Royal Hussars: Major Ken Spencer

2008
Once again, we OWNED the Southern operating area, taking all objectives by 11:30 AM. After securing all of the points, we proceeded to just about own all of the Central operating area. Unfortunately, due to logistical problems with no decent DZ in the Southern OA and little or no air, water or paint in the other Allied DZ’s, the Commonwealth just couldn’t hold on to everything that was taken. Still, taking an additional four objectives away from the Germans showed that the Commonwealth was ready for anything. We had 40 Brits and 8 Aussies fly in this year and took well over 200 troops into battle. Simply amazing. Medals were introduced this year and the Commonwealth gave away 30, for gallantry and team spirit - twice the number of any other Allied unit. The Canadian 1st PIB introduced their version of the Commonwealth t-shirt, which was greatly received.

Commonwealth CO/ASAC: Lieutenant General Sir Raymond H. Adams III, GCB
Commonwealth XO (Acting CO): Brigadier Sir Andrew “Ferg” Ferguson, GCB (Commander 6th Airbourne Division)
British 9th PIR: Major Al Murray
British 9th PIR, Company C (Royal Artillery): Major George “Snipes” Miller
Canadian 1st PIB: Major Colin “Ghost” Townson
British East Yorkshire Regiment: Major Allen “Boondox” Boone
Canadian Scottish Regiment, Company C/Royal Winnipeg Rifles: Major Drew “Ronin” Decosta
41 Royal Marines Commando: Major Zack Edwards
13th/18th Royal Hussars: Major John “Mac” McMillen