ATTACK SQUADRON: ROSWELL from Zozer Games uses the Mongoose Traveller RPG engine to power a campaign set in the early-mid 1950s where the characters are part of a top secret USAF project to investigate UFOs. As the game says, think X-Files meets X-COM! Being a former Navy guy, I cannot let the Chair Force steal the spotlight, so I worked on the Navy counterpart to “Project Pounce.” Of course, I had to find a very exotic plane to use; one that “officially” had a limited history but “secretly” makes for an interesting vehicle to fight against the alien invaders. What better Navy airplane than the Convair F2Y Sea Dart, the jet plane on hydro skis?
TOP SECRET- MAJESTIC 12 ONLY– While the USAF had “Project Pounce” the US Navy also had their own UFO defense plan. It called for stationing several submarines around the globe to always be in position to respond to an invading saucer. In 1952 the US Navy has started a crash-program which will use the 95% complete Japanese I-404aircraft carrier submarine carrying the Convair F2Y Sea Dart. Later submarines will be secretly converted along with REGULUS guided missile boats. There are even plans to build a nuclear-powered boat in the far future under the codename “SkyDiver.”
I introduce to you Lt Paul Miller, USAF. Paul is a Pilot assigned to the 6th Bombardment Wing flying B-36 bombers out of Walker AFB, New Mexico. If you know your Air Force bases, then you know that Walker AFB used to be known as Roswell!
Paul Miller joined the US Army Air Corps in early 1945 before the end of World War II. He was already well into the training pipeline for the B-29 bomber when the war ended. Rather than being released from service, Paul continued on and was part of the newly established US Air Force in 1947. During his first flying tour (Events – Post War 1945-1949), Paul was instrumental in refining the development of the AN/APQ-7 Eagle bombing and navigation radar for the B-29, and became close friends with the radar’s chief developmental engineer (Term 1 Life Event – New Contact).
Lt Miller transferred to the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron in 1949. When the Korean War started, Paul’s unit was sent to the Far East and started flying missions along the Yalu River. These missions were some of the first pounced upon by the new Russian MiG-15 fighters and the squadron suffered losses. This lead to great angst in the unit, especially as the Commanding Officer and Executive Officer clashed over unit tactics (Term 2Events – Korean War 1950-1953 – Leaders at loggerheads; gain Diplomat 1 to stay out of it).
By 1952 Paul no longer flew combat missions over Korea, but instead piloted “ferret” – electronic intelligence or ELINT – missions against the Soviet Union using the new RB-36. During one uncommonly exciting mission Paul saw his first UFO. The saucer approached Lt Miler’s RB-36 while near the Russian coast and buzzed the aircraft several times, nearly causing Paul and his pilot to lose control. After the flight, members of the new National Security Agency debriefed the entire crew and swore them to secrecy.
In 1953, the Air Force transferred Lt Miller to the 6th Bombardment Wing at Walker AFB near Roswell, New Mexico. Fully expecting to fly regular B-36 bombers, Paul is surprised to find out he is assigned to fly a uniquely configured B-36 with special-mission equipment. Lt Miller was also selected for this assignment because he encountered UFOs before. The leaders of the 6th Bombardment Wing recognize that Lt Miller has a knack of getting along with others (Diplomat 1) and want to use him as an important liaison between the 6th Bomb Wing and Flight 2-D of the 4602nd Air Intelligence Service Squadron at Kirtland AFB as well as the Project Sign office at the Air Technical Intelligence Center at Wright Field, Ohio.
The special B-36 (unofficially designated as B-36X Spooky) was selected for conversion because it is the only aircraft in the USAF inventory that can carry this heavy and bulky equipment. Seen from the outside, Spooky is a specially modified B-36 that carries two pods aft of the nose.
Publicly, the Air Force released a cover story which claims the pods are used to transport spare engines between bases for deploying B-36 bombers. In reality, the Air Force is worried that UFOs are often invisible to conventional radars of the day and the service is experimenting with a more powerful radar system. Lt Miller has been reunited with his old friend in radar development who is working on a beyond-state-of-art X-band radar using an electronically steered array. Though the actual antennas are relatively small (fitted into the pods), the equipment required to run the radar is bulky and takes up two of the four bomb-bays in the bomber. The new radar is also very power hungry, and draws from a large bank of batteries in the other two bomb bays. This has caused Paul’s friend to comment, “What we really need is something like an atomic pile in there.” Incidentally, Paul has heard about a new Convair test airplane, the X-6, which will have a reactor aboard. Hmm….
According to the squadron’s Operations Officer, the plan is for three B-36s to hunt for UFOs together. Spooky detects the UFOs and then passes contact information to two FICON B-36s which use their trapeze-carried fighters to intercept – and destroy – the saucer. The Air Force brass hopes this Hunter-Killer team will enhance the defense of the US against the alien invaders. There are even some who say that someday such radars will be in space….