Recent Events: 10 Sept ’39

8 Sept:Polish defenders at Westerplatte surrendered
9 Sept: Battle of the Bzura begins.
9 Sept: British Expeditionary Forces (BEF) began landing in France.
10 Sept: Canada declared war on Germany.


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Calvin “Knuckles” Hayward

Agility: D8Fighting: D8Martial Artist
Smarts: D6Shooting: D8Quick Draw
Spirit: D6Piloting: D6Ace
Strength :D8Intimidation: D4
Vigor: D6Streetwise: D6Languages
Swimming: D4English
Toughness: 5Stealth: D4French
Parry: 6Throwing: D4Chinese
Sanity: 5Survival (Temperate): D6
Pace: 6"KS: Navigation: D6
Played By: Garrett V. Nationality: American Service: American Volunteer in China MOS: Fighter Pilot / Close-In-Kill Specialist Calvin 'Knuckles' Hayward is the son of an English/Irish-American police lieutenant from New York and a French-Canadian church choir singer from Quebec, Canada. Knuckles grew up in Brooklyn. He was raised a devout Catholic and attended a Jesuit run boy's school. It was a tough neighborhood so he had to learn to defend himself at a young age, thus earning his nickname as he was always ready to 'put up his dukes', and often had bruised knuckles from barefisted fights. The Jesuits noticed his natural brawling skills and lack of fear, so they decided to channel these powers for the good, enrolling him in the school's boxing program, which he excelled at, winning several city-wide competitions. Knuckles was a tough kid but had a good heart, he could often be found beating up bullys and was revered as a hero by his less physically inclined schoomates. Knuckles learned to speak French in school at his mother's insistence, and she quizzed him in her native language daily until he became quite fluent in it, despite frequent protests that the language sounded 'girly'. In response to this she read him Dumas' heroic tale, 'The Three Musketeers', and he decided "Maybe dem Frenchies ain't so soft after all." Considering his atrocious Brooklynese when speaking English, his French sounds quite proper, except for the Quebecois accent. He can actually turn off a lot of the Brooklynese when he needs to, but prefers his native dialect. For a month or two every summer, and sometimes for Thanksgiving or Spring breaks, Knuckles was shipped off to Quebec, Canada in the care of his mother's family. Her older brothers were great woodsman and introduced Knuckles to the joys of the great outdoors, teaching him to hunt, fish and hike his way through the temperate vastness of the Canadian wilds. This had the advantage of teaching the city boy many wilderness survival skills, as well as give him a chance to speak French with the Quebecois men in the family, a rugged bunch who loved Knuckles a great deal, and doted over the plucky boy, even though they delighted in scaring the dickens out of him around the campfire with tales of The Wendigo, and other frightening legends of the North. One night while camping by a lake deep in the Great North Woods, his uncles stopped their joking as they heard an eerie howling. The fire was put out early, and young Knuckles was shushed into silence as they swiftly spirited him into the tent with them. He was put to bed but the men stayed awake long after, listening to strange sounds carried by the wind in wide-eyed silence. The next morning they swore it was nothing, just a wolf, but they packed up to go before even eating breakfast. As they left, Knuckles saw an enormous, clawed track sunk deep into the sands of the lakeshore but his uncles would say nothing in response to his questions, and the subject was never broached again. After the sport of boxing, Knuckles other great love was airplanes; he read about them constantly, studying everything he could find on the subjest. Despite his mother's protests, he decided to leave high school to join the US Army Air Corps at the earliest possible age. His father understood his son's need for adventure as well as his thirst for justice, and sent him off with is blessings. Sadly, his 'Pop' was killed in action during a bank robbery just a year later and Knuckles still carries his police bage with him wherever he goes. Knuckles learned to fly under the tutelage of the maverick Lieutenant General Claire L. Chennault, and was selected as a back-up pilot in the 1st Pursuit Group Army Air Corps aerobatic team, the "Three Musketeers", based in Montgomery, Alabama. Chenault included Knuckles when he went on to form his famed "Men on the Flying Trapeze". Knuckles practiced extensively with the team's back-up members but only performed in a few public airshows. It was during this period that Knuckles had his first encounter with the supernatural. While flying back to base from an airshow with the acrobatic troupe Knuckles saw something strange going on aboard a comrade's P 12 E biplane: A small, humanoid creature with green skin, a horrible, evil grin, and glowing, evil eyes, was perched on the plane's front end trying to pry open the engine cover! Knuckles flew up close to alert the other pilot. Suddenly, his comrade's engine began to sputter, somehow the creature was sabotaging its engine! Knuckles pulled out the 'Colt Official Police' .38 revolver his late father had carried throughout his carreer in the force, and shot the thing square in the eyes as it hissed and growled at him. What should have been a sure kill just seemed to stun it and it fell from the plane, falling through the darkness with an eerie howl. Once they landed, the other pilot understood that Knuckles had saved hiom from a mysterious danger, but all that he had been able to see was a "cloud of green sparks". The story spread across the base and Knuckles soon earned a second nickname, 'The Gremlin Hunter'. When Lieutenant General Chennault retired from the US Army in order to go train Chinese airmen fighting the Japanese in 1937, he once more invited Knuckles to come along and help. Released from US service due to 'special circumstances' thanks to Chennault's pull, the young second lieutenant did so gladly, saying "Flying all dem crazy stunts was real fun but I'm itchin' fer some real action!" He gotehis wish and took his skills beyond the airfield, clandestingly leading his students into real action during the Sino-Japanese war, racking up enough kills to make him an Ace. Upon arrival in China, Knuckles started to spend his free time boxing. His physical skills and fearlessness were noticed by a Chinese Kung Fu expert, who invited him to join the lessons at a local temple. Knuckles had a rocky start as he rebelled against his strict and often inscrutable teachers, but he quickly learned to speak some Chinese as well as to control his fiesty temper. Against all odds the 'Kid from Brooklyn' rose to become a highly accomplished martial artist, eventually learning deadly techniques that only a very few westerners of the age would ever be aware of. It was during this time that Knuckles had his third exposure to the supernatural, watching his august teachers use ancient Chinese magic to wondrous effect. He seldom speaks of this decidedly exotic period of his life, and there may have been A Girl involved in that reticence. Knuckles would have gone on to become one of the first Flying Tigers, but Chennault asked him to join Group 17 as a personal favor, knowing that Knuckles array of talents in the air and on the ground would prove useful to that top secret and critical effort. And so, Second Liutenant (retired) Calvin 'Knuckles' Hayword packed up his ditty bag and left China for England, ready to "Knock dem lousy Kraut's dicks in da doit!"

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