PILOT NOTES
Offzstv. Bernhard Harms, Kasta 18
Pronville, 22. Juni 1916

Weather: changeable; huge grey cumulus, light haze
Wind: 4 knots, W-NW
Takeoff: 16:20 h
We had to reconnoitre enemy positions and installations at Neuville-Saint-Vaast and Thlus north of Arras.
Our observers made notes about everything. Then they put the sheets into special wooden tubes with little
parachutes attached to them, and dropped those south of Vitry-en-Artois. They had laid out a white cross
on a field there, which we couldn't miss.
An escort of 4 Fokker E.III was meant to join us over Vitry, but we never saw them.

We operated in two layers this time. Becker and Seybold flew at 1500 Meter, and I was higher up,
at 2200 Meter. We had agreed, that we would fire a yellow flare, if one of us should get under attack by
enemy scouts. If they'd attack me, I would dive in front of my comrades and drag the scouts with me.
I would try to lure them right in front of my comrades' guns.
And if Becker or Seybold should get attacked, I was meant to come down on the enemy like hellfire.
All very nice in theory.

When we had dropped the first notes, and returned for a second observation, I saw 4 specs over a huge
white cloud. The fokkers, I thought. But then they all went down like hawks: attacking scouts?
Becker and Seybold went into that cloud in that same moment; I never saw any yellow flare.
I flew to the other side of the cloud, but I saw nobody coming out of it.
So I carried on. Rieken, my observer, made final notes, and we flew back to Vitry and dropped them.
A two meter long streamer, made of bandage, was attached to our log, and we watched it going down
on that field. Then we headed home.

Later we learned, that Becker and Seybold had really been attacked. It all went so quick, that they
could only just dive into that cloud quickly - no time to fire a flare. The fight took place under
the cloud, where I could never see them.
Seybold's engine got shot up; he had to put his Roland down by the road Arras-Cambrai, but they
remained unharmed. Becker's observer is lightly wounded, but they made it back.

We will all fly higher next time, if the mission allows it.




Vice-President of the BOC (Barmy OFFers Club)
Member of the 'Albatros Aviators Club' - "We know how to die with Style!"