June 28:

Well, that was.. Hm.

Morning flight was almost an exact copy of yesterday's jaunt. Three machines, this time with I leading, fly over to Ypres and patrol for awhile. I'm still not sure why command thinks FE2.bs are great for patrolling, but so be it.

We head straight for Ypres, gaining in altitude as we go. We never make it. Somewhere around Ballieu I notice 5 dots closing rapidly. From the east. Hm.. I just watch them for about 10 or 15 seconds, and they are definitely coming over to see what we're about.

Time to zoom.

Time to run from the squad of Eindeckers.

If I thought for a moment my wingmates would behave as fighters, I might have risked it even at 3:5 odds - yesterday left me with new found respect for my craft (at least compared to the E.III). No, I don't think this is going to work.

I spin away and dive rapidly for AA range. I'm not far from Balieu Wood/Town/Asylum, so plenty of airfields to choose from if things get too hot. For awhile the extra speed from our descent works in our favor. Two of the E.IIIs break formation and surge ahead. Then I notice one of those two turn back..then the second. I begin to turn to see if maybe I can give him a bloody nose, but the other three, still in formation, take this opportunity to close rapidly. I turn and run some more.

Over Balieu Asylum my mates decide it's time to land and get out of harm's way. I follow along, and just for the kicks I decide to play along and let the waypoints guide me in. I'm beginning my down wind leg run, when I notice one of the Eindeckers is in my way and will intercept me before I can complete the leg.

I abort and begin one of my more normal landings - much steeper flight path, but this person's coming up fast. I'm 500 feet high when the first wild shots pass around me.

Sigh. Well, there's only one. I turn into him, and it's ANOTHER fricking HA. My observer takes a few shots at him as we close rapidly. He turns away .. and I don't dare follow. We're too low, and I don't dare spend the time to climb for altitude with this joker hanging about. The Fee is far too sensitive to get into a turning duel with no room to recover if I spin out. I begin a more circumspect turn, trying to just stay ahead of his guns.

At one point he breaks left when I break right, and I use that opportunity to fly over Balieu Asylum at about 500 feet altitude. He chases me, and that's when the AA lets him have it. He turns away and I let him go.

With my two mates landed, and a squad of Eindeckers flying about looking for trouble, there is no point in trying to go on. I land at Balieu.


And apparently arrive back in time to try again that afternoon. This time I'm part of a group of five on yet another patrol, this time around the town of Balieu itself. A flight follows us up, then sits over our base as we begin the long flight north.

The long, lonely flight. Driving rain - I don't know if I've seen fiercer in WOFF. Grey skies at 7000 feet, the sun nothing more than a dull orb burning through the mist and not a hint of blue. I'm frankly surprised the meteorologist didn't tell us to stay home.

Because apparently he tells everyone else. I see a grand total of one plane on our entire patrol: A dot far below and moving along the front. It didn't care about (or perhaps see) us, my flight leader didn't care about him, and I was content to practice flying in and out of formation. We completed the entire patrol, then returned home without incident.

I might have been bored, but someone came along and mauled 'A' flight cruelly. Of the four machines in their flight, three where shot down with six men killed.

I'm ready to get out of this deathtrap. I hope my transfer comes through soon.

Last edited by CatKnight; 06/28/14 08:32 AM.