Sergeant Bilbo Baggins, RFC 70, July 11

Today we were supposed to escort a flight of recon craft to the lines to get a good look around.

Unfortunately I didn't see that, so as soon as we were up in the air I toggled through the waypoints to encourage our flight leader, Lt. Weller, to go straight to the front. Whoops.

Our flight of four Strutters once more found action perhaps 5-10 miles south of Loos, and 5 miles or so on our side of the border. Another flight of 5 Eindeckers flying low.

They didn't see us right away, so we were able to swoop in and hit their rear left flank. I took the fifth one and fired a few bursts with no apparent effect. I have no idea WHAT my companions were doing, because first my observer opened fire, then the 2 or 3 on my tail returned the favor.


I don't know how badly I was hit - perhaps not so much, as I heard no tearing fabric and my engine seemed game, but suddenly steering to the left, against my rotary engine, was all but impossible. I could flat turn with my rudder like a champ however and managed to get behind a second one.

This one received a solid rake over the top of the craft from propeller to rudder. Tearing fabric, and he fell away for Bilbo's fourth official victory.

My tormenters were back though and gave me another burst to the tail. My observer seemed to be going nuts. He didn't down any, but after awhile they began to turn away. I let them.

Other than not turning left very well I seemed to be okay, but couldn't see any of my companions so turned west for home. Up ahead I saw two dots, which turned out to be Lt. Weller chasing the last Eindecker. I slowly swivelled to join the pursuit - he is my flight leader after all - but the Eindecker easily outdistanced me. I gave up when Weller did.

Rather than try to reform the flight, he turned for what turned out to be Heisendel Aerodrome. I couldn't keep up with him either - perhaps my engine WAS hit. I followed him as best I could, and while Weller was in the air circling the field I managed to get on a favorable approach and come in to land.

Still alive. I love my Strutter.