Sgt. Bilbo Baggins, RFC 70
July 12, 1916

Command remembered that we can bomb things and asked us to remind Houplin Aerodrome with some 40 lb. bombs. We were a flight of 6 led by Capt. Cruikshank (HA) and made an impressive sight as we more or less formed up.

It was pretty dull: It began raining heavily almost immediately after that pic, so I didn't even have the benefit of practicing ground navigation or admiring the sites. No Germans came to us, we found none. Dropped our bombs and went home.

This time Command asked us to remind one of the rail junctions near Bapaume of our capability. The weather was a bit better, and much as in my flights during mid-week Capt. Cruikshank suddenly broke off to attack a flight of 5 Fokker E.IIIs. I grinned. Perfect thing to relieve my stress.


Well, I did get a few random shots into 1 or 2, but my allies were simply vanishing. One of my companions had already had a bad engine and turned back, leaving three Strutters. Then one got into a collision so close off my left wing I thought it'd been me.

2 on 4 now. Someone got really lucky with a single bullet as I heard something crunch under the impact. I was still having some luck turning to my right and getting off the occasional stray shot, but at least 3 of them were trying to get on my 6.

That's when I noticed the Roland joining the party. God I'm beginning to hate those things.

I tried to turn for home, but two of the Eindeckers and the Roland still wanted to talk things over, so I turned back towards them. Stalled and ended up flying 90 degrees to the vertical, left wing up ... and nothing I could do seemed to make it better.

Crash. Bilbo's quest has ended.

Final Stats (already reported): 5.72 hrs, 6 sorties, 4 victories

I'll probably wait a bit before jumping back in. My Track IR is due Tuesday, and I might jump into category B at that point.