Carl von Fisk
Kasta 36b, Verdun sector
July 16, 1916

Having arrived at my new squad, command immediately assigned me to a flight of four Rolands intent on reconning the border only 12 miles away from our field at Brullin Higny.

I'd just come out of my initial climb, with my flight leader (Oberleutnant Milch) trying to form up, when I saw a TRAIN pass beneath us. Showcasing world famous German discipline and elan, I immediately broke formation to buzz them. I could imagine Milch shaking his head and muttering 'Rookies' as I swooped away.

Well, my first approach was bad. I was coming in at an angle from it's rear right, and the train itself was about to bear right. It was also passing through forest, and I don't trust the Roland's turning characteristics enough for sudden maneuvers. I passed somewhere in front of the train intent on turning around.

I didn't want to lose my flight entirely though so I glanced over to see how they were doing. They'd completely broken formation. In fact, there were too many dots over there. And they were dancing.


I abandoned the poor train and rushed over to help my comrades, when two of the hostiles broke off to see if I'd like to join the party. I simply have no idea what happened to one of them, but the other - a Nieuport 16 - wanted to make me his partner.

He managed to get on about my 7:00 at point blank range. I'd fired a few initial shots during his flyby, but no hits. With him almost on my rear... I was too low to chance actually banking left. My QCs with the Roland suggest she does NOT like to go against the torque of her rotary engine. It was therefore hard rudder left, with the wind of a borderline stall constantly in my ears, trying to stay ahead of him until he gave up. I did not dare try anything else.

My observer fired several solid bursts, at first with little effect. When he finally fired on me there were a number of hits, but nothing vital. Finally I heard tearing fabric: His. He spun away, and I chased him until I was sure he couldn't recover.

I looked around: No hostiles. No friendlies for that matter. No point in continuing therefore, so I began the 2 mile trek back home.

But not before I buzzed the train.

While approaching Brullin Higny, I noticed a friendly in his down wind approach, which at least convinces me I made the right choice in aborting my mission. I was a little high on my own approach, so plan A was to turn around and try again, when my fuel warnings started going off. The #%&*$# had hit my tank!

Our aerodrome is mostly surrounded by forest, no chance of simply landing in a nearby field, and I felt I was too low to try to turn around, run out of gas, and hope to last long enough to deadstick in. I dove for the field, then pulled up at the last second. It was a hard landing...but a successful one.

Time of flight, start to finish: 0.13 hours. If the Nieuports keep coming to me I might have trouble getting my 3 hours in.