Flight Sub-Lt Alex Ackworth - RNAS 4 - Coudekerque - 19 July 1916 (Mission 20)

After two days grounded by the bad weather, it's back to the office ! I draw the afternoon mission as wingman of Flight Lt William Richmond for a bombing of enemy ground units east of Ypres. We are granted an escort of 3 Airco DH2s from Abeele and flight A with two Strutters will follow to finish the job.

Sky is blue again and we fly to the frontline, picking up the DH2s on the way. As usual they have some difficulties in following us and fall a little behind.

As we near our target, I am in trailing line with my leader, ready to release my bombs as soon as I hear him release his. I see two dots under us, far on our left who could be enemy aircraft, but we have plenty of time to do our bombing run before they close on us.

We are less than 2nm from target when my leader decides to abort the bombing run and go after the Fokkers. I decide to finish the run, but of course I don't have my leader signal anymore and my bombs miss the target. By the time I make a left turn to rejoin, I see the 3 DH2s falling down on the two Fokkers already fighting it out with Lt Richmond.

I have nothing to win in joining that fight, so I turn around and go hover on our side waiting for everyone. After a while I spot planes returning who turn out to be the Strutter and the three DH2s. Lt Richmond decides for a pit stop at Bailleul before going back to Coudekerque, so I land there with everyone else. Lt Richmond tells me he has shot down one of the Fokkers and the other one ran away.

(*) Since I had two no-fly days because of weather, I managed to negociate with the lady (who wanted to watch a girl movie on TV anyway) a break of my "no fly on week end rule" smile

Last edited by corsaire31; 07/19/14 09:39 PM.

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