Flight Lt Alex Ackworth - RNAS 4 - Coudekerque - 28 July 1916 (Mission 26)

We received a couple of Strutters over the weekend and the ground crews have been busy getting them ready to fly. After some rest, we take off this morning at sunrise (5:11) for a railyard bombing in Roulers. We are five planes led by Flight Cdr Whealdon and we will receive the reinforcement of three DH2s from RFC 29 in Abeele. Weather is beautiful and the sky is clear with some little clouds.

We get to the frontline with our escort and cross over. The railyard is some 10 miles inside enemy territory. As we get on the enemy side at 6000 feet, we fly over a Drachen and get a warm welcome from the flak defense around it. Gee, they get up early !

Then we fly over Rumbeke airfield where we can spot a bunch of planes landing, not one of them seems to notice us. Two miles further we drop our bombs on the railyard and turn around. No sign of enemy patrols in this early morning hours !

As we get back to the front, Cdr Whealdon seems to have forgotten about the Drachen because we fly over it again and get the flak goodbye. This time a shell burst between him and me and his plane is hit, because he breaks left and flies away, probably to try to land on the good side. Being number two, I become leader and I take everybody home to Coudekerque. After landing we are glad to hear Cdr Whealdon has landed his plane with only light damage in the country, and is on his way to the airfield.

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