Originally Posted By: Bucksnort
10 August 1916
Achille Coppens
Quatrieme Escadrille (RFC 25), Belgium
Farman F.40 Pusher (F.E.2b) - Afternoon Line Patrol at Abschnitt

Another line patrol this afternoon. Lt. De Hauwere again lead the five Farmans of B Flight, but this time we were alone with no top cover or experienced pilots in our flight. The afternoon flight started out uneventful with no contacts to be seen during our patrol over the lines near Abschnitt. But as we turned west to go home I spotted 6 contacts. At first it looked like a dogfight as two of the contacts were zooming about while the others remained more stationary. But then as they approached amid AAA puffs I realized they were Fokkers headed straight towards us!

The Fokkers passed over head by just several hundred yards and then dropped in on our heads from above. Lt. De Hauwere maintained formation position as well as the others, so I followed suit. My gunner pepperd his fire to the rear and the Fokkers stayed above us at first and I was hopeful his bullets would find their mark. But as the Fokkers closed they dropped below us and I began to hear their bullets rip into our plane. Finally another from our formation broke, and at the same instant I saw blood spatter in front of me almost before I felt the stabbing pain in my shoulder. I also saw my gunner slump at the same time and knew we were in trouble, so I dove for the deck.

A quick glance backwards gave me a glimpse of one of those devils following me so the chase was on. When I reached the deck I realized I could only make 55 mph and I would be caught. Looking around I saw a friendly airfield just a mile or two away and was able to land with the Fokker still in hot pursuit. That devil then turned away as he apparently wanted no part of the field defenses.

6 days in the hospital for both myself and my obs/gunner Capt. Bouckaert. My plane badly damaged and two planes from our flight destroyed with one claim to show for the lives of 4 men. This has convinced me the Farman is no scout and should be used only in the recon role preferably with a proper escort. I fully intend to talk to my C.O. about a transfer to a squad of Nieuports, Pups or at least Strutters if I am expected to fight as a scout! On the bright side, hope the nurses at the hospital are pretty!

See ya'll on the 17th of August after I recuperate from my wound! salute

I hope your nurses are much better than the one I had a Dunkirk. She was a battle ax!

Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from either end.
BOC Member since....I can't remember!