The continuing service of Ernst Ziegler:

19 Mar 1917 @ 08h06 Patrol of our lines east of Bapaume to Havincourt Wood

We had clear weather with haze in the distance and winds at 3 kn from the SW.
I lead the flight with Berr, Theiller, Gontermann, Sturm and Bussing accompanying. Eins flight sent Schneider, Baevers and Huber as top cover.

The flight to the lines was quiet but just as we arrived there I spotted 5 specs on the horizon and slightly lower than us approaching head on. I signaled to engage and so the dance began. I had several bursts on two different Nieup 17s which crossed my path while I was in pursuit of one craft. They were from Esc 67. I managed to down one of the enemy craft and continued on circling for others to engage. The skies cleared quickly and I was only able to locate two other of my squad. I signaled to rejoin and just as we accomplished this Berr broke formation heading towards Pronville, the nearest aerodrome. I elected to follow him and as we arrived over the field I saw that Berrs prop had stopped spinning. He made a forced landing just south of the field destroying his craft but was only lightly wounded for the effort. Bussing and I landed together safely.
I reported in to the RO lodging my claim and indicating the Berr also got one and asked to have him picked up. Later that day the reports came in that Theillers craft had suffered light damage and was forced down; Gontermann had destroyed his craft in a crash and was lightly wounded; Sturm had destroyed his craft and was only shookup but claimed one Nieup; and Huber of Eins flight had suffered heavy damage to his craft but was un-injured.

All in all we suffered the loss of three craft and damage to two other for the effort of downing 3 Nieuport 17s. Not good results overall.

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