Thursday, April 5 1917. First patrol with Jasta 11 using the "Aces DIH" mod. This mod, based on the work of SOGriffin and OldHat, has no Allied aces and only a few select German aces. Mission is a Line Patrol near Cambrai.
Morning flight to the front with Kette Zwei led by MvR. Typical early April weather, cold and grey, and we lose Kette Eins in the murk. Never saw them again.
At the front we circle and fly around, see some distant specks, but nothing for a while. Just when I think it is going to be a no contact patrol MvR dives onto a group of about 7 enemy aircraft that I didn't see until our patrol leader did. All of a sudden there are several formations around but I don't know if they are friend or foe. The Kette dives for the attack. DH2's! Despite all my April Jasta time this is only my second or third encounter with them ever.
As I remember the old pushers are quite maneuverable, and he is, but not quite enough to save him. I land a few hits, nothing major, but either killed the pilot or blew out his controls as he plunges to his doom just behind the Britisher main trench line. Huzzah!
See LvR shoot one down out of control that I was also making for as he was on the tail of a comrade. Also saw a unknown flamer that was probably a DH2 as there were two Albs behind it. Circle around to join up and I see LvR make a beeline for a friendly airfield apparently damaged. Notice MvR and another chasing some unknown foe straight west but, being an old hand now, do not join in the target fixation that may go on for miles. Set a course for my field and see, off to my left, another DH2 being chased by German flak bursts but he is a little higher then me and going hell for leather so I continue on my way. While enroute back the normally reliable Mercedes suffers a breakdown. Check my map and make for a unknown friendly field. Just as I am getting ready to turn into the final approach, and quite low, the engine fails all together! Only have one chance to get this right and luckily I do. "Good Morning comrades. Am I too late for breakfast? Okay how about some coffee?"
Finally get back to base after coffee and a repair and file my claim. MvR gets two (he was behind flamer) and another Kette mate, who was killed, got two also. LvR does not claim his so I may have been mistaken about who the victorious pilot was. Out of our six member patrol two are killed and one is reported missing and still is by the time of the afternoon patrol. My claim is pending.