Friday April 6, 1917 on a dawn patrol with J11. Assigned to drive away enemy artillery machines at the front. First flight with new GTX 970. Arrive there and see distant AA bursts but nothing close and no engagements.
Flying back to base and we are about 5 miles away when more AA erupts to our left. 5 specks are closing with us and our Kette leader turns to engage. Closer I see they are Sop 1 1/2 Strutters. Tough opponents. I single one out but two or three others are sniffing around my rear. Having just read Dicta Olham I break contact, leave the fight and come back in finding my original target. I am also flying quite "tactical" for a change and avoiding the observers fields of fire. Come up under his tail and let him have it. Can't miss.
Good shooting for me and bad luck for him.
After watching him crash I see another far to my rear I guess trying to catch up. I oblige him and close up. In a turn fight, with about 3 firing passes, again avoiding the observer, I bring him down out of control about two miles inside friendly lines and he crashes in a plume of dust.
Avoiding much air activity, based on all the AA fire, I get (or maybe sneak is a better word) back to my base and land. Of the 5 flight members 1 is reported missing (Brandt) but the rest land - two with damage including me. I file claims for the two Strutters (will be victories #2 and #3 if confirmed) and another Kette mate (named Kurt Hammer appropriately enough!) also files a claim for one. Kette Eins does not have combat. The war continues.