Monday, April 9 1917. Flying with J11 on a cloudy morning about 45 minutes after sunrise with my 8 victory ace Leutnant DIH. Getting frantic calls from the front as the British start their Arras offensive. Led by MvR we head west for the action.
Unfortunately the French and British were apparently airborne before us and we do not get near the front when we are attacked by a unknown number (I was admiring the sun and clouds) of French Neiuports. They suffer badly in the upcoming fight but do their job as a 8 unknown plane formation passes 1000' over our heads heading east unmolested - obviously British or French bombers. I find this gentlemen who seems hot to shoot down one on my comrades so I get on his tail several times in a long lasting (because of my poor shooting) circle fight that drops to low levels. On his tail again he tries to evade, I turn after him, and lose sight. The reason? The big cloud of dust and smoke. Think he flew into the ground trying to get away from me.
While circling I see another plane, not too far off at my level. Another N23! He was flying toward me, I think, but changes his mind and tries to get away. MvR and Schaeffer fly over my head but do not assist. Perhaps the 3 v 1 is not to his liking. My shooting, however, is absolutely terrible combined with a jerky Track IR from ambient light. Finally get some good shots into him and he levels out allowing me to close and finish him off. He goes straight down and crashes in a field.
With no one in sight, and low on ammo, I set out for my home airfield. All the Jasta returns safely and claims are made for two by other Kette members. I put in a claim for my two and they are pending. They will be victory #9 and #10 if confirmed.
EDIT: Apparently I was wrong. My J11 guy was actually a 6 victory ace and this is victory 7 and 8. They have been confirmed along with #9 that I just got. I was breathing easy - 10 seems to be a jinx number in my Alb careers.