Saturday April 27 1917 at 1330 leading the 3 strong B Flight on the afternoon Line Patrol with A Flight in support. The mornings balloon attack mission went well, in great weather (above) but we saw no Huns. In the clouds we quickly lose A Flight and just prior to crossing the lines HA Meinjtes drops out with engine trouble leaving just me and non-HA Lt. Channing.
Circle just behind the front for a few and see 4 specks below. As they are trying to intercept us I know they are Huns. Leading Channing I drop a bit and gain speed and, being an old hand now, make for the Hun who has separated a bit from his comrades. This is him with Channing in the upper right going after the three other Huns. 2 vs 4 but this is 56!
Going after my target I make a pass, scoring good hits, and he now thinks twice about the engagement and tries to get away but I got this Se5 stuff down and am on him. One of his friends gets on my tail but I shake him with a "corkscrew Split-S (tm)" that quickly puts me back on the tail of my target. Another good burst of Vickers and Lewis and he goes straight down for a crash.
Looking around for his pal I see him and get on his tail for a perfect shot only to find my guns are jammed! What the heck! I didn't even notice after my last victory. I keep after him all the while trying to clear my guns. Finally I do and get in another good burst and he puffs smoke and tries to flee to a nearby airfield with me hot on his tail. Over the field I am amazed by the number of tracers coming up, am hit by ground fire, and wonder if I am being stupid. I keep at him though (56!) and, with a lot of rounds, he goes down and finally hits the ground in a nice gentle curve apparently with a dead pilot at the controls. Channing nearby is my witness to his destruction.
Low on ammo I gain height for the trip back across the lines avoiding AA concentrations and finally cross with Channing and land at a friendly field. Channing puts in a claim for one and I claim two. A Flight makes no contact. One claim is confirmed and the other is not (oddly the one where my witness was 100' away) making it now 17 kills for Captain DIH. The CO, in a meeting in the mess, states I am to be awarded the DSO for my actions. As a "real life" aside this is my highest scoring WOFF ace ever. Drinks are on me men!