Some authors, in recording the loss of a WW1 pilot, often say the most dangerous time for a pilot is when he returns from a extended leave as he needs time to get back in the "swing of things." Just got a taste of that as this was my first WOFF flight in about 9 days as I was out of town for work.
April 29 1917 on a morning Line Patrol with 56 Squadron leading B Flight. We were still about 10 miles behind the lines when I observed British AA around a higher group of 5 specks to our right. Figuring they were two-seaters I turn the flight to intercept. As we got near the specks peeled off to attack our 4 man group and they were revealed to be Alb DII's. Quite bold to be so far back in British territory. Anyway I never got a shot off and was pummeled by two of the Alb's as I was attacking another. Petrol tank was finally holed and I was forced to land but the flight did well shooting down 3.
I was not wounded so a cheap lesson was learned. As a consolation prize I decided to fire up my 1916 60 Squadron career to get warmed up and got a Halb DII and a balloon on a DOP. No pics though as I was focusing of flying and fighting...this time!