May 2 1917 on a sunny Wednesday leading 3 others of B Flight on the afternoon Line Patrol. Arrive at our patrol point, after losing one flight mate to engine trouble, and after a few circles I see 4 specks off to our front. Obtain a good position and order the attack on 4 V-Strutters. A Flight, despite having their "reaction time" turned up via OldHats mod, does not help...again. Also turned OFF Cloud Shadows as an experiment.
For a couple of minutes I start to get nervous as these Huns are good. Checked the "PilotClaims" file later and at least 3 out of 4 were HA's. I receive minor hits on 3 occasions before I finally get behind one but another is inching up on my tail. My flight is in action though so I shake him and get behind another Hun. After a 3 second burst with both Lewis and Vickers Wilhelm Groos lights up and goes down.
After watching him for a second there are still aircraft around. Make for two, hoping they are my flight, but nope. More Huns. After some frantic maneuvering I make a good deflection shot (real good - don't think I fired more then 10 rounds) and the Hun goes down out of control. I think he is faking at first but Hans Klein goes down apparently dead in his seat.
See more aircraft and Hun AA down low so I make for the action. The first aircraft I come across is another Hun. Make a diving attack but, due to my speed, only have time for a quick shot. Break off in a zoom climb and receive hits from the ground fire. I decide enough is enough and fly away but the Hun is apparently mad and follows me. Sounds good as I lead him away from the AA and gain separation in my speedy Se5. After a minute I honk around in a turn but this guy is also good. Several turns and almost head-on passes I get behind him and shoot his wings off. Alfred Osterreicher goes down for his final landing.
Out of Lewis and down to 100 rounds of Vickers I make for British Lines. I see no other aircraft except as I cross the lines. Oh, its Captain Ball leading A Flight working on their tans I guess. Back at base I file claims for my 3 but we lost one flight member. 2 out of my 3 victories are confirmed making it 24. I receive the VC and a promotion to Major. Feel a little bad as Captain Ball has 40+ kills and will have to be dead before he gets the VC. Thought about retiring my Major but 56 had a Major flight commander in January 1918 so maybe I will keep him for a while. Probably take a bit of leave.