April 23, 1917. Per "High in the Empty Blue" the first real day of offensive patrols for 56 Squadron as the first two weeks in France were spent "polishing up" (nicest word I can think of) the Se5 for combat. This is actually reflected in the WOFF Campaign Manager - of course! So Sergeant DIH begins his new campaign this date. Morning DOP, about 10 miles into Hunland, with 4 man B Flight in nice weather. Being a new guy (and a lowly Sergeant) I follow the patrol leader and we finally see 4 Huns, 9 miles back, and about 1000' feet higher then us. The patrol leader, not being timid, orders the attack.
Unfortunately he turns away from them and I, not thinking that's a good plan, change course toward them and fly directly at them. No sense giving them a nice easy attack path.
And there they are in their nice shiny V-Strutters! Hopefully I can scuff that paint work up a bit.
My plan works, I think, as this one corkscrews down to attack me and, because of the approach angles, we start combat more or less at a equal state. He is quite good and I have a tough time getting behind him until after two almost head-on passes I get a quick burst into him head-on, score hits, and this changes his thinking and he cuts the wrong way allowing me to get behind him. I shoot until he starts to smoke and, possibly wounded, he begins to fly erratically. This allows me to get close behind him and really load him up with Vickers and Lewis. I expect him to blow up, lose a wing, or burn, but he just noses over and goes straight down to his doom.
There are several aircraft at my level flying around and I try to join up, or engage, but never quite get close enough. The Hun AA finally stops in the area so I figure my flight has departed the scene or are down. I circle a few more times and see, about 2000' above me, 8 or 10 specks that are Huns! Time to go I reckon as I am 10 miles behind the lines and low and I pass over the burning grave of my late foe on the way out...S!
On the way out I come across a damaged SE, flying low, and provide a high escort for him. He is so low he attracts much ground fire but manages to cross the lines and lands at a advance field. See a lot of other aircraft flying about but they are all friendly. Back at base I file my claim for 1 Albatros and my wingman who suffered combat damage (2nd Lt Goon) also puts in for one. Of the two others one is down on a friendly field (HA) and one crashes (shot down?) but survives (HA). Confirmation is pending with the stock WOFF system. I then trudge to the NCO Mess for some tea (that I probably have to make myself) but happy I got a Hun on my first time over. Hopefully someone saw it! And I can see why I don't post videos! Hehe...