Well, yesterday was pretty much a dud day. Thayer and I flew our morning and afternoon sorties as usual but we didn't see anything, just performed our duties and returned home to our airfield. I'm sure it won't be long when I wish everyday was as yesterday. Had a rather nice game of football yesterday with the lads, it is a wonderful pasttime that not only invigorates you physically but also mentally. I get the impression from some of the fellows that they don't approve of what Thayer and I are doing. No one has confronted either of us, but I notice the looks. I would ask them, aren't we in a war and aren't those Hun machines that we've brought down actively pursuing activities that will harm our lads. I'm no great moralist, but it seems to me that if I've a chance to protect a Tommy from some Hun depredation, then that's my duty and by Jove, I will not be condemned for not doing my duty. Furthermore, I've heard nothing negative from Ackerman in regards to our performance, so I will continue as before until I'm instructed otherwise.
Dear reader, let me tell you about today's excitement. Our morning patrol was another Line Patrol maybe the brass is starting to see the merit in what Thayer and I are accomplishing. Anyway, we arrived at the front being led again by Lieutenant Epps who if the truth be told, I'm rather fond of, he's a terrible footballer, but he is a smashing good flight leader. We had just begun our patrol when I noticed off to the southeast of us two Hun machines that were dropping bombs on our boys. I was outraged, their lives are bad enough without bombs falling on them. I signalled Epps, who must have been looking away because he never noticed them. I didn't need Thayer's command this time as like I said, I was outraged. I've found that the best way to approach one of these Hun machines is to fly at the same altitude and parallel. Then all you have to do is apply and reduce throttle to approach them and then a little rudder to ease into position. I had hardly gotten us into position, when I hear Thayer commencing to fire his trusty Lewis. It isn't long before the Hun is smoking and we witness him crashing just past the lines. I return to Epps and he waggles his wings because he had witnessed the whole thing. We return to a delicious luncheon and I took a short nap before the afternoon sortie. Imagine our frustration, when Ackerman orders us to fly a training flight for the afternoon sortie to test the new rigging that had just been completed on our bus. We had just taken off when I happened to glance back out our field and noticed explosions. For a minute, I was perplexed as to what was happening and then it hit me. I quickly looked up and there were the Hun bastards that were bombing my airfield. I looked at Thayer and he nodded his approval and our training flight quickly became a hunt. I squeezed every inch of altitude out of our old bus and I finally caught up with the Huns over Dunkerque. I began my attack on the leftmost aeroplane in the formation and it wasn't long before Thayer had his engine smoking. I followed him down and the Hun attempted to land just east of Dunkerque, but he cracked up in some trees. As I swooped over him, I saw the pilot and his observer crawling gingerly out of the wreckage. I turned for home and landed without any difficulty. The first words out of everyones mouths were, "Did you get one of those bastards?" I assured them that we did. Now, I'm not noticing those looks near as often and from as many men, maybe now the fellows understand that this isn't a game and to win we need to kill as many of them as we can or it might not ever end. By the way, that was our fifth kill and we had quite the bash that evening.
The cowards who bombed us.
Hun about to crash into the trees.
Member and provider of banjo music for the Illustrious BOC