"Some days, it isn't easy being the Squadron Commander. You know you are going to lose men, that is just part of the job. But when you are entrusted to protect and save others, and you aren't able to, that is the hardest failure to endure. Today we were tasked with escorting a flight of FE2bs southeast along the front down past Monchy to observe infantry emplacements. We took up position about 1500 feet up from the Fees, giving us a good view of the surrounding skies. As we approached the target area, we swung around in a big horizontal loop in the sky to scan for threats when we saw the Fees break off southwest across the lines, just like they were told to do if they spied a threat. Looking off to the northeast, I saw a flight of unknown craft angling to meet us at the same altitude. Signalling the rest of the flight, we moved to intercept. As we closed, I saw them to be Albatros scouts, recognizing the cruel lines of their ramrod-straight wings as we merged. Coming around, I could see the black puffs of Archie following our retreating Fees in the distance, so at least I knew they were safe. I then turned my attention to our enemies. Twisting this way and that, I fired at several enemy scouts, observing when I could how my squad mates were doing. We were holding our own and I eventually managed to come around on one Albatros and fired a telling burst into the cowl in front of the cockpit. He started to dive and moments later, his engine burst into flames. In dread, I was sure I could hear the pilot's scream as he spiraled down to the firmament below. I watched, transfixed, as he spiraled down through several rotations. Then an explosion pulled my attention back to the now: a Fee was on fire, going down to the North of my position! Inexplicably, the Fe2s had circled around and were now in the midst of the remaining enemy craft. Cursing this turn of events, I dove into the new maelstrom. We fought several of them off, but in the distance, I saw a long smoke trail as another Fee went down. Leaving the more than capable Sub-Lt Compston to chase after the remaining Albatros diving away from our location, Sub-Lt Booker and I turned westward to pursue the Fees and their attackers. It was some time before we could close the gap, and we saw one more of the poor two-seaters go down in flames, but now the lone Albatros attacking them was over our territory and it was his turn to flee for home. As he made his way to the east, we cut him off and were on him. His engine was flat out as he tried to make his side of the lines, little realizing that I would have followed him down to his airfield in pursuit. I closed to close range and fired, at which point he dove down in a spiral. Following and firing when I could, I chased him to the very ground, where our own infantry began to fire upon him. It cheered my heart to see their guns erupting at him, until in their exuberance they began to hit me as well! Soon their shots took their toll on my adversary and, like the knight who dies from a thousand cuts, the German went down slowly to crash in No Man's Land and flip over. I later learned that the pilot had died from no less than seven gunshot wounds! We had lost 3 of the flight of Fees, but the Germans had paid dearly: we shot down six of their scouts, with no loss from my flight. I am glad that I do not have to write any letters of condolence for my men, but it doesn't make it any easier when I think of the airmen in the Fees who will now never gain the experience that would have saved their lives today..."