19 June 1915-PM

The afternoon job was another patrol over the front near Lens. Lieut. Carter was the lead, flying a FE2. Like previous flights, his faster craft quickly outpaced us. By the time we arrived over the front, he was almost two miles ahead of us. As we arrived at the northern most point of the area, we spotted two grey aircraft 2.5 north of us heading east and below us. Carter was too far away to signal, and suspecting they were enemy aircraft, Lloyd and I flew out of our patrol area to intercept, finally accomplishing the trick as the aircraft approached the enemy airfield at Haubourdin. We identified them as two Avitak BI and began our attack as the enemy began their decent. Although it took several descending turns around the airfield, eventually by following where Lieut. Lloyds was pointing the Lewis, I managed to put Lloyd in a decent firing position. He fired a good burst into the wingman and I observed it wingover and spiral towards the ground from approximately 1200 feet altitude and crash about 500 yards east of the airfield. Immediately afterwards, Lieut. Lloyd targeted the lead aircraft, firing a burst into it. However, we didnt observe any effect. About that time, our descending fight had dropped us low enough that we began seeing tracers from the MGs at Haubourdin flying past our bus. Neither one of us wanted to have to face the Germans after shooting down one of their aircraft on approach to its home field, so we departed the area, and returned to base. Although we put in a claim, it was denied due to there being no witness. The report is below:

While over the German lines at 8000 feet, spotted two enemy Aviatik two seaters and to the north of me, flying East over the German side of the lines, approximately 2000 feet below. Dived to engage and approached in from the rear quarter. Made a series of passes on the formation as it approached the German airfield at Haubourdin, north of the city of Lens. Fired approximately 30 rounds into the wingman, after which it spiraled towards the ground from approximately 1200 feet, crashing approximately 500 yards east of the airfield. Also engaged the lead aircraft with approximately 20 rounds with no obvious result. Broke off the engagement after we began taking ground MG fire.


Fight over Haubourdin.


Aviatik Crash Site-Haubourdin AF to the left


No man commands safely unless he has learned well how to obey.