Sgt. Bryan Smythe
Warbird Rising
6th Squadron, RAF
Abeele, Flanders, France

25 June 1915
I was thinking about luck today, and realized that Lieutenant Lloyd and I have been extraordinarily lucky. The day after downing that Aviatik we crashed, but walked away without a scratch. The very next day, the CO assigned us to a easy mission to patrol well within our lines. We simply had to orbit one of the nearby airfields and keep away German reconnaissance aircraft. The flight commander said we got this easy mission, because after our crash yesterday, the CO wanted us to have an easy flight. I was assigned to lead, and Sgt. Garfield was my wing. As we were climbing out, Lieutenant Lloyd spotted a flight of three Aviatiks heading east. Apparently, they had just dropped some bombs on something nearby. We pursued, but they were well above us. We didnt finally catch them until just after they crossed the lines, heading for their home base. Lloyd fired about a couple of bursts into the right wingman near the German airfield at Houplin. We saw him spin out of control, and Im sure he crashed. I then went after the lead aircraft. Although we hit him, he was able to get away. My claim was again denied when I got back to base. I was stewing about my bad luck, but Lieutenant Lloyd correctly pointed out that I was very lucky. In the past week, weve cheated death at least twice-once when I almost crashed the aircraft chasing the Aviatik near Menen, and once when I wrecked on the 23rd. In return, weve shot down three Aviatiks, even if the records dont show it. At the least, we are luckier than some. Lieutenant Lloyd also reminded me that the book of Proverbs says not to gloat when your enemy falls. Hes right. We have been extraordinarily lucky.

26-27 June 1915

Very routine missions the past couple of days. On the 26th, I did a bombing attack on some front line positions. The lead aircraft dropped his bombs from 6000 feet, so I did the same. Of course, we didnt hit anything from that altitude. On the 27th, we had a patrol deep over German lines over their field at Phalempin. Surprisingly, we didnt see any EA, and returned home without incident.

Homeward bound from the Morning Job

Out of control Aviatik near Houplin

Last edited by Combs; 06/28/15 01:33 AM.

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