Journal Entry: July 7, 1915

Today was absolutely horrifying, we lost two machines to engine fires during this morning's sortie. When we took off it looked like the day was going to be a beautiful day for flying, but looks can be deceiving and what promised to be a great day quickly turned into a nightmare. While we were orbiting the field gaining altitude I noticed that Friedrich and Carl's machine burst into flames. I sat there horror stricken and I helplessly watched them plunge to earth like a comet. I sat there stunned until I realized that the mission must go on and I turned and led Scwarm Zwei to the front. We arrived at the designated shoot and began circling. After about 10 minutes, I looked over and waved at Andreas and Robert, it was at that moment his machine burst into flames. I will never forget that terrified look that came over Andreas' face as he was engulfed in flames. He and Robert began that long plunge that ends in oblivion. I decided to scrub the rest of the sortie and headed home. In one sortie we lost two officers from Schwarm Eins and two officers from Schwarm Zwei and by the way, there wasn't another machine in the sky. After today's events Hauptman Schoenebeck has suspended all operations until he can get to the bottom of these engine fires.

Member and provider of banjo music for the Illustrious BOC