Feldwebel Carsten Crossmann, Jasta 3, Flanders

I hear this is being called Bloody April, not sure whos blood is being refereed to, ours or theirs. Its April 27th, Ive only been here a month now. Recently it seems we are constantly outnumbered in the skies. We used to take off with two flights of six to seven planes each. This afternoon it was me and Schlenker alone. It was strange seeing only a single plane to the left of me and none to the right. Half of the other pilots in our squadron are either dead or in the hospital. I just got back after spending five days in the hospital myself.

Mission today calls for balloon defense, weather is clear with blue skies and clouds on the horizons, nowhere to hide today. Off we go to start our patrol, as we climb and get to altitude, the sky is empty. I am thinking maybe we will get lucky today and not run into the enemy. The patrol continues uneventful, I have a hard time keeping up with Schlenker in my DII. His DIII (early) is just a bit faster, I find I have to keep turning on his inside or he will quickly be out of sight. Certainly do not want to be alone out here.

Nearing the end of our patrol, I am thinking ahh, will be heading home soon, then off in the distance some dots appear. Schlenker starts heading for them and I follow. They are a pair of N23 and a pair of Strutter 1B1s. The N23s are a bit closer and we go after them, hoping the Strutters will just continue on home. Such is not the case and it is soon four against two. I find myself separated from Schlenker, weaving and dancing, I occasionally spot him off keeping one N23 busy. I have both an N23 and Strutter paying me attention, the fourth enemy decided to head for home.

Going around in circles for what seemed forever, I never really get a clean shot at them but they only manage a few holes in my plane. Eventually they both decided to go home. After breathing a sigh of relief, I look for Schlenker and see he is still occupied with an N23. As I turn to help out, the N23 breaks off and heads for home. For a short second I think of pursuing, but see Schlenker has already turned to the East. I follow, maybe tomorrow we will be able to put up more planes.

I keep hoping I will soon get a DIII assigned.



Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. A. Einstein

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