Journal Entry: January 31, 1916
St. Pol-sur-Mer

By all rights, I should be lying dead in a smoldering heap right now, but yet I live. Today, I finally met an adversary that by all accounts should have been victorious and had he not made one fatal mistake, he would have been. Ronald, Roderic, and I were ordered to fly an escort mission for a lone BE.2c that was tasked with an artillery shoot. We had just reached the front when a pair of Fokkers dove out of the clouds making a play for the old BE. We dove and placed ourselves between the Huns and our charge and that was enough to convince one of the Huns to turn and scurry home. Turning and running for home is blood in the water for me and the lads, so naturally, we gave chase. The other Fokker turned to chase us, but he was far enough behind so that he no longer was a threat. Eventually, I caught the first Hun and gave him a burst, which sent him into a spin. I went into a wide turn so that I could watch the first Fokker, but in doing so I enabled the second to close the distance and I was forced to change my attention from the first to the second. I made the almost fatal mistake of assuming this Hun would fall as quickly as the ones before. This pilot was made of sterner stuff and twice he managed to get onto my tail, but I flitted out of the way just in time. At one point in our duel, we were circling each other in a tight circle with my enemy just opposite of me, I looked at him and noticed that he was staring back at me. At that moment, it became a test of wills, who would break this dance first. We both knew that who broke first would probably not survive this encounter. We twisted and twisted until the strain was almost more than I could bear, it was at that moment he made his fatal error. He broke for home and in retrospect, I should have let him go, but my blood was up and I turned and gave chase. I caught him and gave him a good burst after which his engine burst into flames. It saddened me greatly to see such a valiant foe die in that manner. I only hope that when my time comes, it comes quickly.

Member and provider of banjo music for the Illustrious BOC