Journal Entry: November 8, 1915

Received another telephone call from Major Friedel today informing me that I am the new permanent commander of FFA 32. He stated that since I am doing a fine job it didn't make any sense to upset the routine of the unit. He also informed me that naturally I will be promoted to Hauptmann to fit my new responsibilities. I have grown accustomed to the duties of a commander so I was pleased with his news. Manfred was very pleased with the news and announced that a binge would be in order for this evening.

Part of my duties as commander has been to try an instill an aggressive spirit in the men and today my efforts were rewarded. I had ordered the Jasta to perform a recon up near Arras and I was leading Schwarm Zwei and Manfred was leading Schwarm Eins. Manfred was almost a kilometer ahead of us when I spotted a single Nieuport dive out of the clouds above and attack them. The Nieuport dove through the formation and continued down and then turned for home which told me that he had been damaged and was disengaging. The Jasta continued on and upon arriving at the specified location both schwarms began to orbit the location while taking photographs. It wasn't long until two Nieuports arrived and turned to engage Schwarm Zwei. I turned into their attack and August began to engage one of the Nieuports. After a few bursts, August must have hit the fuel tank because the Nieuport suddenly burst into flames and slowly rolled over and spun to Earth. I am always horrified and sickened by a flamer, I don't think I will ever get used to seeing that. I now turned my attention to the rest of the schwarm and saw the second Nieuport diving away to disengage. When we landed everyone was thrilled with of our victories over the hated Nieuports. I used this as another opportunity to teach my men that although we are flying cumbersome two seaters, we aren't defenseless and we can fight back. On a side note, our victory was unconfirmed but it doesn't matter because August and I know that we scored that victory. All in all, it was a good day.

Member and provider of banjo music for the Illustrious BOC