Six of us started off on a patrol over a friendly aerodrome. After forming up Lt. Fred Peirce peeled off and headed back home. Half way through our sortie another machine leaves formation and then another as we start back. No encounters during the flight. When I land I find out the fate of Peirce. It appears his his engine burned out but he managed to crash land before dying. Nice chap, twenty three years old. The other fellows landed ok. I know our mechanics are doing the best they can but this needs to be looked into. Until today I haven't been too concerned about our machines reliability. Now I have something else to worry me.