25 Nov 1916 @ 09h01 Patrol to Furnes and east to De Blankaart Lake
Today we had an OP flight up to the lines between Poperinghe and Diksmuide and hence to Furnes before heading home. Capt. Emmerson lead the flight with Capt. Cleaver and myself on wing. We had gusting wind between 7 and 9 kn from the SSW with periods of significant buffeting. Approaching Poperinghe two Rolands passed over head about 1500 ft above and ignored us. Half way between Poperinghe and Diksmuide we again encountered two Rolands headed east well above us. On the return flight we again encountered two Roland CII’s passing over us headed NE and appeared to be ignoring us. In no short order I heard machine gun fire and we took a couple of hits. Carlson handled the craft deftly allowing me an opportunity to return fire and then again on a head on pass slightly lower and on the Rolands port side. He passed us by without exchanging fire and headed directly east. I could see that Emmerson was engaged with the other Roland at the time. Carlson swung us back on course and we headed to Ste Marie Cappel . I could see we took a few hits to our port wing but it appeared no serious damage hade been inflicted. There was no sign of Cleaver or Emmerson on the return flight. When we landed at Ste. Marie Cappel, I noticed Cleaver had already arrived. We all converged at the RO and reported in. Cleaver, not having been engaged in the conflict had noticed that Emmerson had sent the Roland down smoking and that Emmerson’s craft shortly thereafter crashed. Later that day reports came in that there were no survivors.
I hardly knew Emmerson, having only just arrived in the Sqn, but I observed his loss had a significant impact on the rest of the men. We stayed at Cappel for a day while our FE was repaired and then headed back to Auchel. Although my encounter with the Roland was indecisive, I was satisfied to know I had driven him off. I was beginning to feel an itch to fly my own plane and have control of my destiny.
Youtube Vid: No vid capture of combat sequence due to accidental vid capture turned off and discovered too late. Some good demo scenes of wind mod though, activated in Mission Editor.
Last edited by Robert_Wiggins; 04/06/1711:32 AM.
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