Drago Duntz Jasta 1 Vaviase Airfield, Marne April 16, 1917
My mood is very low. It has become perfectly clear that most of the pilots in the Jasta cannot fly! Twice a day we are sent out to patrol and one or two never come back. On the 13th I bagged a Nieuport in the morning and another in the afternoon, both confirmed. I should be in high spirits but my last mission has put me in a dreadful funk. Having taken it upon myself to try and protect my squad members we took off today for balloon defense southeast of St. Mard. While circling at about 11,000' we were attacked by Spads. It was 4 against us 3. My last meeting with with the Spad, also my first, I gained a lot of respect for it. I was on defense the whole time. This time was no different. One latched on two me and the dance was on. Lower and lower we went. I finally got a telling burst on him and he started to leave a vapor trail. Got his fuel tank! I dove in for the kill and oil splattered on my windscreen. In all the excitement I had not enriched my mixture! I hit full rich and gave him a burst. Parts flew from his machine but he kept on flying. I cannot print the words that exploded from the cockpit as I turned north and watched my prey fly south.
I landed near an army base east of St. Mard in the rain. Returning to my field I learned both of my flight had been killed. We are at half strength now.
Dudley Duckett RNAS8 Vert Galland Dec. 19th, 1916 Most of our missions have been quiet lately. Yesterday we escorted a BE to bomb Riencourt. As soon as the eggs were dropped our flight leader dove on a lone DII and I followed. Pulling in behind it and giving it a long telling burst it rolled over and crashed. Climbing up i spotted my wingman and as we were forming up we were attacked by DII's. I got behind one and he went down but i did not follow. Alone, I headed for home. No one from my flight returned. We learned 2 had landed with shot up planes but were ok. My wingman, Kincaid, made it to a friendly field but was in a bad way. He died that night. I put my claim in anyway. Today was a balloon busting mission. All went well and returned to hardy congratulations from the CO. I also learned that Kincaid had confirmed my Albatros before he died. I should feel good but it was a bitter sweet victory.
Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from either end. BOC Member since....I can't remember!