10th April, 1916.

Meinecke knew that there was something wrong the moment he heard Kolb's aircraft approaching the field.

It was a rough day, warm air was flowing in from the NNW and meeting cold air in the South from the Alps, the result was gusty conditions, scurrying cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds and severe turbulence. Meinecke knew that Kolb was an experienced pilot with almost 20 front hours but experience is not a hand to trump fate, as was well known to all who flew from Vivaise. Meinecke could tell that tt wasn't just the engine. Kolb wasn't flying with his usual relaxed ease, he was struggling. Fighting the aircraft, fighting the air, and he was losing.

"Power on you bloody fool!" Shouted Meinecke, his face taut as though he were struggling with the controls himself.

Kolb was coming down too quickly, not trusting his ragged engine Kolb had pulled back the power, thinking he had enough height to make the field but Freya had other plans for him downdrafts and gusts toyed with Kolb's Eindecker as he struggled to manhandle the machine in for landing, the trees ahead of him that had seemed far below a moment ago now loomed ahead, grasping. Kolb almost made it, he side slipped deftly between two trees but Freya reached out and plucked him from the air, sending his Fokker spinning into the ground with a sound like a giant beating his fist into the earth. Meinecke winced, poised like a watchful hawk for the first sign of fire, thankfully it never came. Meinecke shook his head and turned his back on the scene. There was no hope, Kolb was certainly dead judging by the wreckage strewn across the field and Meinecke had other things to do in order to retain what remained of his squadron.

When Werner and Klaus examined the Kolb's machine they found it riddled with bullet holes, Kolb wasn't though, Freya had mercifully snapped his neck on impact like a farmer kills a chicken.

*****

Several miles South a severely damaged Caudron met a similar fate. Two other members of the formation had seen what transpired. A lone Eindecker had attacked them, singling out the left side machine of the trio since it was struggling to maintain formation. The Fokker has isolated the Caudron and the two had fought each other but the rough weather had mastered both combatants, sparing both the Caudron and the Fokker for a few more minutes of existence. A young, square jawed and olive complexioned pilot named Hector Magnier listened to the old hands chatter about the combat. The Fokker had been very unlucky, having to fight the air currents to maintain position. On a calmer day he'd have made short work of the Caudron, the German's shooting had been precise and the French machine was badly hit in the encounter, trailing smoke and losing height all the way home but the weather had doomed the German flyer, causing him to lose position and stray into the path of the observer's machine gun which was used to good effect, driving off the German machine and bringing the French crew a temporary reprieve. The observed died in the crash, the pilot was badly injured.

Magnier's stomach felt hollow, his turn to face the Fokker scourge was growing nearer.

*****

P.S. The Story now continues with Hector Magnier who will be flying the Caudron for C.21.

P.P.S Thanks JJJ, your bloody mod got Kolb killed. Bugger you and your incredibly realistic bloody gusts and turbulence. ~S Outstanding work pal.

P.P.P.S Thanks to all of you who are following the tale, sorry for the long wait.


Last edited by Ace_Pilto; 06/02/17 10:21 AM.

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