Well that didn't go very well. I was supposed to fly an orientation flight from Munster to St.Die and back. I have been given the new, and only AV.C1 of the squadron and it let me down. I just hope no one thinks I'm cursed and all that. Start was 12:20 with a full load of bombs although we were told not to get closer than 4km to the front. Weather was fine, for winter near the Alps! We took off and climbed to 1600m over Colmar and started for Munster. 20min later and the oil pressure starts to drop. It all went so fast as our motor conked out on us 3min later. Looking downwards one could see only wine fields and mountains filled with tree's. Where to land ???
At only 1600m we knew that gliding back home was out of the question. By the time we had reached 1000m my passenger, Oblt.Wind, was showing me a strange look on his face. I was new, straight out of flight school, and he didn't know me. I'll bet he was cursing the Hauptmann for this assignment. But one has to keep a brave face. It has been a few years since my stunting at Berlin but I felt that I could land safely. Then I remembered the bombs...all ten of them. I had to write a note to ask what to do about them. Heinrich's face went even whiter, if that was possible. He had forgotten them as well. One quick look around and down went the bombs into the woods.
My first choice to land was an opening but we quickly passed that, and even a second one too. Ahh to hell with it, a decision has to be made, and I'm going to land on a road. The largest one was still to our front. I had one go at this so I did my best..... and what do ya know, we landed safely about 8km from home...or about a 3hr walk. Heinrich decided to go for help and that I should stay by the aircraft.