Aleck A. MacKinlay

February 14, 1916

Things are not going well! After a routine artillery spotting mission yesterday, we had another deadly run-in with Fokkers today. Reynold and his observer Weller are gone; shot down over our lines east of Bethune. Reynold was never a great pilot and the bloody sod barely tried to maneuver his Fee. Easy prey for one of the Fokkers.

The other Fokker and I had a very long circling fight, which I was describing to about six of our pilots in the mess after the fact. Warren Davis entered part way into my re-creation and was very keen to hear about it, interrupting a few times to ask about the abilities of the German 'wonder weapon' with its synchronized forward firing machine gun. I was quite pointed in telling him and all those present that the Eindekker is no wonder weapon ... my opponent appeared to be an experienced pilot yet I out-flew him with little difficulty. Davis seemed to get a bit excited at all this and asked if I could have shot down the Eindekker if I had had a synchronized gun at my disposal and I told him "Yes, easily."

After the retelling of the days encounter the group broke up and Davis took me aside. "I have something I would like to show you tomorrow afternoon if you have an hour or two. I think you will find it very interesting." He cocked his head out the window to the northeast, "Hanger 1".

I mentioned that the Major would have to approve this and he informed me that he had already cleared it with the Major yesterday after finding out I was a recent engineering graduate.