We were ordered back to Loos Junction to bomb the rail facility again. The Major says it is a critical target for disruption of the enemy's supply chain. There would be no escort as all Bristol's are still being repaired from their scrap with Eindekkers on the previous visit. A flight of four BE2c's is believed to be able to defend against one ore two attackers, and I am quite confident in this strategy. Two of our pilots on the flight were on their first flight back in BE's and there has been much complaining about the loss of the Fee's. Welcome to my world boys!
Nasty weather with steady snow, lots of cloud, and a nasty wind that tossed us around and made formation keeping a challenge. I did discover the one benefit of us all flying in BE2's; no longer getting left behind! We found the target and hit it hard. The Major is greatly pleased.
Warren found me in the mess in the afternoon to report that he has heard back on his telegram to George Challenger. Apparently he agrees that a pilot need only aim the aircraft but is of the feeling, as are his contacts in the War Department, that pilots will find the concept difficult to adopt and will want to be able to sight along the barrel. I scoffed and was quite miffed at this. Ridiculous! Warren mentioned that France's great ace Jean Navarre is known for standing up in his cockpit to sight and fire the machine gun mounted to the top wing of his Neuport Bebe, so there must be something to it. "Then Navarre is a bloody fool!" I retorted.
"Well what about the need to clear jams?" Warren inquired. He had me there, I had to admit.
So the new synchronizer system looks to be on it's way to the front soon with little modification. Warren says they will add a threaded adjustment to the push-rod to allow tuning for temperature changes, based on work he is doing here. I didn't say much but wondered internally about the fact that our test Bristol has not been up yet on an actual mission because both engineer and pilot deem the equipment to be too unreliable to be trusted in combat. Ah well, we need something to combat the Fokkers so anything is better than what we have now. Warren says they will get it to work, and perhaps they will. We need it!