As his first assignment Willi is given the task of protecting an Aviatik CI on a Recce flight. Although a huge push is on to the west, today's mission is to gather information of lorry and troop movements to the south along the Commercy / Pont-a-Mousson road.
Today is also special, for the Roland C type aircraft is to make it's first appearance on the front. The four members of this flight discussed what was to happen, climbed into their mounts and took off for Thiaucourt to the SSW. From there they crossed the lines north of Limey. Almost immediately Willi and his passenger could make out large columns of lorry's along the road moving to Commercy. Obltn.Pruess started to make sketches and notes while Willi did his best to provide a clear view downwards and keep an eye open for enemy aircraft.
The two biplanes were unmolested and allowed to do their work. Willi was looking for the Aviatik when he noticed two specks to the south moving towards them. They were at least 1000m higher and had every advantage should they wish to intervene. A few seconds later and he could see that they were Caudron C4's, more or less the same type as the Roland, and Willi knew that they would attack if so inclined. But luck would have it and the two Franzmänner seemed to have other work to complete. Just like Willi the two Caudrons were also gathering information along the Front, and so both groups merrily moved back and forth. Finally Klebauer (Aviatik) waved the all clear and dived for home. Willi decided to stay high and follow.
The French machines, finished looking at front positions, moved NNE deep into Hunland. In fact it looked as if they were headed for Frescaty also. Obltn Preuss handed Willi a note saying he wanted to pursue the Franzmänner. They started to follow and climb. They two EA had finished what ever, and turned back for home. The Roland was still lower but seemed to be catching up despite having to climb. Eventually, just before reaching the front lines Willi opened up at 200m. To his despair the Roland was not as stable as he thought it was. Getting a clean shot was indeed very tricky as the aircraft slew all over the place. At the same time he had to stay lower to avoid return fire. Keeping a good distance was also impossible. The Roland needed speed to fly properly, any reduction to the throttle and she almost fell out of the sky. Willi was blazing away just following the tracers and forgetting the gun sights. Finally, after three attempts, the rear Caudron slowed down and Willi's Roland, to his horror, zoomed past the Franzmann. Expecting to be shot at Willi closed his eyes, hearing the sound of laud MG fire in his right ear. But it was Pruess who had decided to enter the war, firing long bursts into the nacelle of the French machine. The enemy gunner disappeared and the pilot slumped forward. The Caudron fell into a spiral that continued until hitting the earth just north of the road near Limey. Fortunately friendly infantry units were able to confirm Will's secong victory.