Scout, that is horrible about Captain Brown. Worst possible way to go for a pilot.
MFair, yikes! Very glad that Jericho and Christian survived that outing. Here's hoping their claim is confirmed.
Fullofit, Gaston should be chuffed about his award, the man certainly deserves it. And he did a fine job of putting that prig Lieutenant Dagonet in his place.
17 March, 1916 Bruay, France
2nd Lt. Swanson was preparing for the morning sortie, a bombing of the enemy front lines at Athies. This would be his first outing from the field at Bruay as the previous day he'd been kept busy setting up things in the new digs. He'd also received big news at lunch that day as well when the Major announced that he had been awarded the Military Cross for his outstanding record of service so far. Swany was flabbergasted at the news. Imagine, a farm boy from northern Minnesota being given such a high honor from the British Empire. He nearly popped the buttons off his tunic, his chest was swelling with so much pride. The CO went on to say that when the Lieutenant was finished with his other duties he could take one of the squadron cars to Béthune that afternoon in order to purchase the required ribbon for his uniforms as the formal investiture and presentation of the medal would not be happening until sometime later. Swany was giddy with the whole affair and spent the rest of the day with a broad grin on his face.
But back to this morning's sortie. B Flight lifted off from the new field into another beautiful winter's sky. Swany noted to himself how nice it was not to have to immediately claw for altitude in order to clear a massive slag heap with a stand of trees on top of it, which had been the case back at Auchel. The trio of Moranes circled several times as they gained height, then headed southeast towards their assigned target. The trip there was quiet and quick, the latter being help by a gentle tailwind. Upon reaching the enemy positions the three planes went single file at the target and released their Cooper bombs, one after the other. Swany watched as several more small craters were added to the thousands that already pockmarked the ground below and pondered if they'd really accomplished anything at all. His pondering was cut short when Captain Craig suddenly smacked him on the shoulder and pointed off to their right rear quarter. Three Eindeckers were bearing down on them fast! Swany immediately turned into the threat and watched as two of the EA continued on after the rest of B Flight. The third however came directly at Swany and Daniel. The fight was on and it was intense. The enemy pilot was very skilled and kept the pressure on as the two planes circled their way downward. Swany was staying out of the fellow's line of fire, but was not getting much of a chance to give the Captain a clear shot. Round and round it continued without results. Then the Hun made a minor misstep when he burned off a bit too much speed trying for a shot. It was a misstep that would cost him his life. The Eindecker wallowed in the sky just long enough to allow Swany to carve the Morane over and give Craig a clear line of fire. It was done in an instant. Black smoke trailed from the enemy plane as it dropped away into No Man's Land. Swany turned his bus for home and watched as the Eindecker smashed into the mud on the enemy side of the lines, a dark sooty column rising up to mark the spot.
The King's airmen returned to Bruay where two claims were submitted; one by Swany and the Captain, and one by Tone Bayetto and his G/O. Two of the Huns had been sent down and seen to crash, with the third being driven off early in the engagement. It had been an excellent sortie.
First outing from the new field.
Playing "Follow the Leader" as we approach the target.
More craters in No Man's Land.
Turning into the threat.
Captain Craig works his magic.
One less Hun to contend with, one more claim to submit.