No escort today. Buckminster is the only Bristol pilot left and he will be needed elsewhere today. So just two BE2's flying alone. Recon down south near Lens ... this took us into the zone of Fokkers flying out of Douai so a worrisome mission. Corwin's engine acted up as we reached the recon area so Chris and I had to proceed on our own.
I kept hearing aero engines and was nervously looking about; nothing. Chris was busy trying to see anything useful on the ground through a fall of wet snow. Zip, zip bang! We were being shot at from behind. I quickly banked and a Fokker Eindekker appeared under our wing. I was furious that we had missed his approach, and roared through my muffler, "Not today you #%&*$#!" Having long ago learned that the Fokker is a poor flying machine, I through our BE2 onto his tail and stayed there. In a Scout machine I could have finished him in a second. "You can't out-fly me Fritzy! Come on and try!". Around and around I followed him, letting him know he was outclassed. I was hot, with a boiling temper, "Give it up, #%&*$# it!I'll saw your bloody tail off with this prop if I have to". Chris had several chances to take a shot to dissuade the enemy but refused to fire, shaking his head as if to say 'no good, can't make the shot'. Bloody hell! And still the German would not relent.
Off we headed for home, with our persistent German chasing us. Every time he would get close I would make a few quick turns, foil his crude attempts, and head back on our way. Finally, near Bethune, the stubborn idiot banked away and headed for home. I gave chase for a second with the idea that Chris might rake him from the side in revege, but quickly gave up the idea. Chris has shown not a bit of skill with the gun in all our flying together, and trying a stunt like that would probably just get us killed.
We arrived home with no more trouble than a few holes in the tail fabric. I was pretty livid with Chris' performance but kept quiet. Chewing him out would not do any good.