Aleck A. MacKinlay

April 13 and 14, 1916: RFC-29 made the move to Abeele in foul rainy weather. Construction crews have been busy since I left, with an entire new set of wooden barracks and offices erected on the west side of the road across from RFC-6. Our canvas hangers came with us from St. Omer.

April 15: Before I could order our attack on the railyard. we were jumped by at least three Eindekkers. I ended up in a swirling go-round with two ... one tan and one green. They both flew well and aggressively and I could not get an advantage. It crossed my mind that I might be dueling Boelke and Immelman and in serious trouble. Suddenly the green machine broke off and headed east, diving for the protection of a balloon installation. I followed and fired bursts at closing range as tracers from the ground whistled by me. 'Turn and fight me' ... I didn't want to shoot him in the back ... but he bore straight on and my rounds found their mark. He spiraled into the ground. His tan friend was screaming in on my tail but was too slow to help. He too broke away and headed for the adjacent German airfield. It would be foolish to follow so I turned for home. James was suddenly there, having downed the third Eindekker in a one-one-one fight. and we flew home together.

So I killed a man today. It is a very weighty thing, a thing that seems lodged behind my heart and will probably stay there for the rest of my life. And yet it was necessary. This man was trying to kill me and in the heat of the fight I had no hesitation to pull the trigger. It's later that you feel it. I wish he had turned to fight ...

Last edited by 77_Scout; 04/16/19 03:43 PM.