I instantly knew it was bad. The nacelle of the DH2 was riddled with bullet holes, every guage shot out. And the blood ... lots of blood.
The Aviatik gunner had got me good as I broke off my attack. I had to get down quick but needed to get back over our lines. I made a full power diving beeline west. Then the engine died. Panic set in.
Fortunately I quickly found that the DH2 is a good glider. Barely able to see through the red haze enveloping my eyes, I glided down ... down and down, praying not to pass out before landing. Green fields finally loomed ahead and I landed crudely near one of our balloon companies. I don't remember anything after that.
I awoke after dark, completely disoriented. A young fellow in an orderly uniform passed by and was able to tell me that I am in a dressing station in Givenchy, lucky to be alive. I have a hole in my left shoulder right below my collar bone. I lost much blood but the wound is clean and he reassured me I would be fine with a couple of weeks rest. I asked if they would be sending me home. He said that would be up to the doctor, but guessed that I would be back to the war soon enough. "Sorry about that." he said as he moved on. That was all I could take in and things faded back into blackness.