Aleck A. MacKinlay
RFC-29, Abeele
May 11, 1916

James and I were assigned an escort mission, protecting an FE2b observation mission over the lines east of Armentieres. A clear day so we had no problem hooking up with the observation aircraft. On station, two Aviatiks passed overhead but we ignore them; protecting the FE2b was more than enough reason to avoid another harrowing attack on Aviatiks. Reconnaissance missions give me a great sense of purpose; if there's a fight then it will be a fight to defend my fellow fliers and I will have no qualms about killing an enemy pilot to do so.

Three dots next appeared in the eastern sky. Our observation aircraft turn to the west, obviously running from danger. It was three Fokkers diving in to attack. James latched onto one of them immediately and sent him down in flames. I chased after another that was pursuing our FE2B but had to break off when I realized the third enemy was on my tail. A long turning dogfight ensured the against this green painted machine, which was well flown. I could only get in short bursts as we twisted and turned, but eventually caught him in a slow turn and hit him hard in the cockpit area. He slowly spiraled down trailing wispy black smoke and crunched into the hard mud of no man's land.

I put in a claim and the James put in two. The recon plane returned home safe and sound so it was a good day's work.

After supper I was informed that my claim had been confirmed; my fifth. I guess that makes me an ace, the first in RFC-29. Some of the boys are quite excited and wanting to make a big deal out of this, but I hate the attention and headed off to bed early for some quiet contemplation. Shockingly James' two claims were rejected despite my emphatic confirmation; apparently our gunners on the ground were given credit. Ridiculous.

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