Carrick, that was a close call. Lou, you would think a chap with a stellar record would get a little sympathy. He did own up to his mistake.
Lt. Mark Jericho May 21, 1916
Jericho felt better today. He was back to his old self after 2 missions yesterday. He was leading 2 other machines to recon the area around Monchy. He had been assigned a new gunner, Lt. Phillips, as Barrus was on leave. He had plenty of experience but seemed a surly sort. Jericho was not too concerned as it should be an easy mission. Just over the mud Jericho spotted 2 Huns a thousand feet below headed east. He made a slow circle to keep his eye on them. Sure enough, they started climbing and had the Moran's cut off. Jericho was not worried as Griffen and Lewis, his flight mates, were experienced veterans that knew their way in a fight. It did not take long for the Eindeckers to climb up. Jericho turned toward them and the three Moran's attacked. As the Huns flew under them Jericho turned to give Phillips a shot and he heard the Lewis bark. Soon they were in a circle with one of the Huns but Jericho had the advantage as Phillips kept his fire up but the Hun could not get a shot. As Jericho looked back keeping the Hun in position for Phillips, he jumped as bullets hit the cowling and fuselage! He snapped his head forward just in time to see two more Eindeckers fly past overhead! "Where the hell did they come from!" he thought. He turned to see who was what and where and saw a Hun trailing smoke. "That evens things up a bit" he thought. Just then tracers flew past his head and he turned away and looked back in time to see an Eindecker diving past them. Jericho turned in to him and Phillips opened up again. Jericho had the advantage on this one also and after just a few bursts he saw the Hun go into a spin. He pulled up and turned but the sky was empty. Phillips signaled all clear. Jericho looked down and spotted the Eindecker still in a spin! "Go to hell you sob!" he shouted. Just then the Hun pulled up and headed east as fast as he could . Jericho looked around again and spotted a Morane above headed west. As the two met up he recognized Lewis's machine. Griffen was nowhere to be seen. They made a few circles and headed home. Just as Jericho was getting his nerves under control the engine sputtered and oil started to obscure his wind screen. He signaled Lewis that he was going down and switched off fearing fire. Picking out a nice field west of the mud he sat the Morane down easy. Once stopped Phillips said, "the bugger got me!" Jericho looked at the jagged cut in his flight coat. He helped him out of the machine and removed the coat. Looking at the would closer Jericho said, "Just a scratch Pard. No harm done." Phillips replied, "Well it hurts like the hell." Jericho laughed and said, "Of course it hurts Pard, got one just like it on my leg a few months back" They waved at Lewis circling above and he waved back and headed home.
Once back at base they learned Griffen had claimed the Hun Jericho had seen smoking. Jericho confirmed it. That night Jericho lay on his cot staring into the black. It had been a good day.
Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from either end. BOC Member since....I can't remember!