...and dark stuff from you, Wulfe. Very good description.
CHAPTER NINE - BALLOON HUNT, NEW MACHINES
Konrad Berthold von Blumenthal June 26th, 1916. Sivry-sur-Meuse, Verdun. KEK Sivry
05 00 hours early morning patrol along the friendly lines. Konrad was barely awake as they lined up on the field. The cool air soon woke him up as they climbed into the overcast sky. After about an hour they returned. No activity.
After an early lunch, the squad went up again. This time, a balloon busting mission. A particularly troublesome French gasbag located just north east of Verdun had been causing major problems for the German infantry, scouting out their positions. Boelcke led the way with Von Zastrow to his left and Konrad to his right. After what seemed forever, and deep into enemy territory, Boelcke's machine jinked downward. The three fokkers began to scour the area for the balloon. Konrad was pretty certain they were in the right vicinity, but after five or six minutes they had not found it. Konrad had lost sight of Boelcke, but he spotted von Zastrow banking and climbing away to the east, where the lines curved around to meet the edge of the foret de la Reine. He followed, and soon they arrived at Le Chenois field.
"What happened to the Hauptmann?", asked von Zastrow.
"I'm afraid I didn't see him, sir", replied Konrad. The two men made their way to the office to see if there was any news. After waiting around for forty minutes and having refueled, they took off for their home field. Boelcke was already there attending to his damaged plane when they got back.
"Just some shrapnel damage", said Bolecke. "Nothing to worry about. Anyhow, take a look over there!" Konrad and von Zastrow turned to look where Boelcke was pointing. On the other side of the field stood six brand new Halberstadt DII machines. Konrad's heart skipped a beat in excitement. "Ah, sorry von Blumenthal, you won't be receiving one of those just yet. I've decided that Strunze should have first crack. He does have nine victories after all, and you have your EIV, so all is well, yes?".
Yes, sir", growled Konrad in response. Later that evening, alone in his hut, Konrad cursed out loud. "#%&*$# that Strunze!" He hoped the damned man wouldn't ever make it out of his hospital bed to pilot his Halberstadt. Or if he did, he hoped his injuries would prevent him from flying altogether!