Jericho had returned from the hospital and flown 1 mission but his wound had not healed yet. He was put on desk duty helping the Major with paper work. As the big push was coming, so had the increase in paperwork. Jericho was in high spirits, his 27th birthday had come and gone with no fanfare on the 21st. Because of his good friend James, his mother now knew of his whereabouts. He had also confided in James of his intentions to marry Camille. It seemed all was where it should be. He had led two bombing missions the day before. One of the front lines southwest of Monchy and one to Bertincourt. Both had been uneventful. They had 3 Nieuport escorts going to Bertincourt and Jericho was not worried in the least.
This morning at briefing, everything changed. He and Jordan were tasked with bombing Bertincourt again. This time there would be no escorts. "That's suicide!" Jericho had protested. The Major firmly said, "We need maximum effort and that airfield has to be neutralized!" Jericho had grabbed his kit and motioned to his flight "Lets go to hell boys!"
It was a rainy day with low cloud. They crossed the line at 1800'. Any higher and they would not be able to see through the clouds. The Archie was not bad but it was accurate. Between the bursts and the wind Jericho was reminded of riding a spirited 3 year old. Approaching the target his gunner, Wickam, signaled trouble. "We've come to far now Amigo" Jericho thought as he nodded in the affirmative. 30 seconds later they dropped their eggs and turned for home. Jericho was looking for the Huns when he noticed 2 go for Jordan and Wickam swung his Lewis to the opposite side and opened fire. Wickam made good use of his gun but the Hun pilot was persistant and he was good. He kept coming underneath them from behind giving Jericho's gunner a difficult target to hit. Jericho was doing his best to keep heading west. After 10 minutes of fighting which felt like a lifetime Jericho could see the lines ahead. "Hold him off for a few more minuets Pard!" he thought to himself. All of a sudden Wickams gun went silent. Jericho took a quick look and saw he was slumped over in his cockpit. Keeping his eye on his adversary he maneuvered his machine to stay out of his line of fire. All of a sudden bullets smacked into the Morane and another Eindecker flew past. Jericho was numb. Over enemy lines and defenseless. He turned and twisted. Maybe they will give up.
He never felt the bullet that went into the back of his head. The Morane slowly nosed over crashed into the ground 3 miles from No Mans Land. It was over.
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!