Fullofit: Obi must have been a stunt man before the war, great aerobatics!
Wulfe:Bitter sweet victory indeed! Good story.
CHAPTER FOURTEEN - EMPTY SKIES, A PILOT DIES
Konrad Berthold von Blumenthal July 25th, 1916. Sivry-sur-Meuse, Verdun. Fokkerstaffel Sivry
There was a gloomy silence in the officer's mess that afternoon. Word had reached the squadron from an observation post just west of the Meuse, close to the lines. Following the early morning mission, a Fokker monoplane had been spotted limping low across the front with its engine on fire. The pilot apparently was in the process of trying to jump free from the cockpit, even at 300ft from the ground, but he appeared to be having trouble getting free of his harness. The machine crashed into a small copse and soon became a smoldering mass of debris. They had sent out a party to examine the wreckage. They weren't able to identify from the charred remains who the pilot was, but for the presence of a small pocket watch, badly damaged but bearing a still legible inscription on its back....
"To my darling Kurt, forever my love".
There was no flying the following day. Instead the Fokkerstaffel gathered at the nearby cemetery to honor their fallen colleague and say goodbye. Konrad stared at the group of men, heads bowed, and thought to himself, even Strunze didn't deserve to suffer such a terrible death. He wondered if Strunze's wound had played a part in preventing his escape from the burning craft. He'd certainly been carrying a pronounced limp since his return from hospital. And what had caused the engine to catch fire, he wondered. He resolved to speak to his mechanic and ask for a full inspection of his machine, as soon as he could track the annoying little man down.
The next two days provided little excitement. No Caudrons or Nieuports to be found. Konrad wondered who his new wingman would be and when he would arrive. Until then he had the hut all to himself once more.