The weather took a turn for the worse and the sky was covered by a blanket of grey clouds. FC Frederick Carr ‘Army’ Armstrong was leading this artillery spotting mission to an area west of Munster. They were flying over the Vosges Mountains again, but this time there were no vistas, no pretty sights. As soon as they’ve arrived the leader put his crate in a steep bank, which took Toby by surprise. What was he doing? Then he saw it. A green Eindecker just below, he immediately dove after him, but ‘Army’ was already on him. He then realized Alford was shooting at something behind. He twisted his head, it was another Fokker. Toby left the green Eindecker all to ‘Army’s’ mercy and banked to get the new Fokker into firing position. They began to turn around each other, getting lower and lower over the mountain peaks. Toby was making progress, but the Eindecker continued to elude and fly over the trenches. Mulberry wondered why the Hun was doing this. Was it to give the soldiers below a good show? He followed. The monoplane dove even lower, but Toby had him in his sights and opened fire. And then the unthinkable happened. The soldiers below opened fire on him, damaging his kite to the point of barely flyable state. He saw Alford behind him fire at the Fokker. He checked his instruments to realize he was low and in German held territory. The Fokker must be now behind them, ready to fire. He looked behind again. Alford was grinning. Toby didn’t understand. He shrugged his shoulders at his gun layer. Jeffrey simply flipped his thumb in the direction of a smoking crater behind them. He must have hit the Fokker with that last burst. Toby was happy that at least one problem had been resolved. All they had to do now is bring their lame bird over the mountain range without getting shot at again. It was now all up to Toby. It took some time to gain enough altitude to clear the mountains and then much longer to find the closest friendly aerodrome and carefully land among all these pines. They finally were able to bring the Strutter down, nearly coming to a full stop inside one of the hangars. It was a crosswind landing, diagonally across the entire field. The pilot and the observer were both relieved after the propeller came to a stop.
"Take the cylinder out of my kidneys, The connecting rod out of my brain, my brain, From out of my arse take the camshaft, And assemble the engine again."