Thanks Gents! Its good to be back in the air again. Carrick, that is too funny. I do have one horse that likes beer.
Lt.James Cameron Aug 14, 1916
James was off at 0400 with 2 others to patrol friendly territory to the south. It was wonderful flying weather with a full moon. They had no contact and were back by 6 bells for breakfast. While eating an officer came in and informed James that the Commander wanted to see him immediately. He gulped down the last of his coffee, which he thought was pitifully weak and made for the Commanders office. Upon entering the Commander got right to the point. "I have too many missions and not enough pilots Lt. We need to take down a balloon southwest of Lens." He pointed to the map on his wall. "Right here" as he tapped the area where the Hun balloon was to be. "Do you think you can find it" he asked?
"Yes Sir" was James's reply.
"Good! It is highly unusual for someone of your rank and experience to lead a mission but you have shown you are at least a competent pilot. Foster and Gifford will accompany you. You will take off at 1200. Any questions?"
"No Sir. I will do my best Sir." As James saluted and started for the door he stopped. "A moment of your time Commander" he asked. "What is it Lt.?" James stepped closer, "I have a cousin thats flying for the RAF, he's been here for sometime and I don't rightly know where he is at the moment. His name is Mark Jericho. I was just wondering if you could find out something of his whereabouts Sir."
The Commander wrote the name down on a piece of paper. "No promises Lt. but I'll see what I can do." James smiled, "Thank you sir!"
They 3 airmen were off at noon on the long mission. James had no trouble getting to the target but he could not see any balloon! Foster flew alongside and excidedly pointed down. James put the nose down and there it was. They all missed with their rockets but James made a pass and burst the balloon using a whole drum of Lewis. They formed up and returned to base. When while doing there reports the Commander came in and asked "Who got the balloon?" James replied "I did Sir!"
"Good job Lt. We already received word that it was brought down. Congratulations on your 1st victory." James beamed, "Thank you Sir!" The Commander took a moment before he spoke again. "Its not all roses Lt. Your other 2 claims have been rejected.'
"What?! I mean... Excuse me Sir. Rejected Sir?
"Ah! Your hearing is good I see! Yes. Rejected" the Commander said. James started to say something else but the Commander held up his hand, "Thats the end of it Lt. You will have plenty of time to rack up a score. If you live long enough."
August 15, 1916 James was off a 0600 with 3 others to attack Ghistelles, a Hun aerodrome to the west. The weather was much better than the last 2 days. As they dove on the field James let loose his rockets. If they hit anything he could not tell. As he climbed out he saw two Fokkers below! He dove on one and they immediately started a turning duel right above the field. The monoplane stood no chance against the nimble Nieuport. James noticed 2 bold black capital letters on the side of the fuselage but was a bit preoccupied to see what they were. The pilot of the Fokker tried time and again to disengage from the fight but James stayed on him like white on rice! As he emptied his last drum he saw the pilot slump forward and the Fokker went down and crashed in the middle of the field. When they landed Keeble slapped James on the back. "Wonderful bit of flying Lt.! I see no reason this one will not be confirmed. Saw it all! James was all smiles.
That afternoon they were off to Ghistelles again. Again they did little to no damage. Confirmation of his Fokker came in that afternoon. Keeble made a point to seek James out at mess that night. "Seems we have a rising star! 2 confirmed victories 3 days. Lets hope it does not go to your head ol boy." He drew his finger across his throat and said "Get too cocky and it is over quick!"
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!