Aug. 18 James had not had time to learn all the names of the personnel at his new home. It was an elite squadron with some very fine pilots. His new hut mate since Barkers death was an Irishman. He seems to be a friendly enough fellow, but on their first flight James was dumbfounded at how bad a flier the man was. He could not keep formation but for a brief time before falling behind or pulling ahead. His landed was awful suspect to boot. Luckily, on their first tow flights together they had no contact.
At 0400 they had taken off for a line patrol northeast of Ypres. At 9000’ in good weather, James, the Irishman and Flight Commander Keeble approached the mud at their patrol area. Just as Keeble wagged his wings James saw the unmistakable silhouette of 3 monoplanes ahead and above. The 6 machines closed the distance between them in no time. James turned and climbed for the highest machine. Just as he was ready to fire bullets smacked into his Nieuport and he rolled to port. Coming back up he could see a Fokker closing on his Irish friend and dove in behind it driving it the Fokker of his tail. The rest of the fight was a genuine dogfight! Turn, evade, fire and turn again. After one last round and round with the last Fokker James could see he flew home alone. The other two had just landed as James landed. He was glad to see the Irishman had made it. At least he had survived his first combat.
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!