MFair, d’oh! Sorry to hear about James. Has it been two weeks? At least it was authentic. What a waste of young life. So, a Hun is getting ready to do battle, eh? I suggest the Alsace sector. They say it’s pretty quiet. Lou, congrats on that Walfisch! A Strutter and a Roland, that sounds like even odds. Now explain to me how odds can be even. Great story and photos to go with it. “Gingerbreath Man” - a classic! You need to introduce yourself to a muffin that lives on Drury Lane when you’re back in Blighty.
There was a small gathering in front of the hangars. All the pilots lined up in a row and Captain Elder called Tobias Chester Mulberry out to come up and be congratulated for the actions of 18 August when he singlehandedly destroyed 2 enemy machines. The first Fokker from yesterday’s aerodrome attack was contested by the artillery. Archie boys didn’t want to claim the green one that had crashed into the hangar, it went to Toby. And the last one was credited to Mulberry and Alford as well. ‘Daddy’ shook Mulberry’s hand and handed him the gold lace to go on his jacket cuffs. Toby was now promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant. Ray, standing near the end of the ranks turned to Whealy standing beside him: “- I bet our killer Ace is going to get a medal as well.” Art rolled his eyes.
Flight Lieutenant Mulberry was leading for the first time. They were to drop their eggs on the heads of the German troops in the trenches north of Lunéville and return. It sounded simple enough. The weather was beautiful and not a single Hun in sight. Mulberry and Sharman flew over the trenches without spotting them. They had to go around for another run. That’s when Toby noticed movement below. There was an air battle going on just above the trenches. He dropped his bombs and looked around, but Sharman was nowhere to be found. Instead, an Eindecker took up a position behind. Toby wasn’t about to just wait for the Hun to shoot him down. He turned his plane around and faced his foe. They were going head to head and the Hun blinked first. He fired his Spandau, missing completely. Toby took a careful aim, fired and missed completely. He noticed this Fokker had red and white bands around the fuselage. They each banked and were about to start the circle of death, but the pilot of the Eindecker had made a mistake and just for a fraction of a second he flew in front of Toby’s gun. Mulberry was ready and fired. Maybe one of the bullets hit the canvas, maybe something more critical. The Fokker went into an all too familiar fake spin, but Toby wasn’t about to follow. He just observed. The German pilot continued to spin, spin, spin. And then smashed into the ground. Toby was flabbergasted. He was sure the damage was not that great. It had to be a control cable. Mulberry had his plane already pointing in the right direction and heading for home.