Drogo D Dorn Jasta 7, Martincourt Verdun September 2, 1916
Drago had arrived at Martincourt yesterday. The home of newly formed Jasta 7. It was his 21st birthday today. How he had lived this long so far was beyond his imagination. He had spent a year in the trenches just south of here at Verdun. He and his best friend, Bruno Stachel, had joined the army together in 1914. Having enough of the mud, filth and death of the trenches they had both been able to join the new German imperial Air Corps. Drogo was a farm boy from Mainburg, north of Munich. His father, like his father before him grew Hops on the 50 Hector family farm. His friend Bruno's father was an inn keeper in the main part of town. He owned a small inn. Five rooms. Bruno had been assigned to a Jasta in Flander. Now, on his birthday, Drago was on the eve of his first flight.
The Commandant, Dornhiem, would be leading himself and Mock, another new pilot to patrol southwest of Verdun. "You will find the French also patrol this area" Dornhiem had told him before adding "stay on my right and a little above. If we encounter the French, head home. Is that understood?" "Yes Sir" Drogo and Mock replied at the same time.
Drogo and Mock were flying EIV's. Dormhiem was flying the new Fokker biplane. It was slower than the EIV but much more maneuverable. Over Verdun, Dornhiem wagged his wings and dove. Drogo and Mock stayed high. Drogo could not see anything and went into a slight turn to see what was happening. He saw Dornhiem gliding away smoking and a Caudron turning in the opposite direction with a smoking engine. They were told to head home but this seemed to easy. Drogo banked over and dove down to the injured machine and with 2 short bursts its upper right wing collapsed and it went into a spin crashing near a French airfield. Drogo could not believe what he just saw! He had just shot down his first plane. He looked around and saw Mock still high above. He climbed back to altitude and headed home. He was elated at the event but wondered what had become of Dornhiem. As they crossed the mud, ahead and above were two more Coudron's headed south. He looked at Mock who gestured toward them. Drogo nodded in agreement and they both started a climbing turn to chase the two beasts down. Nearing Verdun they made their attack. Drago could see pieces flying off the big Coudron but it would not fall. He had to dive below it to avoid a collision. Coming around he saw Mock send one down spinning. Before he could climb back up Mock had the other one in flames! They joined up and headed back to Martincourt.
Back at their home field, Dornhiem was there. He had made it back, crippled engine and a bullet graze to boot. Drogo and Mock excitedly told of their victories. "Fill out your reports and I will see you in the mess" the Commandant said with a smile.
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!