Ooh, royalty! Good stuff Raine. Hope the meeting goes well for Fullard
Well done Lou, only it pains me to see your man knocking down my Halberstadts!
Feldwebel Lazlo Halász,
Jasta 1, Bertincourt, France September 5th- 6th 1916
Kette zwei had one further mission that day of the 5th. The weather had improved only slightly. As the walked across the filed to their machines, Lazlo noticed some activity over by the parts stores. Several of the mechanics and riggers were gathered around something and seemed to be busy with tools. He didn't have time to find out more. Soon they were airborn, on their way to rendezvous with a pair of 2-seaters assigned to carry out observation over the enemy trenches north of Albert. They had been up for no more than 10 minutes before Lazlo spotted three enemy aircraft below. He immediately turned, slowed the engine and descended upon the machines. They must have seen him coming because the lead machine immediately jinked left and the others broke in the opposite direction. Lazlo set his sights one the closest of the trio and readied his weapon. Once again his aim was poor. Worse still the cloud was fast thickening and Lazlo watched the enemy machines dissapear into the murky, dank vapors.
"#%&*$#!", he cursed, wondering whether to follow. He was already well over the li9nes, and looking around he suddenly realized he was alone! He decided it would be better to turn around and head home. He had no chance of finding his flight in this weather, and the worry of another engine failure made him more cautious than normal.
Back at his field, one of the mechanics beckoned to him to come over to the tool shed. He dismounted and strolled over.
"We thought this might help you get some practice with your gun". The mechanic beamed with pride as he pointed to a makeshift target constructed from canvas stretched across a lightweight wooden frame. It had a large red bullseye in the middle. Attatched to the frame were a series of wires that the riggers were busy adjusting. "The idea is that we connect the target to one of our old trainer machines and take her up for you. You can follow and as we turn, the target will be available for you to adjust your gunsights and improve your aim". Lazlo was very impressed and also very touched that the men would go to so much trouble for him. He gave the mechanic a big bear hug which almost squeezed the air out of him. Dropping him to the floor, Lazlo thanked him and the other men.
"Danke, danke, danke!", he exclaimed. "Now I will become super marksman, Ja? Ho, ho, ho, ho!"
The next morning they awoke to good weather, finally. There was no time for a practice run at his new target because enemy aircraft had been reported to be harrassing their field at Palenpham. When they finally arrived, sure enough there were several Caudron machines getting ready to drop more missiles. Kette zwei dived on them hungrily. Lazlo found himself immediately behind one of the big 2-seaters and pulled the trigger of his gun. Immediately there was a lound crack followed by a tearing sound. The top left plane broke away and the enemy craft began a leaf-like tumble toward the earth below. Lazlo circled lazily, admiring his handiwork, watching until the machine eventually exploded into the ground.
On the way back they encountered two of the new DH2 scouts. Lazlo and the rest of his flight danced around with them for several minutes. He was very impressed with the aerobatics of these machines. He was completely unable to bring his gun to bear, let alone get off an accurate shot. Eventually the DH2's took off for home. Back at their home field Wintgens greeted him with a hearty thump on the back.
"Good show, Big Red! Your first victory, if it goes through! Ahh, there's going to be some drinking tonight, at least that's for certain". Lazlo beamed down at the little airman with the pince-nez spectacles. Life was good.
To be continued......
n.b. Probably the best WOFF session I've had in months! Sadly, I have a problem with the Nvidia recording software so no videos to post. What a pity!!