Jasta 7 was in high spirits. The 3 Coudron's brought down by Dorn and Mock had been confirmed. There had been a real party in the mess last night. Dornhiem was well pleased with his new pilots. They had preformed well. The whole Jasta was in the air today to patrol the lines east of Verdun. While over the patrol area, Dormhiem dove and Mock followed. Drogo went into a shallow dive to follow but had not yet seen the threat. It was not long before he saw Dornhiem with a Nieuport coming around on his tail. Drogo went into a full power dive and then pulled up as Dornhiem went over him in the other direction. Drogo pulled up on the stick and fired as the Nieuport came into his view. He must have scored hits because when he caught sight of him again he was headed south and home. Drogo pulled up to get back to altitude and could not see anyone. He still had not found the knack of spotting machines in the air. Looking around he saw Mock engaged with another Nieuport close to the ground. Drogo dove again and was soon coming down behind the Frenchman. He fired before pulling up. Again, the Nieuport headed home. Drogo decided to do the same and turned north. His machine was immediately hit with machine gun fire. He banked and looked behind but there was nothing there. Again bullets smacked into the Fokker on all sides! Drogo suddenly realized he was low over the enemy trenches and tried to get away but not before he was hit still again with bullets. The Fokker wobbled and the stick felt useless in his hands. It was banking to the right and he could not straighten the machine out. He found a little control and but the Fokker was loosing power.The ground was coming up fast. He crossed over his trenches. The next thing he knew his machine was skipping across the rutted ground. He came to a sudden stop and could not believe he was still alive. He was shaking as a group of infantry pulled him from his machine.
Sept. 4th There were no flights today. Mock and the rest were ribbing Drogo for wrecking his machine. Drogo was trying to act none the worse but inside he was in turmoil. He knew he had cheated death. It had happened often in the trenches when he was in the infantry but for some reason this was different. He had to shake this feeling.
Sept. 6th Yesterday was a flight to the same patrol area where Drogo had almost met his demise. It was not a comfortable flight for him. The rain and cloud made it worse. He had seen how nimble the Nieuport machines were and knew he was outclassed in his Fokker. He imagined a Nieuport behind every cloud and they all were coming for him. He felt no better today as the crossed the lines to patrol around the 3 aerodromes near Verdun. Drogo had to choke down his fear as every fiber in his body wanted to turn toward home and safety. He was more than relieved when the flight headed home without making any contact. He was sweating as he landed back at Martincourt.
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!