Rick Rawlings
No 60 Squadron
March 7, 1917
London

Well, quite a bit has happened lately. On the 1st, Major Graves took myself and Lt. Molesworth on a balloon busting mission just over the lines. I admit I had been mostly avoiding them after my altercation last year that left me in the hospital with facial burns and shrapnel wounds. I was determined not to repeat that experience! As we went over the lines, the Major was coming in pretty low, the reason for which I realized directly: ahead of us, a pregnant cloud hung low over the balloon, and just under it were seven dots hovering above our target, which I took to be German scouts. Sure enough, as we closed, I could make them out as Halberstadts! The Major was trying to come in low enough so we could destroy the balloon and have a chance to get away before being spotted. I looked up and behind us for the cover of A flight, but they were nowhere to be seen! As we closed in, the Germans spotted us well short of our target and the race was on! The three of us dove down and the balloon went up with my final rocket barrage and then the Huns were on us! I managed to bring down one of them and was trying to break free when another plane came in behind me. At first I thought it was Lt. Molesworth with his camouflage paint scheme, but the craft kept angling in at me in a fairly aggressive manner. I finally realized it was another German! We went about for a bit and I fired the rest of my ammunition at him, eventually driving him down into a field just behind the German lines. I made my way warily back, staring up at an empty Lewis gun the whole time. When I got back, the Major and Molesworth supported my claim of the shared balloon and the two scouts. Two days later, they were confirmed as was my promotion to Major! I was whisked away on a promotional tour as well as given some time to learn my new duties. In another week, I am back to the front where Major Graves has jokingly said he will share the paperwork with me!