Hehee! I got a bit singed recently but that was insane! rofl I would say line up much further out so that you are just making elevator adjustments on the final approach. No question that you got him though! thumbsup

Rick Rawlings
No 60 Squadron
March 23, 1917
Filescamp

I am already tired of writing condolence letters. I now realize why our flight leaders had always seemed so grim. The other day we went up to escort some quirks while "A" flight was patrolling out in front of us up to the northeast along the lines. It was one of those days where it looked like someone took a big ball of grime and smeared it all over the world and the sky. Tall banks of clouds with occasional bursts of rain and churning winds made even basic tasks more difficult. As we were heading to the rendezvous, I caught a glimpse of what appeared to be a Roland below us towards the lines. I turned to Bishop and Garfield to signal that we should continue on our flight, but it was too late, they were already gone in pursuit. I circled around for several minutes but everyone had disappeared into the clouds. In growing frustration, I continued on the flight path hoping to salvage something of the mission. I never found the quirks, but I did run into "A" flight headed my way just over the lines. I tried to rally them up but they just sped on past me. Looking east, I saw what they were running from: A flight of at least six Albatros scouts in pursuit! Swinging in behind our Nupes, I was determined to provide some back cover for our new boys, Read and Frehley. They were in Neiuport 16s and were falling behind Alvord, who was the lead for "A" today. As we made our way west, the Albatros group was slowly gaining. I noticed with a slight thrill several of the craft had bright paint swatches on them and the one in front was a scarlet machine! I had heard the rumors of these scouts including the one that the man in the scarlet machine was the one that had shot down Hawker.

Itching for revenge, I fought back the urge to dive into the flight, staying instead at the tail of "A" flight. After going a mile on our side of the lines, Alvord himself turned the flight around to engage, which I thought was a poor decision. Still, I dove down to provide the help that I could. With the wind and rain, it was difficult to follow anything. I fired on one scout until it fell down and away, it made a rough landing near LaGorgue and the pilot was captured. It was Lothar von Richthofen, brother to Hawker's killer! He had been brought down by a lucky shot of mine to his engine. Unfortunately, he was well connected and had managed to arrange an escape within a few days... When I landed after the fighting was over, I learned that both of the new boys had fallen to the guns of the Germans. I cursed the day that had gone so wrong and chewed out Bishop and Garfield for their lack of discipline in leaving the flight, Bishop's successful destruction of the Roland notwithstanding. Still, I couldn't admit that I wouldn't (or hadn't) done the same thing myself before. The letters to the parents of Read and Frehley have just been sent. I felt especially bad for the latter, for just the other day he had spoken about aspiring to be an ace one day, but he never made it...



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I left the pursuit section of the video in, which I usually would have shortened, because you can almost read the thought process going on in my head in real time... when should I attack, if at all? Who should I try to follow? And above all; Climb! Climb! In the end, I committed too late, I believe, and was unable to find both my N16s to defend...


Last edited by Rick_Rawlings; 01/22/20 02:45 AM.