Thought I'd try my hand at this....reporting malarkey

Vizeflugmeister Albert Tross
Marine-Landfliegerabteilung III
3rd September 1915

You can imagine my joy having finally been assigned my own Fokker Eindecker a few days ago. As an experienced pre-war pilot I was disappointed not to get one earlier. However, my badgering of the station officer, Herr Kerndorf finally paid off when three 80hp Eindeckers turned up last week.

I've been flying it as much as possible ever since, with strict instructions to stay on our side of the lines, lest the new synchronisation device falls into enemy hands.

On my first few jaunts I found nothing but empty skies, or at least I saw nothing, for on my return from one such flight the station commander reported a nearby camp had been heavily bombed. I resolved to open my eyes and the station commander ordered we fly as a flight of three.

On our next flight, about 40 minutes in and about 6000 feet up I spotted flak bursts near the coast. I moved my flight to investigate and found a single enemy aircraft considerably higher than us. On seeing us he turned and ran. With his nose down we had no chance of catching him before he crossed the lines. So we had to console ourselves with a moral victory.

The next day, dawn broke beautifully, we were scheduled to fly that afternoon, however a few moments later the alarm bell was sounding and we could hear flak guns being fired. The adjutant ran in to our hut to tell us enemy aircraft were approaching our airfield, and we were to get airborne as quickly as possible.

I was kitted and out within moments and found my aircraft ready. A few moments later and I was airborne and climbing away as the first bombs were whistling down onto our field.

I climbed as quickly as I could but it's a slow business and it seemed an age before I could start off after the BE types who had already started on their homeward journey. I could see the puffs of smoke from the flak bursts marking their route for me.

Bit by bit I gained on them. Meter by meter I was nearer making them pay for their audacity, but could I get them before we got to the lines? I could see the front approaching, like an open wound across the land.

I was gaining all the time. Yes, I had them. I was sweating now and trying to control my breathing. I could smell the fumes from them now, sweeter than a pretty girl's handkerchief, as I came in behind and beneath the rearmost BE type.

The moment had come....tac tac tac tac tac tac went my machine gun, as I aimed at the cockpit and engine area. I definitely scored hits. The enemy flew on and then tried to evade. I came around for another pass and heard his machine gun rattle. Again I aimed.......tac tac tac I fired....this time his engine spluttered....tac tac tac....his nose went down and down. I watched, was he pretending? No, No he's done for. I watched as he went straight down into the dark depths below.

I looked for the other BE but he was well over the lines now so I left him and headed back towards my kameraden and then back to our airfield which thankfully had not been too badly damaged.

The commander was about to ask how I'd got on as I disembarked, but the response of my two kameraden who ran over to congratulate me as I climbed down said all he needed to know it seems.

All he said was to report to his office once I had cleaned up.

Attached Files scaredycat.jpgearlydoors.jpg

"A great deal of an aeroplane could be holed without affecting its ability to fly. Wings and fuselage could be—and often were—pierced in 50 places, missing the occupants by inches (blissfully unaware of how close it had come until they returned to base). Then the sailmaker would carefully cover each hole with a square inch of Irish linen frayed at the edges and with a brushful of dope make our aircraft 'serviceable' again within an hour."