1st Trip over the lines (official)

I made my first trip over the lines on May 1st, it was a very dud day. We crossed the lines at 1,000′ and bombed Mervyll.

I lost the formation immediately after dropping my bombs, so I went back to the Foret de Nieppe and waited until I saw the formation again.

I picked them up almost immediately and rejoined them. We did a line patrol, no huns were seen at all.

My next patrol was an O.P. when we were returning we saw three albatross scouts just our side of the lines and about 8,000′ below us. Three of us dived on them, two of the huns got away in the clouds, but the other was shot down at Dichbusch. Clayson shooting a wing off it at about two hundred yards range[Clayson]. I also fired at it. This was the first hun I had seen shot down, it looked simple.

On May 9th I saw the first of my squadron shot down, we were over Armentiers at about 12,000′ with several huns below us and a little south we were just getting into position to attack them when we were attacked by five Albatross and ofaly scouts who were above and behind.

I saw them just as they started their dive, one was diving straight at me, so I watched him, as soon as he opened fire I full rolled (I did this to gain time. I dare not fly straight and did not want to loose formation) as I came in on an even keel I saw a hun close up on an S.E  tail. I heard his guns, the next minute the S.E was one mass of flames.  It was a most appalling sight. Three of us attacked this hun, it was sent down in flames by Capt Rigby the other hun ran away as usual. When we got back we found it was Pellitier who went down in flames. It was his first trip over the lines. He had kept a straight course, which is absolute fatal.



16First Blood


The Flying Diary of Wallace A Smart