Fighting in the air

To be a successful scout pilot it is necessary to be a good fighting pilot, this simply means to be able to fly thoroughly and to use a certain amount of common sense. Before attacking an opponent decide exactly what you are going to do under all circumstances, from the time you see him don’t take your eyes off him until he is shot down. If you do, you will simply be shot down in his place, because you can’t find him again. I have deliberately looked away from a machine whilst fighting it, and only in one case did I get sight of my opponent before he was on my tail. In that case it was a very dud pilot. Never loose height in a fight, and don’t strain the engine, it will only cut out.

Another important practice is to get close to your opponent when on ‘camera gun’ fighting, get so close to him that his machine fills the complete films. You cannot hit a hun from two hundred yards range, it is hard enough to hit him at fifty yards, opening fire at long range simply wastes ammunition at the same time the guns will probably jam, result, you can’t get huns, but you will probably get shot up.

I think these are all my impressions of England, but in England there is an excessive amount of ‘hot air’ consequently the sooner you get overseas the better off you are.

W. A. Smart

Lieutenant R.A.F.




11On Active Service


The Flying Diary of Wallace A Smart