Knights of the Air campaign

Dawn Patrol: Knights of the Air mission 2b.

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Dear Nadine,

It appears that the change in weather has brought a change to our effectiveness in the air. Our latest sortie was most successful. The morning started out clear and crisp and our flight of 4 aircraft where up at altitude and crossing the lines as dawn broke. Just inside their lines we spotted a formation of 3 below us. With the sun being low this early in the morning, neither side could gain a surprise. We turned towards each other about the same time and shortly after the fight was on in full. As we swooped and circled around, they were able to bring down one of our new pilots. I am sad to say that he has not returned. So many of our new pilots never gain the experience needed to stay alive. One would think that we are losing planes and pilots as fast as we get them.

Seeing our new pilot shot down urged me on to let our foes know that we are not all green boys for the taking. I engaged the Neiuport I have written about several times and was getting the better of him. In the fury of the fight, I caught a glimpse of a SPAD VII trying to leave the field of battle. He as only in my sights for a fleeting moment and at extreme range. Normally I would not have taken a shot at him, and would have instead concentrated on my prey, but after the loss of one of ours, I fired a quick burst to help speed him on his way. Much to my surprise and joy, my shot hit true and the enemy plane was engulfed in a ball of fire. Most of the tail was missing and it spiraled into the ground in a steep dive.

Returning my attention to the 17, I found he had reversed and apparently had jammed his guns as he did not fire at me. I turned my crate around and gave chase. As I have mentioned before, this is a skillful pilot and it was not long before we were exchanging fire again. This time he did some real damage and I found my control unresponsive in the direction of home and my motor was cutting out on me. This put me in a very serious situation as I was deep inside their lines and very low on ammo. I was not overly concerned as long as the motor held up, as the rest of my plane was quite intact. I could always over come the jammed controls with a little more maneuvering. The distraction of my jammed controls found the 17 reversing onto my tail. My only option was to dive away from him and further into enemy territory. Some time during all of this another one of our pilots had to break off and head for home from too much damage. There was also another enemy plane that had managed to slip away.

Sensing that my plane was crippled, the 17 pilot came on for what he thought was going to be an easy kill. I had other plans though. I flew straight and level for a ways, drawing him in closer. I timed my reversement perfectly and came at him head on. We opened fire at each other at less then 20m. to my satisfaction, I looked back to see his plane in a slow glide towards earth. This far back of the lines and with an engine that was still missing every couple of revolutions, I left him to his slow decent and formed up with Wolfgang for the long flight home.

The celebration that night at the château was one to remember as mine was the Jasta’s first double in a day. I think I will keep this borrowed plane as it seems to do me well.


As always,

Kiefer von Loganstein

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