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  #20  
07-01-2019, 21:45
       
 
: 15.08.12
: 144
13 Fang " , ..."

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20000 , . . , , , . (Winged Victory) . .

10000 . 30000 . , -40000 , , . ...

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ANOTHER GOOD DAY. On December 28th I left the ground about 10.15 a.m. in a strong north-easterly wind, which is always very favourable to my method of fighting. It was a beautiful morning, clear, frosty and intensely cold, for on the ground the glass was registering twenty degrees of frost. I liked nothing better than these mornings, when I could go up high, with my engine, guns, and machine going perfectly, and stalk the Hun two-seaters who came over to take photographs daily. I got up to 17,000 feet in half an hour, and very soon saw a Rumpler coming towards me, slightly lower, from the direction of Bourlon Wood. We were very close, and, getting into position quickly, I fired a short burst from both guns, and the Rumpler went into a right-hand spiral dive. Then his right-hand wings fell off at about 16,000 feet, and the wreckage fell in our lines north of Velu Wood. I watched the wreckage fluttering down like so much waste paper, and saw the fuselage and engine going down at a terrific speed, leaving a trail of blue smoke behind it. After a look round, I soon saw another Rumpler west of me towards Bapaume, slightly below me. I went over to him and, having got into position, fired a burst from both guns. Flames at once issued from his fuselage, and he went into a spin at 17,000 feet and took about two minutes to reach the ground, on which he crashed near Flers, which, at that time, was about twenty miles west of the lines. I saw the poor devil strike the ground in a smother of flame. Then I had a look round and at once saw a German being shelled by British A.A. guns over Havrincourt Wood. I flew all out, and soon overhauled the L.V.G., which at 16,000 feet was much slower than my machine. Whilst I was overtaking him I had to fly through our Archie bursts, as they had not yet seen me, and some of them were unpleasantly close. As soon as I got within range and opened fire the Hun at once dived for his lines. By the time he had got down to 9,000 feet, diving at 200 miles per hour, I opened fire a second time into him, whereupon he burst into flames, after which the whole machine fell to pieces owing to the speed at which it was going, for I had most likely shot some of his main flying wire, too. This L.V.G. went down
wreckage finally fell in our lines at Havrincourt village. I now started climbing again, and having got up to 18,000 feet, again saw an L.V.G. coming south over Lagnicourt. I dived down, but he saw me and ran for it. However, I was much faster, and having got into position, fired a burst from my Lewis, as the Vickers at once stopped. A small flicker of flame came from the L.V.G., but it went out immediately. By this time I was well over the Hun lines, so I had to return. I last saw the Hun gliding down over Marquion, under control, but certainly damaged, for steam was issuing from his radiator, and the pilot was very energetically kicking his rudder from side to side like wildfire. Whilst the Hun was going down fast I noticed the observer frantically shouting and waving to the pilot over the left-hand side of the fuselage. I expect he was annoyed, because he was having a hot shower-bath from the damaged radiator. Anyhow, I hope the water froze over him solid and gave him frost-bite. After that I pulled up away from him and returned to my aerodrome, for I had very little petrol left, and on my way back I felt very disappointed at having missed the last Hun, for if my Vickers had not stopped at the crucial moment, I think I should have dispatched him with much celerity. When I landed, the Major said that our Archie gunners had reported Huns falling out of the sky in pieces everywhere. The O.C. was very pleased, and so was I, for I had accounted for three two-seaters in thirty minutes. That afternoon the O.C and I went out to see the remains of the Rumpler who went down in flames at Flers, and when we arrived we saw nothing but a charred mass of wreckage. It was a nasty sight, and it brought home to me more than ever the sterner aspect of aerial fighting.

McCudden VC DSO & Ba, MC & Bar MM, James Thomas Byford. FLYING FURY: Five Years In The Royal Flying Corps [Illustrated Edition] (pp. 211-212). Verdun Press. Kindle Edition. in a shower of flaming pieces, and the
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