13 April, started out like any other day. Orders came from headquarters requiring a photo-recon mission behind the Huns to determine if they were massing troops for an early spring offensive in the Flanders sector. The Aviation Militaire Belge drew the tasking since it was their sector that HQ wanted the photos. Major Willy Coppens’ 9me Escadrille was on hand to provide escort duties. As a gesture of cooperation, the French were able to break free Capitaine Armand de Turenne’s 48me Escadrille to help provide air cover.
However they were not alone in the skies. For the Huns were seeking disposition of the Belgium forces and sent up their photo-recon bird as well as escort.
Although clouds appeared over the Western Front, they did not hinder operations. Although the clouds tended to provide cover, they also helped by escaping the enemy.
Soon as the forces merged over No-Man’s Land, the fighter escorts became entangled in a fur-ball with each jockeying for position to give them a firing opportunity. This left the Belgium’s R.E. 8 alone to find its objective to photograph.
Soon Maj Coppens’ crate caught fire and was doomed leaving the French Nieuport 11 fighting off two Huns and their Recon bird. But more Belgium Hanroit HD-1s were able to get airborne and join in the melee.
Meanwhile the Hun's Roland manages to get into position and photograph his objective. As the Roland was heading back to the safety of their lines, the Nieuports & Hanroits converged on it and set it ablaze.
With their photo-recon bird down, the Huns turned their attention to the Belgium’s R.E. 8 circling in their back yard.
Unfortunately for the Allies, the Belgium’s must not have put much stock in the mission, because they sent up a rookie pilot who had just graduated from pilot training with only 17 hours of flight time and zero hours in a R.E.8. Due to the lack of familiarity with the R.E.8, the pilot spent too much time trying circling his objective that he never had a chance to fly straight and level over the site. Then he became entangle in a fight for his live just to get back to his side of the lines before he became a causality of war.
For the Entente Powers: one Belgium RAF R.E. 8, one Belgium Hanroit HD-1 (a Reviresco custom built for Major Willy Coppens), and a French Nieuport 11 (a Reviresco custom built for Capitaine Armand de Turenne)
For the Central Powers: one Fokker E.III, one Halberstadt D.III, and one LFG Roland C.II
Approaching No-Man’s Land
3 v 1, not very good odds for Major Coppens!
The Belgium R.E.8 slips behind the Frenchman for protection…
As the Hanroit HD-1 is set aflame, the French Nieuport scores on the Fokker E.III
"I shot you", "No you didn’t", "Get the stick!", "See, I told you so"
With the Allies out of position, the Huns are able to re-group and complete their photo-recon mission
Meanwhile, the Belgium pilot is circling his objective…
A Hun tails a Frenchman…
The Hun’s primary Roland is set on fire!
The Belgium RAF R.E.8 scores hits on another Roland…
Stay tuned for our next mission...
Great AAR...loved the pics too...
He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
Get the stick.