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Flying circus

5 June 2004

by Andrzej Cierpicki



The Flying Circus took to the skies after an absence of 2 years (see the June 2002 report for the last dogfight).  Four aerial battles took place above the trenches, with the Brits emerging the clear victors at the end of the day. 


The first dogfight, set in 1915, pitted Horace, Sam and Nick, flying Airco DH2 pushers, together with Andrzej in a 2-seater pusher FE 2b against the Fokker Scourge, Adrian, Philippe and Chris piloting Fokker EIII Eindeckers.  Although outnumbered, the Fokkers could take more damage than the fragile British planes and carried considerably more ammunition.  Despite this, however, the British prevailed, only Philippe escaping to fight another day.


The second dogfight was a more evenly matched affair, 4 Sopwith Camels vs. 4 Fokker DR1 Triplanes, Andrzej switching to the German side and Denny joining the British.  The Camels, however, made easy meat of the Triplanes, the Germans again falling prey to the twin rattle of the British guns.


In the next encounter, a German bombing mission, Andrzej piloted a Junkers J1 2-seater with an escort of 2 Fokker DVII's and a Fokker DVIII.  Intercepting the German flight were 3 SE5a's and a Sopwith Snipe, the latter piloted by Denny.  The Junkers is a sturdy aircraft, being of all metal corrugated construction (later to be made famous in the Junkers Tri-motor transport during WWII) and able to take a lot of punishment . . . and punishment it did take, being the first plane to be shot down when it was bracketed by two of the SE5a's!  Another failed mission for the Germans.



The last mission reversed the roles with the British carrying out a bombing mission comprising Airco DH4 and RE8 2-seaters escorted by a Sopwith Snipe and an SE5a.  This time the Germans were taking no chances and, in addition to 2 Fokker DVII's, 2 high altitude fighters, the Siemens Schuckert DIII and DIV.  Despite having an apparent altitude advantage, the British again carried the day by successfully bombing one of the 2 objectives, although Horace's DH4 was brought down shortly after it had dropped its bombs.  



So the final score was 12 kills to the British against which the Germans could only muster a meagre 5.  Final tally appears below.  Congratulations Sam on getting to be an ace after only 4 missions!


Pilot: Adrian Philippe Chris Andrzej Horace Sam Nick Denny
Kills: 2 1 1 0 1 5 4 1
Downed: 3 3 3 3 3 1 0 1



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