19 July 1915 – Georges Guynemer scores first victory

A 20 year old rookie, Georges Guynemer scored his first victory today. He took off with his observer Private Charles Guerder in their Morane 2 Seater to intercept a German Aviatik. Guynemer caught the Aviatik and Guerder emptied his Lewis gun without success before the gun jammed. The German plane escaped without damage.

Shortly after this a second Aviatik appeared. Guynemer records the combat:

Guynemer and Guerder in front of their Morane shortly after their victory

“We followed him and dived as soon as he was over our lines, putting ourselves within 50 metres below him, behind and to his left. On the first salvo the Aviatik swerved And a fragment of the plane broke off. The German fired his carbine in reply. One bullet hit the wing; another grazed Guerder’s hand and scalp. On the final salvo the pilot slumped in the cockpit, the observer lifted his hands and the plane plunged in flames between the trenches.’

Guynemer had arrived on 8 June at Escadrille MS3. Things did not go well as he crashed two planes in the first few weeks and the CO was on the verge of throwing him out of the squadron before this victory.

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