Despite the improvements in both speed and firepower, it remains frustratingly difficult to shoot down enemy aircraft as 24 Squadron discovered today on a number of inconclusive patrols.
2nd Lieutenants William John Joseph Roche-Kelly and Robert Stanley Capon of 24 Squadron were up in the air on a defensive patrol in their DH2s (6000 and 7864) at around 10.00. Early in the patrol Capon suffered engine trouble and had to land at the French aerodrome at Bazieux for a change of plugs. Roche-Kelly continued the patrol and spotted two enemy aircraft over Flers but was unable to catch them Roche-Kelly returned to the aerodrome at 12.20, arriving shortly after Capon.
Later the same day 2nd Lieutenant Edward Ronald Yates (5967) led Aubrey Edward Glew (7864) and Capon (5925) on another patrol. They saw four enemy aircraft west of the Bapaume–Peronne road. They all attacked but lost them in the clouds.
Later in the patrol they saw four more enemy aircraft coming from Albert in the east at 12000 ft but the DH2s couldn’t climb fast enough to attack and the Germans flew off easily to the east. Capon suffered plug problems again and was forced to land at Baizieux home of 4 Squadron at 4.45. He departed the aerodrome at 5.00pm and continued his patrol arriving back at his home base at 5.40.