Out in Mesopotamia, this morning, with the thermometer hitting 122° F, two German aviators stumbled into the British camp at Samarra.
Back on 7 July, they had set out on a reconnaissance mission over Falluja area on reconnaissance. At that time, the British had sent out aeroplanes to cut them off but they were never seen. It was presumed the Germans had landed at Ramadi and would fly on next day. It was reported next morning, the 9th, that they had left Ramadi, but air patrols again failed to find them.
It turned out that shortly after leaving Ramadi one of the aeroplanes, an Albatros twoseater, had been forced to land through engine failure due to the heat. The other had landed alongside and, after the first Albatros had been set on fire, the pilot and observer had been flown away on the wings of the second.
With its load of four persons, however, the German aeroplane would not go higher than 400 feet, and at this height it was impossible to keep the engine cool, and they were forced to land.
The four Germans sought shelter from the heat under the wings of the aeroplane until 1930 when an attempt to ‘taxi’ the Albatros to the Tigris was made. The engine, however, again gave trouble, and eventually the aeroplane was burnt and the four airmen set out for Samarra on foot. Two of them collapsed on the way, but the others reached the British line this morning. Armoured cars and cavalry were at once sent out to rescue the two missing Germans, but they were never found.