Captain James McCudden from 56 Squadron scored another triple success today, shooting down three enemy two seaters whilst on patrol in his SE5a this morning.
McCudden’s report read:
“Left aerodrome at 8.40 to pursue E.A. At 9.35 I saw an L.V.G. going north over Belinglise at 8,000. I glided from in the sun and secured a firing position at 50 yards without being seen, fired a short burst from both guns, when E.A. went into a right hand spiral glide, which got steeper, and he then crashed just north of Lehancourt 62B, H31B at 9.40 a.m. Went north and saw two D.F.W.s being shelled at about 5,000 feet north-east of Ronnsoy at 9.50. Engaged one at close range and fired a long burst from both guns. E.A. went down steeply, emitting smoke and water, and hit the ground in a vertical dive just east of Vendhuille at 57B, S27.a as far as I could judge, as I did not pay too much attention to it as I was being engaged by the remaining D.F.W. This E.A. continued to circle round and got well east of the line like this, so I left him. Went north and saw two L.V.G.s going west aver Epehy at 10 a.m. I engaged one at 200 yards range at 9,000 feet and fired 200 rounds of Vickers into him. E.A. stalled, went down in a vertical dive, left hand wings fell off, and E.A. then burst into flames and crashed into our lines just east of Lampire at 62B, F16.b at 10.15 a.m. At 10.30 had an indecisive engagement with a D.F.W. over Gonnelieu but E.A. got away. Returned 11.5.”
In the first LVG the observer Leutnant Max Pappenheimer from FAA 264 was killed. The crew of the DFW Vitzfeldwebel Hans Rautenberg and Leutnant Gerhard Besser from Boghohl 7 were both killed. Their colleague Leutnant Max Rittermann the observer in the other LVG was also killed.
McCudden has now claimed 41 victories and is now only three behind Albert Ball.
McCudden’s colleague 2nd Lieutenant Barclay McPherson was injured when his SE5a (B668) ran out of petrol on return form the patrol and crash landed.