25th November 1917
Lieutenants Pratt and Light take up their Bristol Fighters and they find two German Albatross IIIs at a disadvantage, one of them being at very low altitude indeed. All four aircraft pass each other with some gunfire but with no great effect.
"Don't worry" says Hautpmann von Tutscheck, "no one of any note has ever been shot down by a rear gunner"
As Plange climbs up at best speed, his wingman Papenmeyer takes fire from both Pratt and Light's fighters. Trying to stay in the fight despite the four guns trained on him he takes a glancing shot from Pratt's rear gunner.
The shot clips "old Pape" on the head and his Albatross spins out of control and into the French countryside. Plange is alone.
Plange seeks to break contact with the British pair, but they work well together denying him an escape route and threatening shots at every opportunity.
With the advantage of altitude over his opponent, Light does some serious damage to Plange's aircraft, enough to force him to turn back towards British lines towards temporary safety.
Plange jumps at the opportunity to get on Pratt's tail, keeping within the thin shadow of protection afforded by the Bristol Fighters tail rudder. Pratt begins to take damage along his fuselage.
Lining up for another shot, which should take care of the British pilot, Plange is surprised when the twin-seater executes a perfect diving half-loop to aim his guns directly at the amazed German. Both pilots depress their triggers at the same instant, but only Pratt survives the exchange.
The British have recovered their honour from Bloody April, but the Germans will no doubt be back for more...
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