Feature Letter of June 24th, 2016
Gilroy, Wilbert H.
Last Monday I went up for an artillery shoot. I could not see very well, as clouds were low, so I went over to have a look at my target. I wasn't far over at all, just 3 or 4 miles, but just as I was ready to observe, my observer touched me on the shoulder and shouted Huns. I looked up and saw 6 of them making for us out of the clouds. I should have beat it immediately but thought I could wait for the burst. Anyway they didn't take long to come up and soon they were right on my tail. Then the leader dived & when he was 200 feet away fired off his rounds from machine gun. Then they all dived in succession. Of course by this time I was well away. But one of the first shots cut one of my flying wires, and it came back and hit me on the arm. I got my machine down to 120 miles per hour, but they were doing 175 easily. They simply poured the lead into the machine, and although the scrap only lasted 1/2 of a minute it seemed like 1/2 of an hour. My observer fired on them all the time too. I had to do all kinds of twists and turns, as they were in front, behind, and all around me. However I got away from them and a bunch of our fighters came up and chased them away. I went back to finish the job, but my engine was shot thru so I had to return. When I got down I was quite surprised. My machine was so badly riddled that it had to have three new planes, out of four, new centre section, new propeller, undercarriage, wheel, several holes thru the engine, and some odd wires. It was just finished yesterday, so that now I have practically a new machine.