January 13, 1918.
My Dear People:
At this writing I am in the happiest mood possible because I received your own dear box and also because I shot down a 2-seater Hun within our own lines. This is my first and I have the proper spirit and enthusiasm.
Your box was wonderful - everything in it so useful. The flashlight is a beauty and just what I needed. The scarf was also one of the best things you could have sent. I was glad to receive the sugar as we ran out of sugar in the mess to-day so gave it into the mess for our meals, I am putting my Xmas cake on the table. The boys always put their eats in the mess and I am doing likewise. The candies, gum, nuts and medicine were also very welcome. I received at the same time five letters from Canada and among them one from Dad and one from Eugene.
Now, I think you would like to hear how I got my Hun. Five of us left the aerodrome in formation. At the Hun line and up north we sighted three 2-seater Huns working on the edge of our lines. We flew into the sun so that they could not see us and crossed over into Hunland and came up front behind them. They caught sight of us and started for home. My leader and I dived on the first one and he spiraled down towards the ground. All at once I noticed one of the other Huns trying to get on my tail. Immediately I climbed and turned quickly to the right and got on his tail. Meanwhile our other pilots (three) joined us and chased the third Hun. Well, as I said, I was on his tail, and he turned shortly to the left and in so doing his machine became too venical and hung. As soon as I noticed this I straightened out my machine and brought both guns to play on him. This was about 8,000 feet, We started to spin to the ground and I followed him down. He went out of the spin and went into a nose dive, and into the ground about 700 yards behind our first lines. Our other chaps brought down the other two German planes making three for us in one patrol. When we reached the aerodrome we found that Captain P------ had shot down a Hun Scout. This made four for the day. We were just going in for lunch when the Wing Commander and the Brigade General came in. They had luncheon with us, and each of us who had bagged a Hun had a long talk with the General. He congratulated us or our work and then took Captain L and me to where I had shot down the Hun. The machine was a fearful wreck. I took the number off the tail and also one of the instruments as souvenirs. As we were sitting down to dinner, General T sent us congratulations from England. Everybody was quite bucked up with the day's work.
Yesterday afternoon, as we finished our work we saw one of our balloons shot down in flames. We saw the observer jump out and fortunately he escaped unhurt. After the German had done this trick, his engine cut out and he landed behind our lines. We all went to an aerodrome near at hand and saw the machine. Our mechanics wanted to go out and collect the bus I had shot down. The Captain told them that it was not worth while they would not get enough to make a fire.
I received parcels from Miss S. Throop and Miss Caulfield. I am writing them to-night. Tell Eugene that he writes a fine letter. Give my love to all.