Out early this morning digging an observing station.
About nine o’clock the same Boche plane as yesterday flew over, but one of our battle planes, which had been waiting about on the chance of his turning up was soon after him, and we saw a thrilling air fight over the camp. The Boche was about five thousand feet up and our battle plane was a bit above him, and chased him over the camp. Both machines blazing away with their machine guns and they disappeared in the direction of El Arish. Our machine came back about an hour later, flying very badly and made a very bad landing on the shore near the sea – but they managed to right her alright and got off with just a shaking.
The plane had sixty bullet holes in her, and the oil tank shot through, but neither the pilot or observer were touched. They told us they had chased the Boche for 30 miles but his machine was an Aviatik with a machine gun mounted so as to be able to shoot astern, and our plane was so badly hit about they had to give up the chase.
One of the Scottish Horse came into the mess tonight; he brought a rumour that on the Western Front we’ve advanced and broken the German line in nine places.
But we’ve heard so many rumours before.