Yesterday “Kingcol” advanced on Baghdad. A canal had been dug across the road at Khan Nuqta, and the road flooded further down beyond that. We stand by all day to support them, but only one flight required, to attack some 1500-3000 tribesmen massing south of Falluja Plain. These turned out to be sheep. Today Arthur, White and self go off to attack enemy “targets” in front of our advance guard, some 10-12 miles down the road from Khan Nuqta. We have as escort one Gladiator, W/C Wrightman, and before we arrive he is attacked by three CR42s. We break formation and go down on the deck and see him shoot one down, the pilot sort of stepping out in his parachute like going down a lift. We fly low over him and his burnt out plane and he looks a bit dago-ish in long trousers and a shirt, holding up his hands in surrender. We had previously seen what we thought were Audaxes ground strafing, but which were really CR42s pulling out after diving on Wrightman.
I attack some lorries and miss each time and White puts them on fire. I machine gun one and then see our troops creeping forward and mortar smoke and explosions on the edge of a wood so go down to look for a target in it. Am below 1000′ when a burst comes up by my left elbow. It is deflected by a Lewis gun drum, but wounds my gunner, Williams, in the back. Only a deep graze I think but I push off home, to find the whole squadron waiting anxiously on the polo ground as we are a long time away, and CR42s had been reported there during our absense. My bombing is getting bad again.
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