Back from the UK and catching up...Carrick,
Luthor is doing very well in his tripe! Jerbear
, very immersive reading. I really like your patient approach, and hope you're finding the payoff in your affinity for your character. Can't wait until Goode gets into action! MFair
, I really felt for Jerod after the incident with Truit. Really good story. Fullofit
, thanks again for the historical calendars! Hasse,
great episode -- when Linder encounters his first Hun, the DFW. I continue to be incredibly impressed...
Geoffrey Corderoy's luck finally changed. After 13 consecutive rejections, he has now had four consecutive confirmations.Diary of Maj. Geoffrey Corderoy, 70 Squadron RFC
Part 47: 28 December 1917 – 2 January 1918
28 December 1917 – Poperinghe aerodrome
The weather has turned very cold. The field is frozen and the ruts from our last period of wet weather are now solid ridges. Taking off hurts one’s teeth the undercarriage threatens to shatter before finally the Camel lifts off into the air.
COP to Lille sector this morning. We encountered a pair of Hun two-seaters and Seth-Smith bagged one. I fired more than 200 rounds at the other with no dramatic result.
Letters from home. Reggie has been posted to Egypt. With luck he’ll stay in the east, far from the beastly Huns. A neighbour’s son was killed.29 December 1917
Shortly after eight we receive a call that some EA are patrolling over our lines at Messines and take to the air with all available men. There are six of us: me, Howsam, Quigley, Todd, Gorringe, and Aldred. I lead, turning south-southwest immediately after lifting off. We reach the lines at 6500 feet, still climbing directly into an intense low sun. There is not long to wait, for a gaggle of Albatri approaches from the north and makes two feints before dropping down on us.
The Huns lack guts this morning. All but three turn away after the briefest tangle. I see a Camel climbing onto the tail of an Albatros and make for the Hun, hoping to distract him and give the Camel a clear shot. It is Todd, I notice.
Suddenly there is a rattle of machine gun fire, very close, and bullets rip through my machine with a sound like pebbles thrown against a fence. I pull the stick back and kick the rudder, intending a snap roll, but the Camel simply sideslips and more round smash into it. My instruments are shattered and there are two large gouges in the right cabane nearest me. The Hun overshoots and turns off to my left and above. It is a black machine with a white band around the fuselage, just forward of the tail. I turn about. The engine is still giving good revs and the machine responds well. The Hun is coming at me head-on. I skid left, raking the Hun as he passes. Damage has been done, for it does not take great effort to close on the EA’s tail. Two long bursts cause the machine to fall in a spin, streaming grey smoke and spiralling ever downward until it hit the waters of the Lys with an impressive splash.
Peverell confirms this, my 38th official victory. "Two long bursts cause the machine to fall in a spin, streaming grey smoke and spiralling ever downward until it hit the waters of the Lys with an impressive splash."31 December 1917
The weather has closed in since yesterday, and we close out 1917 comfortably ensconced in the mess as the snow drifts over the fields. Flying is out of the question.
New Year’s promotions come in. Gorringe, Aldred, Peverell, Quigley, Hobson, and Howsam have all made lieutenant. Gorringe has been awarded the MC, and I have received a bar for mine. I shall try to get Gorringe made temporary captain as soon as possible as he will be a splendid flight commander.
We party until ten and stagger over to see the boys in 29 Squadron. I am back well after midnight. So this is 1918 – the fifth year of the war. Quigley is convinced that it will continue until 1920. I have told myself that it is merely a process to be endured and a business to be excelled at until it is done. It is all beyond our control.
Received a card from Catherine. It is very simple. She has written only that she understands and prays we will see each other in due course. Her acceptance surprises me somewhat.1 January 1918
Just after the morning patrol went up, Wing called to demand that we put someone up to chase off a two seater over Vimy. I took Lieut. Carruthers, a new man, and the first four I found. Unfortunately, my engine went dud a few minutes into the patrol – cracked cylinder. I switched off and glided back. Carruthers accompanied me back, as he had been ordered to stay with me.2 January 1918
COP to Vimy. Heavy snow and cloud and the whole show was pointless. We could not find each other, never mind the Hun.