Intrepid Fliers News of the World for January 1918:
January 1 The Swedish steamer SS Eriksholm was sunk by the German submarine UC-58 off the coast of Aberdeen whilst on a voyage from Methil to Goteborg with a cargo of coal. January 2 The British Government formed the Air Ministry which had responsibility for managing the affairs of the Royal Air Force. January 3 The Air Council took over management of Britain's air services from the Air Board with Lord Rothermere, the first Air Minister, as President. January 4 The British hospital ship HMHS Rewa was torpedoed and sunk in the Bristol Channel as she was returning to Britain from Malta carrying wounded troops. The Russian Bolshevik and Swedish Governments formally recognised the independence of Finland. January 5 British Prime Minister David Lloyd George outlined British War Aims in a speech to Trade Union delegates. January 6 Germany and France recognized the independence of Finland. January 8 Speaking to a joint session of Congress, President Wilson of the United States proposed a fourteen point program for world peace. These points were later taken as the basis for peace negotiations at the end of the war. January 9 The British Beagle class destroyer HMS Raccoon ran aground in bad weather and sank off the North coast of Ireland with the loss of all hands. The battleship was en route from Liverpool to Lough Swilly to take up anti-submarine and convoy duties in the Northern Approaches. January 10 The British Government assured the Russian Bolshevik Government of their support in the creation of an independent Poland. January 12 The British steamer HMS Whorlton was torpedoed and sunk by the UB-30 in the English Channel with the loss of all hands. January 14 German destroyers bombarded Great Yarmouth on the Norfolk coast of England. The former Prime Minister of France Joseph Caillaux was arrested on charges of high treason. January 15 General strikes were held in Prague and Budapest as workers' peace movements gathered momentum. January 18 The Russian Constituent Assembly convened in the Tauride Palace in Petrograd in order to write a constitution and form a government for post revolutionary Russia. January 19 Following a 13 hour meeting the Russian Constituent Assembly was dissolved by the Bolshevik Government, an action that is generally reckoned as marking the onset of the Bolshevik dictatorship. January 20 At the Battle of lmbros, a naval engagement outside the Dardanelles, the Turkish cruiser Midilli (formerly the German SMS Breslau) and British monitors HMS Raglan and HMS M28 were sunk. January 21 Sir Edward Carson resigned from the War Cabinet. January 22 The Russian Bolshevik Government protested about inaccuracies in the reports of proceedings at Brest-Litovsk negotiations. January 23 Negotiations between the Russian Bolshevik Government and the Central Powers were suspended at Brest-Litovsk. January 24 The German Chancellor Georg von Hertling and Austrian Foreign Minister Count Ottokar Czernin made public their replies to statements on war aims made by US President Woodrow Wilson and British Prime Minister David Lloyd George. January 26 The Irish passenger steamer SS Cork was torpedoed by German submarine U-103 whilst travelling from Dublin to Liverpool. January 27 Lieutenant General Sir Launcelot Edward Kiggell resigned as Chief of the General Staff to the British Expeditionary Force. January 28 Increasingly frustrated with the continuing Great War 100,000 workers took to the streets of Berlin, demanding an end to the war on all fronts. January 30 Negotiations were resumed between the Russian Bolshevik Government and the Central Powers at Brest-Litovsk. January 31 Martial Law was declared in Berlin due to the escalation of the workers' strikes.
(From The Great War - Unseen Archives by Robert Hamilton)
"Take the cylinder out of my kidneys, The connecting rod out of my brain, my brain, From out of my arse take the camshaft, And assemble the engine again."
May 1 German forces occupied Sevastopol in the Crimea and established a military dictatorship in the Ukraine under Field Marshal Hermann von Eichhorn. May 2 The Netherlands concluded an agreement with Germany regarding the export of sand and gravel. May 4 The Second action of Es Salt ended. The battle had been fought by General Sir Edmund Allenby's Egyptian Expeditionary Force east of the Jordan River following the failure of the First Transjordan attack on Amman during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign. May 5 Field Marshal Sir John French was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. May 6 German and Turkish delegates arrived at Batum to negotiate peace with the Georgians and Armenians. May 7 The Treaty of Bucharest was signed at Buftea between Romania and the Central Powers and Turkey. Under the terms of the agreement Romania ceded Dobrudja and the Carpathian passes and leased its oil fields to Germany for 99 years. May 8 German forces captured Rostov in south Russia. May 9 British Prime Minister David Lloyd George overwhelmingly won a censure motion brought by his predecessor, Herbert Asquith. May 10 The British launched a second raid on Ostend. The Royal Navy warship HMS Vindictive was successfully scuttled in the harbour entrance to prevent German cruisers using the port. May 11 Finland and Turkey signed a peace agreement in Berlin. May 12 The flag of the Republic of Finland, with a crest in red and yellow depicting a lion, was raised for the first time, on Viapori. May 13 The creation of the Independent Air Force was announced. The IAF was a strategic bombing force, part of the Royal Air Force, used to strike against German railways, aerodromes and industrial centres. May 15 The Entente powers signed an agreement with Japan and China at Peking regarding German penetration in the Far East. May 16 Three months after Montana had passed a similar law, The Sedition Act was passed by the United States Congress. The legislation extended the Espionage Act of 1917 to cover a broader range of offenses, notably speech and the expression of opinion that cast the government or the war effort in a negative light or interfered with the sale of government bonds. May 17 A number of Sinn Fein leaders, including Eamon de Valera, were arrested and interned due to their campaign against conscription in Ireland. May 18 Turkish forces occupied Alexandropol in Georgia. May 19 The German Air Force launched an intense air raid on London inflicting a high number of casualties. May 21 A naval engagement was fought between the American armed yacht USS Christabel and the German submarine UC-56 in the Atlantic Ocean off Spain. May 23 Costa Rica declared war on Germany. The British armed mercantile cruiser SS Moldavia was torpedoed and sunk in the English Channel by the German submarine UB-57 while carrying American troops from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to London. May 24 General F C Poole landed at Murmansk, to organise the North Russian Expeditionary Force. May 25 Following the arrests of the Sinn Fein leaders the British Government published accounts of the alleged Irish-German plot to start an armed insurrection in Ireland. May 26 The Transcaucasian Federal Republic was dissolved. The Democratic Republic of Georgia proclaimed a National Government under the Menshevik politician, Noe Zhordania. May 27 German forces attacked the French along the front between Soissons and Rheims in the Third Battle of the Aisne, crossing the river and splitting the French and British forces. May 28 The first American offensive of the war, the Battle of Cantigny was fought and won near the village of Cantigny between American and French troops and the German army. May 29 The Aisne offensive continued as the Germans captured Soissons and pushed the Allies back to the River Vesle. May 30 The towns of Fere-en-Tardenois and Vezilly were taken by German forces as their advance continued on the Western Front. May 31 Having fought King Albert I over the neutrality of their country, Gerard Cooreman resigned as Belgian Prime Minister after he had lost the support of his party. He was succeeded by Charles de Broqueville.
(From The Great War - Unseen Archives by Robert Hamilton)
"Take the cylinder out of my kidneys, The connecting rod out of my brain, my brain, From out of my arse take the camshaft, And assemble the engine again."
I apologize for my last post. Didn't have time to proofread. What a mess! Just got through cleaning it up.
2nd Lt. John B. Goode 147th Aero Squadron, USAAS
June 1st 1918
Had to fill out some of the usual dope sheets this morning. The one that asks "WHOM SHALL BE NOTIFIED IN CASE OF DEATH" seemed much more pertinent than before. Spent the rest of the day getting briefings from the Brain Trust (1) on the local situation and what is known about our competition over on the other side of the trenches.
To our front is the 26th US "Yankee" Division. The German line at this point forms a 20 mile salient around St. Mihiel. The Huns created this bulge in 1914 trying to capture the Verdun forts. It's been fairly quite around here since then. Most of the German air activity is observation. There are only pursuit squadrons known to be in our area, equipped with the Albatros and Pfalz machines. One of them is supposed to be as wet behind the ears as we are but the other is a battle hardened bunch of vets, but they say our opposition is shy about engaging with large formations or our planes, only attacking single biplace (2) or flights of 2 or 3. Not a man among us isn't itching to get started.
Was too tired to write about the party last night. Went straight to bed.
It was a combination American barbecue and French Fete. Major Huffer was raised in France. He invited all the nurses in the neighborhood and a number of French ladies and chaperones from Nancy.
The 94th had reason to celebrate that night, Their Doug. Campbell had just received confirmation of his 5th Hun. That makes him the 1st American trained ACE of the war! Eddie Rickenback, the ex-race car driver is in the same outfit, he has 4 with a 5th waiting on confirmation. The 94th, as a whole, are up to 17 with 4 of their own lost. May we do so well!
There wasn't a great deal of mingling between the French and British Squadrons (3), but there was enough that, by the end of the evening, relations were, if not cordial, were no longer so hostile. More on the order of an intense rivalry now, I think.
Didn't drink any alcohol, didn't dance, Dewy did enough drinking, dancing and flirting for us both. Spent my time having Davy introduce me around to the pilots in his outfit and the 94th. Put the lessons I had learned from Daddy about handshaking (4) folks. A little humility and a show of respect, a little flattery, goes a long way most of the time. Took a little ribbing, they like to call newbies like us "Eggs." To be honest, I actually was in awe of some of them, veterans whose exploits I had read about and seen on newsreels.
Among those I met, that I can remember, were a couple of Davy's friends, Charlie Woolley and Wally Heinrichs, his Flight Leader Cpt. Peterson, formerly of the Lafayette Esc. and a lot more whose names I'll have to relearn, not as good as Daddy about that. I introduced him to Alk and the rest of B Flight, he and Snake hit it off. I also got to meet Doug Campbell , Jim Meissner and Rickenbacker, real combat vets with the Croix-de-Guerre on their chests. I found Rickenbacker a very engaging bird, down to earth, if a little foul mouthed. He insisted I call him Rick, which I did, but I won't be making a habit of it, "sir" is more appropriate.
I asked them a lot of questions and got some good advice. Encouraged them to do some ground flying (5). Doug. Campbell told me about the Rumpler he had gotten just this morning and Rick's story about losing the fabric on his upper wing made the hair stand up on my neck. They had a lot to say about the design flaws on our Nieuports. They're head up about the wing problems and the reserve gas tank and the fuel collecting the the cowling and are raising cane to try to get them replaced with SPADs. We and our Majors are aware of the problems, but no aircraft it perfect and we believe we have sufficient training and discipline to avoid such occurrences, but I didn't say so. One wise cracker said that the reserve tank was put right next to the pilot as a special target for the Boche's incendiaries to, "get things over with quickly." I thought that rather funny.
There seemed to be some question as to whether we were to be a separate group on the field or join the French Squadrons as part of the 1st Pursuit. The Major told them that as far as he and Hartney were concerned, we were part of the 1st Pursuit and they were "darned proud to be able to join the likes of the 94th and 95th Aero."
Afterward, the Major called us all together to tell us that he wasn't happy about the way the 1st Pursuit Group was set up. He was not as all pleased that it was being led by an officer like Atkinson, who's neither a combat pilot (he does have wings but never flies) nor did he have ANY combat experience of ANY kind. In short, a Kiwi. He was also displeased that no experienced pilots from the Lafayette Escadrille, such as Lufberry, Hall, Peterson, Huffer and Marr, were assigned to lead us in our early patrols and boost confidence. He and Maj. Hartney had insisted that Atkinson assign some of the veterans from the French Squadrons to take us up for our first few patrols.
One more thing he brought up was the matter of a squadron insignia and mascot. The 27th has already chosen a flying eagle (6). Mickey Two is, of course our live mascot, but we voted to used Mickey Free with the motto "Who Said Rats!" just as we had, to some extent, way back in Toronto. That made the Major smile.
We can paint Mickey on our Nieuports as soon as someone brings down a Hun. We raised our glasses and cheered, each one of us hoping to be the one to get that Hun.
Hands tired and I'm going to run out of paper at this rate.
One more thing, Davy introduced me to Weasle Face and the Monkey (7). They're in his flight. 1st Lt. Dennis Swedholm and 2nd Lt. Mike Zellmer. Davy says Swedholm is trying to butt kiss his way up the ladder and Zellmer is his flunky. You never see one without the other, joined at the hip, they probably crap together but that's just speculation, no one really wants to know.
(1) Brain Trust - Military Intelligence
(2) Bi-place - in most American reports, two seaters are referred to as bi-place and single seaters as mono-place
(3) French and British Squadrons - the 94th and 95th Aero referred to the two squadrons trained in Canada as the British Squadrons as well as Canuks and the Canadian Flying Circus. The 27th and 147th referred to the 94th and 95th Aero, who had been trained mostly in France, by French instructors, the French Squadrons.
(4) Handshaking/handshaker - seeking favor
(5) Ground Flying - telling stories about air fights, also Barracks Flying or Stove Flying.
(6) The 27th Aero Squadron used a flying eagle based closely to the one used on Budweiser Beer crates.
(7) These two men are my own invention, not real pilots. They are based on my last two supervisors in the company I worked for. Their names are slightly altered. I felt that after a 28 year relationship, working closely together, I felt the need to include them as two characters who were and despicable and obnoxious as they themselves are.
Loomis from the 95th took the Major and Flight Leaders on orientation patrol to the Front Lines. Winslow and Chambers from the 94th took the rest of us for a look around by turns. In all, there were 21 sorties today.
I went up twice. We have only 11 operational right now. I flew #2 both times. Chambers took myself, Dewey, Ed, Snake and Haywood up to about 3,500 meters over the Pruvenelle Forrest, then we followed the Meuse until we were within sight of the Front.
Now I have finally seen the Front with my own eyes. Battered countryside, honeycombed with shell holes as far as I could see, the ground burned white by the blasts, erratic lines of trenches zigzagging away in the distance, crumbled towns, everything as I had pictured it in my mind a thousand times.
I embarased myself with poor formation flying. What with gawking at the countryside and keeping an eye out for possible Huns, I was all over the place. Both Chambers and Heywood, whom I almost rammed, gave me a good ticking off.
Chambers asked us all about the other aircraft we had seen during the flight. We all missed several aircraft he told us we should have seen, but while we were going up to the front, all of us saw another of out flights, 5 Nieuports, going back the other way and two aircraft about 1,000 meters above, one of them trailing vapor. Chambers told us these had been Rumplers, so I have seen my first Huns in the air. Would have been exciting to chase them and maybe get a crack at them, but that wasn't what we were up for today. Another day Fritz!
My 2nd flight was a repeat with Winslow, with the exception that we actually went over no mans land near St. Mihiel, Bursting black shrapnel puffs followed us up and down the line. Pretty scary stuff, big puffs of black smoke with fire inside that throws you around when it gets close, but Winslow just keep going and we followed. No one was hit, amazing! We were ordered not to engage if any EA appeared. Saw an artillery barrage in progress below us. Have a fix on a number of landmarks now, enough that I think I can find my way around if I get separated.
The 94th lost a man during their afternoon patrol, a Lt. Davis, shot down in flames near St. Mihiel. It's serious business out here!
Early this morning, before any patrols went out, a German flew over to drop something onto the field. The object was retrieved and handed to Maj. Hartney, but he won't let out what is was all about. We all assume it was some sort of challenge to us new arrivals, a gauntlet thrown down. We're a but peeved that no one will tell us anythng about it.
Going to take another of those nice hot showers now.
Gen'l Faulis, head of the USAS, came by this morning to look over our squadrons and made a superficial inspection, no pomp and circumstance, just a look around.
Number 3 has been assigned to me as my permanent mount, so I spent the day getting her ready. She was among the Nieuports ferried in yesterday. I "helped," probably mostly hindered, Cpl. Black while he and Kozicak taped gas and oil joints, mounted instruments, put on steel, copper wrapped plug wires. They put a new stick on (1). When we tried the motor, it was binding on one side, but they worked it out. Black seems to have been handed a dud when he got Kozicak as his assistant, he spent as much time chewing his ass as he did making progress on the machine.
Black moved the rudder bars forward a few inches to help with my leg cramps and brought the windscreen forward to keep the wind and oil out of my face better, all very much appreciated. Got hold of an excellent lens mirror so I can see behind me somewhat.
Took the new ship to the range to set the sights and get the Vickers to converge at 100 meters.
Late in the day, took her up for a jazz, peppy crate, but was flying with right wing low so I got the rigger on that. We'll paint the cowling and wheel hubs blue (2) when there's time.
C Flight got the first crack at the Boche. Pip Porter got a burst off at a biplace from about 200 yards before breaking off over Germany (3).
Davy got his first Hun, a Rumpler, which he shares with Sumner Sewall. The occupants survived the crash. They went out to the crash site and retrieved 3 big black crosses, even though it caught fire when it tipped over. Helped him celebrate with his bunch tonight. Going to take another of those nice hot shower and hit the hay.
(1) Stick - propeller
(2) A flight adopted Red for it's cowlings, B Flight, Blue and C Flight, White. Major Bonnell had his painted with concentric Blue, White and Red circles.
(3) Germany - In the 1st Pursuit, the enemy's side of the lines was referred to as Germany as well as Hunland, Bocheland, Indian Country, etc.
LT. Cyril Woolly Instructor, Pilot 12th Training Unit Biggin Hill England
Officers Club 1640 Hrs June 6, 1918. Oh Tish Toss, I just got posted back to France as a Replacement. I only came back last year after flying Be2's. I had an adventure with a Be2 and Wet Grass after 22 hrs flight time. Broke a leg and Nose on that one.
As I laid here in the hospital bed, I realized it had been months since I'd updated my journal. Funny how time can get away from you when you are occupied. The last two months have been hard on 62 Sqn RAF. The last two weeks of March saw us lose 24 airmen dead or captured . We were up against the best Hun fliers almost every day and we suffered for it. Those of us that emerged unscathed were both lucky and talented. I was extremely lucky and my victory tally rose quickly.
After my ordeal with the Red Baron, I gained a measure of fame amongst the higher up and my commission followed quickly. A period of quiet followed this, as the Sqn moved rearward, flying out of an aerodrome almost 70 miles from the lines. It was during this period of relative peace that Harry Hallcome was severely wounded by a flak burst. His replacement, a chap named Doug Holmes, was a bit of a coward. He would refuse to fire his machine gun at the enemy. It made for some nervous flying, especially after the amazing cover provided by Harry. Doug stayed with me until May, when he transferred back to Blighty.
My career continued to get interesting as I was pegged to lead more and more patrols. As the German offensive continued, we shifted focus to ground attacks, mounting 25lb bombs and strafing whatever we could find. This, of course, peeved off the huns and they came down in droves to run us off. The resulting melees extended my victory count into the double digits. It was then that I pulled off the stunt that won me the DSO and a promotion to Lt. My citation read:
On the morning of the 24 May 1918, 2Lt Sitwell observed an enemy two-seater well below him. He attacked this machine and after a short burst it broke up in the air. At the same time two groups of Albatross biplanes attacked him.
He was attacked him from all directions, and was wounded in the left thigh, but succeeded in driving down two of the enemy in a spin. Being greatly exhausted, he dived out of the fight to regain our lines, successfully landing his damaged machine near British trenches.
This combat, in which 2Lt Sitwell destroyed three enemy machines brought his total success to thirteen enemy machines destroyed.
The actually story is much less gallant. I saw a plane below us, and signalled to attack. My flight misinterpreted my signal and attacked an airfield further along. As I focused on the two-seater, my tunnel vision caused me to miss the two flights of Albatross closing in on my. I found myself outnumbered 12 to 1 and had to conduct a whirling gunfight with the Huns. It took all my strength, but eventually the Albatross ran low on fuel and broke off for home. I was able to pursue and down two, before running out of fuel on the way back to my lines. I made several mistakes and ended up in the hospital for five days. Some heroic action. I should be dead.
And now I am here in the hospital once again, due to my own carelessness. I dove on a large group of two-seaters and was rewarded with an aircraft and body full of holes. They say I will not return until the 14th.
 Capt. D S Kennedy MC, Pilot KIA & Lt. H G Gill, Observer KIA 12 Mar 1918 [claimed by Jasta 11 Ltn Lothar von Richthofen] Lt. L C Clutterbuck, Pilot POW & 2nd Lt. H J Sparks, MC Observer WIA/POW 12 Mar 1918 [claimed by JG1 Rittm Manfred von Richthofen] Lt. J A Ferguson, Pilot POW & Sgt. L S D Long, Observer WIA/POW 12 Mar 1918 [claimed by Jasta 11 Ltn W Steinhäuser] 2nd Lt. C B Fenton, Pilot POW & Lt. H B P Boyce, Observer POW 12 Mar 1918 [claimed by Jasta 11 Ltn Lothar von Richthofen] Lt. F J Batt, Pilot KWF & 2nd Lt. F J McNiff, Observer KWF 13 Mar 1918 2nd Lt. C Allen, Pilot KIA & Lt. N T Watson, Observer POW 13 Mar 1918 [claimed over Marcoing by Jasta 56 Ltn R Heins] 2nd Lt. N B Wells Pilot POW & Lt G R Crammond, Observer POW 13 Mar 1918 [claimed over La Terriere by Jasta 56 Ltn F Schleiff] Sgt. J Lake WIA 14 Mar 1918 Capt. A R James Pilot KIA & Lt. J M Hay, Observer KIA 24 Mar 1918 2nd Lt. F Keith WIA 24 Mar 1918 Lt. V K Hilton, Pilot WIA 27 Mar 1918 AMI A Boxall, Observer KIA 28 Mar 1918 2nd Lt. M H Cleary, Pilot KIA & 2nd Lt. V G Stanton, Observer POW 28 Mar 1918; DOW 29 Mar 1918 2nd Lt. H N Arthur, Pilot seriously injured 28 Mar 1918 (observer Bruce-Norton) 2nd Lt. S W Symons, Pilot seriously injured 28 Mar 1918 (observer Sgt Holmes flew a/c home) Cpl. J Borwein injured 28 Mar 1918
Packed my kit, drew my pay and told the chaps to Bugger Off, I am off to France. I found Transport down to the docks and boarded a Channel Steamer to cross the waves, After arriving in France, I hitched / Hiked my way to the Replacement Depot. I should be posted shortly.
Canuck - I'll have to go back in time and see that Red Baron story sounds intriguing.
2nd Lt. John B., Goode 147th Aero Squadron, USAAS
June 4th 1918
Poor Ed Lawrence (1) is the first of us to go west. We mounted defensive patrols over the Toul area today to keep German photo planes away. Snake O'Niell and Ed took off on a 2 plane patrol at 9:45, patrolling between Toul and the Front Lines at about 4,000 meters. At about 10:30 they got heavily Archied, Lawrence's Nieuport was damaged and he spun into the ground. Ralph landed beside the crash and found that he had been killed instantly. Ralph is inconsolable, they were very close.
Dewey and I made one of these patrols, a 5 plane patrol led by Alk. Nothing sited.
Went out to see Jake, the 95ths mascot. He has a pin out back of the barracks. Brought him some dried apples which pleased him much. They bought him from an old garbage collector in Toul, who used him to pull the cart, after they adopted a kicking mule for their insignia. The poor old donkey's body shows the signs of a hard life but his eyes are bright and there's bounce in his step yet, getting fat though. Lots of stray dogs around, scavenging and following everyone around, looking for a handout, I give them something when I have it.
(1) 2nd Lt. Edward K. Lawrence, B Flight, KIA 4 June 1918
Canuck, where are you off to next? It's good to catch up on Sitwell's story. Jerbear, Goode's tale is building to a baptism of fire. Great story-telling, and I wish you good luck over the front. How do you find the Np27? I've never flown in in WOFF.
Carrick, how are you not up on charges? Your guy is a real gypsy!
Corderoy is finally getting back into action,,,
Diary of Maj. Geoffrey Corderoy, 70 Squadron RFC Part 54: 31 January to 6 February 1918
31 January 1918 – Fitzroy Square, London
I’ve never been the sort of chap to cultivate people, the way politicians do. But since last Tuesday I’ve worked hard to learn the art. The morning after chatting with Chidlaw-Roberts, I set out for the Cecil Hotel, where I found Major Baring settled into a tiny office littered with books and papers. He was assiduously typing with one finger, copying something from one of the little black notebooks he carried with him at all times.
“Oh, Corderoy, thank God!” he exclaimed when I unexpectedly showed up at his door. “I thought you’d never get here.” He pushed the typewriter to one side.
“I’ve come to take you to tea,” I said. “And to borrow your brain.”
We made our way down to the street and along to Haxell’s Hotel, where we were unlikely to run into any other RFC officer. Over tea I told Baring that I suspected I was about to be supplanted at 70 Squadron in order to ensure that Bishop remained the highest scoring British pilot. And I mentioned Jack Scott’s name.
“It is likely mere speculation, Corderoy. Scott’s been replaced at 11 Wing by Van Ryneveld from 45 Squadron. He’s been back here running Central Flying School since shortly before you went on leave.”
I felt a fool. This is the sort of thing a squadron commander had to know, and I obviously had neglected to read routine orders thoroughly. I told Baring I wanted to get back to France as soon as possible. Baring asked where I was staying. I explained that my parents had decided to come and stay at my father’s flat in London rather than have me come home, so I was moving later today to Fitzroy Square.
“I shall set you up with our family’s doctor and get you back as soon as proper. And as soon as I see him I’ll put a word in for you with General Salmond. You went to Wellington, correct?” The man had a mind for detail. “So did he.”
We returned to the Cecil, and Baring ushered me in to see General Trenchard, now Chief of Air Staff and reportedly thoroughly browned off with having to deal with politicians. He had a surprise for me. He informed me that General Salmond would be bestowing a bar to my DSO, which was just being gazetted. It recognized my continuing success with the squadron, and my personal success, especially the triple I scored a few weeks ago. The general shook my hand and passed me a small silver rosette to pin on my crimson and blue ribbon to signify the bar. “Can’t let Salmond have all the fun,” he said gruffly.
2 February 1918 - Dover
The next two days were wonderful. My mother fussed over my dressings. The gash on my thigh was healing nicely. I saw Baring’s doctor, a very stately fellow named Blythe, who proclaimed me fit, and after tearful farewells I headed for Victoria Station and back to the war.
3 February 1918 -- Poperinghe
Got back to 70 after dinner, in time for a sing-song and the news that Gorringe has bagged another one. Quigley and Howsam have each been confirmed as Captains. Quigley will take A Flight and Howsam C. Now, together with Gossinge, all three flight commanders are pilots how have “grown up” in 70 Squadron.
4 February 1918
Overcast day. Joined A Flight for a Southern Offensive Patrol. Saw nothing and froze.
5 February 1918
Wing called shortly after 10 am to put a flight up near Loos to chase off some Huns. I was meeting with the flight commanders so the four of us went, gathering Aldred, Rankin, Koch, and Seth-Smith. We got up to 11000 feet by the time we were at Loos, but the Huns had all gone home. Once again we did nothing but risk frostbite.
6 February 1918
This morning I joined Quigley for an attack on a Hun railway siding near Roulers. Archie was extremely keen today, but we had a good run at the place. I dropped my bombs astride a goods train and saw several carriages derail and fall over. The other set fire to a number of buildings and were rewarded with some spectacular secondary explosions.
Quigley waved me into the lead as we climbed away from Roulers back towards the lines. I turned south and crossed the line of the Lys. Around Ste-Marguerite, several Hun two seaters passed a couple of thousand feet above us, heading north. They were escorted by a gaggle of Albatros scouts, two of which dived at us. One fired from a distance and zoomed back to safety, but the other got caught in a tangle with Howden and Aldred. I managed a full deflection crack at the Hun, who split-arsed downwards. I followed him down and caught him trying to break for home. After a long burst, I saw his propeller stop and his machine sideslip into a shell crater west of the Hun aerodrome at Ste-Marguerite. Rankin had followed me down and confirmed the crash, so this has been confirmed as my 46th victory! I thought this put me in the lead of British pilots, as Bishop had 45, but I am told that McCudden bagged his 47th just a few days ago.
"I managed a full deflection crack at the Hun, who split-arsed downwards."
Cyril Woolly LT, Rfc 32 Sqn B Flt Fouquerolles, Marne.
June 6, 1918.
I arrived this afternoon, and did the Hi , How are U's. Then Reported to the C.O. and assigned to B flight. I will be flying some other pilots Machine with the letter " R " on the Top Wing till I get one assigned. I say, these Long Nosed fast machines are a lot different then the Be 2's and DH 2's a/c that I have flown. A sgt pilot showed me the Taps then off I went for a circuit flight to get the feel. After Dinner and a few drinks, it was Bed time as I was posted for a combat flight in the morning. On the down side, my flight records were lost .
Raine - I like the Nieuport 28, very maneuverable without a lot of the stalls I tend to get into if I'm not very careful. Really turns on a dime. If you play it straight and use the Selector and blip switch it's difficult to fly in formation. You also have to watch out for the wing flaw when you dive or recover quickly from a dive. I have also seen them catch fire from excess fuel buildup in the cowling, but have been lucky enough not to have had that happen, witness that John is still flying. It's also pretty fast and more than a match for Pfalz and Albatri but outclassed by the DVII, no surprise there. Visibility is good except straight ahead. I wonder if maybe the devs overdid it a little because it was bad but nowhere nearly as bad in ROF. Glad you are enjoying the story.
2nd Lt. John B. Goode 147th Aero Squadron, USAAS
June 5th 1918
Ed's funeral was this afternoon. Entire Squadron and a number of Flying Officers from the other 3 rode over to Evac. Hospital #1, where his body was taken. Marched from there to the cemetery, looks to be about 60 or 70 graves there so far. Catholic Service by an Army Chaplain. Ralph, Parry, Alk, Cassard, Dewey and I acted as pall bearers, Ford for a hearse. The volleys in salute, present arms (we officers at salute) and the sounding of taps over the grave, all very impressive and moving. Ralph walked off by himself during taps and we left him alone. Hard to wrap your mind around the cold hard fact that Ed's really gone, forever gone. Brings up a knot of both grief and fear in you gut.
Pulled a hitch on alert 4:30 to 10:30. A call came in about 9 signaling 6 Huns had crossed the lines near Verdun at 4,000 meters. We were up in less than 3 minutes. About 10 miles out, I had difficulty keeping up with the formation, nothing seemed wrong with #3 but I couldn't seem to maintain enough air speed so I turned around to make my way home. Didn't have any problems, I had plenty of landmarks memorized, but I felt like a sitting duck out there on my own. I saw a vertical line of smoke form off in the distance to the east, probably some fool like myself who met some badguys. The patrol didn't find the Boche, landed about an hour after I did.
Doug.Campbell of the 94th was hit in the back while taking down his 6th Hun, An exploding bullet hit one of his fuselage wires then exploded in his back. Mr. Hun is playing mighty dirty. He'll probably be out of the war. Quite a loss for us, our top ace.
Got a pile of letters from home. Guess I'll spend the rest of the evening on those.
Cyril Woolly LT, Rfc 32 Sqn B Flt Fouquerolles, Marne.
June 7, 1918.
The Cpt's led both flights today, I tagged along. The low flight ( B Flt ) got into it with 3 Vee Strutters in a hit and run The 3 e/a dove from up sun the scooted low over enemy MG Nests in NML. I turned after one ,but thought better of going down to the deck over No Mans Land. Score Zero. Upton landing, I saw a Camel nose down and tail up. The riggers said that the pilot was out of juice so tryed to land here. He did a Bumps a daisy and the Prop dug in the ground . He lost a lot of teeth ,but might be ok when he leaves the Medics.