February 1 Governments of the Central Powers formally recognised the Ukraine republic. February 3 The British Government announced the enlargement of powers of the Supreme War Council at Versailles. February 4 General Mikhail Alexeiev moved towards Moscow with a force of Don Cossacks for action against the Bolsheviks. February 5 The British liner SS Tuscania was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Ireland by the German submarine UB-77 while carrying American troops to Europe. The Russian Government announced the separation of the Russian Orthodox Church from the state. February 6 The German Government sent an ultimatum to the Romanian Government demanding peace negotiations within four days. February 8 The Royal Navy destroyer HMS Boxer sank after colliding with the merchant ship SS St Patrick in the English Channel. February 9 A peace treaty was signed at Brest-Litovsk between the Central Powers and the Ukraine. Alexandru Averescu replaced Ion I. Constantin Bratianu as Prime Minister of Romania after Bratianu refused to negotiate with the Germans and resigned. February 10 British Prime Minister David Lloyd George entrusted Lord Beaverbrook with the responsibility of establishing the new Ministry of Information in charge of propaganda. February 11 US President Wilson addressed Congress to add extra aims to his fourteen point program for world peace. A staunch opponent of the Bolsheviks, Russian General Alexei Maximovich Kaledin committed suicide by shooting himself. February 12 The British steamer HMS Polo was torpedoed and sunk without warning by German submarine UB-57. February 14 The Gregorian calendar was adopted in Russia. The Council of People's Commissars had issued a decree that Wednesday 31 January 1918 was to be followed by Thursday 14 February 1918, thus dropping 13 days from the calendar. February 15 A sustained German destroyer raid in the Straits of Dover resulted in the sinking of a British Admiralty trawler and several net drifters. February 16 General Lionel Dunsterville led his "Dunsterforce" troops to Enzeli on a mission to gather information, train and command local forces, and prevent the spread of German propaganda. February 18 The Armistice on the Russian front expired. German armies resumed hostilities and began to advance towards Dvinsk on the Eastern Front. February 19 The Russian Bolshevik Government indicated a willingness to sign the peace treaty at Brest-Litovsk. February 20 German troops continued their advance towards Petrograd, Moscow and Kiev. February 21 British forces captured Jericho in Palestine, thus depriving the Turks of their advance base for the defence of Palestine. February 22 Owing to the growing fear of German spies and domestic labour violence, the Montana Sedition Law restricting freedom of speech and assembly was passed in the United States. February 23 An Inter-Allied Labour and Socialist Conference in London passed a resolution with regard to war aims. February 24 Turkish forces recaptured Trebizond in Asia Minor. February 25 German forces captured Pernau and Pskov as the advance against Russian troops continued. February 26 British hospital ship HMHS Glenart Castle was sunk by German submarine U-56 in the Bristol Channel whilst en route from Cardiff to Brest to pick up war survivors. February 28 In the United States a new bill was introduced which was intended to protect war materials including arms, ammunition, clothing, food supplies, and other items used by the military.
(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."
June 1 The Battle of Belleau Wood, fought between the United States Marine Corps and German forces, began near the Marne River in France during the German Spring Offensive. June 2 German forces reached the River Marne at Chateau-Thierry whilst the US Marines held the frontline near the Paris-Metz Highway. June 3 The British, French and Italian Governments declared their support for the national aspirations of Poles, Czecho-Slovaks and Yugo-Slavs at Versailles. The German submarine U-151, commanded by Heinrich von Nostitz und Janckendorff, was responsible for the sinking of nine American ships off the coast of New York over two days. June 4 American Major General Omar Bundy took command of the American sector of the front at Belleau Wood and continued to repel the incessant German assaults. June 5 The British Independent Air Force was constituted under the command of Major-General Sir Hugh Trenchard with its headquarters situated near Nancy in France. June 6 The Dutch hospital ship PSS Koningin Regentes was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine UB-107 on her way from Boston to Rotterdam. American troops captured Bouresches and the southern part of Belleau Wood. June 7 British forces landed at Kern in northern Russia. A Czech-Slovak force in Russia occupied the key railway town of Omsk in Siberia. June 8 The Russian Bolshevik Government ordered Allied forces out of northern Russia. The Georgian Government and Armenian Council signed a peace agreement with Turkey; Georgia also signed a treaty with Germany. June 9 The German offensive Operation Gneisenau began. Also known as the Battle of the Matz the Germans launched an attack on the French sector between Noyan and Montdider. June 10 The Austro-Hungarian dreadnought SMS Szent Istvan was torpedoed by the Italian Motor Torpedo Boat MAS-15. The battleship capsized and sank several hours later near Premuda Island, Croatia. June 11 French and American troops counterattacked on the Marne salient. The Americans captured Belleau Wood while the French captured Mery, Belloy and Fretoy. June 13 The Battle of the Matz ended when the Germans halted their offensive. June 15 The Battle of the Piave began in Italy with an Austro-Hungarian offensive along the River Piave from Lake Garda to the Adriatic. June 16 Austro-Hungarian forces attacked Italian troops across the Piave River. In the Montello sector they established an effective bridgehead but elsewhere they were driven back to their original line. June 18 The Russian battleship Svobodnaya Rossiya was scuttled by four torpedoes fired by the destroyer Kerch in Novorossiysk harbour to prevent her from being turned over to the Germans as required by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. June 19 Italy's leading flying ace Francesco Baracca was killed whilst on a strafing mission on the Montello hill area in northern Italy. June 21 Aleksandar Pavlov Malinov replaced Vasil Hristov Radoslavov as Prime Minister of Bulgaria. June 22 Austro-Hungarian forces started their withdrawal across the River Piave. June 23 The Austro-Hungarians were ordered to retreat by Charles I of Austria. The Allies recaptured all territory on the southern bank of the river ending the Battle of the Piave. June 25 The first Crimean Regional Government was established under German protection with General Maciej Sulkiewicz as Prime Minister. June 26 American troops forced the Germans out of Belleau Wood and brought to an end the German Aisne offensive. June 27 The British hospital ship HMHS Llandovery Castle was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-86 off the coast of Ireland whilst on a voyage from Halifax to Liverpool. June 29 The United States Government announced a view that all Slav races should be free of German and Austrian rule.
(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."
Jerbear: I dont know about the Court Marshal for the French Flu. However , I did hear and was told about Getting a Sunburn ( The Serious kind where U can hardly move around ) would get U an Fined and there was a possibility of being put in the Stockade and Rank reduction.
Cyril Woolly Maj , Rfc, D.F.C Instructor Pilot B Flight Commander 10 Victorys, 40 Sqn, Bryas, AF Flanders France.
2 July 1918.
B Flight did a little Railroad work today near Loos. I say, did a little damage too ! On the down side we have a missing machine no one saw what happened he just didn't come back. After getting back, I took a different SE 5 , dumping my old machine , I Made it the Hanger Queen for parts . On my new Ride I painted a W on the top wing for Woolly. and patched up some big holes in the side.
Our outfit got into our first big fight with Richthofen's old circus yesterday. I wasn't present but Snake told me the 7 of them engaged 12 Huns and shot down 5 without a loss to ourselves. They came in revving their engines over the aerodrome and whooped and howled like red Indians when they landed. The Major toasted the victories and stated he was grateful there had been no losses. There was some bad news too, he learned from Hartney that Elliot and Wanamaker were missing, last seen in Apache Country about 3 km north of Chateau T. He proposed a toast to the lost Eagles of the 27th.
My morning didn't go as well. I was on an earlier, 07:30 patrol. Alk led Me, Dewey, Bronson, Simmy and Parry over the Chateau T to Dormans sector, 5,000 meters. On our 2nd pass over the area I spotted 5 of the new Fokker monoplace in my mirror, trying to sneak up on us and damn near succeeding. I got Alk's attention and we immediately did a renversement to meet them head on. We've all read what the British pilots had to say about their experiences in air fighting, that if you flew straight at a Hun who was coming straight at you he'd be the one to give way and duck, so have no fear of a German coming straight at you, Well, let me tell you, that's all hog wash. That German didn't flinch. It was me who ducked, and within feet of colliding. He swept over my tail and missed me by inches. We were both firing at one another but he didn't hit me, I have no idea if any of my shots went home or not, didn't seem to phase him if they did.
After that I was just firing at anything that had a black cross on it that came in front of me, no chance to observe any results. I was doing another renversement to keep one of the Kaisers friends off my back when I suddenly noticed that Huns were all that were to be seen. I was entirely alone with 4 of them. I still had plenty of altitude so Babygirl and I kept maneuvering, not even bothering to try to get a shot in. I nearly twisted my head off trying to keep track of them all. I was too busy to be frightened. Babygirl responded so quickly to my touch that we seemed to be able to outrun the tracers that streaked by us just after we had made the next twist or turn or slip or dive. She stalled a couple of times. That seemed to throw the Square Heads off more than a perfectly executed maneuver.
I kept thinking the Cavalry would show up at any moment but I saw no one except my new Hun friends. All the whipping around cost me a lot of altitude. When I was down to about 1,000 meters I figured I was done for, so I followed some of the other advice I had heard or read about desperate situations like this. "If your attacked by a Hun and things look grim, don't try to get away. Go at him as though you'd made up your mind to ram him; it's your only chance; it will give him the idea that you mean business, even if you don't, and the Hun will think you're mad and leave you alone." (1)
So, we just started going at any of them I could get in front of me, throwing lead all over the place. I actually got on one of the Fokker's tail, peppering his behind good before I broke off as his buddies came to his rescue. That one went off, then another, then it was just me and a single Boche. I zoomed up at him, fired a few more wild shots in his general direction and he was off. Can you believe it? I was down to about 300 meters with him on top of me, 5 miles behind his lines, he had me cold on a plate and he'd had enough! Maybe I hit him with some of that stray lead I was spreading around, maybe his guns jammed, maybe he felt sick from trying to keep track of me, who knows. All I can say for sure is that I was glad to see the back of him and glad to show him mine. Felt like I had a brand new life.
I patted Babygirl on her side and thanked her for being such a good girl as I headed west. We were taking heavy Shrapnel and some ground fire so we clawed for more sky and kept changing course to throw Archie off.
Back at Touquin Black and I looked Babygirl over good and found only 2 holes in her lower left wing. Amazing that we had come through that almost unscathed! Dewey and the rest of the patrol had been waiting for me, so I told them, briefly, about the fight. They said they had stayed until their fuel got low, looking for me after all the Huns had taken off. They had no idea I had been with them. As I was walking away from the field the fear that I hadn't felt during the fight came on with a vengeance. I felt a chill come over me like there was cold air between me and my clothes and I tingled all over with goosebumps. I was so shaky and weak I sat down on a crate for a long while. When I got up, I went to my room and passed out until I heard the later flight coming in, revving their engines. I got up to share in the festivities but left early to go right back to bed.
Still a little shaky this morning but ate a good breakfast. Just came back from Group HQ. Dewey, Me, Davy and Wally were all called to Atkinson's office this morning. We figured what it was about. Davy said to let him do the talking. Atkinson was sitting at his desk as we came in and stood at attention. Major Bonnell and Major Peterson (2) were standing behind him. Atkinson told us that he had received a report that we had been in Pont St. Vincent the evening before the Group had moved to Touquin in a French military vehicle. Was this report correct? Since an answer was required at this point Davy agreed that we had. When asked what the nature of our visit to that town was Davy replied that we had a night on the town and lost track of the time.
Atkinson continued by saying that there was a house of ill repute in that town and reminded us that if we had visited there we were required by General Order #6 to report to a prophylactic station for treatment within 3 hours of sexual exposure, failure to do so and contracting a venereal disease through neglect was a Court Martial offense. The rest of us were scared to death but Davy was as cool as a cucumber. He replied that this was not the case and any report to the contrary was false and we would like to face our accuser. We were all pretty sure it was Weasel Swedholm.
Atkinson looked at the two majors and said "Well Bonnell, what do you think." The Major replied in kind, not addressing our Kiwi commander by rank or calling him sir, "These officers deny the accusation and I believe the proof will be in the pudding shortly if that's not so. Innocent until proven guilty Atkinson." Atkinson got red in the face over that little insubordination, but he asked for it. We were dismissed and the matter ended there. We haven't decided what we'll do about the Weasel.
(1) From one of the Biggles books by W.E. Johns, "The Camels are Coming," I think.
(2) Major David McK. Peterson - commander of the 95th Aero Squadron from 25 May to 8 Oct 1918
Misty and cloudy in the morning, no patrols scheduled until 17:00.
Colonel Mitchell came with a group of French officials and civilians for ceremonies. We put out all the French and US flags we could find. Vasconcells and Hudson from the 27th performed some aerial acrobatics to entertain the civilians. The Mayor of Ormeaux's daughter presented the Colonel with a huge bouquet, very pretty girl.
All of us were formed up in our best dress for an inspection by Col. Mitchell. He was accompanied by some old French bird who gave us an address. Inspirational; gloire, patriotisme, la victoire, all that. He had an American translator who seemed, by the way he kept looking at the old fellow, not quite sure what was being said so I think he just made stuff up.
Our mascots were in formation with us, Mickey in his coat with the wings on it, Jake with his handler, Jerry sitting and panting, even Joe the fox from the 94th, being patient and good. But he just kept droning on and on and they got restless, as did we all. Then Jake had enough, broke free from his handler, almost pulling him down, and trotted up to the front to stand right in front of the old Froggie, looking him squarely in the eyeballs. The old boy just continued on as if nothing had happened. Maj. Hartney put his hand out for the handler to stay put.
Next, Jake brayed at him a few times. You would have thought he'd pause and at least acknowledged the donkey in front of him, maybe said, "Gat thees damn le donkee aut ouv ere," something, but no, he kept on without a pause, no one hearing a word he said. We all started to get those shoulder shaking giggles you get in church or the classroom, when you know you're not supposed to laugh and it makes the whole thing even funnier because it's forbidden.
Jake stopped braying, let out a huge, disgusted sounding huff, then flopped onto his side and I do mean flopped. It was like someone had kicked all four legs out from under him and he hit the ground with a hollow thump, like a watmelon hitting hard ground. What did the old bird do, carried on gassing, completely unperturbed. That was it, of course, no one could hold it in any longer, all of us laughing and whooping, the dogs barking, fox yipping, all order and discipline gone.
The old fellow finally shut up after that, looking rather hurt and confused. The Majors, even Atkinson just waved us away in dismissal, tears streaming down their faces. Jake got up, then trotted to his pen, a job well done. Everyone stopped by to see him with a treat that day. (1)
Some of the boys talked the Major into letting them take a quick trip into Weewee Town (2), he went with them. Dewey went but I'm just not up to it, stayed around, read, slept.
The weather cleared enough for us to do a scheduled patrol at 1700. Nothing of a hostile nature seen.
Two escort protection flights for photo planes yesterday. I was still a little shaky but was fine as soon as I heard Babygirl's roar.
Only one of the Pfalz brought down yesterday was confirmed. (3)
Dodd Cassard is pretty blue. His friend Tittmann from the 94th went down Tuesday and is in a hospital but he doesn't know which. He asked the Major to let him take leave to go looking but he says he'll have to wait until things settle down, we need every man right now.
(1) This is based on an actual incident from my time with the 2nd Bn, 2nd Rgt, US Artillery, which was once a pack howitzer outfit. We had a donkey mascot named Jack. It was an old Colonel who addressed us.
(2) Weewee Town - Paris
(3) The 2 July victory was the actual first victory for the 147th, after which they were officially authorized to paint Mickey on their aircraft, although it was already being used by some pilots, painted on the left side only. The victory confirmed was a Pfalz DIIIa, shared by Tyler Bronson of C Flight, Cleveland "Deuce" McDermott of A Flight, and Ralph "Snake" O'Niell, Maxwell Parry, and Ken Porter of B Flight. Not from Richthofen's Circus as the participants believed but I have not been able to ascertain the Jasta it was from, red noses and tails.
Jerbear, loved the donkey story. Didn't know you were a gunner. God on you!
Geoffrey Corderoy is settling in at Forty-Three...
Diary of Maj. Geoffrey Corderoy, 43 Squadron RFC Part 58: 2-7 March 1918
2 March 1918 – La Gorgue aerodrome
I have begun to know the fellows here and they are a good lot, I think. Of those I have got to know there are, the flight commanders: Trollope, Balfour, and Woollett. I’ve mentioned them before. Balfour and I seem to hit it off well. He likes to talk about ideas more than just people, which is always a sign of something deeper. I’ve already written about Banks, who has been – inevitably – labelled “Sandy.” Owen is our Welshman, as all Owens are. Hales from Cardiff. Cecil King served in the ranks before joining the RFC and getting his commission. George Lingham is an Australian by birth, but has lived his whole life in London since before he can remember. Geoffrey Bailey is another Londoner, a slight fellow with an evil sense of humour. The lads have nicknamed him “Lumpy.” There is a story there, but no one will tell me. He has bagged three Huns in a short time with the squadron. A South African, “Daisy” Daniel is called Daisy in preference to his given name of Hector. He has been out here since November and has a confirmed Hun. There is a new man named Carl Holtcombe, who retains his rank of major from the Royal Engineers, although he serves with us as one of the ordinary flying officers and, although he is 32 years old, he mucks in with the subalterns like a schoolboy. I admire this sort of fellow.
I flew once today, just before ten. Led a composite flight of A and C down to Loos to attack a balloon. I hit it with one of my rockets, but it was Woollett who came in behind and put it alight.
Tonight I am driving to Amiens with our wing commander, Lieut-Col MacLean. I’ve met the man only briefly. He’s a New Zealander, dark and clipped in manner. He commanded a Bristol Fighter squadron last year and did rather well, I hear. 56 Squadron is hosting a dinner for Captain McCudden, who is the RFC’s star turn, and General Pitcher wants Colonel MacLean to present a gift on behalf of I Brigade and has asked him to bring me and Squadron Commander Collishaw of Naval Three, an accomplished Canadian, to show the flag for 10th Wing.
4 March 1918
High winds and freezing rain yesterday and today, so I’ve had time to catch up on paperwork and personal letters. The dinner in Amiens was a good time. In the end, Collishaw couldn’t make it so it was a chance to get to know the wing commander. He seems a quiet sort, but we talked aircraft and tactics, so the drive passed quickly.
Dinner was at Les Gobelins, and a damned fine meal it was. We had a delicious fish soup and stuffed pork tenderloin, meat such as I had not seen since England. The selection of sweets was splendid. The black market must have been working overtime. I had not met Jimmy McCudden before. We chatted at the bar before dinner and I found him witty and straightforward. He came over in ’14 as a mechanic with the fledgling RFC and has had a stellar career. He will be returning to England in a few days to train others, and certainly will return with his own squadron. He has 57 Huns to his credit, and since he make stalking two-seaters his personal art, many of his kills have fallen within our lines and are beyond dispute. His thinking about airfighting is scientific. Not for him the mad blood-lust of Ball or the bravado of Bishop. He goes after the Hun like a Highland ghillie stalking a red deer stag.
A French colonel made a speech, and as I was sitting just along from McCudden, he asked me to translate for him. I apologised and explained that I hadn’t paid much attention to my French in school, to which he replied that schoolboy idleness is great leveller. Young Rhys-Davids helped us both, as he seems to have swotted his way through Eton. Fifty-six has a notable orchestra, which their OC assembled from every technically-minded musician in the RFC, and the fellows would not have been out of place at the Savoy! After the King had been drunk to, Colonel MacLean presented McCudden with a carved and painted model Rumpler, a wonderful piece of work cadged from some poor NCO. The gift was appreciated.
The lads from fifty-six clearly wanted their own evening, so I said my salaams to Colonel MacLean and wandered over to the Hôtel de Commerce, having obtained leave to spend the night in town. The squadron sent a car for me the next morning, but not before a splendid sleep, a real bath, and a fine lunch at the Café Vincent.
5 March 1918
In addition to our normal assigned patrols, Wing asked us this day to lay on an escort for a lone RE8 from 5 Squadron which had an important photographic reconnaissance task east of Athies. The flight was uneventful. If the Hun was about, they were hidden by cloud. Once we had shepherded the RE8 back to our lines, I waved good-bye and turned northeast to patrol into Hunland and back up to the line of the Lys. Not far from Lille we encountered a group of eight Pfalz scouts and attacked – Woolett, King, Banks, Bailey, Owen, and yours truly. The Huns were no bon, for they dived away east, but we managed to get rounds into two of them, who made the mistake of turning towards us. A Pfalz in a dive could leave a Camel behind in a few seconds, so I wonder what they were thinking.
I quickly turned inside the nearest Hun and caught him in a zoom. He wobbled, and then dived eastward, streaming a white trail of steam. I half-looped down onto his tail and fired again, and the pilot slumped forward. The machine, white with red stripes, went into a steeper dive, eventually passing the vertical. The pilot fell out, all arms and legs. It was horrid to see, but I rather think the fellow was dead before he quit his machine. Woollett saw the crash, so this has gone down as number 47! Woollett bagged the other Pfalz.
"I half-looped down onto his tail and fired again, and the pilot slumped forward."
6 March 1918
Another escort job this day. Completely uneventful, even though every other patrol reported heavy Hun activity.
7 March 1918
We attacked the Hun balloon line on the north side of the Ypres salient. King bagged one and I went after another. This balloon resisted three passed and the expenditure of 150 rounds. I certainly hit it with one or two of my Le Prieurs as well. In the end, King and I made a pass and the thing exploded as I was skimming just above its upper surface. The blast nearly tore off my left lower wing, leaving it more air than fabric. The Camel held itself together and I put down at La Lovie, the closest field. Far too close a call for this boy!!!
"The blast nearly tore off my left lower wing, leaving it more air than fabric."
Cyril Woolly, DFC. Maj , Rfc, Instructor Pilot B Flight Commander 12 Victorys, 40 Sqn, Bryas, AF Flanders France.
July 5, 1918.
Did a Double Tap today, during our morning hop. B Flights 6 ac had a punch out with a Flight of Albatross Scouts over Vimy. We were scattered widely and somewhere near Bersee AF My e/a's wing buckled under my fire the it just ripped off. It was at this time we ran into diving Pflaz types I took 5 holes then saw them zoom. My shooter had a yellow band around his belly. I couldn't catch him but did spot a loner in a slow climb ( Must have Undershot his target ) off to the starboard so did a wingover and sled over on his tail. I put my last 100 rds of Vickers in hit + a full 47rd Lewis Drum. The e/a caught fire and did a slow corkscrew over the Bersee AF till it crash. Looked over at my wing man, who gave me the Thumbs Up. Sqn Total was 5 e/a 2 were mine. In turn, we lost 1 destroyed + 1 forced down ( POW) ?
No mail since the first part of June, when it comes in it'll probably take a week to read it all, much less reply.
Six plane protection patrol at 10:35, Alk leading. Followed a camera kite over the Chateau T area, 5,000 meters, clear sky with only a few wispy clouds. Crossed the line into Germany just N. of Chateau T. Four Fokkers with black and white striped noses and tails went after our biplace.(1) When they saw us trying to ruin their fun they turned to climb at us, straight on. After the first pass the fight broke up into separate contests, all cohesion gone. Dewey and I fought one together, taking turns shooting at him while the other stood watch, following him through a series of dives, renversements, side slips and what appeared to be deliberate stalls. I set him on fire at about 2,000 meters. It was a sickening sight, he kept flying for almost a minute, leaving an agonized trail of twisting smoke before he went down out of control and crashed. He must have been frying alive that whole time. I should have continued to fire into him, maybe put him out of his misery. Got back at 12:08. Dewey and I both requested confirmation, good chance, the fight was close to our own lines. Revved engines as we came in. Photo mission was spoiled.
Snake led an Alert out this morning, mixed it up, four against 6 Pfalz. He and Simmy shared one and Doc Raibly got another on his own. No losses from either fight.
Big dinner in Melun, about 30 minutes away. Everyone in high spirits, toasts to the victors. Snake was the hero of the hour, he fought the leader of the Hun patrol and took him down, though Simmy did his share. Bedroll is back with us and we have a new boy, Bennett Wells,(2) just arrived. Lots to celebrate, not least that we have accomplished all this with no losses to ourselves. For that we credit the Major and we all sang a Jolly Good Fellow to him and 3 cheers.
Wally, Davy and Mitchell got a Fokker together, but their flight lost 2, Rhodes and Thompson.
Rick is back from hospital. haven't seen him. He flew back in one of those damn SPADs the 2 French outfits are so head up about.
(1) Jasta 6
(2) 1st Lt Bennett Wells, C Flight, wounded 17 July 1918
Cyril Woolly, DFC. Maj , Rfc, Instructor Pilot B Flight Commander 12 Victorys, 40 Sqn, Bryas, AF Flanders France.
July 6, 1918.
On escort duty B Flt got into a Row with the Huns. One dropped in scattering the formation ( 6 a/c ) then everybody swarmed on the Sods! I nosed around to help cover our New Pilots as my wing man Cpt Whieldon Got one ( his 9 th Kill ) I nosed over and got a real close look at a Yellow Nose V Strutter whose Propeller had stopped. Cheeky Bloke shook his fist at me. Why be mad at me ? I didn't shoot him down ! B Flt got 3 Kills and had only 2 damaged SE's. 2nd Mission : Offensive Patrol Bersee A.F. Ran into Fokkers What marvelous machines, I only got one pot shot then an e/a put holes in me and the a/c. The e/a must have been up sun because I never saw him till he was firing . Wnd, I spun out and made to a Friendly forward AF. Bit of good luck not getting pursued. I heard later that we got 1 E/a ,but had 1 missing and 1 forced down POW. + Me Wnd and Damaged.
08:30 patrol, Whitey leading, the usual area Chateau T to Dormans, 1st patrol for Wells. Sky full of aircraft, all ours. Lots of activity on the ground around Chateau T.
In the afternoon, Dewey and I took the Indian up to the Front with Wally and Davy. Went via Coulomiers and Ferte-sous-Jouarre to Lucy-le-Boucage, back of Bouresches Wood, 2 km back of our present lines. No entrenchments there. Village was shelled into ruins. Found US Springfields, lots of ammo, belts, blankets, ponchos, etc. Two nice prizes, a fancy German helmet with the spike on it and two decorated 75mm shell cases. The 5th and 6th Marines had been here and left in a hurry, being replaced by Yankee Division. Wally and Davy found 2 AWOL chickens and cherched them for their mess, lucky dogs. Several blowouts, didn't get in until 9 pm.
The boys having lots of lively arguments about the respective merits of the SPAD and Nieuport. The French outfits can't wait to get rid of their Nieuports, WE'LL TAKE EM!
The 2nd Balloon Co., was attacked today, their gas bag destroyed. Observers got out. There was some discussion among us as to why parachutes can't be adapted for our aircraft, some of the Germans are supposed to be using them now.
Confirmations came in for all the claims made yesterday.
There is a report that another balloon was attacked by a bunch of captured SPADs. The black crosses on their wings weren't noticed until it was too late, neat trick for the Huns if they don't get themselves shot down by their own people and they are SPADs, after all, so they probably won't be able to keep the things flying.
Major B. led afternoon protection patrol for French Breguet's, Me, Snake, Bedroll, Ty, Abe, Max, Dewey down with engine trouble. Almost completely clear sky with a little haze. Met the French biplace's over the War Ax (1), crossed the lines west of the Cow's Udders (2) at 5,000 meters. After the Frogs finished with the Vivaise railyards we split from them just east of Chateau T for a short area patrol. Heavy shelling about 10 km NW of there, the entire front in this area looks to be heating up. Good visibility over the lines, except where their shelling. Expecting a German push any time now. No HA sighed.
94th lost Chalmers today, McKown of the 95th missing.
About 17:00, 20 Humps (3) came along and sat right down in our yard. We're told the 5th British Pursuit Brigade is coming in the morning and we're supposed to be moving up closer to the Front.
Found out at dinner that Ash isn't coming back. He's been assigned to the Swiss Consulate. Still lot of discussion about the new SPADs, not all of it friendly. Some of the friction between us and the French Squadrons has come back over the issue.
(1) War Ax - a curve in the Marne River suggestive of a war ax located a few miles east of Meaux
(2) Cow's Udders - W shaped curves in the Marne just to the south of Chateau-Thierry
(3) Hump - Sopwith Camel
Below - Dewey and Goodie attacking Fokker on 5 July