BBC interview 1962..

Can you explain how and when you moved to 19 RFC ?

looking back I think it must have been near then end of July 1916. My Bus was one of the oldest in 16 Squadron, and I was ordered to fly it over to St.Omer north and get a newer one. I had no Observer in the front cockpit, just some sandbags to compensate for the weight. As I neared St.Omer I noticed a rather strange looking Bus flying around. At first I thought it was another Be2, and that the pilot had gone mad. I say that because he was flying and stunting just like a scout pilot would, but never a Be2 pilot. I watched him for a while and decided to follow him and do the same. I was amazed, for Id never flown the Be2 like this before, and no matter what the other chap did I would simply follow him. And then he noticed me. He then waved at me, sort of calling me out, and we started a sort of midair combat with each of us stunting and such to get on the tail end of the other. And to my surprise I won that little show and then we both landed.

After Id dismounted, the other chap came over and introduced himself as Major William Douglas Stock Sanday, C.O. of 19 RFC. They had just arrived in France and were converting to the new Be12 scout. Well he was very complementary about my flying and said he needed Be pilots like myself and asked me to transfer on the spot. I, being very young, was easily talked into this adventure and replied with a yes, Sir. A few days later I received my orders to move over to 19 RFC at Fienvillers down in the Somme sector.

Last edited by lederhosen; 08/03/14 07:04 AM.

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