Flight Sub-Lieutenant Arthur Ethelstan (Warbirds Rising)

Date: June 1, 1915
Orders: Transfer flight from Eastchurch to RFC aircraft depot at St. Omer and then onto RNAS 1 based St. Pol-sur-Mer

Flight Lieutenant Thayer and I left promptly from Eastchurch at 8:22am and headed southeast towards Dover for the crossing of the channel. The weather was a perfect June day with light fluffy clouds and a warm sun, if I hadn't known that we were flying off to war I would've thought we were on holiday. The flight to Dover was uneventful and pleasant with the two of us pointing out landmarks that we each were familiar with. I'm not ashamed to say that as I approached Dover I didn't get quite an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach as I looked on that vast amount of water that we had to cross. Silently saying a small prayer for the engine, I turned a few degrees to the east and began our crossing. It wasn't long before we saw the Dover-Calais ferry heading for Dover, I waggled the wings in a friendly hello. Before long we were across and I proceeded onto St. Omer. As we flew along, we both remarked how pretty France looked from the air and also it didn't appear to us, at least, that there was a war on. It wasn't long until St. Omer appeared and then the airfield. I circled and then landed and left the plane in the skilled hands of the aircraft depot's mechanics. While Lieutenant Thayer and I refreshed ourselves, the mechanics had our plane refueled and positioned for our flight to St. Pol-sur-Mer. We took off around 11:30 and arrived at St. Pol-sur-Mer in time for a delicious luncheon. After lunch, I reported to Squadron Commander Bancroft and he brought me up to date on my duties and what he expected of me and everyone else in the squadron. Tomorrow, is to be spent in training flight to familiarize myself with our operating area. I look forward to what tomorrow brings.

Member and provider of banjo music for the Illustrious BOC