Today was a day of training and getting to know the area around St. Pol. I've been assigned 2nd Lieutenant Edmund Thayer as my observer and you can't imagine how happy I am about that. He flew over from England with me and we found that the only thing separating us is our rank, he is quite the comedian and I imagine working with him will be quite a pleasure.
We got an early start and initially flew a few circuits around the local area learning the landmarks and getting comfortable with our bus. Since I'm a lowly Sub-Lieutenant I've been assigned a B.E.2c and if the truth be told, is a very stable and easy to fly aeroplane, but it is incredibly slow. After our morning training flights we landed and had a spot of lunch with the rest of the boys in the mess. Our afternoon schedule was to fly up to the front and keeping on our side of the front we were to fly a few miles along the front and then return. This being our second day in France, we were both just a little anxious as to what the front had in store for us. Before we took off, 2nd lieutenant Thayer had plotted what he felt would be the best route for our inspection flight and away we went. I can only imagine Thayer was thinking when we reached the front, but I know that I was speechless. I don't believe I have ever witnessed a place as desolate and unforgiving as that small patch of the front that we witnessed. It looks completely sterile, but it is teeming with men that are determined to kill each other in the most gruesome of ways. I thank God that my brothers are too young for service and that I was fortunate enough to be selected for the flying service. I eventually turned for home and the trip home was certainly much more subdued that the flight out. All in all, it was a tiring and very sobering day. I've just been informed that tomorrow I start working for real. I only hope that when the chips are down I can fulfill my duty with honor.
I've included a few photographs that Thayer took with his Browning.
Here is the local supply train.
Thayer, he didn't want his picture taken
Desolation of the Front
Unfortunate souls at the front
Member and provider of banjo music for the Illustrious BOC