14 June 1915
We had a bit of an adventure today. The CO had us patrol the front lines to the north, near the coast by Nieuport. Just as in the past two days, 2nd Lieut. Lloyd and I was flying wing on an F.E.2. Just as in my earlier flights, he lost us west of the front lines. We went ahead and did our patrol alone, but saw nothing. After patrolling and seeing nothing for twenty minutes or so, Lieut. Lloyd passed me a note that said Fly to Ghistelles. Ghistelle is a German airfield near the coast. So I flew there at about 8000 feet. The Germans must have been asleep, as no one bothered us.

When we got back and reported, the adjutant told us the CO would be mad about our little adventure. Apparently, the CO is a bit of a stickler for rules, and we had deviated from our mission plan. Lieut. Lloyd explained that we were merely showing a bit of initiative. We had patrolled along the front for as long as assigned, and seeing nothing had gone on a hunting expedition. While sympathetic, the adjutant maintained that the CO would still be upset with our deviation. Have you met Capt. Strange? he asked us. Hes in A flight. About a month ago, he was flying a scout and attacked an Aviatik. He used up a drum of ammunition for his Lewis. Since he couldnt reach that wing-mounted Lewis while sitting down, he stood up in the cockpit to replace the drum. As soon as he did, damned if his machine didnt flip right on its back. So theres Capt. Strange, hanging onto the Lewis drum for dear life on an inverted airplane. Now thats a pretty grim situation, but then the machine goes into a flat spin! Somehow, Capt. Strange managed to kick his legs back into the cockpit. He must have been able to hook onto something with his foot, because he was able to swing back into the cockpit and pull out of the spin. When he gets back, the CO was upset that he caused unnecessary damage to his cockpit! So yes, I think the CO will be upset. Fortunately for you, Sergeant, he will be upset with the Lieutenant, because he told you to fly there.

Lieutenant Lloyd then told me to go back to the hanger and check on the aircraft, and that he would talk to the CO. I dont know how that conversation went, because I never heard anything more. When I asked Lieut. Lloyd about it later, he just said that we were still on the flight schedule for tomorrow, so he guessed the CO was okay with it. I told the Lieutenant that in my opinion, the sound of the artillery to the south probably had more to do with us being on the schedule for tomorrow.
Historical Information from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Strange

14 June-Patrol near Neiuport

Capt. Strange

Last edited by Combs; 06/20/15 07:23 PM.

No man commands safely unless he has learned well how to obey.