Journal Entry: July 13, 1915
St. Pol-sur-Mer

Yesterday was exciting and that would be the understatement of the month. Thayer and I had a line patrol sortie for our morning's work, which was just fine for us. We took off and proceeded up to the front and arrived at our usual patrol area without incident. It wasn't long before Thayer was tapping me on the shoulder and pointing off to starboard. There is one thing you can say about the Huns, they are a prompt and predictable people. This Hun was arriving almost like clockwork. Well, if they are going to keep coming, then we will oblige them by shooting them down. I got into position and assumed that things would go as they had in the past. Thayer, is my closest friend in this blasted war and I count on him to protect us, but sometimes I think that he might be addled in some fashion. Anyway, he starts firing like usual but this time he begans to yell rather vigorously. I'm busy flying the plane, so I can't see why he is yelling, but it isn't long before the Hun has burst into flames and begin the long dive to Earth.

It wasn't until we landed that I could ask him why he had been yelling. he just pointed to the tail. I turned and that's when I noticed the bullet holes, in his exuberance to shoot down the Hun, he had actually shot our tail. I'm sure all of the color left my face as a cold hand gripped my heart. The dolt just gave a weak laugh as I staggered away.

I really don't understand the brass at all. This afternoon, the CO called me into his office. After the usual formalities he asked me to sit, I took a seat. He then informed me that I had been promoted to Flight Commander effective immediately. I was stunned and began to protest, "Sir, I haven't served long enough to deserve this promotion." He allowed me to stammer a few more protests and ended with a brusque, "Ethelstan, what's done is done. I expect you to do your duty and if the higher ups think you can handle this new responsibility, then your duty is to accept it." I stood, saluted and left his office and wandered around the airfield for a while. First the VC, and now this promotion, I truly am dreading what the future might bring.

Member and provider of banjo music for the Illustrious BOC