The Diary of August Ege.

23.X.1915. Frescaty - Metz.

I was off to a rough start with the crash of my Aviatik, but since then everything has been going really well. I've flown two orientation flights in the Metz region with the Staffelfhrer, Hauptmann Manfred Stelzer (he's an Alter Adler*) and my observer, Oberleutnant Andreas Balthazar. The flights were successful and I had no trouble with navigating or handling the Aviatik. Even the landings went quite smoothly! I think I've made a good impression on my new comrades here. I feel like they've already accepted me as a member of their fellowship of aviators! I greatly enjoyed flying back in the Fliegerschule, but somehow the real thing over here on the front feels even more exciting.

I was worried about engine troubles after the crash, so I've been getting to know my mechanics and together we've pulled apart a couple of Mercedes engines and then assembled them again. They're not so different from automobile engines, which I know like the backs of my hands. My mechanical training is turning out to be very useful here (as I had hoped it would be) and being in good terms with the men responsible for your machine's well-being can never be a bad thing!

We've also had time to visit the city of Metz itself. It's a beautiful old city, though being so close to the front, it's now full of soldiers and all kinds of military activity. The civilians seem to be well adapted to the situation though. Our field is a big one and even has hangars for Zeppelins! I wonder how it would feel to fly one of those monsters! But to be honest, I think I prefer airplanes. The thought of having so much highly flammable gas hanging over you inside a thinly shielded tube is rather unnerving!

A Zeppelin hangar at Frescaty.

* Literally "Old Eagle", the honorary name used of the 817 pioneers of German aviation who became pilots before the Great War. Many of them served as flight instructors during the war, and several were high-ranking officers in the German air force.

"Upon my word I've had as much excitement on a car as in the air, especially since the R.F.C. have had women drivers."

James McCudden, Five Years in the Royal Flying Corps