Journal Entry: November 10, 1915

When I landed today I was greeted by Maj. Friedel, a number of lorries, and two new pilots. Maj. Friedel introduced me to Leutnant von Althaus and Vizefeldwebel Gustav Leffers and then asked if we could speak in my office. After pulling off my flying clothes, he informed me that the lorries held four of the new Fokker monoplanes. He then went on to tell me that the two new pilots are to be added to our roster and each one assigned a Fokker. Naturally, I protested that I didn't know these men and there were men already in FFA 32 that were more deserving. He waved off my comments like he was trying to shoo and fly and carried on as if I had not said anything. I was then informed that these two men had been training exclusively on the Fokker and to not worry they will fit right in to your unit. What could I do, I saluted and said "Yes, sir!" After he left, I called both men into my office to learn more about each one of them. I let them know that this was highly irregular and that I expected them to pull their weight and that they wouldn't be receiving any special treatment. Actually, both men were very embarrassed about the whole situation and made sure I understood that it was entirely Maj. Friedel's idea. Finally, I told them that we are first and foremost, comrades in the air and comrades on the ground, that I expected them to do their duty and obey my orders. Later that afternoon, I took one of the Fokkers up to get the feel of her. Sadly, she was nothing like the Nieuport, heavy on the controls with a tendency to drop a wing if you aren't paying attention. We shall see how she performs in combat.

Member and provider of banjo music for the Illustrious BOC