Carrick, you are getting a ton of flying time in both DiD campaigns! How do you manage it?

Lou, glad to see you were only grazed. Great photos!

Banjoman, I'm ridiculously jealous of you getting a Pup this soon. Leave some Huns for the rest of us, please.

Lederhosen, brilliant name for your new British pilot.

Sgt Alfred Keers is back in action just in time to sit in his tent listening to the rain...

It was good to be back in 20 Squadron. Finally done with my punishment assignment as duty NCO, I have had more time to get to know people here. Im sharing a tent with Jeffery Andarto, our other sergeant-pilot. Hes a quiet sort, but a good mate, and being from Yorkshire we have a lot in common. His Da and mine were both pitmen, and like me hed worked on steam engines. Only in his case he apprenticed as a colliery engineman.

On 21, 22, and 23 March the sleet and wind grounded us, and we got permission to wander into town. We visited the old cathedral and the large market square. Jeff and I tried to buy lunch at the Hotel Francois, but were shown the door as its only open for officers. Their loss within minutes we found a little caf on a nearby side street that served a wonderful baked fish dish, done in cream sauce with potatoes and bits of turnip and accompanied by some very fine cider. The proprietor and his wife fussed over us as if we were a pair of colonels.

I bought some shaving soap and Murad cigarettes and Jeff acquired a heavy carpet large enough to cover the duckboards between our bunks in the tent. We returned to Clairmarais just in time for dinner. To my surprise, Major Wilson had been invited to dine with the NCOs and after the meal and Royal Toast he said he had an announcement. He then said that it had been confirmed that the Fokker shot down my Lieut Whieldon and me on 20 March had fallen near our lines and been confirmed. This was the first confirmed kill for our squadron by an NCO pilot. I drank for free all night.

The 24th was a wash-out as well. We got up on 25 March. Captain Paget Graves led three Fees on a long flight south to Lens. I spotted three unidentified two-seaters heading west out of Hunland and signalled, but the captain shook his head. A little later I saw three monoplanes a mile or two off to the east, but again the captain did not pursue them. I was browned off since Id gotten hold of the idea of Hun-getting.

We had more rain and snow on the 26th and 27th. I didnt have enough saved to head back to town so I spent the day helping the ack emmas and playing Nap for francs in the mess.