Salute to the fallen pilots and good luck to the new ones! salute

Raine, you continue to entertain with your stories. Keep it up! smile

I've been pleasantly surprised by the Caudron G.4 in WOFF. It's a very gentle machine and with two guns with good visibility and fields of fire can also defend itself reasonably well. Or at least I hope it can - no Hun planes have attacked Bruno yet. smile

Anyway, here's the latest from Bruno...

*****

15 October 1916.
Melzville air base.


Dearest mama & papa,

First let me offer you a thousand apologies for not having written anything in a while. I know you must be awfully worried about me. In my defense, I can only say that I have been terribly busy with my new assignment. Serving as a pilot in a real front escadrille is very different from being a student at a flight school! One may think he knows well the theory and even the practice of flying, but then having to put all that knowledge into actual use - under wartime conditions no less - is another matter entirely. It is a humbling experience, but a very educational one too. (Im sure you as schoolteachers can appreciate this!)

What should I tell you about my new outfit? Our escadrille is under the command of capitaine de Krillis; a professional officer in the true sense of the word. He knows his business and can be very demanding; yet he also leads by example and puts himself in the same dangers as his men, like a real officer should. I have full confidence in him, which sadly cannot be said of all the officers that Ive served under.

You know I cannot go into details because of the censors, but I can tell you this: our escadrille is one of the best of its kind, and specializes in bombing and reconnaissance duties. I must work hard to earn my place here. So far, I think Ive been successful at this; I havent wrecked any machines or injured my observer. -I suppose youd like to hear more about him? His name is Pascal Girard and hes a sous-lieutenant like me. Hes from Marseille, has a fiery Mediterranean temper, and comes from the artillery like so many observers. Im getting along with him reasonably well - and hes not one to mince his words if he thinks I havent been flying our machine steadily enough.

There are so many things Id like to tell you about our people and machines here, and also of this place and the countryside surrounding it. Ill try to do my best in the future. But now Im tired and must go to bed. I just wanted you to know that Im doing well and you dont have to worry about me (though I know you will and I love you for it). Tell Marie and Sophie and Louis that I love them and always think about them. Please write to me soon and let me know everything that goes on there. Spare no details - letters from home are always greatly cherished here.

Your humble (occasionally) and obedient (rarely) son,

Bruno.

PS. My leg is doing pretty well now. Not much pain, though the stiffness is still there and may never disappear completely. It doesnt bother me when flying, which is all that matters.


"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