Journal Entry: 15 April, 1917

The absurdity of the brass hats never ceases to amaze me. Today, I received a urgent telephone call from wing informing me that as of this moment I was ordered to no longer fly combat patrols. Of course, I was shocked and asked for clarification of my orders. I was told that information would be forthcoming, but did I understand completely that under no circumstances was I to fly. I answered that I did and the line went dead. To clear my head, I took a stroll through the countryside. Springtime in France is amazingly beautiful and one can almost forget there is a war going on, except for the constant rumble of the distant guns. After about an hour and feeling refreshed, I returned to my office just in time to hear the telephone ringing. I quickly answered and this time it was Wing Commander Vaughan-Lee himself. He is never one to mince words so he got right to the point, "Ethelstan", he barked, "since you have just scored your 100th victory you are much too valuable for Britain to lose, so you will immediately pack your things and take command of the Advanced Pilot Training squadron at Eastchurch." He continued, "tell your second that he is now in command until further notice. Any questions?" Before I could answer the line was dead. Much too valuable, what rot, what rubbish! The fact that I have managed to survive somehow makes me more valuable than the sum total of all of the men I've lost. What an outrageous thought but if I have learned anything in the navy it is this, arguing with the brass hats accomplishes nothing, so I called my adjutant into my office informed him of the new situation, asked him to make my arrangements to Calais, and finally told him that when Askew returns from the morning patrol to send him to me right away. I can only imagine the horrors of trying to teach clumsy, heavy handed students the fine art of handling a machine in combat. Oh well, we shall see and it can not be any worse than actual combat.

Last edited by Banjoman; 04/15/17 04:36 PM.

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