Another very enjoyable group of stories to go with my morning coffee, thank you all for sharing.
2nd Lt. Swanson managed to finish up his training at Netheravon despite nearly a week of foul weather leading up to Christmas that grounded all flights. Two days ago he was informed that he would be assigned to 3 Squadron, flying the Moranes. He cringed a bit at this, having heard horror stories about how terrible a mount it was going up against the latest Hun machines. However, being a relatively easygoing sort, he quickly took the news in stride. Swany packed his kit and was sent to Dover where, yesterday morning, he was told to shuttle a new B.E.2c across to the depot at St. Omer. It was a beautiful winter's day and he took to the air shortly before noon. All was going as planned until about midway over the Channel when the engine in his mount developed a miss and a short time later began spitting oil out against the forward cockpit glass. Fortunately Swany had just better than 5,000' of altitude and a helping wind and was able to nurse his bus across and land on the beach some miles west of the St. Inglevert aerodrome. Had it not been for the kind winds he would have had to ditch in the water. After a walk through the French countryside and a number of phone calls a truck and crew were sent from St. Inglevert to pack up the B.E., and Swany is now at the aforementioned aerodrome waiting for his bus to be mended, at which point he will continue on to St. Omer. All this excitement and he hasn't even met the enemy yet.
Lifting off from the field at Dover.
Watching the city and the white cliffs slip away below.
Waving goodbye to England.
Engine trouble at a most inopportune time.
The French coastline in sight.
Hoping and praying the winds continue to help and the engine holds.
Tensions lifting as the turn is made to land on the beach.
Hello France! Thank God I'm seeing it with dry boots.
This really was a white knuckle flight for me as I've only ever made one water landing in WOFF in which I survived. There were some tense minutes where I was quite sure I was going to lose Swany before even getting him to France.