Aleck A. MacKinlay
January 2, 1916

My first flight has still not happened; two days of bad winter weather have kept everyone grounded. The C.O., Major Mills, called me in today for a quick chat. I get the idea he just wanted to assess the 'new man' and determine my level of training. He apologized for the dismal accommodations (tent!) and explained that the squadron has a slight excess of pilots at the moment in relation to barracks. Although he didn't say it specifically, I get the impression they were expecting me to fill the spot of a dead or injured pilot, but everyone has had the gall to stay healthy and alive due to quiet times at the front. Basically, I can expect to move into warmer quarters as soon as someone gets tagged by the Hun.

I was passed off to Captain Davis for some additional orientation regarding our situation at the front. He told me that most of the shooting will be on the ground ... we are the eyes of the artillery and will be spending lots of time ranging fall of shells around the Ypres salient. I asked about the likelihood being attacked by Fokkers but was assured that I would perhaps run into an Aviatik or two, but enemy single-seat scouts are rare and unlikely to be encountered. Plus, our two Bristol Scouts are available for escort duty so no need to worry. Seems quite reassuring!