Wonderful stories Gents. This is really going to be enjoyable reading the exploits of all the pilots. I have finally caught up on everyone's adventures. Great stories, pics and historical context.

Mark Jericho
Auchel aerodrome
Jan. 11, 1916

Jericho sat in his machine with a headache and a queezy belly. The night before Swany had coaxed him into trying some infernal drink that he said was "very good." He did not blame Swany for it. Jericho was a grown man and had made his own decision but it confirmed his belief about alcohol. The stuff was no good for him. He was set to go on his first real combat mission across the lines. C Flight was to recon the lines north of Ypres and note any troop movement. The cold air helped Jericho's outlook a bit as the three machines climbed to altitude toward the front. Captain Whorton, his observer, had spent the last few non flying days going over signals with Jericho as to what he wanted him to do. Jericho payed close attention to the Captain. As he said, "Our lives depend on us understanding each other."

Over the front at 6000' Jericho kept his machine in the 3 position and scanned the sky for any other aircraft. The flight went well. No archie and no contact with enemy aircraft. Jericho was happy to see the Flight Leader turn toward home and he was looking forward to some coffee and his cot. Approaching Auchel there was a smashed up Morane on the field. "Someone bit the bullet" Jericho thought to himself. He then settled his machine on the field well clear of the wreckage and rolled to a stop. As Jericho stepped out Captain Whorton asked him how many enemy machines he saw.

"No enemy machines Sir. I did see 2 BE's off to the south" was his reply.

Captain Whorrton looked at him gravely. "2 Aviatiks went right behind us as 2 Fokkers went right over our heads! Lucky for us the 2 Fokkers were escorting another 2 Aviatiks so they didn't come down to play! You may be a good pilot but you have to be aware of your surroundings if we are going to get through this Lieutenant!"

"Yes Sir Captain." was all Jericho could say.

After a short debriefing, where they learned the pilot and observer of the crashed Morane were ok, Jericho made his way to his tent to find Swany sitting on his cot playing his fiddle which in his present state of mind sounded like the clatter wheels of hell. "Mind laying off the strings for a bit Swany."

"Flight go bad my friend?" Swany asked with a broad smile

"No, the flight went well enough. Its that Devils Brew you talked me into drinking last night. I feel like my head is in a bucket of plaster! You don't have to worry about me drinking any more of it."

Swany lowered his fiddle and looked at Jericho. "Well I thought is was a great time." Swany said in his dialect that Jericho was beginning to understand.

Jericho checked his attitude. "Awe, not to worry my friend. Alcohol has never done anyone in my family any favors. I should thank you for reminding me why I have no use for it."

Jericho liked Swany a lot. A farm boy just like himself. they had a lot in common.

"Let me get some coffee and a bit of a rest to clear my head and tonight we will see if we can strike up another tune' Jericho said forcing a smile.

"Ya" replied Swany with a big grin.

Last edited by MFair; 01/12/19 04:45 PM.

Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from either end.
BOC Member since....I can't remember!