Mark Jericho
Auchell Aerodrome
January 28, 1916

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Swany was helping James with his shack. It looked to Jericho as if more discussion was taking place than actual work but it was not his rodeo. Carrying a rolled up piece of canvas he walked up to the two as they both looked over their handy work. "How you doin' Pards." They both looked his way. "I got you something" Jericho continued.

He laid a piece of rolled canvas on the dirt and rolled it out. There were 4 forged ornamental wall hooks and a set of forged shelf brackets. "Thought these might make it a little more homey for you" Jericho said.

James knelt down and picked up one of the expertly forged wall hooks looking it over. "Thats a thing of beauty mate. Where did you learn to work iron?" James asked.

"Never knew a cowhand that didn't know his way around a forge Hoss. Besides, I still owe ya' one." Jericho replied.

At that moment a batman ran up to Jericho and said," Pardon Sir but the Major wants C Flight in the ready room in 15 minutes Sir, seems he has a special mission for you."

Thirty minutes later Jericho and 2 other machines were on a special recon mission near Monchy. It was a walk in the sunshine as they never had any trouble and gathered the info on troop movements the Major had asked for.

January 29th.
C Flight took to the skies at 1100 hours for another recon mission SW of Monchy. It was a beautiful clear day and they had just reached altitude and headed south to meet up with the 2 Nieuports that were to escort them on the mission. Jericho was enjoying the wonderful blue sky. He was looking for the escorts as they were approaching Savy Aerodrome when Whorton slapped him for the signal of enemy machines. Jericho was puzzled! "What in blazes is going on" he thought as he looked around to see single wing Fokker swinging around on them. He turned into the Fokker and climbed. As he did, another Fokker cut across his front and Whorton opened up on the one behind. Jericho twisted and turned as he tried to stay out of the trailing Fokker's guns while trying to give Whorton a shot at the same time. He heard bullets slap into the canvas. It was all happening too fast! "How many? Where is the other one?" Jericho's racing thoughts went through his head.

As soon as it started it seemed it was over as Whorton signaled all clear. It was only then that Jericho noticed the Morane was not flying as she should. The controls were sluggish and he had to keep over correcting to keep her level. He spotted Savy down below and started down towards it. Whorton pointed up to where Chambers was circling. Jericho shook his head "No" and pointed at his stick. He made one circle of the aerodrome and brought her in as easy as he could.

Once on the ground Whorton spoke up." I thought I made it clear that we are to stay with the flight Lt.!"

"She's not answering to the controls Captain. Somethings amiss!" Jericho replied.

"Well we will see about this right now Lt.!" Whorton exclaimed as he walked toward the crowd coming out to the field.

One hour later Jericho and Whorton were waiting for the rigger to finish his inspection. He walked to them as they stood outside the tent. Jericho nor Whorton had spoken to each other since the Morane had been wheeled into the tent.

"Well Sir" the rigger started, "You two are mighty lucky. It seems that the elevator and rudder control wires were almost shot through. With all that turning and twisting you were doing, saw the whole thing by the way, the remaining strands stretched out a bit. Might have broke if you had continued that kind of flying Sir. I bet she was a little sluggish........Whorton interupted, "Thank you Sargent. How long before we can be back in the air?"

"Oh, I would say another hour will do it Sir, have you home by tea Sir." The Sargent saluted and returned to the Morane.

Jericho, who had been squatting by the edge of the tent rose to his feet and exhaled deeply and turned to face the Captain. Jericho stared into the Captains eyes for a moment and said. "I'll obey your orders Captain. I'll die with you if need be, but I will not die because of you." Jericho paused "and don't you ever insinuate i'm yellow again." With that he walked off to find some coffee.

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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!