Big doings at Number 3 Squadron!

Things had started out normally enough with the usual squadron doings throughout the morning and early afternoon. Then, an enjoyable outing for Swanson, Jericho, and Collins when they took a pleasant drive to Choques where they'd been invited for a few drinks in the mess at 10 Squadron. Mark stuck to his coffee only rule, while both Swany and Jim downed a brace of whiskeys each. They probably would have had a round or two more but decided it best to get back to Auchel sooner rather than later. Upon returning to camp they discovered the place was in near chaos. During their absence HQ had ordered the squadron to move to Bruay aerodrome immediately. Who knows why, it was only five miles southeast of their current location so it wasn't going to put them significantly closer to anything. None-the-less, everything was being packed up, and the pilots and G/Os were told to get their kits together and be ready to fly their respective mounts to the new field first thing in the morning. The bigger concern for the trio who had just returned was how in the hell were they going to move Jim's shed! They weren't about to leave Madam FouFou's behind, so they rolled up their sleeves and got to work. A quick assessment determined that the hut could be lifted easily enough as it was not all that big, but what was going to be needed, apart from some jacks, was a pair of makeshift axles and four wheels. The search was on and in fairly short order, and with the help of some of the mechanics, two wooden beams of appropriate length and stoutness were located along with the necessary wheels and tires, the latter being spares from several of the tenders. It took a couple hours of backbreaking effort but Jim, Mark, and Swany were able to get the hut jacked up, the beams slid beneath to act as both axles and support, and the wheels fitted using some short pipe sections, u-bolts, chains, and whatever else was available to serve the purpose. Makeshift as it may have been the job was successful and by evening Madam FouFou's was ready to be towed to it's new locale. Truth be told, it now looked more like some bizarre peddler's wagon that it did Jim's shed. The three men were exhausted but still had to get their personal gear together. Needless to say the celebrations planned for that night in the mess would now be postponed until they were settled into their new digs.

The next morning dawned bright and clear and the squadron planes were rolled out and readied for the short hop to Bruay. Tenders and lorries and wagons had already been sent ahead, taking advantage of all the daylight there was to get things where they needed to be. The Moranes took off one by one, circling once to gain some height and to wave goodbye to Auchel. As they flew along towards Bruay Swany caught sight of the caravan below, winding its way through the countryside to the southeast. He laughed out loud when he saw Madam FouFou's bouncing along, being towed by one of the tenders, bringing up the rear of the train. It was a spectacle no one would soon forget.

Goodbye Auchel, (the stand of trees on top of the hill at the end of the runway will NOT be remembered fondly).
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Hello Bruay.
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