Well I've managed to catch up here with everyone's adventures, great stuff as always. RL has kept me very busy this last week so I've not had much time to devote to Swanson's travels, but I can give you all a quick overview of what has transpired during the last ten days for the young ace. Here goes:
After the show at Candas, Swany went to see Georgette on his was to St. Omer. He was more than a bit surprised to discover that she had grown tired of waiting for him during his absence and had moved on. The new object of her affection is now one Captain Robert Kettering, another R.F.C. pilot, and who she lovingly calls "Bobb-ee". Ah well, c'est la vie.
At St. Omer, Swany met Lieutenant William Kennedy-Cochran-Patrick, the man in charge of the pilot's pool there and a stout fellow indeed. He'd been doing flight testing of aircraft for some time at the Depot as he is an exceptional pilot, and he was very keen to talk with Swany when he learned he was the lad who had just flown the Morane so brilliantly against the Eindecker in mock combat down at No.2 AD. The two men hit it off immediately.
Swany crossed over to Dover in a clapped-out Quirk and traveled by train from there to London where he was presented his MC and Bar by King George V. The young Minnesotan was gobsmacked by the whole affair.
After a couple of days banging around London he reported in at Farnborough on the afternoon of the 23rd where he was told that he would be helping to form 70 Squadron, a brand new outfit that would be flying a brand new aeroplane; the Sopwith Strutter. After seeing one of the new buses that was parked in one of the large hangars there Swany was more than impressed with the design and can't wait to get one up in the air, (the aeroplane that is, not the hangar).
Weather has been gawd-awful so flying has been curtailed since his arrival, which has allowed Swany to get settled into his new digs. Yesterday he was told he'd been promoted to Lieutenant, not only because he had earned it, but also in anticipation of him being assigned as one of the new squadron's flight leaders. And this morning a small packet arrived for him from Major Harvey-Kelly, the CO of his old unit. In it was a box containing the Croix de Guerre with Bronze Palm, and a brief note explaining that, on the day of 10 April, when Swanson and Rankin had shot down the Fokker over Albert amid the rain and the AA bursts, the entire go-round had been witnessed by General Émile Fayolle, Commander of the French Sixth Army. Afterwards, the General had made immediate inquiries into who had been responsible for the fine showing of the French plane defeating the Boche scout. When he learned it had been two British airmen from nearby No. 3 Squadron he ordered citations to be sent over and presented to the brave fliers who had so gallantly beaten the enemy above Albert, and given the city's population a much-needed morale boost. By the time the medals had arrived Swany had already left for his new assignment, so the Major had sent his along to Farnborough in hopes it would catch up with him. Swany was gobsmacked yet again.