What was supposed to be a few hour drive had taken almost the whole day. Movement by road was quite slow Willi thought to himself. The driver of the lorry wasn't very chatty either. This sort of irked Willi in a way. It wasn't so long ago that he himself was a “Ranker” but now peoples attitudes towards him had changed with his promotion. Oh well.
Finally Bertincourt came into view. A “Jäger” green Fokker stood out among the pigeons sitting before their tent hangers. So the mystery pilot is also here. The Lorry driver stoped at the gate to ask directions to the “Office”, and with a smart salute towards Willi the guard let them pass.
After stretching his legs and rump from hours of sitting, Willi walked a little closer towards the green Fokker. Not impressed by what he saw Willi turned to walk back and report in. Then from within the tent hanger a voice called out. “Are you the pilot from Kasta 14?”
Willi turned to respond, “Jawohl Herr......” “Parschau, Otto Parschau, KEK Douai” “Is that your green Fokker Ltn.?” Willi asked.
“Yes, yes it is. Strange color I know but I was given this one as is. Seems my predecessor was a Major in a Jäger Battalion before joing the Luftstreitkräfte.”
“That would explain the color I guess.” Willi said.
“Still, you fly a strange bird too, am I right. A big fat whale with teeth if I remember.” smiled Otto.
“I don't mean to sound rude Otto, but I really should report in and introduce myself to the CO.” “Ahh, but you already have my dear man.” Otto said. “Jawohl, Ltn Otto Parschau, the new acting Kommandant of KEK Nord. The old man, Hauptmann Viebig is returning to FFA 32.”
“Oh-ha, I wasn't aware of that Herr Ltn.” “Otto !”
The two men walked over to the Adjutants hut. Inside, three others were arguing with the adj. “Problems again Adj? Let me guess, our Julius has been denied another one, correct?” Total silence crept into the office. “Willi, these miscreants are Ltn's Müller, and Leffers, and our Ostv Julius Schreck. Good men, but I wouldn't run up a tab for them at the mess if I were you. Gentlemen, this is Ltn.Willi Rosenstein from Kasta 14. I don't think I need to explain who he is. I'm sure we have all seen his Roland over the front.”
Hand shakes went allround, but as Willi reached for the hand of Julius, he noticed that the young man just kept stairing at the medals on his tunic. Willi had only worn them when he received them. True they looked good, but they only seemed to attract lint and charges.
“Let me see here Willi.” Otto said while looking at documents from Kasta 14, “You have 16 confirmed from 49 combats.” Looks of amazement went round. “That makes you our leading pilot here. Tomorrow I'll let Julius show you his new Halberstad-scout. It has two wings by the way Willi.”
p.s wanted to write more and better, but with 2 kids and the summer holidays just starting, even this was a struggle