Fullofit, terrific work on the two Fokkers in your last video. Very patient and precise flying. Reminds me of Hellshade.
Wulfe, thanks for a lovely little story from a quiet escort mission. I grew nostalgic for Voscadeaux's days in Caudrons.
Carrick, that elusive 5th is coming. I can feel it.
Lou, de nada, mate! You're the one pulling bunnies out of hats -- DSC? "Coming right up!" It really adds to the campaign.
Harry, good news that Lazlo's mechanics can forego the block and tackle now. I'm enjoying "Big Red."
An Airman’s Odyssey – by Lt James Arthur Collins, MC
Part Fifty-Six: In which I am overwhelmed
I landed, as I always did, gasping for air. The approach over the last treetops to the field, dimly lit by fire-pots, always found me holding my breath. A bump, a moments floating, and then another heavier shock as the BE12 stalled onto the clay of North Weald. It carried on a long way and I carefully began turning towards the slivers of light that seeped out from the sheds. There was a motor car on the field by the paved apron and a crowd of figures silhouetted in the headlights. The engine cut, I heard cheering.
“Was it you, Mr. Collins?” an ack emma shouted. I gripped the leather at the side of the cockpit and nodded. A roar went up. Major Higgins was here, slapping the side of my leg as I stepped down. There was no chance to speak as I was hoisted aloft by a forest of arms and carried to the station office. Little McHarg had a bottle of champagne open and handed it up. I took a long swig and passed it down as I was deposited on the step. There was a report to write.
After, I sat on the grass outside the hut with the other lads. Someone had produced some brandy. We pieced the events of the night together. Sowrey had seen one Zeppelin caught in lights near Greenwich, but could not catch it. Billy had made a pass at another, or perhaps the same one as Sowrey, but his gun had jammed. All London had seen my airship burn. I wanted to know where it crashed. There were thousands of homes below. Already there were newspapermen here. They told us the Zeppelin came down in a sewage farm near a place called Galleon’s Reach, just east of the docks area. There was only one dead on the ground, a watchman.
I was compelled to wash up and pose for photographs, but ordered to give no statement. Instead, I was to appear at the Hotel Cecil at 2 p.m. to brief General Henderson.
At 8 am I flew a quick test flight to check the rigging on my machine, which had been fitted with a new upper plane. A driver was sent from RFC HQ to pick me up and we made our way to town. I’d hoped to find a place to eat en route, but there were crowds along the way and I’m delighted to say that more than a few young maidens saw fit to give me a kiss, leaning into the open automobile. We passed a newsagent’s stand on the Strand, and I saw my face staring out at me from the illustrated papers. Life had turned strange.