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Sailor Steve 09-16-2018 02:08 AM

15 September 1914

Most of the front is still rained out, but a couple of interesting things are happening locally.

Noel Kay writes: "1345: We made the move back to Verdun. waited all day for the rain to let up, and it did shortly after noon. We waited some more to make sure it wouldn't come back, and then we took off into a heavy wind. 39 minutes later we were back at the field that feels more like home to me than any aeordrome we've had yet."

Corrie Aujla writes: "Sometimes you wait forever and nothing happens. Other times they happen so quickly your head spins. We had just finished our breakfast when a sergeant came asking for us. He was there to drive us to our squadron! We departed Paris at 1008. the roads were muddy but we had a good driver, and we pulled into Fčre-en-Tardenois some five hours later, at 1553. The driver asked for directions to the aerodrome at a hotel on the entrance to town, and in a couple of minutes we were on our way. at 1610 we pulled up to the brick building that held our office and officer's quarters. Major Salmond was truly shocked to see us standing in front of his desk. His shock turned to delight and there was shaking of hands and clapping of shoulders all around. Other officers were called in and then I was released To the enlisted pilots' tent. Everyone there was also stunned for a moment, and the the cheering began, followed by rounds of story-telling that lasted well into the night. Robbie Reinard was especially glad to see me, as he had spent so much time wondering if the Captain and I were alive, dead, prisoners, or who knows what? The only bad part of all this is that even though I'm back with the squadron I am still unable to fly again due to this ongoing rain."

Ries Meismer writes: "Still unable to fly. There was some hubbub over at the tents of No 3 Squadron, with whom we share the field. It seems that a couple of long-lost pilots, separated from their unit back when the Germans took Maubeuge, have suddenly turned up again.

Sailor Steve 09-16-2018 11:57 PM

16 September 1914

All across the front it is still raining. The ground war continues with fighting along the Aisne River, but the only flying recorded is by Cpl Filimor Hance of Escadrille MS 26: "0503 Took advantage of a break in the rain to move from Saint-Soupplets to our new base at Pisseleux. 57 minutes."

Sailor Steve 09-17-2018 11:13 PM

17 September 1914

Bad weather continues across the entire front. The Battle of the Aisne goes on, but without aerial reconnaissance.

Sailor Steve 09-18-2018 09:31 PM

18 September 1914

Heavy fighting rages around Noyon and Reims, but the planes are still grounded.

Sailor Steve 09-20-2018 12:50 AM

19 September 1914

I really am crazy. According to Oswald Boelcke's letters home, it really did rain for more than a week without letup. As long as they weren't flying, I'm not flying.

Meanwhile I stumbled upon the most amazing series of videos. They tell the story of a fictional American pilot who joins a French Escadrille in 1916, following his adventures through the end of the war, using WOFF as a backdrop. Like most gamers who make 'Let's Play' videos, he decided at the beginning that if he died on a mission that would be the end of it. It's extremely well edited and shows off the game itself as well as his own production and storytelling skills.

Sailor Steve 09-20-2018 09:32 PM

20 September 1914

As fighting on the ground continues, the planes are still grounded. One group is forced to move by advancing Allied forces.
Odis Först writes: "1408: A slight break in the rain sees us transferring from Buzancy to Pontfaverger. 36 minutes."

Sailor Steve 09-21-2018 10:44 PM

21 September 1914

On the ground a battle rages for the possession of Noyon. The French are pushing the Germans back, all in rain and mud.
In the air...well, no one is in the air, except for one escadrille, MS 26.

Filimor Hance writes: "We're being transferred again - this time to Anvers. Anvers? Six days out here, unable to fly at all. Now we are ordered to fly anyway, and we're going back to PARIS?? Why? The Germans have left that area. There's nothing there to observe. Why? Took off at 0614. Flight took 2 hours 24 minutes. All in the rain. Now we're at a field in the southern side of the city. What next? London?"

Sailor Steve 09-22-2018 08:21 PM

22 September 1914

In real life there was a bombing raid by two British planes on a Zeppelin shed. A second raid turned back due to the weather. Everything else was grounded, including all of my pilots. Meanwhile the ground war rages on. That, and a lot of naval stuff going on in the Pacific.

Sailor Steve 09-23-2018 07:50 PM

23 September 1914

The weather starts to clear a little and some squadrons are flying again, with varying results.

Corrigan Aujla writes: "Cloudy, but no rain. 0546: First time flying in more than four weeks. They had me practicing take-offs and landings all morning. 33 minutes. Captain Carlson went on an orientation flight with Sgt Holmes. After they returned the Captain started shouting at the Sergeant. Major Salmond came out, dismissed Lance Holmes and went with Captain Carlson back into his office. Later in the day the Major took the Captain on a flight, after which the Captain retired to the officers' quarters."

From the same airfield Ries Meismer writes: "0447: No rain! went on a long flight to the Aisne area. Seems to be a lot of fighting, but no major movements. 2 hours 56 minutes."

Filimor Hance writes: "0852: Made two flights today, each of about two hours. Nowhere near the fighting, but Bruno Seigneurie thinks he has the answer. They don't believe we're ready and don't want to risk us until we've gained more experience. If that's true, then I guess I'll have to live with it. Soon enough we'll see some action."

Sailor Steve 09-25-2018 03:38 AM

24 September 1914

At Verdun, Esc 13 is still grounded by rain.

Fere-en-Tardenois, 3 Squadron
Corrie Aujla writes: "I was kept from flying today. Major Salmond took me into his office and started asking me questions about Captain Carlson. What was he like in the air? Had he ever shouted at me? Had he ever tried to strike me? I eventually mustered the courage to ask what was going on, and he said that when it was all resolved he tell me what he could. For the meantime I was not to speak of this to anyone. Of course all the enlisted pilots wanted to know what was going on, and it was all I could do not to tell them anyway. What kept me in line was the thought that it could mean my career. For the time being I'm saying nothing, and won't broach the subject with Major Salmond again until he chooses to tell me something."

Fere-en-Tardenois, 4 Squadron
Ries Meismer writes: "Several flights went up today. Due to a shortage of available machines I was not one of them."

Odis Först srites: "Overcast, but no rain. I get to fly today! 1458: Patrolled over the fighting near Reims. 2 hours 2 minutes."

Filimor Hance writes: "1258: One long flight, up to Beavais and then north. Halfway from Beauvais we turned back to Paris and Anvers. 2 hours 51 minutes."

Sailor Steve 09-26-2018 03:38 AM

25 September 1914

Noel Kay writes: "1516: Patrolled north of Sedan and back. 2 hours 21 minutes."

Fere-en-Tardenois, No 3 Squadron
Corrigan Aujla writes: "0638: Sent up to familiarize myself with the region. 1 hour 3 minutes. After lunch I was introduced to Captain Arnold Williamson, and told that he would be my observer from now on."

Fere-en-Tardenois, No 4 Squadron
Ries Meismer writes: "0758: We made an observation flight up to Laon. We did see some German army movement, and they did shoot at us. They missed. 2 hours 7 minutes."

Odis Först writes: "Fairly nice day. 0515: Long patrol over the lines. 3 hours 3 minutes."

Filimor Hance writes: "1603: Flew around the city, then southward. 2 hours 45 minutes."

Sailor Steve 09-26-2018 10:17 PM

26 September 1914

Noel Kay writes: "0452: Flew up to Charleville, then to Sedan and south back to Verdun. Noted several enemy positions. 1 hour 53 minutes."

Fere-en-Tardenois, No 3 Squadron
Corrigan Aujla writes: "0755: First flight with Capt Williamson. He's a nice enough fellow, if a litle dour. Patrolled between Chateau-Thierry and Paris, looking for any Germans slipping through.
Didn't find any, but had a good flight. 2 hours 38 minutes."

Fere-en-Tardenois, No 4 Squadron
Ries Meismer writes: "1019: Patrol between Chateau-Tierry and Laon, looking for German forces trying to flank our own. 1 hour 55 minutes."

Odis Först writes: "0846: Flew west and south. Fighting is heavy along the Aisne. 1 hour 54 minutes."

Filimor Hance writes: "0603: Flew west of the city, then south. 1 hour 42 minutes."

Sailor Steve 09-28-2018 09:38 PM

27 September 1914

Noel Kay writes: "0659: Flew over the lines, looking for unusual movements. 1 hour 28 minutes"

Fere-en-Tardenois, No 3 Squadron
Corrigan Aujla writes: "1047: Patrolled between Paris and Chateau-Thierry and Paris again. 2 hours 38 minutes."

Fere-en-Tardenois: No 4 Squadron
Ries Meismer writes: "1228: Patrolled the area around Laon again. The German trenches begun at Reims are now being expanded to include Laon."

Odis Först writes: "1054: Patrolled between Compiegne and Laon, looking for possible flanking movements by the enemy."

Filimor Hance writes: "0800: Flew north to Beauvais and back, plus a circle of the City. 2 hours 8 minutes."

Sailor Steve 09-30-2018 12:08 AM

28 September 1914

Noel Kay writes: "0842: Flew up around Sedan. 1 hour 44 minutes."

Fere-en-Tardenois, No 3 Squadron
Corrigan Aujla writes: "1339: Flew up around Laon. 1 hour 46 minutes."

Fere-en-Tardenois, No 4 Squadron
Ries Meisner srites: "1454: Traded places with No 3 Sqdn. They patrolled up by Laon while we ran back and forth between Paris and Chatea-Thierry. 3 hours 22 minutes. I finally got a chance to talk to that chap from No 3, the one who went missing for two weeks. I asked him for details and he said "Well, we got caught out when the Huns took Maubeuge. Caught a truck convoy that took us all the way to Beauvais. Stayed there for a few days. The higher-ups caught us up and moves us to Paris. We stayed there until they had time to shunt us back here. Actually I'm unhappy about it. If it hadn't happened I'd have at least ten more flying hours behind me." I was expecting a long story with lots of adventures. Anyway, I also got to compliment him on the reputation he's gained for his perfect landings. every time. Our own commander makes us watch when he comes in. All he said to that was "Well, the one you made today wasn't half bad." I said I learned from watching the best. He didn't seem to like that much, so I let it drop."

Odis Först writes: "1336: Flew down to the south of Epernay, well into enemy territory. 2 hours 34 minutes."

Filimor Hance writes: "1039: Flew up to Chantilly, then to Beauvais, then west of Paris, then home. 2 hours."

Sailor Steve 09-30-2018 07:57 PM

29 September 1914

Noel Kay writes: "1040: Up to Sedan again, then over to Reims and back to Verdun. 2 hours 20 minutes."

Fere-en-Tardenois, No 3 Squadron
Corrigan Aujla writes: "1539: Back to the Chateau-Thierry-Paris patrol. 2 hours 20 minutes."

Fere-en-Tardenois, No 4 Squadron
Ries Meismer writes: "0531: Patrolled between Soissons and Reims. 2 hours 42 minutes."

Odis Först writes: "1625: Long flight up to Laon, the north to Saint-Quintin. Our forces have dug in at Reims, and now theirs are doing the same, but there is some worry that they might try a flanking movement to our north. We then flew south-west across the lines and almost to Paris. We returned to Pontfaverger after the sun had set, and it was growing dark, but the hangars were lit up and the north side of the field had fire-pots lit, giving us a perfect view of the field. 3 hours 10 minutes. After we had had something to eat Ltn Boelcke had Hptmn Straub and myself into the squadron offices. His brother Hptmn Boelcke was there also. The Ltn asked us both how we felt about making very long patrols. Hptmn Straub and I both said we didn't mind at all, and when Ltn Boelcke asked me again I commented that I rather liked being in the air for such long periods of time. He then said that many of the pilots didn't like making patrols of more than two hours, and he would keep me in mind when longer Patrols were required. I retired to the enlisted pilots' tent and said nothing to my fellows.

Filimor Hance writes: "1253: Flight north of Paris, then south, returning over the city. 1 hour 48 minutes."

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