The author of Kitchener's Mob has enlisted in the English flying service, and gives a lively and graphic account of the most picturesque branch of military service.
room there were little groups of two and three, chatting together in combinations of Franco-American which must have caused all deceased professors of modern languages to spin like midges in their graves. And throughout all this before-supper merriment, one could catch the feeling of good-comradeship which, so far as my experience goes, is always prevalent whenever Frenchmen and Americans are gathered together.
At the ordinaire, at supper-time, we saw all of the élève-pilotes of the school, with the exception of the non-commissioned officers, who have their own mess. To Drew and me, but newly come from remote America, it was a most interesting gathering. There were about one hundred and twenty-five in all, including eighteen Americans. The large majority of the Frenchmen had already been at the front in other branches of army service. There were artillerymen, infantrymen, marines,--in training for the naval air-service,--cavalrymen, all wearing the uniforms of the arm to
There might be a later version of this, because my memory of the story from years back is somewhat different. This appears to be an unedited copy of Hall's wartime journal, with the identity of locations, incidents and some persons hidden. Too bad.
Still a valuable telling of war as it actually was—at times humorous or boring—rather than the glamorous, high-excitement versions available in much fiction and ghost-written "true stories."
One must be positively crazy to decide to learn to fly in airplanes of 1910, without any knowledge of the matter, and take this within one year or a bit more to near perfection, doing acrobatics, just to be able to fight on the front. This is the story of those crazies, told quite well by one of them. A pity he was captured before the end of war.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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