Thaw and Cowdin, who had mastered the Nieuport, managed to be sent to the Verdun front. While there Cowdin was credited with having brought down a German machine and was proposed for the Médaille Militaire, the highest decoration that can be awarded a non-commissioned officer or private.
After completing his training, receiving his military pilot's brevet, and being perfected on the type of plane he is to use at the front, an aviator is ordered to the reserve headquarters near Paris to await his call. Kiffin Rockwell and Victor Chapman had been there for months, and I had just arrived, when on the 16th of April orders came for the Americans to join their escadrille at Luxeuil, in the Vosges.
The rush was breathless! Never were flying clothes and fur coats drawn from the quartermaster, belongings packed, and red tape in the various administrative bureaux unfurled, with such headlong haste. In a few hours we were aboard the train, panting, but happy. Our party consisted of Sergeant