While going through some of my Grandfather's things, I recently found a copy of a typewritten transcript of diary of an anonymous US Navy flyer who was assigned to the RFC for training in October, 1917. According to the diary, the author served under Bishop, Mannock, and Crowe in the 85th Squadron until his capture by Germans in August, 1919. The copy of the diary was probably acquired by my grandfather during the 1950's. The diary is missing the title page, and the name of the author is not given. I'm trying to identify the author, if it's not all fiction. Here are some major points from the diary. The author took flight school in the US under a Major Kraft. A group of US flyers were scheduled to go to Italy, but due to orders were shipped to England to train with the RFC. They were first put up at Christ Church College, went to various training sites in England, and completed flight training at a place called Hounslow. While in England he roomed and went through schooling with the following, presumed to be from the US. "Slim" Ellis, "Cal" Callahan, and Jim Stokes. According to the diary, their schedule provided numerous opportunities for recreation. The eventually made friends with Major Bishop, and worked their way into a new squadron he was forming. This started out as the 65th Wing, assigned to the 5th Brigade. The 19 planes left for Dunkirk on May 25, 1918. In June, the group moved to St. Omer, and sometime became the 85th. During normal flights, the author flew in a six plane formation lead by "******" Horn (an Australian?) with Ellis, Callahan, MacGregor, and Thompson. He gives fairly detailed accounts of a number of flights, as well as recounts of the deaths of numerous comrades, including Mannock and McCudden. If anyone has a clue as to the identity of the author, or suggested references, I would appreciate your emailing me at [email protected]
. I am attempting to digitize the diary for reference, but many of the pages are too fadded to convert on my system. If you are interested in the text, let me know as well. Thanks, Tom Watson PS I'm also trying to track down information on Captain Richard Henry Claeys of the USAAF and possibly the RAF. He served in WWII, and was flying a C-47 that was shot down over Yugoslavia in 1946. He is my brother's namesake.