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The Uniform Group of an American volunteer with the RFC

Article about: Indeed! Post more by all means!!! Gary

  1. #31

    Default Re: The Uniform Group of an American volunteer with the RFC

    Tommy in Texas, Winter of 1917.
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  2. #32

    Default Re: The Uniform Group of an American volunteer with the RFC

    Thomson in flying gear and at the controls of a Curtis JN4 "Jenny", November 10, 1917 #80 Squadron, 42 Wing RFC. I believe these were taken at Camp Borden in Canada.
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  3. #33

    Default Re: The Uniform Group of an American volunteer with the RFC

    Quote by Croix de Guerre View Post
    Christmas card from the RFC training grounds in Fort Worth, Texas. Once the United States entered the war a reciprocal agreement was made for the RFC to undertake training for 10 Americans squadrons. In exchange both American and Canadian pilots would complete their training in Texas during the winter months.
    Tom,

    You may already have this book, but if you don't, "Wild Blue Yonder", An Air Epic by Don Clark is a must for you. It is an illustrated record of the 300 who trained in Canada, Texas and France. There are some fantastic photographs which I had never seen before and is a good read.
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  4. #34

    Default Re: The Uniform Group of an American volunteer with the RFC

    Quote by Steven M View Post
    Tom,

    You may already have this book, but if you don't, "Wild Blue Yonder", An Air Epic by Don Clark is a must for you. It is an illustrated record of the 300 who trained in Canada, Texas and France. There are some fantastic photographs which I had never seen before and is a good read.
    Thanks Steve, I have not read it; I'll have to look ot up. Have you read "Royal Flying Corps, Borden to Texas to Beamsville" by William E. Chajkowsky? Very informative about Canadian-American training in WWI.

  5. #35

    Default Re: The Uniform Group of an American volunteer with the RFC

    I'm not going to tell the whole story,,but I'm up early and have already had two cups of coffee so I thought I'd entertain myself (at least) by posting a few more photos.

    Tommy's RAF Cox & Co. Checkbook
    Khaki silk tie and white cotton collar
    Photo of Tommy taken at the Officers Hospital in Tidworth
    Business Card
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  6. #36

    Default Re: The Uniform Group of an American volunteer with the RFC

    The last letter Tommy wrote to his fiance Ruth as a free man. He posted this and was shot down about an hour later.

    British Red Cross Postcard

    Tommy (standing at the right) and some fellow British Officer POWs. This photo was taken at Karlsruhle. Seated from lwft to right: Robert H. Reay of Newcastle-on-Lye; F.J. Flattery of Darragh, Ennis Ireland and standing H.J. Sharp of Bradford, York.

    A German POW issue letter written to Thomson's fiance Ruth.
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  7. #37

    Default Re: The Uniform Group of an American volunteer with the RFC

    Rastatt prison contained a wide variety of prisoners with almost all of the allied nations represented. The British outnumbered the others, French next with a smattering of Italians, Belgians and three Americans. The Americans were two doctors a Dr. Maxon from Baltimore and a Dr. Kane of Washington. They were on detached service with the English when they were captured. The third American was an aviator named Wardle from Memphis, Tennessee.

    Now here is where the story takes a turn for the surreal.

    When I first began researching Thomson and I ran across this American aviator mentioned, I naturally reached for "Wings of Honor" to look up Wardle. To my disappointment he wasn't there. But I know that the book is far from complete so I didn't let this dissuade me. I made a few calls to some heavy hitting gurus and a little while later I was informed that Wardle was a ferry pilot (that is, he would ferry aircraft back and forth from different airfields) and that is why he wasn't listed in the rosters as he wasn't attached to a squadron. This is how he was captured having gotten lost in bad weather and landing behind German lines.

    I start thinking,,hmmm,, , I'll have to run that guy down. Unusual name, possibly forgotten aviator from the South,,,nice lead. I then get a phone call from your friend and mine "Belleau Wood".

    "What are you doing"? he asks. "I'm trying to run down this guy name Wardle, who was in a POW camp with my RFC pilot". I reply. "What do want to know about Frank Wardle"? BW says. "How the hell do you know about Wardle"? I exclaim! Belleau Wood paused and shouted "Your not gonna believe this, but I have his group"!

    So yes gentle readers, , ,,what are the odds? BW got his group some months before I got mine. We talked about his guy, I vaguely remembered him mentioning that he had been a POW. But when I got my group and ran across the name of an American aviator that my pilot befriended, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that such a coincidence was possible! Sometimes I feel that there is something more than chance at work here.

    Of course we both freaked out. The two groups shared several of the same photographs and from the captions we were able to shed light on both of our groups. Soon after we made arrangements to reunite these two war birds for the first time since they parted ways in 1918.

    Enjoy,,,,,,,,,

    Oh yeah and PS,,,both of those uniforms are the same ones they were wearing when they met in Rastatt prsion in July 1918.
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  8. #38

    Default Re: The Uniform Group of an American volunteer with the RFC

    Quote by Croix de Guerre View Post
    Rastatt prison contained a wide variety of prisoners with almost all of the allied nations represented. The British outnumbered the others, French next with a smattering of Italians, Belgians and three Americans. The Americans were two doctors a Dr. Maxon from Baltimore and a Dr. Kane of Washington. They were on detached service with the English when they were captured. The third American was an aviator named Wardle from Memphis, Tennessee.

    Now here is where the story takes a turn for the surreal.

    When I first began researching Thomson and I ran across this American aviator mentioned, I naturally reached for "Wings of Honor" to look up Wardle. To my disappointment he wasn't there. But I know that the book is far from complete so I didn't let this dissuade me. I made a few calls to some heavy hitting gurus and a little while later I was informed that Wardle was a ferry pilot (that is, he would ferry aircraft back and forth from different airfields) and that is why he wasn't listed in the rosters as he wasn't attached to a squadron. This is how he was captured having gotten lost in bad weather and landing behind German lines.

    I start thinking,,hmmm,, , I'll have to run that guy down. Unusual name, possibly forgotten aviator from the South,,,nice lead. I then get a phone call from your friend and mine "Belleau Wood".

    "What are you doing"? he asks. "I'm trying to run down this guy name Wardle, who was in a POW camp with my RFC pilot". I reply. "What do want to know about Frank Wardle"? BW says. "How the hell do you know about Wardle"? I exclaim! Belleau Wood paused and shouted "Your not gonna believe this, but I have his group"!

    So yes gentle readers, , ,,what are the odds? BW got his group some months before I got mine. We talked about his guy, I vaguely remembered him mentioning that he had been a POW. But when I got my group and ran across the name of an American aviator that my pilot befriended, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that such a coincidence was possible! Sometimes I feel that there is something more than chance at work here.

    Of course we both freaked out. The two groups shared several of the same photographs and from the captions we were able to shed light on both of our groups. Soon after we made arrangements to reunite these two war birds for the first time since they parted ways in 1918.

    Enjoy,,,,,,,,,

    Oh yeah and PS,,,both of those uniforms are the same ones they were wearing when they met in Rastatt prsion in July 1918.
    A photo from the Thomson group showing a group of flying officers at Karlsruhe Prison. Thomson is standing third from the right; Wardle is standing 6th from the left.

    The same photo in the Wardle group of artifacts; with his having many of the men identified.

    As a side note; seated second from the left is Col. Fellows, a wing commander who was ahot down and captured after bombing the locks on the Brugge Canal. His daring feat won admiration even from his captors and he was acknowledged with great consideration. Baron Von Richtofen, the father of the "Red Baron" sent him a case of wine to his honor.
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  9. #39

    Default Re: The Uniform Group of an American volunteer with the RFC

    Quote by Croix de Guerre View Post
    Thanks Steve, I have not read it; I'll have to look ot up. Have you read "Royal Flying Corps, Borden to Texas to Beamsville" by William E. Chajkowsky? Very informative about Canadian-American training in WWI.
    No Sir. I haven't...yet. Sounds like one worth reading, thanks
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  10. #40

    Default Re: The Uniform Group of an American volunteer with the RFC

    Uh,,,,hello? Is this thing on???

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