World Flight Completes the 4th Division
by Lt. L. P. Arnold, "Chicago", Mechanic
Up at 4 -- the early morning sights of Aleppo were a treat & everyone had both eyes open taking it all in. On the way to the field we once saw a string of camels atop a hill & silhouetted against the sky exactly as pictures sometimes show them. At 6 we "took off" & the bright sun shining on the white buildings of Aleppo in the distance was very beautiful.
The Syrians are evidently an industrious race for the country for miles around is cultivated & well done. The trip Aleppo-Konia was interesting -- first we had to climb to 5000 feet in order to cross a range of mountains -- these were partially covered with clouds.
Further we came to the Bulgar Dagh range which is some 10,000 feet high. A railroad runs through a valley & this we followed at 4000 feet altitude with the cliffs & mountains towering above us on all sides, and in places where the valley was real narrow the walls of the cliffs were uncomfortably close to our wings. Some of the mountain peaks had snow on them -- the first we've seen since leaving Tokyo.
At 1:45 we reached Constantinople and from the air it is a great sight -- the Cathedrals, minarets, red roofed houses, ancient forts & walls. At the field were a number of Americans. Routine work kept us busy until 4:30 when we went in to the hotel. Later in the evening a group of us had dinner in one of the cabarets & had much fun.
by Lt. L. H. Smith, Commanding
This morning at 6:02, the flight headed for Constantinople, Turkey, the end of the 4th Division. A stop had been planned at Konia, but it was decided to make a non-stop flight to Constantinople in order to again complete two sections in one day. From Aleppo to Constantinople, the flying was almost entirely over mountains, necessitating considerable high altitude work. This was rather difficult at first because of the heavy load carried for the long flight. Leaving Aleppo, the flight crossed the Giaorudagh mountain range at a point about 10 miles south of Baghche where a true west compass course was taken until the Berlin-Baghdad railroad was reached. This railroad was followed through the Bulgar mountains, the planes flying at about 7,000 feet with the mountains towering on either side of them. From Eregli a compass course was taken to the landing field at Konia, several miles north of this city. However, before reaching the field, the flight swung on to a course taking them over the Boz mountains at the railroad pass. Here a compass course was again taken direct to Eskishehr. The majority of the remaining distance was more or less of winding through the high mountains, swinging along the coast past Constantinople to San Stefano, the landing field for Constantinople, landing at 1:40.