World Flight Arrives in Paris
by Lt. L. P. Arnold, "Chicago", Mechanic
Up at 3:30 & all had an excellent breakfast in our room -- the food was so tasty & well served that we all hated to leave the table. The fact that Paris (which hitherto has seemed so many thousands of miles away) is the destination of today's journey made everyone feel good natured & the banter was good to hear once again.
We took off at 6:45 & immediately ran into rain, not heavy enough to be serious, only disagreeable. It is regretted that the sun was not out for as we passed up the Danube through the foothills of the Alps, many interesting pictures could have been taken of the ruins of ancient legendary castles, villages, etc.
We encountered a strong head wind & for the first 4 hours covered only 200 miles but eventually we arrived at Strasbourg where a short stop was made for fuel. Leaving there we went to Nancy, then swung north a bit & flew on over the Old Hindenburg Line, Verdun, Argonne, Rheims, St. Michael, etc. The outline on the ground of the trenches, fortifications, shell holes, etc. is still very plain -- the only difference being that now there is green grass, leaves on trees, etc. & in 1918 there was none at all.
Arriving at Paris we were met by a flight of French planes & escorted into the city -- we circled over the grave of the Unknown Soldier & then landed at Le Bourget where a crowd of 5000 were waiting. There was much cheering, waving of flags, cameras, etc. & it was an hour before we could get to work.
In the evening we had dinner at the hotel & then went to Folies Bergere as guests of the Vancouver Oil Company.
by Lt. L. H. Smith, Commanding
Early this morning, the flight having full intention of reaching Paris on the French holiday, took off at 5:50, again following the airway of the commercial line. 30 minutes after leaving Vienna, a heavy rain storm was encountered with very low clouds. The Danube River was followed, past Linz, Austria, where a winding course was taken under the clouds and through the mountains; past Munich, Germany to Ulm, through the end of the storm area. Good weather was encountered the rest of the distance. The planes landed at Strasbourg at 12:20 on a rather small, rough field belonging to the Franco-Romanian Company. Excellent preparations had been made. The planes were soon refueled and prepared to continue.
At 1:20 in the afternoon, the flight was again in the air headed for Paris. The planes were still following the commercial airway, having a great number of well charted emergency landing fields, some of which were regular passenger stops. We passed over Nancy and from there direct to Le Bourget, with the exception of a small detour over the principal battle fields of the World War. Some of this country had been cultivated, leaving very few signs of the war, while a great part of it appeared as though fighting had been done but a few months previously. The planes, escorted to the field by the French, landed at Paris at 5:15 and were met by Major Carlyle Wash, Air Attaché at Paris, a large number of French officials and an enthusiastic crowd of people. Some difficulty was at first encountered in preventing the throng of people from damaging the planes through their curiosity to get closer to them; but the motors were started and the planes taxied into a hangar and the doors closed to protect them. Paris had been reached in 12 days flying time from Calcutta, India, a distance of 6163 miles, with an average flying time, per day, of 7 hours each.
Total flying time for the day - 10 hours, 25 minutes.