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Respite

Updated: Nov 11, 2018


6-13 August 1918


Officers sitting in front of the 12th Aero Squadron Headquarters. NASM-9A11573-140

Tuesday, 6 August, the Aisne-Marne Campaign officially ends. During the Allied drawdown of the offensive, the 12th Aero Squadron continues flying missions for the next few days. The Squadron’s flight doctor is also busy tending to members stricken by a stomach bug.[1]

Friday, 9 August, burial teams complete clearing Coincy Field of the German dead permitting the 12th to move in the following day.[2]

Saturday, Lt. Wright and Schnur along with their escorts fly into Coincy, France about 16 nautical miles northwest of their current home field. After bedding down the planes, the boys head into town looking for a place to stay.[1]

Not long after arriving in town they locate the perfect spot, a muddy, shell-torn hotel. The hotel was previously the German Army's headquarters. German objects and supplies litter the hotel, left behind during their hasty retreat a couple of weeks ago. [1]

Also eyeing the hotel, a 1st Lt from the 4th Army Division also attempt to claim the hotel for himself on behalf of his general. Wright and Schnur don't buy his story. His bluff called, the Lieutenant moves on.[1]

The 12th remains at Coincy through the weekend. On Monday, the 12th moves to Chailly-en-Brie for some much-deserved rest.[1]

The Aisne-Marne campaign had been a costly one. In three weeks, the 12th suffered six casualties, four killed in action, one captured and one wounded in action.[3]

For the next ten days, the boys of the 12th will pass the time resting, eating prepared meals outdoors on linen table cloths, playing poker into the night and making side trips to Paris.[1]

The respite won't last long. Soon they will be headed back to the Front; this time to participate participate in the "greatest air battle of the war,"[4] -- the Saint Mihiel Campaign.

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Works Cited

1. Burdette S. Wright Diary, Accession number XXXX-0784, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

2.Wilbur D. Kennedy Collection, The Museum of Flight Digital Collections, Seattle

3. Gorrell. (n.d.). Gorrell's History of the A.E.F. Air Service Section E. Vol 3. Squadron Histories.

4. Lauderbaugh, G. M. (n.d.). The Air Battle of St. Mihiel. Retrieved August 5, 2018, from http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/ww1/stmihiel/stmihiel.htm

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