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THK SUN, SUNDAY, AUGUST 18. 1918.
New York Aviator Fast Becoming an Ace Christopher W. Ford Tells Graphically About Bringing ' Down Three Hun Machines Flying With the La fayette Escadrille, One Aerial Adven ture After Another Follows Christopher W. Ford of 583 River side Drive, New York, a Lieutenant in the Lafayette Escadrille, fast is ap proaching the "ace" class of American aviators. On March 10 he brought down a two seated Hun machine, but haze prevented official credit; on March 27 he brought down another, got full credit and the Croix de Guerre, and on May 21 he brought down an Al batross. His own story of the aerial fights written to George A. Lindsay of the Manhattan Navigation Company, where Lieut. Ford formerly was auditor, is a graphic first hand tale of air battling. 103d Aero Pursuit Squadron (Escadrille Iifayette), A. E. F., France. If ay 11, 1918. T WANT to thank 3 ou .1 thousand times for your generous offer to our fund which went to the first boy to bring down a Hun; this reward went to Capt. Col lins, who was since killed, as he was the first boy lo bring down a Hun after the fund was started. Several of the other boys have brought down Huns since then, but the fund idea was never renewed. ' We have one boy here named Lieut. Paul F. Baer, who has brought down five Huns inside of six weeks, a most won derful record. Capt. Hall (who is now missing) got another, and I am proud -to say that I got one on March 27, and have been decorafed with the Croix dc Guerre. Capt. Biddlc also got another, not such a bad record, what do you think? All told since our escadrille has been formed we have brought down a total of about seventy enemy planes and, strange to say, not one of tbcm fell inside our lines; the nearest we have come to having one fall in onr lines is one which wa3 shot down and fell to pieces before hitting the ground; one wing fell in our first line trench. LIEUT. C . W. FORD. This shows you that we have to do all of the fighting inside their lines, as they seldom come over on our side. 1 suppose you can readily understand, that this makes it rather hard to get souvenirs of an enemy plane, although I promise yon that if I ever get one inside our lines I will send vou one of the Black Crosses. I suppose you want to know how I got my Hun, so here goes. I was flying with Capt. Hall and Major Thaw, and we saw a patrol of seven or eight Huns, five of them two waters, the others small fight ing machines. We were above them and attacked. Major Thaw's gun was stuck, so he couldn't do anything. Capt. Hall got one of the small machines and I got a two seatcr. The scrap lasted for about twenty-five minutes and was observed by the balloons, artillery and infantry, so we did not have any trouble getting official confirmation. We have changed sectors again and ere now up on the North Channel ports region. When flying. at 1,000 meters I can see England, Belgium, Holland, Ger many, and, of course, France. This is the most active sector in the front and the biggest battle of the war is now being waged and wc wouldn't have missed it for anything. We were bombed last night, but while the bombs came pretty close, none of them landed directly in our field. However, they made an awful racket and we all got into the trenches for protection. On March 10 Capt. Collin3 and myself brought down a Boche two seated machine, but on account of a heavy mist and bad visibility we did not get it confirmed and were not credited with it, although I am sure we got him, as smoke was pouring out of the machine and it was diving 'Ver tically to the ground. Have attempted to bring down a Hun observation balloon on two different oc casions, but without success. However, just wait and see; I am going to get it the nest time. It's a regular picnic going after them, as they are placed about eight to ten kilometers behind the Boche lines. The sky was just black with shrapnel and " from the way the luminous bullets were coming up at us from all directions you wovld have thought they had all the ma chine guns in the front turned on us. However, if we did not get the balloon, we v made the observer jump out and forced them to haul the balloon down, besides wasting-a lot of ammunition, and I guess they had a nice job patching up the bul let holesafterward. A Day's Yachting With Sick Soldiers (Continued from Prcttding Page.) who said, "Gee, if they'd offer me my discharge I bet I'd have this uniform off inside of twenty-four hours.'' But neither had the maimed sergeant been able to bring himself round to wanting non-combatant service. That would come later, perhaps. Meanwhile the youngster was low in his mind. He saw nothing what ever ahead of him. "If I take my discharge I'll have the right to wear my uniform thirty days," he said. "I certainly will do that 1" Before enlistment he had been an auto mobile salesman. He had liked the work. It didn't look good to him now. Explain ing to him that non-combatants arc as necessary as fighting men, that tire Cause holds work enough and glory enough and to spare for everybody, that a likely young man in the automobile business will have brighter prospects than ever after the war, that the great new commercial airplane business and its limitless possibil ities will probably be an outgrowth of the automobilo business explaining all this and much more was of no use to lift his trouble. But before the day was over he was dancing with the best of them. Among tic hundred were several other caws much like his. It occurred to the Fourth. Estate suddenly that all the man's sized sorrows of this war are not engen dered at the front; that when the roll of the sufferers for Liberty is called these fellows who wanted the worst way to go and were knocked out and disappointed at the last minute would deserve a place on it. Last summer Dr. John A. Harris, who among other things is one of the special deputy commissioners handling the Po lice Reserve, equipped the Surf with wards and an operating room, and she became a naval hospital ship auxiliary lo the Solace. For this season he has placed her at the disposal of the Mayor's Committee and weekly or oftener she will take invalided soldiers on such outings as the one described. Mrs. Daniel C. Reed, whose husband is (he donor of General Hospital One, headed the canteen unit that did so much to make the trip successful. She was as sisted by Mrs. Alfred J. Johnson and other members of the Mayor's Committee of Women. Henry -MacDonald, director general of the executive committee, repre sented the Mayor's, Committee on National Defence as host. The members of the Motor Corps of America, who brought the men to the licr at !) and took' them hack to the hos pital at C, were under the personal com mand of Major Helen Bastcdo. Making Useless Plants Valuable THE soapweed, or Spanish bayonet, flourishes in western Kansas, southern Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Until a few years ago it was regarded simply as a troublesome weed. Farmer and ranch owner tookgreat pains to exterminate it on account of its habit of spreading over largo areas and killing off other vegetation. But men of science discovered that what was despised as a weed is really a plant having market value as a raw material for soap. The discovery was due to the fact that for a long time Indian and Mexican women have used a. decoction of soapweed for toilet purposes, particularly for washing the hair. It is especially suited for this purpose because it is wholly free from alkali. Soap manufacturers have found it excel lent for toilet soaps and soaps intended for washing woollens. Ordinarily one man can harvest a ton of soapweed in a day. After cutting the plants are allowed to dry. for two or three months, and then are baled up in the ordinary broom corn baling machine. average winter temperature is 22 degrees and the summer temperature CO degrees, with, rainfall of. thirty-eight inches. - .The .remaining 8 per cent, of the Japanese crop is grown, on .Nippon, where the average temperatures are 38 and 5 de grees and the rainfall 42.5. inches. -The mint plant requires .sl light, well drained soiL The roots, are .planted At tlie end of November. The plant attains full growth during the summer months-' and is cat in late July, during August and in early September. Polish Soldiers Are Making Excellent Fighters N rAPOLEON once said of the Polish army, "It is the best." Almost since the beginning of the war it has been the ambition of the Poles again to dis tinguish themselves in the field, regain their ancient prestige and win from the .world the admission that their services en title their nation to autonomy and inde pendence. Russia for political reasons discouraged the idea of a distinctive Polish army both under the rule of the Czar and under Kercnsky. Of course under the Bolshe viki the agitation ended. So the Poles turned to France, which bade them wel come and in an order dated .June 4, 1917, decreed the creation of a distinct Polish legion. Now the legion, which has grown so fast that it is really an army, is about to "take its place on the battle line, having been mobilized in a great camp named Sille-le-Guillaume near Le Mans. The uniform is the same as the French, with the exception of a distinctive headdress, the "czapka." The officers are French men and roles who have served in France. II will be news to most Americans that sines the early days of -January large detachments of well drilled -Poles have been arriving in France from the United Stales. They arc the regiments which Igniice Padcrewski was tireless and devoted in recruiting. . . , As a result of inquiries from the United States tie feasibility of cultivating black mint in this country for the pro duction of menthol crystals and oil .is the subject of a special report by Tice-Consul E. R. Dickover of Kobe, Japan. Several attempts to import black, mint plants have been frustrated by the long journey across the Pacific, during which the plants have died. Once arrangements were made with a steamer purser to care for the plants and they arrived, in good condition, but were killed by disinfection in entering the country. The consulate now is attempting to obtain mint seeds, a difficult task, since the plant" is culti vated almost entirely from slips. Two widely different climatic areas are devoted to the cultivation of mint in Japan corresponding to the northern Pa cific coast of the United Stales and to Virginia and North Carolina. About 92 per cent, of the Japanese mint is grown on the Hokkaido Island, .where the A physician once exclaimed: "Who but an old Yankee woman t would ever have invented a rhubarb pief" His voice and manner, no less than his language, implied a contemptuous mental associa tion of acid herbs with acid tempera ments. "Tinct Rhu." he had so often prescribed that its purely medicinal sug gestion was overpowering. Possibly he had experienced the pangs and penalties of rhubarb pie in excess. v Yet rhubarb pie taken in moderation is as wholesome as it is delicious. Yan kee housekeepers of to-day may as fairly resent the aspersion cast upon their des serts as that upon their digestions.. The pieplant has a recorded history off over four centuries. It was first culti vated in the white walled gardens of Morocco and Algiers, amid "fruitrand flowers and fountains and was brought thence by the Moors to Spain. Not until 200 years later did rhubarb really become known to English gardens, whence in due time it was brought to those of America to be employed first as a tincture, then as a sauce,, and to attain a final apotheosis in pie. Rhubarb, apart from its usefulness, has values for its beauty. The giant Chinese variety, with its enormous leaves, is often employed by landscape gardeners to pro duce bold sub-tropical effects; nor do they always disdain the charms of the more modest pieplant itself, of which the tall, graceful spikes of white flowers and large leaves, deeply -veined and stained, are as -p certainly handsome as the succulent stalks are- palatable. . - - 1