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The sun. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1916-1920, August 18, 1918, Section 5 Magazine Section, Image 45

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New York Aviator Fast Becoming an Ace
Christopher W. Ford
Tells Graphically
About Bringing
' Down Three Hun
Flying With the La
fayette Escadrille,
One Aerial Adven
ture After Another
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
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
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
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
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
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. . - -

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