THE TIMES: STAY 21, 1919
IN HUN LINES
(Copyright, 11, By the Intcrnatloo
J ! l - al Now Bureau, lac.)
The curtain of secrecy ao rigorously
maintained during the war Wd from
the public rye "no more glorious, In
trepid, cr Individualistic exploits than
those of Vedrines. the illustrious
Frenchman who has perished in his
attempt to fly from Paris to Rome,
which flipht was to be the prelude
to a trip around the world on his be
My duties in the R. A- F., which
took me to Paris, and all over France,
as a matter of fact, brought me In
contact with Vedrines now and again.
From his own lips I learned of the
details of some of his daring esca
pades, but more were related to me
by his admiring colleagues.
In no Instance was absolute se
crecy more essential than it was to
hide from the world the arduous tasks
that were patriotically undertaken
and successfully carle d through by
this skillful aviator.
Had the Germans suspected the na
ture of the work being performed
by Vedrine's a price would undoubt-
edly have been placed on his head
! or capture. But to all intents and
- i purposes the Cerraans are no longer
1 feared as an enemy, and Vedrines
himself Is dead, so there can oe no
f barm in lifting the curtain from the
'. deeda that enhanced the hero's rep
i otatlon during the dark days of the
Strangm than Fiction.
The story of his exploits is a splen-
Idld exemplification of the firovero
that truth is stranger than fiction.
The feats Vedrines accomplished tax
credibility to the utmost, but the
truth of them Is unimpeachable.
! Vedrines when I talked with him
was not disposed to take the view that
he was doing anything exceptional. I
really believe he would have preferred
i to have been employed in bringing
down Roche "busses," but the auth
' orltles knew of no man so peculiarly
fitted for the special work they want
ed done as Vedrines, and he, like a
I true son and patriot of France, did
what was asked of him.
Even to an Allied officer, at the
time I spoke to him, Vedrines was
not inclined to be communicative, but
. I pierced the veil sufficiently deeply
. to see that the "life," once embarked
. upon, held a great glamour for him.
As a matter of fact, he confessed to
. me "It is a great life. The hazards
are tremendous, but when they are
I undertaken for "La Belle France' I
count them as nothing."
t"nlcT Cloak of Dork now.
Vedrines work was to drop and
; pick up Allied spies behind the Ger
man lines. On the fact of it this seems
Incredible, but that It was done can-
not be gainsaid, and no man did more
f work of this hazardous type than Ve-
Of course, these consequential mis
sions were undertaken only under
the cloak of night. Do not
imagine that Vedrines simply
flew over the lines and droped
bis precious spy by Orleans of a par
achute. Not a bit of It. 8ples had to
be, picked up again if the Information
they had gleaned was to be turned
to good account. So Vedrines had to
descend in the enemy's lines to pick
up his human freight of secret In
telligence. It was perilous work, but Vedrines'
cool temperament, courage, and skill
as a pilot admirably suited him for
the Job, and he declared to me on one
occasion, "One gets used to taking
risks, and ultimately thinks nothing
I am not In a position to say how
many spies Vedrines dropped or pick
ed up behind the lines, but they were
undoubtedly a numerous company,
and what we owe to the information
they brought back is incalculable.
Vedrines method was to set off with
his spy In the middle of the night.
None knew the territory behind the
lines better than he, and it soon be
came an easy matter for him to se
lect a nulet and unfrequented landing
place, free from the grey uniform of
Almost Captured by the Boche.
When he was convinced that he was
over his pre-selected landing spot, to
which a night-flying compass and his
own sense of direction had guided
hfra, Vedrines would shut off his en
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Kino and descend auletlv to earth in 1 lnit a landing on the
th I.pirion of Honor the highest
awards any soldier of France can be
Vedrines, who was bora In 1881
at St. Denis, besan life as a telegraph
boy, and from this "humble position,"
as ho styled It himself, rose to one
of the most brilliant aviators the
world has produced. His war work
over, Vedrines again gave rein to his
competitive instinct in flying. He al
ways wanted to lead in aviation.
In Januanf he succeeded In effect-
terrace ot tne
spirals. His colleague. In the guise of
a Boche or a French peasant, would
alight, a few words were whispered
about their meeting on the same ren
dezvous a few nights later with a pre
arranged signal, and Vedrines would'
be off again, his last words "Bonne
chance" (good luck) being uttered as
n commenced to rise again.
"I had one very narrow escape.1
confessed Vedrines. "I landed in the
German lines m night In inky dark-
nesa Our agent had lust alizhted
when we heard he guttural .voices of
Boches. Quick as lightning I was off
JCaln, knowing that my companion
, could well look after himself. And I
am glad to say that everything turned
out happily. I returned four nights
later to the same rendezvous, and
was much relieved to find that my
comrtdt had eluded the Huns, and
picked up much useful Information
daring bis short speel amongst them.
But It was a neaf- thing for both of
The Oermans spread wire on open
places that could serve as landing
plsees, but the redoubtable Vedrines
cam down among a herd of cows.
K?ows have never yet been seen eat
ing barbed wire," was his rejoinder
to a friend who. asked how he was go
ing to manage.- -
During the attack on Quennevleres,
he landed on an enemy aerodrome
near Tergnier Railway Station, and
though his machine was riddled, and
he was himself wounded, succeeded
In returning with valuable Informa
tion, which resulted In the capture
f over t09 prisoners by the French
a the following day.
Rescuing the Persecuted.
Vedrines, I may .tall you, brought
back more Chal.,aeteaV V. Frenchmen
wbe were suffering: particularly from
Hun oppression were mysteriously
spirited away from Gariug domina
tion. The daring .Vedrines was often
responsible for this. -
If ha had no spy to bring -back, he
gladly took aboard a persecuted eltlsen
of his beloved country, and delivered
hn from the tyraany of the Invader.
Mot a fa eaeaped In this fashion,
and WlIJ live o bless the dashing air
man to thsir dying day,
For these daring exploits Vedrines
eras awarded the Military Medal and
n,ilb lifavette at .fans, mere
was a thick fog when Vedrines started
but he flew over the Grand Boule
vards, and then shut off his engine.
Flying at the height of a few feet
only above the balustrade surrounding
the terrace of the big emporium,
Vedrines landed safely on tne terrace,
although his machine, owing to the
speed at which he was flying, was
A Kcoent Achievement.
He thus won the prize of 35,000
francs offered to the first airman to
land on a roof. The terrace was only
14 metres (B feet) in width, and
Vedrines machine had a span of 12
He Immediately announced his In
tention of attempting the flight from
Paris to Rome, which has eneded so
disastrously, after which he was to
prepare for a flight round the world.
Vedrines had many hairbreadth es
capes. In June, 1911. in the Paris
Turin contest,, his machine turned
turtle, but he escaped unhurt. Then
In the following August he fell into
the sea at Trouville, escaping with
a few scratches. On April 29, 1912,
Vedrines met with a very serious ac
cident while attempting a flight from
Doual to Madrid between Pierrefette
and St. Denis something went wrong
with his motor, and he was forced to
descend from a height of 600 feet.
The machine was caught by a gust of
wind, and fell with a crash on the
railway line. A train which happened
to be passing was pulled up In time.
and the injured akoian was at once
removed to Paris, where' he under
went the bperati6n "for trepanning.
subsequently making a remarkable recovery.
At the time ox his deatn vedrines
was engaged in perfecting plans about
which nothing absolutely- had 'been
published. He was working In particu
lar on a winged maehine with neither
engine nor propellor. It was always
one of his pet theories and schemes.
and had he lived be would, I know
from what he has told me Casually
on many an occasion, have revolution
ized flying. His whole mind and all
his energies were devoted to his work.
By his death France loses a gallant
ion vand -soldier the world one ' of
he master minds In aviation and
those who were priveleged to know
him a cheery, companionable friend.
1138 Main St.
Barnegat Cedar Furniture
Porch And Lawn
They are the prettiest,
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The New "Dance
Designed to wear at tea dances,
restaurants and the - theater, are
hats that are "French all over."
The kind of bats over which
women clasp their hands in sheer
Little and soft, usually of excep
tional materials but some have
leghorns -or hair crown and some
are of softest taffeta.-
Priced $8.50 to $15.00
NOTICE OF sale:
Notice is hereby given that., all of
the stock and fixtures, together with
the- good will of said business, now
contained in the store known and
designated as No. 1216 Stratford ave
nue, Bridgeport, -'Connecticut, belong
ing to the plumbing business formerly
conducted by George Hebermehl, de
ceased,, will 'be sold at public auction
pn the 23 rd day of May, 1919, at 3
p. m. : -
MA RIB A, HEBERMEHL, Executrix,
if the estate of George Hebermehl.
Thomas) O. Coughlin, Attorney at Law,
lilt Main St., Bridgeport, Conn. ;
SEE THESE ATTRACTIVE PIECES
Originality, attractiveness comfort and durability all
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Settees, 4 feet long $14.50
Rockers, high backed, for men; 9.75
Rockers, high backed, for women. . . .' .". 8.75
Rockers, without arms 6.75
Arm Chairs to match the above at the same price.
Round Tables, 32 inch diameter ." 12.00
Oblong Tables, with rounded corners.- 12.75
Fern Stands ....... 2.35
Hat Trees . 3.75
Three-piece Suites 32.00
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sm sj myyvm lfT
Formerly the revenue officers used
to pursue moonshiners but soon they
will be after lantern shiners down
cellar. . -
The collections of Liberty Loan
posters" which many young people are
making will be permanent reminder
or wnat advertising can
Cash Price . .
No. 2 Nut
Always Buy The Best"
Remember to. Order
HARD LEHIGH COAL
'. $11.50 Per Ton I
9.50 Per Ton ,
SOLD BY Jj
269 E. Wash. Ave.
Phone B. 7396 7397
c. do. :l No matter- what jou wanttry The Times Want Ch-
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