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ip,-r I'nii.ii I'hoto Service. 


Tin- youngest son of Colonel Roosevelt, 
who was killed in an air-battle over the 
German lines on July 14. A personal 
sketch of Lieutenant I'oosevelt appears , 
on putfe 62. 










Published October, 1921 
Reprinted November, December, 1921 




"Only those are fit to live who do not fear to die, and 
none are fit to die who have shrunk from the joy of 
life and the duty of life. Both life and death are parts 
of the same Great Adventure. Never yet was worthy 
adventure worthily carried through by the man who 
put his personal safety first." 



THREE years ago to-day Quentin Roosevelt fell 
in France in an aerial combat over the German 
lines. He was buried by the enemy with mili- 
tary honors near the little town of Chamery. 

Two weeks later when the Soissons salient was 
wiped out the Three Hundred and Third Engineers 
found his grave. The American burial service 
was read over the grave and the Engineers raised 
a new cross, and placed a shaft to mark where 
the airplane had fallen. Quentin Roosevelt was 
not yet twenty-one when he was shot down; still 
years count for but little in the record of a life; 
one man at twenty may have accomplished more 
and leave more behind to mourn his loss than 
another who saw a century out. Quentin Roose- 
velt to casual acquaintances typified the light- 
hearted jaie de vivre (there is no English phrase 


that can quite convey the meaning) which fresh- 
ened all who came in contact with it, but under- 
neath it all there lay the stern purpose and high 
resolve of one who realizes the essential serious- 
ness of life. 

K. R. 

July 14, 1921. 

[ viii ] 












V. "THE JUDGMENT OF His PEERS" . . . 211 

VI. VERSES. 266 


Quentin Roosevelt, Mineola, May, 1917 . . . Frontispiece 


Lieutenant Quentin Roosevelt at Field Seven in His 
Belo ved" Dock Yack" Plane 98 

The Grave at Chamery 176 

Chamery 180 

Changed to Gold 274 


QUENTIN ROOSEVELT was born in Washington 
on November 19, 1897, six months before his 
father enlisted for the war to free Cuba. As a 
boy he attended the public schools in Washington. 
The last year of his father's second term as presi- 
dent he went to the Episcopal High School at 
Alexandria, Virginia. 

The following summer that of 1909 he spent 
in Europe. He had always been interested in 
mechanics, and in a lette* to Ambler Blackford, 
a son of the principal of the school, he tells of his 
first sight of an airplane. 

We have had a wonderful time here and seen 
lots. We were at Rheims and saw all the aero- 
planes flying, and saw Curtis who won the Gordon 
Bennett cup for swiftest flight. You don't know 
how pretty it was to see all the aeroplanes sailing 
at a time. At one time there were four in the 


air. It was the prettiest thing I ever saw. The 
prettiest one was a monoplane called the An- 
toinette, which looks like a great big bird in the 
air. It does not wiggle at all and goes very fast. 
It is awfully pretty turning. 

Isn't Notre Dame wonderful? I think any- 
thing could be religious in it. And the Louvre, I 
think it would take at least a year to see it. I 
have some of the pictures. I think the little 
Infanta Margarita by Velazquez is the cunningest 
thing I ever saw, and I think they are all very 
beautiful. We have been to Rouen and every- 


Tell S. that I am sending him a model of an 
aeroplane that winds up with a rubber band. 
They work quite well. I have one which can fly 
a hundred yards, and goes higher than my head ! 
Much love to all from ~ 


That autumn on his return to this country he 
entered Groton School as a first former. His 
bent for mechanics, which was not inherited, and 



his love of reading, which was inherited, found 
expression in the school magazine. Quentin be- 
came an editor and also worked as typesetter and 
general overseer in the more practical part of 
publishing. It was in the printing-room that he 
enjoyed himself most when at Groton. 

In January, 1915, with the World War launched 
upon its first winter, he wrote the following story 
for The Grotonian: 


"The train stopped with a jerk, the doors flew 
open, and the crowd surged out toward the street. 
I made my way slowly to the taxi stand and hailed 
a waiting machine. '4 West fifty-seventh street, 
and make it fast,' I said. The man glanced at 
me quickly, hesitated, and then said, 'Why that's 
John Amsden's house, isn't it?' 

"'Yes,' I said, 'make it in less than ten minutes 
and you get a fiver.' 

"The machine started to the street, dove around 
the corner into thirty-fourth, and then across. 
The traffic seemed strangely crowded: we barely 



moved behind a stream of street cars and autos. 
Finally came Broadway and I saw the reason. 
Herald Square was packed with people, a tense, 
silent crowd, all watching the bulletin boards. I 
strained to catch a glimpse and made out, under 
the flaring arc lights, '10.45 Drs. Waring and 
McEwen report John Amsden is doing as well as 
can be expected. He is partially conscious.' 

"I hammered on the window of the taxi stand, 
as the man turned, cried to him to hurry. The 
traffic was still blocked, however, and we were 
hemmed in. I looked at the board again. An- 
other notice was being rolled up. '11 Condition 
slightly improved.' Strained faces in the crowd 
relaxed. I could see one man turning to another 
and clapping him on the back, a smile of relief on 
his face. So that was the reason. That was why 
I had received the telegram, 'John needs you. 
Come at once.' 

"The traffic began to move, and soon we were 
racing up Fifth Avenue, 42nd, 48th, St. Patrick's 
Cathedral, at last 57th. Two policemen guarded 
the entrance of the street. I was evidently ex- 



pected, for they let me through with a glance at 
my card. 

" The door was open, and I went into the familiar 
hallway with its carved oak stairs. The contrast 
was startling. Outside the crowded streets; 
inside, dead silence. I went upstairs. Low 
voices came from the back of the house. Some- 
one inside was speaking: 'It must have been 
that speech in Union Square that did it. The 
Doctors say it is pneumonia. His system is so 
overworked that he can't fight the disease.' 

"Another man spoke up, * Something had to 
crack. No man can work at fever heat for weeks 
on end.' 

"I pushed open the door and entered. Three 
men were seated before the fire, all of them men 
whom I knew. My cousin Arthur, who was a 
reporter on the Globe, Charles Wright, the actor, 
and Pearson, the critic. Arthur sprang to his 
feet as I entered. 'I'm afraid its too late, Cousin 
Fred,' he said, 'the Doctors have given orders 
that no one is to see him.' 

" Hopeless, I sat down. Why had I gone away ? 


I might have known something would happen to 

"'Tell me/ I said. 

"' There's not much to tell,' said Pearson. 'He 
would speak at that mass meeting in Union Square 
Friday. It was drizzling a little and he caught 
a chill. That and overwork brought on pneu- 
monia. That's about all.' 

"We lapsed into silence, each thinking of the 
man above who was fighting for breath. The 
fire flickered, and then died out. Arthur spoke 

"You were with him. Tell us about it.' 

"It was like a dream,' I said, 'A dream come 

"'John Amsden and I roomed together at 
college. I think that was the beginning of our 
friendship. He never did much there, that is, 
in any serious way. He worked a little, went to 
every dance in or out of Boston, and that was 
about all. He had not the physique for an 
athlete, and though he had several things published 
in the Advocate, he gradually let it drop, and never 



tried for editor. He did not have to work for a 
living, for his father's millions were waiting for 
him so there was no incentive. People said that 
he had lost what little capacity he had ever had 
for work while in college. 

" 'After college he led the life that all those lead 
who belong to the class reformers and Socialists 
call the idle rich. His winters were spent in Aiken 
or Palm Beach; his summers in Europe, with 
interludes of Meadowbrook and Tuxedo. I doubt 
if he ever did anything more than this for twelve 
years. Even his friends, who always claimed that 
he would some day develop, gave up hope. He 
seemed to have arrived at the end of his develop- 

" * Last summer we arranged to go abroad to- 
gether for a bicycle trip through Holland and 
Belgium. That was in July. August found us in 
Belgium, travelling slowly from place to place. 
To make a long story short, we were caught in the 
whirlwind of the war. We saw the fall of Liege 
and we followed in the track of the invader as he 
tramped through Belgium. We saw towns lev- 



elled, cathedrals shelled, smelt the smell of the 
battle-field, saw the fleeing people, homes burned, 
husbands and fathers gone, the soldier dead, his 
rule in his hand, the priest with his crucifix, we 
saw it all. 

" ' To John it was a revelation. He had never 
before felt the horror of death, never seen the 
human soul apart from its polished covering. 
What death he had seen had been decorous, 
honored, attended with peace and quiet. He had 
barely realized the fact that suffering existed, 
that the horrors of war were any more than a 
novelist's term. 

"* Following in War's path had brought it all 
home to him with an appalling nearness. All the 
sorrows he had never known, all the emotions he 
had never felt, he went through it all, saw the 
feelings of people, not mirrored in a book or ve- 
neered by etiquette, but sharp, bitter, unconquera- 
ble. In him it brought out all the character that 
had lain hid. All the crusader spirit of his ances- 
tors came to the top. He was fired with it. In 
his reaction he thought of his former life almost 
with loathing. It seemed to him almost unbe- 



lievable that America could be callous to the 
suffering, to the horror of what he saw before his 
very eyes. He felt he was chosen, that it was 
his duty to tell of Belgium. 

' ' He decided quite suddenly. "I'm going back, 
Fred," he said, "to tell the people at home about 
this. They must understand, they must help." 

' We made our way to the coast, as best we 
could, and at last got a steamer for America. On 
our voyage we talked of the people at home often. 
It never occurred to him that people would not 
understand, that they would not see as he did. 
He could not conceive of anyone remaining un- 
moved in the face of suffering such as we had seen. 
* We parted at the dock. The next day, as I 
sat at home, the telephone rang. It was John. 
"Fred," he said, "I must have a talk with you." 

;< We agreed, finally, that I was to come over 
and see him. 

"'He was sitting in this room before the fire, 
as we are now, when I came in. In all my life 
I have never seen a look of utter hopelessness 
such as there was on his face. "It's all wrong," 
he said, "they don't see. I can't understand it." 



"'He told me then, how he had been to his 
friends, had spoken to them, and the effect of 
his words. "They wouldn't even listen to me. 
They wouldn't even listen ! I tried to tell about 
it all but they cut me short. Harry Wilding 
wanted to tell me about the baseball the Giants 
were playing. Schuyler had a scheme he wanted 
me to finance, to charter a steamer and send 
over a cargo of silk socks to Belgium. Said it 
was a great opportunity now that the German 
market was closed." He laughed, dully, and, 
pulling aside the shade pointed out the window. 

" ' "There," he said, " there it is. That is the 
explanation. That is the American spirit; Ameri- 
ca's countersign; her God." 

"'I looked. A huge sign showed in electric lights : 



"'"Yes," said John, bitterly, "that is the acid 
test of the 'Great American Nation's* feelings. 
What do we get out of it ? " 



' ' He gazed into the depths of the fire, and I 
watched the shadows come and go on his face. 
Suddenly his expression changed, and his eyes 
sparkled with the light of battle. "I have it," 
he cried, "I shall write the play of the war. I shall 
bring war home to the people as it has never been 
brought before. I shall challenge the nation. " 

" ' That was the beginning of his great play. He 
worked feverishly, at high pressure, writing far 
into the night. 

",'In three weeks it was done. I remember 
the joy on his face as he came to the door. "It's 
done, Fred," he said. 

' ' He would not let me read it, though I begged 
him to. The first night, so he said, was the test. 
He wanted me to see it then for the first time, and 
so I waited. As you know, Eisenstein agreed, 
after the first reading, to put it on as soon a 
company could be got together. 

" 'Then, at last, came the first night. All New 
York seemed to be there. It had been wonderfully 
advertised. All over the city, great placards with 
the name, WAR, in red, and then JOHN AMSDEN, 



underneath. I had to fight my way, but you 
were there you remember/ 

"Pearson nodded. 

"'You remember how it was received. Not a 
sound from the whole packed house. Not a clap, 
not a cheer, not even the shuffling that a crowd of 
people generally make. It was a tense, uplifted 
audience. A woman in front of me was crying as 
the curtain fell, and the crowd filed out silently. 
No one was discussing the play in the lobby 
when I came out. It was too great, beyond un- 
thinking praise. Men went home and thought 
over it. 

" ' By morning it was famous. In every paper it 
appeared on the front page. Critics called it a 
sermon of the stage. 

"'That was four weeks ago. Since then the 
presses have been running to capacity printing it, 
it has been played all over the country. People 
have telegraphed him by the thousand, asking 
him to speak. He has been hailed as another 
prophet who should preach of America's duty 
in this war. 



' * He was asked to speak at Union Square before 
I left. You know the rest .' 

"I stopped, and we sat in silence for a while, 
each busied with his own thoughts. The clock 
in the Metropolitan tower began to chime. I 
looked out the window onto the quiet street. 
Across was Broadway, with its lights, its passing 
crowds. I could just see the top of the huge sign 
at Columbus Circle: 'CHARLES WRIGHT IN 
WAR*. I thought of the great crowd gathered 
at Herald Square. The clock struck the hour,- 

"The deep boom died away. There was a 
noise of footsteps on the stairs. It was the 
Doctor. We sprang to our feet. 'How is he; 
Doctor?' said Arthur; his voice sounding cracked 
and strained. 

"The Doctor looked at us, his face worn and 
white and lined, and shook his head slowly. He 
turned and went out without a word. 

"Oh, it can't be true,' cried Arthur. 'There 
must be something wrong. Why should he die?* 

"It can't be helped, boy' said Pearson, 'It was 


fate. God's plans seem mysterious to our cramped 
view.' He quoted softly: 

'"One man with a dream, at pleasure 

Shall go forth and conquer a crown.'" 

Quentin had a remarkable gift for descriptive 
writing, and particularly delighted in short 
sketches, usually with the element of fantastic 
mysticism predominant. The two brief stories 
following were written while he was serving in 


"The service pistol is a merciless thing. 

"Up there above my desk it hangs, between 
Hilda's picture and the instrument board, always 
loaded, always ready. Yes; always ready, always 
loaded; thats the watchword of our service, 
even now as we lie idly awash, charging our bat- 
teries. Its pleasanter this way, tho, with the 
fresh air cleaning off the fumes of the last nights 
run. And then, when you're on the surface, there 
aren't so many noises, or at least I know them all. 



Sometimes when we are submerged I hear sounds, 
ones that I cant account for. I swear they're 
only imagination, tho'. You can almost hear 
them now; the soft deadened whisper of stumpy 
fingers groping and pawing at the edges of our 
plates. Its all foolishness, all foolishness ! Here 
I am, the senior commander of the imperial sub- 
marine service, with a record that even an ad- 
miral might envy, worrying like any child over 
noises that dont exist, mere imagination. 

"Kuhlman is responsible. He was mad and I 
should have put him in irons. I remember when 
first he came aboard. The old admiral was there, 
and said to me, 'Take him and make a man of 
him.' So I gave him responsibility, put him in 
charge of the forward tubes. Off the coast of 
Ireland we were, and sure of work before long. 

"We got it, too, a big boat, one of their crack 
liners. I was sorry we had to do it, for there 
were many women and children among her pas- 
sengers, but what else could I do ? She had been 
warned; and in war there is no pity. 

"I let young Kuhlman have the shot, and then, 


as there was no convoy and no guns, we rose to 
watch the effect. It is very sudden death, a 
torpedo. One moment you are but two days 
from port; the next the boats are manned and 
the band plays as she sinks. It was a bad night, 
and there were many of the boats that they could 
not launch. She sank very quickly, and we sub- 
merged again, for it was too rough for us, and 
so we lay for two days while the storm went on 
above. Then it blew itself out, and luckily too, 
for two days below are hard on the nerves. Kuhl- 
man felt it most, for he had never before seen 
death, and the sight of that ship sinking from the 
torpedo that he had fired, had been too much 
for him. So we came up, and were lying on the 
surface, just as we are now, while we officers 
smoked upon deck. After two days like that, 
the air seems very sweet, and it is good to live 
again, and cease to be a machine. Only as we 
stood there something came drifting down upon 
us, something white that glinted in the sunlight. 
It was quite close before I saw what it was, 
too close. Somehow the current caught it and 



brought it alongside, and it seemed to stick to 
us in the little wash that lapped our sides. All 
the flesh was gone from the head, the fish had 
been at it, and the bare skull shone like polished 
ivory as it bobbed up and down and the water 
washed in and out of the empty eyes. It had 
been a common sailor off the ship we had sunk 
two days before, and across the chest of the suit 
you could see the letters *Cunard Line.' It 
drifted on, but with it went all the life of the air, 
and I ordered the men below. 

"It must have been that that started Kuhl- 
man. I had grown quite attached to him, for he 
seemed only a boy, for all of his moustaches. And 
yet, at first, even I did not notice any change. 
Then he took to coming in and sitting talking to 
me in my room, and I began to wonder. He said 
he liked the company. Only, as I found out, the 
real reason was that he was afraid to be alone. 
Later he told me about it. In the beginning it 
used only to bother him at night when the lights 
were out. Then, as he lay in bed, they would 
begin. He would hear them outside in the water, 


talking to one another, in dead voiceless words, 
the salt water in their mouths. And always 
their talk was of him. 'He fired the torpedo,' 
they seemed to say, and then he would hear the 
fumbling of soft, sodden fingers tearing at the 
rivets. Later he began to see faces, dreadful, 
greenish, water logged ones, long strings of sea 
weed in their hair. And worst of all they were 
all faces he knew, friends and family at home, 
that stared at him with blind dead resentment. 
They became worse and more insistent, and he 
began to go round with his eyes fixed in front of 
him, for he said they watched him from the cor- 
ners. He slept with his lights turned on. I did 
my best to talk him out of it, but I knew that we 
would soon lay up for our month in port, and I 
thought that would cure him. Then we put in 
to take on oil for our last two weeks, and they 
gave me a bundle of papers. Kuhlman was in 
my room at the time, and I tossed them to him 
to read, for I thought it might cheer him. I was 
busy myself, looking over my new orders, and 
the reports from other commanders. Over my 



shoulder I called to him some question about the 
news. There was no answer, and after a bit I 
turned around to look at him. He was sitting, 
the paper spread before him on the desk, and as 
I looked, he got up and fumbled for the door 
handle. His face was dead white, and on it the 
look of one who has seen something very terrible, 
something more than one should see. I stood 
for a moment doing nothing, for the look on his 
face had driven all thoughts from my head and 
then, stupidly, I looked to the paper for the ex- 
planation. There was little enough in it, politics, 
the war, a new invention, and at the top of the 
page the pictures of some people, a family I 
judged, with father, mother, and a sweet-faced 
girl of about twenty. I looked closer, and saw 
under the pictures, 'drowned in the Caronia dis- 
aster.' Even then I could not see the reason for 
that look in his face. Orders were orders, and 
he'd have to learn that in war people were killed, 
and not always the guilty, and it was all part 
of the game. Suddenly there was the roar of a 
shot. I was in his room before the echoes died 


along the iron walls, but of course it was too late. 

"He lay bent over his desk, the pistol still 
clutched in his hands. Then, at last, I saw the 
reason. In a little gold frame before him was a 
girl's picture, the same that I had just seen in 
the paper, now blotched with his blood, he had 
written in his round, boyish hand, 'Ah, dearest; 
mea magna culpa.' 

"A bad, bad business it was. The bullet at 
that range, had torn his face terribly, and yet 
somehow I was relieved, glad almost. I am sure 
that his eyes would have been, not nice. 

"That was a month ago and I am still at sea. 
I thought when I got back after that run I would 
ask for a rest, I had begun myself to hear things 
that were not of the ship. But once in port, they 
told me I was chosen to take this, our newest, 
on her maiden run. What could I do? It was 
an honor they offered me. All the same, I wish 
the captain's quarters were not like those on my 
old ship. When I came in, and saw the bare iron 
walls just as before, with that grim pistol in its 
clips by the instrument board, I seemed to see 



him again. And now, three weeks out, it is grow- 
ing worse. I dare not turn the lights out, for if 
I do, instead of the luminous dials of my instru- 
ment board I see only his poor shattered head, 
with great eyes that call me. 

"Perhaps he was right, after all. The service 
pistol is a merciful thing." 


" 'What is the greatest blessing* I mused, as 
I sat at my window. And the warm breath of 
spring, sweet with the scent of flowers and green 
things growing whispered softly 'Life. Life is 
the greatest gift. To live and feel no fear lest 
the grim hand that stays not smite. What higher 
have the gods to give?* 

"In my heart youth cried assent, and full of 
the horror of that gray and merciless one who 
spares no man, I went forth into the crowded 
ways. Everywhere was life, and the beauty of 
things living. As pleasant music to my ears were 
the cries of children and all the many voices of 


the street. Death seemed but some foul vampire 
that lay in gloating cruelty waiting to take all 
from me. 

"I wandered whither my feet led me, careless 
of all save my thoughts until I came on a street 
to me unknown, a dark street heavy with the 
dust of centuries. Grey lichens clung about the 
houses' eaves, and in the shapeless wind-worn 
carvings. No children played upon the steps and 
on the cobbled pavement no traffic passed. The 
roar of the world without was lost, for sound it- 
self seemed choked with age, and my footfall 
waked echoes long dead that fled wailing past 
the sombre houses and died among the wind worn 
tiles. One door alone stood open, mysterious, 
beckoning, and thru it I passed as one who enters 
in a dream, a place familiar, yet of the dream. All 
within lay shrouded in gloom save for a little 
glow ahead, and toward its soft crimson I went, 
my hands against the velvet arras. And now I saw 
whence the light came. A ball of crystal in whose 
clouded heart the crimson light rose and fell with 
steady beat lay between the paws of an ebony 


sphinx, that crouched before a tall chair of ebony. 
In the light lay mystery, and the very air was 
heavy with the secret of old forgotten dreams. 

"The scent of spice and sandalwood, of incense 
and of myrrh. I stood in silence and past me 
went my thoughts, that drifted in a sea of memo- 
ries dim and griefs long past. But in on them 
came a voice, deep and clear, yet a part of the 
silence, that said: 'What do you in the memories 
of the past, whose heart is with the present, to 
whom life and all that lies before alone are fair ? ' 

"With slow steps muffled in the crimson car- 
pet I went into the circle of warm, glowing light 
and was aware of one who sat buried in the great 
chair. Face and hand alone were visible, for the 
velvet gown merged indefinitely into the ebony 
of the chair. One hand showed, yellow and 
shrivelled with age, while ridged tendons like 
twisted wires stretched to long fingers tipped 
with yellow and pointed nails. On the face, too, 
lay the mark of ages, for over the skull the skin 
stretched wrinkled and creased like an ancient 
parchment. Deep sunk in their sockets glowed 



eyes that held me and searched my soul. There was 
in them age, to which to the end of time we were 
young; tragic age, the bitter sorrow of ten thou- 
sand years; sorrow such as had the dead eyes of 
(Edipus. As I looked in them all fear left me, 
and only an awe and a pity too deep for words 
remained. Yet when I spoke it was as a child 
that answers, and yet is intent on the question 
it would ask before even it speaks. 'Why should 
not I dwell in memories past, to enjoy the more 
what Life may hold? 5 

"He spoke again, and his voice was as a hand 
held out to one that gropes in darkness: 'May 
not life then rise above itself has it no higher 
to offer than its little span, and must death ever 
lie, a secret terror, black upon the mind? Is 
death a penalty that the Gods exact of a man 
whether evil or fair has been his lot? Through 
my crystal must all mortals pass when the fires 
of life are flickering low; look now, in your ig- 
norance, upon the face of Death.' 

"I looked at the crystal, and deep in its heart 
saw pictures that came and went as the light 



rose and fell. Each seemed to tell a tale familiar, 
tho' the time was short and the faces strange. 

"An old man lay dying, his children round him, 
on his face peace, and the happiness of one whose 
life is well spent, who after the long day's toil 
waits gladly for the end. 

"The crystal blurred and another scene was 
there. A woman lay dying, but none were there 
to watch save desolation and utter loneliness, for 
she had lived beyond her time, all that might 
have cared were dead, and on her face shone only 
a great relief. 

"Many pictures I saw, and where the dying 
were young, I saw the struggle against death. 
Yet Youth did not fear death, rather they feared 
to lose life, its cup still full. Where age lay dying 
was no struggle only rest after the fever and 
fret of life. At length I turned to him who sat 
silent in the great chair, and asked humbly : * What 
of you will not you, too, pass in the crystal's 
crimson mist?' *!,' he cried bitterly, and his 
voice swelled till its deep grief filled the velvet 
hung chamber with tragedy unspeakable, *I have 



sinned too deeply, I may not die. Of the Gods 
I asked too much. I wished for all that was theirs 
to give, for life eternal. They gave it me and 
now is their gift as gall and bitter wormwood to 
my soul. All that I ever loved or knew is dead 
for thrice a thousand years. Alone I go down 
the endless ages. Aye, the very gods have 
changed. Moloch and Ishtar, Zeus the Thunder, 
Jove to whom prayed the Romans, and Jehovah 
of the Hebrews all are gone and forgotten of 
man. Their temples are ruins, their priests are 
dead, and still I live on; I who have lost all that 
for which men live. O, blind and more than blind, 
who would forever be free from death; death for 
whose kindly touch in years to come you pray. 
Of what value is immortality when all that makes 
our little lives is mortal.' 

"He ceased, but the memory of his words 
throbbed in dumb agony round the arras, nor 
did it die, as mortal speech is wont. Into the 
depths of me it sank, and I fled from his presence. 
Death, whom I had cursed, seemed now a kindly 
friend, who, when we tire of our toys, and all our 



little mortal playthings are faded and broken, 
comes soft-handed to heal all with his dreamless 

"And within me my soul cried out: 'Yes. Ah, 
yes ! Death, death and oblivion are God's great- 
est gifts.* " 

In the fall of 1915 Quentin went to Harvard. 
He was unable to take part in athletics because of 
a fall he had had in a hunting trip in Arizona. 
His horse had slipped among the slide rock, and 
Quentin's back was wrenched and twisted so 
severely that in spite of constant treatment it 
never fully recovered. He suffered acute pain 
from it when he took any strenuous form of ex- 

Bubbling over with life, he entered into every 
other phase of college life. His taste for litera- 
ture was almost as catholic as his father's, and 
his room was strewn with volumes of prose and 
poetry histories, essays, novels, detective stories, 
and epic poems. At one time he was greatly in- 
terested in demonology and witchcraft, and 


combed the second-hand bookstores for grimy 
tomes on this subject. 

Intent on following his line of mathematics and 
mechanics, he took many difficult courses, but his 
trials were leavened with a sense of humor that 
could not be downed. 

27 Everett St. 

Cambridge, Mass. 
February 14, 1916 

To " The Father of Quentin Roosevelt" 
Oyster Bay, N. Y. 

Dear Sir: The enclosed verses were written 
by your son Quentin at the end of his blue book 
in the Midyear examination in my course, Mathe- 
matics A, a few days ago. They strike me as so 
capital that I want to pass them along. 

On account of his illness the boy did not do 
very well in the first half year, but I think he 
knows what he is about, and have good hopes for 
a better showing at the end of the course. 

Hoping that you will enjoy these verses as 
much as I do (he would probably regard my 


sending them to you as a gross breach of con- 
fidence !) I am X7 . , 

Very sincerely yours 


Associate Professor of Mathematics 
in Harvard University. 


" If it be not fair to me, 
What care I how fair it be?" 


How can I work when my brain is whirling ? 
What can I do if I've got the grippe ? 
Why make a bluff at a knowledge that's lacking ? 
What is the use if I don't give a rip ? 


Cosine and tangent, cotangent, abscissa, 

Dance like dry leaves through my sneeze-shattered 


Square root of a 2 plus b 2 plus k 2 
Gibber and grin in the questions I've read. 


Self centred circles and polar coordinates, 
Triangles twisted and octagons wild, 



Loci whose weirdness defies all description, 
Mountains of zeros all carefully piled. 


Still I plod on in a dull desperation, 
Head aching dismally, ready to sip 
Goblets of strychnine or morphine or vitriol, 
How can I work when I've got the grippe ? 

He made two trips, during the summer holidays, 
in the West one with his father and his brother 
Archie, and one with some Western friends. 

When at home his taste still ran to mechanics, 
and he would buy a broken-down motorcycle for 
sixteen dollars, or a ramshackle automobile for 
fifty, and doctor his purchase up until it could 
convey him from place to place, albeit with some 
uncertainty. His parents once suggested that he 
and Archie should be given a communal automo- 
bile, but the latter explained that it would be 
quite useless, for he would want the car to run 
and take him from place to place, whereas Quen- 
tin would spend all the time taking the motor 
down and putting it together again. 



IN spite of his crippled back Quentin went to 
one of the Plattsburg camps the summer before 
the United States entered the war. Through the 
employment of unlimited determination and grit 
and the understanding consideration of his su- 
periors he managed to last through the course. 

In his letters he spoke bitterly of the attitude of 

the administration: 

February 1917. 

I just got a very discouraged letter from my 
Hon. Pa. We are a pretty sordid lot, aren't we, 
to want to sit looking on while England and France 
fight our battles and pan gold into our pockets? 
I wondered, as I sat by my fire, whether there are 
any dreams in our land any more. How can there 
be, for it is lands like ours, and Germany, that 


kill the nation's dreams, and then the people drop 
into oblivion. Rome died only when the little 
dreams and fancies of its people gave way to their 
lust for ease and pleasure, power and gold. I 
wonder if we are trending the same way 


When war was declared all four sons turned to 
their father for advice and assistance in regard to 
the most rapid manner to get into active service. 
Quentin first planned to join the Canadian flying 
forces, but upon confirmation of the rumor that 
an American flying school was to be started im- 
mediately he decided that he would not materially 
speed up his entrance into active service by going 
to Canada, and accordingly altered his plans and 
enlisted for the Mineola camp. 

AprU, 1917. 

Excuse this scrawl, scribbled on the train, 
there's a reason ! Wild excitement ! I have been 
put in the aviation school at Mineola instead of 
the one at Newport News. 

I discovered, after I had gotten down to the 


station, that there is a 1.35 train for Washington 
that I could have taken, and so stayed with you 
at the Mid. Frol. However, I settled down in the 
12.30 and woke up the next A.M. at Washington 
with that evil tempered, sandpaper-clothed feeling 
of filth which is the trade mark of all midnight 
trains. A bath, and such, at Alice's was a suc- 
cessful remedy, and I trotted down to the War 
Department, to start in on a complicated little 
game of catch as catch can, with the Aviation 
authorities. Their policy is one of mystery. You 
ask for an application whereupon a little colored 
"pusson" takes you in tow thru some twenty 
miles of stairs to an equally little white man who 
gives you a blank. The rest of your day is spent 
in taking that little blank for visits to various 
dens in the building. 

Next comes your physical exam., over which 
a hypochondriac with the darkest views of his 
fellowmen, presides. After two hours of a 
twentieth-century refinement of the inquisition 
you are pronounced fit, and travel on again for 
your mental test. The presiding deity there is a 



gentleman who feels like David, or was it Isaiah 
that all men are liars. And the questions: 
"What is the average age of the Dodo?" the 
correct answer should be 37. "What is the 
average sex?" but to go on. 

It really did take me two days to get by all 
the red tape, and apparently I was miraculously 
lucky at that. 

First his instructors and later his pupils agreed 
that Quentin was gifted with that sixth sense that 
singles out the born aviator. Some men have an 
ability to call forth from machinery the best that 
is in it; it is a power analogous to that bestowed 
upon occasional horsemen, and is even more inex- 
plicable. Quentin possessed this gift to a very 
marked degree, and when the first detachment of 
aviators was sent across to France he was among 
them, as was his boyhood friend, Hamilton Coo- 
lidge. The two boys had been at Groton and 
Harvard together, they were at the same aviators' 
schools in France, and went up to the line to- 
gether, serving in neighboring squadrons. Coo- 



lidge lived to become one of the most distinguished 
American aces, and when he was brought down on 
October 27, 1918, by a direct hit from an anti- 
aircraft gun, his loss was bitterly felt by officer 
and enlisted man alike. 

On July 23, 1917, they sailed from New York 
on the Orduna. 

25 July, 1917. 

We are apparently to put into Halifax and there 
wait for a convoy, goodness knows how long ! 
. . . There is literally nobody on board except 
soldiers, Cousin Katy, and five or six extraneous 
nonentities that bob up and down on the smoking 
room horizon. It's by way of being very dull, for 
shuffle board, bridge, and reading become boring 
in time and even the springs of conversation can 
eventually be pumped dry. Our outfit are really 
mighty fine fellows, all of them. We've organized 
one of those interminable bridge-games, and as we 
play for a quarter of a cent a point there is not 
much chance of any great financial transactions 
either way, ... a thoroughly satisfactory arrange- 
ment magnifique et pas cher. 
[35 J 


Monday, after I left you I trotted down to the 
boat. ... I don't mind confessing I felt pretty 
down when I saw the Statue of Liberty and the 
New York sky line dropping below the horizon. 

Thanks, Mother dear, for the "Lute of Jade." 
It was just the sort of present that could cheer me 
up. When I opened it that first night I didn't 
know what it was, but it made the most tremen- 
dous difference, and of course I love it. It is 
sitting beside me as I write, looking friendly and 
very "family and home" like. 

The next letter was from Halifax, where the 
transport was held waiting for the convoy. 

I found a paper bundle in my cabin when I re- 
turned, which mother had left. I opened it and 
found, neatly wrapped in a napkin, a loaf of 
bread, lots of chocolate, and a knife, with a note 
saying it was from Margaret, the cook ! I half 
expected to find my pajamas full of messages from 
Mary, after that. 

The long stay here has been pretty hard on 


everybody, for you can't help feeling it would have 
been much pleasanter to put in a week more in 
New York ! Otherwise I am fairly well settled in 
existence of a uniform and appalling dullness. 
We've been trying boxing for exercise but yester- 
day I succeeded in getting one on the nose which 
the doctor thinks may have broken it. It doesn't 
look crushed, tho, so I think he may be wrong. 

The "little clock" is a great satisfaction and 
sits sociably by my bed, beside the bottle of 
Poland water. The bread and chocolate is just 
finished and was a howling success. Please thank 
Margaret. This letter is merely a goodbye one, 
for total atrophy of the brain has resulted from 
this long stay. 

August 10th 

As it looks as if we were really getting some- 
where, for they promise we will be in by tomorrow, 
so I shall telegraph you then. I was going to 
send this from London, but things are so uncertain 
that I cannot be sure we will ever get there at all, 
let alone be there long enough to get letters off. 
There is a chance we will go direct to Folkestone. 



At the moment I feel as if anywhere on shore 
would be better than this boat. She's comfort- 
able, and the food is O. K., but three weeks 
Columbus could have given us a good race at that 
rate. There's really astonishingly little going on, 
on Shipboard. All the regular ship games and such 
like have died from overwork, and our chief amuse- 
ment is betting on when we arrive. . . . Other- 
wise our life is spent in anticipation, which, though 
a great solace, makes but poor reading in a letter. 

Paris, August 18th 
39 Rue Villejust 

Starting way back at Liverpool, when I fin- 
ished my last letter to you we were in sight of the 
lights at the mouth of the Mersey, and I had de- 
cided that we were just about to go in when our 
destroyer convoy began a lot of promiscuous sig- 
nalling and round we faced and tore full speed 
down the channel. I had a horrid moment, for I 
began to feel that we were destined to take the 
place of the flying Dutchman. I could almost 
hear the "man in the smoking room" on board 
ship ten years hence, as he told over his whiskey 



and soda how he once had seen the lost Ordurla 
grey mist pouring from her rusted funnel, go tear- 
ing past leaving no wake behind her the sun- 
light showing thru the rotted ribs of her boats, 
and had heard the rattle of the skeleton soldiers 
that drilled on her mildewed decks to the wail of a 
ghastly band. 

However, Sunday morning at five my dreams 
were rudely shattered by the thumping of the 
anchor chain and we were in Liverpool. There 
we were met with bad news. Alas for all our 
pleasant schemes of London. We were packed 
into a filthy little troop-train with an engine of a 
type once used on the New York elevated, and 
shot off at once to Folkestone. There after an un- 
eventful night we boarded the channel steamer. 
It was hard to realise that I had gone thru Eng- 
land. Somehow, I don't feel as if I should ever 
really see it until we go abroad. I shall never have 
" permission" to go there, for if I get long enough 
to go there I shall wait over and get an extension 
to go home to you. England is lovely tho. The 
hedge rows are green, and the little canals mirror 



the sky, and all about there is a kind of "lots of 
time" quiet, as tho war were an idle speculation, 
and not hideous reality. The little thatched 
cottages and the funny old bridges seem all vener- 
able apostles of peace. 

In France, tho, it is different. Even on the 
run up from Boulogne to Paris the signs of war 
were everywhere. Every little while there would 
come a concentrating camp of some sort, a food 
depot, or a gang of Chinese, or German prisoners 
that worked along the railroad tracks. And then 
came Paris, so late at night that I, for one, was 
glad enough to sleepily turn into my room, and 
drop off, too tired to care about baggages or the 
frenzied protests of the hotel concierge. 

Next morning about eleven I woke, and after 
a breakfast of war bread and eggs no more 
brioches et miel reported at headquarters. There 
was all sorts of news. None of our nine officers 
are to be used for flying, at least for the present. 
The trouble is that we are going into this war, 
of course, on a vast scale, and that means a vast 
organisation. A huge American school is to be 



built in the central part of France, it has to be 
provided with an administration, and officers 
have to be trained to take charge of instruction in 
bombing, anti-aircraft, reconnaissance, and the 
various other highly specialised forms of work. 
The net result is that all of our nine are placed 
in one or another kind of ground job, and scat- 
tered to the four winds of heaven. I report to- 
morrow at the American School fairly near 
where Tommy is to take the place of Seth, who 
has gone with our enlisted men to a French school. 
The work I know nothing of as yet. I'll report 
as soon as I've begun. I don't fancy that I shall 
care very much for it, tho'. However, whatever 
it is, its all in the days run and part of our busi- 
ness, which is to eliminate the Hun. I shall prob- 
ably have no flying for at least two months, and 
during all that time will not get into the Zone des 
Armies, if that pleases you. I confess I'm sorry, 
for I wanted to get started flying, and have it 
over with. I know my back wouldn't last very 
long. The thing that I realize more each day I 
am here, is how serious a proposition this war 



has become. Back in the states no one realises 
how important it is. I would give my boots to 
get hold of some of them who said to me that all 
this war needed was our wealth. Of course they 
need it, but someone, Napoleon I think, said 
that you can't beat a nation by starving it or 
bankrupting it. We have before us the task of 
driving the Bosche back, and overwhelming him, 
and no amount of talk, of airplane fleets that 
loom large only in the minds of the newspaper 
writers, can remove his presence from before us. 
Paris shows that, for it is not the Paris that we 
used to love, the Paris of five years past. The 
streets are there, but the crowds are different. 
There are no more young men in the crowds un- 
less in uniform. Everywhere you see women in 
black, and there is no more cheerful shouting and 
laughing. Many, many of the women have a 
haunted look in their eyes, as if they had seen 
something too terrible for forgetfulness. They 
make one realise the weight that lies on all alike 
now. There is a sobering like no other feeling 
I know in the sight of a boy my age helped along 



the street by someone who takes pity on his poor 
blind eyes. It all makes me feel older. 

Issoudun Aug. 20 1917 
Monday night. 

I've only time for a very short note, as this is 
to go by a truck driver who is leaving for Paris. 
After all sorts of excitements, I'm settled down 
here definitely, with Cord for running partner. 
My job isn't half bad either. I'm supply officer 
for the camp, which consists principally in keeping 
a fleet of fifty-two motor trucks in running order 
and at the proper place. I also have to look after 
endless supplies of gasoline, and tools that are 
all jumbled into one vast pile, straight from the 
ship. In between times I act as the buffer be- 
tween irate railroad officials full of jabbering 
complaints, and equally angry American construc- 
tion officers who would like to consign the entire 
French railroad system to Hell, way billed collect 
farther on. Altogether, I've got a reasonably 
busy job ! However its very good fun lots more 
responsibility than I've ever had, in fact lots 



more than I'd think of attempting back home. 
Only being out here, with no one else to do it, we 
have to, that's all. 

Its hard, tho', to realise that its war. We're 
stuck five miles out of a typical little French 
town, the old tower and Hotel de Ville dating 
back to Richard Cceur de Lion's time, with no 
appreciable improvements in sanitation during 
the last six hundred years. There isn't a bath 
tub within less than twenty-five miles! In fact 
on Sunday Cord and I became so desperate that 
we took to our motor cycles, as supply and 
quartermaster officers we have them, and went 
off twenty miles to the nearest river to swim. It 
seemed preposterously un-war like, motor-cycling 
off for a Sunday swim, and then lying on our backs 
and watching the sunset as we talked of the place 
that seems pleasantest to our minds now Long 
Island. We both agreed that we hadn't realised 
how much we loved it until we were away. I 
think he's been a little homesick down here, it 
is a forsaken hole. However mail gets here, and 
apparently its equally quick whether by the 
Farmer's Loan and Trust or the Military mail. 



I've had a letter from father and one from mother 
dated the thirtieth which came in less than three 
weeks via the Farmer's Loan and Trust. 

I have no idea how long I shall be here. I'm 
afraid it will be months before I even get in a 
plane again. Both Cord and I feel that we would 
like our jobs a lot more if they came after we had 
been a couple of months at the front. 

August 23rd. 

I have been so very busy that this is the first 
chance I have had for a half an hour to write let- 
ters in. As I wrote Mother, I am now at the 
American Aviation School, or rather what will be 
the American School. Mother knows where it is 
and I am not allowed to mention the name. At 
the moment it looks as little like an Aviation 
School as anything I have seen. We have about 
two hundred men, and are busily employed get- 
ting all the vast equipment necessary to the school 
unloaded. With my usual evil luck I am stuck 
here as supply officer, a job for which I am as 
little gifted as possible. Judging by the way I have 


mishandled the ten thousand kinds of red tape 
which I have struck, my only destination after the 
war will be Atlanta State Prison. 

I'm in the midst of a tremendous fight with 
the quartermaster up the line, as he refuses to al- 
low me a motor-machine-shop, without which I 
can not possibly keep my trucks in commission. 
I also have been unable to get any sort of American 
reading material. Will you ask Mother to send me 
anything she has in the line of books, that will 
keep me up on what's going on outside fact, 
fancy and fiction. You have no idea how thor- 
oughly isolated we are out here in the A. E. F. 

Eleanor treated me wonderfully in Paris. She 
has a really delightful house from the military 
viewpoint good bed, piano, lots of room, bath 
tub, nice servants and even a garden, and, which 
is the best of all, "family" in the shape of herself. 

Wednesday August 22nd. 

Issoudun U. S. Aviation School 

(or rather soon-to-be-school). 

I can truly say now that I am a blesse du 
guerre, for in the last two days I have been in two 



motorcycle smashups. The first one was yester- 
day. I was on my way over to Nevers eighty 
miles from here to arrange about some supplies, 
and Cord, who is mess sergeant, had gone with 
me on his machine. We were passing a truck, 
with him in the lead when, for some unknown rea- 
son, he slowed up. I was coming on him, so I 
slammed on my brake, which jammed, and I 
started on down the road skidding side and every 
which way. Cord put on power and got out of 
the way, but as my brake was locked I could do 
nothing so I saw a bully spill coming my way, and 
tried my best to get clear of the truck. The next 
thing I remember is lying on the bank with Cord 
and the truck driver pouring water on me and 
trying to put first aid compresses on my face. I 
was pretty well bunged up a couple of deep cuts 
on my face, some loose teeth and two hands with 
not much palm left. 

By luck we happened to be near the aviation 
school where Tommy is we had intended to 
stop there and I was bundled into the truck 
and sent over there to the hospital and bandaged 
up. Then, after about an hour, I went over to 



the barracks and saw Tommy, while I was wait- 
ing for one of our cars to come for me. He is in 
very good form, and is flying very well. In fact, 
an instructor told me that he thought that Tommy 
would be the first one of his class to make an 
"ace" which is pretty good, I think. I got back 
last night bringing all sorts of messages to you 
from Tommy and thanks for your letter and 
started out to write to you but found that my 
hands were too bad, and was sent off to bed by 
the doctor. By the way, those two letters, to 
Tim and Tommy nearly got me into a row. 
They were spotted by a customs official, opened, 
and read, and I was nearly jailed for life for at- 
tempting to bring them in. That en passant. 
At all events this morning, stiff all over, and about 
an inch deep in bandage, I had to go in town to 
see about loading some cars. As there was no 
auto, I went via motorcycle side car, and on the 
way in the man who was driving ran into the 
wall of a house and shot me out on to my ear. 
That time I reopened both hands and laid out one 
hip with a bad cut and bone bruise, so that at 



the moment, tho' in excellent form, I am some- 
what dilapidated. 

I'm beginning to rather like my job except 
for smashups. It is quite interesting trying out 
the different men, and seeing how each turns out, 
how to get the best out of them, and how to size 
them up. I suppose it all makes up experience. 
There's some good news. We are having a hangar 
shipped down to us at once, so I suppose we shall 
soon have planes. At the moment they look 

pretty far off. 


August 25, 1917. 

Today I was at Bourges and had my lunch at 
a queer little tavern, black with age, that lies hi 
the corner of an old castle wall. Over the door- 
way hangs a faded sign, "Aux trois raisins noirs" 
and up by the wall runs a little, crooked alley, half 
cobblestone, half steps, that is called Rue Cassecou. 
I know you would have loved it, and Madame 
who stands at your table, red cheeked and with 


the white cap that the peasant women wear, while 
Monsieur le proprietaire, cooks the omelet. I took 
an hour off from my work, for there were places 
that cried for exploration, narrow, winding 
streets that might lead anywhere, and finally 
did bring me to the cathedral. It has one square 
tower, but all around the walls are buttressed, like 
those in Notre Dame. It is surrounded by a 
cluster of crooked little streets, whose houses seem 
as grey and ancient as the gargoyles on the tower. 
I went in, for there was no service. Once inside 
it seemed like another world. There was quiet so 
deep that I could hear the patter of the sacristan's 
feet as he came toward me, and the whispers 
of two old peasant women who knelt at a little 
shrine in the wall. It is like Chartres, for as you 
come in you see only the sombre gloom of the 
vaulted arches, and then as you pass on you look 
back on the glory of a great rose window. There 
was one window, a virgin with a veil, before 
whom candles were lit, that was so lovely that I 
burnt before her a candle. 

I shall be very glad to get any books that you 


can send me. At the moment my library consists 
of the collected works of Gaston Leblanc, father 
of Arsene Lupin, and the "Pageant of English 
Poetry," and "The Wind in the Willows." 

I wonder if I ever told you my pet prayer, 
almost the only one that I care for. It was 
written, I think, by Bishop Potter. " Lord, pro- 
tect us all the day long of our troublous life on 
earth, until the shadows lengthen and the evening 
comes, and the busy world is hushed, the fever of 
life is over, and our work is done. Then in Thy 
mercy grant us a safe lodging and peace at the 
last, through Jesus Christ, our Lord." I've al- 
ways loved it, and now, when life is hard, and all 
that is dearest to me is far away, it is a comfort 
to think that sometime all this will be past, and 
that we will have peace. 

August 28, 1917. 

You know, there are periods when I curse the 
day that I ever learned French. I am one of the 



two officers in camp who can talk it, so that out- 
side of my regular supply work I get sent off all 
over the country on wild goose chases after ma- 
terial with nothing but a rather limited French 
vocabulary to go on. 

Last Saturday was one, and typical of most 
of the others. I was sleeping like a log at about 
six in the morning it's good and cold then, too 
when someone grabbed my foot and shook it, 
to wake me. I turned over sleepily, and with 
one eye open, remarked that tho' I didn't know 
who the Hellespont it was, I extended the hos- 
pitality of any spot outside my tent. There 
was a sort of pause, and then the person went 
on in an apologetic way, "I'm Major Hyles.'* 
And it was ! Of course that woke me up, so I slid 
out of my warm sleeping bag into clammy clothes, 
and found out what the matter was. He wanted 
apparently, a pump, a switch, and an extra loco- 
motive, for which I was to scour the country, 
and not return empty handed. 

That being the case I hopped on my motor- 
cycle it was the first day the doctor let me ride 



since my accident and disappeared, breakfast- 
less, into the scenery. Twelve o'clock found me 
at a town about 30 miles away, tired and dusty 
with over a hundred miles to the bad, and no 
success. However things began to look better 
and after having seen several regiments of M. le 
Chef de Sections, and Chef de Districts, I got the 
engine and arranged to have five trucks over 
at eight the next morning for the switch. Of 
pump however, there was no sign, until I found 
one in the barn at the back of a manufacturing 
company's shops, and then I started back, re- 
ported in town to the captain, and came out here 
to my tent, about 9:30, all in, and with pleasant 
prospect of getting up at six in the morning and 
going over with the trucks for the switch. 

September 5, 1917. 

My hours have been getting progressively 
longer. I start in with six o'clock breakfast and 
work till five. Then I go over with Cord to the 


French camp to fly, which means that I don't 
get back to bed until between nine and ten. Its 
a mighty long day, and the work's tiresome. 
We are arranging for the storing and unpacking of 
all the equipment, and as it ranges from rock 
crushers to flash lights, and has all to be listed, 
checked with an invoice from the states, stored 
according to classification and then cross indexed 
in a filing system, I am as busy as several hivefuls 
of bees. 

Then on top of that there's flying which I don't 
think I'd do if it weren't for Cord. He has been 
relieved from his quartermaster job, and so hasn't 
much to do. Consequently he has arranged that 
he and I go over to the French school and fly. 
We flew twice with instructors, and then went 
alone, as (except for the controls) the ma- 
chines aren't much different from the Curtis. 
They are as safe as an auto, as safe really as the 
old Curtis. All this doesn't interfere with the fact 
that a seventeen mile motorcycle ride, a flight, 
and then back by night aren't very resting. In 
fact my back just about quit on me, so I struck, 



and this afternoon called off work at five thirty, 
washed and shaved (though there's no particular 
reason to over here !). 

September 6, 1917. 

Last night, just after I had finished writing to 
you, a tremendous thunderstorm struck us. I 
was in bed, dozing, and luxuriating in the fact 
that it was half -past eight and I was all ready to go 
to sleep, when a regular cloud burst hit the camp. 
Inside of five minutes my tent had become the 
housing for a very respectable water course, a 
fact which I discovered when it started to wash off 
some of my clothes. I hastily moved everything 
above high water mark, and then turned over to a 
sleep, punctuated by leaks, and one visit from a 
water-soaked dog, that fled to my bed for refuge. 

In the morning our camp had settled into a 
sea of gumbo mud. I got down to my office for 
work, and after a strenuous two hours succeeded 
in getting six of the trucks out onto the road. 
The others were buried axle deep in mud, and so 



we left them for dry weather. Consequently my 
day was peaceful interrupted only by the ar- 
rival of a French general, described to me by my 
supply sergeant as "a French admiral, or some- 
thing, all dolled up in gold lace, who's a jabber- 
ing after you out there." 

P. S. Next morning 6:30 A.M. And the winds 
blew and the rains fell and the centre of my 
tent has become a water course, so now I am an 
evacue alas and alackaday-de ! It's rained all 


September 7. 

There's been a temporary cessation of work 
due to flood conditions so I have a chance to write 
to you. I have never seen such a place for rain. 
It started in last night just about the time I got 
to bed, and poured, beginning with a thunder 
storm. I settled in for a comfortable sleep, as my 
tent didn't leak, when I noticed the beginning of a 
water course across my tent floor. I had just 
time to put everything up on my trunk when it 
began to come through in dead earnest. I don't 



mind a river bed as a geological formation, but 
I can't say that I think much of it as a resting 

This morning when I woke up there was about 
an inch of water everywhere, and I had the pleas- 
ant job of getting into damp clothes while perched 
precariously on the edge of my cot. When I got 
down to my office, and supply department, I 
found another flood. The roof leaks in about 
seventeen different places, and the supply staff 
were clustered around the few Ararats afforded 
by desks and tool benches. Consequently there 
wasn't much work ahead, for the trucks are all 
mired down so deeply that it would be almost 
impossible to even get them out to the road, and 
even the most enthusiastic of motorcyclists 
wouldn't try the roads thru all this. So, after 
about an hour of work on a filing system we are 
fixing up for our tools I had to give it up, as the 
rain spattered down onto the file cards, and I am 
calling it a day and writing to you instead. 

We are really beginning to get settled in here 
in spite of the weather, and I think we shall over- 


come that, for I am going to start building cinder 
roads as soon as the weather clears enough, to 
get my trucks thru to the railroad tracks. I hope 
they will really get the school itself started soon, 
and then maybe there will be barracks for us in- 
stead of tents. The trouble is that garages for 
trucks, and sheds for tools and equipment are 
much more important than sheds for mere men, 
and so they have to come first. 

I have gotten in a certain amount of flying 
over at a French school, some seventeen miles 
from here. I go over there with Cord at five thirty 
when the work is over here and get in about a 
half an hour's flight. I can't do it very often 
though, for I am having a certain amount of 
trouble with my back, and I don't want to have 
it give out on me while I am still supply Officer. 
About every third day I call my work done at 
five thirty, and settle down to a book and a pipe 
until eight thirty bed time, and so I make out 
pretty well. I don't know when I am going to 
be put regularly into flying service again. I am 
afraid that it won't be for some time, to judge 


by the way things are going. Still, I haven't 
got Ted's point of view, and I'm certain I'll get 
in in plenty of time. I'm not in the least afraid 
that the war will be done before I've had my 
whack at the Boche. I have to go up to Paris 
on business next week, and I hope I shall get a 
chance to see Arch and Ted then, for Eleanor 
thinks that they are going to try and get back en 
permission. I won't have much time for them, as 
I have to get vast quantities of parts for motor- 
cycles and trucks, but I am going to stay with 

I haven't heard a sound from the States for 
over a week now, so I suppose there must have 
been some mix up in the mails at the Post Office. 
I suppose they will get to me in the end, though, 
for I have gotten two letters from Eleanor that 
came by way of the military Post Office. 

My fingers are getting so cold that typewriting 
is becoming an illegible attempt, so I shall even 
call it off for the rest of the day. Lots of love 
to all the family, and thanks for all your letters, 
Mother dearest, from, ~_ 




39 Rue de Villejust, 
September 13, 1917. 

Just last Monday the Order came thru that Cord 
and I were assigned to the 1st Aero Squadron, and 
then to report there at once for flying. I could 
not leave, as there was no one to take my place 
as supply officer. However, I did start up to 
Paris at once, as there were all sorts of things that 
I needed for my supply department. It seems to 
be an interminable job getting things here in 
France, so I shall probably be up here with Eleanor 
for several days more. As a matter of fact I 
was very sorry to leave the supply department 
just at this moment. I had expected to leave it 
about three months later. As it is I leave just 
when I was beginning to get things running well, 
and when I had really become attached to the men 
that were under me. When I told my supply 
sergeant he said nothing at all for a minute and 
then "Oh Hell, sir, can't you take me with you to 
that outfit?" which I thought was pretty nice of 
him. However I had to do it. I rather think 



that if I had wanted to I could have stayed with 
the job, but it wasn't worth it. If I had stuck 
this time it meant that I was running the risk of 
being stuck with it permanently, a sort of em- 
busqu6 occupation. And so I am changed, and 
become the juniorest of junior lieutenants in an 
outfit composed mostly of regular army fliers. 
Still I get back to planes again and it means 
that I'll probably see service fairly soon. I was 
beginning to feel rather like an embusqufi, but 
this changes it all. I rather think we'll first be 
down where Tommy is, and so I'll be able to 
get hold of him. As soon as I get with the squad- 
ron I'll give you all the news of it. 

One rather amusing thing happened amusing 
because it was so typically American. The Com- 
mandant where we were is a regular old French 
war dog, with a string of medals across his chest. 
The other day at dinner I heard him give a great 
roar of laughter, and so naturally I asked him 
what was amusing him so. It appears that he had 
admired a dog belonging to one of our captains, 
whereupon the captain, a long, scrawny indi- 


vidual with a strongly American sense of humor 
and delightful blue eyes with a concealed twinkle 
in them, explained to him in laborious French that 
the dog was all right, yes, but that its mother had 
"plus de medailles que vous n'en avez, mon com- 

Paris is as delightful as ever, tho* I have been 
too busy to see very much of it, at least of the 
parts that we'll see when we go here after the war. 
Most of my goings and comings have been in 
obscure garages and warehouses with addresses 
like 14 Rue Roger Bacon and 64 Quai de Billy. 

29 Avenue du Bois de Boulogne 
September 15th, 1917. 

Eleanor originally had a bad cold, but she has 
succeeded in passing it on to me, now, and is as 
bright as a button. We went out for a spree last 
night, dinner at Premiers and then a French play. 
It was a farce, and "I give you my word" it was 
the darndest. I was perfectly weak from laugh- 
ing by the end of it, but scandalous is no name. 



I shan't even say anything about it for you 
couldn't retail the plot to anyone. Then today, 
after a morning of business, I took an afternoon 
off and went shopping with Eleanor. We started 
out rather prosaicly with heavy woolen under- 
clothes, slippers and a pair of boots. Then Eleanor 
decided that she wanted to give me a wrapper for 
a birthday present. I voted against a heavy, 
warm one, because I felt that everything I have 
over here was practical and suggested prepara- 
tions for a long stay in uniform in the field. So 
we went to Liberty's and I got or rather chose 
the material for a silk one, rather like my pet 
blue one at home. It may be a bad plan to do 
"after the war" shopping, but I want on my 
birthday to have things that remind me of peace, 
and not of this war. 

September 20, 1917. 

I don't mind so much an out and out slacker, 
who says he is afraid, or unwilling to go, but I 


hate the one that gets a bullet-proof job in the 
Red Cross or Y. M. C. A., and then proceeds to 
talk of "doing his bit." 

Monday afternoon I arrived back here again, 
all prepared to leave at once for the First Squad- 
ron. The Major met me at the station, and on 
the way out in the car began talking to me about 
Colonel Boiling's visit he was down at camp. 
Suddenly he said, "I gave you a darned good 
recommendation to him, but why are you chang- 
ing to that other outfit? You don't gain much, 
for you're getting some flying over here, and the 
experience you've gained in the supply work 
you've done here, is worth twice what you can 
get out of the job of plain flying lieutenant." 

Of course, it was a big surprise to me, but the 
upshot was that I agreed to put it before the Colo- 
nel, Colonel Boiling is second in command of 
American Air Service in France. To my surprise, 
he agreed with the Major. He said "the only 
reason I was transferring you was for the flying 
if you are getting your flying here, stay by all 



means. You have apparently made a good job of 
this one, and the reason I sent you down in the 
first place, was to give you experience. If I were 
you, I should stay, for it will count a good deal 
more in a man's favor if he has made a good job 
of something like this supply position of yours, 
than if he has merely flown as junior lieutenant in 
a squadron." 

After that of course I stayed, especially as he 
promised to put me in a squadron at the front as 
soon as they got started sending them up there. I 
am glad in a way, for now I know for certain that 
I shall not be embusqud here, and I had become 
quite attached to the men working for me. Five 
or six of them came round, when they heard that 
I was going to go, and told me that they were very 
sorry to hear it. My sergeant asked me to get him 
transferred into the outfit I was going to. It 
really made me feel quite well, a lump in my 
throat, if you know the feeling. 

Last night, or rather yesterday, I received 
orders to have trucks in to receive about two 
hundred men, coming from one of the ports. I 


got the trucks and went with them myself, just 
to be on the safe side. I sat around the station 
till midnight, for the troops were being sent in a 
freight train, which was late of course. Then the 
train appeared, and when I went up to greet the 
officer, who should it be but Phil Carroll, with his 
outfit, just arrived. I nearly collapsed, out of 
combined surprise and satisfaction. Of course, 
after business was over, I made him tell me all 
the news of all Long Island. 

September 30th, 1917. 

Today, being Sunday, was inspection and so 
when it was over I went off to look around the 
country. It is glorious weather now, the roads 
bright and dusty, with flurries of fallen leaves 
whirling across them, and that feeling in the air 
which says, despite the golden countryside, that 
autumn is passing fast into winter. I wandered 
where the roads lead me, past little farm houses, 
nestling close to great stacks of hay, and pleasant 



fields where the little boys ran out from their 
sheep to watch me pass, and the sheep dogs barked 
disapproval, past little towns, barely more than 
a cluster of houses, with their weather worn little 
church, and cobble stoned streets. 

The afternoon was passing, and I was begin- 
ning to think of camp once more, when I came 
upon a somewhat larger town, over whose roofs 
I saw an old tower rising. And so, as I came op- 
posite I stopped to look a minute. It had been 
an old chateau, gone partly to ruin, and round 
it had grown the town, where its front must 
have been was a little inn, with the sign "Au 
Lion' Noir." The old arch was still there, 
where the knights went out to battle in times 
past, and I could see through it a courtyard, 
all bright in the afternoon sun, with little tables, 
and back of them the old wall with flowers in 
the windows, and rusted iron gratings. And 
as I looked, out came the inn keeper, a great blue 
apron round him, to know if I would not stop and 
have some beer, "car vous devez avoir soif sur la 
grande route" And so I came in and sat in the 



courtyard, watching the pigeons wheel and circle 
back to their nests in the holes where the tower 
roof had fallen. I was told all about the old tower, 
how it was old, very old, but now fallen into 
ruin, save where it was used for the inn, even 
the great stairway, whose rafters I could trace 
along the side of the walls, was half gone. But yet, 
so Monsieur said, "on y est bien, mon cher", for so 
he called me, I was "mon cher" an American 
coming to fight for France. And then, at length, 
it was time to go, and I put my hand in my pocket 
to pay, when Monsieur stopped me with "non, 
non, non, il ne faut pas faire fa." Arguments 
were useless, and so finally we parted, and just 
as I was going he brought out a little black brass 
snuff box, and offered me some, which I took, tho 
I loathed it. And when I left he told me to re- 
turn, with my friends, and visit him again. 

October 8 and 10, 1917. 

The flower I'm enclosing is mimosa. I don't 
know if it will keep its perfume, but it's too lovely 



now. Yesterday the Major and an English Cap- 
tain who has been reform^ sailed over across the 
bay to a funny little bit of a fishing village. 
There's the most glorious grove of mimosa there 
part of the grounds of the parish church. Its 
all in bloom now, golden yellow avenues of it with 
a heavy sweet scent that fills the air. It was a 
hot afternoon, with no clouds overhead, and down 
in the grove, with no noise of the outside world 
except the trickle of a brook and the clatter of 
an old peasant woman's sabots as she went up 
and down tending the trees, the war seemed very 
far away and unreal. No one in the village 
seemed to be of this century even. The tiny 
winding street is made of oyster shells, and 
bordering it were little, low, white washed houses 
with overhanging eaves. The wharf was deserted 
except for a few old men in the big, patched 
trousers they wear here, that look like bloomers, 
and where the sunlight came thru the open 
doors you could see the polished brass candle- 
sticks on the mantelpiece, warm red bricks on the 
floor, and children playing in the sunlight. 


It was more like a page from a sketch book 
than a real place, and utterly apart from war, 
and flying, with all the hurry and noise of the 
camp. We stopped at the inn it was a com- 
bination of inn, general store, social centre and 
took oysters, for which the town is famous, while 
the old proprietress chattered around and to us 
like a nice, motherly old hen. She told us that 
the Ancre d'Or, that was the inn's name, had been 
in their family for over a hundred years, the 
men fishing while the women-folk ran the inn. 
Then, after complimenting her on her oysters 
at which she beamed all over we left while she 
bobbed "aw revoir messieu" in the doorway. 
"And so," as Samuel Pepys said, "To bed." 

The autumn is well here, often two weeks of 
dismal, chilly rain and mist, and the country side 
is bright with its brave resistance to the frosty 
nights. All along the road the trees are showing 
brilliant yellows and crimsons, with here and 
there a clump of somber pines, or a chateau on 
the cliffs, its towers in sharp silhouette against 
the sky. The fallen leaves swirl and dance among 



the eddies of white dust along the "grand routes," 
and everything and everyone seems to be liv- 
ing life to its fullest before the dreary dark of the 
long winter nights set in. The Loire country 
is exquisite, little chateaux, and funny, ancient 
villages, that round the ruins of some castle, or 
else bustling modern cities like Nantes, that 
contrast strangely, the street cars and broad 
asphalt streets, with the old castle, and its net 
work of narrow winding alleys in their midst. 

Aviation Camp 
November 1, 1917. 

During the last few weeks I have been chasing 
all over the lot and so haven't had any chance to 
write you and tell you the news of myself. Added 
to that my last letter, which I sent to you by a 
transport officer two weeks ago was unfortunately 
delayed. I found out to-day, just by accident, 
that he was in the hospital as the result of a too 
protracted spree, and that his ship had sailed 
without him, so I shall have to go back into the 
dim distant periods of the past over two weeks 
ago to tell you all that has happened. 



In the first place, I was sent away from here 
with orders to go down to one of our ports of de- 
barcation and take charge of a lot of Hudson 
touring cars which were to be taken overland to 
Paris. I got down there in great spirits, for of 
course it was a regular spree to get away from 
this camp for about a week wandering all over 
France in a brand new touring car. However, I 
found when I got down to the port that things 
weren't going to be quite as easy as I had thought. 
In the first place the cars weren't even unloaded 
from the boat, and there didn't seem to be much 
chance of my getting them off for weeks, as the 
stevedores were crowded up with work. After 
one day I decided that particular place was no 
sort of location for me so I began to hunt around 
for some way to hurry things up. The captain 
of the ship proved to be the solution. She is a 
merchant ship, taken over by the government 
for the transport service, with the same old mer- 
chant captain. He and I got on excellently he 
came from Arlington, Mass., which was an in- 
stant bond in common, and so I ended up by living 



on the boat, and using the ship's crew and winches 
to unload and my own men to get the cars out, 
so that they were out on the dock in three days. 
I had my own truck men down with me to take 
charge of them so we got them assembled in short 
time and in four days were out on the road again. 
It was a delightful run up. All thru Britanny 
and then up the valley of the Loire. I have got a 
little "presink" for you which I am going to send 
home by the first person. It is a very cunning 
little enamel cross that comes from Herve Kiel's 
town, do you remember? The valley of the 
Loire is really lovely. I hadn't realized before how 
lovely France was, for our region, though it is 
pretty, is very monotonous, with nothing except 
the perpetual run of farm houses which you soon 
become accustomed to. The Loire valley is all 
different, though, for it is never the same. Part 
of the time you are driving high up on the crest 
of the hills, with the Loire like a silver thread 
down below you, and the country, "pleasant 
France," spread beneath you with no hint of the 
war that is raging in the North, or again you drop 


down into the valley where you can watch the 
little towns and chateaux silhouetted against the 
sky. I saw so many places that I wanted to stop 
and investigate and couldn't, funny little towns 
where the street winds around between houses, 
and under the ruined walls of the chateau to which 
the houses cling, or little grimy inns, "Les Trois 
Raisins Noirs y " or "k Cheval qui Boiie," all of 
which I am sure had all sorts of nice things in them 
to see. However, we could only stop very occa- 
sionally for meals, and so I didn't get a chance to 
do much more than see the country as I passed 

I did however, on the second day get a chance 
to stop off at Chartres and burn a candle in the 
cathedral. I had no idea that the road went 
thru there, when all of a sudden I saw off on the 
horizon the towers of a cathedral and thought 
that it must be that. So I called a halt, and 
while the men went off and got lunch I went in 
the cathedral. Do you remember the last time 
we were there, when I was so busy trying to 
find out about the window, and we went out with 



Mr. Thoron ? Goodness but that seems ages and 
ages ago. However, I finally got to Paris, and 
arrived in on Eleanor out of a clear sky, to find 
myself a very welcome guest as she had been 
feeling very lonely. The next morning I reported 
to headquarters and then went back to Eleanor's 
to get over the last of a slight attack of some sort 
of malaria that I had contracted in the run up. 

When I reported to headquarters two days 
later I had the most horrid blow. I found that 
I was slated to take a detachment of fifty men to 
be taught the supply officer job in England. Of 
course I kicked. It seemed to be getting too far 
afield from flying and too far up in the supply 
work for me. However I had no success and went 
down to Issoudun again feeling rather low about it. 
Once down here however, I found that Jim Miller 
didn't want me to be taken away and after much 
telephoning to Paris I think it has been arranged 
that I am to stay here. I shall know to-morrow 
as I am going up to Paris again. 

As a matter of fact I am going to have a bully 
job here. There is one of the squadrons here 


that is all disorganized. It got over here under 
an officer who was a poor bone head with no idea 
of how to get on with the men and the result is 
that there is no sort of morale to it at all. The 
men don't care whether they are out hi the guard 
house or not, and they are in a frightful state. 
And yet they come from the same place as our 
crowd and are really exactly as good stuff. So 
they are going to put me in command of it here, 
to see what I can make of it. I am very much 
pleased, of course, for if I get away with it it means 
a very big step toward getting my own squadron 
to take out in the spring when we start sending 
our squadrons out to the front. It also is rather 
nice for they were very nice to me when they 
said that they would put me on, though they do 
refer to it as a dirty job. I don't care, for I think 
I can make it. I am going to get about five of 
my old crew transferred to it and then start in 
when I get back from Paris. 

If everything works all right I am to stick here 
until they get the other fields working, for the 
plan is to have five fields working within a radius 



of ten miles, and am then to move over and take 
charge of one of the outlying fields. The idea is 
that they put one squadron in each field, and com- 
plete its training and at the same time get it 
working in together before they send it out to the 
front. It sounds as though it were going to be a 
bully chance to get away from any taint of supply 
officer and to get back into the flying end in the 
right way. I am very cheerful. 

December 8, 1917. 

I am Commanding Officer of what is called 
the Headquarters detachment. It includes about 
six hundred cadets and forty officers. I have to 
see that cadet affairs work properly, that all the 
officers do their work, and most of all, I am the 
one the Colonel hops on if there's any complaint 
about the cadets. It is really no job for a flying 
lieutenant. In the first place it takes all of my 
time, or rather should take all of it, to the ex- 
clusion of flying. And then, too, it is pretty hard 
to command and discipline thirty nine other first 


lieutenants when you are of the same rank and 
only a few months sooner. I have been working 
nights on the thing trying to get it organized, 
then stealing a couple of hours off in the day to 
fly. The real trouble is that it doesn't get me any- 
where. I suppose it can all be classed as experi- 
ence, but I feel a little as if it were just "one more 
dirty job." 

My commanding officer now is my old Mineola 
one, tho', which helps, for he says he will let 
me get away as soon as they start sending any 
men out to the front. At the moment, tho', it 
doesn't look as if any of us would get out for a 
couple of months. What I am hoping is to be 
sent up in a British squadron some time toward 
the end of January, but I am not sure how much 
chance there is for anything like that. What one 
wants so rarely happens in this army. At all 
events, I am now plugging along from day to day, 
doing my work, and enjoying my flying. 

These little fast machines are delightful. You 
feel so at home in them, for there is just room in 
the cockpit for you and your controls, and not 


an inch more. And then they're so quick to act. 
Its not like piloting a great lumbering Curtis, 
for you could do two loops in a Nieuport during 
the time it takes a Curtis to do one. Its fright- 
fully cold, now, tho*. Even in my teddy-bear, 
thats what they call those aviator suits, I freeze 
pretty generally, if I try any ceiling work. If its 
freezing down below it is some cold up about fif- 
teen thousand. Aviation has considerably altered 
my views on religion. I don't see how the angels 
stand it. Do you remember that delightful grey 
muffler you made me? Its very soft, either An- 
gora or camel's hair I think, and is now doing 
yeoman duty bridging the gap between the top 
of my suit and the bottom of my helmet. I think 
it is bringing me luck, too, for I am flying much 
better, now that I wear it every day. As a matter 
of fact I am wearing just about everything mov- 
able 'round my room now, and expect to for the 
next four months or so. 

I had an exciting time two weeks ago with a 
plane. I was taking off, and had just got my 
wheels clear when a bit of mud got thrown against 


the propeller and broke it. One of the pieces 
went thru the gasoline tank and before the wheels 
were really down on the ground again, or before 
I even had a chance to cut the switch, the whole 
thing was in flames. I made a wild snatch at 
my safety belt, got it undone, and slid out of the 
plane on the doublequick time. It cant have 
taken me more than thirty seconds, and yet when 
I got out, my boots and pant legs were on fire. 

As a matter of fact, its marvellous the amount 
you get away with in these planes. Two fellows 
in the last week have gone straight into the 
ground in vrilles, totally wrecking the plane, 
and yet neither one is seriously hurt. The worst 
one of the two came down about three hundred 
feet, hit the ground so hard that he pushed the 
engine back where the rudder bar should be and 
the rudder bar under the seat, and yet didn't 
break any bones. He will be out of the hospital 
in three weeks they think. All he got is a couple 
of bad cuts on his face from the wind shield and a 
stove-in chest. I've decided that nothing short 
of shooting a man or breaking a control is fatal ! 




December 16 

Here goes for a very long letter, full of all sorts 
of news, for I've just met the man who was sup- 
posed to take my last long letter home. He was 
an officer on one of our ships, whom I happened 
to know, and is back in Paris now, for his ship 
and my letter were sunk. As a matter of fact, this 
is the first chance I've had to write for I really 
have been busy. At the moment tho' I am con- 
fined to bed, the result of a mild attack of pneu- 
monia. I had had a cough for a month, which 
suddenly developed into that. I'm sorry, for I've 
lots of work to do, but its a rather pleasant 

To begin 'way back after I got back from 
my work of taking cars to Paris, I found that I 
had another job waiting for me. I was put in 
command of a squadron in quarantine for mumps. 
They had been under a bad C. O. and were pretty 
thoroly disorganized. I had Ham Coolidge for 
my second in command and two other very nice 
fellows from out West. I followed the Brushwood 
Boy's principle of sweating the fat off 'em and the 
beef on. First I put in two days making them clean 


out their barracks, and fix things up generally. 
Then I took them out and drilled and hiked until 
I know I was good and tired so I rather think they 
were. It worked like a charm, tho', for after about 
two weeks they were all in fine shape. Really, 
the American of the mechanic class is a pretty 
fine specimen, I think. You see all the mechanics, 
the skilled labor, has gone into the aviation ser- 
vice, so you do get a good crowd. At all events, 
just about the time I had got them really going, 
another reorganisation hit us. 

That has been the trouble all along in the Air 
Service. The first lot of regulars that they sent 
over here in the aviation weren't much. They 
were mostly men who had not made themselves 
useful enough in the States to keep them. They 
got over here, and found that the reserve officers 
who had been sent were a far more capable crowd. 
Then, instead of turning in and trying to work 
together as far as possible they tried to buck the 
reserves. You see, nearly all of them the regu- 
lars I mean came over here as captains, and as 
they are now either majors or colonels, they've 



gone promotion wild. They have been hanging 
on, trying to prove that the reserve officers were 
useless. We had about three months of that, 
and then, thank heaven, Washington realized 
what was going on, and sent over a complete new 

(The letter at that moment was interrupted by 
Major Goldthwaite, who came in and blew the 
roof off me for trying to write or do anything like 
that. This is continued two days later.) 

I have just started to really convalesce, and 
am being allowed to read and write again. I was 
really quite sick for a while, a good deal sicker 
than I thought I was, and so, as soon as my tem- 
perature began to go down again I thought I was 
good for letter writing and reading. The medico 
sat on that scheme, tho, so to-day is my first day 
of doing anything at all for ten days. I am to 
be kept in bed here until I am well enough to 
make the trip safely, and then am to be sent up 
for a two weeks' sick leave, when I shall see Elea- 
nor in Paris, and get all fixed up again. 

We have now got a real man size organisation 


over here now, and it has struck our school down 
here, for we now have my old Mineola K. O. He has 
made the most tremendous difference to the place. 
He was responsible for my last change in job, tho. 
Just after he came here, when they made the new 
organisation, he made me commanding officer of 
what is known officially as the headquarters de- 
tachment. That consists of all the cadets and 
some fifty officers. You probably don't know 
what the cadets are, as no one back in the states, 
including the war department, seems to have any 
very definite idea about them. The original idea 
was that, as all fliers were to be officers, all fly- 
ing students should be cadets. Its a good idea, 
too, I wish they'd had it when I was at Mineola, 
for I'd have gotten a hundred dollars a month in- 
stead of forty. At all events the edict went 
forth that all students were cadets. 

Then some lunatic got the idea that there was 
a crying need for pilots over here, that we were 
ready for six hundred students a month," and 
some other pipe dream, so they started shipping 
over untrained cadets by the hundred to France. 



Of course we have no earthly means of coping 
with them, and never wanted them in the first 
place. What with the troubles we have had in 
getting construction gangs and materials, I doubt 
if this school will be ready for six hundred pilots 
by next June, let alone six hundred a month now. 
What is more, and what they didn't seem to realize 
back in Washington, we are an advanced school, 
and have no facilities for training beginners. Con- 
sequently, we have now about six hundred non- 
flying cadets here with nothing in the world for 
them to do, and apparently no chance of their 
flying in the next couple of months. 

The Colonel, when he put me in command, 
told me I was to try and get things straightened 
out as far as possible, and then make a detailed 
report on the state of things. I started in and 
found I was up against a most tremendous job. 
The cadets had no organisation at all. They 
wei j being used for guard duty, and nothing else, 
and there is nothing more demoralizing for a lot 
of men than doing guard under frightful condi- 
tions, and nothing else. I started in, and after 



two days, sent in a report as long as a presidential 
message, asking that more enlisted men be detailed 
to relieve the guard, that arrangements be made to 
ship off cadets to preliminary schools if possible, 
and that if there were any vacancies for non flying 
commissions in the air service, they be issued to 
cadets on a competitive examination. 

Then I got together the officers, and picked 
out six assistants who I knew would work and 
were good fellows, and arranged that the seven 
of us be excused from regular flying formations. 
Thus we could work at the cadets and tuck in 
our flying whenever we had a spare moment. 
Then we divided them up into organisations of 
two hundred and fifty and started to lick them 
into some sort of military shape. Outside of the 
non-fliers, I now have one hundred and fifty fliers, 
and twenty navy fliers known unofficially as 
the flying fish and we have got them working 
out fairly well, tho its a pretty unsatisfactory 
situation at best. I know if I were a cadet I 
should feel justified in kicking, if, after being en- 
listed because I had a college education and was 
recommended by all sorts of people as good avia- 


tion material, I was used as a guard for an avia- 
tion camp with the prospect of flying in four or 
five months. 

The doctor has come in and ordered me to lie 
down again, so I must stop. I have been a per- 
fect pig about not writing more, and from now on 
you will see a vast change in the news from me, 
for I have loved your letters. The trouble is that 
writing home makes me get gloomy, for then you 
start looking at the war as a whole, an impossible 
system. I have given it up entirely, and take it 
day by day. The only really satisfactory thing is 
that flying is wonderful fun on these new machines. 
I wish you could see them. We can do stunts that 
you would think were impossible after watching a 
Curtis wallow along thru the air. 

The doctor is in again. 

Lots of love, and I'll write again as soon as 
I'm out of the hospital, Q 

December 18, 1917. 

I am in the hospital, the result of a mild case 
of pneumonia. You see, I have been trailing 
around here thru mud and cold, and draughty, 



unheated barracks for the last month with a tre- 
mendous cold and cough. About three weeks 
ago it got pretty bad, but as I had lots of work 
on hand and no one else that I wanted to do it, 
I kept on going. About a week and a half ago 
it really began to hit me, and I turned into bed 
one night with a fever of one hundred and four. 
There was no place hi the hospital our camp 
has still slightly elementary sides to it, and so I 
stayed here in the officers barracks in my room, 
under the charge of one of the doctors, being 
fed by the Red Cross, embodied by Miss Given- 
wilson. I was pretty sick for a couple of days, 
but now I'm well on the road to recovery. As 
soon as I am well enough I am to be sent off on a 
two weeks leave to recuperate, which I will start 
with Eleanor at Paris. I have written father a 
long letter just yesterday, so some of this may be 

I am rather sorry to have to leave for so long 
just at this moment, as both my flying and my 
other job are very interesting. However, there's 
lots of war left to go round for all of us, I'm think- 



ing. I wish you could see the flying we are doing 
over here, though, for it is a revelation to the 
Mineola educated eye. When I first got over here 
I wondered why every flier was not killed within 
the first three months of his flying. Now I have 
changed so far the other way that I feel as though 
a man could hardly drive one of these machines 
into an accident, short of completely losing his 

We have had very good luck so far on this field, 
and tho we have had a good many pretty nasty 
smashes, no one has been killed yet, or even per- 
manently injured. And yet the French monitors 
make us do all the wild flying stunts that were 
considered torn fool tricks back home. Forma- 
tion flying is the prettiest, tho. They send about 
seven machines up at a time, to practice squadron 
and formation flying; vol de groupe they call it. 
It looks fairly easy, too, but when you get up in 
the air trying to keep a hundred and twenty horse 
power kite in its position in a V formation with 
planes on either side of you, you begin to hold 
different ideas as to its easiness. 


I am rather tireder than I thought I was, so I 
shall stop, and write to you soon again. 


Friday, Dec. 28, 1917. 
Obviously on the train. 

I did not write till today, for even tho* I was 
with Eleanor, Christmas was ghastly. It was the 
first Christmas I had ever spent away from home 
in my life, and there was nothing to help it out. 

At the moment, I am bounding south to get 
some warm weather. The prospect is discouraging. 
I stayed in Paris as long as I could, with Eleanor, 
and was finally ordered out by the medico. At the 
last minute two of Eleanor's workers got sick, so 
she couldn't come, and I am now gloriously en- 
sconsed in one of those gilded horrors that the 
trustful Frenchman considers a "wagon lit" try- 
ing to persuade myself that a temperature cold 
enough to make one see one's breath is a pleasant 
vacation. I suggested a little heat in the car, but 
the cold hearted lady who rules the car informed 
that "c'est la guerre" a fact of which I was al- 



ready dimly aware, and then retired to her little 
stove at the back of car. 

I think I have at last managed to pry myself 
away from that beastly camp. I had it all ar- 
ranged that I was to go up with an R.N.A.S. 
squadron, and just at the last moment it was sat 
on by headquarters, on the grounds that it was 
not part of their scheme. Their scheme ! 

Off the train and at Marseilles 

The trouble with their scheme is that it bar- 
gains for a vast development, not to come to the 
height of its power until next August at the earliest, 
and, unless I miss my bet, the Bosche is going to 
do his very best to finish the war, and incidentally, 
the Americans now in it, this spring. And spring, 
in the military sense, is fairly close. I've got a 
hunch that within six weeks or so things are going 
to be just about as hot up on the front as they 
have been since the Marne or Verdun. And, con- 
sequently, I rather hope I shall be in a French 
squadron within three weeks. I would have to 
have ten days machine gun work at Cazeau, but 
after that Anyway, I'm dead sick of being in the 
L. of C., to all intents and purposes as much of an 


embusce as , or . There's one thing if 

I change camps at all, after Cazeau, it will be for 
the front. Once I have got there I shall feel a lot 
easier in my mind, for it will be six months since 
I left you, pretty soon, and for all I have done to 
help the war I might have stayed at home. 

I wish you'd tell the Hon. Pa, that if any of 
the big bugs happen to be talking of it, its a 
darned shame if they cut out fliers extra pay. 
General Pershing cabled advising it, because the 
aviation Headquarters is in very wrong with 
him, but all that it does is make us the goats 
because the man higher up made mistakes. Both 
British and French pay their fliers extra, the 
British 68%, while we only get 25%, which they 
want to take away. And it's not true that it's 
easier than the infantry, look at the number of 
pilots, and the number of casualties. 

"January 7, 1918. 


Next day we took an afternoon off, for I 
wanted to go to Notre Dame des Victoires. I've 
always intended to, for it's the church to which all 



the poilus go just before they return to the front. 
It really is quite thrilling. You come in, and at 
first can't see very much, as there's semi-darkness 
inside. Then as your eyes get accustomed you 
can make out the people. There were no lights 
except at the altar, which was ablaze with can- 
dles. Eleanor and I each lit our candle, and then 
went back to sit for a moment and watch. There 
was no service going on; it was the middle of the 
afternoon, and yet the church was full of people, 
all come to pray for victory. We sat for a 
while and then, gradually, I began to distinguish 
things, for the brightness of the altar only em- 
phasized the gloom around. All around the walls, 
in cases, were rows upon rows of medals, legion 
cThonneur, croix de guerre, and others I did not 
recognise, in some there were crossed swords, 
and old flags, all given in thanks for victory, 
and safe return from the wars. 

January 15, 1918. 


After all the excitement, and worrying, and dis- 
cussing, I am on my way back to my same old 


camp. I don't know how long I shall stay there, 
I don't know anything about what is going to be 
done with me, and nobody else does. I have 
finally given up, in despair, all attempt to squeeze 
any definite information out of the casual mob 
that constitutes our headquarters. The future is 
crammed with any number of possibilities, most 
of them highly discouraging. I shall know a little 
more by to-night, when I have seen Ham and 
Cord, so I'll either write you again or lengthen 

Of course I hated leaving Eleanor's to come 
back to the same dingy old camp, where I'll be 
cold, wet, and muddy most of the time. And then, 
Eleanor has been so very nice. You don't know 
what a trump she is. During this last long stay I 
really got to know her quite well, and we had a 
very particularly nice time playing around and 
doing all sorts of impossible things. Poor thing, 
it's hard being so near and yet so far from Ted. 
And then, the time when he will begin his very 
dangerous work is coming very near. 

Why, why don't the people at home realise 


what lies before them? I have been reading the 
papers from the states lately, and it is painful. 
Our policy seems to be one of verbal camouflage. 
The little tin-god civilians and army fossils that 
sit in Washington seem to do nothing but lie, 
about German weakness, which is easy, for they 
have never been in touch with the realness of 
German strength, and about our own strength, 
which is inexcusable. They've all seen the re- 
ports of how things go over here, and yet they 
choose to lie, deliberately and publicly, about 
them. I saw one official statement about the 
hundred squadrons we are forming to be on the 
front by June. That doesn't seem funny to us 
over here, it seems criminal, for they will expect 
us to produce the result that one hundred squad- 
rons would have. The one comforting thing is 
that all the rest of the services are as badly off. 

There's one good thing about going to the 
front I shall be so busy worrying about the safety 
of my own neck that I shan't have time to worry 
about the way the war is going. 

I only hope I'll get up there soon it seems 


such a solution for all sorts of difficulties. You 
get clear of all the little worries and jealousies that 
fill up life behind the lines, and you have only the 
big eventuality to face, all the others arrange 
for themselves if you are fighting. And then, I 
feel I owe it to the family to father, and especially 
to Arch and Ted who are out there already and 
facing the dangers of it, to get out myself. 

January 17th, 1918. 

Things have cheered up a lot since last I 
wrote you. I knew they would. This place is a 
squalid hole to come back to, and I knew that first 
day would be awful, and so it was. And so I wrote 
to you, because I was discouraged and writing you 
helps. By now, however, I have gotten settled 
into my work, and there is nothing so narrowing as 
one's own job. So I have religiously resolved to 
look at nothing but the immediate future. Of 
course I know how bad it all is, but I'm trying 
to forget it for this little space. 



My leave has shown its effects in my flying. 
Just before I left I was really doing very badly. 
Now, however, I am flying really pretty well, and 
it has become fun again, not work. If I keep on as 
I am now I shall be ready for the front in three 
weeks, and then I hope I shall be able to get out. 
Of course it will be at least a month before I get 
to the front, but still it's encouraging to think 
I'm getting appreciably nearer. The scheme now 
is to put us up for six months, by us I mean 
Cord, Ham and all our crowd who have been work- 
ing here at the school. Then, if we are still alive, 
we will be taken back here to work behind the 
lines, for six months fighting will use us up pretty 
thoroly and we will need the rest of work behind 
the lines. It's a good idea, and perfectly true, so 
I have firmly decided not to get shot down dur- 
ing my first six months. I hope the war is over 
before I have a second ! ! 

This letter is scrawly and scratchy because it is 

written on a little wooden bench while I wait for 

Cord. We are going to dinner tonight and have 

had about fifteen different delays. I rather expect 



to go out to one of the outlying fields pretty soon, 
and as Cord is in charge of one, I am arranging to 
move over to his. So I've been doing a good deal 
of tearing around. 

Camp is a good deal the same as ever, by 
that meaning muddy and dingy. A mid-winter 
thaw has contributed largely to the mud. How- 
ever, it makes altitude flying a lot easier on us. 
I have to do a five thousand meter altitude test, 
so I speak feelingly. 


1 Same Old Camp, January 22. 

I have loved all your letters, and only wish 
there were something I could do about the ones I 
write. I know they are unutterably dull and 
uninteresting, but somehow, I don't seem to be 
able to write interesting ones, principally, I sup- 
pose, because the things I am doing are not very 
much different, except as far as the types of 
planes we are using, from what is being done at 
any of the camps at home. 

I am very busy at the moment finishing up my 
flying. I at last succeeded in getting permission to 



do nothing but fly, as the doctor said that I would 
have to be on light duty if I went back to the camp 
at all. The result has been that for the last week 
I have flown practically all the time, and am now 
going to go over to Cord Meyer's field to finish up 
with my combat work and group flying on ma- 
chines of a type that are still in use at the front. 
I expect to have a bully time, and tho I rather 
hate to be doing nothing at all, yet there is a 
glorious sense of relief, when you aren't feeling 
very well, to know that you have no earthly 
responsibilities except keeping your neck intact 
when you are flying. 

I had rather a hard time with my flying last 
week, thanks to having been sick, for I had to 
do my acrobatics, which is rather scary even 
when you are feeling thoroly fit. As I wasn't 
I hated to have to get into a machine and go up 
and do my stunts, for the work they give us here 
in acrobacy is certainly wicked. They have 
one that they call a glissade that is the fastest 
thing I have ever run into in my life. You bank 
your machine up perpendicularly and then with 


your motor turning up at about three quarters 
speed, so as to keep the nose of the machine up, 
you slip perpendicularly down toward the ground. 
Its far faster than a straight nose dive, for you 
haven't got all the head resistance of the wings 
to hinder you. I got into it, and after coming 
down three hundred meters, in it, got over onto 
my back, and, as I was all mixed up as to my 
whereabouts, didn't have the slightest idea of 
where I was or anything. I got down to within 
about a hundred metres of the earth before I 
finally did get over onto my right side again. 

I will be all right now tho, for I know how to 
do the various stunts, and I won't feel that I 
have to do things I don't know anything about. 
I am going to get to work on them again next 
week, and get them perfected, for even tho you 
don't use all of them on the front, they are enor- 
mously valuable, because they give you absolute 
confidence in your machine, and teach you how 
to get out of any kind of difficulty you happen 
to get into. 

I suppose things are sliding along at home in 


their usual slip shod fashion, and that we are some- 
how getting our things ready to make some sort 
of effort toward becoming a factor in the war. It 
is a little discouraging to us over here, though, to 
pick up a New York paper and read a statement 
that the Production Board has put out saying 
that the work toward getting a fleet of two thou- 
sand and ten thousand fliers at the front is pro- 
gressing very rapidly. Considering the fact that 
all our flying for the next spring and early sum- 
mer will have to be done on French made ma- 
chines supplied to us thru the courtesy of the 
French government, I wish someone who knew 
the truth would get up and say what liars they are. 
I suppose that they consider it satisfactory if we 
have the two thousand planes by the fall of 1919. 
The French are beginning to see how much talk 
there was in a good deal of what we said. They 
grant us only one thing, good material. For the 
rest, they are turning back again and making 
plans to count on us at least six months later 
than they had expected from what we promised 



In Camp, January 23, 1918. 

Again a long gap between letters; I'm afraid 
that I have lost my former faculty for writing 
letters. Somehow, when I have any time to 
myself, I always seem to either have some sort 
of official correspondence to write, like letters to 
the adjutant general's office, or else I am just 
plain tired out, and know the letter would be 
dull, uninteresting, and probably gloomy. 

As you may gather from the heading, I am 
back in camp again. I left Eleanor's just a week 
ago. I could have stayed away on leave for two 
weeks longer, Major Goldthwaite told me that 
I ought to, but just at that moment Warrington 
came back with the news that Ted and Arch were 
going up very shortly, so I decided to take a 
chance and go back here as I was in order to get 
my training finished, and get out. So I trotted 
back, and arrived as usual, in a pouring rain storm. 

This is really the muddiest country I have ever 
run across in my life. I don't see why the French- 
men don't turn into frogs, by natural selection, 


after a thousand years of it. However, the camp 
is beginning to really get whipped into shape. 
The flying training has become more or less routine, 
and the construction is about half finished. When 
I got back, I was marked unfit for anything except 
light duty, so I was relieved of all duties other 
than flying, which was what I had been working 
for. Naturally, my flying improved about fifty 
percent, for you can't fly and have your mind on 
something else at the same time. The result is 
that I am moving out to the perfectionnement 
school to-morrow, and in three weeks at the out- 
side, will have finished my flying and be ready 
to go for my machine gun work, and then the 
front. The French machine gun course at Cazeau 
takes about ten days, so I think I can count on 
the front in a month, for they have promised to 
send me out as soon as I am ready. 

I shall have a very good time for the next three 
weeks too, for the field I am going to is run by 
Cord Meyer. Consequently it is all arranged 
that I am to move in and room with him as soon 
as I get there, and generally have a good time. 


We have evolved a system for giving ourselves 
a good time when we are not working that goes 
like a charm. All the planes over at that field 
are the little monoplane fighters, and consequently 
very fast. So we have arranged when we have 
a day off, and unless there has been bad weather 
during the week, there is no flying or work, other 
than the necessary inspections on Sunday, we 
go off on voyages. He takes his plane, and I 
take mine, and we go off to some one of the French 
landing fields within a hundred or so miles of 
here. It is good fun, and also good flying prac- 
tise, for the more time you get in the air, the better 
you are off, I have decided. 

I have just finished up my acrobacy, doing it 
all in one day. It was rather strenuous, and I 
don't mind saying that I hope I don't get many 
more days like that. To begin with, the day be- 
fore, I had taken an altitude test, going up to four 
thousand metres, and staying there for fifteen 
minutes. I did it all right, but thanks to having 
just gotten over being sick, it got to my lungs 
rather, and I picked up a bad cough and had 


rather a hard time breathing. The doctor says 
that I will probably be that way for a month 
more, but as it doesn't bother me under three thou. 
and I won't have to do any ceiling work now until 
I get to the front, I don't particularly care. 
The doctor just happened along, and as I am not 
supposed to stay up after 9.30 at the moment, has 
packed me off to bed. I shall write again as soon 
as I get over to the other field. Best love to all 
the family, and "un bon baiser" to you, mother 

dear, from ^ 


January 27, 1918. 

I am over at Cord's field now, and will, with 
any luck be ready for my machine gun work in 
two weeks. After that it's a question of getting 
myself grafted out of the school which I think I 
can manage. The flying is wonderful, tho', with 
these new machines I don't like it, from the point 
of view of personal comfort, for the motors are 
much harder to manage. You have the same 


plane, practically, with one hundred and twenty 
horse instead of eighty, and for some reason the 
one hundred and twenty motor is much harder 
to keep running. It's very easy to stall it when 
you're doing stunts and almost impossible to 
catch it again. Generally a stalled motor means 
a landing wherever you happen to be, with these 
birds. The thing that makes up for it is the 
power you get. You can climb at the most 
astonishing rate, and do perfectly wicked "chan- 
delles" A chandelle, in case I haven't told you 
about one, is a steep climb in a vertical turn. It's 
very hard to do well, wonderful fun when you can 
do it, and most important for fighting when you 
get out there. I am practising a lot on all of them, 
and getting in about three hours flying a day, 
which is about all you can comfortably stand. 
As it is I'm always glad when I get into my ancient 
sleeping bag, and settle down for a night's rest. 

In camp, on the 29th of January. 
Such a funny, and rather a pleasant thing has 
happened, all at once to-day I got a whole lot 


of packages in a lump. I think they must have 
been missent, or else held at the Post Office thru 
some mistake. At all events there were all sorts 
of things. (This, by the way, is being type- 
written under difficulties, as I have the typewriter 
on my knees, and no light worth speaking of.) 
Then there were also three books from you, which 
I loved. They were detective stories, the last 
one being the Black Eagle Mystery. I'm wonder- 
ing now whether you have sent any others, and 
hope you have. They really made me quite home- 
sick, for there was a sort of undefined presence to 
them, as of father in the train, and then the 
catchall. I am forwarding them on to Eleanor 
when I have finished them, for I know she will 
appreciate them quite as much as I do. We never 
get any of that sort of thing over here. The best 
we can do in the line of home reading is the Sat. 
Eve. Post, and even that at times is rather in- 
adequate. So nearly anything, no matter how 
common it is over home, is a novelty here. Do 
send me some more books, or magazines, or any- 
thing from a blue Ribbon Garage bill up, for I 


very much appreciate the ones I have got not 
Garage bills. 

At the moment I am doing what I have really 
wanted to do all along which is finish up my 
flying. I am at the last stage now, and should be 
finished in about ten days, or so. We are doing 
formation flying now, which is a revelation to you 
after what we did back home. They will detail 
two men to go on a reconnaissance, make a plan of 
a camp fifty miles from here, or something like 
that. Then they will detail another five men to go 
along in patrol formation acting as escort and pro- 
tection against Boche patrols. In formation you 
fly rather the way geese do, in V shape, with the 
second men just higher than the leader and so on. 
At first its rather scary, for you have to stick close 
together, but once you get over that it begins to be 
amusing, for you have to watch your plane and 
motor all the time without looking at them, a 
rather Irish statement. What I mean is that you 
have to be able to watch the other men so as to 
keep your place in line, and at the same time 
manage your plane. We get the most tremendous 


amount of flying in in a day, for I did three 
hours and a half yesterday, and over four hours 

I have been having a continual fight with the 
doctors, tho, and incidentally with myself. The 
trouble is that I have been getting in so much flying 
lately that I am tired out most of the tune. The 
net result was that I collected another cough, as 
my lung wasn't quite fixed up. I had been feeling 
rather poorly, but I was pretty anxious to get my 
flying done, so I was keeping on. Then to day, 
I dropped over to the main camp to see Ham, and 
there was caught by Major Goldthwait. The 
first thing he decided, after looking me over, was 
that I had measles, because I had a cold, and a 
temp, and there was a suspicious rash on me. I 
finally persuaded him out of that, and then he 
turned on the other tack, and said that my vitality 
was low, and that I was very likely to get some- 
thing if I didn't look out, and ended with orders 
for me to go on light duty, and do no work for a 
week. I don't know what I am going to do about 
it, for I certainly can't quit flying for a week 


right now, when I am finishing up. In the first 
place, they are getting ready to send a couple of 
squadrons up within a reasonably short time, and 
I am going to have a hard enough time anyway 
trying to get myself a place in one of them. I 
think I shall wait and see how things turn out. 

In the mean time I am going to bed at the noble 
hour of eight thirty, which means that there won't 
be very much more to this letter. I hope that by 
now you are getting my letters regularly again, 
after my lapse from virtue, I have posted them to 
you in a variety of ways, by French mail, and 
military mail, so I hope they have started to 

I am enclosing some snow drops that I found 
over at Romorantin. They reminded me so 
much of Oyster Bay, and hunting for the first one 
out in front of the porte-cochere. I suppose that 
they will be out by the time you get this, if my 
mail is any indication. At all events, they go 
to show that, even if I have been very bad about 
writing, there are places I would rather be, and 
persons I would rather see, than the AEF provides. 


Give my love to all the family; I am writing father 
to-morrow. Goodbye, and un bon baiser, from, 


Fbruary S, 1918. 

We all went over to the funeral of those two 
fellows that were killed. I was flying above it 
and so I couldn't tell so well. The coffins were 
escorted by a platoon of American soldiers, and one 
of French sent out from the French post. Then, 
flying just above, were two of the French pilots, 
in the larger machines. They are marvellous 
pilots, and it was really beautiful to watch them 
crossing and recrossing over the cortege in beauti- 
ful smooth right-angled S turns. Then, just as 
they were lowering the coffins, another Frenchman 
dropped down in a long swoop, his motor almost 
dead, dropped a wreath on them, and then swung 
off. All the time we were up above, flying at about 
five hundred meters, in formation. We had a ten 
formation, two "V's" of five, circling round and 
round till it was over. They say that from the 
ground it was very impressive, for there, being 


buried, were two fellows we had all known and 
flown with a few days before, and round them 
and over, the planes circling, paying a last tribute. 
It takes away some of the bare horror that 
the two little twisted heaps of wrecked planes and 
twisted motors leaves. You realise that perhaps, 
after all, we don't entirely, like the boche, "put 
our trust in reeking tube or iron shard.*' 

Soon after being detailed to Issodun Quentin 
met the Normants who were living at Romorantin, 
and instead of having one "marraine," he found 
himself with a whole family, grandparents, par- 
ents, and grandchildren to accept him. He al- 
ways referred to the Normants as his "Family 
in France," and was devoted to one and all. What 
their friendship and unfailing hospitality meant 
to Quentin and Ham can never be estimated. 
Only those who have experienced the whole- 
hearted generous kindliness with which French 
families greeted the Americans who went over 
to serve can begin to realize what it meant. 



Sunday, February 16, 1918. 

Friday afternoon, we got orders over at our 
field to have eighteen men ready to go out in a 
squadron the next morning. Of course when I 
heard that, I thought "at last, we've got our first 
squadron going out." So I went hotfoot over to 
the main camp to see the Colonel and get permis- 
sion to go out with that squadron. He refused, 
absolutely, and of course I put up a tremendous 
kick. After I'd got all through kicking he said: 

"I'll tell you why I do that. That squadron 
that is going out is merely a political move, 
sent so we can say we have a squadron at the 
front. They haven't even got machines for them 
yet, or any sort of an organisation to allow for 
breakage and spare parts. What will happen to 
them is that they will move out into a camp that 
is not yet finished, up in the zone of the advance, 
and then sit there for a month, until our or- 
ganisation can take care of them, when they will 
probably form not the first squadron, but the 


finishing school staff of the zone of the advance. 
I am going to keep you back here for that reason, 
but I will do this. I'll send you out to the front 
as soon as Meyer gets back, and send you out in 
a real squadron, either English or French." 

So you can imagine how cheerful I am. Cord 
ought to be back within two weeks, and then I 
get sent out in his place in a real squadron, with 
real machines, and men who know something 
about the game. I rather think it will be a French 
squadron, as I can talk French. At all events, 
cheers ! in about two weeks I'll have stopped 
being embusque Quentin. 

Things are also rather amusing over at the 
field now, for besides the eighteen, twenty more 
were taken out, to be used as instructors, and to 
learn bombing. Consequently, I have only seven 
students now, so you can imagine how much 
flying I am arranging for them. It is the first 
time that I've really had enough planes to do 
what I wanted, so I am giving them all sorts of 
stunt flying and formation work the others didn't 
have. I'll bet they're better pilots than any of the 
others when I get thru with them. And all the 


time, I am working on my flying, and watching 
the calendar till Cord comes back. 

I took Ham over here with me this Sunday. 
We have been intending to do it for a long time, 
and now that he is plane tester over at my field, 
I can take him out, on expeditions, as I am in 
charge of all the planes over there. We had any 
amount of fun doing it it's lots more amusement 
touring the country in a plane if you can look over 
your shoulder and see some one else sitting up 
in his machine just over your wing-tip. I knew 
Ham would love it over here, and he is having a 
bully time. We have a great big room, with a 
bathroom to ourselves, and altogether, it's civili- 
zation again. Its now 10:30 A. M. and we've just 
finished breakfast, so I hear Ham making a tre- 
mendous rumpus in his bath next door, and occa- 
sionally hurling some insult at me. 


February 17, 1918. 

Its been quite a long time since my last letter, 
and all sorts of water has flowed under the bridge 


since then, but I am up against the discouraging 
fact that I am not sure when my last letter was, so 
please excuse if I repeat. In the first place, I 
got your letter, together with ones from father 
and Ethel, and was particularly glad to get them, 
especially yours, for it hasn't been pleasant being 
under the ban, however well deserved it may have 
been. We haven't had exactly a mild winter 
ourselves over here, though it hasn't been as bad 
as it must have been on L. I. After one frightfully 
cold snap, when we had snow all the time, and 
flying was most unpleasant, we had nearly a month 
of delightful weather, almost like spring, but now 
the weather man seems to have had another re- 
lapse, and all the winter clothes and fur lined boots 
have come out again. 

Its rather of a bore, because with the work I 
am doing now I have to get in a lot of flying of 
the most uninteresting sort, where I merely take 
out a patrol of men and try to lose them, or get 
them so mixed up that they can't show on the 
map where they have been when they come down 
again. It means about two hours of straight- 


away flying, with nothing in the world to relieve 
the monotony of it except twisting about, and 
trying to find some part of the country within 
a radius of seventy five or eighty miles that I 
have not already investigated. Its not so bad 
when the weather is warm, for you sit back in your 
plane, and let the controls loose, and think of 
when the war will end, or what Long Island would 
look like now, or some other pleasing fiction. But 
now, there is always some part of you that gets 
cold. Either its your forehead, or one finger tip, 
or your feet; but whatever it is, it serves to keep 
your mind off any more amusing thought. You 
try your hardest to project yourself out into the 
fields of speculation, and always after a few seconds 
you find yourself back up against the one dis- 
gusting truth that that particular finger or what- 
ever it is is cold. 

February 21, 1918. 
Letter No. 1. 

I'm at the moment indulging in the not over 
satisfactory feeling of knowing that I've done 


what I ought to have done, even tho' it wasn't 
what was pleasantest. I was given the chance of 
being permanently that is for the next three 
months stationed at Paris, to deliver planes to 
the various depots. You see, the heart of the 
aeroplane industry is Paris, for all the big fac- 
tories are there. Consequently, we have American 
testers, who receive the planes, test them, and 
then accept or reject them. If they are accepted 
they have to be flown to their various destinations. 
I was to be in charge of that particular branch, 
and to arrange for the deliveries. It would be 
wonderful fun, of course, for I'd be flying all over 
France out to the front as well as to the various 
schools behind the lines. There would be a cer- 
tain amount of good experience in it, too, but the 
trouble is, it's a job for a man back from the front 
for a rest, or one who's had a bad crash and lost 
his nerve. It's no occupation for me who have 
never been to the front. And so I turned it down, 
and I've been thinking, rather regretfully, of the 
good times I might have had in Paris. I would like 
to get a job testing, tho', for I think that is valuable 


work. I don't think there's much chance of that. 
A tester is never an embusque, for after all, you 
can't call a man a slacker whose job is testing 
planes to see if they're strong enough, and well 
built enough to stand service. Besides, a tester 
gets wonderful flying experience, for he flies all 
kinds of machines, and, in case he gets a machine, 
that is what the French call " malregl6," he has a 
slight sample of what flying at the front may be 
like with part of your controlling surfaces shot 

So, I am still in my old work here, and having a 
rather amusing time, for I am not exactly sure 
what I am. I feel a little like the song, " Am I the 
Governor General, or a hobo," for no one, least 
of all headquarters, can make out just what my 
status is. I am hanging on like grim death, until 
I can get sent out to the front. Once I have had 
my three weeks or so with the French or English, 
I will have some sort of a foundation to base on, 
but till then, I'll probably remain an official mys- 

In the meantime, I am getting in all kinds of fly- 


ing, and I think, accomplishing a certain amount 
in the line of training the new men at the same 
time. Yesterday I took a group of ten off for 
a reconnaisance. They all had their maps, and 
the object was to make them keep formation 
and at the same time make out from the map where 
they are going. It's good practice for them, but 
by way of being dull for me, so I thought I'd 
liven it up by doing a couple of virrages a la verti- 
cale, and generally fooling round the sky. I did 
that for about five minutes, always keeping the 
general direction I was going, but more or less 
wagging my tail en route, and then looked around 
for the formation, which should have been follow- 
ing above in two nice "V's" of five. Instead, they 
were scattered all over the landscape like flies. I 
stopped doing everything at that, and flew in a 
straight line, so that gradually they formed up 
again. Then when I got back I asked what was 
the matter, and found that they had tried to fol- 
low my movements. Of course, it's absolutely im- 
possible, in formation, to do anything like that, 
and I told them so. I've also been polishing up 


my acrobacy a good bit lately, so that I can do it 
without thinking. 

February 23, 1918. 
No. 2. 

Not much news this time, except one rather 
sad bit. Al Sturtevant has been shot down. I 
heard it from Bob Lovett. He was patrolling, 
doing seaplane work, when he had the bad luck to 
run into a squadron of Bosche planes, out on some 
sort of reconnaisance. Of course he didn't have 
a chance. They shot him down, so thoro'ly that 
even the plane was totally destroyed, and sank. 
Poor Al, he's the first of that bunch whom we 
knew and played round with, that is gone. Still, 
there's no better way, if one has got to die. 
It solves things so easily, for you've nothing to 
worry about it, and even the people whom you 
leave have the great comfort of knowing how you 
died. Its really very fine, the way he went, 
fighting hopelessly, against enormous odds, and 
then thirty seconds of horror and its all over, 


for they say that on the average it's all over in 
that length of time, after a plane's been hit. 


March 7th. 

I am down at Cazaux, it's where they teach 
the Chasse pilots machine gun work, it is interest- 
ing and very valuable. From what I can gather 
about half the game in "chasse" is good machine 
gun work. 

It has been really a kind of vacation to come 
down here, for although we work pretty hard, it's 
nice and warm and we are right on the ocean 
living in a big summer resort hotel. The Colonel 
was awfully nice about it too, for he said I would 
still keep my status on the flying staff and be 
eligible to go out next in line with a French or 
British Squadron. 

Our own affairs are going along about the same. 

They train pilots and send them up to depots at 

the front and then leave them there with no planes 

to fly. You will get all of that from General Wood. 



One thing that is making trouble is the fact that 
we seem to be a door mat for G. H. Q. and the 
Line. The first they got us on was cutting flying 
pay when every other army in the world pays 
their flyers extra. Then the new service stripe 
regulations came out, and we got it in the neck 
again. In the aviation section one has to be six 
months in actual combat at the front to get a 
stripe; that means that a mechanic working near 
the front and bombarded every night has nothing 
to distinguish him from the Washington embusque. 
A pilot has to last six months and they hardly ever 
keep a chasse pilot up more than three. Also, 
some one like Ham Coolidge for instance, who is 
testing planes back at the school and doing dan- 
gerous work gets no credit and yet we kill on an 
average of one a week at the school. 
There, my wail is done ! 

March 7, 1918. 
Letter No. 6 

General Wood was out here yesterday, and 

as he is leaving very shortly, is going to take these 


back with him. So, as this will get to you prob- 
ably a good deal before my last few, I'm going 
to repeat myself. To begin with, I'm at Cazaux, 
at the French Ecole de Tir Aerien. They teach 
you the machine gun side of chasse work. I was 
very strongly advised to do it by Colonel Kilner, 
as he considers it very valuable training. He 
also promised to keep me on my training staff 
status, so that when I get back I can be sent out 
with either in British or French escadrilles. In 
the meantime I'm having a most interesting time 
back here. They start out with explanations of 
the mechanism and jams in the various types 
of machine guns. Then after some work on 
the ground, shooting at targets, shooting from 
boat at targets, and shooting at little balloons, 
you start in on air work. First there are no guns 
on the planes and you have to go up a couple of 
thousand metres, drop over a paper parachute, and 
then chase it, manoevring round it. After that you 
start, beginning on fixed balloons and ending with a 
sleeve towed by another plane. In all that work 
they keep record of your shots, and count the hits 


afterward. It's a three weeks' course, and I do 
not get finished until the eighteenth, and then, 
after two days in Paris, I'll go back to Issoudun 
again. From there, if things work as I hope, I 
go out with the French or British very shortly. 
However, I've given up prophesying as to when 
I'll be anywhere. I went to Cazaux on ten hour's 

March, 1918. 

The only unpleasant part is that the machines 
here are the most awful old crocks. They have 
been in service for ages, and have old motors and 
fuselages and wings that are all warped and bent 
out of shape. Consequently, the French warn you 
when you go up, to be very careful to do no sort 
of acrobacy at all, and not even try any steep 
dives with them to vertical virages. That's all 
very well, but they also expect you to follow the 
parachutes all the time, and make good scores 
when you are shooting at the machines. 


You get up in the air, and get excited over 
trying to follow up the parachute, or whatever 
it is you are trying to shoot at, and you forget all 
about your machine except as a means of keeping 
your sights on the target. As a matter of fact 
one of our fellows was killed just last week, in a ma- 
chine that was supposed to be perfectly all right. 
He was doing combat work at about fifteen hun- 
dred, when for some reason or other, just as he was 
straightening out of a dive, his wings folded up on 
him. Of course he didn't have a chance. He was 
a Cornell boy, named Hagedorn. 

Quentin made an excellent record at Cazaux; 
his score card was afterward sent to his family, 
and the note on the bottom reads: "Tres bon 
pilote. Atterrissages tres reguliers. Tres bon 
tireur. Esprit tr&s militaire, Beaucoup d'allant." 

As we are all living at Arcachon, incidentally, 

I've actually got a room and bath at a hotel, I 

dine with four or five officers every night, and have 

a most delightful time. Last night we gave a little 



dinner, to a couple of French aces, back for a 
month's rest. One had nine, and the other eleven 
Boche, so you can see they were pretty good. 
Things went well, and they were most interest- 
ing, telling about various times they had had. 
One of them started as observer, was captured, 
kept in a reprisal camp for five weeks, and finally 
escaped, via the lines, and across No Man's Land 
to the French again. After that, he became a 
chasse pilot ! Finally one of them got up, and 
proposed a toast to America, with the best 
speech I've heard in a long time. He has a 
wonderful gift for the dramatic, and he finished 
with, "and gentlemen, when we dine together 
again, and the war is over, may there be no 
empty places." That's only a bald attempt at 
conveying the sense, for it was beautifully done. 

Cazaux, March 12th. 

Down here things are very pleasant. We have 
been having the most glorious weather, warm and 
spring-like. The result is that they have in- 


creased our hours of work, so that we have to be 
upon the field from seven in the morning to seven 
in the evening, with only lunch time out. It 
makes a pretty long day of it and bed looks very 
pleasant by 9 :30. 

Sunday was a half holiday so we went off for 
an expedition, the Major, Lou Bredin, myself 
and an English Captain named Ainsley. You 
would have loved it. We went away across the 
bay on a little nondescript sort of sloop, which 
her owner called a canot. The bay is closed up at 
the mouth with a sort of strait with high dunes on 
each side that go all the way along the ocean up 
into the pine forests. It's curious country- 
nothing but sand and pine trees, planted by Na- 
poleon's orders (not the sand). I have flown for 
miles over it and except for occasional bare patches 
of sand it's deserted no clearings, no houses 
nothing. Only along the coast there are little 
fishing villages. We went out to one of them on 
our sail and stopped to look at a grove of mimosa 
in bloom. You have seen it of course and know 
how lovely it is. The whole thing was like an 


artist's sketch book. The men wear blue and 
brown shirts and red baggy trousers, all toned and 
softened by salt water, so that there are no sharp 
edges to the colors. The women too, when they 
are working at the oyster farms wear the same red 
trousers. We explored it all there were fully 
fifteen houses and then sailed back and so, like 
Samuel Pepys, "to bed." 

I leave in five days, although what I shall do, 
or where I shall go, heavens knows ! 

March 29 

Its been quite a long time since I last wrote 
home, and all sorts of things have happened. 
In the first place; I have finished up my work at 
Cazaux, and am back again at the same old camp. 
I finished up there on the twenty-second and went 
up for a forty eight hour pass in Paris, hoping to 
be able to get out to see Arch. I found when I 
got up there that it was impossible, as he is still 
in an evacuation hospital in the zone of the ad- 
vance, and I was not able to get passes to go out 
there. However I did see Eleanor, who was up 


in Paris, and having a horrid time, because she 
too had been unable to get out to see Arch. She 
had tried pulling every string she could, and the 
general opinion was that it would be impossible 
to do it, and that if she did do it this time, it 
would be the last chance she would have. She 
talked it over with Doctor Lambert, and also 
with several people who had just seen Archie, and 
they all agreed that his wounds were not serious 
enough to warrant that. As she said, it is a good 
deal better, if she is only going to be able to do 
it once, to wait until a time when one of us is 
very seriously wounded and needs her more. Also, 
they are expecting to move Arch into Paris very 
shortly, and so she will see him and be able to 
look after him as soon as he gets up there. She 
has gone down to Aix again, leaving word that as 
soon as it is definitely known when Arch is to be 
moved, she is to be telegraphed so that she can 
come up to him. 

As a matter of fact I was rather glad to get 
away from Paris, for the offensive was starting, 
and it wasn't much of a time for playing around, 


or doing anything at all but getting back to one's 
job. There's no use talking about the offensive 
because it will be all past history by the time you 
get this, and also because we don't know anything 
about it down here. The one thing we do know is 
that our chasse planes are being held up now by 
a new shortage machine guns. They have so 
far got only enough for the first squadron. The 
other squadron is doing decoy work a most 
profitless occupation to my mind. They are sent 
out over the lines escorted by two French planes 
with machine guns. The object is to get the 
German to attack them. Then they leave for 
home in a hurry and let the Frenchmen look after 
the Boche. It seems foolish to have to work that 
way, but we can't choose. They've done one 
rather delightful thing though. As you know, 
each squadron on the front has some special 
insignia. Guynemer's, for instance, was the Stork, 
there are the Leopards, the Indians, and lots of 
others. The poor souls who have to go across 
without machine guns have adopted a decoy 
duck, with one leg stuck out stiffly in front as if it 


were doing a goose step. They have got it painted 
on all their planes. 

I am at the moment in charge of training at 
the finishing field here, and expecting my orders 
any day. There is no vacancy at the present, as 
we have no planes, but I am to be sent up as soon 
as there is any. All schemes of going up in French 
squadrons and such have been disarranged by the 
offensive, and I rather doubt if they will start 
working smoothly again until the offensive is 
finished. In the meantime, Ham and I are sitting 
here, doing our work from day to day with an eye 
on the mail each morning, and a hope that it will 
have orders. In a way I'm not so sorry, for it 
has given me the chance to get out of a streak 
of bad flying that I had gotten into. I think it 
was the result of the landing field at Cazaux, 
complicated with not feeling awfully well. When 
I got back to this part of the world again I started 
in with a very heavy cold, and had to turn in for 
a day or two, as the doctor thought I was going to 
get another attack of pneumonia. Then when I 
started to fly I found that, either as a result of 


that or as a result of a landing field at Cazaux that 
is as smooth as a billiard table, my landings had 
all gone to the bad. I smashed one plane up 
beautifully when I started out. It was really a 
very neat job, for I landed with a drift, touched one 
wing, and then, as there was a high wind, did three 
complete summersaults (spelling?) ending up on 
my back. I crawled out of it with nothing more 
than a couple of scratches. So now I'm flying 
most of the time, getting into practise. I've 
got to go now, as there is a plane out en panne 
that I have got to locate. Lots of love to all the 
family, from QUENT 

March 30, 1918. 

I've flown a certain amount because, being in 
charge of training, I've had to decide whether it 
was fit for flying. It's quite amusing to fly in 
very windy weather. Yesterday when I cut my 
motor to come down, I found I was making al- 
most no headway against the wind. So I came 
down turning over about a thousand, and feeling 


as if I were in a delivery cart on a cobble stone 
road. She slapped and thumped on the gusts of 
wind like a flat bottomed boat in a sea. Alto- 
gether, flying for me has been amusing. Yester- 
day before coming over here it rained until five in 
the afternoon. Ham and I had almost given up 
the idea, when we noticed the clouds beginning to 
separate. I said try it anyhow, and so we started. 
It was funny flying weather. We went thru the 
first set of clouds at about three hundred metres. 
Then there was clear air for about a thousand 
metres, with only occasional banks, and finally a 
solid ceiling at about thirteen hundred. So we 
took the middle flying fairly high and watching for 
the ground between clouds to see where we were. 
I had a most unpleasant time of it just at the 
end, for I was really scared, and its the only time 
I have been, in the air. We were just about five 
miles from here, and I was getting ready to nose 
her down and come thru the clouds to land when 
for some unknown reason I began to feel faint 
and dizzy. I'm free to confess that I was scared, 
good and scared. However there was nothing to 


do except trust to luck, so I nosed her down, and 
went for the landing. As luck would have it, I 
happened to have just hit it rightly, and I came 
in on that glide with only a couple of S's to slow 
me up. I was mighty glad, tho, when I got on to 
good, solid ground again." 

Sunday, April 6, 1918. 

Ham and I are planning a big party very shortly. 
We are both going to take the seven day leave 
which the army gives us every four months, 
only we are going to take it by plane. We'll 
probably cruise all over the map, drop in and see 
Eleanor at Aix les Bains, and generally have a 
marvellous time. Don't you think it sounds like 
good fun? The one draw back is that my plane 
looks like a Liberty Bond ad. The mechanics in 
the hangar said that they were going to arrange 
a little surprise for me during the four rainy days 
that we've had, and they lived up to their word. 
They've got a huge American shield with white 


wings stretching across the top plane. Then 
running round the fuselage they have two spiral 
red and blue stripes ending in a little circle with 
the American insignia right back of the cockpit. 
Even the wheel covers are painted up. The net 
result is that wherever I land the plane collects a 
large crowd instantly. I'm getting some pictures 
taken of it, and if they're any good I'll send them 
to you. Its v. sporty. 

April 15, 1918. 

Please excuse this very spurious paper, for I 
have been too busy to get away from camp during 
the last week to get any more respectable variety. 

Things are beginning to hum here at the school. 
For one thing, we hear that they are not going to 
send any more pilots over from the states for the 
present, which is about the first sensible decision 
that they have made as regards the Air Service. 
As it is they must have about two thousand pilots 
over here, and Heaven knows it will be ages before 
we have enough machines for even half that num- 


her. Not one of the bunch that were at Cazaux 
with me have got out to the front yet, and there 
doesn't seem to be much chance of their doing so 
in the immediate future. It seems an awful pity, 
too, for with the way things are going on the front 
now, I can't help but think that all the pilots that 
can be handled ought to be sent up there in French 
and English squadrons if we can't provide the 
machines for them ourselves. Still, the Major 
says that he is certain that they will not let anyone 
go up with the French, as the last pilot that we 
sent up there only got as far as Paris and was 
then held up on account of the offensive. 

I wonder if they are hearing all the news about 
the offensive back in the states, and if they realize 
how serious it is. I'm rather afraid of talking 
about it, first because I am a little leary of the 
censor, and next because, being in the rear as we 
are, I doubt if we know as much even as you do 
in the U. S. A. All we do know is that its a 
mighty serious business, and that its our business 
to get into it as soon as possible. In the mean- 
time I am working my hardest trying to get the 


students that go thru here as well trained as pos- 
sible, and incidentally flying myself a lot. 

I am getting my air work down pretty well now, 
for I don't think there's any sort of a stunt that I 
haven't tried. Ham who is here testing, goes up 
with me every day for combat work, which is 
most interesting. The other day he came over in 
a new type of plane, that they are just putting 
in on the front, and we had a bully time with it. 
I went up in mine, which is of course specially 
taken care of by the mechanics and we chased 
each other around for about a half an hour. 

I just got a note from Arch to say that he was 
doing finely, and also hear from the papers that 
he has been moved to Mrs. Reid's hospital in 
Paris. I am going to fly up there next Saturday, 
if its decent weather, and spend Sunday with him. 
Its about a hundred and fifty miles, and I can 
make it in about an hour and a quarter. Eleanor 
is already up there with him, as I just got her 
telegram asking when I could get up there to see 

I have just gotten one piece of news that is 
very bad, if true. It is that Cord is reported 

missing. I have been over in the Major's office 
all day trying to get official confirmation of the 
rumor, and as yet have succeeded in hearing noth- 
ing about it. I don't see how it can be possible, for 
he was as good a pilot as any I have seen here, 
which means as any in the TJ. S. A. S. So I'm 
still hoping. 

Do you remember when you sent me this 
poem ? * It was two years ago, in a clipping in one 
of your letters. I remember loving it then, and 
its rather curious to run across it again, so I am 
sending it on to you, as I have a copy I made of 
the other. This seems a rather short letter, but 
we are all so full of the offensive over here that it 
doesn't leave much room for anything else except 
"shop" in our heads. I'm so glad father is 
getting all right again. Lots of love to Ethel and 
Co. and to you especially, from your loving, 


May 4, 1918. 

Its been perfect ages since I last wrote to you, 
and I've got a variety of reasons for not having 

* " Christ in Flanders." 



done so. The one real one is that I had one hand 
laid up in an accident and aside from that haven't 
been feeling decently for quite a while now. It 
started a little while after I got back from Cazaux. 
I had been feeling all overish for quite a while, 
and then one day when I was off on a voyage my 
motor blew up on me, and I had to come down for 
a forced landing. As luck would have it, some 
fool people got in my way, just as I was coming in 
to land, and as between hitting them or crashing, 
I took the latter, and hung myself up nicely in 
some trees. I reduced the plane to kindling wood, 
and got out of it myself whole but rather battered. 
Among other odds and ends, I had a bad wrist 
which reduced my epistolary efficiency. That 
in itself wasn't anything particular, but it was 
part of a vague general uncomfortableness. Ham 
and I talked things over, and found that we both 
were about in the same fix. It boiled down to 
this, that we both were heartily sick of the work 
we were doing, and that we wanted to get out to 
the front, or anywhere away from this mud ridden 
hole. I had got to the point where even the sight 


of a flying student filled me with loathing. It is 
rather hard to teach men to fly, and send them on 
thru the school, when you can see no future in 
sight for them. I knew that the men we were 
sending thru would just be sent to a gunnery 
school, and then have to hang around goodness 
only knows how long until there were any planes 
for them to fly. And knowing that it was awfully 
hard to get up any enthusiasm for a job, which I 
hated anyway. The long and the short of it was 
that Ham and I both decided, independent of the 
other, that we were stale. So I went to the Major 
and asked him if he could not arrange to have 
Ham take a leave. He said that on account of 
the offensive, leaves were being discontinued, but 
that he would allow Ham to take a plane on a 
cross country to Paris. So he sent for Ham and 
told him this, whereupon Ham told him some long 
song and dance about me, resulting in our both 
being sent off with our planes for a six days* rest 
in Paris. Don't you think that was pretty nice 
of him ? It made the most tremendous difference 
to me, for now I am back here again, and tho I 


don't like the work, yet I do see how useless it is 
to kick about it and not do it, when there is no 
chance to go out to the front anyway. The Major 
has promised us anyway that as soon as any bunch 
goes out to the front he will see that our names 
are on the list. 

Eleanor is up in Paris now looking after Archie 
so I stayed with her and naturally had a bully 
time. She really has been a perfect trump about 
the way she has taken care of all of us. As a 
matter of fact, neither she nor I think Arch is very 
well. He is very thin, and is in the horrid posi- 
tion now of not knowing what is going to happen 
to him. It will be about five months, so the Major 
at the hospital says, before he will be fit for active 
service again, and the question is what to do. 
Myself, I can't see why he wasn't sent back to the 
states as soon as they evacuated him from the 
Z of A. As it is, he is in the hospital, getting 
better slowly. I think he would have been much 
better off if he had been sent back to the states to 



May 4, 1918. 

There are some nice things about aviation, 
really. It seems to be the one part of the war in 
which brother Boche has the instincts of a sports- 
man and a gentleman. Of course the service is as 
full of wild stories as a boarding school, and this 
one I'm not sure about, tho I think its so. After 
Guynemer was brought down a Boche flew over his 
squadron's airdrome and dropped a letter saying 
that his funeral would be on a certain date and 
that four Frenchmen would be given safe conduct 
to land on the German field and attend it. They 
accepted it, and flew over, landed on the German 
field, were received by the Germans, attended the 
funeral and then went back. It's rather a fine 
thing if true, and I do know for certain that they 
know where Guynemer's grave is, so it may be 
true. Then just shortly ago, Baron von Richt- 
hofen the German ace, was brought down by the 
English. They buried him with full military 
honors, three French aces and three English aces 
for his pall bearers. It must have been most im- 


pressive, the French and English soldiers standing 
to attention as they lowered him into his grave 
while the English chaplain read the burial service 
over him. All those are the little things that will 
make up the traditions of the service after the 
war's over. And it is a nice thing to know that 
the things that you are to some extent a part of 
will be the traditions of the service. That and 
the certainty that there will be plenty of war 
left even when I get up there, helps to make 
Issoudun a little more bearable. 

May 12, 1918. 

Its been perfect ages since I wrote to you, and 
again I'm ashamed of myself, but I am also 
ashamed of my mail from the states, for I haven't 
gotten a single letter from there of more recent 
date than the third of April. I don't know what 
has been happening to them, for most of the other 
people here have gotten them as recently as the 
eighteenth. I hope they weren't sunk. 

I've got uncommonly little news that's worth 


the repeating. To begin with, I am still back at 
the same old place, and with no more definite 
prospect of getting out. Thank goodness, from 
what we can get in the papers, General Wood 
seems to have tried to give the people some idea 
of just what their wonderful aircraft production 
board has accomplished for them with its six 
hundred and twenty five millions and its glorious 
prospectuses. I only hope that it isn't too late 
to get things rolling over there. This certainly 
does look as if we were in for a good long run of 
it, doesn't it? Arch and I were discussing it, in 
the cheerfully ignorant fashion in which every- 
one does who is over here, and we don't think 
there's a chance of their being beaten for a year 
and a half more. Or rather, we don't think it 
will last thru more than one more winter. But 
of course, I'd have said the same thing last fall. 
They can certainly put over an offensive when 
they make up their mind to, in spite of "insuf- 
ficient man-power" and all the rest of that line. 
The one thing that we've heard that has pleased 
us in the aviation is that their new monoplane 


Albatross was a wash out and that they have 
gone back to the old D3 which was so successful. 
If we have the D3 we know what we're up against. 
I've loved all your letters, for they say what's 
going on really, not what ought to be going on, 


May 27. 

I've just been up in Paris again and so natur- 
ally I'm full of news. Just last week the Major 
called me in and said that he knew I knew a good 
many French aviation officers, consequently if I 
could persuade one of their squadron commanders 
to apply by name for me and Ham (!) he would see 
that the request was O. K'd. by our headquarters 
and that we were transferred up there. You can 
imagine how Ham and I felt ! Its just what we've 
been trying to do for ages. So with the help of 
Capt. Pelissin, who composed the letter, I wrote 
to Capt de V - who commands a group of 4 
Spad squadrons. We asked him to apply for 
Ham and me at once. Then the Major, as he 
knew of this, sent me up to Paris on Sunday to 
deliver some important papers that had to go 
[ 146] 


by hand. His idea was that while in Paris I 
could go to the French aviation H q to arrange 
about it which I did. 

I put in one whole busy day chasing from one 
office to another soft soaping all sorts of French 
officers, with "Oui mon Capitain," and "parfaite- 
ment, mon commandant" until I began to feel 
rather like a phonograph with only one record. 
However, I think I got something out of it, for 
at least two of them have agreed to inform me the 
instant any action is taken. 

Arch is getting along splendidly. For a while 
I was quite worried about him, but now he seems 
to be in very much better spirits, and his wounds 
are improving right along. I had all kinds of fun 
with him, for we lunched together both days 
that I was up there. 

Paris is wonderful fun now. Everyone who 
had left when the bombardment started has 
returned, and the boulevards are crowded. The 
gun shoots still at intervals but its a most dis- 

couragingly anti-clim (It isn't what you 

think it is !) 




Paris June 8th. 


Moving out at last with Ham very glad love 

to all ^ 


June 8, 1918. 


I've had so much happening to me, tho, in 
the last ten days, that I have not had time to 
think even, which is just as well. Ham and I had 
almost begun to think we were permanently stuck 
in Issoudun, when with no warning, we were or- 
dered up to Orly, which is just outside of Paris. 
No one knew anything about the orders, and Ham 
and I felt sure that it meant our first step out to 
the front. Once the orders came, tho, we only had 
twelve hours time to settle everything up and 
leave. You can imagine how we hurried, with all 
the goodbyes to be said and packing, and paying 
bills. I thought we never would get away, but 


finally it was thru, and we got in the truck and 
started to leave for the main camp to get our 
clearance papers. Then they did one of the nicest 
things I've ever had happen. Our truck driver 
instead of going out the regular way, took us down 
the line of hangars and as we went past all the 
mechanics were lined up in front and cheered us 
goodbye. As we passed the last hangar one of 
the sergeants yelled, after us, "Let us know if 
you're captured and we'll come after you." So I 
left with a big lump in my throat, for its nice to 
know that your men have liked you. 


June 18, 1918. 


At last, almost eleven months after I left the 
states, I'm doing what I came over here for, out at 
the front. Its all different from what I thought, 
too, for I am not with the French at all. You see, 
while we were down at Chartres telegraphic or- 
ders came in for us to report at once to the First 
Pursuit Group. That is an entirely American 
outfit, except for the planes of course, Ham and I 


have been chased about so much that we didn't 
really believe we'd be put in a squadron when we 
got here, but there were no two ways about it, and 
so we started out via Paris to comply with our 

I had a fairly eventful run out here, chiefly 
because the motorcycle developed a passion for 
punctures. After my third in ten miles, I said 
just exactly what I thought of the motorcycle as I 
got to work repairing it. Just as I stopped talk- 
ing I had no idea there was a soul within miles, 
I heard a voice behind me say "Priceless old 
motor-bike, what ! " I looked up and saw one of 
those long, angular Englishmen, with that thoroly 
blank expression which they use to camoufler a 
sense of humor. He had appeared out of a path 
behind me and had apparently absorbed my com- 
ments, anent motorcycles as I talked to it. I 
had a pleasant discussion on things in general with 
him, the net result being that I dropped round to 
his quarters and had a drink of Scotch before mov- 
ing on. He was a very good sort. 


Late in the afternoon I arrived here, to find 
myself assigned to the 95th Aero Squadron. The 
one drawback is that Ham is assigned to the 94th. 
However, we work together and have adjoining 
barracks, so things aren't as bad as they might 
be. Otherwise everything is fine. I took a half 
hour ride yesterday to get used to my plane, and 
somewhat to the sector. Then later on I went 
out on a patrol just up along the lines, to, as they 
put it, get used to being (loathly split infinitive) 
shot at by the Archies. It is really exciting at 
first when you see the stuff bursting in great black 
puffs round you, but you get used to it after fif- 
teen minutes. To-morrow I'll be working in Ger- 
many as my flight is on for reglage planes' protec- 
tion. So far there are very few Bosche in the 
air, but as the B. infantry staged quite an ex- 
tensive little hate yesterday (The French for 
hate is a coup de main, by the way) we think they 
may liven things up. There are lots of Amer- 
icans up here, and we think they may want to 
smash them up. 

I'll write to-morrow, when I've been over and 


turn in an official report of my first visit to Ger- 

June 25 

Its been five weeks since I've heard from any 
of the family, so I feel sure I must have com- 
mitted some horrible crime and be in deep dis- 
grace. From my thoroly black conscience I can 
find any number of explanations but the one I 
feel guiltiest about is that this is the first letter 
I've written in three weeks. There is some ex- 
cuse tho' for I have moved all over France in that 
length of time. 

I wish some one who did know something about 
flying at the front would go back, just to talk 
for a while with the designers and builders of 
the Liberty Motor and plane. Its going to be 
a long time before that thing gets to the front, 
and tho' I'm not crazy about the bus I'm flying 
I'd be much more comfortable in it than I would 
in a Liberty if I had to go across the lines. They 
have no right to send the things over here, tell 
the people in the states how wonderful they are, 


and then to expect us over here to work with 
them when each flight shows some new defect 
to be remedied. Of course they're all minor 
defects, but still they've been flying the planes 
over here for a month and yet she's not ready 
for the front yet. 

My last letter to you was written from the 
French concentration camp at Chartres, but as 
I know that mail forwarded to me there never 
reached me I don't trust the out going mails either. 
At all events after being ordered from Issoudun 
to go up with the French, and having put in a 
week at their concentration camp I was ordered 
back to the Americans again, this time to go up 
with the first pursuit group. Of course I was 
tremendously pleased, for I know all the bunch 
up here, and anyway its much nicer to be with 

I am now a member of the 95th Aero Squadron, 
1st Pursuit Group. I've been having a most 
interesting time, too. I've been up on the front 
now for about two weeks. Its such a change 
after Issoudun to be out and really doing some- 


thing. Where we first were it was rather a quiet 
sector and we generally had to go across the lines 
before we picked up any Boche, but just yester- 
day we were moved down into a hot sector quite 
near Paris, and from all we can gather there are 
Boche here all the time. I've had about six or 
seven hours over the lines so far, and I'm just 
beginning to get an idea of what goes on around; 
at first you don't see the Boche at all but gradu- 
ally you begin to get on to them. I can see a cer- 
tain amount now of what's going on. I've not got 
any combats as yet and the best I can show for 
myself is a hole where an archie went thru my 
wing. The real thing is that I'm on the front- 
cheers, oh cheers and I'm very happy. 

I'll write again day after tomorrow, after our 
first patrol of this sector, and tell you what its 
like. Lots of love to all the family, and a sepa- 
rate special kind to you. 

July 2nd, 1918. 

Even tho this is an active sector I haven't had 
much excitement as yet. Yesterday they kept 



us pretty busy, tho'. In the morning we went 
out for a patrol along the ceiling and spent two 
hours of cruising up and down the line without 
seeing anything. Then in the afternoon the in- 
fantry had a show arranged, in the shape of a 
2x2 kilometre push on a seven kilometre front. 
That means of course a great deal of reglage and 
photography work, so there was a lot of chasse 
work to be done, what with protecting our own 
biplanes and keeping off the Boche. We were 
scheduled to fly on the low level, at twenty-five 
hundred metres, to intercept any enemy photog- 
raphers or reglage planes. There were two more 
patrols above us, one around four thousand and 
one up along the ceiling, keeping off their chasse 
planes. We didn't run into any of their planes, 
but there was enough doing down below to make 
up for it. We were too high to make out any 
infantry but everywhere the artillery were work- 
ing. The seven kilometres of attack ran from 
a wood on past a couple of small villages and ended 
up in a fair sized town. They were shelling hard 
all along it and one of the villages was in flames. 


You could see the white puffs where the shells 
landed and then when the smoke cleared away, 
the round crater that they dug in the ground. 

Altogether there was lots doing, and I was 
glad I was comfortably above it all, with no worries 
but two cold fingers and a bad magneto. When 
we got in we found that tho we hadn't seen any 
Boche the top flight had and then some. There 
were ten of them, and they got into a free for 
all with nine Fokker biplanes. They had bad 
luck with machine gun jams, and the Boche made 
it pretty hot for them. Two of them aren't back 
tho they may have landed inside our lines, 
and they accounted for two and maybe three 
Boche. One man got back here with his plane 
so shot up that it was nothing short of a miracle 
that he escaped. He had one centre section 
shot away, and to hit it the bullet must have 
gone within an inch of his head. The whole 
fuselage, and one gas tank are riddled with bul- 
lets, and as the Boche use explosive bullets, that 
fellow can thank his stars. I'm writing this in 
the hangars as I'm on alerte, but so far no Boche 


have been reported. I go on again from six to nine 
to-night, and as that's their pet time I have hopes. 
There's nothing in the world duller than waiting 
in the hangar for an alerte that doesn't come. 

July 6, 1918. 


Yesterday our flight officer was sent out to 
patrol at thirty-five hundred metres over about a 
ten kilometre sector where some sort of straight- 
ening the line action was going on. Our orders 
were not to cross the line, or fight unless forced 
to. For about fifteen minutes we chased up and 
down, up and down, with no more excitement 
than scaring a few reglage planes back into Ger- 
many. I was busy watching below us I was 
flying right when I saw our leader give the alert 
signal. I hadn't seen anything below, so I looked 
ahead and there up about a thousand metres, on 
the German side I saw a patrol of six Boche. We 
started climbing at once, and I was having a hor- 
rid time, for while the rest of the formation closed 


in I dragged farther and farther behind. I have 
a bad motor, so that when the rest hurry up they 
leave me. There I was, with only the slim con- 
solation that the leader was probably keeping 
his eye on me. We climbed on, and I did my 
darndest to keep up and at the same time keep 
an eye on the Boche who remained comfortably 
on top. The next thing I knew, a shadow came 
across my plane, and there, about two hundred 
metres above me, and looking as big as all out- 
doors was a Boche. He was so near I could make 
out the red stripes around his fuselage. I'm 
free to confess that I was scared blue. I was 
behind the rest of the formation, and he had all 
the altitude. So I pushed on the stick, prayed 
for motor, and watched out of the corner of my 
eye to see his elevators go down, and have his 
tracers shooting by me. However, for some 
reason he didn't attack, instead he took a few 
general shots at the lot and then swung back to 
his formation. Our only explanation is that he 
didn't want to fight in our lines, he had every 
kind of advantage over us. Lord, but I was 


glad when he left. When I got back they decided 
to pull my motor, so I was given another plane 
for this morning, which belongs to a fellow who's 

We went out on patrol again, this time at five 
thousand and started over across, hunting for 
trouble. A couple of kilometres inside the line 
we spotted six of them about a thousand metres 
below us. We circled and came back between 
them and the sun, and dove on them. They 
never saw us until we started shooting so we had 
them cold. I had miserable luck I had my man 
just where I wanted, was piquing down on him, 
(he was a monoplane) and after getting good and 
close, set my sight on him and pulled the trigger. 
My gun shot twice and then jammed. It was 
really awfully hard luck, for I couldn't fix it. The 
feed box had slipped, so she only fired one shot 
at a time, and then quit. I did everything I 
could, but finally had to give up and come home, 
as we were about fifteen kilometres their side of 
the line. As the papers put it, tho', "a success- 
ful evening was had by all." We got three of 


them They weren't the circus of course. We 
lost one man, tho', and we aren't sure how. We 
rather think his motor must have gone dead on 
him, and forced him to land in Germany. So 
things are looking more interesting around here, 
and I've had my first real fight. I was doubtful 
before, for I thought I might get cold feet, or 
something, but you don't. You get so excited 
that you forget everything except getting the 
other fellow, and trying to dodge the tracers, 
when they start streaking past you. 

July 11, 1918. 

There's lots doing in this sector. We lost an- 
other fellow from our squadron three days ago. 
However, you get lots of excitement to make up 
for it, and nearly every patrol we run into some 
of them. We've moved again, this time only 
ten kilometres. It's a much smaller field than 
the other, but it's nearer the front by those ten 
kilometres, and the other was really too big for 
us. Also, I like my quarters much better. I'm 


billeted in a little French town near the field. I 
room with Ed Thomas, our transportation officer, 
in a delightful room. It's in one of those white, 
plaster houses with tile roofs that sag in between 
the rafters, and an impossible weather cock on 
the chimney that doesn't work as there's a spar- 
row's nest in between its legs. The room is on 
the ground floor, with a window on each side, 
one where you can watch everything that's going 
on in the street, and the other looking out on a 
garden that's all in bloom. Its spotlessly clean, 
with red tiled floor, and a huge grandfather's 
clock ticking solemnly in the corner. 

The old lady who owns the house is equally 
delightful. She's a little bit of a dried up person, 
at least as old as the hills, with gold rimmed spec- 
tacles, the red cheeks that all these country folk 

have, and a beard that even might be proud 

of. At first she regarded me with deep suspicion, 
but I've now succeeded in winning her over. She 
thawed a little when she found I talked French 
but the thing that won her over completely 
was her dog. When I first came in I was greeted 


with furious barkings and growlings. By a strong 
mental effort I succeeded in showing no outward 
and visible signs of my inward and spiritual doubt, 
and walked on past him. That night, as I was 
sitting reading the old lady appeared and with 
her the dog, who solemnly advanced, wagged his 
tail, and then put his head on my knee to be 
patted. After that the old lady and I became 
fast friends and now I am Monsieur Quentin 
and a privileged person. Among other things 
she told me that she had had German officers 
quartered in her house in 1870 and then again 
in 1914. Think of it. 

I got my first real excitement on the front for 
I think I got a Boche. The Operations Officer 
is trying for confirmation on it now. I was out 
on high patrol with the rest of my squadron when 
we got broken up, due to a mistake in formation. 
I dropped into a turn of a vrille these planes 
have so little surface that at five thousand you 
can't do much with them. When I got straight- 
ened out I couldn't spot my crowd any where, so, 
as I had only been up an hour, I decided to fool 


around a little before going home, as I was just 
over the lines. I turned and circled for five min- 
utes or so, and then suddenly, the way planes 
do come into focus in the air, I saw three planes 
in formation. At first I thought they were 
Boche, but as they paid no attention to me I 
finally decided to chase them, thinking they were 
part of my crowd, so I started after them full 
speed. I thought at the time it was a little strange, 
with the wind blowing the way it was, that they 
should be going almost straight into Germany, 
but I had plenty of gas so I kept on. 

They had been going absolutely straight and I 
was nearly in formation when the leader did a 
turn, and I saw to my horror that they had white 
tails with black crosses on them. Still I was so 
near by them that I thought I might pull up a 
little and take a crack at them. I had altitude 
on them, and what was more they hadn't seen 
me, so I pulled up, put my sights on the end man, 
and let go. I saw my tracers going all around 
him, but for some reason he never even turned, 
until all of a sudden his tail came up and he went 
down in a vrille. I wanted to follow him but the 


other two had started around after me, so I had 
to cut and run. However, I could half watch 
him looking back, and he was still spinning when 
he hit the clouds three thousand meters below. 
Of course he may have just been scared, but I 
think he must have been hit, or he would have 
come out before he struck the clouds. Three 
thousand meters is an awfully long spin. 

I had a long chase of it for they followed me 
all the way back to our side of the lines, but our 
speed was about equal so I got away. The trouble 
is that it was about twenty kilometers inside their 
lines, and I am afraid, too far to get confirmation. 

At the moment every one is very much pleased 
in our Squadron for we are getting new planes. 
We have been using Nieuports, which have the 
disadvantage of not being particularly reliable 
and being inclined to catch fire. 

The victory recounted in this letter was after- 
ward verified by the French, and duly credited; 
but the verification was not recorded until after 
Quentin had fallen. 



Oyster Bay, July 17, 1918. 

" Quentin 9 s mother and I are glad that he got to 
the front and had the chance to render some service 
to his country, and to show the stuff that was in him 
before his fate befell him." 

"On July fourteenth the French were to cele- 
brate and asked us to contribute a number in a 
theatre in a nearby town, so I appointed Quentin 
Roosevelt to get up the entertainment. He 
raked up all the musical talent, the French are 
very fond of American ragtime and banjos and 
the night before he came into my room and sat 
on my bed, telling, with a great deal of humor, 
of what he had done. The next day at noon I 
called up to arrange about getting his party into 
town when I heard he was reported missing." 

When Quentin failed to turn up, Hamilton 
Coolidge, who was serving in the 94th Squadron, 


and Philip Roosevelt, who was Operations Officer 
of the First Pursuit Group, left no stone unturned 
to learn his fate. The inevitable crust that 
hardens one who is daily meeting death was but 
small protection to them against the blow. 
Coolidge wrote: 


In this awful period of suspense when we don't 
know whether Quentin is dead or alive I feel that 
the best thing I can do is to tell you in detail the 
circumstances of his disappearance. On the morn- 
ing of the Fourteenth a report came in to Quen- 
tin's squadron, which was the one on duty at 
that time, that Boches were crossing the lines in 
the north eastern part of our sector. Accord- 
ingly a patrol of nine men, Q among them, set 
off to find the Huns. Just over the lines they 
encountered a Boche patrol of seven. The wind 
was blowing into their territory and the air was 
hazy even above the "ceiling" (a solid layer of 
clouds) which lay at about two thousand meters 
altitude. The Boches at once started retreating 


and a running fight began. This soon developed 
into a series of individual combats during which 
the patrols became broken up. The combats did 
not take place at very close range as the Huns 
had no desire to fight. They succeeded however 
in drawing our men further and further into their 
territory. The combats finally ceased and the 
men all made for home individually, groping th^ir 
way through the clouds and mist largely by aid 
of their compasses. No one remembers having 
seen Quentin after the shooting began, but this 
is entirely natural. Several of the men lost their 
way or were forced to come down for gasoline 
soon after recrossing the lines; it is quite likely 
that one of these things happened to Quentin. 
Capt. Philip Roosevelt yesterday interviewed an 
observer who distinctly saw an allied plane de- 
scend "piquing sharply, but not in flames and 
apparently under control." The place and time 
he gave corresponded exactly to those of Quen- 
tin's combat, so it is safe to assume that it was he. 
The fact that his plane was neither spinning nor 
in flames as it came down makes me believe that 


he landed safely. There are many good reasons 
why he should have been "piquing sharply "- 
perhaps to escape from pursuers in superior force, 
perhaps again, because he was wounded and 
wished to land before becoming faint. I have 
talked to the men on his patrol and almost all 
seem to think that he is a prisoner and was not 
shot down. 

Everything possible is being done to find out 
news of Quentin, but at this critical time re- 
ports do not come through or receive confirmation 
very rapidly. Of course you will hear through 
the Associated Press any news that may develop, 
much more quickly than I could cable it, but 
you may be sure that I shall forward to you 
immediately any information which may have 
escaped the notice of the Associated Press corre- 
spondents. I have packed all Quent's things 
and sent them by truck to Mrs. Ted Roosevelt, 
39 Rue Villejust, Paris, where, God grant he may 
find them again before long. 

Affectionate regards to you and Mr. Roosevelt 



Months later, shortly before his own fate over- 
took him, he wrote: 

"Death is certainly not a black unmentionable 
thing, and I feel that dead people should be talked 
of just as though they were alive. At mess and 
sitting around in our quarters the boys that have 
been killed are spoken of all the time when any 
little thing reminds some one of them. To me 
Quentin is just away somewhere. I know we 
shall see each again and have a grand old 'hoosh* 
talking over everything together. I miss him 
the way I miss mother or the family, for his per- 
sonality or spirit are just as real and vivid as they 
ever were." 

Lieutenant Edward Buford, Jr., was also re- 
ported missing, but landed safely on a French 
aerodrome. He had seen Quentin's last fight, 
and described it in a letter to his family, written 
several months later: 

FATHER DEAR:- *# sth ' 1918 ' 

You asked me if I knew Quentin Roosevelt. 
Yes, I knew him very well indeed, and had been 


associated with him ever since I carne to France 
and he was one of the finest and most courageous 
boys I ever knew. I was in the fight when he 
was shot down and saw the whole thing. 

Four of us were out on an early patrol and we 
had just crossed the lines looking for Boche ob- 
servation machines, when we ran into seven Fok- 
ker Chasse planes. They had the altitude and 
the advantage of the Sun on us. It was very 
cloudy and there was a strong wind blowing us 
farther across the lines all the time. The leader 
of our formation turned and tried to get back 
out, but they attacked before we reached the 
lines, and in a few seconds had completely broken 
up our formation and the fight developed in a 
general free-for-all. I tried to keep an eye on 
all of our fellows but we were hopelessly separated 
and out-numbered nearly two to one. About a 
half a mile away I saw one of our planes with 
three Boche on him, and he seemed to be having 
a pretty hard time with them, so I shook the two 
I was maneuvering with and tried to get over to 
him, but before I could reach them, our machine 


turned over on its back and plunged down out of 
control. I realized it was too late to be of any as- 
sistance and as none of our other machines were 
in ^sight, I made for a bank of clouds to try 
and gain altitude on the Huns, and when I came 
back out, they had reformed, but there were 
only six of them, so I believe we must have 
gotten one. 

I waited around about ten minutes to see if I 
could pick up any of our fellows, but they had 
disappeared, so I came on home, dodging from 
one cloud to another for fear of running into an- 
other Boche formation. Of course, at the time 
of the fight I did not know who the pilot was I 
had seen go down, but as Quentin did not come 
back, it must have been him. His loss was one 
of the severest blows we have ever had in the 
Squadron, but he certainly died fighting, for any 
one of us could have gotten away as soon as the 
scrap started with the clouds as they were that 
morning. I have tried several times to write to 
Col. Roosevelt but it is practically impossible 
for me to write a letter of condolence, but if I 


am lucky enough to get back to the States, I ex- 
pect to go to see him. 

Two days after Quentin fell the following Ger- 
man communique was intercepted by our wireless: 

"On July fourteen seven of our chasing planes 
were attacked by a superior number of American 
planes north of Dormans. After a stubborn fight, 
one of the pilots Lieutenant Roosevelt, who 
had shown conspicuous bravery during the fight 
by attacking again and again without regard to 
danger, was shot in the head by his more experi- 
enced opponent and fell at Chamery." 

Not long afterward a German official bulletin 
was found on a prisoner: 

Group "Jeporen" (name of the general?) 
General Command Headquarters. 

Ic? The Intelligence officer, in the name of the General. 
No. 128185. 

Army Corps Headquarters, 

the 24th of July, 1918. 

Edition including even the Companies, except those 
which are just now on the first lines, and which 
will be only mentioned after their relief. 



Sheet of Information, No. 10. 
from the 21st of July to the 23rd of July, 1918. 


At the time of a struggle between a German 
pursuit squadron of seven machines and twelve 
American pursuit aviators above the Marne, a 
fight took place between the German pursuit pilot 
non-commissioned officer Greper and an American 
pilot. After a long fight, the German flyer suc- 
ceeded in bringing down his gallant antagonist. 

The hostile airman had been killed by two 
bullets in the head. He was identified by his 
papers as Lieutenant Roosevelt, of the U. S. A. 
Flying Corps. 

A clipping from the Kolnische Zeitung obtained 
through the Spanish Embassy gave this account 
of the fight: 

"The aviator of the American Squadron, Quen- 


tin Roosevelt, in trying to break through the air 
zone over the Marne, met the death of a hero. 
A formation of seven German aeroplanes, while 
crossing the Marne, saw in the neighborhood of 
Dormans a group of twelve American fighting 
aeroplanes and attacked them. A lively air bat- 
tle began, in which one American in particular 
persisted in attacking. The principal feature of 
the battle consisted in an air duel between the 
American and a German fighting pilot, named 
Sergeant Greper. After a short struggle Greper 
succeeded in bringing the brave American just 
before his gun-sights. After a few shots the plane 
apparently got out of his control; the American 
began to fall and struck the ground near the vil- 
lage of Chamery, about ten kilometres north of 
the Marne. The American flyer was killed by 
two shots through the head. Papers in his pocket 
showed him to be Quentin Roosevelt, of the United 
States army. His effects are being taken care of 
in order to be sent to his relatives. He was buried 
by German aviators with military honors." 
The German pilot who shot down Quentin 


Roosevelt told of counting twenty bullet-holes 
in his machine, when he landed after the fight. 
He survived the war but was killed in an accident 
while engaged in delivering German airplanes to 
the American Forces under the terms of the 

The funeral services held by the Germans were 
witnessed on July fifteen by Captain James E. 
Gee of the 110th Infantry, who had been captured, 
and was being evacuated to the rear. Captain 
Gee passed through Chamery, the little village 
near which the plane crashed to earth. He thus 
describes the scene: 

"In a hollow square about the open grave were 
assembled approximately one thousand German 
soldiers, standing stiffly in regular lines. They 
were dressed in field gray uniforms, wore steel 
helmets, and carried rifles. Officers stood at at- 
tention before the ranks. Near the grave was 
the smashed plane, and beside it was a small group 
of officers, one of whom was speaking to the men. 

"I did not pass close enough to hear what he 
was saying; we were prisoners and did not have 


the privilege of lingering, even for such an occa- 
sion as this. At the time I did not know who 
was being buried, but the guards informed me 
later. The funeral certainly was elaborate. I 
was told afterward by Germans that they paid 
Lieut. Roosevelt such honor not only because 
he was a gallant aviator, who died fighting bravely 
against odds, but because he was the son of Colonel 
Roosevelt, whom they esteemed as one of the 
greatest Americans." 

On July 18, in the great allied counter-attack, 
the village where Quentin fell was retaken from 
the Germans, and his grave was found by some 
American soldiers. At its head was a wooden 
cross, on which was printed: 

Lieutenant Roosevelt 
Buried by the Germans. 

Following the custom that sprang up in the 
heroic soil of the air-service, the broken propeller- 
blades and bent and scarred wheels of the plane 
were marking his resting-place. 

Near by lay the shattered remains of the air- 


plane, with the seventy-six "wound stripes" which 
Quentin had painted on it, still to be seen. 

The engineer regiment of the division that 
had retaken Chamery marked the spot where the 
airplane fell, and raised a cross at the grave with 
the inscription: 

Here rests on the field of honor 

Quentin Roosevelt 

Air Service U. S. A. 

Killed in action July 1918. 

The French placed an oaken enclosure with a 
head-board reading: 

Quentin Roosevelt 

Escadrille 95 

Tombe glorieusement 

En combat aerien 

Le 14 Juillet 1918 

Pour le droit 

Et la liberte. 

A young American officer in a letter to his 
family thus described the arrival of the tribute 
from the French: 



"Oh yes, one little episode of the other day 
might be of interest. I was back of the lines on 
a truck, in search of kitchen utensils and other 
things for the men, when down the road came a 
big open truck loaded with something which 
looked like a gigantic wooden bed perhaps twelve 
feet long and eight feet wide. At the head of it 
there was a large shield, and above this a carved 
wooden cross. Did I not know the French idea of 
homage to the dead, I would not have recognized 
what it was. As we went by, I looked at the 
shield in large carved letters I saw the words 
'Quentin Roosevelt.' You see he is buried not 
far to our rear. It was a bit of French tribute, 
for, to these people, there is no man like Roose- 
velt. They still talk about him, and their eyes 
snap whenever his name is mentioned. He com- 
mands their profound respect: they consider him 
their friend; this was the only way they could 
show it." 

Many very beautiful letters were written to 
Quentin's father and mother by those who visited 
the grave; from them three have been selected. 


The first is from Bishop Brent, the second from 
a lifelong friend of the family, Doctor Alexander 
Lambert, and the third from the Reverend C. A. 
White of Chicago: 

Chamery 14th Aug. 1918. 

I am standing by Quentin's resting place where 
he lies on the Field of Honor. I came up on duty 
near Fismes and learned quite by accident that 
we would pass by the grave. It is at the bottom 
of a shell scarred slope. The cross is supported 
by the shaft of his plane, and the twisted wheels 
are against the brick fence. There is a reversed 
rifle at the foot, at the head behind the cross a 
trench knife. There are some little tributes on 
the grave one from Evangeline Booth. It is a 
month today since Quentin flew to his fate. Dr. 
Macfarland is with me and we said some prayers 
for him and for all of you. There are two sol- 
diers of the - - Division here who fought over 
this very ground and drove the Germans across 
the river. We are still in the zone of action and 
the storm of battle is raging, though all is peace- 


ful at this spot. Tonight I am to be with some 
of our chaplains at a dressing station. 

C. H. B. 

"I do not know if any one has told you of the 
kind of country around Chamery, the little vil- 
lage four hundred yards from which he is. It is 
seven to eight miles North of the Marne directly 
north of Jaulgonne on the river just above a swing- 
ing curve of the road above Cierge. The country 
is a rolling grassy open hilly place, with only here 
and there small patches of woods. Last Tuesday 
I found some one had planted some pansies on 
the grave and there were other flowers. Evi- 
dently some one is looking after the place care- 
fully, because no faded flowers collect there. 

" Two months ago I went there to find the place 
and took with me Colonel Elliot of the British 
Service. We were still fighting in Fismes a few 
miles north. A Field Hospital stood on a ridge 
a mile away and troops were going steadily north 
along the road through Chamery to Fismes. I 
walked through a harvested oat field with little 


purple flowers scattered through it. I gathered 
handfuls and so did Elliot, and as we stood by 
the stone which marks the place where the ma- 
chine struck, some fifty feet from the grave, we 
saw coming up the side road a staff officer on 
horse back, and along a path worn out across 
the field from the main road, trudged a line of 
American soldiers from the battalion halted in 
the village on their way to Fismes. The boys 
picked flowers on the way and stood in a group 
around Quentin's grave, and laid their flowers 
where we had lain ours. Elliot exclaimed: 'That 
is the real American spirit, an unconscious and 
loyal tribute to what both the boy and his Father 
have stood for.' 

"It must be some comfort to realize for how 
great a cause Quentin laid down his splendid 
personality." * y 

Chicago Oct 30 1918 

I am not sure that I do either of you a kind- 
ness in sending you this letter. If it is a mistake 
on my part charge it to the feelings of a father 


who has a son "somewhere in France." A few 
weeks ago I motored some miles from the then 
Vesle battle front to the grave of your son Quen- 
tin. I believe it would be a comfort to you both 
if you could see his noble resting place in the soil 
of France as I saw it. The day was beautiful. 
Sunshine everywhere. A company of boys in 
khaki march past, eager, active, on their way to 
the front. There are no other marked graves 
near. The very isolation and the immediate 
calmness of the scene seemed to me splendid. 
Yet the roar of the guns along the Vesle front 
could be heard. Captive balloons both Boche 
and Allied floated lazily along the battle line a 
few miles away. Air planes whirred overhead 
and now and then one with the sinister black 
Iron Cross of the Hun on it shot across the sky. 
A noble burial place it seemed to me for a brave 
American like your son. The grave is in the midst 
of a broad rolling country, at the foot of a gentle 
slope which beyond the grave drops rather sharply 
to a more level field. The view in every direction 
is practically unobstructed for several miles ex- 


cept by the near sloping hill side. As of course 
you know a simple fence incloses the grave, some 
simple plants, I think a few faded flowers, all 
indicative of the loving thoughtfulness of some 
one. Here where he fell doing his whole duty 
your son sleeps in the bosom of France. It is a 
brave place to rest after one's work is done, peace- 
ful now that the battle front has rolled back to 
the Aisne. Nature is busy making this great 
battle field beautiful again. She is growing 
grasses around the edges of shell holes, and scat- 
tering some blood red poppies here and there. 
Your hearts would find a great peace I am sure 
if you could just see where your boy sleeps. 

C. A. W. 

Don Martin thus described the scene in a 

"Word that the grave of the young lieutenant 
had been found spread rapidly. An American 
division was encamped near by at the time. It 
would be difficult to estimate the number of Amer- 
icans who have made the pilgrimage to the grave 


since it was located. It is about five hundred 
feet off a small, slightly used road, on a little ledge 
of earth overlooking a gorgeous panorama. Paths 
have been worn to the grave from a half dozen 
different points worn by American soldiers, who 
are still walking sometimes five and six miles 
just to see the spot and pay reverence to the young 
American who to serve his country entered the 
most dangerous branch of the service." 

Quentin's death called forth many editorials 
that flamed forth genuine feeling. Three have 
been chosen, two American and one French. The 
first is from the Boston Transcript : 


"Not with evil intention, but doubtless in ac- 
cordance with what they regard as chivalrous, 
the Germans have dropped upon our advance 
lines in France what is nevertheless a poisoned 
dart, for it is the news that Lieutenant Quentin 
Roosevelt is indeed dead. This word will bring 
poignant sorrow to millions of Americans. And 
the sorrow will not be merely sympathy for the 


distinguished family now bereaved of its youngest 
son, its Joseph and its Absalom; it is sorrow of 
the people's own, who find in this brave youth 
the type and representative of their own dearest 
attachments. It is the fortune of Theodore 
Roosevelt to dramatize many sentiments and 
qualities dear to the people the home spirit 
and the home treasure; service and sacrifice for 
country; and the hopes and aspirations that are 
common to us all. The people therefore feel the 
death of young Roosevelt, typical boy of all our 
boys, in a manner tenser than if they were mourn- 
ing merely with another. 

"Just a boy, for he was not yet twenty-one 
years of age, following or side by side with his 
brothers, all of them, young Quentin Roosevelt 
went, seeking the most daring service; and first 
of them all he has fallen to his death. The coun- 
try simply stands shoulder to shoulder with the 
heroic father, who says, 'A great fight and a good 
death; trust him, he would not fail.' Pride, 
but a tender pride; a kind of high rejoicing, but 
with tears in it, especially tear* for the devoted 


mother; for a thousand bereavements exactly like 
it march hand in hand with this bereavement, 
and it is the forerunner of many more thousands 
yet to come. All our boyhoods are in Quentin's 
today; he is the volunteer of all our volunteers: 

* * He leapt to arms unbidden, 

Unneeded, over-bold; 
His face by earth is hidden, 
His heart in earth is cold. 

Curse on the reckless daring 
That could not wait the call, 

The proud fantastic bearing 
That would be first to fall ! 

O tears of human passion, 

Blur not the image true; 
This was not folly's fashion, 

This was the man we knew.' " 

The second is from Reedy's Mirror St. Louis: 


"How everybody's heart goes out to Colonel 
and Mrs. Roosevelt in sympathy over the death 
of their son Quentin ! The outburst of aff ec<- 


tionate expression has been finely spontaneous. 
And the way the Colonel takes the blow only 
intensifies the popular admiration for him. Noth- 
ing is in it of theatricality. The parents bow 
to inexorable fate in a gracious simplicity of proud 
sorrow or sorrowful pride. The Colonel stands 
out, in the affliction that has befallen him, with 
a finer glory than ever. He's an American a 
man. How cheap and mean the aspersions upon 
him for criticising the conduct of the war ! Well 
it became General Pershing to send him a special 
cable about Quentin, and the President to wire 
his condolences. The Colonel would be the last 
man to say his boy, as such, deserves any more 
honor than another for doing his duty. Quentin 
lived and died his father's creed of sacrificing 
service. He died fighting with seven enemy 
planes, fell in the enemy lines as we all knew 
a Roosevelt would. And two other sons are 
among the wounded. What argument such lives 
and such a death lend to the creed of the true 
American ! The boys justify their father's gos- 
pel and career before all the world. And we 


think of gallant, modest Quentin as typical of 
all Americans, as the flower and fruit of the patri- 
otism a lax generation first awoke to at his father's 
call, before war had come and death begun its 
revel. He stands for all the fallen upon whom 
no public glory falls. And the Colonel and Mrs. 
Roosevelt seem to gather and give off our pity 
to fathers and mothers all unknown who have 
made the same sacrifice. They take the blow 
standing. They say it is well their dear one dies 
that liberty may live, that force and fraud may 
be destroyed in world-affairs. Colonel Roose- 
velt has been given much by the people in a score 
of years, but now they give him their tears, their 
heart of heart; they are drawn into oneness mak- 
ing these parents' grief and pride their own. In 
these gloom-glory hours the Roosevelts serve 
their country and their kind in high fashion. And 
when they prayed, thousands who never prayed 
before said 'Amen* to their resignation to the 
Divine Will. Again the Roosevelts bound their 
people in oneness of spirit about the altar where 
bled their ewe-lamb. And Quentin rests in Ger- 


many by his people's orders, lives in death * pos- 
sessed of fame that never shall grow old.' ' 

The last is from Le Temps, Paris: 


"La mort heroi'que du capitaine aviateur Quen- 
tin Roosevelt, fils de 1'ancien president des Etats- 
Unis, ajoute une nouvelle page de gloire et de 
deuil a 1'histoire de 1'amitie plus que seculaire 
qui unit FAmerique et la France, dans une magni- 
fique confraternite d'armes, pour la defense du 
droit eternel et des libertes du monde. 

"Le president Roosevelt, dont la vie publique 
et privee fut toujours un admirable exemple de 
courage liberalement prodigue au service des plus 
nobles causes, est un des hommes d'Etat qui ont 
le plus efficacement contribue au rapprochement 
de toutes les forces morales de I'humanite sur le 
champ de bataille ou va se decider 1'avenir de la 
conscience humaine. Tout de suite il a proteste 
contre 1'agression qui a dechaine la guerre et qui, 
par la violation de la neutralite de la Belgique, a 


donne, de prime abord, la mesure de I'inimoralite 
de 1'agresseur. 

"Si 1'ancien combattant de Cuba n'est pas venu 
Iui-m6me, comme il le desirait, prendre sa place 
au milieu du combat et, selon sa coutume, au 
plus fort du peril, c'est que des obstacles plus 
puissants que sa volonte 1'ont retenu aux Etats- 
Unis ou d'ailleurs il ne cesse de servir, par tous 
les moyens en son pouvoir, la cause a laquelle il 
a sacrifie de tout coeur ses plus cheres affections. 
II nous a donne ses quatre fils, tous engages volon- 
taires, tous animes de la plus belle emulation 
d'heroisme et inspires des hautes pensees dont 
la tradition paternelle a illustre leur foyer natal. 
L'un d'eux, le plus jeune, deja cite a 1'ordre pour 
une serie d'incomparables prouesses, vient de 
tomber au champ d'honneur. Un autre est 
blesse. . . . 

"Puisse la grande ame du president Roosevelt 
trouver dans cette epreuve la consolation et le 
reconfort que voudrait lui apporter notre amitie 
fraternelle! II sait, il a souvent dit, mieux que 
personne, combien la beaute du sacrifice libre- 


ment consent! est feconde en bienfaits pour les 
generations qui viendront, apres nous, recueillir 
les fruits de nos efforts et de nos souff ranees. Ceux 
qui furent les heros d'une juste cause et les mar- 
tyrs d'un ideal ne cessent pas d'etre presents a 
la memoire des siecles et d'agir par une incessante 
resurrection qui multiplie a Tinfini la vertu de 
leurs actes. Ainsi vivra parmi nous le capitaine 
Quentin Roosevelt, aime des freres d'armes qui 
furent les temoins de ses exploits, honore des hom- 
mages doux et tendres de sa patrie qui le pleure 
avec fierte, entoure de 1'amour de la France qui 
a recueilli ses reliques sacrees et qui veillera pieu- 
sement sur sa tombe glorieuse. G. D." 

It is fitting to close this chapter with these 
four personal letters: 

Paris July 23rd, 1918 


Perhaps you will like to know of a tribute paid 
you and your son Quentin. 

Beside my other work here, I have been going 
to the Neuilly hospital every morning for two 


hours to distribute American newspapers to the 
wounded just arrived from the front. It is a ter- 
rible and touching sight. The wards are already 
so full that all the halls are lined with men on 
stretchers waiting to have their wounds dressed. 
They are splendidly brave and uncomplaining 
and pathetically eager for home news. Yester- 
day morning I had given away all my New York 
papers and had only the Paris edition of the New 
York Herald left. At the end of a long hall I 
found a man apparently asleep. His head was 
hanging over the edge of the stretcher and I put 
a pillow under it to ease his position. When he 
opened his eyes I asked him "where he had gotten 
it" as the question is put among them. "Oh ! it 
ain't much I have, lady he replied "just 
through me hips and somewhere in the back." 
Then he saw the paper and his eyes lit up. I 
gave it to him and lighted a cigarette. He said 
"Gee! but that's swell" and then as his eyes fol- 
lowed the head lines of the paper "Hell ! they 
got the President's son ! " There was no question 
between us of who was or had been President, no 


need to question his or my patriotism. War, I 
find, strips the unessential from our lives and 

Very sincerely yours, 


A deeply appreciated personal letter came from 


November 19th. 


This is a very old lady writing you, but I feel 
sure I have that which will be of interest, as it is 
an incident relating to the dear boy who sleeps 
on Flanders Field. 

We were in a camp up hi the White Mountain 
region, had just been celebrating a reported vic- 
tory, and as a veteran of the sixties it fell to me to 
tell some of my experiences, as a northern woman, 
in the south. We had had a great camp celebra- 
tion and just finished the national anthem, when 
some one stepped up on the platform and told us 
Quentin Roosevelt had made the "supreme sac- 
rifice." There was an instant hush, as though 


every heart there was lifted in prayer, when out 
from the back of the hall stepped a young woman 
bearing a big flag, singing "My Country 'Tis of 
Thee." All joined in singing it through, then 
silently with bowed heads passed out into the 
night, each to his own quarters. 

Words cannot convey to you the solemnity of 
the tribute to the brave young soldier. There 
were some of us who recalled him as a little laddie 
in the streets of Washington. There were none 
who failed in the tribute, or forgot the sad hearts 
at Oyster Bay. 

Most loyally, sympathetically and lovingly, 


A letter from Captain Philip Roosevelt, Opera- 
tions Officer of the First Pursuit Group, closed 

". . . and manner of his death, I would rather 
have died as Quentin did than any other way. 
It was a critical day in the war. Quentin was 
taking part in a military mission of an importance 


which could not be exaggerated, protecting a 
photographic airplane fifteen kilometers in the 
enemy lines. This mission was successful and the 
photographs established beyond a doubt that the 
enemy must attack within twenty-four hours for 
one could see the seventy sevens being placed in 
position in open fields and far back of the lines the 
reinforcements already marching up to fill the 
holes which were to be made in the enemy ranks. 
Quentin lost his life, and it makes his personal 
loss no less hard to bear to know that he died at 
a supreme moment, but it does leave behind a 
tremendous inspiration for the rest of us." 

The Reverend John B. Stoudt of Northampton, 
Pa., wrote: 

"My brother Lieut. Frederick M. Stoudt served 
abroad during the war in the Motor Transport 
Corps, and was stationed most of the time at 
Verneil, France, at the Reconstruction Park 772, 
where he had charge of a department in the Sheet 
Metal and Welding Shop. Towards the end of 
the war he had upwards of two hundred German 
prisoners working in his department. He tells of 


a young German officer, quite intelligent, who 
delighted in discussing the war, and who would 
ask many questions about America and our enter- 
ing into the war. 

"This young officer told my brother the follow- 
ing in substance, concerning the effect upon the 
Germans at the falling of your son Quentin. That 
when he fell the fact was heralded throughout 
the German army, and throughout the Central 
powers. That photos of his grave and his wrecked 
plane were published and exhibited profusedly far 
and wide. That the German authorities believed 
it to be good propaganda, with which to hearten 
both the soldiers and the people at home. But 
that it had the opposite effect and produced as 
far as they were concerned a negative effect or 
result. That no sooner had Quentin fallen but 
that it was whispered from ear to ear, from trench 
to trench. That in it one could see how in free 
America everybody was fighting. That though 
America was in the war only for a short time, the 
son of an American President, engaged in one of 
the most dangerous lines of service, was lying 


back of the German lines, while their country 
had been at war three years and that neither the 
Kaiser, nor any of his sons were ever so much as 
scratched. That it gave the soldiers a vision of 
the democracy of America, and helped to deepen 
the feeling that they, the common soldiers, were 
only cannon fodder for the Kaiser. That it made 
real to them the difference between autocracy and 
democracy, of which they had heard so much. 
That this feeling spread like wild fire, not only 
throughout the army, but also among the people 
at home. That those elements in Germany that 
were opposed to the war seized upon it and en- 
larged the suggestion. This young officer de- 
clared that in the judgment of many this was 
the largest single factor in the breaking of the 
morale of the German Army." 





France, July 27th, 1918. 
Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, 
Oyster Bay, Long Island, 
New York. 


Since my cablegram of July 17th, I have de- 
layed writing you in the hope that we might still 
learn that, through some good fortune, your son 
Quentin had managed to land safely inside the 
German lines. Now the telegram from the In- 
ternational Red Cross at Berne, stating that the 
German Red Cross confirms the newspaper re- 
ports of his death, has taken even this hope away. 
Quentin died as he had lived and served, nobly 


and unselfishly; in the full strength and vigor 
of his youth, fighting the enemy in clean combat. 
You may well be proud of your gift to the nation 
in his supreme sacrifice. 

I realize that time alone can heal the wound, 
yet I know that at such a time the stumbling 
words of understanding from one's friends help, 
and I want to express to you and to Quentin's 
mother my deepest sympathy and friendship. 
Perhaps I can come as near to realizing what 
such a loss means as anyone. 

Enclosed is a copy of his official record in the 
Air Service. The brevity and curtness of the 
official words paint clearly the picture of his ser- 
vice, which was an honor to all of us. 
Believe me, 

Sincerely yours, 






July 26, 1918. 

MEMORANDUM FOR: The Adjutant Gen- 
eral, A. E. F. 

SUBJECT: Official Record of 1st Lieutenant 
Quentin Roosevelt, Air Service. 

1. Lieutenant Quentin Roosevelt landed Liver- 
pool August 8th 1917, assigned Issoudun August 
17th, assigned School Aerial Gunnery Cazaux 
March 1st 1918, to duty Officer in charge Train- 
ing Field seven Issoudun March 24th, to duty 
Orly May 31st Chartres June llth Toul June 
13th Colombey-les-Belles June 21st, assigned to 
95th Aero Squadron Toul June 24th, duty Char- 
tres June 25th Toul July 6th Touquin July 13th, 
reported missing July 17th, confirmation by Ger- 
man Red Cross of death in aerial combat July 
22nd. Confirmed by International Red Cross 
from Berne, Switzerland, July 24, 1918 as fol- 



"International Red Cross wires that German 
Red Cross confirms newspaper reports Quentin 
Roosevelt's death in aerial combat further details 
lacking King Godson." 

2. Lt. Quentin Roosevelt during his whole 
career in the Air Service both as a cadet and as 
a flying officer was a model of the best type of 
young American manhood. He was most cour- 
teous in his conduct, clean in his private life and 
devoted in his duty. As an Officer he had the 
best interests of the service always at heart, per- 
formed his duty no matter what it was, whether 
agreeable or not, always to the best of his ability 
and without question or remark. 

3. After completion of his training as a pilot 
he was selected on account of his efficiency as 
an instructor and had charge of one of the most 
important flying instruction fields. His great 
desire and hope was to be allowed to get to the 
front. This opportunity was not practicable 
for a comparatively long time on account of 
his expert services being more needed as an in- 



4. When the order assigning him to duty with 
a squadron finally came on June 24th he lost no 
time in reporting and arrived just in time to take 
part in the last great enemy offensive where the 
combat work by his squadron was most stren- 
uous and aided materially in the success of the 

5. Lieutenant Roosevelt had already brought 
down one enemy plane and had aided the squad- 
ron in a number of fights against large enemy air 
formations where the American units dispersed 
the enemy and brought down a number of their 
aircraft. His work during these combats was 
exceptionally good, his endeavor being the suc- 
cess of the squadron rather than to get individual 
airplanes to his personnel credit. 

6. His loss was deeply felt by his flying com- 
rades in the squadron as well as by all officers 
and soldiers with whom he had ever come into 

contact ' R. O. VAN HORN, 

Colonel, Air Service, 
Asst. Chief of Air Service. 





France, August 23rd, 1918. 
Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, 
Oyster Bay, L. I. 
New York. 

Believing that you and Mrs. Roosevelt would 
want complete information as to where your son 
rests, I requested that there be prepared an official 
report, accompanied by photographs. These have 
just reached me and I am enclosing them to you. 

The manner in which Quentin's comrades have 
marked and sheltered his grave shows how much 
they loved him, and this must offer you and Mrs. 
Roosevelt some consolation in the great sacrifice 
you have made. 

Again expressing my regret over the loss of 
this splendid young soldier, and my sympathy 
with you, Mrs. Roosevelt and the family, I am, 
my dear Colonel Roosevelt, 

Sincerely yours, 



Washington, le Sept. 21, 1918. 


De La Republique Frangaise 
Aux Etats-Unis. 


All those among us, in whatever walk of life, 
who have lost a son in the present war, receive 
as a memorial to be preserved in the family, an 
engraved statement, testifying to the fact that 
their child gave his life for the great cause. 

The President of the French Republic hopes 
you will permit him to consider that a similar 
loss has brought you even nearer to our hearts 
than ever before, and he has instructed me to 
transmit to you and to Mrs. Roosevelt the same 
token as is received by the bereft fathers and 
mothers of France. 

In accordance with the directions of President 
Poincare, I forward you at the same time as this 
note, a case containing that document, and I en- 
close herewith a letter to you from President 



As for me, I need not say what I feel in fulfilling 
this duty; I knew Quentin as a child, and one 
could easily discover in the child the man that 
he would be. Millions of long lives will have 
been forgotten when his memory will still be fresh 
among us as in his own country. 

Believe me, my dear Colonel, 

Most sincerely yours, 


de la 


Paris 3rd Sept. 1918. 


Do you kindly allow me to send you, in memory 
of your gallant son Quentin, the same diploma 
as to the parents of the French officers and sol- 
diers who died for freedom ? I charge our friend, 
Mr. Jusserand, to deliver you, with this letter, 
that token of admiration. 

Believe me, sincerely yours, 




Q. G. A., le 5 Septembre 1918 

le General DEGOUTTE 
Commandant la VI Armee Frangaise 
a Monsieur le President ROOSEVELT 


Sur le territoire reconquis par la VI Armee 
entre la Marne et 1'Aisne, avec 1'aide des vaillantes 
troupes des Etats-TJnis, nous avons voulu donner 
aux braves, morts glorieusement pour la defense 
des Droits de FHumanite, une sepulture qui per- 
mettra aux families qui les pleurent de reconnaitre 
le lieu de leur dernier repos, et a ceux qui recueil- 
leront le fruit de leur heroi'sme, de venir, dans les 
annees qui suivront la paix victorieuse, leur ap- 
porter le tribut de leur reconnaissance profonde- 
ment emue. 

Parmi les plus glorieuses tombes, ou se feront 
ces pieux pelerinages, sera celle de votre fils, le 
Lieutenant Aviateur Quentin Roosevelt, heroi- 
quement frappe en plein vol, en effectuant une 
patrouille de protection au-dessus de la Foret 
de Ris, le 14 Juillet, le jour meme ou la France 


celebrait 1'anniversaire de la conqute de ses 

Elle se trouve pres de la Ferme de Reddy, de- 
pendant de la Commune de Coulonges Je vous 
envoie la photographic qui en a etc prise. 

J'ai tenu a y deposer personnellement une 
couronne pour rendre hommage a la memoire du 
jeune heros. 

En vous adressant ce pieux souvenir, permettez- 
moi, Monsieur le President, de vous exprimer de 
tout coeur la part que je prends au deuil cruel qui 
vous frappe. 

Le Lieutenant Quentin Roosevelt est heroi- 
quement tombe en terre frangaise pour le triomphe 
de 1'ideal commun de nos deux Pays, dont la vieille 
amitie devient de jour en jour plus etroite en se 
scellant du sang si noblement verse, cote a cote, 
sur les champs de bataille. DEGOUTTE. 



J'apprends la mort glorieuse de votre fils, le 
capitaine aviateur Roosevelt, tombe au front de 


France en combattant pour la cause de la li- 

Si votre douleur peut avoir quelque adoucisse- 
ment, vous le trouverez certainement dans ce fait 
que votre fils a trouve une mort heroique en com- 
battant sous les plis du drapeau Americain que la 
France entiere salue comme le symbole de la 
victoire certaine. 

Veuillez agreer, Monsieur le President, avec 
les sinceres et vives condoleances de 1'Armee 
Frangaise, 1'assurance de toute ma sympathie. 





Bureau Du Personnel 

ORDRE No 12,027 "D." (EXTRAIT) 

Apres approbation du General Commandant en 
Chef les Forces exp6ditionnaires Americaines en 


France, le Marechal de France, Commandant en 
Chef les Armees Frangaises de 1'Est, cite a 1'Ordre 
de L'ArmSe. 

Lieutenant Pilote Quentin Roosevelt, a PEsca- 
drille Americaine 95 : 

"Excellent pilote de chasse, possedant les plus 
belles qualites de courage et de devouement, Le 
10 Juillet 1918, apres un combat contre 5 avions 
ennemis, a abattu un de ses adversaires. A etc 
tue-glorieusement au cours d'un combat aerien. 
le 14 Juillet 1918." 

Au Quartier General, le 29 Novembre 1918 

Le Marechal De France, 
Commandant en Chef les Armees Franchises de L'Est, 



(Signature iUegible) PETAIN. 

From the Naval Institute of July, 1919: 
"The only French war craft named after a 
citizen other than of France, is the torpedo-boat 


destroyer Quentin Roosevelt, named recently as a 
mark of respect to the late ex-president and his 
son. The destroyer is the former Russian Buiki, 
which has been taken over by French naval au- 
thorities and renamed. She was rechristened last 
September. The Quentin Roosevelt was turned 
over by the Russians to the French because their 
navy was at that time short of men and they were 
unable to man her." Institute. 





December 21, 1918. 

On going through our files preparatory to de- 
mobilization of the First Pursuit Group Head- 
quarters, the enclosure (a report locating Quen- 
tin's grave) was discovered, having been caught 
with some other papers and filed away by mis- 
take. As the information requested was later 
given officially in another letter, it is not neces- 
sary for us to forward the enclosed indorsement, 
and I thought that perhaps you might be in- 
terested in having it, as it is signed by one of 
Quentin's great friends, Lieut. Hamilton Coolidge, 
who, as you know, was subsequently killed in 
the Verdun Sector on October 27th. 

It is needless for me to say that Quentin's loss 


was mourned by everybody in the Group. He 
was one of the most popular officers in the organi- 
zation, being liked by everyone, officers and men. 
I know of no one who really enjoyed life more 
than he did. He always entered into the spirit 
of everything, whether it was work or pleasure. 
The day he was killed, he was in charge of an 
entertainment we were giving to assist in cele- 
brating the French National Holiday, July 14th, 
and at the rehearsal given the night before, was 
the life of the party, inspiring everybody with 
his enthusiasm. That night he came to my room, 
and I shall always remember his sitting on my 
bed and describing to me in his inimitable manner, 
the programme that he had laid out. 

He and Captain Coolidge reported to the First 
Pursuit Group when we were in the Toul Sector, 
and both explained that they had been boyhood 
friends for the past eight years and wished to 
get into the same Squadron. There was a vacancy 
in two Squadrons so the Commanding Officer 
assigned Quentin to the 95th and Lt. Coolidge, 
as he was then, to the 94th. Both became Flight 


Commanders in their respective Squadrons. Capt. 
Coolidge felt his loss very deeply, and often spoke 
to me about him. The day Capt. Coolidge was 
killed, October 27th, he stopped in my office just 
as he was leaving on his last patrol, and spoke 
then of Quentin. I recall now his saying that he 
wished Quentin could have survived to have been 
with him at St Mihiel-Verdun offensive, in which 
this Group had been so successful. Coolidge, as 
you know, had become an Ace, and had eight 
official enemy airplanes to his credit. Killed, al- 
most under the shadow of the Armistice as it 
were, his loss was deeply felt by everyone. 
Very sincerely yours, 

Captain, Air Service U. S. A. 

DEAR MRS. ROOSEVELT: 3 ^ 30 ' 1918 

It seems almost incomprehensible that Quen- 
tin is really gone. At every turn something re- 
minds me of him. This afternoon I walked in a 
quiet wood where Q. and I walked and chatted 
together only a few days before his death. I 


could almost hear his voice but still there is an 
awful empty feeling inside. Quent was such a 
complete person not a mere friend who is in- 
teresting in some particular way he was in- 
teresting and lovable in every way. No one I 
ever knew had so many friends from so many 
different types and conditions of people. 

I am trying to write a little sketch of Quentin 
since his coming to France, in the hope that I 
may be able to tell you some things about him 
which you would never have learned from his 
letters. This will not be finished for a while yet, 
as it is necessary to write in between times and 
in the midst of distractions. Also, my ability 
to express what I feel makes it hopelessly inade- 
quate; still I shall do my best, as I do so want 
you to know about some of the things that boy 
has done here. 

Quentin's daring has left a profound impression 
on all of us. I remember once at Issoudun, when 
after making a bad landing and narrowly missing 
a ditch, he told me that he had a "horrible sink- 
ing feeling," but when it came to facing live Boches 


in superior number far inside their lines, and 
each armed with two deadly machine guns, the 
"sinking feeling" did not figure at all. Too many 
pilots find a "miss firing motor" or "leaking water 
connection" an excuse for avoiding proximity 
to Boche planes. Quentin, however, found the 
presence of enemy planes an excuse for temporarily 
overlooking the inferiority of his own apparatus. 
His aggressive spirit has made a deep impression 
throughout our Air Service, and I find in Quen- 
tin's death, I won't say a vindication of Mr. Roose- 
velt's attitude towards our War programme, but 
a factor which gives his words redoubled force. 
One heard occasionally, about a year ago, these 
words, "Yes, the Roosevelt boys are all going 
across, but you can be sure they'll be given staff 
jobs." Strangely enough several of the people 
who made similar remarks have found that they 
are temperamentally better suited to be instruc- 
tors at the Aviation Schools, rather than mere 
pilots at the front. 

I am enclosing a letter from one of Quentin's 
former mechanics. It arrived a few days after 


his death and is typical of the way every one of 
those boys felt toward him. 

I feel that I share with you and Mr. Roose- 
velt the thrill of pride that was given us by the 
circumstances of Quentin's splendid victory, and 
of his even more splendid death, and I ask you 
to accept my deepest sympathy at so sacred a 


Affectionately yours, 


On the trip across Quentin busied himself most 
of the time in becoming better acquainted with 
the officers of his detachment, many of whom he 
previously knew but slightly. He was thoroughly 
enthusiastic about the job ahead; his enthusiasm 
was fundamental, and seemed to me distinct from 
that of many of his comrades who apparently 
acquired theirs in the much talking and specula- 
tion that accompanied the after dinner smoke. 
Even his worst spells of homesickness did not 
dent it, though his natural cheerfulness changed 
to black gloom on that tedious trip. 


Often we walked together in the evenings on 
the unlighted decks, and always the conversation 
developed into reminiscences of the events so 
fresh in our minds. . . . Never was he sorry for 
himself. Almost never did he speak of the dan- 
gers ahead of him, and then only in a most casual 
way. Once in a great while he wondered "Shall 
I ever come back?" but far more often it was "I 
wonder how long it will be before we come back." 
His attitude seemed to be fatalistic. He went on 
the principle that he was on an adventure in 
which a definite object was to be obtained. When 
that object was obtained he was coming back. If 
some accident befel him in the course of it, that 
was something he could not foresee then why 
worry? Quentin did not begrudge the fact that 
war was going to demand his best efforts, that it 
would place him in great personal danger. The 
only thing he begrudged was the inordinate 
amount of precious time that it would occupy. . . . 

Upon arriving in France on August 14th, Quen- 
tin was sent directly to Issoudun to take charge 
of transportation, and for a while supplies also. 


The camp then consisted of little more than a 
half dozen army tents, and Cord Meyer was 
about the only one of his old friends then with 
him. All I knew of Quentin during the next two 
months came from his comrades who occasionally 
had business in Paris. Somehow Transportation 
and supplies didn't seem to be within the field of 
Quentin's previous experiences, but everyone spoke 
of how well he was doing. He successfully con- 
ducted several trench trains of supplies from a 
sea-port town and some of the supplies he obtained 
occasioned considerable comment because the 
other men had been unsuccessful in obtaining 
them. I later learned that Quentin never needed 
previous experience to handle a job successfully. 
His versatility was unlimited. Probably no officer 
in the air service has had more different jobs than 
Quentin in the same length of time, and made a 
real success of each. Yet all the time he was 
doing these jobs, not because he liked them but 
because he saw that they were inevitable before 
flying could really begin. Flying was what he 
cared about. One day a Frenchman landed at 


the field in a Caudion. After lunch Quentin was 
looking over the machine. He had never driven 
a Caudion before, in fact for over two months he 
Lad not flown at all. Neither of those facts dis- 
turbed him in the least; he wanted to fly. Two 
mechanics cranked the engine and a minute later 
Quentin was circling the field in a machine new to 
him and controlled in a different manner than 
any plane he had hitherto been in ! 

It was during this period that Quentin and 
Cord Meyer became such good friends. They 
frequently took motor cycle trips together. Both 
had some bad smashes, but that seemed only the 
rather amusing accompaniment of their good 
times together. It was then, too, that they be- 
came acquainted with the delightful Normant 
family at Romorantin. 

On October 15th, when the school opened a 
new administration took hold. From then on 
the plan of things and even the personnel, was 
constantly changing for a while. Quentin always 
had some job on his hands. One week he went 
away in charge of a trucking detail. The next 


saw him in command of a Squadron. Often he 
was called to Paris on questions of accountabilities 
for supplies. His duties were so many and varied 
that for a while he had little chance to fly. It 
really seemed as if his superiors used him for any 
hard job which required tactful handling. I think 
of one case in particular in this connection. The 
cadets at the school in its early days had under- 
gone some very trying disappointments in regard 
to their commissions and their pay; they were a 
demoralized crowd of boys. Quentin was put in 
charge of them. For several weeks he devoted 
his entire time to straightening out their difficul- 
ties. He had no chance to fly with this work on 
his shoulders and the strain began to tell. Com- 
ing back from a cross country trip I found him 
sick and strongly urged him to go to bed. He 
said that he couldn't leave his work and went 
right ahead. That is when he really became sick. 
There were several of us down with grippe at the 
same time, while Quentin had pneumonia. Under 
Miss Givenwilson's personal care most of us had 
soon recovered, but Quentin's sickness had reached 


a stage where nothing but a complete rest and 
change could do him good. It was to Bordeaux 
that he went, if I remember correctly. At any 
rate he stayed there but two days, after which he 
returned to Paris. He said it was because during 
those two days it had snowed and if there was 
going to be bad weather in Southern France he 
might as well stay in Paris. I know, however, 
that what really brought him back to Paris was 
the persistent devotion to family which was always 
so marked in him. 

Field Seven is where formation flying is taught 
at Issoudun. It is where Quentin really made his 
mark at the School. He was sent there after rush- 
ing through his acrobatic flying upon returning 
from Paris, to be the Officer in charge of flying. 
It was the one job he had a chance to hold long 
enough to organize thoroughly. While anxious to 
go to the front Quentin realized the futility of that 
desire for some time to come and therefore settled 
down to make the best he could out of his work 
there. He was happy to be there with Cord 
Meyer for a while, before Cord left. In thinking 


over those days I always think of Quentin at 
Field Seven. That is when I knew him best. It 
is when he had his most permanent job and when 
he did his best work. It is when he won the 
devotion of all the mechanics in a way that gave 
a fine lesson to the "over military" type of officer 
who tries to impress his authority by an abrupt- 
ness of manner and speech assumed for the occa- 

Every morning prompt at seven o'clock a 
gaudily painted plane could be seen circling the 
camp, sometimes ducking in and out of low hang- 
ing clouds, at others diving, twisting and rolling 
in an extravagant demonstration of nice handling. 
It was Quentin in his beloved "Dock Yack" plane 
trying out the weather before sending his pupils 
off on patrol. In addition to the star cockades 
and the shield and wing insignia upon the top 
wing, Quentin had employed a jack-of-all-trades 
mechanic to paint upon both sides of the fuselage 
a representation of "Doc Yack" in his auto, as 
depicted in the Goldberg cartoons. Quentin was 
extremely pleased with this plane, both as to 
appearance and flying qualities. 


All the time during flying hours he was out 
upon the field wearing a grimy long leather cost 
and the traditional silk stocking "porte bonheur''* 
as his only head gear. He seemed to be always 
moving about. Patrols took off and returned 
with more and more precision as time went on. 
Planes were ready on time; they were lined care- 
fully to white chalk lines, and the accumulated 
oil and dust seemed to disappear from their sides 
and undercarriages. Often I happened to be 
near when Quentin was criticizing a student flyer. 
"What were you doing a quarter of a mile behind 
the formation when it passed over Vatan?", or 
perhaps "Yes Williams I realize that the Cha- 
teauroux hospital possesses a peculiar fascination 
for you (the nurses) but you know that acrobatics 
two hundred feet from the ground is poor busi- 
ness, and incidentally weren't you supposed to be 
in the formation a thousand metres above ? " In- 
variably a puzzled, usually sheepish expression 
appeared on the face of the victim as he first won- 
dered how his instructor knew of all these things, 
and then realized that he was not the type of in- 
structor who watches proceedings from a chair on 
f 223] 


the ground. Had any of the men on patrol looked 
carefully above at times they might have seen a 
small Nieuport circling inquisitively overhead. 
Indeed the ubiquitousness of their instructor al- 
ways puzzled the students, for was he not on the 
ground when they left and then also when they 
returned, and yet was there any incident of their 
flight around the country which he did not know 
about? An instructor who flew himself, who fre- 
quently took a student's place in formation, must 
be a man who took an interest in his work, they 
figured and the quality of the flying and hence 
the reputation of the field gradually but surely 
adjusted itself accordingly. 

At Field Seven there was a supply Officer whose 
duty it was to secure the many spare parts that 
are essential in the maintenance of airplanes. 
There was a construction officer who supervised 
the building of barracks, the driving of wells, 
the installation of electric light plants and machine 
tools in the shop. Sometimes in spite of all their 
efforts the spare parts were unavailable, the build- 
ing material could not be had for love or money. 


"Requisitions had been in for two weeks, but 
nothing had happened." At supper someone 
would ask "Where is Quentin?" and another 
would answer "Oh he has gone over to the main 
camp on his motorcycle," and the subject would 
be dismissed. Next morning, however, the needed 
parts or material would suddenly and mysteriously 
appear upon a truck. Once in particular I re- 
member when a long awaited dynamo arrived at 
the camp. The old one had become inadequate 
as the demands upon it increased. The new one 
after being carefully cleaned and assembled by 
willing mechanics stood ready to supply the much 
needed current as soon as a suitable foundation 
should be built for it to rest upon. "But there's 
not a bit of cement in the supply room; we'll 
have to wait until they send it from Paris," com- 
plained the construction officer. That night it 
was dark and drizzly so nobody noticed when 
Quentin disappeared about nine o'clock with 
two of his men in a truck. About an hour later 
the truck returned with twenty bags of cement 
inside. " Where did you get the cement ? " some- 


one asked. "Stole it," was Quentin's laconic 
reply. And let it be remembered that Quentin's 
official title was "Officer in charge of Flying at 
Field Seven." 

Then there were many rainy days when we 
couldn't work. We used the room in which Quen- 
tin, the Doctor and the Captain (C. 0. of the field) 
lived as a sitting room; usually the four of us 
but occasionally several more would wander in. 
The Captain was a Southerner and enjoyed crap 
games so dice it was. We sat on Quentin's 
bed rolling the dice and exchanging francs. Pri- 
vately we all took our cue from the Captain but 
after about two games you couldn't tell whether 
it was he or Quentin who was the veteran "crap- 
shooter." He put his whole heart into every- 
thing he did whether it was rolling dice or develop- 
ing pilots for war. When he did not play in the 
current game he was sitting in the box wood arm 
chair reading or writing letters with a concen- 
tration that was always a source of wonder to 
me. No matter how much noise the phonograph 
and the gamblers made he never " batted an eye." 


It seemed to make not the slightest difference to 
him. He always managed to keep up his read- 
ing, but I could never discover whether or not 
he had a system about it. One minute I would 
find him reading the "Rhymes of Ironquill," or 
Dunsany the next it would be Boswell's Life 
of Johnson. He nearly always carried a book 
in his pocket, which reminds me of Archie at 
Groton. I think Quentin always kept several 
books going at the same time and read whichever 
one happened to be handy. He seemed to like 
queer and obscure things, but probably they were 
"queer and obscure" only to me! Anyway if he 
spent time reading them it was only because he had 
already read every standard and known author. 

After an idle day a dinner in town at the "cafe 
de 1'Aviation" usually followed sometimes with 
the "Gappy" (he hated the name but wouldn't 
admit it) and Doc often with some Frenchmen 
or other friend at the main camp. 

The following are extracts from Lieutenant 
Coolidge's letters to his family: 


"Q. seems to figure in almost everything amus- 
ing that happens to me. Last Tuesday I got 
permission to try the little monoplane again. 
Thinking to make a big impression (because this 
monoplane commands attention wherever it goes) 
I headed straight for here, our outlying field. 
As I drew near I spotted Q. in his gaudily deco- 
rated plane, circling around a toy balloon up 
over the field, so of course I sailed up to say hello. 
Just as I got close, however, he turned his at- 
tention from the toy balloon flipped over on his 
back and came diving down on me in attack. 
That possibility hadn't occurred to me, but one 
must never refuse a combat, so I hastened to 
manoeuvre for position. Well it is commonly 
known that the mono is far superior here to all 
the other planes in speed, climb and manoeuvre 
ability, but as it was only my second trip in the 
little devil and as it is a very sensitive appareil, 
demanding skilful handling, I didn't dare to whisk 
it around in the slap-dash manner that would 
have saved the situation, and consequently I 
was ignominiously defeated in the fight. Now 


my chances of revenge are poor because another 
pilot has since wrecked the little plane. It is 
hard life. 

"Yesterday Q. and I once more attacked the 
Major on the subject of getting out to the front. 
Well, a rather discouraging circumstance renders 
it useless just now, so there's obviously nothing 
to do but wait in patience." 

July 11, 1918 

Quentin and I were not assigned to the same 
squadron. We are in the same group, conse- 
quently operate from the same base and see each 
other frequently. Let me tell you of the splen- 
did coup de main he sprang today. While on 
patrol with some eight or nine of his comrades 
over the lines, the formation became broken up 
in some quick manoeuvering. Q. suddenly found 
himself alone. After circling around a few min- 
utes he saw three planes in formation not far away 
and hastened to rejoin them, falling into place 
behind them. It seemed a little queer that his 
leader should be going so far within the enemy 
lines, but he thought no more about it until the 




leader made a sudden turn exposing to full view 
upon his rudder a large black cross! "Wrong 
again" said Q. to himself, but his brain kept right 
on working. Sneaking close up behind the rear 
man who either did not see him or supposed him 
to be one of his friends, Q. took careful aim and 
let him have a stream of bullets from his ma- 
chine gun. The plane wavered a second, then 
toppled over and fell spinning in a spiral like a 
winged stone. Q. reversed and headed for home 
at full speed pursued by two bewildered Huns 
whom he gradually left further behind as his 
little Nieuport roared along. A quick backward 
glance revealed his victim still spinning after a 
fall of some nine or ten thousand feet; he then 
disappeared in a cloud bank. Isn't that one of 
the most remarkable true tales you have ever 
heard? It's doubtful if this Boche is confirmed 
too far inside their lines. 

Captain Coolidge became one of America's 
leading aces; he was killed on October 27, 1918, 
by a direct hit from an anti-aircraft gun whilst 


diving through a terrific barrage to the rescue of 
two observation planes which were being at- 
tacked by six German machines. 

The following is the letter Coolidge mentions as 
having arrived a few days after Quentin's last 

On Active Service 


I've just read about your victorious tangle 
with the Huns and my only regret is that I 
can not, or rather could not be there to wit- 
ness it. 

Nevertheless I want to congratulate you and 
wish you all sorts of luck. Everyone of the fel- 
lows in the 37th are tickled to death. 

There's no use telling you that we miss you, 
cause we do. Everything is going on the same. 
No doubt you already know that Lieut. Davis 
has gone to the front. 

I've got a new flivver (exciting news this, no 
doubt). And this is about all. So again allow 
me to offer you my heartiest congratulations. 


Hoping that you'll get 'steen more, I remain as 

ever, c . , 

bmcerely yours "DAGO " 

Priv. 1st Cl. D. A. Di Fiore 37tk Aero 
Squadron Amer. Forces France 

O. K. Censored by: A. K. Lowell, Lt. U. S. A. 
A. S. S. C. Yes the boys are all for you and 
Lt. Coolidge back here. Best of luck. A. K. L. 

Mr. W. H. Crawford, President of Allegheny 
College, gave this account of a meeting with 
Quentin : 

"Our truck broke down, and I was too late for 
the mess, but Lieut. Roosevelt came to see me 
in the hut, and we had a most interesting inter- 
view. It was a wretchedly sloppy night, the lieu- 
tenant's rain coat was pretty well spattered with 
mud, but he was bright, eager and full of life. 

"As we went out into the rain to his sidecar I 
said to him: 'Lieutenant there are large numbers 
of Americans who are very proud of the way the 
four sons of Theodore Roosevelt are acquitting 
themselves in this war.' I never shall forget how 


his face lighted up as he made reply: 'Well you 
know it's rather up to us to practice what father 

"On all sides I heard only good things about 
Lieut. Quentin Roosevelt and the devotion of 
his men to him. I was told that often during the 
winter months the men would remain out in the 
storm and train under him, and do it cheerfully, 
as they did not under any other officer." 

The following are extracts from letters written 
to their relatives or friends by members of 
the A. E. F. who had come in contact with 

From A. J. Whaley: 

"Young Roosevelt is as modest as a schoolgirl, 
but as game as they make them in aviation. Keep 
tabs on this game young chap." 

From Lieutenant John F. Wheelock: 
"As you know by this time, our hopes that 
Quentin Roosevelt was only a prisoner were 


blasted and it is quite certain he is gone. Too 
bad, because he was a peach. He died in a great 
scrap it appears, and was buried in German soil 
with full military honors." 

From Banner Shull: 

"Quentin Roosevelt is in charge on these trips. 
We boys would do anything for him. He always 
sees that his men are taken care of before he 
thinks of himself." 

From Sergeant C. A. Gardiner, Jr.: 
"All those bum deals that I spoke of are plum 
gone now. We have a real man commanding us 
now, one of Colonel Roosevelt's sons. We have 
only had him a short while but would do more for 
him than all the time we knew the other man. 
You get me don't you the minute stuff ? " 

From Corporal Aleck Barlow: 

"It hit me pretty hard as I knew him well and 
used to look after his plane for him quite a little 
when he was our instructor. He was one of the 


best and finest men I ever knew. Just a young 
fellow and full of life. I wonder if his dad is any- 
thing like him. If he is I would vote for him if 
he ever ran for office again. All the boys in the 
37th thought a great deal of him and hated to see 
him go to the front. He was sure a prince." 

From a member of Quentin's first "outfit," 
writing to some one whose son was "missing": 

"I guess you feel about the same way we all 
did when we heard of Lieut. Roosevelt's death. 
He came over with this squadron, that is the old 
29th now the 400th and everybody thought there 
was nobody like him, and last winter in Issoudun 
I helped him get his motor cycle started many 
times when it was so cold. He was a wonderful 
fellow and afraid of nothing." 

From Mr. R. M. Washburn: 

"Yesterday, while an Italian was cutting my 

hair in a barber shop, he told me that he had 

served overseas with him, saying, in his own 

words: 'He was afraid of nothing with his aero- 



plane; a great operator; was one of us, and could 
fight, play, box, do anything; the goodest kid 
I ever saw.' ' 

From Lieutenant Geo. B. Bailey: 

"I had a great week, this last one, flying in 
formation. Formation flying is in charge of 
Lieut. Quentin Roosevelt, the son of our famous 
T. R., and he is a chip off the old block, and a 
mighty fine and popular fellow." 

From Arthur Weirich Air Service: 

"Look at Quentin Roosevelt, one of the finest, 
cleanest, bravest boys in France a good flyer; 
and yet he is one of the first men to get it. Every- 
thing in the world waiting for him back in the 
United States." 

From an aviator in the A. E. F. to his parents: 

"I am with a fine bunch of boys; one especially 
Quentin Roosevelt is a wonderfully fine chap, 
and he keeps his father's picture up in his tent at 

all times told us it gives him great courage to 
look at his father's face." 

From Guy Bonney, 1st Battalion, 1st Gas Regi- 
ment, September 30, 1918: 

"Lt. Quentin Roosevelt, the aviator who was 
killed in the Chateau Thierry and the son of the 
former President, was I believe their most talked 
about and worshiped aviator. It being because 
he received all of his instruction on this field. 
They had his old aeroplane, 'Doc Yak,' which he 
had painted to his fancy with this famous cari- 
cature, in a hangar by itself and it was an object 
of admiration by all. They told us to crawl in 
and be seated in it so we would have something 
to remember him by, which we did. Then, when I 
made the remark that I had been camped for a 
length of time up there within a quarter of a mile 
of his grave, they certainly did crowd around and 
commence to ask questions about it. I saw his 
burial place when the Germans had a cross of 
theirs and inscribed in German placed over it. 
They called Roosevelt 'the enlisted man's friend.' " 


From an officer of the A. E. F.: 

"A young Lieutenant in our Flying Corps who 
is at present staying here, talked to me about 
Quentin, and his work at the school. He said that 
Quentin was a sort of chief among the instructors, 
that he was a strict disciplinarian but was loved 
by everybody, and that he was of the greatest 
use to the fellows who were learning to fly. He 
stopped for a moment reflecting, and then, half 
to himself, he muttered * He was a prince ! ' ' 

From Miss I. M Given wilson of the Red Cross, 
stationed at Issoudun: 

"Though my heart aches at the loss of him I 
cannot but feel a joy and pride at having known 
such a boy. He has done such excellent work 
since he has been over here. He showed just 
what could be expected of him all through life. 
He knew how to handle men, understood them, 
and was beloved by them. He was so valuable 
as the officer in charge of training at Field Seven, 
that he was sent to the Front with great reluc- 
tance by the commanding officer here." 


This is part of a letter written by Mr. H. A. 
Maxwell, of Maiden, Massachusetts, to Quentin's 

"As a pioneer Y man for the camp, he was 
one of the first officers with whom I became 
acquainted, and his splendid co-operation as an 
officer in charge of transportation enabled me to 
make a record in building my first hut. He, with 
a detail of men, went to Chattereaux, twenty- 
seven kilometers distant, and got the first piano 
that came to camp. He also assisted me in 
organizing two debating clubs, and while he was 
the Commanding Officer at the 36th Squadron his 
personal influence with the men will be long 
remembered. For a short time they were quar- 
antined, and I recall his taking them on a hike 
one afternoon. On his return he made a halt in 
a large field, under a tree, and gave them a good 
heart-to-heart talk. 

In handing him my letters to be censored, I 
had opportunity for many little chats with him. 
I recall his putting his hand on my shoulder one 
day and saying, 'Y man, how could we get along 
without you.' I replied, 'Ah, go on; you are 


just like your daddy.' 'Yes, I know,' he said, 
'but I've got a great daddy.' I appreciated this 
frank and tender reference to his father, as I, 
too, am one. 

"One day he stopped me in front of the hut 
prior to its completion, and said in his way, with 
which you are familiar, 'Why do you call that a 
hut? I call it a palace. What a great home for 
the boys ! ' 

"His kind consideration for the interest of 
others was very marked. I am glad to have 
known your son, and I assure you that your splen- 
did spirit and your sacrifice for this great strug- 
gle to make the world better is a source of inspira- 
tion to every true American citizen." 

Quentin's family received several touching let- 
ters from French parents: 

BIzons par Cuzaguet Htes Pyrenees 

MADAME: 20 Octobre 1918 

Nous venons, moi et mon mari, d'avoir un sauf 

conduit de 48 herues pour aller voir notre pay 

reconqui, et c'est avec le coeur serree que nous 

avons revue notre petit villages. Helas, de notre 



interieure tout a etc enlev6; il ne nous reste que 
les yeux pour pleure. La maison n'a pas trop 
souffer, elle a ete un peut repaire, et Ton peut, je 
croi, maintenant se metre a 1'abrie. Je me fait 
done, Madame, le plaisir de venir vous offrire 
notre maison, car je me suis fait un devoir de 
porte un bouquet sur la tombe de votre cher 
enfant, le capitaine Quentin, qui a ete enterre 
a cote de notre villages. De chez moi il y a 10 
minutes pour votre enfant. II lui a ete fait 
comme il le meritait une jolie tombe, et de tous. 
C'est pauvre soldats nous avons toujour represente 
les parents. 

Aussitot qu'il arrive un regiment Americains 
tous von sur la tombe de votre cher enfant. A 
vous Madame je viens vous offrir notre maison le 
jour ou vous pouvez venir car il faut espere que 
cette maudite guerre finira bientot, esperons assez 
de misere et de ruine. Nous restons a Coulonges 
en Tardenois, Aisne, rue du Poinson N 1. 

Agree, Madame, mon profond respect 


refugiees a Bizons. 
a Madame et Monsieur Roosevelt. 
[241 ] 


11 Quai de Conti 
MADAME, Paris le 17 Juillet 1918 

Permettez a la mere d'un obscur fantassin 
Francais de vingt ans de venir vous dire qu'elle 
partage votre douleur, mele ses larmes aux votres, 
et vous remercie de toute son ame de votre sacrifice 
en la personne de votre cher enfant Quentin. 


The following letters from Quentin's comrades 
need no introduction or explanation: 

Lovington, III. 


A mother doesn't need to be told the kind of 
a man that her boy is, and yet perhaps it would 
make you just a bit happier should I tell you 
what his friends thot of him, what a regular 
lad he was. I'd have written sooner but was a 
prisoner since July 5th and just arrived home a 
while ago. 

Quentin and I roomed together at Toul when 
he first came up to the front. One comes to know 
ones room mate, down deep inside. There are 


so many little things that show his measure. I 
don't need to tell you of his flying, his bravery; 
words seem inadequate, and others have already 
tried that. I can only say that he was a brave 
man and an excellent flyer, a man one liked to 
have with him when the odds were on the other 
side, and hope you'll understand what I say so 
poorly. At night, if I were asleep or he thot 
that I was, he'd tip toe to his cot, would be just 
as quiet as possible, he did a thousand little Con- 
siderate things that do not seem important, yet 
which really mean much. If I were going out 
with a partner, just the two, I know no one I'd 
rather have had than he. 

He lived and stepped over the little river as 
a brave gallant soldier and gentleman, in the 
way he'd have chosen. We all loved him, the 
days we had at the front were among the hap- 
piest we'll ever know. The lad's only regret was 
for his family, that I know, and there is the con- 
solation that when the present existence is fin- 
ished, we all shall see him again on the other side 
of the little divide. 



If I may help in any way please do not hesitate 

to call upon me. 



On Active Service 


Having lived in the same camp with your son 
Quentin Roosevelt, I can not refrain from telling 
you that I know he was especially loved by the 
enlisted men. Of course, he had the respect of 
his brother officers, but it may be gratifying to 
you to be told by one who for four months was 
an intimate observer of his life that he was gen- 
uinely popular with the boys. 

Only last night a cook in one of the squadrons 
at this "field" told me of Lieut. Roosevelt drop- 
ping in for breakfast. An earlier schedule was 
in effect and as he had been "night flying," which 
had kept him up rather late, he missed the regular 
mess. He dropped in for a cup of coffee. Surely i 
He got it and whatever else was available. Then 
he sat down and as he ate he "visited" with the 


whole kitchen force, "just like a regular fellow" 
to quote my cook friend exactly. 

This sort of thing was typical with him. Among 
themselves the men called him "Teddy" and 
many were the remarks that I overheard about 
him, by the rank and file, full of honest admira- 
tion. They knew he was courageous and an in- 
telligent hard worker, but best of all they felt 
that he had a real interest in them and they loved 
him for it. 

While not an intimate of his, he ivas in and 
out of our little Hut quite a good deal and I came 
to like his sturdy person and bright personality. 

Believe me, Mrs. Roosevelt, I honor you as 
the mother of such a son. 

Yours respectfully, 


Censored by: Y. M. C. A. Sec. 

Robert G. Fittnan 
1st Lt. A. S. Sig. R. C. 






I wish to express my very sincere sympathy 
in the death of your son, Quentin. I was at Is- 
soudun with him for six months, and like every- 
one liked him immensely. The last time I saw 
him he was doing acrobatics against the moon 
at night, a feat which requires more than ordinary 
courage. I left the field before he landed, and 
had no chance to congratulate him on his per- 
formance, but I thought you would like to know 
of it as it was typical of the young officer I knew 
as light heartedly courageous as any man I 
have ever known. 

I know he died as he always flew gamely, for 
he certainly was game in every way. He died 
in the manner all of us in this game would want 
to "get it," if it is our turn to go at the front 
in contact with the enemy. This is the best way 
of all to go. 

Let me express once more my sympathy. The 


Air Service lost a splendid officer in the death of 
your son. 

Very sincerely yours, 




From : Enlisted Members of 36th Aero Squadron SC. 
To: Hon. Theodore Roosevelt and Family. 

We the members of the 36th Aero Squadron SC. 
U. S. Army having served only recently under 
your son, Lieut. Quentin Roosevelt, A. S. Sig. R. C. 
who was in command of the squadron, wish to 
extend our sympathy and love to his father and 
mother and family, in the loss of their son and 
brother. His example shall serve to inspire us in 
all our trials, and our one ambition is to help 
avenge his death, which we shall always strive 

For and on behalf of the 36th Aero 
Squadron SC. 


1st Lt. M. R. C. 




August 1, 1918. 
Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, 

Oyster Bay, L. L, N. Y. 


It is with mingled pride and sorrow that we, 
the members of the 400th Aero Squadron (for- 
merly the 29th Aero Squadron) write to you on 
the subject of the sad but glorious death of your 
son, Lieutenant Quentin Roosevelt. 

It was OUT great privilege to know him as a 
man and a soldier, for a year past, since the time 
when he joined our Squadron at Fort Wood, New 
York, early in July, 1917. During the pioneer 
days of the construction of our immense aviation 
camp, here in France, he was continuously with 
our Squadron, for a period of several months, dur- 
ing which time he fulfilled the exacting duties of 
Supply Officer and of Officer in Charge of Trans- 

When he left us a few weeks ago to go to the 
front, having completed his flying training, we 


were certain that he would place himself where 
the fighting was fiercest, for it was his nature to 
do nothing by halves. 

We do not exaggerate when we assure you that 
he had endeared himself to every man in our 
organization, by his manly qualities and his pre- 
vailing amiability. He made us feel, to the last 
man, that he was our friend. 

Our admiration for his glorious end rises above 
our great grief for his loss; and it is in this spirit 
that we write this small but sincere tribute to his 





1st Sgt. 400th Aero Squadron 

Among the many accounts of Quentin's activi- 
ties at Issoudun, the following appeared in the 
Indianapolis Star : 

"An incident in the short life of Lieut. Quentin 
Roosevelt, the youngest son of former President 
Theodore Roosevelt, that recalls the sturdy quali- 


ties of manhood of his father and his insistent 
demand and fearless fighting for right and justice, 
is related by Lieut. Linton A. Cox of this city, 
who lately returned from overseas, after serving 
as an aviator in the 94th Combat Squadron under 
Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker. 

'"During the winter of 1918,' said Lieut. Cox, 
*when, as flying cadets under the command of 
Lieut. Quentin Roosevelt, we were receiving train- 
ing at Issoudun in the art of standing guard in 
three feet of mud and were serving as saw and 
hatchet carpenters, building shelters for the 1,200 
cadets who were waiting in vain for machines in 
which to fly, affairs suddenly reached a crisis when 
it was discovered that the quartermaster refused 
to issue rubber boots to us, because the regular 
printed army regulations contained no official 
mention or recognition of flying cadets. 

"Requisition after requisition for boots had 
been refused by the captain in charge of the 
quartermaster's depot, in spite of the fact that 
the boys were wading around in worn-out shoes 
in slush and mud knee deep. The supply of rub- 


her boots was plentiful, but the captain was a 
stickler for army red tape, and did not have the 
courage to exercise common sense, if he had any/ 

"Lieut. Cox stated that so many cadets had 
become sick because of this needless exposure that 
Lieut. Roosevelt decided to take matters into his 
own hands. Going over to the quartermaster's 
depot and risking court-martial, he demanded of 
the captain, who was of superior rank, that the 
boots be issued at once. Again he was refused. 
Upon being pressed for a satisfactory reason why 
the requisitions were not honored, the captain 
ordered Lieut. Roosevelt out of the office. He 
refused to go. 

"'Who do you think you are what is your 
name?' asked the captain, who was unacquainted 
with Quentin. 'I'll tell you my name after you 
have honored this requisition, but not before,' 
answered Lieut. Roosevelt. This led to a hot ex- 
change of words. Suddenly Quentin, being un- 
able longer to control his indignation, stepped up 
and said, 'If you'll take off your Sam Brown belt 
and insignia of rank I'll take off mine, and we'll 


see if you can put me out of the office. I'm going 
to have those boots for my men if I have to be 
court-martialed for a breach of military discipline.' 

"Two other officers who had been attracted to 
the scene by the loud voices intervened, and the 
men were separated, whereupon Quentin Roose- 
velt went to the major in charge of the battalion 
and refraining from any mention of his recent 
controversy, related how cadets by the score were 
being incapacitated for service and were suffering 
from pneumonia and influenza because requisitions 
for boots were not being honored. The major 
agreed with Quentin that such a situation was 
absurd and that immediate relief should be 

"Lieut. Roosevelt had hardly left the major's 
office when the quartermaster captain came in 
and stated that there was a certain aviation lieu- 
tenant in camp whom he wanted court-martialed. 

"'Who is this lieutenant?' asked the major. 

"'I don't know who he is,' replied the captain, 
'but I can find out.' 

"'I know who he is,' said the major. 'His 


name is Quentin Roosevelt and there is no finer 
gentleman nor more efficient officer in this camp 
and from what I know, if any one deserves a 
court-martial you are the man. From now on 
you issue rubber boots to every cadet who applies 
for them, army regulations be d d.* 

"The boots were immediately issued and the 
cadets were loud in their praise of Lieut. Roosevelt. 

"'This is just one instance of many,' said Lieut. 
Cox, 'that served to endear Quentin Roosevelt to 
the men under his command."' 

Quentin was billeted in the little town of Mau- 
perthuis during the last few weeks of his life; 
and inevitably struck up a friendship with the 
townsfolk, old and young. 

Lieutenant Donald Hudson wrote: 

"In the little village where Roosevelt lived 
with his fellow aviators they have renamed the 
Public Square 'Place Roosevelt,' and written it 
in big letters on the granite fountain. Quentin 
Roosevelt was one of the most modest of young 


men. The few French villagers knew him, and 
honored him because of himself, because of his 
Father, and because of his fighting brothers. 

"Over his billet he had written the name of 
Lieutenant Thomas, his roommate, then his own, 
and then 'God bless our home." : 

Lieutenant A. B. Sherry, another friend and 
fellow aviator, tells how 

"Q was a great favorite with the inhabitants 
of Mauperthuis, for he was always chatting with 
the old men about their affairs, and ever ready 
to listen to the troubles of their wives, and of 
the mothers of the boys away at the front." 

An account, whose author we have been un- 
able to ascertain, reads as follows: 

"Quentin, you know, was very young I know 
he wasn't twenty -one. He was just a kid, full of 
life and good spirits. If he had been less peppy, 
he might not have got killed. 

"We were all billeted out in cottages in this 
little village of Mauperthuis, the population of 


which consisted of old ladies, the average age of 
whom, judging from appearances, was ninety- 
three maybe a little more. Well, Quentin was 
a great favorite, not only among the members of 
the squadron, but with the old ladies. He spoke 
French very well indeed, and with this and his 
cheery ways he got into their good books, or they 
got into his, whichever way it was. 

"They all called him the noble, or the honor- 
able, or the distinguished, or even the great Mees- 
tair Roussefel', and he received their greetings 
very gracefully. Roosevelt was about the only 
American name the French country people ever 
had heard until President Wilson became a world 
figure, and to have a real Roosevelt amongst 
them was something for these old ladies to talk 

"Young Roosevelt would go about from house 
to house and gossip with all the old ladies. The 
rest of us sometimes thought they were a bit of 
a nuisance. If I were trying to write a letter, 
for instance, and one of them rushed in with a 
long story to tell in her rapid, colloquial, quite 


incomprehensible French, I would feel like ask- 
ing her to leave me alone for a while. But not 
Roosevelt. He would lay down his pen, put his 
paper aside, and chat about the weather or what- 
ever the old lady wanted to chat about. 

"It would be: 'Ah, Madame Labrosse, and 
have you heard yet from the husband of your 
daughter B lanche ? ' * B ut no, Meestair Roussef el ' , 
I have received no letter it is two weeks, and I 
fear that 

" 'On the contrary,' Roosevelt would say, 
'one should not give up the hope. He will ar- 
rive soon.' 

' 'Ah, Meestair Roussef el', I of it hope well.' 

"The first thing that strikes your eye when 
you go into one of these French cottages is the 
framed photograph of the head of the family in 
uniform. Usually it is the uniform of 1871, and 
if you make inquiries you will be told all about 
him. You will be told, too, all about the other 
photographs in plush frames, and also the framed 
medals and ribbons. They turn their walls into 
photograph albums in rural France. A room 


thus becomes a sort of family history in four big 
wide-open pages for one who makes inquiries 
but most of us didn't make inquiries, for the an- 
swer would be only a flow of very rapid French 
that nobody could understand except Quentin 
Roosevelt. Where he learned to speak French I 
don't know. And he would make the most polite 
inquiries, and the old ladies would smile sweetly 
and pour out their stories. 

"What interested Quentin more than all the 
photographs, however, was the dancing brevet 
that hangs above nearly every French mantel- 
piece. It seems that as soon as you become pro- 
ficient in anything over there you get either a 
medal or a brevet, which is a framed certificate. 
One of the most prized possessions of each of the 
old ladies of Mauperthuis is a dancing brevet 
which informs the reader that her son Henri, 
or Claude or Jean or Paul or Emile, in Anno 
Domini 1883 or thereabouts has taken so many 
lessons in dancing and is competent to lead a 
cotillon anywhere from Versailles to Montpar- 
nasse. Sometimes you find an old lady who has 


preserved her own dancing brevet, qualifying her 
to dance the minuet and the gavotte for these 
faded documents date from the days when the 
new-fangled waltz was not mentioned in polite 

"'Ah, what is it that I see?' Quentin would 
say. 'A dancing brevet, en effet. How it is gen- 
til, hein ? ' 

"And Madame would cross her hands on her 
lap and smile, and after a ' Je vous en prie' to ex- 
press her own unworthiness of such exalted favor, 
she would explain that her Henri, who is now on 
the Verdun sector, was a dancer the most unique, 
the most magnifique, the most charmant, and a 
whole lot of adjectives that I don't know, having 
no French-English dictionary about me. 

"Roosevelt would go around thus from house 
to house and the old ladies would beam upon 
him and after he was gone would exchange gossip 
about him. He had told them so-and-so, he 
had done so-and-so, he had praised highly the 
pictures of the baby of one's niece, had the son 
of the most great Tedd-ee. 


"I shall never forget how the news of Quen- 
tin's death was received in that little village. Of 
course, the old lady who kept his billet had con- 
sidered herself much honored by the presence of 
the gentil Meestair Roussefel' beneath her roof. 
She was one of the oldest ladies in the village 
her back was bent almost double, but she was 
able to get around with a stick and she never 
missed her round of gossip until the day Quentin 
was killed. Then she shut herself up in her house 
for a whole day. When she did come out, she 
was in deep mourning and her face was very sad." 

An editorial of which Quentin's family was 
unable to learn the authorship was published in 
the Hartford C our ant. The writer must have 
known Quentin intimately. 


"There was something very interesting about 

Quentin Roosevelt. He was not one of the usual 

run of boys. He was individual from those first 

days when boys begin to do things for themselves. 



Probably things looked to him different from what 
they do to the ordinary boy. 

"The ordinary boy sees the world very much 
as his parents and the older members of the family 
see it. The regular conventional view takes hold 
of him early. The mind of no healthy boy is quite 
standardized, but its customary processes are in 
that direction. Little by little he absorbs or 
accepts the views of the generation into which he 
is born until these views are his own. It is thus 
that the judgments and work of the world go for- 
ward in an orderly way. One might almost call 
it the natural way. It is not the business of the 
usual mind, any more than it is of the usual plant, 
to originate. The main business of both minds 
and plants is to transmit, to maintain the good 
that we have and carry it forward. Our civil and 
religious usages have come to us from our ances- 
tors, and the main duty of most of us is to keep 
these usages alive and hand them forward to our 
children. This is the ordinary and natural law. 
It is so with the plants, and it is so with the 
human mind. The seed of wheat is expected to 


produce wheat and nothing else, and it habitually 
does. The human mind is expected to carry for- 
ward the ancient struggle against pauperism and 
ignorance and sin, and it usually does. Most boys 
are born to do this work, and they do it. They 
are often a little frisky at times; they disclose ten- 
dencies now and then toward new attitudes; but 
in the end the mass of them are halter-broke and 
settle down to the job of carrying things forward 
about as they are. If most human minds did not 
work in this methodical and orderly way we 
would never get anywhere. The gains made in 
one generation would be frittered away by the 
next, and we would be continuously fussing with 
the beginnings. The continuous accumulation of 
worth-while improvement would be checked, and 
the momentum of gains would be shattered into 

"Quentin Roosevelt was not built on these 
usual lines, and apparently he was not designed 
for this usual duty. He began very early to see 
for himself. He did not find much to see in 
human kind, either. He would not have found 


much in the ordinary man that was new, or espe- 
cially interesting, if he had looked there. One 
sample is so much like another that a study of 
that sort soon exhausts itself. We can see this 
in the writers of novels and the writers of plays, 
who have to put strong social spices and sauces 
into their standardized work to freshen it. This 
younger Roosevelt turned to the primitive and 
unadulterated and untrained things. It is related 
of him that he once managed to get a hive of 
honey bees into a Washington street car in order 
to take them home with him to the White House. 
The ordinary boy learns very early that a bee is 
an uncertain companion. Without doubt this 
Roosevelt youngster had received the same in- 
struction and the same warning. The reason that 
it did not take was not because he was a bad boy, 
or a naughty boy, or a foolish boy. It did not 
take because his own way of looking at things 
made him sure that there was a method of getting 
along on safe terms even with bees. The rule 
about bees is a sound general rule. It fits the 
ordinary human mind and human sense like a 


glove. But Quentin Roosevelt's mind and sense 
were larger than the rule, and he could walk 
through the rule with a fair degree of safety. It 
was the same with all the natural things that walk 
or creep or crawl about the earth. These were 
the curious and companionable things with him. 
One wonders if they understood him as well as 
he understood them. It is a fair assumption that 
many of them did. Harm might easily have 
come to him if^they had not. This boy's look at 
them was different from the look of the usual boy, 
and upon some mysterious foundation of a com- 
mon understanding they also knew it. It was his 
way with them, and his way was not the usual 
way or the conventional way. It was his own 
way original, self-confident, and as honest as 
unclothed truth herself. 

"That Quentin Roosevelt took to navigating 
the clouds was nothing more than a normal un- 
folding and growth of his singular nature. There 
is nothing stranger or more unlikely in human 
history than that man should be able to fly 
through the air, and yet he is now doing this every 


day. The originating mind takes to this sort of 
thing naturally it is exactly in its line. Unfor- 
tunately many of these minds are only hah* minds. 
They carry so much of the usual conventional 
crust that something goes wrong with them, and 
sooner or later they fall smashing earthward. 
We feel sure that Quentin Roosevelt was not of 
this sort. It took the fierce shock of actual war 
to knock him out. We do not believe that his 
nerve broke or quivered for one instant. If his 
body were hit, or if his machine broke, that would 
be different. Smitten physically or mechanically, 
he of course was helpless. The fates had it in 
for him. But the mind of him went down intact, 
unshaken, and, so far as was possible in that hur- 
ried rush, with the calm outlook of the soul that 
is unafraid. 

"It was a great waste, aside from all personal 
considerations, because human minds that spon- 
taneously and inevitably see things for themselves, 
outside of the clamps of convention, and almost 
in honest unconsciousness of such clamps, are too 
infrequent not to be missed when the human life 


goes out of them. Bacon quotes one of the 
fathers as saying that old men go to death, and 
death comes to young men. It is so, and has 
been so, all through this great war. Quentin 
Roosevelt died in the bloom of his youth and 
with untried powers. By nature he was made 
for greater things than even the honorable death 
of a righteous cause." 




THERE were many verses written in memory of 
Quentin, and this book would be incomplete 
without a short selection from them. 


(To Quentin Roosevelt} 


You used to think that some day you would hold 

Some dear and splendid space 

Of shining time to waste 

Upon a spring-decked highway's beaten gold; 

Hearing birds sing, and mute and marveling 

Stoop to a harebell's grace 

Free of wind-voices and their breathless urge, 

To see a green vine fling 

Its brave young sinews upward to the eaves; 

Or watch brown brothers soar, and dip, and merge 

Dun coats with madder nests among the leaves. 

And there would be deep noons, and shares of bread, 
And water from a brook 
Where you could bend and look 



Down, at gay clouds that shimmered overhead; 
And from a pool would come the whispering 
Of blue flags in a nook . . . 
The stream would quaver like an ancient crone 
(Hid in its bubbling spring) 
Weaving her magic in the sparkling air 
The feet of water-dancers on the stone 
Or brook-nymphs laughing through their dripping 
hair . . . 

That road would wind like ribbon in the gleam 

Of a white moon hung high 

Out of your wing-won sky 

And you a mote upon a silver seam 

While hedgerow blossoms made a bordering 

Of moon-lace frilling by. 

And a bird's voice, like a violin, 

Poignant, would lift and sing 

Haunted by 'cello warblings of its mate; 

There would be night scents, sweet and sharp and 

Binding you wordless to that song elate . . . 


Never before have the violets blown 

Purple as exquisite; 

Seeing they borrow it 

From a wide sky his pinions have torn; 



Yet must they stand all mute, unquestioning 

Where glad green Joy is writ 

Knowing they fold a sleeper who forgets 

Against warm pulses of dear violets 

His part in vaunt and bacchanal of Spring. 

Never before have the poppies flared 

Scarlet as radiant; 

A pomp as triumphant 

Fire from the stars his wings have dared; 

Nor may they glow with brave insouciance 

And yet no Vision grant 

Knowing their share in valor . . . they unfold 

Their silken banners for heroic mold 

Then* crimson badges for the breast of France. 

Never before have the wind- voices breathed 

In their dim whisperings 

Echoes of wings. . . . 

Faint from far zones where suns hang unsheathed; 

Nor shall they tell but half; adventuresome 

For further journeyings 

Knowing him wind's-brother-earth defying, 

Gaunt winged, they call him to the flying 

Shouting of star-trails and a sapphire dome . > . 


Oh, Voyager, who swept the blazing golf* 
Of wheeling planets in immensity: 



Whose wing-beats cleft the silences that hold 

Their echo yet, in stark serenity: 

For you, oh Wreathed ! let an altar's light 

Flame holily, above the largess heaped 

New corn and grapes that sudden in a night 

Were reaped. . . . 

Glad one ! the shining gifts you offered up ... 
Youth's corn in silk, and Youth's longevity: 
The sparkling vintage of Youth's brimming cup 
Youth's broken sword to spell divinity: 
The hushing of Youth's laughter, peal on peal 
The dreams of Youth that garlanded the days 
The wings Youth clapped upon a sandal's heel 
The cymbaled measure of Youth's choric ways. 

Trailer of stars, a gleaner in the dusk 

Lifts the Dark Leaves from red austerity: 

Gathers your Arum lilies from the husk 

Of trampled wrack; your lyric purity 

The chaunts you sang to baffle cold and tire 

(Reckon them priceless since Youth's pipe is mute) 

The still warm ashes of your sacred fire 

The glowing round of your scarce bitten fruit. 

Strange, you should lie a sleeper in high noon . . . 
Clothing yourself in wreathed dignity? 
Your hablimental trappings folded: soon 
Poppies will trumpt with scarlet clarity: 



.... ...._... 

(Witness this plumage . . . these, his wings- 
Reckon the giving by the dreamless eyes . . . 
Are these not meet for altar-gifts these things? 
Seeing the Dark Leaves speak him Heavenwise . . .) 


There are no palm trees 

Along the way 


Their plumage against the blue. 


The clean voices of the winds, 

And the footsteps of Youth, 

Call to him 

In comradeship from the wide 


Echo with crisp brittle resonance 

Against the frozen rime 

Of the sweep, 

Where frosted bitter-sweet scatters 


But at night 

A slim young shallop moon sails 


Upon his old courses. 

Pushes a silver prow through 


The lapping gauzes of morning. 



Hailing the veiled houses 

Of stars . . . 

Nebulous, hushed, and unanswering. 


Spring will come greenly, 

With lush grasses, 

And violets stand in little groups 

By the wayside 

Gazing up at you 

Out of their deep eyes as if to say 

"He is yonder 

Where we are bluest ! " 


Only in the spring time is one directed 

So unassumingly, 

By small pages in purple smocks. 

In July 

The field armies in France 


In serried ranks to 

The colors ! 

Scarlet shoulder to scarlet shoulder. 

The Avenue Quentin's poppy-guards 

Blazon you on with 

Chivalry ! 

Always ! 

The answer of Youth 



To Youth !- 

(Glad youth with his laughter 

And daring !) 

The call 

Of one road to another 

Of a slim shallop moon's far sailing. 


May reckon the strange ports she touches? 

The way 

Of her track through the cloud rifts 

Through the lapping gauzes 

Of morning. . . . Speaking shut houses 

Of stars ... 

For in July 

The gleaming zeniths of space 


Uncharted worlds to the colors ! 

Flaming planet to flaming planet, 

An Avenue Quentin's meteor-hosts 

Blazon you on 

With chivalry ! 



Young Roosevelt is dead and I, whose son 

Is just a little boy, too young to go, 

Read with bewildered eyes the tales recalled 

Of pranks the little White House boy had played ! 



Just such things as my own does every day 
With bugs and beetles, teasing with his snake, 
Or startling all about him with his bees 
Exasperating tricks that win our souls ! 

Just such things none could think of but a boy. 
From blurring page I turn to touch my own, 
For somehow he, too, died in that far fall 
Of one who typed America's "small boy." 

From blurring page I turn to touch my own 
To lift his face unto the lustrous stars 
That symbolize the glory of a world 
And once more dedicate my country's son. 

From blurring page a sterner nation turns 
Because he typed the millions she has borne 
Within her fertile womb since long ago 
She mated with the freedom of the world. 

From blurring page graybeards with palsied hands 
May dream again of wondrous youth that flings 
All life into a single burning flame 
And lives its future in a moment's deed. 

Men who, perhaps, have lost the zest for life 
May find it in a boy's keen zest for death, 
When young life found it sweet to fight and die 
If only Liberty in peace might live. 

New York. 




Quentin Roosevelt, France, July 14, 1918 

With the American Army on the Vesle, Wednesday, August 7 (hv 
A. P.). On a wooden cross at the head of a grave at the edge of a 
wood at Chamery, east of Fere-en-Tardenois, is this inscription : 

"Lieutenant Quentin Roosevelt, buried by the Germans." 

Newspaper item. 

A Viking of the air was he 

Who sailed his fragile plane 
Through vast uncharted spaces blue, 

As Norsemen sailed the main. 
He met the foeman and he fought 

Unflinching in the sky, 
And died as his brave sire would wish 

A soldier-son to die. 

The Prussian airmen wrought his grave 

And laid him down to rest, 
His shroud the leather tunic wrapped 

About his gallant breast. 
The guns a thunderous requiem 

All day above him sound, 
America in spirit mourns 

Beside his lonely mound. 

When twilight over No Man's Land 

A veil of purple weaves, 
An escadrille of stars appears 


rom the original cartoon by John T. McCutoneon, presented to Colonel Roosevelt 


Above the hangar's eaves 
With one that speeds on wings of light 

In ether fast and far; 
The Allied aviators say 

'Tis Quentin Roosevelt's star. 



The town of Bismarck, Pa., has changed its name 
to Quentin. Vide Newspapers. 

Quentin, young Quentin Roosevelt 

Has a town called after him ! 
Some way, as we read the word 

It makes the eyes grow dim. 

How brave they were, how young they were ! 

Our boys who went to die ! 
Children who played in field and street 

So short a time gone by. 

Now reach the stature of the stars ! 

Ah, none of us can say 
How many Heavenly places 

Are named for such as they. 

But romping children here, through years 

Secured from horrors grim, 
Will speak the name of Quentin 
In the town called after him. 




They sounded taps, young soldier of the free, 
And heaped memorial flowers above your breast, 

In France across the North Atlantic sea, 
Where you are lying quietly at rest. 

On soil in bondage to your mortal foe 

You fell. Foes laid you in a soldier's grave ! 

Today above you Yankee bugles blow 

French tears, French flowers, rain upon the brave. 

We'd laughed at all your pranks and boyish wit 
And scarce could think you grown to man's estate; 

The shot that brought you down, the nation hit; 
O'er all the land hearts leaped with grief and hate. 

But you ! 'twas thus, brave heart, you'd choose to go ; 

If come death must, you'd have him ride a cloud; 
And when you went, 'twas gaily, that I know, 

As well befits the gallant and the proud. 

Above your breast the Yankee bugles blow; 

French hands are twining wreaths across the sea; 
And somewhere your brave heart is joyed to know 

That all about your grave French soil is free. 






Ne pleurez pas 1'oiseau qui s'est brise les ailes 
Dans le rude combat des saintes libertes, 
Dans 1'enthousiasme fier des amities fideles, 
Des serments renoues de nos fraternites. 

Notre sol que son sang a rougi dans sa chute 
Nous en est plus sacre, plus cher peut-etre encore, 
Et nous avons senti, mieux, a cette minute 
Se resserrer nos liens par le don de sa mort. 

Ne pleurez pas 1'oiseau fauche par la mitraille 
Dans 1'essor radieux d'un rve eblouissant, 
Qui, tout vibrant encore de Fardente bataille, 
A pris vers Finfini libre son vol puissant. 

Votre fils est tombe dans une juste guerre, 
Gombattant vaillamment un inf&me oppresseur, 
Dans 1'heroique elan du sacrifice austere, 
De son pur ideal sublime defenseur. 

II est des morts pour qui le regret est roffense, 
Ne pleurez pas celui qui fit tout son devoir. 
Que votre deuil soit fait de fierte, d'esperance, 
Levez plus haut le front, les yeux pour mieux le voir. 



Car c'est lui, maintenant, le vrai chef de famille, 
Toute sa jeune gloire a rejailli sur vous; 
Votre nom, c'est le sien qui sur vos tetes brille, 
Etoile au clair eclat, resplendissant et doux. 

A votre coeur, pourtant, la blessure est saignante, 
Plus grand le vide, helas, laisse par le depart, 
Obstinement, partout, une tombe vous haute, 
Que par dessus la mer cherche votre regard. 

Dans un sol envahi quelques jours prisonniere, 
La voici libre enfin des ennemis chasses, 
Et nos drapeaux, baignes dans sa sainte lumiere, 
Comme un meme drapeau s'y tiendront enlaces. 

Elle sera fleurie avec des fleurs de France, 
Fleurs de notre pays meurtri, mais delivre, 
Heureuses de Jeter, cri de reconnaissance, 
Leur beaute, leurs parfums, sur ce terre sacre. 

Et notre ame fervente y veille tout entiere, 
Car nous gardons, au fond du coeur, fidelement, 
Dans notre souvenir plein de recueillement, 
Parmi nos plus chers morts, une place tres chere 
Au mort que vous aimez, votre fils, notre frere. 

CHARLOTTE SCHNEEGANS, 14 septembre 1918. 




Within the darkened playhouse as I sat 

Sunk in a mood of heavy discontent 

Because existence was so difficult: 

The things undone the money I had spent 

And other little, petty, tiresome cares 

Weighed on my mind, until I scarce would glance 

At all the moving scenes before my eyes, 

When suddenly I looked and there was France: 

France ! With her scarred and desolated fields, 

Sad wastes, yet piteous poppies blossomed there 

And row on rows of the unnumbered dead 

And crosses, crosses, crosses everywhere 

And at the last, one solitary cross 

Apart, aloof from earthly vanity 

And on the cross stood Quentin Roosevelt's name: 

Rare sacrifice to crass humanity ! 

Then did I count myself as nothing worth 
And all my little cares so poor and mean 
It must have been a Great Photographer 
Who let me see myself upon the screen ! 





"Loose me from fear and make me see aright 
How each has back what once he stayed to weep 
Homer his sight, David his little lad." 

He will not come, the gallant flying boy, 
Back to his field. Somewhere he wings his way 
Where the Immortals keep; where Homer now 
Has back his sight, David his little lad; 
Where all those are we dully call the dead, 
Who have gone greatly on some shining quest, 
He takes his way. That which he quested for, 
That larger freedom of a larger birth, 
Captains him, flying into fields of dawn. 

He has gone on where now the soldier-slain 
Arise in light. Somewhere he takes his place 
And leads his comrades in untrodden fields. 
For never can these rest until our earth 
Has ceased from travail never can these take 
Their fill of sleep until the Scourge is slain. 
And so they keep them sometimes near old ways 
In the accustomed fields now flying low, 
Invisible, they cheer the gallant host, 
Bidding them be, as they, invincible. 

Still he leads on, the gallant flying boy ! 
Among the "great good Dead" he steers his boundless 



Now where the soldier-poets pass in light 
Where Brooke and Seeger and the others keep 
The singing Slain, the peerless fighting Dead 
He takes his brilliant way; or where those lately come 
Our flying Great, Mitchel and all his men, 
Wait him in large, warm-hearted welcoming. 

He will come never back ! But we who watched 
Him take the upper air and steer his boundless path 
Firmly against the foe, we know that here 
Death could not penetrate. Life only is 
Where all is life, and so, before us, keeps 
Always the vision of his faring on 
To unpathed fields where his great comrades wait, 
And, joyful, take him for their captaining 
The brave Adventurer, 
The gallant flying Boy ! 


[ 281 J 


Lord Dunsany, in a letter, said: "I was told 
once before, quite recently, that Captain Quen- 
tin Roosevelt had one of my books with him, 
even sometimes up in the air. It was a touching 
thing for an author to hear. I don't know what 
return I can make for that, but I would like to 
offer the enclosed sonnet to you." 


Lift not thy trumpet, Victory, to the sky, 
Nor through battalions, nor by batteries blow, 
But over hollows full of old wire go 
Where among dregs of war the long-dead lie 
With wasted iron that the guns passed by 
When they went eastwards like a tide at flow: 
There blow thy trumpet that the dead may know 
Who waited for thy coming, Victory. 

It is not we that have deserved thy wreath: 
They waited there among the towering weeds: 
The deep mud burned under the thermites' breath 
And winter cracked the bones that no man heeds: 
Hundreds of nights flamed by: the seasons passed. 
And thou hast come to them at last, at last. 


Captain Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 

A 000 658 598 8 

University of 

from which It wa borrowed 

JUl 2 A 2001 

bi .-r