Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Small French Town Welcomes Lt. Bishop When He Makes Emergency Landing, 1918

“Letter from Lt. Milburn Bishop,” from the Daily Times, Wilson, N.C., Aug. 28, 1918

The following is a letter from Milburn Bishop to a young lady and we are publishing same with her permission. Mr. Bishop was on the Times staff for a while:

Well, well, what do you think of this? I have just received a letter from a Mademoiselle, and she addressed me as “my aviator Prince.” Now that’s what I call going some. Don’t you? Well it all came about like this:

I was flying along a pretty nice looking little town, and my magneto wasn’t working any too good, and it looked like a pretty good place to land and have lunch, so down I came.

About all the town declared a holiday and came out to see me. The mayor was one of the first out and seemed to think it was quite an “honor” if I would have lunch with him, and so after “much” persuasion, I reluctantly agreed to accept his hospitality and after having a gendarme (police) summonded to guard the plane, why with much pomp and livery I was escorted to said mayor’s residence.

You can just take my word for it, that I was treated like the king of some country. These people can’t do enough for you. The meal that was served was nothing short of a feast, and I was served some of the choicest wine that the country affords. (Don’t be shocked now, because they don’t drink water in this country. But it is seldom you ever see anyone drunk.)

After lunch the mechanics arrived with my new magneto, and after they had it put in, hwiy I took the plane up over the town to test it out, and, of course went through all of the stunts in the airman’s dictionary.

Well to say that I owned the town would be putting it altogether too mildly, and when I came back down why they just ran up to me and everybody clapped their hands, and shook hands with me. I almost shook my arm out of joint.

When I got ready to leave for home there was a pretty mademoiselle introduced to me by the Mayor (his niece) and she wished to have the honor of presenting me a bouquet of beautiful flowers, and wanted my address so of course I accepted the flowers (although I didn’t know what in the duce I wanted with them) and gave her my address. Business began to pick up along the flower line rather rapidly then, and when I left I only had 15 bunches, and I think if I would have delayed a few minutes longer everybody in the place would have presented me with a bouquet.

When the orderly brought us in the mail tonight one of the fellows opened this French letter (from here) and called all of the gang to heart it read. I have been teasing them ever since I received it, ecause I won’t tell them what town it is. Every one of them swear they are going to have a “forced landing” there. Guess I won’t give any of them the name until I leave there because you see I am already a hero there, and I don’t want to spoil my play house by letting anyone else in on the deal, because I might want to go back again.

After I got up over the aerodrome at home I started to bomb it with bouquets and you should have seen the boys run out to me—all of them wanting to know where I’d been.

I surely have kidded them some about being wise to the right place to land.

I hope you are getting along as well with our work as you were when you wrote me.

Won’t we have some experiences to talk over when we get together tho’?

Well, I guess you are about tired of my chatter so I will run along and hit the hay and see what tomorrow brings.

Write me real often, Cap.

Lots and lots of love,

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