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Arthur Johnson

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from Texas

West Union Argo-Gazette
West Union, Fayette Co., Iowa
Wednesday, Nov. 27, 1918
Page 1 column two
NOTHING LIKE FLYING
Arthur Johnson Says The Flying Game
is the Only Life
Will Remain In Service
 
Call Field, Wichita Falls, Texas
Dear Pat:
I have some spare time tonight, so will answer your letter that I received at Camp Dick.

I was transferred here the 31st of October, held, in detention five days as a precaution against influenza and started flying as soon as was released. A bunch of 50 cadets were sent here, and as this was a field for officers advanced training, we are the only cadets here.

We certainly get good treatment, lots of special privileges, good eats and fine quarters. The field is about five miles from Wichita Falls, and is connected with town by a trolley so we have no trouble getting to the city. The town people are very nice. They take us automobile riding (especially the girls) and invite us to Sunday dinner, dances and anything that will entertain us.

About this flying game, Pat it's the-only life. I've never had so much pure, unadulterated pleasure in all my born days as I have had in the short time that I've been here. We start flying at 6:45 a.m. Each instructor has four cadets to teach and they get about forty-five minutes in the air everyday that the weather permits. I've had seven and a half hours so far and when I get 12 hours, I think they will let me "solo" or fly alone. They have a rule here that no one can solo before he has had twelve hours duel training, regardless of how good he is. It surely is some sensation to get up there in the air and sail around or loop or sideslip. I feel just as safe in the "old ship" as I would running a Ford around on the ground. The hardest part is landing for when a fellow "cuts the gun" and "noses her over", the ground comes up to meet him in a hurry, and he must level off at the right time so as not to drop ten or fifteen feet or run the nose into the ground. The latter is sometimes dangerous.

Today our commanding officer called us up to the assembly room and Read a telegram he had received from Washington. It was to the effect that all the cadets who so desired might be discharged to civil life or continue their training until it was completed, then being discharged, given a commission, and placed on the reserve list. About thirty five out of the fifty put in application for discharge, but I think I'll see the old game through, now that I've put in six months, and then mostly for the pleasure I get out of it I don't know as it will be any opportunity to benefit my future, for there will be at least 10,000 aviators turned loose and any commercial proposition will be taken up instantly, so all I can hope for is the satisfaction I get in flying and knowing how to fly. The only thing I'm sorry about is that I didn't enlist as a "doughboy" and go to France. I can't see where I've done anything to help win the war, and I feel like a slacker.

Well, Pat I'll have to go to bed. We have to have eight hours of sleep, before flying the next day, so I'll have to start pushing the pillow into my ear, so it will have been there eight hours by the time I get up (5:15) tomorrow morning. Let me hear from you when you have time.

Always your friend,
ARTHUR JOHNSON
 

 

-transcribe & submitted by Constance