Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #206
…We must shoot down as many Albatross’ as we can – every one of them is a greater threat to our boys than two battalions of Huns…
European Allies have had Americans flying in their ranks for a couple of years now and are the most comfortable in the sky.
“Wright” or wrong, you cannot dispute effectiveness of aircraft and if men like Billy Mitchell do not advance the cause, the Germans would have controlled the skies, perhaps changing the course of world history.
Harv Pearson is seated in the rear of a room of military men, commanders all, planning an offensive beginning at Saint Mihiel on the Western Front. Mitchell, just a colonel, is prominent in the September 1918 meeting, urging to use just about every available aircraft, ‘to chase retreating German forces into tomorrow.’
“We have the opportunity break through that damned Siegfried Line! Doesn’t it make sense to shoot down as many Albatross’ as we can – every one of them is a greater threat to our boys than two battalions of Huns!” Billy Mitchell will use any means to make his point, including the press and their widening audience.
“Colonel Mitchell, you have been in Europe longer than any other advisor, what are some of the others uses for the airplane, other than those hair-raising dogfights?” asks Harv, the only reporter in the room.
“If they would listen to me, I would sink every ship that they have, but they don’t think our bombs can do it, that’s bull***t!”
“What if the ships are in the middle of the Atlantic? The current range of airplanes barely allows you to fly to Belgium and back?”
“We could land them on boats.” He is thinking on the fly. “Our aces can land in the middle of a herd of cattle, why not on a ship!”
Harv does not know what to say, getting more of an answer than he was prepared for. As far as he knows, there are no ships with an airfield for a deck. What others are whispering may be true, ‘Billy Mitchell is an extremist, bent on unproven things with little regard for his superiors.’
“Gotta go, Pearson; more Albatross’ to shoot out of the sky.” There is a hint of glee in his voice. Was he going to fly a mission? Harv wouldn’t put it past the fiery flying enthusiast.
Alpha Omega M.D.