Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #212

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #212

…Battles will continue to be fought and armistices forged, but Harv has had his fill, saying his goodbyes at his P-E J Paris office…

“The Last Victory” by Roy Grinnell.

Meanwhile, far from the glamour of the movies, Harv Pearson has witnessed the wonder of America’s contribution to the Great War, Col. Billy Mitchell in particular. On one day in late September, watching from the ground, he sees the sky above is filled with allied airplanes, spanning the horizon and headed for Saint Mihiel. They will total 1400 or more, he learns from Mitchell and quite a sight to see at that.

The sound of all those rotary engines will forever echo in the recesses of his mind. War produces sights and sounds that no peacetime event can and places a stamp on the human souls therein.

It also helps when you are on the winning side and thanks to American contributions, i.e. the air war, submarine warfare and fierce ground assaults. An end to the Great War can be seen.

Rear Admiral William S. Sims

 

Battles will continue to be fought and armistices forged, but Harv has had his fill, saying his goodbyes at his P-E J Paris office, leaving a skeleton staff to tie up the many loose ends. Personally, he is thankful that they had not lost any of his rotating reporters to the war, which is not the case for other news organizations. In fact, they are the only journalistic presence not to lose a correspondent.

For his last assignment, Harv is going to go back to the U.S. on a convoy ship, under the command of Rear Admiral William S. Sims. Sims has been at it for longer than most anyone, coordinating the transport of war materials, then troops since back in ‘15. He too is making his final voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.

Historical Image

USS PORTER (DD-59)

He has a wealth of stories to tell, many of them end with the sinking of one of many defenseless civilian ships. Until the Navy was allowed to convoy, a safety net surrounding as many as 10 supply ships, millions of metric tons is lost to U-boats… and the bottom of the ocean.

Were there an American naval presence around the English Channel, John Ferrell may be preparing to become the father-of-the-bride for Maggie Lou.

“How many ships have you been on that have been struck by a torpedo?” asks Harv after they have been under way for a day.

“8 too many, Mr. Pearson,” he relates with a stare straight ahead; he refuses to think about what is below the waterline of his boat, leaving that vigilant task to his around-the-clock submarine spotters. “If a cat has nine lives, I don’t want to use up that last one”

“It helps that we are traveling on a destroyer, does it not?” Harv is looking for reassurance, wanting to avoid John Ferrell’s fate at all cost. He had a bird’s eye view then and that impression haunt him long after the last shot of this horrible war is fired.

“Well yes, 5 of the boats I was aboard that got hit were civilian and before 1917. I guess the odds eventually even out.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Pearson Eastman Journal-001

Episode #212


page 200

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #206

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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…

Albatros D.III Werner Voss, by Arkadiusz Wróbel

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!”

Air war

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.

Episode #206


page 194

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #205

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #205

… The addition of an American presence, an earnest participation that more than offsets the withdrawal of Russia from the fray, spells trouble for the Central Powers with a capital U-S-A…

Pearson Eastman Journal-001

In Paris, Harv is leading a small army of correspondents, making the P-E J the qualified source for news on the western front. While his wife rubs elbows with the stars, he wears a heavy cast iron bowl on his head. He dodges cold raindrops and the hail of gunfire. But the Great War is beginning to grow on him, due in part that he has learned how slowly it actually moves, especially when you are privy to intelligence information; not many “Verduns” up anybody’s sleeve without some foreknowledge.

The addition of an American presence, an earnest participation that more than offsets the withdrawal of Russia from the fray, spells trouble for the Central Powers with a capital U-S-A. She is slow to anger, but as in the Spanish-American set-to, you best not “Yank” on the tail of a hellcat. The dough boys have landed in France, almost three months since that April 1917 declaration of war; time to redraw the lines on the western front.

The Western Front

At sixty-three, the age when most people retire from a life of toil and travail, Harv Pearson is punctuating his already rich abidance, the sound of gunfire never out of earshot. Some of those rounds of ammunition are fired from the air, synchronized, parting the whirling blades of airplane propellers.

Col. Billy Mitchell (earlyaviators.com)

        He meets a man of lofty vision, one of the most intriguing characters of the American military, accidentally on purpose, while seeking stories overlooked by other war correspondents. Colonel Billy Mitchell is the maverick commander of our wing of the Allied Air Corps and has been busy lobbying for this new form of waging war. There is, however, no verifiable history to support his claims. So much of his opposition comes from traditionalists who have never left the terra firma, save jumping out of the way of a lethal bouncing grenade.

Here in Britain, where most of the airfields dot the rolling countryside, there is less resistance to change, seeing that urgency is higher on the priority ladder. And there are the French, the self-proclaimed inventors of the airplane, who have had Americans flying in their ranks for a couple of years now and are the most comfortable in the sky.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #205


page 193

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WWI Warfare Wunderkind — WIF Into History

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WIF History-001

WWI Warfare Wunderkind

On The Western Front

In Paris, Harv is leading a small army of correspondents, making
the P-E J the qualified source for news on the western front. While
his wife rubs elbows with the stars, he wears a heavy cast iron bowl
on his head and tries to avoid cold rain and the hail of gunfire. But
the Great War is beginning to grow on him, due in part that he has
learned how slowly it actually moves, especially when you are privy
to intelligence information; not many Verduns up anybody’s sleeve
without some foreknowledge.

The addition of an American presence, earnest participation that
more than offsets the withdrawal of Russia from the fray, and it spells
trouble for the Central Powers with a capital U-S-A. She is slow to
anger, but as in the Spanish-American set-to, you best not “yank” on
the tail of a hellcat. The dough boys have landed in France, almost
three months since that April 1917 declaration of war; time to redraw
the lines on the western front.

The Great War

At sixty-three, the age when most people retire from a life of toil
and travail, Harv Pearson is punctuating his already rich abidance,
the sound of gunfire never out of earshot. Some of those rounds of
ammunition are fired from the air, synchronized parting the whirling
blades of airplane propellers.

He meets a man of lofty vision, one of the most intriguing
characters of the American military, accidentally on purpose, while

____226 Gwendolyn Hoff

seeking stories overlooked by other war correspondents. Colonel
Billy Mitchell is the maverick commander of our wing of the Allied
air corps and has been busy lobbying for this new form of waging
war. There is, however, no verifiable history to support his claims; so
much of his opposition comes from traditionalists who have never
left the terra firma, save jumping out of the way of a bouncing lethal
grenade.

Here in Britain, where most of the airfields dot the rolling
countryside, resistance to change is less, seeing that urgency is higher
on the priority ladder.

And there are the French, the self-proclaimed
inventors of the airplane, who have had Americans flying in their
ranks for a couple of years and are the most comfortable in the sky.

“Wright” or wrong, you cannot dispute effectiveness and if men
like 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 Michel
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____!”

“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. “The 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

____The Life and Times of a Black Southern Doctor 227

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.

WWI Warfare Wunderkind

On The Western Front