- Letters and pictures from Stanley Louis Haynes, Aviator -
Stanley stands below prop with beany on
Are you a WWI history buff? I invite you to please write and help fill in the blanks of this story.
This is Part 1, concerning the lead-up to his time training in the Army Air Corp.
More letters and pictures will follow in another installment.
By December 23rd, 1917, WWI had been going on for three and a half years. Stanley Haynes, my grandfather, was 23. His friends called him Ted. In this letter, his friend Grant talks about the war and enlisting, these are excepts -
My dear Ted:-
"Tis more or less chilly here in the office but if I speed up a little on the machine perhaps I can keep warm at the job and incidentally convey what ever bit of news I may happen to have.
In the first place do you know that "Carp" made application for the coming training camp, was accepted and will soon be on the road to officerdome. Otto is the strangest mixture I have ever tried to solve. Now you and I know that he would rather do anything else on earth than go to war yet being a German and especially a Lowden German he feels that he must go or be called a slacker. At any rate he is going and I really think more of him for so doing.
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Well it is all in a lifetime and we are soon to go to war and there won't be a whole lot of fun along with the soldier life.
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Had a letter from Hick not long ago. Said he tried to enlist but didn't get so very far with it. Think he is fortunate after a fashion but I am a little like Harry Fuller, I would rather fight the Germans than Germs.

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Suppose you have simply been rushed off your feet with the Questionnaires? We have had an office full every day since the Board started sending them out to the registrants.
I will be surely pleased when it is all over, but there will be several days of it yet. It takes so darned much good time and we can't charge for it. If the darned fools knew anything about themselves it wouldn't be half so hard but one has to stop and figure out for them what they are worth, how much it takes to operate their farm and how much it takes to support his family when he has been at it for the past eight of ten years. But at that I come nearer to it than they do. Well, mine will be coming out before long. My order number is 785 and there are 1064 in the country. I am quite a little ways down the line and will not be taken for several months I suppose. It is almost train time and perhaps I can get this out this afternoon.
I wish for you and Vinee
(my soon-to-be grandmother) a very enjoyable Christmas.
Yours,
Grant
A "Lowden" German?
Two outbreaks of influenza killed more people than the war.
Is he talking about
draft notices?
Vinee behind the wheel with her pals. She was left back in Hampton, Iowa.


. . . Honey listen. I am not going into this with the least thought that I am not coming out of it just as healthy and as whole as I enter. I really believe that it is the safest place as well as the best service that one can get into. Vinee, I think that each one of us, individually, owes something to God for being on this earth and enjoying the things that he has given us. If that is not paid, if we don't do something which we can look back to and say, "That one thing or series of things has vindicated God in his judgement of putting me here" then we have missed the most of life. True, there are other ways and it takes a life time to pay it all but when one makes certain sacrifices and gives up some things he is only paying. So far I haven't paid, haven't spent a bit of energy in being good or helping anyone else. It has been an effort on my part to do some of the colored things I have done rather than to do the things which one commonly calls being good. So if by joining this service and really doing something big and of benefit to the others in this world I can feel that I have compensated- won't our lives together be the more full. Won't he in his graciousness give us things which we would under those circumstances deserve and under no other circumstances could we deserve them nor expect them.
February 6th, 1918. Stanley writes to his fiance' about his decision to enlist and about being in harms way.
These are believed to be De Havilland (Airco) DH-4 two seat biplane bombers. In the US they were known as "Liberty Planes".
I believe that it is patriotism that is helping me thru. Patriotism to God though rather than to the U.S. I can't close my eyes and say, "My Country, my country right or wrong but my country still." Really I can't. She is my country and I help her and honor her, but yet, my father is my father; closer than my country too. I honor him and help him but still there is something lacking there. The same thing only sharper is lacking in my feelings for the country of ours.
Puddins, I don't want you to feel that I am leaving you at all. I won't be. When I am in training and finally at a camp we can be together. When I am 'over there' if I ever get there you can still have things that you want, every thing but me. Even that will come in time. I will be gone and be back before we know it. Then we can be more happy and both appreciate more the things we are to get. Forget about what little danger I may be in and only remember what I am doing to help you and the others.
Camp Dick, Dallas Texas 1918 June 2-

Dear Wife- This is my first real honest to goodness letter while a soldier.
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I sent the N.L. from the depot just after luncheon. Then we all piled in a bus and came out here at 25¢ a head. After being unloaded we were sent to the commandant of field. We presented our orders and were assigned to a squadron. Each squadron is composed of 100 men of every size, age and description. A sergeant then took us over, Camp Dick is the Texas State Fair Ground. We, that is, five out of the six were assigned to squadron 9. We have a peach of a first Lieut. but the second is a snotty little pup, and honey there is nothing as snotty as a snotty second Lieut. After we got there, and there is no more or less than the hog and sheep pens of the fairgrounds. They are going to be fine. Cement floors with both sides wide open.
So open, in fact, but, well... that comes later. In each pen there is a small steel cot. We were issued one blanket and one bag for clothes. A couple minutes later we were called out and lined in double file and again marched over to the other side of the fairgrounds and each received one rifle and an ammunition belt. After receiving these we were on our leisure until supper call. Not much leisure though.

Have you ever heard of a Texas Northerner? I have, in fact, I was through one. You've seen those terrible black clouds gather up in the west and look terrible That is it, only here it turns out much worse than it looks to be at the first glimpse. The wind flew like thunder and it was almost dark, then the rain came. It surely was rain but warm and nice. I know because I was out in most of it. Got over to the pens, pardon me, I mean quarters, just in time to get soaked through. I changed my underclothes and shirt and then put on my sweater. It's a dandy honey. Shortly after that we were called out, lined up, and marched to mess. Everyone eats in the same hall.

Quarters are very comfortable and our meals will be very good. We get our clothes tomorrow. This is merely a concentration camp for aviators. There are 1300 new men here. Several hundred who have finished training school and also as many commissioned flyers. We get our military drill here and will be held here until there is room for us in the training schools. The best squadrons are sent out first. It will take about three weeks before we are ready for training school. There is no way to tell where, when, or how we will go. That, I guess, is the story of my first day in active service for Uncle Sam.

- These are DH4s -
This is more or less a life-size version of the hand made photo album that these pictures came from. More pictures and more letters home in the next installment.
WWI Aviation History Links-

The Aerodrome -A forum on WWI aviation and much more
Great War Flying Museum
National Museum of the United States Air Force
Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome
RAF Waddington -A Royal Air Force site
66 Squadron - A site about the 66th Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps
Rosebud's Early Aviation Image Achive