• U.S.

FRANCE: Thunder Underneath

1 minute read

As Imperial Airways’ Pilot A. B. H. Youell took his nine passengers over the French border during a routine Zurich-London flight last week he heard a clap of thunder. Looking overboard he saw a puff of black smoke. Then five more claps and five more puffs followed in quick succession. Pilot Youell knew antiaircraft fire when he saw it. He checked his position: near Strasbourg, France. Pouring on the coal to 10,000 feet, swerving from his course, he radioed Strasbourg airfield to find out if war had begun. “Very sorry,” came the answer. “You were near the Maginot Line prohibited area and we did not recognize you. Was our shooting good?” Obviously, it was not.

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