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 8A Glance Back June 1924 During the 1920s and 1930s, surviving members of the First Yale Unit and their friends gathered for a series of reunion dinners— opportunities to renew friendships, toast lost comrades, cement social and business relationships, and reminisce about events that now seemed to reside in a surprisingly distant past. At each dinner, a number of the young veterans marched to the podium and recounted various aspects of their military experiences, whether in the air, in Washington or Hampton Roads, in Key West, or “over there.” For their June 14, 1924, gathering, held at the Brook Club in NewYork City, the group hired a stenographer to transcribe the after dinner remarks.The lengthy manuscript from that night constitutes the largest single oral history archive of the unit’s exploits . Excerpts from the informal comments delivered by Di Gates and David Ingalls are reprinted here.  Di Gates Speaking about David Ingalls . . .The next people of the Unit to officially report to Dunkirk were Freddie Beach and Chip [McIlwaine]. Dave Ingalls went back to train on bombing machines [at Clermont-Ferrand] with Chip, and then they came back with Freddie Beach, so there were four of us there [NAS Dunkirk].We came back and were assigned to the British Squadrons in that area, to get experience in bombing machines. Chip, I believe, got one Hun while flying a bombing machine and was officially credited with it.  A Glance Back Then later on they were taken off that and just waiting around for the Northern Bombing squadrons to be started.They were more or less marking time when they were up there. Dave Ingalls was hanging around begging daily for something to do, and finally he conceived the idea he could go back and spend some time with his 213 Squadron, and we fixed that up, and he went back and everyone knows how he went back and did his work there. . . . I remember one night there were several American nurses there, and they conceived the idea of giving a party up the coast from Dunkirk five or six miles, picking out that place because it was away from the city and any bombing to be done would not be done on that hotel.We had a very nice party. Dave came in very late.We could not understand it, as he was one of the competitors for one . . . nurse’s hand, and we were all very curious to find out what happened. He told us before rushing off to the dance with this young lady which I spoke about that he had his control wire shot off, he had been in a fight just before that and had come back controlling his machine by his motor, and therefore was late getting there.That is the night that I think I have spoken about before. . . . . . .Another incident happened at Dunkirk.A machine crashed during the day about 20 miles from Dunkirk. It was very misty and low clouds, so we sent a couple of machine out to find it, Dave Ingalls going out in a single-seater to find the spot where the machine had crashed and come back and get a motor boat and try to lead the motor boat to the place. It was in the morning. Dave went out and nothing more was heard of him.Another machine went out to find Dave’s machine and bring it back, and still Dave was missing. So we had to get more machines out to find Dave. Finally, at 7:30 we sent out our last patrol. It was getting dark. Just after it was dark we got word that Dave had arrived safely, that place being miles away down the coast, and miles from where the patrol was. He had apparently run out of gas and come down and found a nice French summer resort and decided to stay. . . . . . . I think someone ought to touch on Dave Ingalls’ work from Dunkirk, because that was important work, also McIlwaine’s work with 217 Squadron, and Freddie Beach, in addition to being with the French SPAD squadron [Escadrille St. Pol], had a lot of experiences with the day bombing squadron. . . .  j une 19 2 4 Mr. Davison: I don’t know anybody who is better equipped to picture David Ingalls’ work and to give him really the credit he deserves for work that was wonderful than Dave Ingalls. Mr. Ingalls: I thought I might tell you a little about Di...


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MARC Record
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