Berlin, Richard E., 1894- / Diary of a flight to occupied Germany, July 20 to August 27, 1945.
Arrival at Paris, pp. 13-15 PDF (727.5 KB)
deal of damage, yet the airfield we were over had been completely bombed. The field looked as if it had undergone a severe case of smallpox. Two bridges were completely wrecked, one bridge looked as if it might be about half the span of our George Washington Bridge. The countryside was green and beautiful; every inch of land seems to be under cultivation and it looks as if the French peasant is going to eat. Arrival at Paris We arrived in Paris at 5:24 p.m. E.W.T., approximately 30 hours out of Washington, with 6 hours on the ground at scheduled stops, making our flying time 24 hours. Deplaning at Orley Field, our Army's airdrome in Paris, we were met by Kingsbury Smith (INS Manager), Joe Willicombe, Jr., and Lieutenant Watts of the Army, our future conducting officer. I told a friend returning home on our ship to be sure to put his blankets on the floor at the rear of the plane alongside the door, thereby enabling him to stretch out and get a good night's sleep. This I learned from a Colonel who monopolized this coveted spot coming over. What a great sight at Orley Field! It is now 11:24 p.m. Sunday, Paris time. There must be 3,000 people sitting about the air terminal, mostly soldiers, all waiting to fly somewhere. The untiring Red Cross girls pass out coffee and the great American doughnut to the boys. Johnnie Hanes and I stood fascinated, and never moved. The boys took care of our passports, papers and baggage, and in about half an hour we were escorted to a car and told we were being taken to our billet-the George V Hotel. Lieutenant Watts is a very efficient young man. At the George V, two beautiful rooms awaited us in which were 13
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