The weather during the noon hours became even sunnier than before. Beautiful light clouds were hanging in the fresh sunny air. The endless water stretched in front of us, as still as if it were a small inland lake. The course of the wind, marked by the foam bubbles, veered in the meantime all the way round from South-East to North-West. The streaks of foam came wrigling against us like long snakes. Out of the thick cumulus clouds which hung in the sunshine white streaks of rain fell down to the sea. But we were able easily to fly around these local patches of rain. Sometimes the warm rays of the sun would shine into the cockpit at my side, while the other side of the plane would be hit by cold air currents from the showers of rain and sleet which pelted down upon the ocean at that side. We always skimmed, as it were, the edges of these patches in which snow and ice lashed the waves. Woe to the pilot who at night, without noticing it, gets into these dangerous snow and hail storms. Whether he would be lost, or whether there existed a way of fighting through these barricades to victory, I did not yet know. But knowing that the threatening moonless night was coming, these thoughts pressed heavily upon my heart.

The first unpleasant effects of the long flight began to manifest themselves about this time. We had had continuously to fix our eyes upon the distant horizon and the bright clouds, and then turn them to the darkness of the plane, in order to keep a steady course on our compass. Our eyes began to burn. As it grew later, and the sun sank lower and lower, the dazzling burning rays which were thrown upon us reflected by the water became more and more glaring. It was particularly painful for me on the left side, and often I had to close my eyes to give them a rest. I had dark goggles to protect me from the sun rays, but even these were not sufficient in the long run.

Gradually, five o'clock came and I invited Fitzmaurice to tea. The table was not set as nicely as usual, but the tea in our thermos bot-

ties was just as hot as when it was poured into them in the morning. It was refreshing and tasted better than usual. We had the same things as at lunch time; sandwiches, bananas and chocolate.

After tea, we felt refreshed and looked forward happily to the coming evening. We had good reason to feel happy, because the motor was humming its song industriously, and did not make the slightest unusual sound. It seemed to strive westward with real pleasure, and the Junkers propeller cut glistening on through the sunny air. We showed our joy and appreciation of the good old engine, by stroking both speedometer and plane lovingly.

We made another observation of the wind at that time, and noticed all of a sudden a very strong wind from the northwest.

We therefore corrected our course by 15 degrees towards the North and came down to the lowest possible altitude over the already darkening curled bluish grey waters.

Flying within 10 meters of the water we could constantly observe by the splashing of the foam capped waves that this air current kept on.

The checking of our gasoline supply was one of the most important tasks in our navigation. Our gasoline gauges were not good; they did not register correctly. The gauges showed a normal steady decrease of the fuel, but what is of such vital importance on such flights, the exact control of the gasoline by direct observation cannot be carried out with gauges. Besides, there is never any real guarantee when the tanks will become absolutely exhausted. Our most essential control consisted in establishing the time in which we used up the various tanks and comparing it with the average revolutions of the propeller. But even these figures were not accurate, because quite a considerable quantity of gasoline might have been left in the numerous tanks, which could have led to false conclusions. Also, whether we flew with a lean or rich mixture made a considerable difference in the consumption.

We had on our plane a system of 14 tanks distributed in the wings, and cabin, and could use fuel from two or three of these tanks at the same time. This gave us a comparatively accurate control of our fuel consumption.

From 5:30 to 9:35 A.M. we were using fuel from the two cabin tanks on the right, which as the name indicates, were mounted in the cabin. The average revolutions during this period amounted to 1440. We used these tanks first, mainly to equalize the distribution of the load in our plane. We could not therefore establish how much fuel we had consumed out of these tanks and had to rely on past experiences. We were not certain of our consumption, and later when we started to use fuel from these tanks again, our uncertainty increased.

At 9:35 we cut off these two tanks, because we bad reached a favorable distribution of weights. We switched on the four wing tanks, which had a capacity, according to our previous tests and calculations, of 10 1/2 hours flying time. Shortly after tea time we had therefore another two hours to fly with these wing tanks. As we had to count, however, on the possibility that they might be exhausted much sooner, we had to watch for that moment very carefully. Half an hour earlier than we had calculated, at 7:20 Irish time, the gasoline level in the indicator dropped suddenly, and the gasoline control wheel which was driven by the overflow stopped. We had to cut off the wing tanks and switch on three cabin tanks. We pumped by hand sufficient gasoline into the gravity tank to fill it up again. After three minutes' work the gasoline supply was regular again. The cabin tanks, according to my calculation, would keep us going for about 14 hours.

I made a line with my red pencil on my second clock, indicating the hour at which the exhaustion of these tanks would have to be expected. In order to be on the safe side, I also marked with a red line four hours ahead, to remind us in good time during the night of the possible exhaustion of the tanks and the necessity of switching on of fresh tanks. Such precautions had to be taken, because we had to count strongly upon the fatigue factor. It could easily have happened that during our fight with the elements through the night the engine might have run out of fuel through carelessness and thus come to a standstill.

We had exhausted the wing tanks in 9 hours and 45 minutes instead of in 101/2 hours. At that time this small difference did not worry me very much.

The sun was in its late afternoon. The previous day in Baldonnel I had gone with Schuenzinger to the highest point of the field and watched the sun disappear in the West. That was at 7:45 ; at 9:30 there was perfect darkness in Baldonnel. To-day at 7:20 the sun stood quite high in the sky, and we were very glad that it lagged behind. From 7:45 onwards we began to count one degree for every four minutes that elapsed while we flew in sunshine. We hoped that we would reach a considerable figure by the time the sun sank below the horizon. We would thus have had a good check up on our position for our further flight into the night.

But unfortunately things went differently! After 1 1/2 hours our attention was suddenly diverted from counting degrees every four minutes. An unpleasant sight, which we had not seen before, manifested itself.

The glowing stripe the sun had painted on the water, and which had stretched itself far out to the horizon, was suddenly cut off. A whitish stripe seemed to replace it vanishing on the distant horizon.

Behind this whitish milky stripe rose gigantic mountains of clouds, which stretched as far as the eye could see from North to South, and which actually looked like Northern mountains, dark and threatening. I looked through my glasses, and saw that they were not the coast or mountains, but bad—very bad—formation of clouds, which rose on the horizon to an altitude of several thousand meters, so high that it would hardly be possible to fly over them.

From my Templehof experiences of cloud flights at high altitudes, I knew that there, if we were unable to fly over those clouds, we would encounter icy cold fogs, in which our plane would certainly collect ice to such an extent that we would have to make a forced landing.

The entire formation of the clouds looked as if we had encountered an area of low barometric pressure, which had developed more quickly than usually. My theories that on an East to West flight it is hardly possible with a plane to avoid encountering these low areas were proven. Happy is he who encounters such a region during the day time. Woe to him who does not possess a splendid machine and the best of instruments if he hits upon such a region at night. We came into the second category.

My thoughts therefore were busy with the Bremen. Would she be able to hold through and stand this enormous test? In my opinion the low pressure area stretched out far West for hundreds of miles. It was not certain that we would get through it. Hitherto I had never got into such weather either in the day or at night. If we encountered similar weather on our night flights we either turned back or landed carefully. Here it was impossible to turn back. We were too far from the saving coast of Europe, and very probably in the vicinity of Newfoundland. And this last circumstance even increased the danger of the approaching cloud masses, because we would soon have to count upon the possibility of land below us, and would have to fly high in order not to strike against elevations in the night and fog. I had fought through many a gale at night and without moonlight, but my previous experiences were child's play compared with what was threatening now after 20 hours' flight. My hopes that we would succeed and come through unscathed and, after the thick dark masses of -clouds, again encounter a clear starlit night were very, very small.

We had to get ready for action. Our only weapon for this fight were the two Askania "Wendezeiger" Indicators. One of these had been in constant use during our 20 hour flight so far. We had not fitted the wind jacket of the second one, in order to reduce air resistance. Thereby we had made, even though not much, still a little better speed with our plane. Fitzmaurice started to fit this second wind jacket, a task which was accomplished in four minutes. For both of us that was a sign of the coming struggle. Hitherto we had grasped each other's hands joyously in recognition of our happy progress; this time we clasped them in utter seriousness. As we shook hands, our eyes met, and without words we promised each other faithful comradeship and to fight through bravely, come what might, to the very end.

I thought of veering a little more towards the South, but we had still a strong wind from the North. And I was afraid of drifting too far South into the water wastes, and then perhaps being unable to reach land. I estimated the distance from the banks of Newfoundland to be 200 to 300 miles.

Then began our fight with the unchained elements, night and fog,—a fight for which in my haughtiness I had often longed. In our many talks about the flight I had often given expression to this desire. I had said that anybody could fly in the moonlight and with a starlit sky; that it was black night and fog which tempted me. Now after a tiring day flight, my wish was about to be granted; and I must confess that I experienced a little sinking feeling. As, however, fear was the last thing which could help us in our struggle, I made every effort to force a smile upon my face.

We could not follow the good old sun, which had shone upon us for such a long time, in its daily path down the sky. While still high in the sky, it disappeared behind grey haze, and the icy shade of clouds enveloped our faithful Bremen. When we first saw this fog bank it had seemed to hang close above the water; now it crept nearer and nearer. When it got below us it seemed to rise. We therefore gave the Bremen some more gas, and tried first to fly above it.

After we had winged our way for half an hour through the cloud masses, holes appeared suddenly in the clouds, through which we were able to look down upon the wild sea. How different the ocean now looked! White stripes of foam dashed over the caps of the high waves driven by the wind incessantly. In the tumult it seemed as if sea were giving birth to sea. Hell seemed to be let loose down there. We were flying already at an altitude of 2000 meters and still we could not get above the towering clouds. So we fought our way westward. We could not fly on like this much further, because high above us another ceiling of clouds hung, which seemed to join our clouds not very far ahead of us.

The moment had come for us to dive into all this uncertainty, into the clouds of fog below us. As we had noticed the stormy sea earlier through the holes in the clouds, we presumed that the lower edge of the clouds would be at least 30 to 40 meters above the waves. I did not consider it advisable to try to hunt up these holes and to dive through them downward, because they would already have closed in and this would only have caused delay in our progress. We dived into the clouds. My heart was beating fast, but I was full of confidence. We had not yet consumed half of our fuel supply, so that the flight with our heavy plane through the fog was an entirely new experience for me. But all went well. We lost altitude gradually. We flew into the clouds at an altitude of 2000 meters. The altimeter began to drop and was already registering zero, when all of a sudden gray and black jaggs with white stripes appeared below the dark fog. We were 70 meters above the raging ocean.

The altimeter registered minus 150. We knew that we had got into a proper minimum. Pelting rain beat upon the closed windows. The sea was ploughed up by the gale to an extent I had never imagined possible even in my wildest phantasies. Ploughed up to the depth of its depth, it stretched beneath us, foaming its black tongues against us, thirsting for new victims, for the tiny living beings who between two elements fought for their lives.

Our machine literally trembled in all her parts. The wings vibrated and bent, and the rudder received shocks of incredible violence. Deep troughs of waves alternated with onrolling mountains of water, the caps of which collapsed in their white abyss. I must confess that this sight did not cheer me very much. It seemed to be too audacious for small frail man to fight against these powers of nature. How would it all end? It was a fight for life or death. But so long as there was life in us, we intended to struggle.

As upon the battlefield in merciless fight, every feeling of fear suddenly left me. Now that the contest was on I wished to absorb every move in this mighty experience. Thrown about and shaken by the gale, I could hardly reach the hand of my friend Fitzmaurice. And in this stress I prayed and I regained fully my peace of mind. I gradually began to realize that the Bremen was fit for this battle, and again I shook hopefully the hands of my comrade in distress. Again we pledged ourselves to fight to the very end.

The gale kept on like this for hours, and as one gets used to everything, I got used to this sort of flying. The main thing now was to keep upon our compass course. The compass swung and shook under the terrible gusts, but it registered, and it was still light enough for me to keep my direction by the dark clouds which raced by and the waves.

I kept on comparing my direction with the compass and correcting the course accordingly. It was not easy any more to keep direction, and often we were thrown off our course up to 30 degrees. As long as it was light we managed somehow. My hopes of achieving victory in this fight with the elements, which had waned in the beginning, began to increase, and with a pressure of the hand I conveyed these feelings to Fitzmaurice and nodded happily to Huenefeld in the cabin.

Then something unexpected happened, which seemed to take away our last hopes. It was still light enough to see the gauge tubes. Hours ago we had opened the reserve oil tank and let fresh oil flow into the motor tank. The tube filled up half an hour ago, and we again shut off the reserve tank to prevent too much oil flowing into the motor tank. And now! Half an hour later the level in the tube had sunk again almost to the point where it stood before we started filling up. There seemed to be no doubt—we were losing oil. Fitzmaurice wrote to me in red pencil on a scrap of paper these words: We seem to be losing oil." Throughout the day some oil had been seeping through along the axle of our revolution indicator and had drizzled down the instrument board and collected under the pilot seat. Fitzmaurice climbed in the shaking gale into the cabin, lay down on the floor and searched with his flashlight underneath this seat. He thought because everything there was oily, that this was a confirmation of his belief that there was a leak somewhere in the oil pipe or in the oil tank through which we were so rapidly losing our precious oil. I was inclined to believe so myself, because we had already experienced a small leak in the motor tank on our flight from Berlin to Baldonnel. As soon as Fitz, with a hopeless expression on his face, returned to his seat, he wrote to me below his previous remark: "Get to land as quickly as possible; we are losing oil very badly."

A nauseous sickening feeling arose within me. Everything had gone so splendidly so far; the motor had held up faithfully; the Bremen had withstood the gale and fog; we had remained masters of the elements; how tragic, if a small trouble in the oiling system should now lose us victory and bring our flight to an end. At this time night approached. Originally I had intended, when total darkness fell, to change our course further South, in order to remain the whole night over the ocean; and then when the dawn broke to turn again into a northwesterly direction until we reached the coast. This intention was now thwarted. We had presumably many more kilogrammes of oil in our reserve tank, but with the rapid consumption we noticed on our gauge it would only last us for a few hours. As I did not think that land was too far away, the only solution was to take up a course which would bring us to land as soon as possible. I must say that I had considered such a possibility already in Baldonnel, and had figured out which would be the best course to steer in such an event. Nevertheless, the situation seemed rather hopeless. But where distress is the greatest, God is nearest. Again I prayed, and shook Fitzmaurice's hand to cheer him up. I must say I felt very sorry indeed for his wife and child, especially as in Baldonnel I had been the first to say to Huenefeld: Well take him along."

And now it became dark. We were no longer able to establish the strength and direction of the wind. A11 I could hope was that sooner or later we would emerge on the far side of the low pressure area where northerly and northeasterly winds should prevail. These would drift us on to land, over Newfoundland into Labrador. Considering that we wanted to reach land, I was perfectly satisfied with that possibility. We therefore altered our course still further slightly Northward. Now we learned to fly blindly in the gale. But another unpleasant experience awaited us: the electric lights of our compass began to grow dimmer and dimmer, and it became extremely difficult to fly by the compass. We had to resort to our flashlights. From time to time I threw a flash upon the compass, and every time established unfortunately, that the gale had thrown us off our course. It was rather hard to get back into the right course again, so we began to flash our lights throughout the night.

It was now impossible to establish how far South or North the gale was driving us. I hoped to get ahead in spite of everything by keeping a course exactly West, so as to reach land after a while. We hoped to see lighthouses, and then follow the coast Southwards. Under the weather conditions which prevailed, however, we had to fly at a high altitude, for safety's sake, and, flying in the fog, might miss the lighthouses. It was, probable that in the dawn, according to my sea charts, we would find ourselves over Labrador, because as I have already said I was counting upon northerly winds.

In the meantime by opening the reserve oil tank, the level in the gauge tube had risen again somewhat, and with it our hopes that we would be able to keep up for a number of hours with our supply. Our watches showed that it was midnight Irish time, and as complete darkness enveloped us we judged that we had come quite a distance West. But this we could not establish with absolute certainty owing to the thick clouds and heavy fog through which we were flying.

Our intention to reach Mitchel Field was, I considered, thwarted. I thought we would not be able to sight the lighthouses on the East coast of America, and if we failed to locate such points we would have to fly on through clouds, fog and night until the dawn broke. Only then could we grope our way down and search for the ground. The question remained: Where were we drifting to? Which quarter did the wind come from? How strong was the wind?

I shouted to Fitz. "Coffee," and he passed the word on to Huenefeld. He knew what this meant. It was the last drug to keep us going. The struggle was hard, very hard. The coffee perked me up and I fought on in the fog.

The compass was dark. I checked it up with my flashlight. The trusty "Askania" was wonderful. The Bremen began to turn around, the long hours of experience in fog flights proved invaluable. I managed to bring her back upon her course, and we flew straight ahead, only I did not know into what territory we were heading. A wireless now would have been helpful, very helpful. I knew that beforehand, but the outfit was so heavy, and I based our safety upon the gasoline supply, with which I hoped under all circumstances to reach safety. Now that we had actually flown in the fog for an hour, my confidence grew. We still had oil; more still poured from the reserve tank! I felt we were beyond the danger of running short of oil! I had no time to establish this more closely-. Fitz was reading the instruments, and handing me coffee. He drank some himself. I became more hopeful and happier, even though I did not know how things would end. I often felt for Fitzmaurice's hand, which I pressed—at least I felt that we two were one in the battle.