Dear Mr. Brown, -- It is with the
deepest regret that I write you these few lines in regard to the
most unfortunate accident which your son Ray met with this
You have probably already
received word of his death by cablegram, but I, as his chum and
room mate, wish to send you the heartfelt sympathy of all of us
who knew him.
Ray had been my chum and room
mate ever since I arrived here in England some three months ago.
Up until today he had done some
remarkable work and had finished his course before any of those
who had arrived here at the same time.
He was about ready to leave for
another camp for a week or so and then to France.
He enjoyed the best of health
over here and good times; was a hard worker, and there were few
better flyers in the camp.
He left the aerodrome here at 11
o'clock this morning to go over to the Solent, not far from here,
to do some aerial flying.
Not lone after this it was
reported that he had been killed by diving into the sea.
Soon after lunch I went over to
see what could be done in regard to recovering the body. I am
sorry to say that as there was quite a rough sea and a high tide,
it will be impossible to recover it until tomorrow morning.
While there I learned these few
facts from an eye witness. He was making his sixth dive at the
target when his machine turned over on its back at about 60 feet
over the water.
He was conscious of his position
the whole time and tried to gain sufficient height to make it safe
to get out of it, by climbing on his back.
Unable to do this he half rolled
the machine to the upright position, but in doing so lost flying
speed and the machine crashed into the water.
Had he been a little higher all
would have been O.K. The force of machine hitting the water was
alone enough to kill him, and no one can be blamed. He did all any
man ever could do and sure made a great effort to save himself.
We are forwarding all his
personal effects, the key along with this letter and the trunk
will follow later. Will let you know further
particular as soon as I find out. All possible will be done by
friends here for him.
Trusting these few lines will
enlighten you somewhat and let you know that all those who knew
him send you their deep sympathy. I am,