I was given a bag with a letter that landed in a garden in Castlebar, County Mayo, Ireland on 18-10-1918.
The "bag" looks like a scarf or sash. It is about four foot long and made of four multi-coloured pieces of cloth.
On one end the cloth is folded and doubled to create a bag. In the bag were the letter and a weight (a broken- off top of a golf-club).
It is evident that an airman could throw notes down this way, the weigth would improve the aim and prevent a letter being carried off by wind. The long sash would slow the projectile down and make it easy to find. When folded the sash is small, so an airman could easily carry several. The way the bag is made clearly suggest it was a fairly common item.
My question: Is there a name or professional term for these bags? and Were they as common as I think?
A related question is related to identifying the airman: The airman signed the letter W. ?. ***? and is referred to by the receiver as Captain Dykes (captain may have been an official title or a civilian's description).
So far I have found a couple of possibles.
W.N. *** (Wikipedia page)
W.M. Dykes was made a Captain in early 1918 according to the Gazette.
W.U. Dykes is mentioned http://www.brisk.org.uk/rfc/rfc1.html
what is an easy way to find out which airman was based in Ireland, not too far from Castlebar, County Mayo in 1918?
Thanks for your help,
The first was William Norman *** http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/***.php and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Dyke_(aviator) mention him.