Reno Evening Gazette/1937/Hired Soldiers
Hired Soldiers. The American flying circus on the Spanish front is through. Led by Bert Acosta and Eddie Schneider, the American aviators I who have been serving the Spanish government in the Pyrenees want their pay. They have $1,100 coming. Schneider complains that "we were given nothing but unarmed sports planes with which to fight. while Russian pilots were assigned regular American army planes." He reports that the air forces of both sides were largely staked with foreigners and that the government was sadly outnumbered in the air. Intelligent fellow countrymen of Acosta and Schneider will waste scant sympathy on them. They are the sort of persons who get mixed up in a foreign war and then cry loudly to the state department to help them' out if they get in trouble. Try as it may to maintain neutrality, the government cannot prevent adventurers of the Acosta type from sticking their noses into other people's affairs. Officially, it is not responsible for them but the hue and cry that would arise were Acosta. for example, condemned to be shot over in Spain can easily be imagined. These American flyers have not even the redeeming quality of fighting for patriotic reasons. It was "purely business" with them, explains Schneider. And when the pay envelope was missing on the Spanish equivalent of Saturday night, the help quit. It is fortunate for these gallant Americans that they can quit at their own pleasure without being declared deserters and lined up against a stone wall. But whatever their status and whatever their fate, the government of the United States should waste no time on them.