Out in Palestine, after the capture of Damascus on 1 October and Homs on 15 October, General Allenby has decided to make a bid tomorrow for Aleppo some 110 miles further north to give the British a better bargaining position come the inevitable armistice.
Today, the Bristol F2b’s of Captain Ross McPherson Smith and Lieutenant Ashley Vernon McCann (B1229) and Lieutenant Eustace Slade Headlam and Lieutenant William Harold Lilly (B1295) from 1 Squadron AFC were about to leave Homs on reconnaissance towards Aleppo when they heard the sound of an enemy aircraft. They took off and started to chase the aircraft. They were about 25 miles south of Aleppo and at 18,000 feet when they finally caught up with a German DFW. It was the first enemy aircraft encountered for weeks and after both Headlam and Lilly fired the aircraft went down in a spiral and landed in the desert.
Shortly afterwards Smith and McCann landed and taxied towards the aircraft. The German pilot and his observer jumped to the ground and stood with their hands above their heads. At the same time McCann and Lilly circled overhead and attacked a group of Bedouins about a mile away from the aircraft.
Smith decided there was no way they could take the German’s prisoner and so Headlam fired a Very light into the DFW and set it on fire. They then took off again leaving the stranded Germans to the Bedouins, so it’s likely the Germans were captured and ransomed as was the usual practice.
The two aircraft then completed their reconnaissances in preparation for the advance tomorrow. This was Hedlam’s fifth and final victory, making him an ace.