28 April 1915 – Anything goes – but most combats inconclusive

Despite the occasional use of machine guns, The aircraft on both sides remain flimsy, slow and primitively armed – with revolvers, rifles and grenades the best most aircraft could carry. Even if machine guns were available in quantity, most aircraft are not capable of carrying the additional weight without serious drops in performance.

Today, Captain M McB Bell-Irving of 1 Squadron RFC encountered three enemy aircraft around 4.30 pm near Handzaeme. He adopted his normal tactic, and dived on the enemy aircraft, taking a few shots from his revolvers, and drove them off.

Unfortunately the performance of his aircraft was such that it took a long time to regain altitude by which time the enemy was able to return and continue the reconnaissance unmolested.

Earlier that day, pilots of 6 Squadron RFC were also involved in inconclusive combats. Lt Kinnear and Cpt Wylie in their BE2a fought with 2 Albatrosses at 4.30am near Langemarck, whilst Cpt Louis Strange and Lt Hawkins met unidentified enemy aircraft in their BE2c shortly afterwards at 5am near Bosinghe.

7 Squadron RFC also recorded their first Combat when Cpt GD Mills and Lt Murray tussled with an LVG around 7am.


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