2 August 1915 – Merz and Burn presumed dead

Following the disappearances of Captains Merz and Burn on 30 July, Major Reilly flew on to Basra the following day. As Merz and Burn never arrived he returned to the station on 2 today to report that Merz had not arrived.

He then set off with Captain Petre, in search of the two lost aviators. He found the badly damaged aircraft 25 miles to the west. It appeared that the aircraft had made a normal landing but had been damaged on the ground, with fabric cut by knives and a broken tail and nacelle. There was no trace of the two airmen nor any signs of a struggle.

Reilly and Petre continued westwards for another five miles but have found no evidence of the fate of Merz and Burn. It is assumed that they have been killed by local tribesmen. Captain Merz will be particularly missed as he is also a trained Doctor.


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