11 November – Millionaire captured

3 Wing RFC attempted another mass raid today on the German aerodrome at Bellenglise. The plan was for all available aeroplanes of 4, 8, and 13 Squadrons to attack the aerodrome at the same time, each squadron providing its own escort. Half the bombing aeroplanes carried an observer and a half-load of bombs, whilst the remainder flew without observers with a full bomb load. To give further protection Vickers FB5s of 11 Squadron were ordered to patrol the Peronne-St. Quentin area whilst the raid was in progress.

Unfortunately adverse weather disrupted the raid completely. Strong winds in the upper air and thick clouds over the German lines meant that many pilots lost their way and the plan fell apart.

JEP “Jack” Howey and Claude Herschel Kelway-Bamber were shot down in their FE2c (5644), after a fight with two enemy pilots. Howey, a well known eccentric millionaire landowner was taken prisoner but Kelway-Bamber was killed in the crash. Two B.E.2c’s of 8 Squadron, flying without observers and armed only with rifles, also failed to return from the raid, forced down by bad weather. 2nd Lieutenant Valentine Grantham in 1711, and 2nd Lieutenant William Anthony Harvey in 1725 were both taken prisoner.

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One thought on “11 November – Millionaire captured

  1. sethspeirs Post author

    Jack Howey was a well known eccentric millionaire land owner. He spent the early post war years as a racing driver until his wife persuaded him that it was too dangerous. He then established the Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway which is still in operation today.

    Claude Herschel Kelway-Bamber was subsequently one of the subjects of a bizarre series of books published in 1919 – purporting to be conversations with soldiers from the afterlife.

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