16 May 1916 – A mixed day for 11 Squadron

11 Squadron RFC was active all day at the front today. At 0845 this morning, 2nd Lieutenant Albert Ball, who only joined the Squadron on 7 May, shot down an enemy aircraft near Givenchy in one of the Squadron’s Bristol Scouts (5312). He dived on it from 12,000ft and chased it down to 2000ft firing. At that point, the enemy aircraft flipped over. Ball was forced to retreat with engine trouble at this point. This is Ball’s first confirmed victory.

Morden Maxwell Mowat

Later in the day, at around 5.30pm his colleague 2nd Lieutenant Morden Maxwell Mowat (Mowett) was not so lucky. He was on patrol near Berles when he was shot down in another Bristol Scout (5301) by Max Immelmann for his 11th victory. Mowett was injured in the crash and died later of his wounds.

2nd Lieutenant Claude Manley Gibson was hit by ground fire on return from a patrol. He ended up crashing his Bristol Scout (5313) into a ploughed field next to the aerodrome, but escaped with minor injuries.

Finally, 2nd Lieutenant David Hamilton Macintyre and Corporal Wood were forced to land their Vickers FB5 (5475) near St Omer and pancaked into the long grass.

13 Squadron share an aerodrome with 11 Squadron. They also suffered a loss when Captain Gerald Blunt Lucas who was the observer in a BE2c (4105) piloted by 2nd Lieutenant Frederick Clive Avery Wright. They were attacked by a Fokker. They crashed near Anzin St Aubin and both men were wounded, though Lucas later died of his injuries. Also in the combat were Captain Rowell and Lieutenant Cresswell Turner from 12 Squadron in another BE2c (2026). They were also shot and crash landed without injury.


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