20 July 1916 – 23 and 24

Low cloud meant that for much of the day there was little useful activity, but later in the evening activity intensified.

At about 6.15pm four FE2s from 25 Squadron RFC encountered four Fokkers and two biplanes. A fight which lasted for nearly three-quarters of an hour ensued. Eventually one of the Fokkers was driven down and destroyed; a second went away damaged, and the whole formation was dispersed. The only casualty for the RFC was Lancelot Lytton Richardson the pilot of 6932 who was shot through the wrist. His observer 1st Class Air Mechanic LS Court was unharmed.

Between 8 and 9pm an offensive patrol of four DH2s from 24 Squadron encountered 5 LVG.s, 3 Rolands and 3 Fokkers over Flers. Captain Robert Edward Aylmer Weige Hughes-Chamberlain, who led the patrol, first dived at an LVG. which made off east, and he then attacked and drove down a Fokker.. Captain Hughes-Chamberlain was then attacked by a Roland, but he out-manoeuvred it and drove it down. Meanwhile Lieutenant Henry Cope Evans had closed with another Roland which he also drove down out of control. Two Fokkers which attacked Lt Evans nearly collided, and Lt Evans fired his remaining half-drum at an LVG.

Lieutanant Alfred Edwin McKay at a lower altitude, shot down a Roland which fell in a spinning nose-div and was then attacked by a Fokker. His engine was hit and he was forced to dive in a steep spiral. Lieutenant Charles Meredith Bouverie Chapman observing this, dived to the rescue, and engaged the Fokker at 1,000 feet over High Wood. The hostile machine fell to the ground and burst into flames. Eventually all the hostile machines were either driven down or driven off east – except one Fokker which tried to manouevre on to Captain Hughes-Chamberlain’s tail. He climbed in a spiral to attack, and the last of the hostile formation was driven off. This fight was witnessed by Lieutenant Bernard Tarrant Coller and 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Earle Gordon Scaife of 9 Squadron, who confirms the destruction of three machines. They also claim to have shot down a Fokker in flames over Bazentin-le Petit.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s