16 September 1916 – Balloon accident

The intensive action on the Western Front continues, but losses today are minor compared to yesterday. Captain Kenneth Algernon Brooke-Murray 0f 15 Squadron RFC was seriously injured when his BE2c (2617) was shot up over Miraumont Station. Brooke-Murray was hit in the leg. His pilot 2nd Lieutenant Albert Higgs Vinson was unhurt.

The worst incident of the day however was caused when 2nd Lieutentant Cedric Charles Hayward of 18 Squadron accidentally flew his FE2b (6971) into the cable of a balloon from 6 Kite Balloon Section. The aircraft became tangled in the cable and eventually crashed. Hayward suffered minor injuries but his observer Philip  Joseph Smyth was badly hurn and died later of his injuries.

The kite balloon was also sheared from its moorings and it drifted over the front. The observer LIeutenant Clarence Edward Nooth Cooper jumped from the balloon, but his parachute failed to open and he was killed in the fall.

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