45 Squadron RFC only arrived at the front on 15 October. However such is the shortage of pilots and machines that they were ordered in to action today

Earlier in the morning a patrol got split up and one aircraft was attacked by six enemy fighters. The observer, Lieutenant Frank Surgey, was severely wounded in the stomach with the first burst of fire, but he continued to fire and sent one enemy aeroplane down out of control. The pilot, 2nd Lieutenant Henry Hall Griffith managed to nurse the aircraft back over the lines.

Later their inexperience was perhaps a factor as three aircraft failed to return from an offensive patrol to Bapaume-Peronne in their Sopwith 1½ Strutters. Sergeant shot Percy Snowden and 2nd Lieutenant William Francis Hannan Fullerton were killed in A1061. Captain Leslie Porter and 2nd Lieutenant George Bernard Samuels were also shot down in 7777. Samuels was killed and Porter severely wounded. 2nd Lieutenants Oliver John Wade missing and William Johnson Thuell were also killed in 7786.

To add to the misery for 45 Squadron, 2nd Lieutenant Lewis Francis Jones and Corporal S Betts wrecked their Strutter (A1069) on landing at the aerodrome Both were unhurt, however.


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