31 October 1916 – Just another normal day

70 Squadron RFC has been in France since May 1916 flying the Sopwith 1½ Strutter. It arrived in batched such was the demand for aircraft with C”C” flight only arriving in August. Since then it has carried out a variety of activities but mainly focused on fighter patrols. The Strutter is a two-seater, and despite not really being maneuverable enough to use as a fighter, it is one of the few British aircraft fitted with a synchronisation gear. 

Today the Squadron suffered a variety of mishaps demonstrating the typical issues affecting all the Squadrons at the front. 

First of all 2nd Lieutenant Eric Barnes Mason took off on a practice flight in A1920 and almost immediately crashed. The aircraft was written off but Barnes suffered only minor injuries. 

Lieutenant George Lushington Colomb and 2nd Lieutenant Alexander Norman MacQueen also suffered a mishap on returning from a patrol. They hit a barbed wire fence while attempting to land and damaged the landing gear of A1904. Both were unharmed. 

2nd Lieutenant John Stephen Cooper and Sergeant Reuel Dunn in A887 were hit by shellfire on patrol but able to return safely. Both crew members were unhurt. 

2nd Lieutenants Charles Edward Ward and Harry Athelstan Chuter were also hit by shellfire whilst on patrol in A1919. Ward was wounded in the arm and side but was able to get the aircraft back. Chuter was unhurt. 

Finally, Lieutenants George Henry Nicholson and Thomas Morgan Johns failed to return from a patrol. They were later reported as having landed behind enemy lines and taken prisoner.

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