7 January 1916 – First loss for 52 Squadron

Leonard Parker

Leonard Parker

Another of the RFC’s old stagers was lost today. Major Leonard Parker of 52 Squadron had learned to fly just before the start of the war in May 1914 and joined the RFC as a 2nd Lieutenant in August. He joined 1 Squadron in December 1914 and was sent to the front in March 1915. In April he was promoted to Lieutenant.

In July 1916 he was promoted to Captain and made Squadron Commander of the recently formed 52 Squadron. They went to front back in November 1916, being the first operational Squadron to be equipped with the RE8. At this point he was promoted to Major.

Today, just before midday Parker and his observer, Second Lieutenant Francis Arthur Mann, left theire aerodrome at Chipilly in RE8 (A74) on a photographic patrol for Tenth Corps of the Fourth Army. They were shot down near Allaines by Leutnant Georg Schlenker from Jasta 3 for his first victory. The RE8 , crashed behind enemy lines. Parker was killed in the crash, and Mann was taken prisoner. These were the first casualties for 52 Squadron from enemy action.

Also lost today were 2nd Lieutenant Edgar George William Bisset from 6 Squadron. He was shot down after being hit by AA fire on artillery observation. The tail broke off and the aircraft was completely wrecked in the crash. Bisset was killed but amazingly his pilot Lieutenant A J C E Phillipo survived virtually unharmed.

2nd Lieutenant Ethelbert Godwin Stockwell Wagner of 32 Squadron RFC was shot down in his DH2 (7851) by Erwin Böhme of Jasta 2 for his ninth victory.

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