47 Squadron RFC had arrived on the Salonika Front in September 1916 to support operations there.
Today, Lieutenant Spencer John Meadows White and 2nd Lieutenant Henry Matthews were on patrol in their Armstrong Whitworth FK3, with Major Maurice Adam Black, when White’s aircraft was attacked by two enemy machines. Before Major Black could offer assistance, White was shot down and they crashed in the steep, forested slopes of the Beles. Both crew members were killed. The victory was claimed by Haiptmann Friedrich-Karl Burckhardt, the commander of Jasta 25, a German unit assisting the Bulgarians.
A couple of days later the Germans dropped the following message:
“The Royal Flying Corps. The German aviators are very sorry to inform you of the death of the two English aviators which were killed on the 15th January at 10.30 am, after a fight with our aeroplanes. The English aviators had been fighting very bravely, but their aeroplane dropped after about 5 minutes fight and `skilled’. They died as heroes, and have our respects. Their bodies will be buried with all military honours.”