4 February 1917 -More fighting in the air

Intensive fighting over the Western Front continued today.

16 Squadron covered by 32 Squadron tussled with Jasta 2. Lt James William Boyd & 2nd Lieutenant Alfred Harmer Steele of 16 Squadron drove down one enemy aircraft in their BE2c (2768 ) which crashed on landing. They did not have long to celebrate their success as they were shot down shortly afterwards by Leutnant Erich König. They crashed behind the lines and were rescued but died of their wounds afterwards.

Their colleagues 2nd Lieutenant Herbert Martin Massey and 2nd Lieutenant Noel Mark Hodson Vernham, also got into a dogfight with two enemy aircraft. They managed to shoot down one of them but shot down in flames by the other – piloted by Leutnant Werner Voss. They crashed behind the lines. Massey was badly wounded and Vernham was killed.


Captain Culphey

Captain William George Sellar Curphey MC and 2nd Lieutenant t Arthur Clunie Randall from 32 Squadron made numerous attacks on the enemy formation in their DH2s, returning at one point to their aerodrome for fresh aircraft. Curphy shot down and killed Leutnant Franz von Scheele and claimed another shot down. Eventually Captain Curphey was forced down by Leutnant Erwin Böhme with a head wound. He managed to escape back to his aerodrome.

His colleague, 2nd Lieutenant Maximilian John Jules Mare-Montembault crash-landed his DH2 (A2545) in shell hole near Sailly due to engine failure but escaped with minor injuries.

18, 22 and 24 Squadrons claimed another 5 enemy aircraft shot down.

Leutnant Erwin Böhme claimed another victory as he shot down Sergeant Frederick James Shaw and 2nd Lieutenant George William Bathurst Bradford from 15 Squadron in their BE2e (7105). They were seen to land under control but were later found dead.

Finally Paul Bona from Jasta 1 claimed to have shot down 2nd Lieutenant Arcade Boone Coupal and 2nd Lieutenant Harry Lister Villiers from 11 Squadron in FE2b 7023. They crashed in no man’s land. Coupal survived but Villiers was killed.


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