21 March 1917 – The Prince

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Prince Friedrich Karl

Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia was the commander of Fliegerabteilung (Artillerie) 258, an artillery spotting unit, but was allowed to fly patrols in a single-seat fighter with the nearby Jasta Boelcke whenever possible. He was on patrol today with four other aircraft in Albatross DI 410/16 when they attacked 4 aircraft from 32 Squadron RFC. In the fight, Lieutenant Charles Edward Murray Pickthorn in his DH2, who had just been promoted to Flight Commander, put a bullet in the Prince’s engine and shot him in the foot. For once, there was a strong easterly wind blowing and Prince Friedrich was forced down in no-mans land some 200m in front of the forward posts of Australian 26 Battalion near Vaulx Wood. He tried to make a run for the German lines but was shot in the back by fire from Corporal BG James and EJ Powell. Private CH Hall ran out and captured the Prince, joined shortly by some Light Horsemen. Soon they were joined by Captain’s RG Legge and SW Neale, who eased the Prince’s concerns about being taken prisoner by Australians. Unfortunately for the Prince, his wounds were severe and he died on 6 April 1917.

This was the only good news for the RFC today as no other enemy aircraft were claimed and the RFC lost four other aircraft.

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Hubert Wilson Godfrey Jones

Lieutenant Harold William Ludlow Poole 2nd Class Air Mechanic Arthur J Ball from 43 Squadron in Sopwith Strutter A2390 got int a fight with Leutnant Karl Allmenroder from Jasta 11. He shot through their petrol tank and they made a forced landing near Mazingarbe. Their aircraft burst into flames. Poole escaped but Ball was wounded and later died.

Lieutenant Edwin Louis Benbow MC from 40 Squadron was hit by AA fire and wounded in the back. He was forced to land his Nieuport 17 A6734 – near Ablain St Nazaire. Earlier that day, Benbow had emerged unscathed from Nieuport 23 A6782 when a wheel buckled and the machine overturned on landing.

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Sidney Herbert Quicke

Captain Hubert Wilson Godfrey Jones from 24 Squadron in DH2 A305 was badly shot up in a fight and was last seen in spinning nose-dive at 1,000 feet over Roupy. He crash landed and somehow survived despite extensive injuries. He did not serve at the front again.

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William John Lindsey

Finally,  Flight Sergeant Sidney Herbert Quicke and 2nd Lieutenant William John Lidsey From 16 Squadron were shot down by Manfred Von Richthofen in their BE2e. Quicke was killed in the crash, and although Lindsey survived he died later of his injuries. Quicke was one of the original RFC men who went to France in August 1914 when he was serving as a mechanic with 4 Squadron RFC.

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