28 March 1917 – A new Richthofen

The Nieuport 17s of 1 Squadron RFC were out on observation patrol at around 1030 led by Captain Christopher Joseph Quintin Brand when they were attacked by a 5 strong patrol from Jasta 30. In the ensuing fight 2nd Lieutenant Hugh (Toby) Welch (in A6615) was shot down and killed by Oberlieutenant Hans Bethge. Bethge was then attacked by Lieutenant Cecil Christian Clark (in A6672) and Lieutenant Edwin Stuart Travis Cole (in A6603). Both attackers claimed the aircraft was forced down out of control but Bethge landed safely behind the lines and was unhurt.

Later in the day, 2nd Lieutenant Horace William Owen and Private Nolan from 52 Squadron were out on a joyride in BE2e 2560 when they got lost in the mist and came under AA fire which stopped their engine. They forced landed near Villiers and were taken prisoner. Presumably the sponsors of their aircraft – the European and Indian Staff of the Bombay Baroda and Central India Railway Co were not impressed.

Later in the day around 1720, the younger brother of Manfred von Richthofen – Lothar claimed his first victory when 2nd Lieutenant Norman Leslie Knight and 2nd Lieutenant Alfred George Severs from 25 Squadron were shot down in flames in their FE2b (7715). Knight force landed in no-mans land and was taken prisoner. Severs was killed. It’s likely that Lothar was handed the victory to start his score.

Finally three members of 16 Squadron were wounded by AA fire on patrol, 2nd Lieutenant Richard Hilton Lloyd, 2nd Lieutenant Osbert Richmond Knight and 2nd Lieutenant William Drury Brooke Taylor.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s