30 March 1917 – “Alive and Still a Prisoner”

Away from the Western Front, 2 Wing Royal Naval Air Service is assisting in the campaigns in Salonika.

The wide nature of the front and the relatively small number of aircraft means that losses to enemy fire are uncommon. Unfortunately today, the Wing suffered losses in both theatres.

IMG_0906First, in Macedonia, Rudolf von Eschwege from FAb60 is fast becoming a thorn in the side of the British as he claimed another victory today, shooting down Flight Sub Lieutenants Joshua Martin Ingham and Jon Earle Maxwell in their Sopwith Strutter (N5223) near Philippopolis for his 6th victory. Both men were killed in the crash.

Another German ace plying his trade away from the Western Front was also successful. Hauptmann Hans-Joachim Buddecke from FAb5 had spent some time on the Gallipoli front before joining Jasta 4 on the Western Front. He moved to the Salonika Front in October 1916. He came across a 2 Wing bombing mission near Smyrna. First he shot down Flight Lieutenant John Emil Morgan and Sub Lieutenant Arthur Sandell in their Nieuport 12 (9203). He then accounted for Flight Sub-Lieutenant Bertram Alfred Trechmann and Leading Mechanic W A Jones in their Henri Farman F27 (N3024). These were his 11th and 12th victories.

Morgan and Sandell were killed but Trechmann and Jones were taken prisoner.

Trechmann was the subject of much distress to his family as he was originally reported as “died as prisoner of war” on 14 June by the Admiralty. This was changed on 2 August 1917 to “Alive and Still a Prisoner”.

2 Wing RNAS, Rudolf von Eschwege, FAb60, Joshua Martin Ingham, Jon Earle Maxwell, Hans-Joachim Buddecke, Jasta 4, John Emil Morgan, Arthur Sandell, Bertram Alfred Trechmann, W A Jones

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