7 April 1917 – 60 Squadron takes another beating

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George Orme Smart

Two flights of 60 Squadron were on patrol over Wacourt, some 4km over the German lines, when they were jumped by a five strong patrol from Jasta 11 led by Manfred Von Richthofen.

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Charles Sidney Hall

During the fight, 2nd Lieutenant George Orme Smart was shot down in his Nieuport 17 (A6645) – his aircraft was later found burnt out between the lines. Lieutenant Charles Sidney Hall in Nieuport 23 A6766 was also shot down in flames and killed. Their colleague 2nd Lieutenant Hamilton E Hervey was badly shot up in his Nieuport 17 (B1517) but managed to get back over the lines.

Richthofen, Kurt Wolff and Karl-Emil Shaeffer all made claims. The traditional record is that Smart was shot down by Richthofen but this seems to be a case of pulling rank by Richthofen and it is more likely he attacked Hervey as their records of the encounter are similar. This would leave Schaeffer as the victor over Smart. Kurt Wolff accounted for Hall.

Also shot down, but taken prisoner, was Captain Maurice Baxendale Knowles in Nieuport 17 A6773. He was attacked by Leutnant Wilhelm Frankl from Jasta 4.

Lieutenant Billy Bishop claimed to have shot down an Albatros Scout and a balloon destroyed, but there was no evidence to substantiate his claims. Lieutenant Alan Binnie also had a go at a balloon but it failed to set it alight.IMG_0919.PNG

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