13 April 1917 – “My Record Day”

Despite all the earlier successes, today was a red letter day for Jasta 11, as Manfred Von Richthofen’s squadron battered two British formations without suffering any casualties.

Early in the morning, they took off on patrol and met 59 Squadron RFC who were on a mission to photograph the new German line. Two of their RE8s had cameras with the other four providing support. They had support from 6 FE2d’s from 57 Squadron, but the SPADVIIs that were meant to assist turned up late and missed the action.

Richthofen’s formation made easy work of the RE8s and all six were shot down, 5 by Jasta 11 and one by Jasta 4. Lieutenant Arthur Watson and 2nd Lieutenant Edgar Rowand Law in RE8 A3199 were the lucky ones as they were shot down and taken prisoner. The other five were all shot down and killed.


Herbert George MacMillan Horne

  • Captain Joseph Maitland Stuart and Lieutenant Morris Herbert Wood in RE8 A3190


    Philip Bentick Boyd

  • 2nd Lieutenant Philip Bentinck Boyd and 2nd Lieutenant Philip Oliphant Ray in RE8 A3203
  • 2nd Lieutenant Herbert George MacMillan Horne and Lieutenant William Joseph Chalk in RE8 A4191
  • 2nd Lieutenant Arthur Horace Tanfield and 2nd Lieutenant Andrew Ormerod in RE8 A3225IMG_0933

IMG_0932These four were claimed by Jasta 11 including Vitzfeldwebel Sebastian Festner, Manfred von Richthofen, Oberleutnant Lothar Von Richthofen, Leutnant Kurt Wolff. Captain George Bailey Hodgson and Lieutenant Charles Herbert Morris in RE8 A3216 were claimed by Leutnant Hans Klein from Jasta 4.

Manfred von Richthofen wrote:

“The day began well. We had scarcely flown to an altitude of six thousand feet when an English squadron of five machines was seen coming our way. We attacked them by a rush as if we were cavalry and the hostile squadron lay destroyed on the ground. None of our men was even wounded. Of our enemies three had plunged to the ground and two had come down in flames.”

Jasta 5 shot down two of the escorting FE2d’s. 2nd Lieutenant Gordon Wood Gillespie 2nd Class Air Mechanic Robert E Sibley were shot down in 57 FE2d A1950 by Leutnant Kurt Schneider. Captain Lionel Sydney Platt and 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Margerison in FE2d A5150 were claimed by Leutnant Heinrich Gontermann.

In the evening, Jastas 4 and 11 was again successful as they attacked a group of FE2b’s from 25 Squadron, shooting down three of them and killing all six crew members.

  • 2nd Lieutenant Allan Harold Bates and Sergeant William Alfred Barnes MSM in FE2b 4997 claimed by Manfred von Richthofen
  • Sergeant John Dempsey and 2nd Lieutenant Walter H Green in FE2b A784claimed by Sebastian Festner
  • Captain Lancelot Lytton Richardson MC and 2nd Lieutenant Douglas Charles Wollen in FE2d A6372 claimed again by Hans Klein.502

Manfred Von Richthofen was triumphant.

“In the evening we could send off the proud report: “Six German machines have destroyed thirteen hostile aeroplanes. Boelcke’s Squadron had only once been abletomakeasimilarreport. At that time we had shot down eight machines. Today one of us had brought low four of his opponents. The hero was a Lieutenant Wolff, a delicate-looking little fellow in whom no- body could have suspected a redoubtable hero. Mybrotherhaddestroyedtwo,Schafer two, Festner two and I three.”


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