25 April 1917 – A mixed day for Jasta 11


Sebastian Festner

Around 0815 this morning a patrol by six Sopwith Strutters from 43 Squadron RFC encountered four red Albatrosses from Jasta 11). In the ensuing fight Lieutenant Charles Lionel Veitch and 2nd Lieutenant Edwin Simmons Wright Langton (in 7799) were shot up and Langton was wounded in the foot. In return Lieutenant Charles Roland O’Brien and 2nd Lieutenant Joseph Leslie Dickson shot down Vitzfeldwebel Sebastian Festner in Albatros DIII 2251/16. Festner was an ace with 12 confirmed victories. Festner’s aircraft fell between the lines and as the area was under heavy shelling was never recovered.

An hour later another Jasta 11 patrol got a modicum of revenge when they clashed with a patrolof FE2b’s  from 25 Squadron RFC. Lothar von Richthofen attacked the FE2b (A5505) of 2nd Lieutenant Maurice Arthur Hancock and Lieutenant Vivian Smith.  He was set upon by another FE2b(A387) with 2nd Lieutenant Charles Verdon Darnell and 2nd Class Air Mechanic George Pawley. They shot away his controls and forced him to land. He was saved by his wingman Leutnant Karl Schaeffer who shot down Darnell and Pawley in flames. Both were killed in the crash. Hancock and Smith crashed making a forced landing but were unharmed.744833_t2

Also killed today were:

    • 2nd Lieutenant William James Clifford and 2nd Lieutenant Henry Lea Tomkies from 48 Squadron RFC who were shot down in their Bristol F.2A A3352 by Leutnant Karl Schaeffer from Jasta 11.

Alexander Miller Turnbull

  • Lieutenant Thomas Thomson and 2nd Lieutenant Alexander Miller Turnbull from 12 Squadron RFC in BE2e 7191 by Leutnant Karl Allmenroder.

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