5 May 1917 – Resting

British activity on the Western Front was curtailed today. There were no bombing or reconnaissance missions as crews were given a rest and offensive patrols were reduced.

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Reginald Theodore Hoidge

Despite this Albert Ball claimed to have shot down two enemy aircraft. He had started off in a five man 56 Squadron patrol with Captain Edric Williams Broadberry, 2nd Lieutenant Reginald Theodore Carlos Hoidge, Lieutenant Cecil Arthur Lewis, and 2nd Lieutenant Gerald Joseph Constable Maxwell. Broadberry and Maxwell dropped out early with engine trouble. Ball then went off on his own in A8898 and encountered two enemy scouts. Ball allowed them to approach the tail of his aeroplane and then did a rapid turn and attacked one at close range from underneath. This one fell out of control and Ball then flew head-on at the other before it dropped seemingly out of control. Ball’s aircraft had been shot up and his engine hit, covering him in oil. He flew back home but on the way claimed to have spotted the two downed aircraft on the ground. Ball’s aircraft was so damaged that he was forced to fly his Nieuport the next day.

Separately Hoidge, and Lewis, also claimed to have shot down an enemy aircraft each. They were joined in the fight by 5 Sopwith Triplanes from 1 Naval Squadron – Flight Commander Roderic Stanley Dallas, Flight Lieutenant Brian Charles Clayton and Flight Sub-Lieutenants Thomas Grey Culling, Cyril Burfield Ridley and Donald Wyand Ramsay). Culling and Dallas made one claim each.

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Charles Tupper Bruce

British losses today were Captain Horace Clifford Lomer and Lieutenant Charles Tupper Bruce from 10 Squadron in BE2g 7228. Their aircraft was hit by AA fire. They went down in a spinning nose-dive from 8,000 feet and crashed. Both were killed.

2nd Lt Charles Chesterfield Cheatle from 23 Squadron set off to attack a balloon in his Spad VII B1525. He did not return.  Leutnant Karl Schöck from Jasta 12 claimed to have shot him down.

Finally, 2nd Lieutenant Leonard Guy Bacon and 2nd Class Air Mechanic Gerald Worthing from 20 Squadron failed to return in their FE2d A1942. Walter Göttsch from Jasta 8 and Unteroffizer Flemming from Jasta 18 both claimed the victory.

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