8 July 1917 – Brooks shot down


Charles Alfred Brooks

Today in Palestine, three machines from 1 Squadron AFC (67 Squadron RFC)’ were up un patrol.  Captain Charles Alfred Brooks in a Martinsyde, Lieutenant CH Vautin in a BE12a were providing cover for a reconnaissance by Lieutenants Thomas Taylor and FWF Lukis in a BE2e.

Near Gaza two German scouts attacked the escorts. One dived at Brookes, who spun away to avoid the attack, but the wings of his Martinsyde were seen to fold up and the tail fell off, and the broken machine went down like a stone and Brooks was killed in the crash.

The Germans then made for Taylor and Vautin. Taylor met the challenge with two well-directed bursts of fire, from which the German sheered off and joined his comrade in attacking Vautin. Taylor and Lukis reached home, but Vautin was driven down by the superior manoeuvring power of his opponents, forced to land, and taken prisoner.


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