Tag Archives: Jasta 8

17 July 1917 – 70 Squadron mauled

The weather was poor for much of the day on the Western Front, but in the evening some patrols were able to get up. German aircraft were also out in Force.

The biggest fight of the day came about when a patrol of five Sopwith Camels from 70 Squadron encountered an enemy scout which they drove down. They then engaged a formation of six 2-seaters with Captain Noel William Ward Webb, Lieutenant Joseph Cecil Smith and Lieutenant Edward Gribbin each claiming to have sent one down.

They were then attacked by Albatros scouts from above and  a 5 strong patrol from B flight 56 Squadron led by Captain Ian Henry David Henderson came to their aid. They were then joined  by 8 FE’s from 20 Squadron (led by Captain Frank Douglas Stevens) along with DH5’s from 32 Squadron. Further German scouts joined in until there were around 30 enemy aircraft (from Jastas 6, 8, 11 and 36).

Despite the number of aircraft involved the fighting was relatively indecisive. A large number of claims by the British side actually resulted in only three German pilots being wounded.

70 Squadron lost two of their new Camels. Lieutenant William Edington Grossett was shot down and taken prisoner in Camel N6332. Lieutenant Charles Service Workman MC was shot down and severely wounded in Camel B3779. He later died of his wounds.

 

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9 June 1917 – A busy day for 1 Squadron RFC

1 Squadron RFC were heavily involved in support of the British offensive at Messines today.

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William Charles Campbell

This morning around 0825 a patrol led by Lieutenant William Charles Campbell in Nieuport 23 (B1700) encountered six aircraft from Jasta 8 between Oosthoek and Gheluwe. Campbell claimed to have shot down two out of control, but his wingman 2nd Lieutenant William John Mussared was set upon by three enemy aircraft, shot down and taken prisoner. He later reported:

“That damned Nieuport-machine is to blame. I got into a fight at about 3000 meter altitude and tried to get away, because I had 3 machines against me. But the Germans circled around me and were firing all the time. I got cut off, got an engine failure and had to go down till several hundred meters, where I received extensive machinegun fire. As I lost control of the machine, I crashed on landing. I was uninjured and only a bit shaken up.”

Vitzfeldwebel Rudolf Frank was credited with the victory. In five weeks with 1 Squadron, Mussared had claimed 4 victories.

2nd Lieutenant Campbell led an afternoon patrol with a second led by Lieutenant F Sharpe in Nieuport 23 (B3481). They dived onto a formation of 6 enemy scouts over Houthem. Seven more enemy scouts joined in followed by another four scouts. Both Campbell and Sharpe claimed to have sent down an enemy scout from the first formation.

2nd Lieutenant Richard William Laurence Anderson saw a Nieuport being driven down by three enemy scouts. He tried to intervene but lost sight of all of them when he had to change a drum. It turned out that this was Sharpe who was wounded and forced down and taken prisoner. Credit for this victory was given to Obleutnant Kurt-Bertram von Doering, commander of Jasta 4. Sharpe had 5 victories to his credit.

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Louis Fleeming Jenkin

After this fight broke up Lieutenant Louis Fleeming Jenkin flew on alone for some time finally attacking three Albatros scouts over Dadizeele at 1510, claiming one shot down in flames. This was his fifth victory.

Later in the evening around 2000, There was one more victory that day. Lieutenant Tom Falcon Hazell in Nieuport 23 B1649 shot down an Albatros scout out of control  Zandevoorde.

Later records show that the Germans lost no pilots that day, but 1 Squadron had lost two of its up and coming new pilots.

8 June 1917 – Collision

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Archibald Vincent Shirley

Pilots at this time well aware that they were in just as much danger from their colleagues as the enemy, particularly once a dogfight broke out.

66 Squadron RFC were on patrol today around 1315 when they encountered Jasta 8. Both 2nd Lt Archibald Garden Robertson in Sopwith Pup A6207 and 2nd Lieutenant Archibald Vincent Shirley in Sopwith Pup B1745 were both killed. At the time it was believed that Shirley had collided with an enemy aircraft but it was later confirmed that the two Pups had collided with each other. Nevertheless, Oberleutnant Konrad Mettlich claimed them as his first two victories.

Other members of the patrol, Captain James Douglas Latta MC in Sopwith Pup B1726 and Lieutenant Arthur Burrell Thorne in Sopwith Pup A6181 were both badly shot about but escaped.

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.

6 February 1917 – 20 Squadron mauled again

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Thomas Charles Harvey Lucas

After getting mauled by Jasta 8 on 1 February, the FE2ds of 20 Squadron RFC suffered another bad day today. They were accompanying a photo reconnaissance mission near Moorslede when 6 aircraft from Jasta 8 attacked them.

Lieutenant Thomas Charles Harvey Lucas and 2nd Lieutenant John Taylor Gibbon in FE2d A31 were shot down by Leutnant R Alfred Träger. They were seen flying low to the ground seemingly under control but crashed and were later found dead.

097211In the same combat, 2nd Lieutenant Michael Edmund Woods and Lt Edward Barry Maule in FE2d A38 were shot down by Obleutnant Rufolf Freiherr von Esebeck. Again they were seen landing under control and Woods was taken prisoner, but Maule was killed.

2nd Lieutenant Henry Lewis Pateman and 2nd Lieutenant Herbert John Davis were killed when their BE2e (7144) came down in between the lines south of Pendant Copse after being shot down by Vitzfeldwebel Paul Bona from Jasta 1.

24 January 1917 – The carnage continues

After yesterday’s loss it was another tough day for 41 Squadron RFC. Just before midday, Sergeant Cecil S Tooms, shot down an Albatros Scout out of control east of Zonnebeke and about an hour later he claimed a Roland Scout. He did not live long enough to celebrate as at about 1550 he was shot down and killed in FE8 (6417). Vitzfeldwebel Alfred Ulmer from Jasta 8 made the claim.

His colleague Lieutenant A Denison was also shot down in FE8 6453. He was  wounded in forearm, but made a forced landing and survived.  He too had earlier claimed to have shot down a Roland Scout which crashed east of Ypres.

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Charles Melville Buck

Ulmer then claimed another victory this time over Lieutenants Thomas Frederick Preston and Charles Melvill Buck from 53 Squadron RFC who were on a photographic mission in a BE2e (6308). The aircraft crashed near Warneton and both crew were killed.

A dogfight ensued between Jasta 11 and members of 25 Squadron RFC on a photography mission. Captain Oscar Greig and 2nd Lieutenant John Eric MacLennan in an FE2b (6997) were brought down behind enemy lines near Vimy and taken prisoner. Leutnant Manfred von Richthofen claimed the victory though it was probably more of a group effort. Their colleagues, 2nd Lieutenants William Drummond Matheson and Ernest George Green got a modicum of revenge when they shot down one of the attackers, an Albatros Scout. Later in the day, 2nd Lieutenants James Leith Leith and Alfred George Severs also from 25 Squadron claimed another Albatros Scout destroyed – Leith’s 3rd victory with three different observers.

Lieutenant Stanley Flamank Vincent from 60 Squadron RFC shot down an enemy two-seater out of control near Monchy.

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Colin Roy Mackenzie

Captain Harry Alison Wood and 2nd Lieutenant Alfred Edwin McKay from 24 Squadron RFC forced down an Albatros C behind the lines. The crew,  Unteroffizier Max August Delklock and Leutnant Ernst Bury were taken prisoner.

8 Squadron RNAS got into a tangle with aircraft from  Jasta 1. Flight Commander Colin Roy Mackenzie DSO failed to return and was claimed shot down by Leutnant Hans von Keudell of Jasta 1 for his 11th victory. Mackenzie had been at Winchester College with Charles Melvill Buck.

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Eric Gordon Waters

Sergeant Frederick Nicolas Slingsby from 6 Squadron RFC had a lucky escape when his pilot 2nd Lieutenant Eric Gordon Waters was shot dead during a dogfight. Luckily the BE2g (7175) he was flying had dual controls and he was able to land safely.

7 January 1917 – Mottershead, remember me, now, Mottershead, alrig

Tom Mottershead

Tom Mottershead

Flight-Sergeant Tom Mottershead joined the RFC on 10 August 1914 as an air mechanic. He was promoted to Sergeant in April 1916 and then qualified as a pilot in June. He joined 25 Squadron in July 1916.

He won the Military Cross following an action on 22 September when he bombed the railway station at Samain with 2nd Lt Cyril Street as his observer. Following their bomb run they were attacked by a German Fokker scout. Mottershead managed to out-manoeuvre the enemy aircraft and Street shot him down. Mottershead then transferred to 25 Squadron.

Today, he was on patrol in his FE2d (A39) with his observer Lieutenant William Edward Gower on a contact patrol. Leutnant Walter Göttsch from Jasta 8 attacked them in his Albatros, puncturing the fuel tank which burst into flames. Mottershead was quickly engulfed in flames despite the efforts of Gower to put them out with a fire extinguisher. Despite all this, Mottershead was able to get the aircraft back over the lines and crash land.

However, the undercarriage had been damaged and collapsed on landing. The aeroplane flipped over, throwing Gower clear and trapping Mottershead underneath. Nearby British troops were able to drag the unconscious Gower clear and eventually were able to get Mottershead clear as well – who was amazingly still conscious. .

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William Edward Gower

Mottershead was badly burned, however, and died of his injuries on 12th January. He was later awarded the Victoria Cross, the only non-commissioned member of the RFC to receive it. Gower was awarded the Military Cross.