Tag Archives: Stanley Forrester Browning

3 May 1917 – Close Air Support

It seems the Germans were resting a little today as a large number of bombing missions were carried out seemingly unopposed, including Don Station by 27 Squadron, Busigny and Brebieres Junctions by 55 Squadron, an enemy ammunition dump at Iwuy, Eswars aerodrome, and Tourmignies aerodrome by 16 and 100 Squadrons. There were no combat losses on any of these missions.


Stanley Forrester Browning

The only casualties were suffered by 41 Squadron who were attacked by a number of Jastas while on patrol. Captain Stanley Forrester Browning was killed in FE8 (A4873), and Lieutenant Alexander Fraser was taken prisoner in FE8 (7622).

The 25 Squadron FE2b A842 with 2nd Lt Berry King and Trumpeter

James Kingston Lawrence on board caught fire and nose-dived near Fiefs killing the crew. The cause of the fire in unknown.

In an unusual action, aerial reconnaissance by 43 Squadron showed German troops massing for a counter-attack of XIII Corps in the Oppy area. As a result Sopwith Strutters from 43 Squadron returned to attack the troops. The following day the RFC Communique suggested that 13 aircraft were involved, while the Official History says only 5. Either way they flew low over the trenches and machined gunned the troops. All the aircraft retuned safely. This is regarded as the first true close air support mission carried out by the RFC.

Whilst this mission gets a paragraph in the Official History of the air services (Volume 3, p373), and a mention on the RAF Museum’s timeline for 1917, it doesn’t seem that it was particularly important in the overall scheme of things as it does not get a mention in the Official History: Military Operations France and Belgium, 1917.

15 October 1916 – Reinforcements

41 Squadron RFC and 21 and 22 Kite Balloon Sections set off for the front today.

41 Squadron Commanding Officer Major Joseph Herbert Arthur Landon had already left by sea on the 13th and will arrive at St Omer today. Lieutenant Claude Gordon Beatson and 2nd Lieutenant Arthur Francis Barker travelled with him. The remaining officers flew over today. These are Flight Commanders Captains Ian Archibald James Duff and Robert Henry Brackman Ker. The other officers are Lieutenant Cedric Ernest Victor Porter and 2nd Lieutenants Robert Stanley Aitken, Valentine Henry Baker, Ernest Bennet Worsley Bartlett, Stanley Forrester Browning, Samuel Francis Cody, Allan Denison, Norman Bruce Hair, Stephen Hay, Harold Jackson, Edward Cecil Henry Robert Nicholls, Thorold Perkins, Kenneth Harries Riversdale Elliott, Murton Adam Seymour, Claud Harry Stokes, and Stanley Wedgwood Taylor.

That said six of them didn’t make it to St Omer due to various breakdowns, including Bartlett who crashed near Lydd on route – he escaped unharmed.

Samuel Cody is the son of the famous flight pioneer Of the same name who was killed in 1913.

The Squadron will remain at St Omer for a few days before moving to its new bases at Abeele. The Squadron is entirely equipped with FE8s.

The Kite Balloons Sections left by sea today for the front and will not arrive for a few days. 21 Kite Balloon Section is commanded by Captain VO Todd. Other officers include Lieutenant Reginald Percy Sewell and 2nd Lieutenants Harold Eartlake Ambrose, Frank Bentham Stevens and Thomas Woodman. 22 Kite Balloon Section is commanded by Captain Geoffrey Arthur Mitchell. Other officers are Lieutenants Laurence Alfred Dircks, and Reginald Mark Plummer and 2nd Lieutenants HE Biggs, Edward George Boulenger and Sidney Charles Shepherdson.