Tag Archives: Wilfred Thomas Jourdan

14 February 1917 – Dubious double

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Cyril Douglas Bennett

Jasta 2 and Manfred von Richthofen tangled with 2 Squadron RFC today 2 Squadron was up on artillery observation at around 1100 when they were jumped by Von Richthofen. BE2 26231 with 2nd Lieutenant Cyril Douglas Bennett and 2nd Lieutenant Herbert Arthur Croft.  He opened fire at 50m and then fired ‘several hundred’ rounds at the machine, until it crashed in the German trenches near Cite St Auguste. Croft was killed and Bennett was captured but seriously injured.

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George Cyril Bailey

Later in the day Captain George Cyril Bailey and 2nd Lieutenant George William Betts Hampton also from 2 Squadron, were carrying out artillery spotting in BE2c 2543; with Lieutenant Henry Fowler and 2nd Lieutenant EH Swann in BE2c 6250. they were bounced by Jasta 2. Von Richthofen claimed to have shot down Bailey and Hampton (and it is officially noted as his 21st victory), but this is regarded with suspicion and likely a result of attempts to boost the star’s score. Richthofen also claimed to have seen the plane crash but in fact they escaped behind the lines although Bailey was wounded in the foot. Fowler and Swann fended off the attacks and claimed on enemy aircraft crashed.

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Harold Hartney

20 Squadron were also on a photography mission when they were attacked by Jasta 18 also got into a fight around 1600. Captain Harold Evans Hartney and Lieutenant Wilfred Thomas Jourdan, FE2d A1960 claimed to have shot down two enemy aircraft before they themselves were shot down. Their control cables were shot away and they crashed near Proven. Both men were injured but survived. Their colleagues Lieutenant Francis Joseph Taylor and 2nd Lieutenant Francis Michael Myers MC in FE2d A15also claimed to have shot down an enemy scout before being shot down by Leutnant Paul Strähle for his first victory. They crashed into telephone wires when forced to land near Poperinghe. Taylor was badly injured and Myers was killed in the crash.

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James Valentine Fairbairn

Other casualties today were 2nd Lieutenant James Valentine Fairbairn from 54 Squadron was on an escort mission in his Sopwith Pup (A642) when he was shot down and taken prisoner by Leutnant Georg Schlenker, Jasta 3 for his 2nd victory.

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Francis Chisholm Young

3 Squadron RFC lost another Morane (A6652) P when Lieutenant Francis Chisholm Young and 2nd Lieutenant Adam Gower Sutherland De Ross when they were attacked by 8 HA and brought down in spin in flames after shedding wings their wings by Leutnant Hans Gutermuth from Jasta 5. Both were killed.

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1 February 1917 – 20 v 8

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Charles Carbert

The weather cleared up today and aircraft were up in force.

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Edward Daniel Spicer

6 aircraft from 20 Squadron RFC were on a photo reconnaissance mission when they ran into Jasta 8. Their FE2s were no match it seems for the German fighters as three of the six went down.

Vitzfeldwebel Walter Göttsch claimed two victories. First he shot down 2nd Lieutenant Edmund Daniell Spicer and Captain Charles Molyneaux Carbert MC in FE2d (A28). Both were killed. Soon after he shot down 2nd Lieutenant Walter Arthur Reeves and 2nd Lieutenant Francis Henry Bronskill in FE2d (A1951). They crashed behind the lines and were taken prisoner.

Finally, Captain John Kenneth Stead and 2nd Lieutenant Wilfred Thomas Jourdan were brought down by enemy fire – though its not clear where from. They got back to the safety of the lines but Stead later died of his wounds. Jourdan suffered minor injuries.

Captain Albert Peter Vincent Daly from 29 Squadron was on patrol when he was shot down in his DH2 (A2614) by rising star – Leutnant Werner Voss from Jasta 2. His engine was hit but he managed to land behind enemy lines with only minor injuries and was taken prisoner.

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Percival Murray

Manfred von Richthofen also got in on the act during a fight between machines of 16 Squadron RFC and Jasta 11. He shot down Lieutenant Percival William Murray and Lieutenant T D McRae in their BE2d (6742). Both were taken prisoner but died of their wounds shortly after. Richthofen’s combat report stated:

“About 4 P. M., while flying with Lieutenant Allmenroder at an altitude of 5,000 feet, I spotted a B. E. two-seater artillery flyer. I managed to approach, apparently unnoticed, within 50 yards of him in my Halberstadter plane. From this distance up to only the length of a plane, I fired 150 shots. The enemy plane then went down in large, uncontrolled right-hand curves, pursued by Allmenroder and myself. The plane crashed to earth in the barbed wire of our first lines. The occupants were both wounded and were made prisoners by the infantry. It is impossible to remove the plane.”

Finally Flight Sub-Lieutenant George Leycester Elliott from 3 (Naval) Squadron was downed in Sopwith Pup (N6161). Both Karl Meyer from SFS1 and Josef Wirtz from MFJ I claimed victory, though Meyer was eventually credited. Elliot was taken prisoner.