In a recent post I saw some requests for information regarding Von Richthofen’s victories. In the Summer of 1972 the late Dennis Connell contacted me for help in compiling a list, in the main to evaluate the differences in the Gibbons’ list with that published by Harleyford. The work took the form of Dennis listing the queries and my going to the PRO and searching the Casualty Reports – this was in the days before that excellent book, The Sky Their Battlefield
. We found that the differences in the Gibbons’ list and Harleyford threw up so many other questions that we finally worked through the complete list of victories one by one. We had a lot of ‘firsts’ and many small but important details – corrected initials, spelling of names, presentation aeroplanes and transposed serial numbers etc. Dennis and I did a tremendous amount of work on the list over the next four years and Dennis finally typed out a list in 1976, updated in April 1977. This was the list published by Evans in the Summer 1992 edition of OTF. If I can be of any help with individual queries from forum members I will gladly do my best to answer them if anyone sends me an E Mail.. But please keep queries to those raised by the last two lists published: those in OTF and Under The Guns of The Red Baron
. The anomalies in the early lists have been resolved and I do not want to go over old ground.
The recent post carried some queries regarding victories Nos. 7,15,21,23,46,54,69
7: No problem here. This was Baldwin and Bentham of 18Sqdn in FE2b 7010.
15. I agree with UTGOTRB that this was probably McCudden. All the facts fit.
21. No victory. Bailey and Hampton go back OK.
22. No victory. Crosbie and Prance got back OK. Note Moody and Horn of 8 Sqdn, often quoted as R’s victory, were too early and were shot down by Voss for his 12th Vic.
42. Usually given as Cunliffe and Batten, but area possibly wrong. Cunliffe and Batten are given as coming down 1,000 yards west of Bailleul, which would make them Wolff’s victory. Von R gave the position of his victory as between Monchy and Feuchy, which is further south, about five kilometes east of Arras. I am of the opinion that UTGOTRB got themselves in a muddle here and R’s victory was Duncan and Robertson in FE2b 827 who were forced down in their own lines and were OK.
46. Not resolved, due to number of FEs lost. UTGOTRB gives Franklin and Fletcher but it could just as easily have been Parker and Hesketh of 11 Sqdn in FE2b A820.
54. No record of any Spad losses, either British or French.
69. No Camel losses that fit for day or time of claim. Connell list gives one of the Dolphins lost as a possible, but it has since been learnt that they took off too late to have been von R’s victim. Denovan of No.1 Squadron killed in SE5a B511 seems nearest fit, but No.1 Squadron lost three SEs in the afternoon patrol – Grey, Denovan and Hollis. Hollis was taken POW and Grey and Denovan were both killed. But these SEs were claimed by Jasta 26 as victories between 5pm and 5.20pm (German and British time were the same at this date.) Von R said that his victim crashed in flames into a small wood. None of the other losses that day fit this. Unresolved.