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2001 Closed threads from 2001 (read only)

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Old 21 March 2001, 08:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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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.  
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Old 21 March 2001, 09:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Alex

Has it been seached through the circumstances these crew were reported as losses..?

2lt C F Muirs from 1 A.D WIA

2lt W J Pearson from 8 sq WIA

2ts F W Nisbet KI and 2A/M P E Knightly KI from 46 sq

or no reported walk away chrashes..?

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Old 21 March 2001, 09:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Alex

I have seen two different time reports of MvR 22nd victory both 11:30 and 12:45..

Are the cicumstances about 2lt F H Reeve WIA from 15 sq known..?

I have also seen that 2lt R A Morgan Dowo and lt R W Scoles WIA from 53 sq were shot down in BE2e 6311 but no circumstances...

Or any known walk away chrashes...?

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Old 22 March 2001, 07:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Please gives dates for your queries, otherwise it takes a lot more work to search them out.
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Old 22 March 2001, 08:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Sorry, didn't see that you'd given the victory number. Will check these out for you as soon as possible
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Old 22 March 2001, 08:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Alex

Richthofens victory No 21 is dated 14 Febr 1917..
I have used the named losses from RFC Com. who I havent seen explained in other sources like TSTB..
I knew the problem with "trusting" these Com but until explained more they can be a clue for further research...
For example it is not impossible for a crew from an A.D. to be a combat loss(but very unlikely)

For Pearson TSTB has his name but only with the addition shot up and no S/N...

It is also important to notice that if an hostile aircraft landed ok within allied lines and the crew walked away as from an normal landing BUT if the aircraft was hit and destroyed afterwards by German artillery it become a confirmed victory in the German systems.....these losses are probably hard to find if you dont have "complete" lists of aircraft losses or they were witnessed by own ground people...
These crews perhaps also dont saw themselfs as losses..!

The loss from 46 sq is probably also out of distance but they could have flown down to Lens area...I have seen that they also have mixed type of aircrafts at that day...but I am unsure about that..

Does the MvR combat report in PRO have any German witnesses reports..?

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Old 22 March 2001, 08:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi again

The date for MvR 22nd victory is 4 March 1917

The loss from 15 sq is not explained in TSTB...

Trevor also dont even has the names of the crew from 53 sq...perhaps by good reason...

Here are there any references to the German ground witnesses..?

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Old 22 March 2001, 08:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I believe that Alex indicated that lists provided by OTF and Under the Guns of the Red Baron were the most comprehensive to date, and superceded TSTB. Its possible that the answers to your questions are there.


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Old 22 March 2001, 01:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Just to stir the pot a bit...
You just might want to know that Hartney claims to have been shot down by MvR on Feb. 14, 1917; the only problem being that MvR claimed a BE2, while Hartney was flying a FE2. Hartney was wrong, I believe, but it's interesting how someone can be so sure of something that could later be proved wrong...
BTW, did you know that Hartney later sued (or at least tried to) Fonck-- yes, notre Rene-- over their failed attempt to cross the Atlantic in the Sikorsky tri-motor...
Old 22 March 2001, 03:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The combat reports of von Richthofen to be found in the PRO are English translations prepared in the 1920s. During the course of preparation of the various British Official Histories of WW1 (not just the Air volumes), a number of British officers were allowed to visit the German archives and manually prepared "copies" of German records. Which is to say, they retyped the originals, and/or typed a translation on the spot. I would expect that German officers were granted the same privilage with respect to British records, for their Official Histories. With regard to von Richthofen's CRs, I do not remember any ground witness reports, although he frequently identifies the serial number, or crew of his victims, when they came down on the German side. I also do not remember any aerial witnesses being noted on the CR, other than references to his "gentlemen". I would suspect that aerial witnesses might have submitted a separate page; ground witnesses certainly would have, and those reports would probably have joined the original CR at the Kofl level, and not at the Jasta (although I am sure that a telephone report would have reached the Jasta).

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