5 March 2004, 07:49 AM
Join Date: Jun 1999
Adding to Immo's reply:
...On Sunday, 28th, October, Lt. H.E. Keir and Capt. C Wasey were out on artillery observation in R.E.8 A.4426 near Carency. They never returned and were recorded as killed in action. They had apparently attacked enemy fighters, but before the observer could wind in his trailing antenna the pilot had taken evasive action. During these manouevres the wire had swung around the pilot's throat--strangling him and causing their aircraft to crash out of control into the British lines.
Lt. Edward Hugh Keir had been commissioned in the Royal Lancashire Regiment and had served on the staff before transferring to the RFC. He was at the Front three months before being killed. His observer, Capt. Cyril Walter Carlton Wasey, M.C. had served with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment after leaving Sandhurst in 1913. He went out with the British Expeditionary Force on the outbreak of the war in August 1914. He was wounded twice and received the Legion d'Honeur for gallantry during the "Retreat from Mons", and was also mentioned in one of Lord French's despatches. He then won the Military Cross before joining the RFC as an observer and had been at the Front with 16 Sq. for only six weeks before he was killed at the age of 24. They were possibly the victims of Ltn. Julius Buckler of Jasta 17 who claimed his 24th victory in the area on that date.
-- Taken from Cross & Cockade
, Winter 1977, "A Short History of 16 Sq. RFC/RAF" by Colin Waugh.
Any time that we got into a fight we were always concerned about the aerial. The aerial in an R.E. 8 is a very heavy wire wound on a drum, and having a heavy lead weight at the end to keep it taut when it was in use. If you were involved in an aerial fight and your aerial was still trailing out behind you, it could prove a death trap. Indeed, Lt. Keir with Major Wasey as his observer were suddenly surprised by a group of Germans and before the aerial could be wound in, it was swinging wildly around Keir's throat and strangled him. Both Keir and Wasey went down to their deaths.
-- Lt. Gilbert G. Preston, M.C. of No. 16 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps.
Sorry, couldn't find any specific information on how Wasey won his M.C.
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