A little more claity re 18 Sqn & 23 Sqn:
'On exstensive photo operation near Bapaume his formation of 5 a/c was repeatedly attacked by EA, each British machine being attacked by at least 3 EA and all shot down except Smith and his pilot. Smith fired 450 rounds in succesive combats
.' 5 Bde RFC report.
" 2 FE's going down east of Bapaume. One appeared to be out of control but being heavily attacked, and the other seemed in flames
." report Smith & Boustead re 23 Sqn machines.
The FE in flames was most probably 7713 which was hit in engine at 10,500ft and driven down to north east of Bapaume - Pilot 2Lt CA Shum actually climed out onto wingtips! Coops was knocked unconscious in crash. A 5443 was hit on propellor and forced to land at Morchies (this is N of Beugny)
As to 18 Sqn, I know the grave of 2Lt Headly (A 5475) was later found at map reference Sh57c B21 b.4.5 - remember British Fourth & Fifth Army's were agressivly probing forward to new Hindenberg line. Again a trench map would help.
Now what Mr Merrill, or indeed JWC
, does not tell you; is that Gontermann's Vickers
of Bapaume was jenseits
(other side) and CANNOT represent 7713 - if anything, like v Stenglin's claim, it must reflect 18 Sqn's A745 which FTL Brit side and was shelled - 2Lt Lewis broken legs & Lt Mayberry chest wound.
Also it is worth pointing out that Ostv
Nathanael ' FE2 north of Beugny was, as one would suspect, a diesseits
' claim and more likely represents 7713. And whilst chronologically his 2nd, it was actually recorded as his 6th (sometime in April). Moreover it is not recorded in Natrichtemblatt
for 11 Mar 17, which says to me that this was a delayed confirmation, suggestive of a dispute with the FAA 261 crew of Vfw Kosmahl & Obln
Neuberger. One might also suppose that the Vfw
Hoppe claim represents an unsuccessful dispute with the Schusta 3 crew of Vfw Hengst & Ltn
Creige over A5443. Who says rank has no privillege.
Also Lt Boustead's & Lt Smith's 1145 OOC claim was seen to crash! And in addition to their 2nd OOC, three others were seen by them driven down in the fighting.