The Aerodrome Home Page
Aces of WWI
Aircraft of WWI
Books and Film
The Aerodrome Forum
Help
Links to Other Sites
Medals and Decorations
Search The Aerodrome
Today in History


The Aerodrome Forum


Go Back   The Aerodrome Forum > WWI Aviation > People

People Topics related to WWI aviation personnel

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 22 February 2024, 09:57 AM   #201
James A. Pratt III
Forum Ace
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,151

 
besides Guynemer after looking through the book French Aircraft of the First World war how many other FAS and other airmen died do to either engine failure or some other cause. The Spad 7,11 and 13 all had their problems as well as the Nieuports and other types.

IN the FASWC there are a number of Nieuports where the pilots are KIA or MIA and no German claims.

I would also like to point out the Sopwith Camel was tricky to fly. You wonder how many pilots in combat did something like a tight turn and the plane stalled and crashed.
James A. Pratt III is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24 February 2024, 07:51 PM   #202
R Gannon
Forum Ace of Aces
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 5,901

 
MvR's #1 - the second German machine.

MvR’s #1 – a reappraisal - the second German machine.

If one is prepared to really look inside the victories of MvR, then there is much that does not sit quite right in regards his number one. Not in the least, and as far as I am aware, there has never been any attempt to rationalise the identity of the pilot of the second German machine noted in MvR’s Luftkampfbericht, ‘…At approximately 1200 metres a second German machine came along side and attacked my victim right down to the ground and then landed next to the English plane.’ A significant pointer in regards this overlooked angle is that three of the four missing FEs evidently came down between 8 & 11 kilometres to the south-west of where MvR’s #1 (FE2b 7018) came down, whilst the gamebook credit for fellow pilot Ltn H Reimann cites his opponent as having come down south of Trescault, which if one consults a map, is more or less co-located with that garnered by MvR (Villers-Plouich) - the two towns are barely 3 kilometres from each other - indeed, a spot, say 1 kilometre south of Trescault, is really only 2 kilometres west of Villers-Plouich. Herein lies a seminal but clearly overlooked window. Whereas according to the Jasta Boelcke Abschussliste, Sofl 1 made his decision upon the Richthofen claim on 20 September, with confirmation coming on 28 September, Sofl 1evidently did not make any decision upon the Hans Reimann claim until 28 Sep 16, with confirmation coming on 29 September. Which was in fact a posthumous award, as Ltn dR Hans Reimann had been killed in action on 23 Sep 16.

In the second instance, MvR provides no convincing reason as to why he broke off the attack, other than to claim in his book, ‘… I was so excited that I could not resist landing, and landed at the unfamiliar airfield, where I almost turned my plane upside down in my zeal.’ This was completely contrary to one of the main tenants in the Boelcke’s Dicta: If your opponent appears damaged, follow him down until he crashes to be sure he is not faking. And if MvR was going to land, why not land alongside his opponent as the other machine did? The answer may again lie in an in between the lines reading of the events as told by MvR in his book, where he makes the curious allusion ‘…It never occurred to me that there were other Englishmen in the squadron who could come to the aid of their beleaguered comrade…’ Could this represent a Freudian slip on the part of MvR, as we do know that FEs did indeed go to the aid of a lagging FE [perhaps even reflective of 2Lt Turk’s report of two FEs going down under control?] and that the crew of Sgt Thompson and Sgt Clarkson evidently sent a ‘Roland’ [but Albatros DI perhaps?] down seemingly out of control near Marcoing [unfortunately the Combat Report cannot be located].

As such, are there grounds for a major re-appraisal here? Could it be that MvR broke off his attack on the straggling FE, because, and not openly unadmitted, he came under attack from the FE of Sgt Thompson and Sgt Clarkson? Whereafter, he spun down and made a hurried landing upon the nearest German airfield. Flesquieres (FFA 22) has been mentioned, but Ribecourt, is just 3 kilometres to the north of where FE2b 7018 came down and where there was a Flugplatz known to have been occupied by Ks 13 & Ks 15 of KG 3 and later again by FAA 210. Moreover, Ribecourt was only just south-west of Marcoing, the location where Sgt Thompson and Sgt Clarkson evidently sent their ‘Roland’ earthwards. What looks to be certain, is that MvR subsequently raced to the downed FE2b 7018 and laid his hands upon it, no doubt wanting to believe that it was ‘Vickers’ which he had engaged. But then had ‘7018’ also been claimed by Hans Reimann? This might covertly be confirmed by the fact that MvR’s Luftkampfbericht was supported with witnesses: Hptm Boelcke from above and Hptm Gaede, Lt. Pelser and other officers from below. This would hardly need to have been the case if it had been a clear-cut and un-contested victory for MvR. As noted, Hans Reimann was evidently only posthumously recognised on 28 September with the downing of an FE-Gitterumpf on 17 September, for which there are no details as to crew, or serial numbers, in any surviving record. However, for that matter, there are no details pertaining to MvR’s #1 in the Jasta Boelcke Abschussliste, whereas in regards MvR;s subsequent credits with the staffel, the Jasta Boelcke Abschussliste provides details which mirror those when given in the headings of MvR’s Luftkampfbericht.

Alternative appraisal to follow.
__________________
Our hearts so stout has got us fame
For soon 'tis known from where we came
Where'er we go they fear the name
Of Garryowen in glory.
R Gannon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3 March 2024, 06:52 PM   #203
R Gannon
Forum Ace of Aces
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 5,901

 
MvR's #1; an alternative resolution.

If one can entertain the preposition that Hans Reimann may well have been a player in the downing of FE2b 7018 (Morris/Rees) then this opens the door for an alternative resolution in regards MvR’s #1. It may be that FE2b 4844 (Molloy & Morton) was the straggling ‘Vikkers’ which was engaged by MvR; who as per his Luftkampfbericht disabled the gunner/observer (but Sgt Morton wounded) and shot up the engine. One might further hazard, that in response the FEs of Sgt Thompson & Sgt Clarkson and perhaps Morris & Rees turned around and went to the aid of FE2b 4844, with Thompson & Clarkson driving off the Albatros of MvR. FE2b 7018 however conceivably fell victim to Hans Reimann, whilst FE2b 4844 limped on for another 15 or so kilometres before coming down at Etricourt. Whilst this was happening, MvR made his hurried landing on a nearby German airfield (Ribecourt perhaps?) where he subsequently learned of a British machine down close to Villers-Plouich, which he then made his way to, clearly wanting to believe that FE2b 7018 reflected the ‘Vikkers’ which he had engaged. However, one might hazard that MvR learned from the gathered onlookers that another German pilot had been seen to attack the ‘Vikkers’ at about 1,200 meters and followed it down to land alongside it – something MvR had to subsequently recognise in his Luftkampfbericht. All of which may well have caused a dilemma for Oswald Boelcke back at Bertincourt, when his ambitious protégée returned later in the day laying claim to having downed a ‘Vikkers’ numbered ‘7018’.
__________________
Our hearts so stout has got us fame
For soon 'tis known from where we came
Where'er we go they fear the name
Of Garryowen in glory.
R Gannon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8 March 2024, 01:55 PM   #204
R Gannon
Forum Ace of Aces
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 5,901

 
MvR #1 - addenda

Intriguingly, Etricourt, where FE2b 4844 evidently came down, is collocated with Mannancourt; which is the location given in regards a ‘Gitterumpf’ (lattice-tail) which was awarded to Ltn Otto Hohne (Jasta 2) as his #1; the result of a combat on 16 September, timed 18.00GT and accorded as ‘diesseits’. However there is absolutely no viable RFC loss to match this ‘diesseits’ credit at Mannancourt on 16 Sep 16 [the popular wisdom is to position Hohne as accounting for 11 Sqn’s 6999 on 16 September, which in the first instance only departed Izel le Hameau at 17.40BT(18.40GT) and in the second came down quite 24km to the north-east on the northern outskirts of Cambrai] It is informative to digress and point out that the time of Hohne’s ‘Gitterumpf’ claim; DH2 pusher from both 24 Sqn and 32 Sqn had been involved in no little indecisive scrapping in the general Bapaume area, but without loss (however, 2Lt HB Corby from 32 Sqn had dropped down to 400ft so as to fire into German trenches, which might have been misconstrued as a defeated opponent). It rather looks suspiciously as if the remains of FE2b 4844 [burnt by crew] found at Etricourt-Mannancourt have been seized upon as reflecting the ‘Gitterumpf’ which Otto Hohne had claimed on the evening of 16 September and which has subsequently entered into the not always accurate wisdom of the WW1 air-war as being Jasta 2’s first victory scored on an Albatros D type. The decision by Sofl 1 is dated 21 Sep 16.

A final outstanding and unanswered puzzle, is as to how Lt Tom Rees came to be buried at Villers Plouich by personnel from Jasta 4. This evidently Halberstadt equipped staffel was then attached to 2 ARMEE and based at Roupy to the south-west of St Quentin and nearly 30 kilometres south of Villers-Plouich. But then how were both Wilhelm Frankl and Rudolf Berthold, from Jasta 4 on hand to lay claim to aerial victories in the vicinity of Cambrai on 17 Sep? They could hardly have been on a routine patrol flying out of Roupy which somehow strayed well north into the 1 ARMEE area at the very same moment as RFC machines happened to be operating near Cambrai. Indeed, there are six other Jasta 4 credits within the 1 ARMEE area from 17 September to 26 September. Whilst there is seemingly no surviving record to back this, the logical answer would be, that as a direct result of the British attack on 15 September, which led by tanks, bit deeply into 1 ARMEE defences, that Jasta 4 was called upon to fly patrols over the threatened 1 ARMEE battle area. However, rather than flying well north out of Roupy, it would have been far more effective to utilise an airfield to the south-west of Cambrai (Ribecourt, or perhaps Gonnelieu, later used by Jasta 5?), as a temporary landing field, with the staffel’s own ground personnel, from which to fly patrols over the threated Bapaume area [much as JG1 utilised Harbonnieres during the first half of April 1918]. Hence personnel from Jasta 4 would have been on hand to bury Tom Rees.
__________________
Our hearts so stout has got us fame
For soon 'tis known from where we came
Where'er we go they fear the name
Of Garryowen in glory.
R Gannon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16 March 2024, 03:23 PM   #205
R Gannon
Forum Ace of Aces
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 5,901

 
MvR's #18 & 'le petit rouge'.

Victory No. 18

Date 24 January 1917

Luftkampfbericht

24.1.1917. 12.15 pm. West of Vimy. Fixed Motor. Plane Nr. 6937. Motor Nr. 748. Inmates: Pilot - Capt Craig. Lt. McLennan

Accompanied by Feldwebel Howe I attacked at about 12.15 pm, the commanding plane of an enemy formation. After a long fight I forced my adversary to land near Vimy. The inmates burnt their plane after landing. I myself had to land, as one wing had been cracked when I was at an altitude of 300 metres. I was flying an Albatros D.III.

According to the English occupants, my red-painted plane was not unknown to them, as on being asked who brought them down, they answered, “le petit rouge.”

Two machine guns have been seized by my staffel. The plane was not worth being moved. as it was completely burned.


The Nachrichtenblatt Abschusse would list Richtofen’s victory as ‘engl. DD FE 6937’ (sic) and curiously gives the location as ‘Vitry nordl Arras’. Vitry is 13km ESE of Vimy. The aircraft serial numbers ‘6997’ were secured for the Schweidnitz collection.

The details in the heading of the Luftkampfbericht indicate that Richthofen had laid claim to FE2b 6997 from 25 Squadron crewed by Capt O Grieg (pilot) and 2Lt J E MacLennan (observer).

Capt Greig had set out from Auchel aerodrome at 09.50 (10.50) leading a six strong Photographic Patrol -reconnaissance of the German lines from Lens to Henin Lietard. The subsequent combined Combat Report informs that the FE of Lt T H Southorn dropped out with engine trouble and was replaced by that of Sgt R G Malcom (7672 with 2Lt G H F Waner) and that the five FEs, flying at 12,500 ft, crossed the lines north of Arras at 10.30. The report goes on to relate, ‘Capt Greig, leading the formation, got rather ahead of the other machines and was suddenly attacked by a hostile scout – probably an Albatros. The hostile scout got onto and drove him down to land near ROUVROY. He was seen by the other pilots to make a good landing. 2/Lts Leith and Matheson dived onto the scout and the latter, following it down to 6,000’, fired about two drums into it and drove it away from Capt Greig and down, at 10.40 pm…’ A 16 Squadron BE pilot who was flying nearby confirmed seeing a hostile scout driven down by an FE which went into a spinning nose dive, but he was unable to see if the hostile machine actually crashed. 2Lt WD Matheson was flying 7009 with 2Lt EG Green as his gunner.

In his RPS 2Lt MacLennan would record, ‘…Formation of three machines other two machines were escorting me. On outward journey we were attacked by a hostile machine. Escort was in rear of me Rechhofeing {sic) attacked us from the rear shooting up engine and wounding pilot. Engine stopped – landed. MacLennan gave the place of capture as Fresnoy (3km south of Rouvroy). Capt Grieg in his RPS would later relate, ‘Shot down whilst taking photographs, was wounded in right foot, and engine put out of action by opponents second burst of fire. Opponent (Freiherr Von Richthofen) kept below and behind where it was impossible to fire on him satisfactorily. When he left I was too low to get back over Vimy Ridge.’ Both men recorded that they burnt their machine.

Such is the prevailing all-conquering aura of the Red Baron, that never a question has been raised as to the veracity of both the game-book credit and the associated reference to ‘le petit rouge’ which MvR would go on to wax lyrically about in his book,

For some reason one fine day I had the idea to paint my box bright red. The success was that my red bird forced itself on everyone. This actually didn't seem entirely unknown to my opponents either. Occasionally during a battle that took place on a different front line than the others, I managed to shoot a two-seater Vickers that was peacefully photographing our artillery position. The opponent didn't even have time to defend himself and had to hurry to get to the ground because he was already starting to give suspicious signs of burning. We call it: “he stinks.” As it turned out, it was indeed time, because the device began to burn brightly just above the ground.

I felt a human pity for my opponent and decided not to make him crash, but only to force him to land, especially since I had the feeling that the opponent was already wounded because he couldn't get a shot out. At an altitude of about five hundred meters, a defect in my aircraft forced me to land in normal gliding flight without being able to make a turn. Now something very funny happened. My enemy landed smoothly with his burning machine, while I, the victor, rolled over right next to him in the wire obstacles of the trenches of one of our reserve positions.

This was followed by a sporty greeting from the two Englishmen with me, who were no less astonished by my crash since, as already mentioned, they had not fired a shot at me and could not even imagine the reason for my emergency landing. These were the first Englishmen I brought down alive. That's why I particularly enjoyed talking to them. Among other things, I asked them if they had ever seen my plane in the air. “Oh yes,” said one, I know it very well. We call it “le petit rouge.”

As is almost always the case in regards an un-plugged examination of MvR, there is much that does not sit right with his versions of events.

More later.
__________________
Our hearts so stout has got us fame
For soon 'tis known from where we came
Where'er we go they fear the name
Of Garryowen in glory.
R Gannon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20 March 2024, 05:35 PM   #206
R Gannon
Forum Ace of Aces
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 5,901

 
MvR's #18 - the bigger picture.

MvR’s #18 - the bigger picture

A glaring inconsistency with MvR’s #18 is the timing of the claim – 12.15GT – which is quite 35 minutes after FE2b 6997 was brought down (10.40BT/11.40GT). However, if one is not afflicted with tunnelled vision in regards MvR, then it will be seen that the downing of FE2b 6997 was not the end of the action. Two other hostile scouts had attacked the other two higher flying FEs and as a consequence the formation had become scattered. 2Lt Leith (4946 with 2Lt AG Severs) subsequently brought the four remaining FEs back across the lines where the formation reformed, whereafter 2Lt Leith led the four FEs back across the lines at 11.00 so as to complete the photography. The formation was subsequently attacked by three more hostile scouts along with what was identified as an ‘Albatros two-seater’, with more scouts seen above. In this further scrapping, the FE of Sgt RG Malcom (7672 with 2Lt GH Warner) was, ‘…attacked by a scout from behind, but turning sharply he engaged it with the front gun and drove it to land South of LENS.’ At the same time the FE of Sgt R N W Munro (7025 with Sgt J H Booth) fired on what was thought to be an ‘Albatros two-seater’ getting off four drums of Lewis from 500 down to 300 yards range, ‘…with the result that it went down in a steep spiral and landed S.E. of Lens.’ These subsequent combats were timed as occurring at about 11.20 hrs (12.20 GT). The four FEs then recrossed the lines having taken 18 photographic plates.

As such, when the bigger picture is taken into account, then it rather looks as if MvR had actually made an abortive attack on FE2b 7672 (Sgt Malcom & 2Lt Waner) during the formations second foray over the lines; diving away when the FE turned on him and cracking his wing in the process necessitating an emergency landing, which was observed by the crews of ‘7672’ & ‘7025’. However, it would appear in the wash-up that MvR laid claim to claim to ‘engl. DD FE 6937’, despite this particular FE had been attacked and driven down some 35 minutes earlier by an opponent who was chased away by the two escort FEs when over Rouvroy. This in itself would make it unlikely that the German pilot would have seen the terminal results, as the FE evidently landed near, to and presumably west of, Fresnoy, a town around 3-4km SSW of Rouvroy and 4km east of the town of Vimy.

More to come.
__________________
Our hearts so stout has got us fame
For soon 'tis known from where we came
Where'er we go they fear the name
Of Garryowen in glory.
R Gannon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23 March 2024, 04:14 PM   #207
R Gannon
Forum Ace of Aces
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 5,901

 
MvR's #18 - le petit rouge

MvR’s #18 - le petit rouge

‘According to the English occupants, my red-painted plane was not unknown to them, as on being asked who brought them down, they answered, “le petit rouge.”’

This is a rather curious passage. In the first instance, MvR’s claim that his red machine was known to the crew is wholly dubious, as this was only his second war-flight on the Arras sector, where 25 Sqn had long been operating, whilst as far as I can determine, note of a red painted machine features but twice in RFC reports up until that date (by 60 Sqn on 26 Dec 16 and by Benbow on the previous day).

Then in the second instance, MvR was at pains in his Luftkampfbericht to assert that the crew of FE2b 6937(sic) had specifically identified his red machine as being the one which had brought them down, even going so far in his book version of events, to make the claim that he had made his emergency landing close to his downed opponent and that he had spoken directly with the crew who supposedly knew of his red machine which they called ‘le petit rouge’. None of which is supported by the recollections of the crew in their RPS. Capt Greig makes no mention of actually meeting MvR, only further recording that his observer was unwounded, ‘…he left me at Douai, I being taken to hospital.’ MacLennan further commented in his RPS, ‘…We were attacked by Richhofen & learnt we were his eighteenth victory. Our flying kit was commandeered and taken to his squadron No. 11. Flying kit was my own personal property and would give no reason for taking it’. Furthermore, there is no indication of any personal contact with MvR in any of the later accounts provided by both Oscar Grieg and John MacLennan. If anything, it all rather sounds as if the captured crew were simply told they had been shot down by MvR and that they were his #18, on having been backloaded to Douai, presumably by someone sent from Jasta 11, who then confiscated their flying kit (the OzbV or the Tescnische Offizer perhaps?).

Note of an all-red machine does become more frequent in Combat Reports during March and April, yet there was nothing exceptionable in regards the pilot of the said red painted machine; who tended to make off when turned on, or fired upon by an alert observer. It would seem the name of ‘Richthofen’ only begins to appear within the contemporary vocabulary of the RFC/RNAS from April 1917 onwards; one might hazard the flow on from German news-papers reporting his eclipsing Boelcke as Germany’s ‘number one’ [13 Apr 17], whilst ‘Richy’s connection to a red machine is seemingly no earlier than the middle of 1917 (noted in a letter of Bert Wood 29 Sqn dated 12 June), notoriety, seemingly as the result of a photograph titled ‘Richthofen’s Travelling Circus’ which appeared in British publications at about that time - the much reproduced picture of Js 11’s Albatros DIIIs lined up in a row at Roucourt.

All of which beggars as to whether ‘le petit rouge’ reflected MvR’s vanity or whether it was an expedient? More to follow.
__________________
Our hearts so stout has got us fame
For soon 'tis known from where we came
Where'er we go they fear the name
Of Garryowen in glory.
R Gannon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1 April 2024, 04:51 PM   #208
R Gannon
Forum Ace of Aces
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 5,901

 
MvR's #18 'le petit rouge' - part 2

MvR’s #18 – ‘le petit rouge’ – part 2.

If ‘le petit rouge’ is not a case of vanity, then an MvR sceptic might muse as to whether it reflected a ‘le petit mensonge’; an expedient contrived by MvR perhaps, so as to convince both Kofl 6 and his new subordinates, that it was the red painted machine of the newly appointed staffelfuhrer which brought down ‘engl. DD FE 6937’. It should not be missed that MvR specifically named Feldwebel Howe in his Luftkampfbericht, stating that the NCO had accompanied him in his attack on the enemy machines, yet it is evident that the earlier attacks on ‘6997’ (c10.40) and later attack on ‘7672’ (c11.20BT/12.40GT) were carried out by a single machine, rendering the mention of the NCO as somewhat incongruous, unless the mention belies the possibility that that the NCO might also have laid claim to having downed ‘engl. DD FE 6937’ with the bigger picture connotation being that Feldwebel Howe may have been the pilot of the machine which attacked and crippled FE2b 6997 circa 10.40BT/11.40GT. It should not be overlooked that MvR, despite sporting an OPleM, was very much the new man in the staffel, whilst Feldwebel Howe was an established member, having been with the staffel since the previous October. And of course, the Feldwebel was soon thereafter posted out of Jasta 11 (17 February); the popular explanation being that MvR was removing dead wood, however an MvR sceptic might muse as to whether the NCO had simply been unwilling to yield credit for ‘engl. DD FE 6937’ to his ambitious new staffelfuhrer. Indeed, Richthofen lets slip his dissatisfaction with his new staffel in a letter to his mother dated 27 January, where he writes, ‘...the way they do things here is not edifying for me...’

A little more to come.
__________________
Our hearts so stout has got us fame
For soon 'tis known from where we came
Where'er we go they fear the name
Of Garryowen in glory.
R Gannon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3 April 2024, 09:55 AM   #209
xjouve
Two-seater Pilot
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: France
Posts: 171

 
16 Sep 18: Ltt. Boyau perhaps?

Lieutenant Maurice Boyau (35 victories) of SPA77 embarked on a mission to target a balloon near Harville around the late morning hours (11:17 AM, as per FASWC records) on September 16, 1918, with Aspirant Henri Cessieux of SPA77 providing support. Sergeant Jean Moulis of SPA77 documented in his journal that following their successful attack on the balloon (possibly BZug 59, referenced in FASWC), they encountered an assault by seven enemy aircraft during their return flight.

Moulis recounts that Boyau managed to fend off the attackers, forcing them to scatter. Under unclear circumstances, Boyau then descended sharply, 'diving vertically' ('piquera à la verticale' in Moulis' own words—Moulis further suggested Boyau may have been shot from the ground), crashing near an area reported as 'étang de la Chaunié' by Moulis. This location is believed to be inaccurately named, likely referring to 'Etang de Lachaussée', situated roughly 7-8 kilometers southeast of Harville, in territory that aligns with the French frontline's recent advancement—a factor that could explain why Boyau’s remains and wreckage were never located. Meanwhile, Cessieux, despite sustaining injuries, successfully returned to French territory.

On the same day, within the timeframe of late morning, German forces made two claims in the area (as noted in TJWC records): one by Lieutenant G von Hantelmann of J15 for downing a SPAD southwest of Conflans (acknowledged as his 14th victory) at 11:20 AM, and another by Vfw G Klaudat of J15 for a SPAD near Urvillers, also at 11:20 AM, categorized as a forced landing.

A closer inspection reveals several discrepancies:

1. The timing of these events poses a significant challenge. Although the balloon attack at 11:17 (as per FASWC) and the German claims at 11:20 (as per TJWC) initially appear to align, a one-hour time difference due to WWI-era timekeeping practices between the countries complicates this match. This discrepancy opens the possibility that J15 may have engaged with SPA100 instead, as Sltt Haegelen and Mdl Peuch of SPA100 also claimed a victory in the Verdun area that morning, marking their 18th and 3rd victories, respectively.

2. The claim locations reported by the German pilots raise further questions:
- Von Hantelmann's claim southwest of 'Conflans' likely refers to the vicinity of 'Conflans-en-Jarnisy', close to where J15 was based and approximately 12 kilometers northeast of Harville, the site of the balloon attack, and 15 kilometers northeast of where Boyau is presumed to have crashed near 'Etang de Lachaussée'. This area would not be on the return path for any Allied aircraft, suggesting 'Conflans' might be a broader regional designation rather than a specific combat location.
- Klaudat's mention of 'Urvillers' seems to be a misprint, as Urvillers is located roughly 190 kilometers northwest of the incident. A more plausible location for his claim would be 'Avillers', about 7 kilometers southwest of Harville and 3 kilometers within French lines, opposite 'Etang de Lachaussée'.

Despite these inconsistencies, it appears likely that SPA77 and J15 did engage in combat that morning. Klaudat's claim near 'Urvillers', which likely refers to 'Avillers', might correspond to Cessieux's SPAD. However, the prevailing interpretation that von Hantelmann bested Boyau near 'Conflans' merits further scrutiny. As mentioned earlier, the primary witness, Sgt. Moulis, suggested his comrade might have been hit by artillery. Additionally, the mere mention of a 'vertical dive' raises the question of whether his engine failed while diving at high speed.

An accompanying map outlines the presumed area of engagement.

I'm keen to hear your insights on this event, Russ Gannon.

__________________
Best Regards,
Xav.

Last edited by xjouve; 4 April 2024 at 12:08 AM.
xjouve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3 April 2024, 10:59 PM   #210
Gregvan
Forum Ace of Aces
 
Gregvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: St. Charles, Iowa
Posts: 6,283

 
Hello xjouve,

Well, I'm not Russ Gannon, and I'm sure you know all of the following from your detailed research, but...

The esteemed French historian David Méchin (who shows up here occasionally) had the following to say about Boyau’s death in his wonderful “WWI French Aces Encyclopedia, Volume 2” (I’ve paraphrased a bit): “September 16, 1918 would be the day of Boyau’s last mission. Maurice Boyau left in the late morning on his SPAD XIII No. 10666 with the Aspirant Henri Cessieux to attack a Drachen (balloon)that had been signaled in Harville (Meuse), halfway between Verdun and Metz. The notebook of Sergeant Jean Moulis, a young pilot of SPA 77, informs us about the events: ‘Boyau and Cessieux will go on the attack of a Drachen, and succeed in flaming it. On the way back, (they were) attacked by seven enemy fighters. Boyau did engage in the fight, and (succeeded in) removing his pursuers. Flying low, he dove vertically, most likely shot by bullets from the ground. Cessieux saw him crash in flames, near the lake of La Chaunié. We never did find the place of the accident nor the debris that could identify him. The enemy then pursued the remaining French aircraft, and our friend (Cessieux) was attacked in the back, but did have the strength to land on his first home lines; he jumped out of his cockpit and fainted. The artillerymen evacuated him. Meanwhile, the Germans, flying low to the ground, tried to destroy (Cessieux’s) plane. Soon after, artillery shells were sprayed on it between the lines. We were waiting impatiently on the ground for the return of our comrades. Alerted in the course of the day, by the ambulance in which Cessieux was evacuated, we learned with consternation of the end of our great ace. Mourning was cruel, but our task is not over. The next day, we resumed the control of our planes with the intention of avenging him.’

David Méchin continued: “A further investigation in the first French lines would reveal that Boyau did indeed flame the Harville Drachen at 11:17. Returning at an altitude of 200 meters, he was pursued by a Fokker D.VII 500 meters behind. Then his plane was seen to dive vertically and crash, probably struck by a shot from the ground. Three Fokker D.VIIs (reported to have) red noses, displaying a Greek Cross on the fuselage and on the tail unit, with two red and yellow oblique stripes on the fuselage, flew over the crash site and rotated around it for some time. The young Leutnant Georg von Hantelmann (20 years old, of Jasta 15) claimed the plane of Boyau, shot down southeast of Conflans-en-Jarnisy at 11:20, which would be confirmed as his 14th victory out of the 25 that he would win during the war. If the place, time, and even the decoration of the Fokker with red nose of Jasta 15 all argue in favor of von Hantelmann’s claim, the distance of 500 meters (between) his Fokker D.VII (and Boyau’s Spad) makes his shot very random. It will never be known whether Boyau succumbed to a bullet fired from the ground (which seems more likely), or a lucky blow from his pursuer’s twin machine guns.”

In my opinion, there were certainly several Jasta 15 Fokkers involved, and they would have all had red noses; the description of one red-nosed Fokker with oblique red and yellow stripes on the fuselage does not fit what we know of von Hantelmann’s usual aircraft markings, but it might well have been another Jasta 15 Fokker pilot just flying around the scene.

By the way, the German's name was Vzfw. Gustav Klaudat, not Kaludet. He generally flew a Fokker D.VII with a red nose and an Uhlan lance with a black/white pennant.


Here is Georg von Hantelmann.
__________________
Greg VanWyngarden

An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.
Niels Bohr
Gregvan is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
WOFF- Between Heaven & Hell jheintz28 Games and Flight Sims 3 14 May 2022 12:40 PM
Joystick for 'Between Heaven and Hell' sixman Games and Flight Sims 12 1 August 2009 08:16 PM
Price Drop $29.99 for Between Heaven and Hell Rickitycrate Games and Flight Sims 8 21 July 2009 08:40 AM
Heaven...I'm in heaven... Rendsburg People 17 6 June 2006 07:41 PM
TV Heaven PeterL 2001 20 17 July 2001 10:09 PM


As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:28 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2024 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©1997 - 2023 The Aerodrome