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1998 Closed threads from 1998 (read only)

 
 
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Old 10 December 1998, 11:37 AM   #11
Steven Dieter
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It is unfortunate that this debate has to have such verocity over thirty years after Bishop's death. Bishop's son Arthur freely admits that his dad rarely talked about his WWI experience. If only the information was still available, and credible.

Al notes Stewart Taylor and Syd Wise. Both are Canadian historians(Dr. Wise taught at Ottawa's Carleton University). Many with an interest in this topic have researched it to some depth, myself included. Each piece seems to link to several more.

Will there ever be an answer? Unlikely, unless we can perfect the time machine. Even then, each person's perception is just that. No one can absolutely state yes or no it happened. The jury's decision will rest on a preponderance of what they believe to be tangible evidence. What that result is, is each person's guess.

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Old 10 December 1998, 02:34 PM   #12
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Jeni: THAT's one explanation that seems to have eluded most researchers...
Actually, as I understand it, Noonan was solely responsible for nav, not for fuel consumption (though presumably he kept an eye on it--I sure would!). Based on some of Earhart's previous flights, there's reason to believe that perhaps she mismanaged the mixture and/or propeller pitch for optimum cruise configuration. Basically, tho, ask yourownself if you'd undertake a transoceanic flight with relatively little experience in a new airplane, relying on an alcoholic navigator to hit a TINY island some 2,500 miles from takeoff. Maybe Noonan was a recovering alcoholic and was fully capable, but the combination of pilot and navigator does NOT inspire confidence.
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Old 10 December 1998, 06:21 PM   #13
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Dear Al,
Why do you have problems taking the German records at face value. If I remember correctly, the Markham article contains the formal report submitted by the German 4th army
showing all aviations casualties for the week of June 2. Oskar Shickfuss von Neudorf (MvR's cousin) Jasta 3 killed on the fourth. Werner Voss, then of Jasta 5, slightly wounded on the 5th. An Albatross CIII of FA 217 was shot down, both occupants killed. Would such meticulous people doctor a report to so as to unsubstantiate Bishop's claims for propaganda reasons, I think not. Seeing as how there were no witnesses to the vast majority of his 72 "victories", I'm afraid that your worst fears might be true. Bishop was a fraud!

VBR,

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Old 10 December 1998, 10:27 PM   #14
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I have a problem taking the German records at face value for the simple reason that most of the records in most of the units facing Bishop were lost or destroyed after WWI, and during WWII.

Most of what remains are copies, and some of those have "subjective" gaps in them.

And I also have to take into account the "evidence" of Ira Jones, who stated in his book "Tiger Squadron" that when the German government was asked AFTER WWI about some RAF claims made on June 19, 1918, they said (The German government) that they had lost neither plane nor pilot to hostile action that day. Jones called this a lie as one of only six RAF claims put in that day was by Captain Cobby of the AFC, and his victim was laid out in a hangar at Jones' aerodrome.

I might also add that this particular "victim" of Captain Cobby's was identified in "Above The Trenches" as Unteroffizer Max Mertens of Jasta 7, and that the tail skid of his Pfalz DIII is on display at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

I am simply not convinced that the SURVIVING German records are as meticulous as some people seem to think. And I'm more than willing to accept that while Allied records may be self-serving, I have to think that the German records could be and probably are just as self-serving as the Allied records are.

I hope that answers your question

VBR,

Al Lowe
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Old 11 December 1998, 05:00 AM   #15
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My comments on Bishop were certainly not meant as an attack on your knowledge or credibility. If you're familiar with Ira Jones I'm sure
you know how he felt about Bishop as opposed to Mannock or McCudden. With all the Bishop
bashing done by his own fellow pilots that actually fought in the conflict, isn't it at least possible that where there's smoke, there could be fire? No offence intended.

VBR,

FokkDR1
 
Old 11 December 1998, 06:16 AM   #16
Billy_Bishop
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No offence taken.
But let's look closer at this. The reason I choose Ira Jones was on June 19, 1918, only 6 victories were claimed that day by the RAF. The previous one I mentioned by Capt. A.H. Cobby of the Australian Flying Corps, the other 5 by...Billy Bishop. And Jones said he KNEW the German reports were a lie that day. Even though he may have not liked Bishop (as far as I know they never flew together either), still, he was in a way supporting Bishop's claims too.

As for the others who flew with Bishop who had doubts, let's look at those. Grid Caldwell never expressed any doubts until AFTER Bishop was dead. Even when he was acting CO of 60 Squadron and had to file a follow-up report on Bishop's raid of 2 June, 1917, he never expressed any doubts then either. If he had, I doubt very much if Bishop would have received the VC.

And while Caldwell MAY have had doubts about Bishop, one of his flight members, W.E. Molesworth did not. He's never said a single bad word against Bishop. In fact, all he has ever said about Bishop that's been recorded was good.

Willy Fry is pretty much in the same category. He never expressed any doubts about Bishop while he was alive, nor did he ever express any doubts about Bishop in his own memoirs. So who else is there that flew with Bishop who doubted him? Spencer Horn? Somehow I don't think so. When Bishop was forming 85 Squadron Horn was one of the first to VOLUNTEER to be in it.

As far as Fry and Caldwell go, the first time I know of that they expressed any doubts was sometime around 1966 when the RAF was planning to commemorate Bishop's raid. This happened again I think in about 1977. Could this be envy perhaps? The "why him and not me" attitude creeping out? I'm sure Fry would just kick himself for not going with Bishop that June morning in 1917 when he was asked. For had he gone along, he likely would have gotten a medal too. And together they likely could have caused more damage.

Think about it, it starts to make sense.

Do you know of anyone else in 60 or 85 Squadron who doubted Bishop's claims?

VBR,

Al Lowe
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(it's an inside joke between me and someone else.)
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Old 11 December 1998, 08:48 AM   #17
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From what I have been able to gather the Allies lost more planes in the Great War than did the Centrel Powers. If that is so, why are there so many more Allied Aces that there are from the other side? Not only has Bishop been accused of false claims, but so has Rickenbacker.
 
Old 11 December 1998, 09:16 AM   #18
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Part of it comes from the Allied habit of giving a full victory credit to each aircraft involved in downing one German aircraft. From what I understand, both the French and the British did this. The Americans went by the scoring rules of the country in charge of a sector, either British or French.

In addition the British also gave out victory credits for aircraft seen falling Out Of Control (OOC) but not observed to crash, as well as for aircraft Driven Down (DD), whether they were driven down to land(Sometimes FTL), or simply driven down from altitude to a point where they could no longer complete their mission.

To use a term that's been passed around here from time to time,

"A kill is always a victory, but a victory isn't always a kill."

You should read the article here called "British Victory system" or something like that, it will explain a lot.

Who's accused Rickenbacker of filing false claims?

I wasn't aware that he went in for the lone wolf mission. I understood that he usually went out with at least a flight.

VBR,

Al Lowe
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Old 11 December 1998, 09:32 AM   #19
Sylvain Raymond
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Col. William B. Bishop is truely Allies Ace of Aces !How can people doubt a true war hero like him?
 
Old 11 December 1998, 10:03 AM   #20
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A few years ago a friend of mine read a book written about a woman who "entertained" allied pilots and happened to be a German spy. She soon gained their trust and wrote all of her conversations down on paper to be delivered to the German gov. at a later date. She was soon found out and her diary confiscated. In her writtings she spoke of the battles these men fought, the descriptions of new planes etc. her writtings were exceptionaly descriptive they even had the kill count of every man she came into contact with. I plan on finding this book soon it had many photos of the bases she visited the men she danced for. I am hoping she may have written a little about Bishop and the others. this book may not be popular but it may help. Does anyone know if this diary is still around?
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