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Thread: 100 Years Ago Today

  1. #3401

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    Just don't tell the wife!
    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Winston S. Churchill

  2. #3402

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    1st July 1918

    SEA WAR
    British Home Waters: In July Air ASW (anti-submarine warfare) effort now going to convoy escort (310 aircraft and airships) rather than air patrols; 167 U-boats sighted (until November), 115 attacked and only 6 daylight attacks not frustrated.
    North Sea*: Northern Mine Barrage begins to inhibit return voyages. U-boats forced into mined Norwegian waters. U-86 sinks empty US troop transport Covington.
    Adriatic: 5 British aircraft bomb Cattaro with success.
    Mediterranean: During July 27 German U-boats but 5 in dock and 2 on Tripolitania supply runs, so average of 8 at sea for duration.

    USS Covington (ID-1409) was a transport for the United States Navy during World War I. Prior to the war the ship, built in 1908 in Germany, was SS Cincinnati of the Hamburg America Line. The transport was torpedoed by U-86 on 1 July 1918 and was scuttled the next day with six men killed.

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    Covington, named after the city of Covington, Kentucky, was built in 1908 by F. Schichau, Danzig, Germany, as Cincinnati.; interned by customs officials at Boston upon the entry of the United States into World War I. At the outbreak of World War I, Cincinnati was interned in Boston with Hamburg America line-mate SS Amerika; North German Lloyd steamers Kronprinzessin Cecilie, Köln, Wittekind, and Willehad; and Hansa Line freighter SS Ockenfels. In March 1916, all except Kronprinzessin Cecilie and Ockenfels were moved from their waterfront piers to an anchorage across the harbor from the Boston Navy Yard. Daily "neutrality duty" by United States Coast Guard harbor tug Winnisimmet kept a watchful eye on the ships. Many crew members of the ships eventually went ashore, were processed through immigration, and found employment, while a contingent of musicians from the vessels toured New England, frequently playing at department stores and restaurants, and drawing the ire of the local musicians' union. After the U.S. declared war on Germany, Cincinnati and the other interned ships were seized on 6 April 1917 and handed over to the United States Shipping Board (USSB).

    The ship was transferred to the Navy 26 July 1917; and commissioned 28 July 1917, Captain R. D. Hasbrouck in command. Between 18 October 1917 and 1 July 1918, Covington made six voyages from Hoboken, New Jersey, to Brest, France, safely transporting more than 21,000 troops for service with the American Expeditionary Force. On 1 July 1918 she was torpedoed without warning by the German submarine U-86 off Brest; she was scuttled the next day despite efforts to save her. The convoy escorts succeeded in rescuing all but six of her complement of 776.

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    WESTERN FRONT
    Germany: German rifle strength 100,000 below Allied. 1919 class recruits almost used up by July 31.
    Britain: 52 British effective divisions now in France. 1st Army Co-operation unit (No 8 Squadron RAF) attached to Tank Corps.
    Flanders: *Reformed BEF Fifth Army (6 divisions) takes over Bethune*-Merville sector.
    Marne: US 2nd Division captures Vaux near Chateau-Thierry.
    Artois*: almost 50,000 Canadian troops celebrate Dominion Day at Tincques, 14 miles west of Arras; Canadian Prime Minister inspects 2 divisions on July 2.

    AFRICA
    Mozambique – Action at Nhamacurra (until July 3): At his farthest south, Lettow (25 casualties) smashes 630 Portuguese (528 casualties) and c.300 KAR (223 casualties), holding village sugar factory and rail station along river Likungo. Germans take 542 PoWs, 2 Portuguese guns, 10 MGs, c.350 rifles, clothing, ammo and 300t food. Allied 209 killed including many drowned or eaten by crocodiles. 155 Gold Coast Mounted Infantry sail from Port Amelia for Mussuril Bay of Mozambique Island.

    (Translated from the Portuguese - not brilliantly - editor)

    Nhamacurra, 40 kilometres to the north of Quelimane, is a large deposit of a Sugar Company, station of the rail transport of Quelimane, deposit service also gone for a navigable river, the deposits had three hundred tons of sugar and other foodstuffs.

    The command of the allied forces belonged to a Portuguese major, but finally had a English lieutenant-colonel Brown, promoted at the time . The position of the trenches, with three kilometres of development, was felled by a difficult line of water, and was manned by three Portuguese companies and two English. As the report of the commander in chief Van Deventer, on the afternoon of July 1, the area west of position was surprised and flanked and, although the Portuguese officers and sergeants have fought for three hours with bravery , the entire sector, two pieces of cannon shot fast, crashed into power of the enemy, and the Portuguese two officers and a sergeant killed, many injured and eleven official prisoners. On day 2 the Germans to attack again, with the bulk under the command of Von Lettow, but are repelled. At 6 hours of the morning of day 3, repeat the attack with greater intensity in the 15 hours open fire with artillery , causing the emergence of civil disorder in the trenches, and panic busts fleeing troops to the river, where drown the commander Brown and many soldiers, due to the strong stream and the width of the river measured at 80 meters. Two Europeans were prisoners, almost all wounded, 5 English and 117 Portuguese, circumventing getting up at night about 55 Portuguese. Apart from the two pieces dismantled, the Germans took 7 heavy machine guns and 350 Portuguese and English rifles.

    After this heavy fight of Nhamacurra, still appeared up the river a steam ship with ammunition and supplies, which was also captured by the Germans, no longer had chargers that could carry as valuable prey. The Germans did after running the rumour that ranged attack Quelimane, thus disturbing the situation of the town, where he was immediately given order for boarding the ship cruisers, women and children as well as the values of the Bank, and were taken provisions for defence, against the possibility that attack.

    RESULT

    In Nhamacurra the commander Von Lettow verifed that many of the indigenous British soldiers were already recruited in German East Africa, including many former German soldiers , where proof the ease with which a african soldier can enlist under different flags, continuing to be good soldier. The fight for Nhamacurra was the last major action of the Portuguese period at the command of Colonel Sousa Rosa, which in July 7 come back the Portugal . He was appointed commander in its place the general Gomes da Costa, months before returning to France, which, however, only reached taking command on December 21, 1918,after the armistice.

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    Home Fronts

    Britain: RFP up 2% to record 110%. FLU PANDEMIC RAGES. Household fuel and lighting rationing. Midland (Chilwell, Notts) shell factory explosion (134 killed, 150 wounded). National Baby Week (until July 7). In July Sassoon’s second poetry volume Counter-Attack published.
    Germany: During July Ruhr metal workers demand 56 not 60 hour week but no serious strikes.
    USA: Naval Appropriations Act grants $1.57 billion.

    An explosion takes place at the National Shell Filling factory at Chilwell, near Nottingham when eight tons of TNT is ignited. One hundred nine men and twenty-five women are killed while approximately two hundred fifty are injured.

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    The factory was created as a result of the Shell Crisis of 1915. At the beginning of World War I shells were filled with Lyddite but this needed imported raw materials and so Trinitrotoluene (TNT) was adopted. TNT was expensive to make and was in short supply so Amatol, a mixture of various proportions of TNT and Ammonium nitrate, was adopted instead. On 20 August 1915 Godfrey Chetwynd, 8th Viscount Chetwynd was given the task of designing, building and superintending the running of a factory to fill large calibre shells with Amatol. He requisitioned the services of Albert Hall of Ferranti who served as his chief engineer. The Chilwell site was apparently selected as it was close to a railway line from which a siding connection could be constructed, and sheltered from surrounding areas by hills. From the start, women were employed. This may have been another reason for the choice of location, as there was a tradition of women working in local textile factories in the nearby towns. Owing to their exposure to the explosives, many women's skin turned yellow, and they were known as the "Chilwell Canaries" or "Canary Girls".

    A substantial part of the National Shell Filling Factory was destroyed in an explosion of eight tons of TNT on 1 July 1918. In all 134 people were killed, of whom only 32 could be positively identified, and a further 250 were injured. The unidentified bodies are in a mass grave in St. Mary's Church, Attenborough. The blast was reportedly heard twenty miles away.

    The factory returned to work for the war effort the next day, and within one month of the disaster reportedly achieved its highest weekly production. Winston Churchill, then Minister of Munitions, sent a telegram:

    "Please accept my sincere sympathy with you all in the misfortune that has overtaken your fine Factory and in the loss of valuable lives, those who have perished have died at their stations on the field of duty and those who have lost their dear ones should fortify themselves with this thought, the courage and spirit shown by all concerned both men and women command our admiration, and the decision to which you have all come to carry on without a break is worthy of the spirit which animates our soldiers in the field. I trust the injured are receiving every care."

    A telegram was also sent from Buckingham Palace, on behalf of the King.

    In a speech reported in The Times, on 9 July 1918, Mr F. G. Kellaway, MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions speculated that, as the French had apparently given an honour to the Citadel of Verdun, perhaps the factory should be awarded the Victoria Cross. Whilst this award does not appear to have been made, the site was subsequently known as "The V.C. Factory".The works manager, Lieutenant Arthur Hilary Bristowe, was subsequently awarded the Edward Medal on 21 January 1919 for his heroism following the explosion. (When the Edward Medal was discontinued in 1971, living recipients of the award were invited to return the medal, and were issued with the George Cross in exchange.)Scotland Yard was called in to investigate. Lord Chetwynd is alleged to have told them he was convinced it was sabotage and to have gone as far as naming the culprit. However, the more likely explanation is lax safety standards as the workforce competed to meet increasingly challenging production targets, coupled with the instability of the TNT compound on an unseasonably warm day.

    At the time it was only reported in the wartime newspapers as - "60 feared dead in Midlands factory explosion."

    On 16 November 1918 the works band, founded by Lord Chetwynd, himself playing cornet, played in the quadrangle of Buckingham Palace. They then marched to Downing Street and played outside No 10 and were congratulated by David Lloyd George, the prime minister, and they then played a further selection of items outside the Ministry of Munitions.


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    Memorial obelisk

    A memorial to those who had died in all explosions at the site was unveiled by the Duke of Portland on 13 March 1919. It takes the form of a small obelisk above a massive pyramidal base. There is an inscribed stone, with a curiously statistical approach to commemorating the factory's achievements as well as the dead:

    Erected to the memory of those men and women who lost their lives by explosions at the National Shell Filling Factory Chilwell 1916 - 1918
    Principal historical facts of the factory
    First sod turned 13th September 1915
    First shell filled 8th January 1916
    Number of shells filled within one year of cutting the first sod 1,260,000
    Total shells filled 19,359,000 representing 50.8% of the total output of high-explosive shell both lyddite and amatol 60pd to 15inch produced in Great Britain during the war
    Total tonnage of explosive used 121,360 tons
    Total weight of filled shell 1,100,000 tons

    On the fiftieth anniversary of the explosion, the memorial was restored and plaques were added with the following text:

    To the glory of God and in memory of those who gave their lives in two World Wars
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them their name liveth for evermore

    Unveiled on 30th of June 1968 by MT James Boyden MP Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for the Army on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the explosion at Chilwell the V.C. Factory in recognition of the bravery and fortitude of the employees
    At the end of the war, in 1919, the site became a Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) storage depot. It is now the location of Chetwynd Barracks. The memorial became a listed building in 1988.

    The War in the Air

    Air Ministry, July 1st.

    “On July 1st the railways and workshops at Karthaus, the station at Trèves, and the railway triangle at Metz-Sablon were bombed with good effect. One hostile machine was shot down. Two of our machines are missing."

    Headquarters, R.A.F. Independent Force, France, July 2nd.

    During the night July 1st-2nd, enemy's aerodrome at Boylay was successfully attacked, bursts being observed on the aerodrome and hutments. The Oppau Works, Soda Fabrik, and railway line at Mannheim were bombed with good effect, as were also the railway works at Thionville. On July and bombs were dropped on the railway station at Trèves. Our formation was attacked over their objective by 12 enemy machines, one of which was shot down. The railway sidings and sheds at Coblenz were bombed with good results. All our machines returned safely."

    General Headquarters, July 2nd.

    On the 1st inst. our aeroplanes were very active, fine weather enabling much work to be done in co-operation with the artillery, as well as reconnaissance and photography. Twenty-five German machines and three German balloons were destroyed during the day, and 15 other hostile aeroplanes were driven down out of control. In addition, two large hostile night-flying machines landed behind our line, the occupants being taken prisoner. Eight of our machines are missing. Twenty-two tons of bombs were dropped during the day, and 13 tons during the night. All our night-flying machines returned safely.”

    RAF Communiqué No 14

    Weather fine; visibility good.

    Forty-three reconnaissance, 10 contact and counter-attack patrols.

    One hundred and eight hostile batteries engaged for destruction with aeroplane observation, four neutralized, 43 zone calls sent.

    Thirty-eight and three-quarter tons of bombs dropped.

    On the 1st instant, 35 hostile batteries engaged for destruction with balloon observation, and fire observed on 59 other targets.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Active, especially in morning.

    E.A. were [also] brought down by:- Lieuts J C Bateman, Kullberg and Smart, No 1 Squadron (one); Capt G Irving, Lieuts J D Hardman and J A Aldridge, No 19 Squadron (one); Lieut M S Gregory, No 19 Squadron; Capt H V Puckridge, No 23 Squadron; Lieut J W Pearson, No 23 Squadron; Lieut G W R Pidsley, Lieut J Adam, No 23 Squadron (one); Capt A B Fairclough, No 23 Squadron; Lieut H N Compton, No 23 Squadron; Lieut C E Walton No 23 Squadron; Lieut B M Bowyer-Smythe and Sergt W B Harold, No 27 Squadron; Lieut T S Harrison, No 29 Squadron; Lieut H A Whittaker, No 29 Squadron; Capt l P R Napier, No 40 Squadron (two); Capt D R MacLaren, No 46 Squadron; Capt C M Crowe, No 56 Squadron; Capt G C Maxwell, Capt C M Crowe, No 56 Squadron (one); Lieut J S Griffith, No 60 Squadron; Capt H G Hegarty, No 60 Squadron; Lieut H Browne, No 65 Squadron; Capt E F Peacock, No 65 Squadron; Capt J I T Jones, No 74 Squadron; Capt A Pentland, No 87 Squadron; Lieut K B Conn and 2nd Lieut B Digby-Worsley, No 88 Squadron; Lieut W A W Carter, No 203 Squadron; Lieut W R May, No 209 Squadron

    Hostile balloons were shot in flames by:- Lieut J A E R Daley [sic]; No 24 Squadron; Lieut D S Poler (U.S.A.), No 40 Squadron; Capt G E H McElroy, No 40 Squadron.

    Lt E L Raworth & Lt G H Fozzard, 27 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control west of Lille -
    Capt J L Middleton, 40 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control -
    Lt R J Gammon & 2nd Lt P E Appleby, 104 IF, Albatros Scout crashed Metz at 07:00/08:00 -
    Lt D H S Gilbertson, 70 Sqn, Albatros Scout destroyed east of Bailleul at 07:00/08:00 -
    2nd Lt E Cartwright & 2nd Lt A G L Mullen, 104 IF, Pfalz Scout out of control Metz at 07:05/08:05 -
    Lt W A W Carter, 203 Sqn, Pfalz Scout crashed Auchy (near La Bassée) at 07:25/08:25 -
    Lt H A Whittaker, 29 Sqn, LVG C in flames south-east of Estaires at 07:45/08:45 -
    Lt J C Bateman, Lt H A Kullberg and Lt W A Smart, 1 Sqn, Halberstadt CL broke up Messines at 08:05/09:05 -
    Lt B M Bowyer-Smythe & Sgt W B Harold, 27 Sqn, Fokker DVII broke up west of Lille at 08:10/09:10 -
    Capt H G Hegarty, 60 Sqn, Halberstadt CL destroyed Bray at 08:40/09:40 -
    Lt J S Griffith, 60 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed north of Lamotte at 08:45/09:45 -
    2nd Lt J E A R Daly, 24 Sqn, Balloon in flames Warfusée at 08:45/09:45 -
    Capt C N Lowe and Lt H D Barton, 24 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control Meaulte at 08:50/09:50 -
    Sgt S J Oliver & Sgt A Douglas, 49 Sqn, Pfalz Scout out of control east of Douai at 09:05/10:05 -
    Lt T S Harrison, 29 Sqn, Hannover CL crashed north-east of Bailleul at 09:15/10:15 -
    Lt S T Liversedge, 70 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Bray at 09:20/10:20 -
    Capt J Todd, 70 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Bray at 09:20/10:20 -
    Lt D H S Gilbertson, 70 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control west of Bray at 09:20/10:20 -
    Capt D R MacLaren, 46 Sqn, two-seater crashed east of Neuve Chapelle at 09:45/10:45 -
    Capt A A N D Pentland, 87 Sqn, Rumpler C crashed Loupart Wood at 10:25/11:25 -
    Lt D S Poler, 40 Sqn, Balloon in flames Vitry at 10:30/11:30 -
    Capt A J Enstone, 204 Sqn, Brandenberg W12 crashed north of Blankenberghe at 11:20/12:20 -
    Lt G W R Pidsley, 23 Sqn, Albatros Scout destroyed Hangest at 11:35/12:35 - shared with Lt J Adam ?
    Capt H V Puckridge, 23 Sqn, Albatros Scout destroyed Hangest at 11:35/12:35 -
    Lt J W Pearson, 23 Sqn, Albatros Scout destroyed Hangest at 11:35/12:35 -
    Lt A H P Pehrson, 23 Sqn, Albatros Scout Out of control Hangest at 11:40/12:40 -
    Lt J W Pearson, 23 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Hangest at 11:40/12:40 -
    Capt G E H McElroy, 40 Sqn, Balloon in flames Harnes at 12:25/13:25 -
    Capt J I T Jones, 74 Sqn, Rumpler C in flames Turcoing at 13:50/14:50 -
    Capt G B Irving, Lt J D I Hardman and Lt J A Aldridge, 19 Sqn, LVG C crashed west of Steenwerck at 14:30/15:30 -
    Capt E J K McCloughry, 4 AFC, Pfalz Scout crashed south of Estaires at 16:45/17:45 - Black with white tail
    Capt E J K McCloughry, 4 AFC, Pfalz Scout in flames south of Neuve Chapelle at 16:45/17:45 - Black with white tail
    Capt G J C Maxwell and Capt C M Crowe, 56 Sqn, Fokker DrI broke up Thiepval at 17:40/18:40 -
    Capt C M Crowe, 56 Sqn, Fokker DVII crashed north-east Albert at 17:40/18:40 - Vfw Georg Schalk, Jasta 34b, Kia [?],
    Lt M S Gregory, 19 Sqn, Pfalz Scout crashed Fleurfaix at 17:55/18:55 -
    Lt C V Gardner, 19 Sqn, Pfalz Scout out of control Fleurfaix at 17:55/18:55 -
    Capt D Latimer & Lt T C Noel, 20 Sqn, Fokker DrI out of control Menin at 18:45/19:45 -
    Capt E F Peacock, 65 Sqn, Fokker DVII crashed Bray at 19:10/20:10 -
    Lt E G Weakley, 65 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control Moricourt at 19:10/20:10 -
    Lt H Spreadbury, 65 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control Moricourt at 19:10/20:10 -
    Capt T M Williams, 65 Sqn, Rumpler C out of control Chipilly at 19:12/20:12 -
    Capt J Gilmour, 65 Sqn, Fokker DVII in flames south-east Bray at 19:12/20:12 -
    Lt H E Browne, 65 Sqn, Fokker DVII crashed Morlancourt at 19:15/20:15 -
    Capt J Gilmour, 65 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control south-east Bray at 19:15/20:15 -
    Lt F R McCall, 41 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control east of Lamotte at 19:15/20:15 -
    Lt H E Watson, 41 Sqn, two-seater out of control east of Adinfer Wood at 19:35/20:35 -
    Capt J Gilmour, 65 Sqn, Albatros Scout broke up Proyart at 19:40/20:40 -
    Capt J Gilmour, 65 Sqn, Pfalz Scout out of control Proyart at 19:40/20:40 -
    Lt W A Stead, 209 Sqn, Scout out of control Bray at 19:40/20:40 -
    Capt J K Summers, 209 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Bray at 19:40/20:40 -
    Lt J E Gurdon & 2nd Lt J J Scaramanga, 22 Sqn, Pfalz Scout out of control Armentières at 19:40/20:40 -
    Lt C Foster & Gunner E Hoare, 88 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control west of Westroosebeke at 19:45/20:45 -
    Lt E C Johnston & 2nd Lt J Rudkin, 88 Sqn, Fokker DVII in flames west of Westroosebeke at 19:45/20:45 -
    Lt K B Conn & 2nd Lt B Digby-Worsley, 88 Sqn, Fokker DVII in flames west of Westroosebeke at 19:45/20:45 -
    Lt K B Conn & 2nd Lt B Digby-Worsley, 88 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control west of Westroosebeke at 19:45/20:45 -
    Capt J Gilmour, 65 Sqn, Albatros Scout in flames south-east Lamotte at 19:50/20:50 -
    Capt I P R Napier, 40 Sqn, Pfalz Scout crashed Armentières at 20:10/21:10 -
    Lt L R Warren & Lt L A Christian, 206 Sqn, Pfalz Scout out of control Halvin at 20:15/21:15 -
    Lt W R May, 209 Sqn, Fokker DrI in flames east of Albert at 20:20/21:20 - Vfw Georg Schalk, Jasta 34b, Kia [?],
    Capt I P R Napier, 40 Sqn, Rumpler C crashed La Gorgue at 20:35/21:35 -
    Lt J T McKay, 23 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Hangest at 20:40/21:40 -
    Capt A B Fairclough, 23 Sqn, Albatros Scout destroyed Hangest at 20:40/21:40 -
    Lt C E Walton, 23 Sqn, Albatros Scout destroyed Hangest at 20:40/21:40 -
    Lt H N Compton, 23 Sqn, Albatros Scout destroyed north-east Hangest at 20:45/21:45 -

    Performance of the day came from Major John Inglis Gilmour DSO, MC & 2 Bars 65 Squadron RAF. On this day he claimed FIVE kills and earned the DSO in the process

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    The son of John James, a tobacco merchant, and Isabella (Inglis) Gilmour, John Inglis Gilmour was educated at the Loretto School, Musselburgh where he became fluent in French, joined the Officer Training Corps, and represented the school in both the Rugby XV and Fives.

    In December 1914, at the age of 18, Gilmour joined the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's). On 21 December 1915, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and was posted to 27 Squadron. 2nd Lieutenant Gilmour received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 2888 on a Maurice Farman biplane at military school, Farnborough on 17 March 1916. Six months later, Gilmour downed his first enemy aircraft. With 3 victories each, he and South African ace Douglas Bell achieved the highest scores of the war flying Martinsyde Elephants with 27 Squadron. In 1918, flying Sopwith Camels with 65 Squadron, Gilmour downed 36 more enemy aircraft, shooting down 5 of them in one day on 1 July 1918.

    Post-war, he briefly served as an Air Attache with the British Embassy in Rome and was a Flight Commander with 216 Squadron in the Middle East. Gilmour resigned his commission and left the Royal Air Force in December 1919. Sadly, Gilmour committed suicide by cyanide poison in London on 28 June 1928.

    DSO Citation: Lt. (T./Capt.) John Gilmour. M.C. (formerly A. & S. Highlanders).
    He is a most inspiriting patrol leader who has destroyed twenty-three enemy aircraft, and shot down eight others out of control. While leading an offensive patrol he shot down one enemy biplane in flames and drove down a second. A short time afterwards he, with four others, attacked about forty enemy scouts. He himself destroyed one in the air, drove another out of control and a third in flames, successfully accounting for five enemy machines in one day.

    The following claims were made on this day:

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    The following is Ernst Udet's recollections of his successful day...

    On July 1, 1918, accompanied by Lieut. Drekman, in Fokker D-7 (378), I was loafing around at a height of 18,000 feet between the towns of Pierrefonde and Mortefontaine when, just above Longpont, we sighted a French Breguet, a new machine designed especially for reconnaissance and camera work. There were two men in it and they were flying 700 feet above us.

    Our Intelligence department had cautioned us to be on the watch for one of these new craft and to get it, if at all possible. We immediately started up after the one we had sighted, and before they saw us, had approached so close that we could see the special aperture for the photographic lens. The Frenchmen must have had able films aboard because no sooner did they see us than they started back over their own lines. We followed. At first they gained but gradually we cut down the distance between us from 1000 feet to 400, and then we opened fire. Our first shots went wild but when we got a little closer, we tried again. At the third burst we saw a wisp of smoke curl up from the enemy's fuselage. In another moment, there was an explosion. The Breguet broke into flames and started to fall. Two men suddenly leaped from the cockpit, hand-in-hand. A pathetic gesture, that. Without parachutes, they had decided to face death together. We followed the burning plane down for a distance but since it was by that time a mass of flames, and we were far behind the French lines, we knew it was useless to go further and so returned to our own base. That was my 37th success. It was an exhausting experience at such a high altitude.

    22 British Airmen were lost on this day

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    Last edited by Hedeby; 07-02-2018 at 10:01.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  3. #3403

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    2nd July 1918

    Looks like a bit of a quiet one after the past couple of long editions...

    Two British Aces were killed on this day one of them Flying the Sopwith Dolphin

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    Major Joseph Cruess Callaghan MC

    The son of Joseph Patrick and Croasdella Cruess-Callaghan, Joseph Cruess Callaghan served with the 7th Royal Munster Fusiliers before he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in 1915. 2nd Lieutenant Callaghan received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 1829 on a Maurice Farman biplane at military school, Norwich on 4 October 1915. In 1916 he scored his first victory with an F.E.2b but was wounded in action on 31 July 1916. In January 1917, he became an aerial gunnery instructor at Turnberry where his aerial stunts earned him the nickname "Mad Major." In April 1918, he returned to combat as a Sopwith Dolphin pilot and commanding officer of 87 Squadron. By the end of June, he'd scored four more victories to become an ace. On 2 July 1918, Callaghan single-handedly attacked a group of as many as 25 German fighters. He was killed when his Dolphin was shot down in flames by Franz Büchner of Jasta 13.

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    2nd Lt. (temp. Capt.) Joseph Cruess Callaghan, R. Muns. Fus. and R.F.C.
    For conspicuous gallantry in action. He displayed marked courage and skill on several occasions in carrying out night bombing operations. On one occasion he extinguished a hostile searchlight.

    2nd Lieutenant Percy Griffith Jones of 20 Squadron RAF (Flying a Bristol F2B)

    Percy Griffith Jones served with the Royal Engineers before he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps.

    Other claims on this day

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    More from the recollections of Ernst Udet who claimed his 39th victory on this day:

    I had plenty of narrow squeaks in the war but what I call "my greatest misfortune and my greatest good luck” was the one that held the greatest thrill for me. The adventure had to do with parachutes in the early days of the war and where those early parachutes were concerned, there were bound to be thrills.

    We could hear the big guns growling all through the night and just before dawn it got worse. Word came back through the Intelligence department that the enemy were going to attack. It wasn't long after that before I got orders to go up. There was a Frenchman flying low over our lines and adding to the general feeling of uneasiness. Headquarters wanted him brought down. I climbed to 2000 meters and then started toward the front line. Just then the enemy's bombardment broke out with even greater ferocity. Shells were falling so fast that the air and the ground seemed to merge into a dense, brown pall through which fountains of earth leaped up toward the sky with steadily increasing frequency. The effect was something like looking down on a pot of boiling brown porridge. Even up where I was, the air smelled pungent and felt hot and unpleasant on my face and hands. Pretty soon I sighted the Frenchman. He was coasting along about 800 meters above the barrage. He was flying in a northerly direction. I dove for him at once. I don't think he saw me. At any rate he never changed his course. I got within 80 meters of him and then began to shoot. I felt certain some of the bullets had taken effect. All at once he wheeled sharply to the right and flew back right in the face of my fire. As the machine passed beneath mine I looked down and saw that the observer was no longer at his guns. I figured from that, that I had either killed or wounded him and that he had fallen to the bottom of the cockpit. It occurred to me that this being so, I could launch a further attack from the unprotected flank without the slightest danger of getting hit myself. It was one of the worst blunders I have ever made. No sooner did I start at him again than the observer suddenly reappeared. He had either lain low purposely to fool me, or else he had been tinkering with something beneath the bulkhead. At any rate, before I could alter my course, his guns started spitting fire and I felt my machine give a sickening lurch as a whole burst of bullets went home somewhere in the middle of its vitals. My plane tottered uncertainly on its head for a moment and then started down in a horrible, breath-taking dive. I pulled frantically at the controls, hoping against hope that I could level her into a gliding position. But everything was jammed. Apparently the Frenchman had shot away my connecting cables.

    My position was decidedly unpleasant. There I was, face to face with death. But I didn't give up hope yet. There was still my parachute. Most of our planes were equipped with them at that time. We carried them in the form of cushions. It was a remote chance because the earth was only 400 meters down by that time, but it was better than dying without a struggle. I grabbed the parachute from the seat and stood up to jump, but the terrific rush of air tossed me back into the cockpit. My spine struck against the control board with such force that for a moment I couldn't move. When I tried to get up I found that the parachute was caught on something. Within less than 300 meters of the ground I broke it loose and, summoning my last remaining vestige of strength, I jumped. I hit against the fuselage in two or three places, before breaking clear. Then the air began to sound like thunder in my ears and I knew that nothing stood between me and destruction except the parachute, and there was little chance of it doing me much good so late. You'll probably think I'm spoofing, but the thing that cropped up in my mind in that deadly minute was that the squadron tailor had just finished a new suit of clothes for me and it seemed certain that I wouldn't be able to wear them. Absurd wasn't it? The next thought I got was that in this, my last flight on earth, I had forgotten to bring along my Pour Le Mérite [Germany's most coveted military decoration which Udet had won in connection with earlier exploits together with the Iron Cross, 1st and 2nd Class].

    Still later, I wondered how those closest to me would receive the news of my end. At that stage of my fall, millions of tiny violet points began to stab my eyes. I suppose it was because the rush of air had prevented me from breathing. I had a feeling that I was going to faint—and then very abruptly the violet points disappeared. I became aware of a gradual pull around my shoulders. At a height of 100 meters above the ground, the parachute had miraculously commenced to function. From then until I hit the ground I guess I was in what you people would call a blue funk. The suspense of wondering whether my fall would be sufficiently broken was pretty terrible. And on top of that I suddenly realized that I was tumbling squarely in the middle of the French bombardment, about 200 meters behind our own lines. All at once the ground rose up and hit me. I felt my legs give way to my knees and then everything went black. But I was only stunned momentarily. When I opened my eyes a few seconds later I immediately wanted to close them again because all I could see in every direction around me were pillars of rising and falling earth and the din was deafening.

    It looked very much as though I had fallen literally out of the frying pan into the fire. However, I soon pulled myself together enough to realize that the best thing I could do was to find some sort of cover, and find it quick, if I still expected to escape with my life. I pulled myself clear of the parachute and started to run through the shell fire over the uneven ground in an easterly direction. I hadn't gone fifty paces before I was thrown high into the air by the concussion of a shell which exploded close by. When I hit the ground, and started to get up, I was knocked down again by a huge chunk of mud and stone. A few moments later I started off again only to be knocked down a third time by a still larger missile. By this time I was bleeding in several places. I stuck to my race like a marathoner and eventually, after covering at least three kilometers, I came to a small protecting ridge where one of our own infantry regiments had taken cover from the bombardment. When I suddenly loomed over the top of the ridge out of the smoke and rolled down the other side into their midst, they thought I was a ghost. But when I told them who I was, and what had happened, they couldn't do enough for me.

    I'll never forget how good the pot of coffee tasted that they brought me. You see, I hadn't had a bite to eat since the previous day. After the coffee, somebody gave me a cigarette. No cigarette will ever taste as sweet to me as that one did.

    Another 22 Britiah Airmen lost their lives on this day

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    POLITICS
    USA: Wilson declares that over 1 million Americans have sailed for France (only 8,165 casualties out of 1,019,115 US troops sent).
    Britain: Allied 7th Allied Supreme War Council. Allied Parliamentary Commercial Conference in London on postwar anti*-German trade steps.
    Germany: Kaiser and Chancellor at Spa war aims conference veto proposed U*-boat blockade of US East Coast, but Soviet Black Sea Fleet remnants to be German-crewed. Ludendorff wants colonies, citizenship and conscription for German-speaking Russians.
    France: Pershing attends Canadian Corps’ Dominion Day celebration.

    SOUTHERN FRONTS

    Piave (Mt Grappa sector): 3 Italian brigades recapture Col del Migio and Mt Solaroli but lose latter to counter-attack. Italian 4th and 54th divisions clear Austrians from between old and new river delta channels, taking 3000 PoWs, 20 guns and 80 MGs unti July 6.
    Salonika: Franchet d’Esperey receives Paris directive for local attacks before autumn offensive. Clemenceau soothes British at Supreme War Council over his unilateral action (exchange of C-in-C). British ration strength 162,332 lowest since November 1, 1916.

    SEA WAR
    Germany: Kaiser refuses to extend unrestricted U-boat war to US waters, but 3 U-cruisers operate according to prize rules, sink c.100,000t of shipping (June 7 – October), 42 steamers and small craft.

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    Last edited by Hedeby; 07-03-2018 at 13:45.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  4. #3404

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    Are you getting very attached to this post Chris?
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  5. #3405

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    Obviously, Rob, his stern warning to the A. Fairey has not gone as expected.
    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Winston S. Churchill

  6. #3406

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    Sigh !!

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  7. #3407

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    3rd July 1918

    Major Eric Antony Rollo Gore-Browne (Dorsetshire Regiment attached King’s African Rifles) drowns attempting to cross the Namacurra, a river infested with crocodiles in Portuguese East Africa at age 28. He is the son of Reverend Robert Melvill Rector of Leckhampstead and the Honorable Mrs. Gore-Browne and the grandson of the Bishop of Winchester and the late Lord Rollo. His brother was killed at the Battle of Jutland.
    Captain Arthur Cyril Jervis (Liverpool Regiment attached King’s African Rifles) is also lost in Portuguese East Africa at age 32. His brother was killed in October 1916 and they are sons of the Reverend John Jervis Vicar of St Snitterfield.
    Captain Richard John Philip Hewetson (Loyal North Lancashire Regiment) is killed in action at age 24. He is the only son of the Reverend William Jervis of St Cuthbert’s Rectory, Bedford, was educated at Repton School and Oriel College, Oxford and had been previously wounded at Loos in 1915.
    Private Robert Rawlings (Yorkshire Regiment) dies of wounds as a prisoner of war. His brother was killed in September 1915.

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    139 Squadron

    No. 139 Squadron Royal Air Force was formed on 3 July 1918 at Villaverla in Italy and was equipped with Bristol F2b fighter aircraft. It was disbanded on 7 March 1919.

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    The squadron reformed on 3 September 1936 at Wyton, equipped first with Hawker Hinds and then Bristol Blenheims. On 3 September 1939 a Blenheim IV of the squadron piloted by Andrew McPherson was the first British aircraft to cross the German coast after Britain had declared war on Germany. On 4 September 1939, Nos. 110, 107 and 139 Squadrons led the first RAF air raid of the war against German shipping near Wilhelmshaven. In December 1939, the squadron was moved to Betheniville, France and in May 1940 when based at Plivot it was overrun by the German advance and lost most of its aircraft.

    A Jamaican newspaper started a fund to buy bombers for Britain and in recognition of money raised to buy Blenheims it was decided to link Jamaica with a squadron of the Royal Air Force, hence the "Jamaica" tag given to the squadron. In December 1941, the squadron converted to the Lockheed Hudson aircraft, which it operated in Burma until April 1942.

    In June 1942, the squadron returned to England and re-equipped with the Blenheim V before quickly switching to the de Havilland Mosquito at Horsham St. Faith. On 3 March, it carried out a daring air raid on the molybdenum processing plant at Knaben in Norway. It is believed that this was one of the raids on which the fictional work 633 Squadron was based. As a result of this raid a number of flight crew received decorations. On 20 March, the squadron lost a number of aircraft a week before the official announcement of the decorations.

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    It became part of the pathfinder force in July 1943 and remained so for the remainder of the war.

    MIDDLE EAST
    Turkey: Death of Sultan Mohammed V aged 73 at Yildiz, brother Moham*med VI succeeds.

    EASTERN FRONT

    Allied Supreme War Council approve Northern Russia interven*tion with 1,200 more British troops and French colonial battalion (Allied-Murmansk Soviet defence agreement on July 7).

    AIR WAR
    Britain: First Sopwith ‘Cuckoo’ torpedo plane delivered to Torpedo Aeroplane School, Scotland for operational training.

    Western Front: Hermann Goering takes command of JG1 (at ex-French airfield of Beugneaux, southeast of Soissons, since July 1) with Udet as his aide after commander Reinhard dies in crash. Mannock takes over No 85 Squadron despite flu attack during leave.

    The Sopwith T.1 Cuckoo was a British biplane torpedo bomber used by the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS), and its successor organization, the Royal Air Force (RAF). The T.1 was the first landplane specifically designed for carrier operations, but it was completed too late for service in the First World War. After the Armistice, the T.1 was named the Cuckoo.

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    In October 1916, Commodore Murray Sueter, the Air Department's Superintendent of Aircraft Construction, solicited Sopwith for a single-seat aircraft capable of carrying a 1,000 lb torpedo and sufficient fuel to provide an endurance of four hours. The resulting aircraft, designated T.1 by Sopwith, was a large, three-bay biplane. Because the T.1 was designed to operate from carrier decks, its wings were hinged to fold backwards. The T.1 could take off from a carrier deck in four seconds, but it was not capable of making a carrier landing and no arresting gear was fitted. A split-axle undercarriage allowed the aircraft to carry a 1,000 lb Mk. IX torpedo beneath the fuselage. The prototype T.1 first flew in June 1917, powered by a 200 hp Hispano-Suiza 8Ba engine. Official trials commenced in July 1917 and the Admiralty issued production orders for 100 aircraft in August. Contractors Fairfield Engineering and Pegler & Company had no experience as aircraft manufacturers, however, resulting in substantial production delays. Moreover, the S.E.5a had priority for the limited supplies of the Hispano-Suiza 8. Redesign of the T.1 airframe to accommodate the heavier Sunbeam Arab incurred further delays.

    In February 1918, the Admiralty issued a production order to Blackburn Aircraft, an experienced aircraft manufacturer. Blackburn delivered its first T.1 in May 1918. The aircraft immediately experienced undercarriage and tailskid failures, requiring redesign of those components. The T.1 also required an enlarged rudder and offset vertical stabilizer to combat its tendency to swing to the right. Fairfield and Pegler finally began production in August and October, respectively. A total of 300 T.1s were ordered, but only 90 aircraft had been delivered by the Armistice. A total of 232 aircraft had been completed by the time production ended in 1919. Blackburn Aircraft produced 162 aircraft, while Fairfield Engineering completed 50 and Pegler & Company completed another 20. After the Armistice, many T.1s were delivered directly to storage depots at Renfrew and Newcastle. After undergoing service trials at RAF East Fortune, the T.1 was recommended for squadron service. Deliveries to the Torpedo Aeroplane School at East Fortune commenced in early August 1918. Training took place in the Firth of Forth, where Cuckoos launched practice torpedoes at targets towed by destroyers. Cuckoos of No. 185 Squadron embarked on HMS Argus in November 1918, but hostilities ended before the aircraft could conduct any combat operations.

    In service, the aircraft was generally popular with pilots because the airframe was strong and water landings were safe. The T.1 was easy to control and was fully aerobatic without a torpedo payload. The Arab engine proved unsatisfactory, however, and approximately 20 T.1s were converted to use Wolseley Viper engines. These aircraft, later designated Cuckoo Mk. II, could be distinguished by the Viper's lower thrust line. The Arab-engined variant was designated Cuckoo Mk. I. The Cuckoo's operational career ended when the last unit to use the type, No. 210 Squadron, disbanded at Gosport on 1 April 1923. The Cuckoo was replaced in service by the Blackburn Dart.

    The German Ace Hauptmann Wilhelm "Willi" Reinhard was killed on this day

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    Reinhard entered the army in 1909. When the war began, he served with an artillery regiment on the Western Front. Badly wounded in November 1914, he did not return to the front until June 1915. After completing flight training, he was wounded for the second time in December 1915. Returning to duty in February 1916, he served with FA(A) 205 before being assigned to FA 28 in the Balkans. In 1917, Reinhard attended Jastaschule and was assigned to Jasta 11 on 24 June 1917. Scoring his first victory on the morning of 22 July 1917, he shot down English ace Geoffrey Cock over Warneton. On the morning of 4 September 1917, he was wounded in action for the third time. After recovering from his wounds, he assumed command of Jasta 6 on 26 November 1917. With the death of Manfred von Richthofen, Reinhard assumed command of JG I on 22 April 1918. In July 1918, he attended the aircraft trials near Adlersdorf. After Hermann Göring finished test flying a Zeppelin-Lindau D.I, Reinhard took it up for a test flight but was killed when a strut broke and the top wing collapsed.

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    Also lost on this day was the French Ace Adjutant Jacques Gerard

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    After serving with the 113c Regiment d'Infanterie, Gerard transferred to the French Air Service. Earning a Pilot's Brevet in August 1917, he was eventually assigned to Escadrille Spa65 where he scored 8 victories and 2 probables before he was killed in action.

    "A pursuit pilot of great skill and valor, inspired by a spirit of devotion. He attacks with extreme audacity, battles with great bravery and has a complete disregard for danger, never abandoning a fight, often far and low in enemy lines, until out of ammunition or his adversary is conquered. He has recently downed his 5th enemy plane. Two citations." Médaille Militaire citation

    The following claims were made on this day

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    Despite it being a quieter day there were still 17 British airmen lost on this day

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    Captain Tunstill's Men: 2Lt. Aidan Nicholson (see 4th June), who had left the Battalion a month previously, suffering from broncho-pneumonia, was evacuated to England from Le Havre onboard the Hospital Ship Gilford Castle. He would be examined by a Medical Board in Worsley, Manchester, four days later and awarded one months’ sick leave.

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    Last edited by Hedeby; 07-03-2018 at 14:51.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  8. #3408

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    Anything to get a Bristol into the conversation!
    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Winston S. Churchill

  9. #3409

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    Anything to get a Bristol into the conversation!
    Yup

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  10. #3410

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    Another late posting, as had a very long governor's meeting this evening, however not going to be an issue moving forward as I finally get to take my early retirement at 12:30 pm tomorrow

    4th July 1918


    The Battle for Hamel
    is a small but very influential British attack carried out to near perfection on this day. The assault on the small village of Hamel, just south of the Somme was meant to correct a small bulge in the line of the Fourth Army, for the purposes of assisting future artillery work. Eight divisions of Australian and American troops and sixty new Mark V tanks, artillery and air support carry out the attack. The artillery bombardment began at 03:00 the infantry and tanks advancing together behind a creeping barrage. No. 9 squadron Royal Air Force had the special duty of making ammunition drops by parachute onto prearranged sites, ninety-three boxes being dropped throughout the day. This is the first time ammunition drops are used as part of a coordinated attack. No. 9 squadron suffered heavy casualties performing these duties – Lieutenants S E Harris, H H Riekie, W Knowles and Second Lieutenant D E Bell (USAS) are all killed.

    The Battle of Hamel (4 July 1918) was a successful attack by Australian Army and US Army infantry, supported by British tanks, against German positions in and around the town of Le Hamel, in northern France, during World War I. The attack was planned and commanded by Lieutenant General John Monash, commander of the Australian Corps and Australian Imperial Force. Many of the tactics employed, such as the use of combined arms, illustrated the evolution of military tactics, from the massed attacks mounted earlier in the war. All of the Allies' objectives were achieved within 93 minutes, just three minutes longer than Monash's calculated battle time. To give the newly arrived American Expeditionary Force (AEF) combat experience, the five Australian infantry brigades involved were augmented by 10 companies from US Army battalions. However, six of these US infantry companies were withdrawn from the front line before seeing action. Hamel was the first time during World War I that elements of the AEF were commanded operationally by non-American officers.

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    In early 1918, as a result of the capitulation of Russia, the Germans began concentrating the bulk of their forces on the Western Front. Over the space of four months, up to 48 divisions were moved to the west. Concentrating their efforts on the Somme Valley, the Germans launched a major offensive – the Spring Offensive – against the British southern flank on 21 March. After pushing the Allies back towards the railhead at Amiens, the German advance in the sector was checked around Villers-Bretonneux in early April. As the German offensive exhausted itself, in June the Allies began to prepare for their own offensive, conducting a series of small-scale advances which became known as "peaceful penetrations". After the initial application of this technique around Morlancourt during the First, Second and Third Battles of Morlancourt, the commander of the British Fourth Army, Lieutenant General Henry Rawlinson, decided that the next strike would come at the village of Le Hamel, Somme. The German advance earlier in the year had created a "bulge" in the front line around the village, which had created a salient that exposed Allied troops in the sector to enfilading fire and enabled the Germans to observe Allied rear areas. Capturing the village would help set an "aggressive posture" and relieve pressure in the sector. Lieutenant General John Monash, commander of the Australian Corps, was chosen to plan the attack.

    The Allied victory owed much to Monash's detailed planning and to the briefing of all the troops on their objectives. The battle was his first as commander of the Australian Corps. The Allies made novel use of a number of tactics, such as parachute drops of medical supplies and rifle ammunition in cases, and resupply by tank rather than by troops carrying supplies forward. The supply tanks and aircraft brought stores quickly to the troops as they advanced. The carrying power of the tanks equated to about 1,200 troops doing the same job. Signals were sent largely by cable and telephone, but new methods of signalling were also trialled, including the use of rockets which were used by some battalion headquarters to pass urgent messages to the rear, although this proved largely ineffective. Other techniques were more effective such as the use of pigeons, Lucas lamps, and for the first time, wirelesses were used by officers to send messages from captured objectives. There was advanced co-ordination between infantry, artillery and armour, and the latest, highly manoeuvrable Mark V tank was used after it had been demonstrated to Monash and Rawlinson. Five companies (60 combat and four supply tanks) of the British 5th Tank Brigade were provided for the assault. Although the Australians had worked with a small number of tanks successfully at Villers-Bretonneux, their opinion of the technology was clouded by the bad experience they had had of them in April and May 1917 around Bullecourt. As such, to ensure co-ordination and overcome the problems the Australians had experienced at Bullecourt, the Australian infantry and tanks trained and lived together prior to the battle. Coloured diagrams were painted on the sides of the tanks, corresponding to the battalions that they would support, so that the infantry knew which tank to follow. The battle plan called for a creeping barrage, in which the artillery barrage moves slowly in front of the advancing troops. This protected the troops by suppressing enemy activity, thereby easing their advance. Over 600 British and French guns – 302 heavy and 326 field pieces – were used for the barrage and counter-battery fire, including regular barrages in the days leading up to the attack. Monash was adamant that the infantry should not be sacrificed in an unprotected advance, hence his care to ensure that they were well covered. Prior to the attack, the artillery spent two weeks conducting "conditioning firing" in the sector, firing gas and smoke shells at the same time every day before dawn, while strict operational security procedures were implemented. In addition, 46 heavy machine-guns were placed in area support, while the number of Lewis Guns was increased to provide organic fire support.

    At 22:30 on the night of 3 July, the British Mark V and Whippet tanks began to move from Fouilloy and Hamelet to their assembly areas half a mile (0.8 km) behind the front lines. Guides from the infantry marked out tracks from there to the battalions, which had already sent parties ahead to cut paths through their own wire. Early the next morning, at 03:02, the supporting artillery opened up with its usual harassing bombardment. Having been conditioned over the past two weeks to expect a gas attack, the German defenders pulled on their gas masks, this "restricted their movement, situational awareness and ability to communicate". Masked by the noise of the bombardment, the 60 tanks moved the last half-mile to the front line, while No. 101 Squadron of the British Royal Air Force provided additional cover by dropping 350 25-pound bombs to the east of the Australian front. Each pilot in the squadron flew at least three missions between dusk and dawn.

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    The artillery batteries gradually shortened their range until they reached the start line for the creeping barrage. Then, at 03:10, the main barrage began with flanking smoke screens laid down by the artillery and trench mortars. The creeping barrage began 200 yards (183 m) in front of the attacking troops and continued 600 yards (549 m) beyond that. The infantry rose along the whole line and began following the barrage at a distance of 75 yards (69 m). Although the barrage was mostly accurate, some rounds fell short at the junction of the 4th and 11th Brigades, virtually wiping out one American squad and one platoon of the 43rd Battalion. Further to the south, a dozen men of the 15th Battalion were killed and 30 wounded in a similar incident. At 03:14, the barrage advanced and the infantry continued to follow it into the cloud of smoke and dust – caused as the chalky ground was churned up by the exploding shells – which made observing the line of the barrage difficult and obscured some of the objectives in front of the infantry. The American troops, keen to keep up with the experienced Australians, dashed into the shell-fire and at least one Australian, Corporal Mick Roach, was killed while turning round an American platoon that had entered the barrage.[40] The attack was then put in, coming up against three major German strong points: the "Pear Trench", the Vaire and Hamel Woods, and Hamel village itself. Other fighting occurred on the periphery, with actions being fought as far south as the Roman Road – 4.0 miles (6.5 km) away – and further to the north beyond the River Somme around Ville-sur-Ancre.

    The Pear Trench, named because its shape, was one of many German defences that the assaulting force had to overcome. Situated south-west of Hamel on the "reverse slope of a gentle spur", the Pear Trench formed the centre of the 4.0 miles (6.5 km) front over which the Australians attacked. The 15th Battalion, from the 4th Brigade, was assigned to assault the position,supported by three tanks.[36] From the outset things went awry. The tanks the 4th Brigade had been assigned had become lost in the darkness and failed to arrive on time; meanwhile, the artillery preparation in this sector had fallen short, and some shells had landed amongst the 15th Battalion as they had formed up for the assault, causing casualties and leaving part of the German defences unmolested and free to engage the infantry with machine-gun fire with heavy Maxim guns. Moving forward under fire towards the Pear Trench, the assaulting Australians found that their way was blocked by barbed wire. It had been intended that it would be cut by the barrage, but intact it presented a significant obstacle. While attempting to move through it or over it, the German defenders began hurling grenades at them. With the tanks still coming up from the rear, the 15th Battalion's assault was temporarily checked. At that point, the two Australian Lewis gun teams that were attached to each platoon went into action, providing covering fire for the advancing riflemen. Normally a crew served weapon that is fired from the prone position, due to the tall crops which obscured the gunners' view of the target, the Lewis gunners had to stand up and fire from the hip, suppressing the German machine-guns. In doing so, they took heavy casualties, but they bought enough time for a company to rush two of the machine-guns. As another Maxim opened up on the left, Private Henry Dalziel, a "second" in a Lewis gun crew, charged the gun with just a revolver, killing its two-man crew and capturing another. He was later awarded the Victoria Cross.

    Meanwhile, the fighting around the Pear Trench continued as the defenders held on in numerous machine-gun and mortar pits. The trench became the scene of heavy and confused fighting as the Australian infantry met grenades and machine-guns with bayonets. Amidst the tide of the assault, some of the Germans tried to surrender, but as they did so others attacked the Australians attempting to capture them. After this, no quarter was given, and eventually, as the Australians enveloped the position from the flanks, they were able to clear the remaining pockets of resistance. Exploiting the position, the Australians reached the designated halt-line and had stopped for "smoko" by the time the supporting tanks finally arrived.

    Situated to the south of both the village of Hamel and the Pear Trench, the Vaire and Hamel Woods were joined by a narrow strip of trees; the Hamel Wood was the northernmost of the two and situated in low ground that rose towards a hill where the Vaire Wood grew. To the west of the wooded area, on the other side of the road that linked Hamel with Villers-Bretonneux, the Germans had constructed a kidney-shaped trench, which the Australians had dubbed "Kidney" or "Vaire Trench". Occupying a commanding view of the ground to the west, over which the Australian infantry had to assault, the position was reinforced with barbed wire, and anchored with multiple machine-gun posts.

    The 16th Battalion, supported by the 4th Trench Mortar Battery, attacked in the centre of the 4th Brigade's position, with the 15th on its left, and the 14th in reserve. Taking heavy fire from the edge of the wood and the northern part of the Kidney Trench, the battalion's lead company lost its commander and sergeant major, checking their advance. Flanking the enemy position, a single-handed effort by Lance Corporal Thomas Axford restored the situation. Rushing towards the enemy, after lobbing several grenades he broke in to the position at the point of the bayonet, killing 10 defenders and capturing six others. Like Dalziel, he was later awarded the Victoria Cross for his feat.Large numbers of Germans were taken prisoner in the dugouts that adjoined the trench. As the British tanks moved up in support, the 16th advanced through the trench and into the woods, before the 13th Battalion took over the advance towards a spur beyond the woods. Completing a complex passage of lines manoeuvre, one company dug in while two others flanked to north and another attacked head on, advancing over 550 yards (500 m) before wheeling into line abreast and advancing east to the spur.

    Hamel village

    The task of taking the strong points around Hamel was assigned to the four battalions of the 11th Brigade and the 11th Trench Mortar Battery. The 43rd, in the centre of the brigade, was tasked with taking the village itself, while the 42nd and half of the 44th would flank it from the left around Notamel Wood, and the other half of the 44th would flank it from the right. The 41st Battalion was held back in reserve. As the main objective, the attack here was supported by 27 tanks, not including those that were supporting the efforts to take Pear Trench. Located in a hollow, Hamel was about 870 yards (800 m) to the north-east of the Pear Trench. The main German strength was situated on the western side of the village and to the north around the woods. As in the Pear Trench sector, the tanks assigned to support the attack on Hamel had not arrived by the time the infantry reached the line of departure, which meant that they had to attack without armoured support. As the 43rd went in straight against the defences, some of the German defenders began withdrawing. As elements of the 43rd outflanked the German positions in the village through the edge of Notamel Wood, heavy fighting broke out in Hamel and one group of Australians, along with their attached American platoon, killed 15 Germans and captured another 40. Meanwhile, the 44th went in against the German trenches along the ridge line to the south. There, after the tanks finally arrived, they took large numbers of prisoners as they cleared out the trenches. Around Notamel Wood, resistance was initially heavy as the German positions were well-sited to provide interlocking fields of fire. The company of the 43rd on the edge of the wood was held up briefly by a machine-gun enfilading their line of advance before a tank crushed the position; further north, the 42nd Battalion, after briefly becoming confused, had been moved into position with precision drill, and as the combined weight of air support, artillery and armour was brought to bear the German resistance in the wood melted away.

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    Once Hamel had been successfully invested and most resistance had ceased in the village, a brief halt was called. During this time, small actions continued as a German machine-gun post north of the Pear Trench was silenced by a Lewis gun team and a group of Americans. The second phase of the attack resumed after a 10-minute pause, as the men of the 43rd Battalion began to clear the remaining German defenders from the village and the nearby quarry. The British tanks fired machine-guns and cannons that fired grape-shot in the confined spaces of the village. As the sun began to rise they were no longer inhibited by the darkness and came to dominate the situation, winkling out isolated pockets of resistance in the areas that had already been captured.

    Southern flank


    The southern flank of the attacking front stretched east along the Roman Road. Positioned on the right of the 4th Brigade, two battalions from the 6th Brigade – the 21st and 23rd – had been given the task of securing this area with a trench mortar battery, the 6th, in direct support. They were reinforced by the 25th Battalion, which had been detached from the 7th Brigade,[48] which was tasked with assaulting the end of the line, where they would be exposed to fire from the flanks.

    Once the attack was launched, the 21st Battalion went in on the left, and supported by the creeping barrage and tanks, overcame relatively light German resistance. The 23rd also advanced "smoothly", although it was resisted more strongly. The 25th, however, fared the worst. Due to their exposed position on the right of the Australian line, the 25th Battalion was supported by the Australian Heavy Trench Mortar Battery; nevertheless the 25th suffered heavily, losing almost two entire platoons as German machine-gun positions cut through their ranks. As the Germans launched a counter-attack, a request for emergency artillery support was sent via a distress flare, and another platoon was brought up to stem the tide and eventually the 25th secured their objective north of the Roman Road. The tanks were instrumental in breaking the German will for further counter-attacks, aggressively pushing 1,100 yards (1,000 m) beyond the Allied line, moving into Accroche Wood to harass the German rear during the second phase of the attack.

    Feint attack at Ville-sur-Ancre

    In order to draw German attention away from Hamel and provide some security to the northern flank, Monash ordered the 15th Brigade, under Brigadier General Harold Elliott, to undertake a "feint" north of the River Somme, to capture the high ground north-east of Hamel. The feint was a key part of the Allied deception plan, and was focused upon masking the size of the attack at Hamel, and disrupting German efforts to counter-attack or reinforce the village. All four battalions of the 15th Brigade – the 57th, 58th, 59th and 60th – were committed, with the 15th Trench Mortar Battery in direct support. Elements of the 14th Brigade also supported the effort.

    Early on 4 July, the feint began with a demonstration by the 55th Battalion around Sailly-Laurette, in the 14th Brigade's sector. The Australians employed dummies to draw German machine-gun fire to one part of the line, while a 200-strong company group raided the German line elsewhere. As German artillery rose to meet the threat, Australian casualties began to mount. A second wave was put in briefly, capturing the German front line, before the Australians withdrew having taken a small number of Germans prisoner. In the 15th Brigade's sector, opposite the part of the line held by the German 52nd and 232nd Reserve Infantry Regiments, the main part of the feint was launched at 03:10, to coincide with the assault on Hamel, with the intention of capturing and holding part of the German trench line around Ville-sur-Ancre. A single under strength company from the 58th Battalion attacked beside the River Ancre across a 770 yards (700 m) front, while two companies from the 59th put in an attack against a 550-yard (500 m) line of German outposts that were scattered along a road. The attack began with the combined artillery of the entire Australian 5th Division, as well as corps-level assets, including heavy guns and two extra trench mortar batteries. Heavy fighting followed, as progress in the centre of the Australian attack was stalled by wire obstacles and heavy machine-gun fire, but flanking attacks restored the situation before the fighting devolved into a series of grenade attacks. On the left, stretched thin across too broad a front, the attack faltered due to lack of numbers, but the individual efforts of junior officers and senior non commissioned officers spurred their men into action, charging machine-gun posts and capturing a mill house on the Ancre, which had been turned into a fortified position, and holding on to it despite continued pressure by local German counter-attacks. As the position on the left was uncertain, elements of the 57th Battalion were sent forward, and the line around Ville-sur-Ancre secured. In the aftermath, the Germans began shelling the position from guns on the Morlancourt Heights. Later, a battalion from the 54th Reserve Division's 247th Reserve Infantry Regiment began forming up for a counter-attack, but this was broken up by Australian and British artillery.

    Aftermath
    Consolidation and German counter-attack
    All the Allies' objectives were achieved in 93 minutes, just three minutes more than Monash's calculated battle time of 90 minutes.After taking the village, the Australians and Americans began rebuilding the shattered defences. Mopping up was completed in the Vaire and Hamel Woods by 06:00 and in Hamel by 07:00. Meanwhile, supplies were brought up on four carrier tanks. At 04:45, reconnaissance aircraft from No. 3 Squadron of the Australian Flying Corps, began photographing the new front line so that maps could be produced. At 06:00, No. 9 Squadron RAF, began flying aerial resupply sorties, employing a parachute delivery system that had been developed by a team led by Australian Captain Lawrence Wackett. Pressure was maintained on the Germans through air attacks behind the line by Nos. 23, 41 and 209 Squadrons, although this was stopped around 09:30 when the Germans dispatched 30 fighter aircraft to the skies above Hamel to gain air superiority.

    Throughout the day, the Australians and Americans worked to consolidate their hold on the captured position. The tanks remained in support until 17:30 when they were withdrawn, taking some of the wounded men with them. Throughout the night, German snipers began firing on the Allied line and further advance, albeit of just another 400 yards (370 m) was made and by the following morning, 5 July, another 700 Germans had been taken prisoner.The Germans continued to harass the Australian troops around Hamel the rest of 5 July, undertaking brief air attacks and firing artillery barrages as they prepared for a counter-attack.The attack came at around 22:00 that night. Supported with phosgene and mustard gas, storm troops and an infantry company of about 200 men from the 43rd Reserve Division's 201st Battalion, pierced the line in the 44th Battalion's sector around Wolfsberg.The Germans succeeded in forcing a 200-yard (180 m) gap in the line between two of the battalion's companies, capturing a dozen Australian stretcher-bearers, but they were unable to bring up reinforcements as British artillery began firing in their rear. As the 44th Battalion began to rally, they were reinforced by the 43rd Battalion and the Americans attached to it. At 02:00 on 6 July, the two battalions launched a ferocious counter-attack. The experienced German storm-troopers initially checked the drive fighting behind trench blocks, but they were eventually overwhelmed by an attack from the flanks as the Australians assaulted their position with grenades and clubs. The effect shocked the Germans and forced them back, enabling the Allied line to be restored and securing the release of the stretcher-bearers that had been captured.

    Analysis

    While small in scale, the Battle of Hamel was to have far-reaching consequences for trench warfare, because, like the Battle of Cambrai in 1917, it provided a practical demonstration of tactics for attacking an entrenched enemy using combined arms tactics. The strategy employed at Hamel was then successful on a much larger scale in the Battle of Amiens and was a major factor in Allied successes later in the war. The result received strong praise from French Premier Georges Clemenceau, who later toured the battlefield and addressed the troops that had taken part. Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, the World War II British army commander, later described Monash as the best World War I general on the Western Front in Europe.

    Allied losses amounted to around 1,400 Allied killed or wounded. There were 1,062 Australian casualties (including 800 dead) and 176 American casualties (including between 13 and 26 killed) during the main attack and a further 142 casualties amongst the 15th Brigade during their diversionary assault around Ville. Around 2,000 Germans were killed and 1,600 captured, along with the loss of much of their equipment. Despite the concerns of the Australian infantry, all but three of the British tanks, although initially delayed, eventually reached their objectives. At least five of the Allied tanks were damaged during the attack, but these were later repaired; casualties among the British tank crews amounted to 13 killed or wounded.The Allied casualties were "light" in the context of World War I and the attack was considered "extremely successful" for the Australians. A large quantity of British equipment that had been captured by the Germans when they had taken Hamel in April was also recovered. While the result represented a significant reverse for the Germans, it did not put an end to their offensive campaign on the Western Front. Less than a fortnight later, the Germans launched a strong attack on the French during the Second Battle of the Marne.The four American companies that had joined the Australians during the assault were withdrawn from the line after the battle and returned to their regiments, having gained valuable experience. Monash sent Bell his personal thanks, praising the Americans' gallantry, while Pershing set out explicit instructions to ensure that US troops would not be employed in a similar manner again. They would subsequently play a significant role in the fighting that followed right up until the end of the war, as US reinforcements came to tip the manpower balance in favour of the Allies.

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    Recognition

    Two Australians, Thomas Axford and Henry Dalziel, were awarded the Victoria Cross for their conduct during the battle. Fourteen Americans were also decorated by the British, including four Distinguished Conduct Medals, four Military Crosses, and six Military Medals. Corporal Thomas A. Pope, who had rushed a German machine-gun during the German counter-attack on 5 July, was one of those who received the DCM, being awarded the medal personally by King George V on 12 August 1918. He would also later receive the Medal of Honor. Joseph B. Sanborn recommended twenty-two members of the 131st Infantry Regiment for valor awards. Pope and seven other doughboys were also awarded the US Army's Distinguished Service Cross for actions during the Battle of Hamel.

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    Thomas Axford was born on 18 June 1894 at Carrieton in South Australia. His father was an auctioneer, originally from Tasmania. When Axford was two years old, the family moved to Western Australia, settling in Coolgardie. Educated at Coolgardie Primary School, he worked at the Boulder City Brewery after completing his schooling. In 1912, he enlisted in the 84th Infantry (Goldfields Regiment) of the Citizen Military Forces.

    First World War
    In July 1915, at the age of 21, Axford joined the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) for service in the First World War. He was assigned to the 11th Reinforcements of the 16th Battalion on 9 August 1915, which left Australia on HMAT Benalla that November. He arrived in the Middle East to join his unit in March 1916, missing the just completed Gallipoli Campaign. In June 1916, Axford's battalion went to France to fight on the Western Front. During the Battle of Mouquet Farm on 11 August 1916, Axford was evacuated with shellshock. He returned to the battalion after two days. During most of 1917, the battalion was engaged in fighting in Belgium, attacking the Hindenburg Line. During the Third Battle of Ypres, in fighting at Gapaard Farm, Axford was badly wounded in the knee by shrapnel. After medical treatment in England he rejoined the battalion in January 1918. The following month, he was promoted to lance corporal. During the Spring Offensive, from March to April 1918, 16th Battalion was heavily engaged in fighting around Hébuterne. In March he was awarded the Military Medal (MM).

    It was during the Battle of Hamel, on 4 July 1918, that the events that led to Axford being awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) took place. His platoon was attacking towards Vaire Wood when a neighbouring platoon came under heavy fire. Axford took prompt action to remedy the situation. The citation for his VC read:

    On 4 July 1918 during the attack at Vaire and Hamel Woods, France, when the advance of the adjoining platoon was being delayed in uncut wire and machine-gun fire, and his company commander had become a casualty, Lance-Corporal Axford charged and threw bombs amongst the enemy gun crews. He then jumped into the trench, and charging with his bayonet, killed 10 of the enemy and took six prisoners. He threw the machine-guns over the parapet and the delayed platoon was able to advance. He then rejoined his own platoon and fought with it during the remainder of the operations.

    In addition to being awarded the VC, Axford was promoted to corporal several days after the battle. Shortly before the end of the war, Axford returned to Australia on furlough. He was discharged from the AIF on 2 February 1919.

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    Henry Dalziel, VC
    (18 February 1893 – 24 July 1965) was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross (VC), the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He was awarded the VC while serving with the Australian Imperial Force during the First World War. Dalziel's VC was the 1,000th awarded. After the war, Dalziel returned to Australia and tried to make a living by farming. Troubled by the injuries he sustained during the war, he left the land and took up factory work. He moved between jobs several times during the 1930s, and led something of a transient lifestyle, even at one stage turning to gold prospecting. In the mid-1930s he rejoined the army in a part-time capacity and during the Second World War served in a training role in Australia. He died in 1965 at the age of 72.

    Dalziel volunteered for the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in early 1915 and was posted to the 15th Battalion as a reinforcement.[2] He served throughout the Gallipoli Campaign until he was evacuated, along with the rest of his battalion, to Egypt in December 1915. From July 1916, he served on the Western Front in France and fought in the Battles of the Somme, Pozières and Mouquet Farm. His service continued into 1917, including the Battle of Messines but he was wounded during the Battle of Passchendaele at Polygon Wood. He returned to the front in June 1918.

    It was during the Battle of Hamel that Dalziel performed the deed for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC). Assigned to the battalion's transport company as a driver, he volunteered to join the attack to make up for a manpower shortage that the battalion was experiencing at that time. On 4 July 1918 at Hamel Wood, when determined resistance was coming from an enemy strong-point which was also protected by strong wire entanglements, Dalziel, armed only with a revolver, attacked an enemy machine-gun. He killed or captured the entire crew and, although severely wounded in the hand, carried on until the final objective was captured. He twice went over open ground under heavy artillery and machine-gun fire to obtain ammunition and, although suffering from loss of blood, continued to fill magazines and serve his gun until wounded in the head. The citation for his VC, published in the London Gazette, read:

    For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when in action with a Lewis gun section. His company met with determined resistance from a strong point which was strongly garrisoned, manned by numerous machine-guns and, undamaged by our artillery fire, was also protected by strong wire entanglements. A heavy concentration of machine-gun fire caused many casualties, and held up our advance. His Lewis gun having come into action and silenced enemy guns in one direction, an enemy gun opened fire from another direction. Private Dalziel dashed at it and with his revolver, killed or captured the entire crew and gun, and allowed our advance to continue. He was severely wounded in the hand, but carried on and took part in the capture of the final objective. He twice went over open ground under heavy enemy artillery and machine-gun fire to secure ammunition, and though suffering from considerable loss of blood, he filled magazines and served his gun until severely wounded through the head. His magnificent bravery and devotion to duty was an inspiring example to all his comrades and his dash and unselfish courage at a critical time undoubtedly saved many lives and turned what would have been a serious check into a splendid success.

    — The London Gazette, 17 August 1918
    Dalziel's VC was the 1,000th such medal to be awarded. His wounds were so severe that his brain was exposed and he was evacuated to England for medical treatment. It was not until January 1919 that he returned to Australia.

    WESTERN FRONT
    Somme – Actions of Hamel and Vaire Woods: US troops, brigaded with British, in action for first time. Tank-aided (62 Mk V tanks, 3 lost) Australian Corps (Monash, 775 casualties) and 1,000 men of 33rd US Division (134 casualties) capture Hamel south of Somme in model 93-minute all*-arms operation (600-gun creeping barrage) on 3 1/2 mile front to 1 1/2-mile depth; 1,472 PoWs; 2 guns; 171 MGs and 26 mortars taken. Australians advance 2,000 yards northeast of Villers-Bretroneux (July 5).
    Champagne: Foch and Petain bring in reserves to meet impending German offensive (confirmed by PoWs and deserters on July 5). GQG 2eme Bureau (Intelligence) correctly says German main effort will be on Marne.
    Marne: US I Corps (Liggett) relieves French III Corps west of Chateau*-Thierry.

    AIR WAR
    North Sea: 7 German Zeebrugge seaplanes damage 4 Felixstowe flying boats (1 shot down), down another British seaplane (July 18).
    Western Front: RAF drop 100,000 rounds ammo to Australian machine-gunners, capturing Hamel on Somme, first air supply in mobile battle; 5 RAF aircraft lost to 5 German fighters and a balloon.

    General Headquarters, July 5th.

    “Our aeroplanes co-operated in the successful attack of July 4th south of the Somme, both by heavily bombing the German positions throughout the previous night, and by machine-gun fire and bombing from a low altitude on enemy troops and transport during the actual operation. On other parts of the-front reconnaissances and artillery co-operation were carried out. Eleven German machines were destroyed, and 10 were driven down out of control. One hostile balloon was shot down in flames. Four of our machines engaged in the battle area are missing. All machines on other parts of the front returned safely. Thirty-three and a half tons of bombs were dropped during the day of the 4th inst. and night of July 4th-5th."

    RAF Communiqué No 14

    Weather fine, with strong West wind.

    Thirty-two reconnaissances and four contact patrols.

    Thirty-five hostile batteries engaged for destruction with aeroplane observation, 18 neutralized. 69 zone calls sent.

    Eight tons of bombs dropped by night and 12 tons by day.

    On the 4th instant, 30 hostile batteries engaged for destruction with balloon observation, 13 neutralized, and 96 other targets engaged.

    Miscellaneous - Nos 23, 41 and 209 Squadrons fired a large number of rounds and dropped a great many bombs on hostile batteries and troops from a low height in conjunction with the successful operations by the Fourth Army north-east of Villers Bretonneux. At the same time No 9 Squadron dropped 100,000 rounds of ammunition in 83 boxes to our advanced infantry.

    In spite of the bad weather, machines of No 101 Squadron patrolled a line east of the Fourth Army front continuously from dark till dawn. Machines of the same squadron dropped 350 25-lb bombs. All pilots carried out three raids, while Lieut Anderson, with Lieut Lovell as observer, made four trips.

    Enemy Aircraft:


    Low-flying E.A. fairly active on the Fourth Army front; otherwise activity slight.

    E.A. were [also] brought down by the following:- Capt A B Fairclough, No 23 Squadron; Lieut W E Shields, No 41 Squadron (two); Capt J Gilmour, No 65 Squadron (two); Lieut T M Williams, Lieut D M John, No 65 Squadron (one)

    Lieut S A Puffer, 41 Sqn, Balloon in flames Méricourt at 06:55/07:55 -
    Lieut H E Watson, 41 Sqn, LVG C out of control Bayonvillers at 07:10/08:10 -
    Capt T F Hazell, 24 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control Cerisy at 08:50/09:50 -
    Lieut N C Dixie, 203 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control south of Ypres at 08:55/09:55 - Ltn Theodor Lodemann (Kia), SFS [?],
    2nd-Lieut W C Lambert, 24 Sqn, Fokker DVII crashed Bayonvillers at 09:00/10:00 -
    2nd-Lieut W C Lambert, 24 Sqn, Fokker DVII crashed Bayonvillers at 09:01/10:01 -
    Capt W Selwyn, 24 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Bayonvillers at 09:05/10:05 -

    Combats on a large scale took place between 10 machines of No 24 Squadron and 20 hostile machines, consisting of 14 Fokker biplanes, 2 Pfalz scouts and 4 D.V.’s. One E.A. was brought down by Capt W Selwyn and two by Lieut W C Lambert, while one other was driven down out of control. In addition, there were 10 indecisive combats. All our machines returned undamaged

    Capt A B Fairclough, 23 Sqn, Pfalz Scout destroyed Hamel at 10:20/11:20 -

    Lieut T S Harrison, 29 Sqn, Rumpler C in flames east of Neuf Berquin at 12:50/13:50 and Pfalz Scout crashed west of Estaires at 12:55/13:55 – Lieut T N [sic] Harrison, No 29 Squadron, on wireless interruption, shot down an enemy two-seater, which burst into flames. He was then attacked by three Pfalz scouts and a two-seater, and succeeded in shooting one of the former

    Capt F R McCall, Lieut W G Claxton and Lieut E F H Davis, 41 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control Proyart at 13:30/14:30 -
    Capt F R McCall, Lieut W G Claxton and Lieut E F H Davis, 41 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control Proyart at 13:30/14:30 -
    Capt G H Hackwill, 54 Sqn, Hannover CL out of control Harbonnieres at 14:30/15:30 -
    Lieut E J Salter, 54 Sqn, Hannover CL out of control Herleville at 14:30/15:30 -
    Lieut P T Iaccaci & 2nd-Lieut R W Turner, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed west of Veldhoek at 16:20/17:20 -
    Lieut P T Iaccaci & 2nd-Lieut R W Turner, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control west of Veldhoek at 16:30/17:30 -
    Lieut P T Iaccaci & 2nd-Lieut R W Turner, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed north-east Zillebeke Lake at 16:40/17:40 -
    Capt R A De L'Haye, 19 Sqn, Pfalz Scout in flames Esterelles at 17:00/18:00 -
    Lieut C V Gardner, 19 Sqn, Pfalz Scout out of control Esterelles at 17:00/18:00 -
    Lieut H P Mallett & 2nd-Lieut C B Edwards, 49 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control smoking south of Lille at 17:15/18:15 -
    Lieut R L Paskill, 32 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control Carvin at 17:45/18:45 -
    Lieut F H Knoebel, 40 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control north-west La Bassée at 18:00/19:00 -
    Capt I P R Napier, 40 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control Bois de Biez at 18:25/19:25 -
    Capt F J Davies, 29 Sqn, Rumpler C crashed Armentières at 18:35/19:35 -
    Capt F M Kitto, 54 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control smoking Estrées at 18:55/19:55 -
    Capt C B Ridley, 201 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control Foucaucourt at 19:15/20:15 -
    Lieut F R Smith, 2 AFC, Fokker DVII crashed Capinghem at 19:20/20:20 -
    Lieut J E Gurdon & 2nd-Lieut J J Scaramanga, 22 Sqn, Fokker DVII destroyed Noyelles (north of Seclin) at 19:20/20:20 -
    Lieut R E Dodds & 2nd-Lieut J B Russell, 103 Sqn, Pfalz Scout out of control La Bassée at 20:30/21:30 -
    Capt J S Stubbs & 2nd-Lieut C C Dance, 103 Sqn, Pfalz Scout out of control La Bassée at 20:30/21:30 -
    Capt P J Clayson, 1 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control Salomé at 20:45/21:45 -
    Maj R Collishaw, 203 Sqn, Fokker DVII crashed Hollebeke at 20:55/21:55 -
    Lieut I W Hunter, 203 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control south of Ypres at 20:55/21:55 - Ltn Theodor Lodemann (Kia), SFS [?],
    Maj R Collishaw, 203 Sqn, DFW C out of control north-east Dixmude at 21:30/22:30 -
    Maj R Collishaw, 203 Sqn, DFW C out of control north-east Dixmude at 21:30/22:30 -

    Casualties:

    ? (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut E R Moore (Wia), 9 Sqn RAF, RE8 - shot up on Special Mission (Ammunition Drop)
    ? (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut R E Hagley (Wia), 9 Sqn RAF, RE8 - shot up on Special Mission (Ammunition Drop)
    Lieut H E Pryce (Wia), 9 Sqn RAF, RE8 - shot up on Special Mission (Ammunition Drop)
    Lieut J P Naish (Wia), 209 Sqn RAF, Camel – combat?
    2nd-Lieut H H Palmer (Wia) & 2nd-Lieut W C Snowden (Ok), 211 Sqn RAF, DH9 D2782 – A.A. fire
    Lieut J A Fenton (Ok), 209 Sqn, Camel D3345 – took off 07:00/08:00 then overturned in forced landing on bad ground Oresmaux after badly damaged by fire from the ground on low patrol Cerisy
    Capt R Hilton (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut A Easterbrook (Ok), 9 Sqn, RE8 C5086 – took off 08:10/09:10 then shot through by enemy machine-gun fire from ground during bombing between Sailly-Laurette and Cerisy-Gailly
    Lieut H H Riekie (Kia) & 2nd-Lieut W Knowles (Kia), 9 Sqn, RE8 B5073 – took off 09:30/10:30 then brought down Sh62d.P.9 [west of Le Hamel] while ammunition dropping from 3 Sqn AFC
    Lieut S E Harris (Kia) & Lieut D E Bell, USAS (Wia), 9 Sqn, RE8 C4580 – took off 09:30/10:30 then brought down Sh62d.P.9 [west of Le Hamel] while ammunition dropping from 3 Sqn AFC
    One credited ‘RE’ claim:
    Ltn Martin Dehmisch, Js58, 4th victory [south of Hamel at 09:30/10:30] but time?
    Capt W Selwyn (Ok), 24 Sqn, SE5a C1893 - shot by enemy machine-gun fire from ground 10:10/11:10 on OP and ground targets
    Lieut H A Tuckwell (Pow), 65 Sqn RAF, Camel D8160 – took off 12:05/13:05 and last seen over 62d.P.12 [south-west of Cerisy] 12:45/13:45 on offensive patrol
    2nd-Lieut H R Frank (Kia), 209 Sqn RAF, Camel B3858 – took off 12:45/13:45 and last seen at 1,000 feet south of Morcourt 13:15/14:15 being attacked by Fokker biplane on low patrol Cérisy; Ltn d R Emil Thuy, Js28, 24th victory [south-west of Cérisy at 13:15/14:15]
    Lieut C A B Beattie (Ok) & Sergt F L Roberts (Ok), 49 Sqn, DH9 C6135 – took off 15:00/16:00 then shot through in attack by enemy aircraft during bombing Fives Junction 17:30/18:30
    2nd-Lieut R Turner (Ok) & Sergt V Cummins (Ok), 27 Sqn, DH4 B2086 – took off 15:00/16:00 then shot through during bombing Lille, returned 17:54/18:54
    2nd-Lieut C H Atkinson (Kia), 54 Sqn RAF, Camel D6494 - last seen going down in a spin during a fight with Fokker biplanes at 16,000 feet over Estrees - Dompierre 19:00/20:00 on offensive patrol; Ltn d R Carl Menckhoff, Js72, 35th victory [no location or time] ?
    Capt H M Sison (Ok), 1 Sqn, SE5a D6894 – took off 19:09/20:09 then shot about by A.A. fire over lines during offensive patrol
    Lieut I O Stead (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut W A Cowie (Ok), 22 Sqn, Bristol F.2B C842 – took off 18:00/19:00 then force landed near Burbure 19:10/20:10 after radiator shot through on OP
    Capt C M Crowe (Ok), 56 Sqn, SE5a C1848 – took off 19:30/20:30 then rear spar cross-tube shot through in combat with E.A. on OP Albert-Suzanne
    Lieut A J Fricker (Pow), 203 Sqn, Camel D3370 – took off 19:45/20:45 and last seen 2 miles east of Ypres 20:55/21:55 in combat with Fokker biplanes on Patrol

    Performance of the day goes to Lieutenant Paul Thayer Iaccaci of 20 Squadron RAF (must resit putting another Bristol picture in the text, must resist, lol - editor) who claimed a hat trick on this day

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    The son of August Florino and Mable Thomas (Thayer) Jaccaci, Paul Thayer Iaccaci attended Harvard from 1909 to 1910. He was in business in Boston until 1913, and then in New York. He and his brother August joined the 7th Regiment, National Guard New York in June 1913 and served in Texas, on the Mexican border, in the summer of 1916. In 1917, they joined the Royal Flying Corps in Toronto, Canada. Arriving in England, they completed their training at Netheravon and received commissions. In April 1918, they were posted to Calais where they flew Bristol Fighters with 20 Squadron. Each of them was credited with 17 victories while serving with this squadron. Lieutenant Paul Iaccaci was transferred to the unemployed list on 1 April 1919 and returned home to the United States in December 1919.

    Appears as Paul Thayer Jaccaci in some documents.

    Other claims on this day included

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    Not suprisiingly RAF losses were high (26) on this day

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    POLITICS

    USA: At Mt Vernon Independence Day celebration Wilson proclaims Allies’ 4 great aims: 1) ‘Destruction of arbitrary power’; 2) national self*determination; 3) national morality to be like individual’s; 4) peace organization to prevent war.
    Britain: *Churchill main speaker at Anglo-Saxon Fellowship, Central Hall, Westminster.

    NEUTRALS

    Holland: British government waive right of search on East Indies convoy.

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    Never knowingly under gunned !

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    Well there's a suprise the attachement fairy must be on holiday, everything from yesterday actually stayed in place. (Thank goodness because it was something of a large edition yesterday. Hopefully a little more streamlined this evening)

    5th July 1918

    Major Gerald Nolekin Horlick (Royal Gloucestershire Hussars) dies at age 30 in Egypt. He is the son of ‘Sir’ James and Lady Horlick.
    Second Lieutenant John Wycliffe Thompson (Dragoon Guards) dies at a nursing home in London at age 42. He is the son of Major General Charles William CB DSO.
    Lieutenant Noel Rawstorne Wilkinson Kay (Royal Horse Artillery) dies of wounds received in action at age 20. He is the son of Captain Harry Wilkinson, of the Ministry of Pensions.
    Private Sidney Simpson MM (Royal Army Medical Corps) dies of wounds at home. His brother was killed in May 1917.

    EASTERN FRONT
    USSR: Lenin’s speech to 5th Congress of Soviets interrupted by Left Socialist Revolutionary (Russian peasant party, expelled July 9).

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    MIDDLE EAST

    Azerbaijan: Bicherakov’s 1,200 Cossacks, 6 guns and 4 Duncars land at Alyat (sailed from Enzeli on July 3), 40 miles south of Baku, arrive at Kurdamir (July 8, Duncars in action July 9-19).

    HOME FRONTS
    Austria: Over 250,000 military deserters, many in armed bands with MGs and even artillery.

    Today saw the first flight of the Curtis 'Wasp' aeroplane.

    The Curtiss 18T, unofficially known as the Wasp and by the United States Navy as the Kirkham, was an early American triplane fighter aircraft designed by Curtiss Engineering for the US Navy.

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    The Curtiss 18T was intended to protect bombing squads along the French coast, and a primary requisite for this job was speed. Speed was not the triplane's only salient feature: an 18T-2 set a new altitude record in 1919 of 34,910 ft (10,640 m). The streamlined and very "clean" fuselage contributed to the aircraft's performance. The basic construction was based on cross-laminated strips of wood veneer formed on a mold and attached to the inner structure. The technique was a refinement of that used on the big Curtiss flying boats.Flown by Roland Rholfs, the 18T achieved a world speed record of 163 mph (262 km/h) in August 1918 carrying a full military load of 1,076 lb (488 kg).

    The Model 18T-2 was an improved version of its predecessor, boosting 50 additional horsepower. The wings of the new model were swept back. It was also 5 ft (150 cm) longer with a 9 ft (270 cm) longer two-bay wing, though its flight ceiling was 2,000 ft (610 m) lower.
    After World War I, it was employed as a racing plane: an 18T-2 nearly won the Curtiss Marine Trophy Race in 1922 (limited to U.S. Navy pilots), but pilot Sandy Sanderson ran out of fuel just before the finish line. Curtiss Engineering followed the success of the Model 18T with the launch of the Model 18B, unofficially known as the "Hornet", built to otherwise similar specifications.

    Model 18T or 18T-1
    Two-seat fighter triplane with single-bay wings, powered by a 400-hp (298-kW) Curtiss-Kirkham K-12 piston engine. Referred to by the US Navy as the "Kirkham". Originally designated 18T, the type was redesignated the 18T-1 when the prototype was modified to a new configuration designated 18T-2 (see below).

    Model 18T-2
    18T with longer-span two-bay wings. Could be fitted with floatplane or landplane landing gear.

    Model 18B
    Biplane fighter version, known unofficially as the "Hornet". Sole flying prototype of Curtiss 18B, USAAS 40058, 'P-86', crashed early in flight trials at McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio, summer 1919. Type not ordered into production. One non-flying prototype also delivered for static testing

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    General Headquarters, July 6th.

    "There was little fighting in the air on July 5th. Two German machines were destroyed, and one was driven down out of control. One of our machines is missing. Our aeroplanes and balloons carried out a large amount of successful artillery work. Nineteen tons of bombs were dropped on selected targets during the day and the following night."

    Headquarters, RA.F., Independent Force, July 5th.

    "On the morning of July 5th, our machines heavily attacked the railway station at Coblenz. Observation was difficult owing to clouds. Saarbrücken was also successfully attacked. Our formation was attacked over Saarbrücken by hostile aeroplanes, one of which was brought down in flames and another was driven down. All our machines returned safely."

    RAF Communiqué No 14

    Weather fine.

    Forty-four reconnaissances (of which several were done at night) and three contact patrols.

    One hundred and eighty-six hostile batteries engaged for destruction with aeroplane observation, 28 neutralized, 147 zone calls sent.

    Seventeen and a half tons of bombs dropped by night and 20¼ tons by day.

    On the 5th instant, 94 hostile batteries engaged for destruction with balloon observation, 29 neutralized; 32 zone calls. Balloons of the 3rd Brigade alone observed for 56 destructive shoots and 78 other shoots.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Fairly active in the evening.

    Hostile machines were brought down by the following:- Capt R A Del'Haye, No 19 Squadron; Lieut P T Iaccaci and 2nd Lieut R W Turner, No 20 Squadron (two); Lieuts J E Gurdon and J J Scatramanga, No 22 Squadron; Capt A B Fairclough, Lieut H M Sinclair, No 23 Squadron (one); Capt F J Davies, No 29 Squadron; Lieut W E Shields, No 41 Squadron; Lieut N C Dixie, No 203 Squadron; Lieut F R Smith, 2nd Squadron, A.F.C.

    Lieut W E Shields, 41 Sqn, Pfalz Scout crashed east of Hangest at 07:10/08:10 -
    Lieut K D Marshall & 2nd-Lieut O Bell, 99 Sqn IF, Albatros Scout out of control Saarbrucken - Homburg at 07:15/08:15 -
    Capt V Beecroft & 2nd-Lieut B S W Taylor and Sergt H H Wilson & Sergt F L Lee, 99 Sqn IF, Scout broke up Sarreguemines at 07:30/08:30 -
    Lieut W G Claxton, 41 Sqn, Pfalz Scout crashed south of Cappy at 08:15/09:15 -
    Capt A B Fairclough and Lieut A B Sinclair, 23 Sqn, Rumpler C in flames south-east Mezieres at 10:30/11:30 -
    Capt G H Hackwill, 54 Sqn, Pfalz Scout out of control Chuignolles at 10:45/11:45 -
    Lieut E J Salter, 54 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control north-east La Motte at 10:50/11:50 -
    Capt G E H McElroy, 40 Sqn, DFW C out of control Lestrem at 11:50/12:50 -
    Capt W F Cleghorn & 2nd-Lieut G J L Potts, Capt M G Baskerville & Sergt J Harris and Lieut G W E Hanmer & Sergt A E Powell, 218 Sqn, E.A. in flames Ostende at 18:25/19:25 -
    Lieut H Fawdry & 2nd-Lieut J S Cryan, 218 Sqn, Albatros crashed north of Nieuport at 18:35/19:35 -
    Lieut E H Johnson & 2nd-Lieut A R Crosthwaite, 205 Sqn, Pfalz Scout crashed Bray at 19:57/20:57 -
    Lieut C J Heywood & 2nd-Lieut E A Dew, 205 Sqn, Pfalz Scout in flames [by Dew] south of Bray at 19:58/20:58 -
    Capt G J C Maxwell, 56 Sqn, Fokker DVII in flames Dompierre at 20:30/21:30 -

    Casualties:

    Lieut R D McPherson (Wia), 23 Sqn RAF, Dolphin – combat?; Fw Friedrich Huffzky & Vzfw Gottfried Ehmann, SS15 [south of Hamel, no time] ?
    2nd-Lieut S H F Jones (Wia), 54 Sqn, Camel D1947 - shot by E.A. fire and force landed 84 Sqn on offensive patrol; Ltn d R Balz, Js47, 1st victory [east of Vaux-sur-Somme, no time] ?
    Lieut B H Stata (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut C V R Browne (Ok), 218 Sqn, DH9 B7677 - shot up bombing Ostende; said to be Flgobmt Alex Kulbe, MFJ II, 4th victory [in sea off Ostende at 18:02/19:02]
    Lieut D C Dunlop (Ok) & Lieut B E Scott (Ok), 53 Sqn, RE8 C4574 – took off 04:00/05:00 then damaged by machine-gun fire from ground on counter attack patrol Messines
    Lieut N T Trembath (Ok), 1 Sqn, SE5a C8847 – took off 07:45/08:45 then shot through in aerial combat on line patrol
    Capt C C Snow (Wia) & 2nd-Lieut G Crowther (Wia), 15 Sqn RAF, RE8 B6675 - force landed Sh57d.W.13.d [south of Bouzincourt] 09:30/10:30 after right-hand extension of main planes collapsed thought due to A.A. fire during photography
    Lieut C T Houston (Ok) & Lieut J F Clarke (Ok), 103 Sqn, DH9 D5690 – took off 16:15/17:15 then shot through during bombing raid 18:15/19:15

    Lieut B S Hillis (Kia) & 100029 Sergt S J Pratt (Kia), 48 Sqn RAF, Bristol F.2B C791 – took off 19:15/20:15 then missing on reconnaissance Villers Bretonneux; said to be Offstllv Josef Mai, Js5, 16th victory [Guillemont at 08:20/09:20] but time; also, Guillemont is some 28 Km north-east of Villers Bretonneux

    Lieut C J Heywood (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut E A Dew (Wia), 205 Sqn RAF, DH4 D9238 - shot up in combat with Pfalz scout 19:58/20:58
    2nd-Lieut G S Bolsby (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut C G Strange (Ok), 7 Sqn, RE8 C2285 – took off 20:05/21:05 then shot through from ground on counter attack patrol, returned 22:20/23:20

    The following claims were made on this day

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    Despite the lessening of intensity in the air war on this day, the RAF still lost 13 airmen

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    Steamer Colombia River Disaster

    The Columbia, sometimes called the Steamer Columbia, was a paddle steamer excursion boat on which 87 or 88 people died on the Illinois River in July 1918 across from Creve Coeur between Peoria and Pekin, Illinois.

    The Columbia was built at Clinton, Iowa in 1897. Originally a packet boat, it was converted to an excursion boat in 1905.In 1912, a well-respected captain, Herman F. Mehl of Peoria, formed the Herman F. Mehl Excursion Company, and bought the Columbia from Captain Walter Blair of Davenport, Iowa In autumn 1917, the ship was rebuilt at the Howard Ship Company's Mound City yards, in time for the 1918 excursion season. Mehl spent almost $18,000 on renovations to meet safety standards, after which the federal inspectors called the Columbia "the safest boat on western waters".

    The Columbia excursion of July 4, 1918 was hosted by Pekin's South Side Social Club. The club sold 563 tickets at the price of 50 cents, or 25 cents for children. One hundred of the passengers were picked up at Kingston Mines, the boat leaving at 7:30 p.m.; the rest were picked up in Pekin. The boat left Pekin at 8:15 p.m. The Columbia docked at Al Fresco Park along the river in Richwoods Township (and now Peoria Heights) for 30 minutes, then returned downstream. Just after passing under the Peoria and Pekin Union Railway bridge, just upstream from Wesley City (now Creve Coeur), the boat encountered dense fog, which a passenger described as "like going from sunshine into darkness". The pilot lost control of the vessel, which then drifted towards the Peoria County, Illinois side of the river. Captain Mehl told pilot Tom Williams to make for the shore, unaware of a large hole torn in the ship's side by a submerged log. Williams attempted to cross from the overgrown Peoria County side to the Tazewell County side, where there were populated shacks and a possible landing. However, the ship's decks quickly collapsed on top of each other.

    The same inspectors who had declared the boat safe were the ones who conducted the federal investigation. Mehl and Williams both lost their licenses. The coroner implicated Mehl, Williams, and the purser of the Columbia, but the case never went to trial. After the disaster, the boat remained partially submerged for some time.The disaster ended the bulk of the riverboat excursion business on the Illinois River.

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    Never knowingly under gunned !

  12. #3412

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    Oh the joys of not having to drive into work anymore, I get to do these posts during civilised hours, before the sun hits the patio (and its beer and sunglasses time) and way before pre-midnight rush jobs.

    6th July 1918

    Czech troops take Russian port of Vladivostok for Allies

    On July 6, 1918, troops of the Czech Legion, fighting on behalf of the Allies during World War I and for the cause of their own independent Czecho-Slovak state, declare the Russian port of Vladivostok, on the Pacific Ocean, to be an Allied protectorate, having gained control of the port and overthrown the local Bolshevik administration a week earlier.

    When World War I broke out in the summer of 1914, the countries now known as the Czech Republic and Slovakia were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now fighting with Germany against the Allies—Russia, France and Great Britain. Czechs who enlisted in the Austro-Hungarian army found themselves fighting against their countrymen—many Czechs had emigrated to Russia near the turn of the century, mostly settling in and around Kiev, the capital of Ukraine—and began to bristle under Austro-Hungarian rule and in many cases to surrender voluntarily to the Russian enemy. In 1917, Thomas Masaryk, a professor of philosophy, pan-Slavist and ardent Czech nationalist, began lobbying the Russian government to let him raise a full Czecho-Slovak army in Russia to fight against the Central Powers. After the abdication of Czar Nicholas II in March, the provisional government allowed Masaryk to go ahead with his plan, and the Czech Legion was formed.

    Over the next year, however, the Russian war effort collapsed, amid crushing losses to Germany on the Eastern Front and inner turmoil, culminating in November, when the radical socialist Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, seized power from the provisional government and almost immediately called for an armistice with the Central Powers. The Czech Legion, finding itself abandoned by its Russian comrades, decided to keep up the fight. Blocked by German forces from joining the other Allies on the Western Front in France, they headed east, coming into conflict with Bolshevik forces along the way. By the summer of 1918, the Czech Legion had reached the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok, where they overthrew the local Bolshevik administration on June 29. On July 6, the legion declared the port to be an Allied protectorate. That same day, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson lauded the Czecho-Slovak contribution to the war effort, suggesting that some 12,000 Japanese troops be dispatched to Vladivostok in order to relieve the Czech Legion and allow them to proceed to the battlefields of France, a suggestion the Japanese accepted. On the following day, more Czech troops toppled Red army units and occupied the city of Irkutsk, in Siberia, spreading Allied control of the Russian Far East and Siberia just as Germany was consolidating its holds in southern Russia and the Caucasus.

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    In a statement issued on July 27, 1918, Masaryk, in his position as chairman of the Czecho-Slovak National Council, pointed to his countrymen currently fighting in Russia as a further argument for Allied recognition of their independence. In Masaryk’s words: The Czecho-Slovak Army is one of the allied armies, and it is as much under the orders of the Versailles War Council as the French or American Army. No doubt the Czecho-Slovak boys in Russia are anxious to avoid participation in a possible civil war in Russia, but they realize at the same time that by staying where they are they may be able to render far greater services, both to Russia and the Allied cause, than if they were transported to France. They are at the orders of the Supreme War Council of the Allies.

    The following September, with World War I in its last months, U.S. Secretary of State Robert Lansing declared de facto recognition of the Czecho-Slovak republic as an independent state, with Masaryk as its leader. Based on the fighting in Russia by Czecho-Slovak forces against the Central Powers, Lansing wrote that The Government of the United States further declares that it is prepared to enter formally into relations with the de facto government thus recognized for the purpose of prosecuting the war against the common enemy, the empires of Germany and Austria-Hungary. The republic of Czechoslovakia—made up of the former Austro-Hungarian territories of Bohemia, Moravia, part of Silesia, Slovakia and sub-Carpathian Ruthenia—was subsequently proclaimed at Prague in October 1918.

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    Soldiers of the Czech Legion

    SOUTHERN FRONTS
    Albania – Italian offensive (*until July 14): Ferrero’s XVI Corps (53 battalions) with 300 guns (+ 2 Royal Navy monitors) attacks north of its Valona entrenched camp and to east, crosses river Vojusa and General Nigra’s cavalry capture Fieri (July 8), 20 miles northeast, and Austrian Brigade HQ of Berat (July 10). 10-mile advance on on 60-mile front also gains 2000 PoWs, 26 guns and 6 aircraft for 850 casualties, but malaria subsequently creates havoc; French 57th Division conform in Devoli valley taking 700 PoWs.

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    SEA WAR
    Northern Adriatic: Italian submarine F12 torpedoes and sinks Austrian U-20 off Tagliamento estuary.

    EASTERN FRONT
    USSR: German Ambassador Count Mirabach murdered at Moscow by Left Socialist Revolutionary bomb. Left Socialist Revolutionary rebel against local Reds, besiege Lenin in Kremlin (‘Comrade, can we hold out until morning?’) and in Petrograd. Savinkov rebels against Reds at Yaroslav north of Moscow (until July 21) but Red Army retakes town using artillery and poison gas (apparently).
    Siberia: Vladivostok declared under Allied protectorate. President Wilson unilaterally suggests 12,000 Japanese troops for East Siberia to rescue Czechs.
    Trans-Caspia: Anti-Red ‘Turkestan Union’ obtain 2 million roubles from British Colonel Redel at Meshed which General Malleson reaches on July 16, sends 250 troops to border (July 19-24).

    AIR WAR
    Albania: RAF drop 3t bombs and fire 3,000 MG rounds in support of Italian offensive (1 DH9 lost), but fail to hit Kuchi bridge (hit twice on July 8).
    USA: First flight of first Americanized Handley Page 0/400 bomber.

    The United States Army Air Service established the 1st Bombardment Wing at the Toul-Croix de Metz Airfield in France.

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    Emblem of the 1st Bombardment Wing

    The 1st Bombardment Wing is a disbanded United States Army Air Force unit. It was initially formed in France in 1918 during World War I as a command and control organization for the Pursuit Groups of the First Army Air Service. Demobilized after the Armistice in France, it was re-established in the United States as the first wing formed in the reorganized United States Army Air Service, created in August 1919 to control three groups patrolling the border with Mexico after revolution broke out there. As the 1st Wing, the unit was one of the original wings of the GHQ Air Force on 1 March 1935. During World War II, it was one of the primary B-17 Flying Fortress heavy strategic bombardment wings of VIII Bomber Command and later, Eighth Air Force. Its last assignment was with the Continental Air Forces, based at McChord Field, Washington. It was inactivated on 7 November 1945.

    Organized at Croix de Metz Aerodrome, Toul Sector, France, during World War I as the 1st Pursuit Wing on 6 July 1918, it was a command and control organization in the First Army Air Service for several pursuit groups in the American Sector of the Western Front in France. Served in combat on the St. Mihiel offensive in September, flew reconnaissance sorties, protected observation aircraft, attacked enemy observation balloons, strafed enemy troops, flew counter-air patrols, and bombed towns, bridges, and railroad stations behind the enemy's lines. Moved to Chaumont-Sur-Aire Aerodrome, and during the Meuse-Argonne offensive (26 September – 11 November 1918) bombardment aircraft continued their attacks behind the lines while pursuit ships concentrated mainly on large-scale counter-air patrols. Demobilized in France, December 1918.

    Authorized in the Regular Army on 15 August 1919 as the 1st Wing Headquarters. Organized on 16 August 1919 at Kelly Field, Texas. Provided command and control of all United States Army Air Service units conducting patrol duties 1919-22 along the Mexican Border from Brownsville, Texas, to the California-Arizona border, Assigned to the GHQ, US Army in 1921. Reorganized 19 July 1922 as 1st Wing (Provisional) Headquarters and assigned responsibility to perform duties as the headquarters for the Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field. Inactivated on 26 June 1924. Allotted to the Eighth Corps Area on 29 February 1927. Fort Sam Houston, Texas, designated as headquarters on organization, but the unit was never organized at that location. Designated headquarters location changed on 14 September 1928 to Kelly Field. Re-designated as Headquarters, 1st Bombardment Wing on 8 May 1929. Activated on 1 April 1931 at March Field, California. Re-designated as Headquarters, 1st Pursuit Wing on 18 August 1933.

    Was responsible for the supervision and administration of twenty-five camps in the southern California Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) District, 1933-34. Re-designated Headquarters, 1st Wing on 1 March 1935 and assigned to the General Headquarters Air Force (GHQAF). Transferred on 27 May 1941 to Tucson Municipal Airport, later Tucson Army Air Field, Arizona, under IV Bomber Command. After the Pearl Harbor Attack, initially supervised Heavy Bomber Operational Training at Tucson AAF. Re-designated as 1st Bombardment Wing and reassigned to VIII Bomber Command and deployed to England July–August 1942. In England, mission was command and control of B-17 Flying Fortress bombardment groups stationed in East Anglia, receiving operational orders from VIII BC headquarters and mobilizing subordinate groups for strategic bombardment attacks on enemy targets in Occupied Europe. Operated primarily from RAF Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire. Served in combat in the European Theater of Operations (ETO) from August 1942 until 25 April 1945, receiving a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for an attack on aircraft factories in Germany on 11 January 1944. Returned to the United States in August 1945. Inactivated On 7 November 1945.

    The Royal Air Force established air squadron No. 255

    No. 255 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force Squadron formed as an anti-submarine unit in First World War and a night-fighter unit in Second World War. The First World War squadron was formed from former Royal Naval Air Service coastal flights and was responsible for coastal anti-submarine patrols. It was disbanded after the war. During the Second World War the squadron operated as a night fighter unit, at first with the Boulton Paul Defiant and later the Bristol Beaufighter. It served in the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1942 when it moved to operate in North Africa and then Italy, where it remained until the end of the war. It subsequently served in Malta, and then Egypt, before being disbanded in 1946.

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    The squadron was formed at Pembroke, Wales, to manage a number of "Special Duties" flights that had been created for coastal operations against U-boats. On 6 June 1918, these flights were formed as: No. 519 and No. 520 Flights at Pembroke, No. 521 and No. 522 Flights at Anglesey and No. 523 and No. 524 Flights at Luce Bay.The squadron was equipped with Airco DH.6 aircraft. These single-engine biplanes could carry either a 100 lb bomb or an observer in addition to the pilot, but not both. The sole function of No. 255 Squadron during the war was anti-submarine warfare. Initially, the squadron operated within a zone defined as "10m NW Fishguard to 10m S of Caldey Island", but shortly after its establishment, this was extended to 15 miles south of Caldey Island. The squadron's aircraft did not have wireless telegraphy radio set so were restricted to inshore patrols.On 10 July 1918, a patrol by a No. 255 Squadron aircraft reported sighting a hostile periscope at location 64LYK. The following day a target in the same area was attacked by Short seaplanes from another squadron.

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    No. 255 Squadron's first claimed strike against the enemy occurred on 14 August 1918 when Lieutenant Peebles in a DH.6 attacked a submarine at periscope depth at 09:35 with a 100 lb bomb. This resulted in air bubbles and an oil slick. Peebles returned to Pembroke and was later involved in another attack against the submarine, which resulted in further oil being brought to the surface. The Admiralty's assessment at the time classified the result of the strike as "U-boat possibly damaged", giving the decoded position as 51°17'N, 05°04'W.[ There is no recorded loss of a U-boat in the area. On 15 August 1918, No. 521 and 522 Flights were separated to form No. 244 Squadron. Nos. 523 and 529 Flights formed No. 258 Squadron leaving 255 with only two flights at Pembroke. The squadron was disbanded on 14 January 1919.

    The squadron reformed on 23 November 1940 at RAF Kirton in Lindsey, Lincolnshire. In May 1941, it moved to a satellite field at Hibaldstow, followed by a spell at RAF Coltishall in Norfolk with a detachment at RAF West Malling Kent, thereafter High Ercall and Honiley. Almost exclusively, the squadron was involved in night-time air defence throughout this time period. In November 1942, within days of the Operation Torch landings, the squadron moved in part by air and in part by sea from England to Algeria, soon establishing a forward operating base in Tunisia. In Africa, their role expanded somewhat. Night-time air defence predominated but, additionally, daylight defence of Mediterranean convoys and a few air-sea rescue searches also took place. Experimentally, there were a small number of night intruder missions into Sardinia. Following the final defeat of the Afrika Korps, the squadron consolidated at a single location at La Sebala II, Tunisia.

    There is no known record of the squadron having either a badge or a motto during the First World War. In 1943, a badge was approved which consisted of a "Panther's face" along with the motto Ad Auroram (Latin: "To the break of dawn"). (see above)

    SATURDAY, 6 JULY 1918

    General Headquarters, July 7th.

    “Our balloons and observation machines carried out much valuable work on the 6th inst. There were few combats in the air. Three German aeroplanes were destroyed and one was driven down out of control. One of our machine is missing. Seventeen tons of bombs have been dropped on various targets during the last 24 hours."

    Headquarters, R.A.F., Independent Force, July 7th.

    “On the afternoon of July 6th our squadrons successfully attacked the railways at Metz-Sablon. Two and a half tons of bombs were dropped on this objective. Our formations were attacked over the objective by enemy machines, one of which was driven down. All our machines returned safely. During the night July 6th-7th our machines successfully attacked the railway station and sidings at Saarbrücken, and the railways at Metz-Sablon."

    RAF Communiqué No 14


    Weather cloudy all day.

    27 reconnaissances, 2 contact patrols; 105 hostile batteries engaged for destruction with aeroplane observation, 10 neutralized; 32 zone calls.

    One and a half tons of bombs dropped by night, and 16 tons by day.

    On the 6th instant, 23 targets engaged with balloon observation, including two destructive shoots.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Activity slight.

    Hostile machines were [also] brought down by the following:- Lieut E H Johnson and 2nd Lieut A R Crosthwaite, No 205 Squadron; Lieut W G Claxton, No 41 Squadron [these two were late reports of action on 5 July]; Capt L P Coombes, No. 210 Squadron; Capt G E H McElroy, No 40 Squadron.

    Capt G E H McElroy, 40 Sqn, Hannover CL crashed north-east Arras at 05:40/06:40 -
    Lieut I L Roy, 40 Sqn, Hannover CL out of control Drocourt at 05:45/06:45 -
    Lieut L N Franklin, 56 Sqn, Hannover CL destroyed south-east Tilloy les Mofflains at 05:45/06:45 -
    Capt J B Home-Hay & Lieut C C Blizard, 104 Sqn IF, E.A. out of control Metz at 08:45/09:45 -
    Lieut L N Hollinghurst, 87 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control Bapaume at 11:35/12:35 -
    Capt L P Coombes, 210 Sqn, Pfalz Scout in flames Lestrem at 11:55/12:55 - Ltn d R Robert Schwarz, Jasta 52, Wia

    Casualties:

    2nd-Lieut W J Saunders (Pow), 210 Sqn RAF, Camel D9631- took off 10:30/11:30 and last seen diving steeply with EA on his tail on offensive patrol near Lestrem; Ltn d R Eugen Siempelkamp, Js29, 2nd victory [Estaires at 11:50/12:50]

    Claiming his first aerial victory today was 2nd. Lieutenant Indra Lal "Laddie" Roy DFC

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    When the war began, Indra Lal Roy, the son of Lolita Roy, was attending St. Paul's School in Kensington, London. In July 1917, he joined the Royal Flying Corps and was posted to 56 Squadron on 30 October 1917. A member of "A" Flight under Richard Maybery, Roy crashed his S.E.5a (B567) on the morning of 6 December 1917 and was injured. When he recovered, he was sent back to England for remedial training. Despite concerns that he was medically unfit to fly, he was reassigned to 40 Squadron under George McElroy on 19 June 1918. Upon his return to the front, the nineteen year old was credited with ten victories in just over 170 hours of flight time. On the morning of 22 July 1918, three days after scoring his final victory, the only Indian ace of the war was killed in action when his plane went down in flames over Carvin during a dogfight with the Fokker D.VIIs of Jasta 29.

    Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
    Lieut. Indra Lal Roy.
    A very gallant and determined officer, who in thirteen days accounted for nine enemy machines. In these several engagements he has displayed remarkable skill and daring, on more than one occasion accounting for two machines in one patrol.

    Other claims today included...

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    A total of nine british airmen were lost on this day

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    Captain Tunstill's Men: In huts and tents at Club Camp, west of Granezza.

    2Lt. Keith Sagar Bain (see 12th June) departed on one week’s leave to Lake Garda.

    Pte. Frank Patterson (see 30th June), who had suffered minor wounds a week previously, was discharged from 29th Casualty Clearing Station and re-joined the Battalion.

    Pte. William Hewitt (25172) (see 21st June), who had suffered shrapnel wounds to his right hand on 21st June, was transferred from 11th General Hospital in Genoa to the Convalescent Depot at Lido d’Albano.

    Pte. Sam Tinkler (see 14th May 1917) serving in France with 54th Company, Labour Corps, was admitted to hospital suffering from “P.U.O” (pyrexia, or high temperature, of unknown origin).

    Pte. George Herbert Lant (see 23rd September 1917), who had been in England since having been wounded in September 1917, was posted to 3DWR at North Shields.

    Pte. Henry Charles Lindsay (see 21st April), who had in England since having been wounded in April while serving in France with 2DWR, was posted to Northern Command Depot at Ripon.

    The former Battalion Chaplain, Rev. Wilfred Leveson Henderson MC (see 26th March), who had been severely wounded in the attack on the Messines Ridge on 7th June, formally relinquished his commission on grounds of ill health.

    Pte. Joseph Leonard Holmes (see 8th May), who had been posted back to England as being “unfit for military service having been an inmate of an asylum” was formally discharged from the Army as no longer physically fit for military service due to ‘neurasthenia’ (shellshock); he was awarded a pension of 27s. 6d. per week for four weeks, reducing thereafter to 13s. 9d. and to be reviewed in six months’ time.

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    Never knowingly under gunned !

  13. #3413

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    7th July 1918

    2 Air Aces were lost on this day

    Lieutenant Merrill Samuel Taylor 209 Squadron RAF

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    The son of Samuel Taylor, Merrill Samuel Taylor was a student of Applied Science (1912-1916) when he enlisted in the University of Toronto Overseas Training Company in April 1916. He joined the Royal Naval Air Service in Ottawa on 19 January 1917. By the end of the year, he was posted to 9 Naval Squadron (later 209 Squadron) as a Sopwith Camel pilot. Scoring his first and only victory of the year, Taylor downed an Albatros D.III near Dixmude on 28 September 1917. On 2 May 1918, he shot down a white Fokker Triplane flown by Hans Weiss of Jasta 11. Having increased his score to eight, Taylor was killed in action over Hamel when his Camel was shot down by Franz Büchner.

    Vizefeldwebel Otto Rosenfield Jasta 41

    Wounded in action on 12 June 1917, Otto Rosenfeld was captured on 29 December 1917 and repatriated. After his release, he scored five more victories before he was killed in action on 7 July 1918, believed to have been shot down by Sumner Sewall of the 95th Aero Squadron.

    General Headquarters, July 8th.

    “Hazy weather interfered with work in the air on July 7th, and observation was difficult. Seven enemy aeroplanes were destroyed during the day and four driven down out of control. Three of our machines are missing. We dropped 16 tons of bombs during the day and the following night, the principal targets attacked being Ostend docks and the railways at Tournai and Courtrai.”

    Headquarters, R.A.F., Independent Force, July 8th.

    “On the 7th inst. the station and factories at Kaiserslautern were attacked. Hostile machines were engaged over the objectives, and one of them was shot down. Two of our machines are missing. On July 8th the railway station, workshops, and sidings at Luxemburg were bombed by our squadrons. Bursts were observed in the station and also in the workshops."

    Admiralty, July 9th.

    “During the period July 4th-7th bomb raids have been made with good results. Ostend docks, Zeebrugge, Bruges docks, and hostile billets were attacked, and about six tons of bombs dropped. At Ostend bursts were observed in the harbour entrance, powder factory, warehouses, and sheds, alongside Bassin de Chasse, also in the vicinity of hostile batteries. At Bruges direct hits were obtained on a submarine shelter, railway, and merchant ships. The usual patrols have been carried out, and four enemy torpedo boat destroyers and four torpedo-boats near Zeebrugge were attacked with bombs. Enemy aircraft have been fairly active. One of our bombing formations were attacked by 16 hostile machines, three enemy machines being destroyed and three others driven out of control. All our machines returned safely. Three of our large seaplanes on anti-submarine patrol were attacked by seven hostile machines. During the engagement, which lasted 55 minutes, two enemy machines were destroyed. Although damaged, our machines returned safely.”

    “A British submarine patrolling off the East Coast of England was attacked on the afternoon of July 6th by five enemy seaplanes with bombs and machinegun fire. It is much regretted that an officer and five men were killed. The submarine herself suffered only very slight damage, and was towed back into harbour by another submarine."

    RAF Communiqué No 14

    Weather fine, visibility bad.

    Twenty-seven reconnaissances, seven counter-attack patrols.

    Twenty-one hostile batteries engaged for destruction with aeroplane observation, seven neutralized; 16 zone calls sent.

    One and a half tons of bombs dropped by night and 11½ tons by day.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Activity slight. E.A. were brought down by the following:- Capt C R Steele and Lieut A E Ansell, No 48 Squadron; Lieut W B Giles, No. 74 Squadron; Lieut J S Griffith, No 60 Squadron.
    Lieut R L McK Barbour & 2nd-Lieut J H Preston, 205 Sqn, Pfalz Scout out of control Warfusée - Abancourt at 11:15/12:15 -
    Lieut W B Giles, 74 Sqn, LVG C crashed Bailleul at 11:20/12:20 -
    Capt C R Steele & Lieut A E Ansell, 48 Sqn, Pfalz Scout in flames by Ansell south-west Proyart at 11:30/12:30 -
    Lieut E N Allott, Lieut M L Cooper, Lieut P C Jenner, Lieut W A Rankin, Lieut C J Sims and Lieut G D Smith, 213 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control off Wenduyne at 11:40/12:40 -
    Lieut J S Griffith, 60 Sqn, DFW C crashed Achiet-le-Grand at 11:45/12:45 -
    Lieut R K Whitney, 60 Sqn, DFW C crashed north of Achiet-le-Grand at 11:45/12:45 -
    Capt F R McCall and Lieut W J Gillespie, 41 Sqn, Albatros C out of control Laboissier (west of Montdidier) at 12:15/13:15 -
    Capt E A McKay & 2nd-Lieut R A C Brie and 2nd-Lieut E Cartwright & 2nd-Lieut A G L Mullen, 104 Sqn IF, Pfalz Scout out of control Sarrebourg at 16:25/17:25 -
    Lieut C E Walton, 23 Sqn, Pfalz Scout out of control Proyart at 18:50/19:50 -
    Lieut H N Compton, 23 Sqn, Pfalz Scout destroyed north of Proyart at 19:00/20:00 -
    Capt W L Jordan, 208 Sqn, Fokker DrI out of control east of La Bassée at 19:40/20:40 -
    Lieut J W Warner, 85 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control Doulieu at 20:15/21:15 -
    Capt S B Horn, 85 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control Doulieu at 20:15/21:15 -
    Lieut W H Longton, 85 Sqn, Fokker DVII crashed Neuf-Berquin at 20:20/21:20 -
    Maj E Mannock, 85 Sqn, Fokker DVII crashed Doulieu at 20:20/21:20 - Black and white with a red body
    Maj E Mannock, 85 Sqn, Fokker DVII crashed Doulieu at 20:20/21:20 - Black fuselage, white tail, white swastika on fuselage
    Capt S B Horn, 85 Sqn, Fokker DVII crashed Steenwerck at 20:20/21:20 -
    Capt G H Lewis and Lieut I F Hind, 40 Sqn, LVG C crashed La Coulotte at 21:20/22:20 - Gfr Weber & ?, FA 13, Pow,

    Casualties:

    Lieut A Moore (Pow) & Lieut F Pargeter Cobden (Kia), 104 Sqn IF, DH9 D2868 - combat with E.A. Homburg - Dieuze during bomb raid Kaiserslautern
    Lieut M J Ducray (Pow) & 2nd-Lieut N H Wilding (Kia), 104 Sqn IF, DH9 D2878 - combat with E.A. Homburg - Dieuze during bomb raid Kaiserslautern

    Two ‘DH’ victories were credited:

    Ltn d R Sauermann, Js70, 1st victory [Kaiserlauten, Rixingen at 06:12/07:12]
    Ltn d R Hans Mittermayr, Kest2, 2nd victory [Kaiserlautern, no time]
    Lieut H G Jeffery (Kia) & 2nd-Lieut H Booth (Wia), 58 Sqn, FE2b A5636 - crashed into house on forced landing Bethune due engine failure on night reconnaissance
    Lieut D Y Hunter (Kia), 209 Sqn RAF, Camel C8279 – took off 10:00/11:00 and last seen in combat with formation of enemy scouts north-east of Warfusee 11:15/12:15 while intercepting WEA
    Lieut M S Taylor (Kia), 209 Sqn RAF, Camel D3329 – took off 10:00/11:00 and seen to go down in spiral and crash at Hamel 11:15/12:15 on special mission to intercept WEA

    Two ‘Camel’ victories were credited:

    Ltn d R Ulrich Neckel, Js12, 20th victory [Roye at 10:15/11:15]
    Ltn Franz Buchner, Js13, 8th victory [Roye at 10:15/11:15]

    2nd-Lieut B E Sharwood-Smith (Ok) & 64091 Sergt E Collinson (Ok), 48 Sqn, Bristol F.2B B1135 – took off 10:00/11:00 then force landed 4 km south of Amiens 12:00/13:00 after radiator shot through on aerial sentry
    Lieut J R Harington (Kia) & 2nd-Lieut C L Bray (Kia), 206 Sqn RAF, DH9 D1730 – took off 16:40/17:40 then missing on long reconnaissance; Flgm Hans Goerth, MFJIII, 2nd victory [Nieuport, no time] ?
    Lieut H A Gordon (Kia), 60 Sqn RAF, SE5a B137 – took off 18:00/19:00 and last seen flying between Lamotte and Albert 18:50/19:50 on OP
    Capt A C Randall (Ok), 85 Sqn, SE5a C1900 – took off 19:30/20:30 then force landed St Marie Capelle after shot through in aerial combat

    Amongst those claiming victories today we have two from Major Edward 'Mick' Mannock

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    Major Edward Corringham Mannock VC attacks and destroys a Fokker, which goes down vertically into the ground from a height of 1,500 feet near Doulieu. Shortly afterwards he ascends 1,000 feet and attacks another Fokker biplane, firing sixty rounds into it, which produces an immediate spin, resulting, it is believed, in a crash.

    In addition to Mannock the following claims were made on this day

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    It is another bad day for the RAF with 22 airmen lost

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    WESTERN FRONT

    Somme: *Australians advancing in hills north and south of the river (59th Battalion refuses to advance On July 8).
    Austria: 1st and 35th Austrian divisions arrive on Western Front.

    EASTERN FRONT
    Volga: Stalin cables Lenin, demands full military powers.
    Siberia: Czechs defeat Reds near Chita and occupy Irkutsk on July 8.

    AIR WAR
    Flanders: German night bombing of ambulance park at La Panne (Yser) kills 43 female drivers.

    On this day the US Army establishes V Corps.

    V Corps was a regular corps of the United States Army during World War I, World War II, Cold War, Kosovo, and War on Terrorism. It was officially inactivated on 15 September 2013 at Lucius D. Clay Kaserne, Germany.

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    V Corps was organized 7–12 July 1918 in the Regular Army in France, as part of the American Expeditionary Forces. By the end of World War I, the Corps had fought in three named campaigns. The corps's shoulder patch, a pentagon whose points lie on an imaginary circle 2 1/8 inches (5.40 cm) in diameter whose edges are white lines 3/16 inch (.48 cm) in width and whose radial lines are white 1/8 inch (.32 cm) in width, was approved on 3 December 1918. The triangles thus outlined in white are flag blue. The pentagon represents the number of the Corps, while blue and white are the colors associated with Corps flags

    After Nazi Germany declared war on the United States on 11 December 1941, the corps deployed (January 1942) the first American soldiers to the European Theater of Operations, United States Army. That initial deployment was known as the U.S. Army Northern Ireland Force or MAGNET. On 6 June 1944, V Corps assaulted Omaha Beach, Normandy. Corps soldiers then broke out from the beachhead, liberated Paris and Sedan, Ardennes, and raced to the German border. After liberating Luxembourg, V Corps fought in the Battle of the Bulge, captured Leipzig, made first contact with the Red Army at Torgau, and, south in Czechoslovakia, liberated Plzeň by May 1945.

    In March 1947, U.S. European Command [EUCOM] had directed that all EUCOM combat forces were to convert to "Occupation duties". On 1 December 1950, due to concern of a Soviet threat to Western Europe during the Korean War, Seventh Army was activated as a field army in Europe. Seventh Army absorbed the two main Occupation Duty forces then in Germany, namely the 1st Infantry Division and the United States Constabulary (Note: By middle 1948 limited combat training had been restored in EUCOM).

    In December, 1950 President Truman’s declared National Emergency due to the Korean War included a four division augmentation of U.S. Forces in Europe, including the National Guard 28th and 43rd infantry divisions. In May 1951 the 4th Infantry Division arrived in United States Army Europe (USAREUR) in Germany, and on 3 August 1951, V Corps was reactivated and assigned to the Seventh Army in USAREUR. In July the 2d Armored Division arrived in Germany, and on 25 August 1951 the 4th Infantry Division (HQ: Frankfurt) and 2d Armored Division (HQ: Bad Kreuznach) were assigned as V Corps divisions.

    The Constabulary was inactivated upon the arrival of the four U.S. division augmentation forces to Germany. V Corps was assigned to the northern area of the U.S. Occupation Zone of Germany (which included the Fulda Gap), and the VII Corps was assigned to the southern area of the U.S. Zone (one of the National Guard divisions was stationed in the Munich area, and the other was between Munich and Stuttgart). Several years later the newly forming West German Army displaced the GDP positions of some of the U.S. units stationed in the far southern area of West Germany. As a consequence, the U.S. units' GDP positions were moved further north, as was the U.S. VII Corps' wartime southern boundary line (even though the U.S. units remained in their original kasernes). This shifting action likely coincided with the same time frame as the Summer and Fall conversion of all Seventh Army units to the ROAD organization.

    Captain Tunstill's Men:

    Pte. Alfred Baker was found dead in his tent. The circumstances of his death would be described in a letter to his wife written by Maj. William Norman Town (see 10th May); “Your husband was going about apparently in his usual state of health on Saturday 6th and was seen to come into camp about 9pm, and go to his tent. There was only one other man living in the tent and he was out on a working party that evening, and did not return until 2am. He went into the tent and laid down without making a light. On the morning of the 7th he woke about 7 o’clock and tried to wake Pte. Baker. He was unable to do so and called another man. They found he was dead. A doctor was called but was unable to state definitely the cause of death. He had apparently laid down just as he came in, as he was still wearing his equipment and box respirator. He was lying on his right side with his chest towards the ground, as though he had felt unwell and thrown himself down. It looked as if it was a case of heart failure or a fit”. Baker would be buried at Montecchio Precalcino Communal Cemetery Extension. He was 36 years old and had been an original member of the Battalion. He was from Halifax and was married with one daughter; before the war he had worked as a market trader in Halifax.

    Ptes. George William Ball (see 29th October 1917), Charles William Groves (see 23rd April), Matthew Howard (see 29th October 1917), Ernest Potter (see 29th October 1917), Samuel Richards (see 20th June), Tom Smith (see 6th March 1917) and Smith Stephenson Whitaker (see 4th August 1917) departed on two weeks’ leave to England.

    Ptes. Ernest Taylor (see 16th August 1917) and Harold Wider (see 16th August 1917), who had been serving in France with 2nd/7th DWR, were transferred to 1st/6th DWR. Pte. John Oldfield Greenwood (see 28th January) was re-posted from 2nd/7th DWR to 9DWR. 2nd/7th had been reduced to cadre strength and most of the Battalion posted back to England where they joined 29th Durham Light Infantry.

    L.Cpl. Thomas Lloyd (see 4th April), on attachment from 2nd/6th DWR to 457th Field Company, Royal Engineers, was posted to 1st/7th DWR.

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    Last edited by Hedeby; 07-07-2018 at 14:26.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  14. #3414

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    Are you in a football match then Chris.




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    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  15. #3415

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Officer Kyte View Post
    Are you in a football match then Chris.




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    Rob.
    As usual the Germans are so confidant they don't even take their coats off!
    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Winston S. Churchill

  16. #3416

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    8th July 1918

    flippin heck ! its warm today...

    SOUTHERN FRONTS

    Piave: First American wounded in Italy is 18-year-old American Red Cross canteen driver Ernest Hemingway severely wounded at Fossalta di Piave with Arditi by Austrian heavy mortar; he receives Croce de Guerra and is hospitalized at Milan.

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    WESTERN FRONT
    Aisne: French advance east of Viliers-Collerets, taking 346 PoWs.
    Flanders: British X Corps relieves last French corps.

    EASTERN FRONT
    USSR: Left Socialist Revolutionary’s in Moscow disarmed by Colonel Vatsetis’ loyal Red Latvian riflemen whom Lenin visits after Red Guards mistakenly fire at his car.

    SEA WAR
    Adriatic: British monitors give gunfire support to Franco*Italian advances in south Albania.
    Black Sea*: German naval staff meeting has acute problems trying to crew ex-Russian Fleet. Ludendorff opposes any gifts to Ukraine or Bulgaria (July 10); gets Kaiser approval (July 12) to put 1 dreadnought, 5 destroyers and submarines into German service.

    HOME FRONTS
    The Committee Pro Catalonia was established to support the actions of the Catalan National Committee formed in Paris earlier in the year to promote the idea of Catalonia being a sovereign nation from the rest of Spain, not a subject that has gone away even 100 years later (editor)

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    Theodore Bayley Hardy, VC, DSO, MC (20 October 1863 – 18 October 1918) was a British Army chaplain and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. In addition to the VC, Hardy had been awarded the Distinguished Service Order and Military Cross, making him one of the most decorated non-combatants of the First World War.

    Hardy was born 20 October 1863 to George and Sarah Richards Hardy of Exeter. Hardy was educated at the Royal Commercial Travellers School, Pinner, Middlesex from 1872–1879, City of London School from 1879–1882 and at the University of London. He was ordained in 1898. He was an Assistant Master at Nottingham High School from 1891–1907, teaching D. H. Lawrence; a Junior School house there is named in his honour. From 1907 to 1913, Hardy was headmaster of Bentham Grammar School in West Yorkshire. He was married to Florence Elizabeth Hastings, with whom he had a son and daughter. Mrs Hardy died after a year of illness in 1914.

    Reverend Hardy was teetotal and a vegetarian

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    Hardy was aged 51 when war broke out, and was priest at Hutton Roof in the Lake District. He volunteered at once but was turned down as being too old. Eventually, in August 1916, he was accepted for army service as a Temporary Chaplain to the Forces, 4th Class and attached to 8th Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment. He carried out the following deeds for which he was awarded a series of decorations. First he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) on 18 October 1917, the full citation was published on 7 March 1918:

    Rev. Theodore Bayley Hardy, A. Chaplns. Dept. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in volunteering to go with a rescue party for some men who had been left stuck in the mud the previous night between the enemy's outpost line and our own. All the men except one were brought in. He then organised a party for the rescue of this man, and remained with it all night, though under rifle-fire at close range, which killed one of the party. With his left arm in splints, owing to a broken wrist, and under the worst weather conditions, he crawled out with patrols to within seventy yards of the enemy and remained with wounded men under heavy fire.

    This was followed by the Military Cross (MC) on 17 December 1917, the citation following on 23 April 1918:

    Rev, Theodore Bayley Hardy, D.S.O., A., Chapln.'s Dept. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in tending the wounded. The ground on which he worked was constantly shelled and the casualties were heavy. He continually assisted in finding and carrying wounded and in guiding stretcher bearers to the aid post.

    Finally came the VC on 7/8 July 1918:

    For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on many occasions. Although over fifty years of age, he has, by his fearlessness, devotion to men of his battalion, and quiet, unobtrusive manner, won the respect and admiration of the whole division. His marvellous energy and endurance would be remarkable even in a very much younger man, and his valour and devotion are exemplified in the following incidents: —

    An infantry patrol had gone out to attack a previously located enemy post in the ruins of a village, the Reverend Theodore Bayley Hardy (C.F.) being then at company headquarters. Hearing firing, he followed the patrol, and about four hundred yards beyond our front line of posts found an officer of the patrol dangerously wounded. He remained with the officer until he was able to get assistance to bring him in. During this time there was a great deal of firing, and an enemy patrol actually penetrated between the spot at which the officer was lying and our front line and captured three of our men. On a second occasion, when an enemy shell exploded in the middle of one of our posts, the Reverend T. B. Hardy at once made his way to the spot, despite the shell and trench mortar fire which was going on at the time, and set to work to extricate the buried men. He succeeded in getting out one man who had been completely buried. He then set to work to extricate a second man, who was found to be dead. During the whole of the time that he was digging out the men this chaplain was in great danger, not only from shell fire, but also because of the dangerous condition of the wall of the building which had been hit by the shell which buried the men. On a third occasion he displayed the greatest devotion to duty when our infantry, after a successful attack, were gradually forced back to their starting trench. After it was believed that all our men had withdrawn from the wood, Chaplain Hardy came out of it, and on reaching an advanced post asked the men to help him to get in a wounded man. Accompanied by a serjeant, he made his way to the spot where the man lay, within ten yards of a pill-box which had been captured in the morning, but was subsequently recaptured and occupied by the enemy. The wounded man was too weak to stand, but between them the chaplain and the serjeant eventually succeeded in getting him to our lines.Throughout the day the enemy's artillery, machine-gun, and trench mortar fire was continuous, and caused many casualties. Notwithstanding, this very gallant chaplain was seen moving quietly amongst the men and tending the wounded, absolutely regardless of his personal safety.

    Hardy was appointed to the honorary position of Chaplain to His Majesty on 17 September 1918

    The War in the Air

    General Headquarters, July 9th.

    “In spite of low clouds in the morning of July 8th and thunderstorms later in the day, our aeroplanes accomplished a good deal of photographic, observation, and reconnaissance work during the intervals of fine weather. Enemy activity in the air was slight. Seven German machines were destroyed and six driven down out of control. Four of our machines are missing. Nineteen tons of bombs were dropped principally on railway connections at Roulers, Tournai, and Wavrin [north-east of La Bassee], and on dumps at Warneton and Bac St. Maur. Practically no flying was possible at night."

    Headquarters, R.A.F., Independent Force, July 8th.

    “On July 8th the railway station, workshops, and sidings at Luxemburg were bombed by our squadrons. Bursts were observed in the station and also in the workshops."

    Headquarters, R.A.F., Independent Force, July 9th.

    “On the 8th inst. our machines successfully bombed an enemy aerodrome, bombs being observed to burst on the sheds and hangars. During the night 8th-9th the enemy's aerodromes were again attacked with good results, two hangars being reported as having been set on fire. Trains and searchlights were attacked from a low altitude. All our machines returned safely."

    RAF Communiqué No 15:

    Weather overcast in morning; heavy thunderstorms in afternoon.

    Forty reconnaissances, eight contact and counter-attack patrols.

    Eighty-five hostile batteries engaged for destruction with aeroplane observation, 19 neutralized, 41 zone calls sent.

    Five tons of bombs dropped by night and 19 tons by day.

    On the 8th instant, balloon observers observed for 15 registration shoots.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    E.A. were [also] brought down by the following:- Lieuts G Darvill and W Miller, No 18 Squadron; Lieut H N Compton, No 23 Squadron; Lieut C J Venter, No 29 Squadron; Capt G E H McElroy, 40 Squadron; Capt G H Lewis, Lieut I F Hind, No 40 Squadron (one in our lines) [late report of combat on 7 July]; Lieut R E L MacBean, No 32 Squadron; Lieut L Campbell and 2nd Lieut P Pilkington, No 62 Squadron; Capt W E Staton and Sergt W N Holmes, No 62 Squadron; Capt W H Hubbard, No 73 Squadron, Major E Mannock, No 85 Squadron; Capt S B Horn, No 85 Squadron [the 85 Squadron victories were actually on 7 July]; Lieut W H Longton, No 85 Squadron; Capt H A R Biziou, No 87 Squadron; Lieuts W E G Mann and Mollison, No 208 Squadron (one).

    Capt D R MacLaren and Lieut R K McConnell, 46 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control Fromelles at 05:30/06:30 -
    Lieut I L Roy, 40 Sqn, Hannover CL out of control Drocourt at 06:45/07:45 -
    Capt W E Staton & Sergt W N Holmes, 62 Sqn, Fokker DrI destroyed north-west Carvin at 07:10/08:10 - Gefr Anton Wadowski, Jasta 52, Kia [?],
    Lieut L Campbell & 2nd-Lieut P Pilkington, 62 Sqn, Fokker DrI destroyed north-west Carvin at 07:15/08:15 - Gefr Anton Wadowski, Jasta 52, Kia [?],
    Capt W H Hubbard, 73 Sqn, Fokker DrI crashed Seclin at 07:20/08:20 - Gefr Anton Wadowski, Jasta 52, Kia [?],
    Lieut J S McDonald, 208 Sqn, Fokker DrI out of control Meurchin - Épinoy at 07:50/08:50 -
    Capt W L Jordan, 208 Sqn, Fokker DrI out of control Meurchin - Épinoy at 07:50/08:50 -
    Capt W L Jordan, 208 Sqn, Pfalz Scout destroyed Metalurgique works at 08:00/09:00 -
    Capt A Claydon and Lieut A A Callender, 32 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control Bauvin (east of Lens) at 08:10/09:10 -
    Lieut R E L McBean, 32 Sqn, Fokker DrI crashed Bauvin at 08:10/09:10 -
    Lieut W E G Mann and Lieut J Mollison, 208 Sqn, Rumpler C destroyed south-west Estaires at 08:10/09:10 -
    Lieut G W F Darvill & Lieut W N Miller, 18 Sqn, Fokker DVII crashed Hénin-Liétard at 08:30/09:30 -
    Capt T C Arnot, 3 Sqn, DFW C out of control smoking 57C H12 at 09:20/10:20 -
    Capt H A R Biziou, 87 Sqn, DFW C destroyed Aveluy Wood at 09:25/10:25 -
    Capt G E H McElroy, Lieut I L Roy and Lieut G J Strange, 40 Sqn, Hannover CL out of control east of Monchy at 09:25/10:25 -
    Lieut C J Venter, 29 Sqn, Hannover CL in flames east of Bailleul at 09:30/10:30 -
    Lieut J G H Chrispin & 2nd-Lieut E A Wadsworth, 103 Sqn, Pfalz Scout crashed Haubourdin - Bac Saint Maur at 09:50/10:50 - A formation of No 103 Squadron whilst on a bomb raid was attacked by about 15 E.A. at a height of 15,000 feet. Lieut J G H Chrispin and 2nd Lieut E A Wadsworth fired three bursts at one of the machines which was attacking their tail; it dived down vertically and was seen to crash
    Lieut I L Roy, 40 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control south-east Douai at 10:25/11:25 -
    Capt G E H McElroy, 40 Sqn, Hannover Cl crashed east of La Bassée at 10:45/11:45 -
    Capt R A Preeston, 80 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control north-east Lens at 11:00/12:00 -
    Lieut T S Harrison, 29 Sqn, LVG C out of control north-east Neuf Berquin at 19:10/20:10 -
    Capt D R MacLaren, 46 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control south-east Merville at 20:30/21:30 -

    Casualties:

    2nd-Lieut J E Hammond (Wia), 4 Sqn RAF, RE8 - ground fire
    2nd-Lieut F T Arnold (Wia), 29 Sqn RAF, SE5a – combat ?
    ? (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut W S Marshall (Wia), 103 Sqn RAF, DH9 – shot up on bombing
    Lieut W A Carveth (Ok), 208 Sqn, Camel D1813 - shot through by machine-gun fire from E.A. on offensive patrol Meurchin – Epinoy; Ltn d R Becker, Js52, 1st victory [Meurchin at 07:50/08:50] ?
    Capt J K Summers MC (Wia), 209 Sqn RAF, Camel D9607 – took off 04:55/05:55 then hit by machine gun fire from ground near Corbie on LOP

    Lieut J A Chubb (Pow) & 4335 Sergt J Borwein (Pow), 62 Sqn RAF, Bristol F.2B C1002 – took off 06:10/07:10 last seen going down near Carvin under control with 3 EA on his tail after general combat on offensive patrol; Ltn d R Paul Billik, Js52, 23rd victory [Salome – Lorgies at 07:30/08:30]

    2nd-Lieut E G Reynolds (Kia), 73 Sqn RAF, Camel B2473 – took off 06:10/07:10 and last seen out of control north of Pont a Vendin 07:50/08:50 at 10,000 feet on offensive patrol
    Lieut H K Scrivener (Pow), 208 Sqn RAF, Camel D1955 – took off 07:00/08:00 then not seen after patrol engaged EA on offensive patrol Meurchin - Epinoy 07:50/08:50; engine failure ?
    Capt A Claydon DFC (Kia), 32 Sqn RAF, SE5a C1089 - last seen 08:15/09:15 4-5,000 feet between Seclin and Carvin on offensive patrol Lille – Carvin; Ltn d R Paul Billik, Js52, 24th victory [Annoeuillin at 07:50/08:50] ?
    Lieut A de Niverville (Wia) & Lieut J Blair (Ok), 42 Sqn RAF, RE8 E98 – took off 05:05/06:05 then shot through by machine-gun fire from ground 08:20/09:20 on artillery observation
    Lieut H W Burry (Pow), 32 Sqn RAF, SE5a B8346 – took off 06:30/07:30 and last seen over Arras 08:40/09:40 on return from offensive patrol Lille – Carvin; Vzfw Michael Lüderitz, Js52, 2nd victory [Bauvin at 08:00/09:00] ?
    Lieut Robinson (Ok), 79 Sqn, Dolphin C4020 – took off 09:00/10:00 then damaged by machine-gun fire while firing on Bailleul town 11:00/12:00 from 1,000 feet on offensive patrol
    Lieut N S Cameron (Ok), 40 Sqn, SE5a D6185 - crashed on landing near Maroeuil 11:45/12:45 after almost direct hit by A.A. when 5 miles over lines on OP
    Lieut J Stuart (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut AWG Luke (Ok), 2 Sqn, AW FK8 C8550 - shot through by heavy hostile A.A. fire over La Bassée 13:30/14:30 during photography

    Two British Air Aces were lost on this day

    Captain Arthur Claydon DFC 32 Squadron RAF

    Arthur Claydon was a general contractor living in Winnipeg, Manitoba when he enlisted on 18 February 1916. After serving with an artillery regiment, Claydon transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in 1917. Posted to 32 Squadron later that year, he was shot down by Max von Müller on 11 November 1917 but survived and scored his first victory flying the D.H.5. In May and June of 1918, he scored six more victories flying the S.E.5a but was killed in action when he was shot down by Paul Billik of Jasta 52.

    Lt. (temp. Capt.) Arthur Claydon (formerly Canadian Fd. Arty.).
    Recently this officer, single-handed, went to the assistance of another pilot, who was attacked by eleven Fokker biplanes and six scouts. By his gallant conduct and skilful manoeuvring he not only extricated the pilot, but drove down several of the enemy aeroplanes. He has shown great initiative and gallantry in locating, bombing and attacking troops on the ground from low altitudes.

    Lieutenant John Albert Edward Robertson Daley DFC 24 Squadron RAF

    Private J. Daley enlisted 19 January 1916 and was assigned to the 11th Platoon, 2nd Jamaica Battalion, British West Indies Regiment.

    T./Lt. John Albert Edward Robertson Daley (formerly B.W. Indies Regt.).
    This officer has destroyed five enemy aeroplanes and two kite balloons, displaying marked skill and daring in these several actions, and also in attacking troops close to the ground

    There was a hat trick of victories for Lieutenant Indra Lal "Laddie" Roy 40 Squadron RAF

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    The following other claims were made on this day

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    16 British Airmen were lost on this day

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    and finally today more from Captain Tunstill's Men - who don't seem to have had much fighting of late

    In huts and tents at Club Camp, west of Granezza.

    A new, temporary, Medical Officer, Lt. E.J. Fisher, joined the Battalion; presumably Capt. N. R Davis (see 21st June) was on leave. I am, as yet, unable to make a positive identification of Lt. Fisher

    Pte. Herbert Williams (see 13th June) re-joined the Battalion following treatment for influenza.

    L.Cpl. Robert Hitchen (see 13th June) relinquished, at his own request, his appointment as Lance Corporal and reverted to Private.

    2Lt. Frederick Griggs MM (see 18th June), who had been in England since having been kicked by a horse while serving in France with 2DWR, appeared before an Army Medical Board. The Board recorded the circumstances of the injury and added that “an X-Ray taken in France is said to have shown a fracture of coroneal process, but an X-Ray taken at Standish Hospital did not reveal any such fracture”. The injury was deemed to be “of a trivial nature” and Griggs was to be regarded as “incapacitated for six weeks”.

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    Never knowingly under gunned !

  17. #3417

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    Thanks again Chris.
    I found the Chaplain Hardy story very moving.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  18. #3418

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Officer Kyte View Post
    Thanks again Chris.
    I found the Chaplain Hardy story very moving.
    Rob.
    Same here, its not the first time the story of a non combatants heroics have proved incredibly moving.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  19. #3419

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    9th July 1918

    There is one main story today - which tells the loss of one of Britain's greatest ever Air Aces...

    James Thomas Byford McCudden, VC, DSO & Bar, MC & Bar, MM

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    Born in 1895 to a middle class family with military traditions, McCudden joined the Royal Engineers in 1910. Having an interest in mechanics he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) in 1913 at which time he first came into regular contact with aircraft. At the outbreak of war in 1914 he flew as an observer before training as a fighter pilot in 1916.

    McCudden claimed his first victory in September 1916. He claimed his fifth victory—making him an ace—on 15 February 1917. For the next six months he served as an instructor and flew defensive patrols over London. He returned to the frontline in summer 1917. That same year he dispatched a further 31 enemy aircraft while claiming multiple victories in one day on 11 occasions. With his six British medals and one French, McCudden received more awards for gallantry than any other airman of British nationality serving in the First World War. He was also one of the longest serving. By 1918, in part due to a campaign by the Daily Mail newspaper, McCudden became one of the most famous airmen in the British Isles.

    At his death he had achieved 57 aerial victories, placing him seventh on the list of the war's most successful aces. Just under two-thirds of his victims can be identified by name. This is possible since, unlike other Allied aces, a substantial proportion of McCudden's claims were made over Allied-held territory. The majority of his successes were achieved with 56 Squadron RFC and all but five fell while flying the S.E.5a. On 9 July 1918 McCudden was killed in a flying accident when his aircraft crashed following an engine fault. His rank at the time of his death was major, a significant achievement for a man who had begun his career in the RFC as an air mechanic. McCudden is buried at the British war cemetery at Beauvoir-Wavans.

    "I consider it a patrol leader's work to pay more attention to the main points of the fight than to do all the fighting himself. The main points are: (1) arrival of more EA who have tactical advantage, i.e. height; (2) patrol drifting too far east; (3) patrol getting below bulk of enemy formation. As soon as any of these circumstances occur, it is time to take advantage of the SE's superior speed over EA scouts and break off the fight, rally behind leader and climb west of EA until you are above them before attacking them again." James McCudden

    James McCudden was born in Gillingham, Kent to Sergeant-Major William H. McCudden and Amelia Byford. His father had been in the military for most of his life. He joined the Royal Engineers as a teenager and served in No. 24 Company. He fought in the Anglo-Egyptian War at the Battle of Tel el-Kebir in 1882. During combat he rescued a wounded soldier while under fire and was recommended for an award. However, when it emerged he was acting against orders he was denied any honours. Nevertheless, his father had a long career in the Engineers and eventually became an instructor at the School of Military Engineering as a non-commissioned officer. His mother's family also had a military background; her grandfather served as a Master-at-arms in the Royal Marines aboard HMS Poictiers. In 1890 William H. McCudden and Amelia Byford (1869–1955) married. They had six children; William Thomas James (3 April 1891 – 1 May 1915), Mary Amelia (23 January 1893), James Thomas Byford (28 March 1895 – 9 July 1918), Kathleen Annie (1 December 1899), John Anthony (14 June 1897 – 18 March 1918) and Maurice Vincent (31 October 1901 – 13 December 1934). John and William McCudden became fighter pilots but both were killed whilst flying—John would be killed in action during the war. His father William H. McCudden took a post at the Air Ministry at the rank of warrant officer after the Great War, but would die tragically at Clapham Junction railway station on 7 July 1920. When he stood up to offer a woman his seat the compartment door flew open, knocking him into the path of an oncoming train. Maurice Vincent became a pilot and served in the Royal Air Force (RAF) until he retired through illness in 1933. He died of colitis the following year, leaving a widow and small daughter.

    The McCuddens moved to Sheerness in 1909 and James transferred to the garrison school. He learned to shoot at the rifle range, box and was a reasonably intelligent student. His father's retirement soon placed a heavy strain on the family finances and as a consequence McCudden felt obliged to find a job before he could enlist in 1915. He filled the time from the age of 14 to the age of enlistment by working as a Post Office messenger boy. It was at this time McCudden's interest in flying began. In nearby Leysdown, on the Isle of Sheppey, one of the first aviation centres was built. It was here John Moore-Brabazon became the first Englishman to fly. McCudden and his brothers often went to see the pioneer aviators gather. McCudden expressed a desire to become a pilot after spending hours watching these early flying machines.

    Unfortunately his desire to be a pilot was postponed. The family required further income after his father retired. Unable to wait for that opportunity to arise he joined the Royal Engineers on 26 April 1910, as No. 20083. On 24 February 1911 he set sail for Gibraltar on the southern tip of Spain. McCudden spent eighteen months in Gibraltar before returning to England in September 1912. While in Gibraltar he read Flight manual magazine habitually, which explained the theory of flight, aircraft construction and aero engines. He excelled in his service and by 26 April 1913 he had become a qualified Sapper. He also held the grade Air Mechanic 2nd Class, No. 892, which was awarded to him on 28 April 1913. Soon afterwards he became a member of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC). On 9 May he was posted to Farnborough depot as a mechanic. McCudden's tenure at the aerodrome began ominously. The same day he was granted a request to travel as an observer in a Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2, disaster struck which could conceivably have ended his career. Instructed to familiarise himself with the aircraft around the airfield he examined a Caudron Type A, and proceeded to turn over the engine. The aircraft was listed as unserviceable and McCudden saw no danger in leaving the throttle fully open. Suddenly the engine started and it accelerated out of the hangar and into a Farman MF.11. McCudden watched as the propeller chewed the wing to pieces and damaged his Commanding Officer's car which had been parked nearby. He was able to reach the cockpit and switch off the ignition but not before extensive damage had been done. For this misdemeanor he was brought before Colonel Frederick Sykes, commanding the RFC Military Wing. Sykes was pleased with his overall progress, which likely saved him, but sentenced McCudden to seven days detention and a forfeiture of 14 days pay for the incident. Five years later Sykes again met McCudden—then at the height of his fame—and chaffed him on the episode, even jokingly threatening to send him a bill for the car. On 15 June 1913 he was posted to No. 3 Squadron RFC. He managed a flight in a Blériot aircraft while there and gradually won a reputation as a first-rate mechanic. By Christmas his frequent requests for trips in the aircraft had met with so much success that McCudden had logged nearly 30 hours, mostly in the Blériot monoplanes. On 1 April 1914 he was promoted to Air Mechanic First Class.

    In August 1914 he travelled to France as a mechanic with 3 Squadron after war was declared, which followed the German invasion of Belgium. It operated as a reconnaissance unit and McCudden began to fly as an observer. After stopping at Amiens for several days, the unit began reconnoitering enemy positions. 3 Squadron offered support to the British Army at the Battle of Mons in Belgium. That month McCudden saw his first German aircraft on 22 August. On 25 August the British began their retreat, south-west, toward Paris. 3 Squadron moved to no fewer than nine different landing grounds, often delaying departure until the enemy was only a mile or two behind. Eventually they settled at Melun, south of Paris. In the autumn, McCudden participated in locating German artillery positions as the Allied armies drove back the enemy at the First Battle of the Marne and First Battle of the Aisne. McCudden flew these missions with a rifle since aircraft lacked any fixed armament. McCudden performed well and took on more administrative responsibilities once he was promoted to Corporal on 20 November 1914. During this period, the First Battle of Ypres was being fought and the Squadron re-equipped with the higher performing Morane-Saulnier L aircraft. Several months later, on 1 April 1915, he was promoted to sergeant and made NCO in charge of all engines in his flight. McCudden's delight at gaining a promotion was cut short by news that his brother William had been killed in an air crash while flying an elderly Blériot. Just a week later, his eldest sister Mary lost her husband in an explosion which destroyed the minelayer HMS Princess Irene on 27 May 1915.Undeterred, McCudden made a formal application to become a pilot and fly on operations but it was rejected on the grounds he was too valuable to risk losing. His reputation as a mechanic had spread since his supervision in the unit had led to a record-low number of engine failures. He continued to fly as an observer despite the recommendation of his rejection letter.

    On 8 June he made his first official observer qualifying sortie which he passed. At this time the German Luftstreitkräfte (Air Service) introduced the Fokker Eindecker fighter equipped with Synchronization gear. Firing through the propeller, the Germans had a machine that soon became a serious threat to McCudden's unit. The enemy succeeded establishing a period of air superiority at this time. McCudden still flew regularly as an observer with the new commanding Officer, Edgar Ludlow-Hewitt, who had taken over command on 20 November 1915. He recorded a flight of 2 hours 40 minutes on the 27 November which included an abortive chase after a Albatros C.I reconnaissance aircraft. On 16 December 1915 he acted as aerial gunner, when he drove off an attack on his flight by the German ace Max Immelmann. While firing at the Fokker, McCudden witnessed a piece of paper or fabric fall off the German machine. Although the ground was diligently searched, no trace of it was found. On 19 January 1916, McCudden exchanged fire with another German observer without result. At this time, McCudden's Squadron was also experimenting with wireless technology. Captain D.S Lewis who commanded the headquarters Flight fitted his B.E.2a with a set to help direct artillery fire. In April 1915 he commanded 3 Squadron and became McCudden's commanding officer. He was killed a year later when he was shot down by ground-fire. It is unknown whether McCudden participated in these pioneering ventures. On 21 January 1916 McCudden was awarded the Croix de guerre for gallantry. He travelled to Lillers to receive his award from General Joseph Joffre, Commander-in-Chief of the French Army. His award aroused interest in McCudden, for on 23 January he was promoted to flight sergeant and twenty-fours hours later he was ordered home to England to begin pilot training.

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    McCudden was based at Farnborough and began his training on 22 February 1916. He started with a 20-minute flight in a Henry Farman pusher. McCudden had already flown 100 hours as a passenger with 25 different pilots including 46 hours as a regular observer since November 1915 and had much experience with his surroundings. His instructor was impressed with his grasp of the mechanics and theory. He practiced six landings and progressed to the more powerful Avro 504 as the last Farman had been written off by another student. On 9 April he was sent to Gosport and assigned to No. 41 Squadron RFC and made his first solo flight on 16 April in a Farman MF.7. Later that day he was awarded his Royal Aero Club certificate after completing four figure-of-eight turns, a glide from 1,200 feet and a landing within forty yards of a selected mark. He completed 22 flights at Gosport, the longest a 50-minute flight to 7,000 feet. On 29 April he was posted to the Central Flying School (CFS) at Upavon, near Salisbury Plain for advanced training, arriving on 1 May. On 7 May he became the 107th non-commissioned officer to receive his CFS certificate. He passed as Second Class Flier. He was good enough to be selected as an instructor and took his first pupil after having flown only nine hours of solo flight himself. Two of his pupils included the future ace and 56 Squadron colleague Geoffrey Hilton Bowman and Mick Mannock. Soon afterwards, while teaching a student in the Airco DH.1 in which they were flying, the aircraft entered a dangerous spin. McCudden narrowly avoided a crash, pulling up feet above the ground. An impact would certainly have killed them both. On 30 May he was graded First Class Flier. The grade was based upon his achievements; he had achieved a dead-stick landing within a fifty-yard marker, a 15-minute flight at 6,000 feet, a 60-mile cross-country flight and 15 hours solo flying. On 24 May he passed his final test with a two-hour flight from Salisbury, to Southampton and onto Basingstoke. His 74 hours flying experience was well above the minimum. By the time he left for France in June he had accumulated 121 flying hours, given 177 lessons as instructor, and had personally tutored 40 student pilots.

    McCudden joined No. 20 Squadron on 8 July 1916. The unit was equipped with Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2 and flew from Clairmarais, near Saint-Omer. He flew his first operational sortie two days later and continued as the Battle of the Somme raged. The Squadron was ordered to intercept and shoot down German reconnaissance aircraft. He patrolled the Ypres and Roulers region. He did not spot any enemy reconnaissance machines but did come into contact with a single Fokker near Lille. Flying in formation, the British were well placed to deal with lone German fighters since they could use their gunners to form a formidable defence screen. This particular German would climb above the British, make a diving attack at the rear-most aircraft and dive away if he did not score a decisive hit. Two days later McCudden ran out of fuel in the Lille district. Disorientated because of heavy mist, he force-landed in Allied territory, crashing and coming to halt in the garden of a French farmhouse. Little damage was done to the machine. On 2 August he took part in an operation to bomb the Zeppelin sheds at Brussels. The flight was unmolested, though the familiar lone Fokker made an appearance and then withdrew without attacking.

    That same evening McCudden was told to pack his belongings since he was to be reassigned to 29 Squadron RFC flying Airco DH.2 scouts. McCudden was pleased to be flying scouts, finding it "light after flying the F.E." McCudden soon found from pilots that the machine was not popular and had to be handled with care. Nevertheless, while on patrol between Armentières and Ypres on 6 September 1916 he scored his first victory. He engaged an all-white Albatros B.II, and shot it down. He then chased another but it escaped through superior speed. Confirmation of his victory was given three days later by an I ANZAC Corps unit. It had crashed on the Gheluve-Mennin road at the time and place of his claim. McCudden nearly added to this score the following day. He engaged a Fokker monoplane but his gun jammed. Switching off his engine, he rectified the damage but the Fokker pilot took the opportunity to pursue him. Restarting his engine as the German closed, McCudden outmanoeuvred him and was presented with a close-astern shot, but once again his gun jammed and the battle ended inconclusively when the faster Fokker dived away. McCudden did not score again during the year but had a remarkable escape on 27 December 1916. Flying from Arras to Monchy on patrol, his flight of six DH.2s engaged an enemy formation of Albatros D.IIs. McCudden rushed to the aid of Alexander James, a member of his flight, who had been attacked by a German fighter. He attacked the Albatros head-on but his gun jammed after 20 shots. As he fought to clear the jam he found himself amid a number of German fighters. One soon latched onto him and began firing. McCudden dived steeply but the enemy pilot remained behind him. At 800 feet McCudden began a spinning dive until the German, now some distance behind, abruptly turned away. The enemy aircraft was fired at by British ground forces and McCudden, who by now had unjammed his Lewis machine gun, turned to give pursuit. The enemy pilot, apparently unaware of this, was already too high and McCudden watched as he re-joined his flight and departed the area.

    McCudden returned to base; in spite of his narrow escape his machine had not been hit. His squadron mates were surprised to see him; they had witnessed his dive, assumed the spin to be terminal, and were in the process of posting him missing in action. It has been suggested that the enemy pilot was none other than Manfred von Richthofen, "The Red Baron", in which case McCudden had narrowly avoided becoming the rising star's 15th victim. Richthofen was credited with a "two seat Vickers biplane" that afternoon, which has usually been listed as the F.E.2b of Captain Quested and Lieutenant ****see, but recent research indicates that the action with McCudden may fit the time frame. 1916 ended on a personal high for McCudden. He received his commission on 28 December which came into effect on 1 January 1917. He was granted two weeks leave and returned to England. As a second lieutenant, McCudden returned to France on 21 January. He was determined to build up his personal tally despite the limitations of his DH.2. The very same day he was forced down for the first and only time. He attacked a Albatros D.III and damaged its engine which stopped. Unfortunately another attacked and he was forced to break off a certain kill when one of his propeller blades was partly shot off. Another DH.2 intervened and McCudden landed near Arras, ordered a new propeller, and flew back to base. Since no member witnessed the fate of the Albatros no claim was made. McCudden's fortunes changed in the new year. He dispatched a two-seater on 26 January and another on 2 February 1917. On 5 February he attacked a Albatros C.III returning from a photo-reconnaissance mission. Diving out of the sun to blind the gunner, he shot it down over the frontline where it was shelled by British artillery. Ten days later he engaged an Albatros escorted by a LFG Roland C.II. After a brief dogfight and pursuit, the Albatros escaped but he destroyed the Roland which crashed near Monchy. Twenty-four hours later McCudden was awarded the Military Cross for his fifth victory. His award was gazetted on 12 March.

    He returned to England on 23 February and was appointed an instructor once more. He was slightly aggrieved as he felt he was now getting into his stride as a fighter pilot. He had also been hopeful that his squadron was about to receive the French-designed Nieuports, which were a better match for the Albatros and Halberstadt "D" class fighters than the obsolescent DH.2. His posting was not surprising to him. The beginning of 1917 witnessed an enormous expansion of the RFC and experienced tutors were required to train the mass of new students.

    McCudden was posted to the 6th Training Wing at Maidstone until transferred to Dover on 15 April where he learned to fly the Bristol Scout. One of his aircraft was adorned with the name "Teddie", which his fellow officers suspected was the name of a girlfriend—a blonde dancer, Ms Teddie O'Neil. McCudden was notoriously private about this aspect of his life but it was suspected that he took her on unauthorised flights in the Scout since his log book recorded such escapades in April. He praised the qualities of his Scout even though he managed to survive two accidents in this aircraft on 29 April and 2 June. Concurrent with his tenure at Dover, his brother John also enrolled as a pilot pupil there. To avoid accusations of favouritism, he remained aloof from his brother which amused his senior officers who had guessed his intentions. In late May and June he collected and experimented on a number of the new Sopwith Pups which began to reach British units in January. He was impressed with the aircraft's agility and flew it often. During this period he met the now famous ace Albert Ball who advised him attack tactics against reconnaissance and bomber aircraft. Ball advised McCudden to fly underneath his target, in the blind spot of the observer, and angle his guns directly above then fire. McCudden was intrigued at the prospect and believed this offered a much better chance of shooting down an enemy aircraft. It is not clear if, or how often, McCudden implemented Ball's advice in battle and how many of his victories were claimed that way. McCudden's principal tactics did stress surprise and minimal risk.

    It is known McCudden proved remarkably good at stalking tactics, which enabled him to get up underneath an opponent, pull down the wing gun and fire up into the German machine. The first the recipients would know of the attack was bullets coming up through the bottom of the fuselage of the aircraft, often causing death or injury, holing petrol tanks and crippling engines. The gun, being fed by a drum of ammunition, could also be reloaded in its pulled-down position, the pilot having two or more spare drums located in his cockpit. This conversation coincided with the Gotha Raids in which German heavy bombers attacked London. He attempted interceptions against the high-flying machines and on 13 June finally got to within range of one. He fired but it swerved and resumed course. He chased the formation 21 miles out to sea but could not get closer than 500 feet. On 7 July he succeeded in hitting the Gotha crewed by Leutnant Erwin Kollberg and Walter Aschoff (of bomber unit Bogohl 3). He damaged a second and narrowly avoided a collision with the machine as he flew by. On one raid a Gotha gunner's bullet struck his windshield. The raids continued and British aerial defences did not gain more than a handful of successes against the Gothas. McCudden's last activity worthy of note before his return to France was his meeting with Frank Barnwell and Harold Barnwell, chief engineers at Vickers Limited. McCudden and the brothers exchanged information on aircraft design and operations. McCudden understood more of the technique of flying and flight while the brothers gained a greater appreciation of the pilot's perspective. After watching him fly the F.B.9, the brothers were convinced of his skill and consequently McCudden was invited to fly a number of their products. Among these machines was the Vickers F.B.16. McCudden claimed to have reached 136 miles per hour (mph) in the aircraft describing it as a "nice bus". Other pilots noted it was faster than the French SPAD and the S.E.5. On the strength of this evaluation Vickers approached the War Office for its use on the frontline. It was not selected for production. McCudden believed the inaccessibility of the engine was a main factor in its rejection.

    In June he joined No. 66 Squadron RFC at Aire, equipped with the Sopwith Pup. He undertook a refresher course but his tenure there was unremarkable. He was ordered to fly with the group rather than fly solo patrols. He flew 47 hours in 66 Squadron and 21 patrols. He encountered the enemy six times but could not score. Finally on 21 and 26 July he shot down one Albatros D.V fighter for his 6–7th aerial victories. He flew 13 different Pups while with the unit which meant he returned across the English Channel to collect new aircraft frequently. While collecting one from Rochester, England on 12 August 1917 a Gotha raid occurred and within 30 minutes he was flying at 17,000 feet over Herne Bay in an attempt to intercept them. Once more, he returned without success against the high-flying and ever elusive Gothas. After landing from the sortie he was informed he was to be transferred to the recently formed No. 56 Squadron which was winning a reputation as a very successful unit over the Western Front. The unit was equipped with the Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5 (S.E.5a) fighters which were among the most effective combat aircraft of the war and arguably the best designed British fighter of the conflict. It was heavily armed and very fast for its time.

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    52 of McCudden's 57 victims fell while he was flying the S.E.5.

    Along with the new fighter McCudden was eager to fly was the company he would be flying with. Albert Ball (44 victories), rising star Arthur Rhys-Davids (27) and McCudden's former pupil Geoffrey Hilton Bowman (32) were just some of the fighter aces who flew with the unit. Though Ball was killed in May 1917, he would fly and fight alongside Rhys-Davids, Bowman, Richard Maybery, Reginald Hoidge and Keith Muspratt.

    This competitive group would spur McCudden to increase his score. 56's commanding officer, Major Richard Bloomfield noticed McCudden's leadership qualities and had hoped he could help turn the unit into an effective fighting team. At present the pilots, though talented, performed more as individuals. After flying for the first time with them Bloomfield promised to have him allocated to a position of Flight Commander. He formally took command of B flight on 14 August. McCudden brought his substantial technical knowledge to 56 Squadron. He frequently inspected his flight's aircraft, expecting a high standard of mechanical refinement. He believed the finer the aircraft could be tuned the less likelihood there would be of losing pilots to structural or mechanical failures, which at that time were the cause of many fatalities among aircrew. Force-landings were rarely fatal owing to the low-landing speeds but the prospect of coming down behind enemy lines—especially since the RFC was adopting an offensive stance—was an undesirable prospect.

    Alex J. Gray, Air Mechanic First Class, 56 Squadron: When McCudden came to No. 56 he certainly kept us on our toes to begin with. In the first few weeks he tried out just about every fitter in the flight, and none of them seemed to please him. Finally Corporal Tom Rogers and myself were detailed as his fitters and Corporal Bert Card as the rigger, and from that day on we formed a great friendship with him.

    On the 31 July the Third Battle of Ypres began and the unit was heavily involved. 56 was tasked with air superiority operations to allow RFC bomber and reconnaissance units to operate with relative freedom. The Germans had adopted a defensive stratagem of massing their aircraft, now increasingly outnumbered, at critical points of the front. Their units were also a collection of highly successful aces. The S.E.5s engaged in battle with the German fighters throughout the summer.

    On 18 August 1917 McCudden scored his first victory as an official member of 56 Squadron over an Albatros D.V. Another the following day and two on 20 August raised his tally from 7 to 11 victories. He was pleased with his success but berated the armourers for the frequent gun-stoppages. Over the next four weeks his machine suffered engine difficulties and gun-jams. He could only claim damaged enemy aircraft and once suffered a galling experience when the DFW C.V reconnaissance he was attacking holed his engine while his guns jammed. It had to be sent for major repairs. He received a new fighter, B4863, which then became his regular mount. McCudden was determined his machine would remain in first-class fighting order. He spent three days working with his fitters and armourers, stripping down the Vickers gun's synchronising gear, firing at the butts and making eight test flights shooting at ground targets. His armourers joked that his guns would never work in the air if he wore them out on the ground. He continued to experience jams and his unclaimed victim of 14 September 1917—Ernst Wiegand—was able to escape and crash-land wounded in German territory thanks to another stoppage. Since his crash was not witnessed his claim went uncredited. On 19 September he attacked a Rumpler C.IV which he drove down to 1,000 feet and saw camera and photographic plates fall from the machine as it took violent evasive action. He abandoned the chase and spotted another. This time he attacked from the sun and from behind and below. His Lewis gun stopped after one round but his Vickers fired 60 rounds and the Rumpler crashed behind enemy lines. Other pilots and gunners on the line confirmed the kill. A DFW C.V followed on 23 September—his 13th victory.

    After this victory his flight engaged a Fokker Dr.I flown by the 48-victory ace Werner Voss and an Albatros piloted by Carl Menckhoff. Voss, aided by the frequent jams of his opponents' guns, avoided being hit and drove two S.E.5's out of the fight before being fatally hit by Rhys-Davids. McCudden's account of this fight has become famous:

    He was very low ... still being engaged by an SE ... the pilot being Rhys-Davids. I noticed the triplane's movements were very erratic ... I saw him go into a steep dive ... and then saw the triplane hit the ground and disappear into a thousand fragments.

    As long as I live I shall never forget my admiration for that German pilot, who single-handed fought seven of us for ten minutes and also put some bullets through all our machines. His flying was wonderful, his courage magnificent, and in my opinion he was the bravest German airman whom it has been my privilege to see fight. Over the course of September and October McCudden added five victories including a LVG C.V on 26 September, raising his tally from 13 to 18. On 6 October he was awarded the Bar to his Military Cross. Another five in November brought his tally to 23. His method of diving behind and under the enemy machines before firing was working particularly well. In December he downed another 14 enemies for victory numbers 24–37 including several during the Battle of Cambrai. His successes included four on 23 December, three on 28th and two on the 29th. In December 1917 he received the Distinguished Service Order and a Bar He received two congratulatory messages from AOC RFC Hugh Trenchard on 6 and 12 December:

    Well done. You are splendid. Your work lately has been of the finest.

    McCudden had hardened to the realities of aerial combat by this time and reveled in his own success. He appeared to have limited empathy for his opponents, most of whom did not survive his attacks. On 24 January, after claiming his 43rd air victory, he remarked: This D.F.W crew deserved to die, because they had no notion whatever of how to defend themselves, which showed that during their training they must have been slack, and lazy, and probably liked going to Berlin too often instead of sticking to their training and learning as much as they could while they had the opportunity. I had no sympathy for those fellows, and that it the mental estimate which I formed of them while flying back to my aerodrome to report the destruction of my 43rd aerial victory.

    McCudden was now closing in on the tally of Albert Ball who was credited with 44 enemy aircraft. A further nine in January 1918 elevated his tally from 37 to 46. In February, 11 aircraft brought his tally to 57—four fell on the 16th. After achieving his 57th he probably downed a 58th—a Hannover CL.III—but it went down over enemy lines under control as McCudden's guns seized having already fired 300 rounds at his first victim. By this stage McCudden was suffering from combat fatigue. It manifested itself in his decisions, of late, to seek a victory at any price, which was alien to his normal, calculated approach to combat. Knowing he was to soon be sent home, he was obsessed with catching up to von Richthofen's score. His contribution to 56 Squadron at this time was impressive; the unit had claimed 175 enemy aircraft while reporting 14 pilots killed and missing and seven captured. As Flight Commander, B Flight, McCudden's pilots had shot down 77–52 of which were his—while losing four pilots. To celebrate his success he dined with Brigadier General John Higgins and the following evening was invited to the headquarters of General Julian Byng, General Officer Commanding the British Third Army, to be personally congratulated. McCudden was soon rotated home on 5 March. Over 50 Officers gathered for a formal farewell dinner and they presented him with a silver model of his S.E.5A on 4 March. McCudden would not see action again. In the remaining eight months of the war, only British pilots Billy Bishop (72) and Mick Mannock (61) and Raymond Collishaw (60) would surpass his total while serving with the RFC (and later the Royal Air Force—RAF). Ernst Udet (62) René Fonck (75) and Manfred von Richthofen (80) were the only foreign pilots to beat McCudden's total.

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    McCudden remained in England until July 1918 when he was given command of No. 60 Squadron RAF. He flew to Farnborough in a Vickers F.B.16 to collect his new Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a before returning to France to lead his new Squadron. On 3 July he flew back in this fighter and over his home in Kingston upon Thames, taking the aircraft to 17,000 feet and circling London for an hour. When he landed he made his last entry into his log book. His total flying time had reached 872 hours and 40 minutes.

    On the morning of 9 July 1918 he travelled to the home of his fiancé, Miss Alex-Tweedie in Whitehall Court. Tweedie recalled their conversation revolved around his new posting and his book. He had delivered the manuscript to Mr Grey two days earlier and was expecting its publication. While there, McCudden promised to surpass von Richthofen who had been killed in action on 21 April 1918. In view of what happened to von Richthofen, and John McCudden, he promised that "I won't bustle, or do anything foolish like my brother". He then went next door and had breakfast with his sister Mary. Upon leaving, he fumbled around in his pocket and handed her a bulky envelope containing his Victoria Cross and other decorations. He took his leave of her and drove to Hounslow where he climbed into his S.E.5a (C1126). He took off shortly after 13:00. McCudden certainly stopped en route, as about six o'clock that afternoon he called the AOC No. 13 Wing, Patrick Playfair, to announce his imminent arrival at Boffles, where No. 60 Squadron was stationed. McCudden set out across the English Channel. Unsure of the dispositions on the ground after the German advance he checked the airfield he suspected to be Boffles but found it empty. Flying in heavy mist he decided to head to Auxi-le-Château, France, to get directions from the RAF personnel stationed there. He approached Corporal W.H. Burdett and L. E Vallins of 52 Squadron. Burdett had served with McCudden in 3 Squadron back in 1915. Burdett did not recognise him in his flying gear. They marked his map and McCudden returned to his machine. Around 90 seconds after takeoff from Auxi-le-Château, the S.E.5a plunged into the ground. 8 Squadron's Corporal W.H. Howard was on the scene within minutes and fought through the fire to free McCudden who was lying next to one of the wings—he had not worn his safety belt. Burdett followed and recognised the pilot as soon as his headgear had been removed. He was taken to No. 21 Casualty clearing station and diagnosed with a fractured skull. He did not regain consciousness and died at 20:00.

    Corporal Burdett later stated, "When McCudden took off he put the machine into a nearly vertical climb, seemed to do a half-roll and then nosed dived into a wood.....it was usual for scout pilots to perform some little stunt.....I think that is what he was doing."Witness Lieutenant L.M Fenton had a different view, "the aircraft took off into wind and at about 100 feet did a vertical turn and flew back across the aerodrome by the side of the wood. The engine appeared to be running badly. The pilot rolled the machine, which failed to straighten out, at approximately 200 feet. It crashed nose down into the wood." Lieutenant E.M Greenwood stated he thought the crash was the result of a failed aerobatic manoeuvre: "I was watching an S.E.5 flying over the aerodrome at about 200 feet, when it did one complete roll to the right, then dived steeply to the ground behind the trees." Lieutenant K.V King believed a similar thing: [It flew]"......very low over the aerodrome, going east towards the wood on the south-east side of the aerodrome. He had apparently been rolling. I saw him nose down and engine off entering the trees and immediately afterwards heard a crash." Lieutenant T.H Barry, though supports the notion that something was amiss with the engine:"I saw an S.E.5 flying from west to east across the aerodrome at 200–300 feet. The engine was firing irregularly. Just after crossing the end of the aerodrome the pilot did a sharp stalling turn. The nose dropped and it dived behind the trees. During this dive the noise of the engine ceased."

    Usually reports were issued on any incident with every aircraft. On the date McCudden died, 29 such returns exist for S.E.5s but the report pertaining to his accident is not among them leaving the official cause of the crash unexplained. It is possible the engine failed due to a wrongly installed carburettor. However, there is some doubt as to whether a mechanical defect was the culprit. The witnesses reported the pilot was attempting low-level stunts, manifesting in several turns and rolls. Many years later other witnesses disputed the aircraft performed a roll, but all agreed the trouble began when the machine entered an attitude resembling a near-vertical turn. McCudden's remains were subsequently buried at the nearby Wavans war cemetery in the Pas de Calais. McCudden's death occurred only two months after the death of German ace Manfred von Richthofen, whom some commented had been honoured with a longer and more elaborate funeral by the British. McCudden's wartime score was 57 victories included 19 captured, 27 and 1 shared destroyed, 8 and 2 shared "down out of control"—an official classification which still counted the claim as a victory.

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    VC Citation

    2nd Lt. (T./Capt.) James Byford McCudden, D.S.O., M.C., M.M., Gen. List and R.F.C.

    For most conspicuous bravery, exceptional perseverance, keenness, and very high devotion to duty.
    Captain McCudden has at the present time accounted for 54 enemy aeroplanes. Of these 42 have been definitely destroyed, 19 of them on our side of the lines. Only 12 out of the 54 have been driven out of control.
    On two occasions, he has totally destroyed four two-seater enemy aeroplanes on the same day, and on the last occasion all four machines were destroyed in the space of 1 hour and 30 minutes.
    While in his present squadron he has participated in 78 offensive patrols, and in nearly every case has been the leader. On at least 30 other occasions, whilst with the same squadron, he has crossed the lines alone, either in pursuit or in quest of enemy aeroplanes.
    The following incidents are examples of the work he has done recently: —

    On the 23rd December, 1917, when leading his patrol, eight enemy aeroplanes were attacked between 2.30 p.m. and 3.50 p.m. Of these two were shot down by Captain McCudden in our lines. On the morning of the same day he left the ground at 10.50 and encountered four enemy aeroplanes; of these he shot two down.
    On the 30th January, 1918, he, single-handed, attacked five enemy scouts, as a result of which two were destroyed. On this occasion he only returned home when the enemy scouts had been driven far east; his Lewis gun ammunition was all finished and the belt of his Vickers gun had broken.
    As a patrol leader he has at all times shown the utmost gallantry and skill, not only in the manner in which he has attacked and destroyed the enemy, but in the way he has during several aerial fights protected the newer members of his flight, thus keeping down their casualties to a minimum.
    This officer is considered, by the record, which he has made, by his fearlessness, and by the great service which he has rendered to his country, deserving of the very highest honour.

    James McCudden was one of 20 British Airmen lost on this day...

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    The German Ace Leutnant Helmut Dilthey of Jasta 40 was also killed on this day. Dilthey was killed in action by the D.H.9s of 107 Squadron.

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    Leutnant Helmut Dilthey

    General Headquarters, July 10th.


    “Work in the air was interrupted on July 9th by showers of rain and low clouds, but photography and reconnaissances were carried out by us as usual and many hostile batteries were engaged with aeroplane observation. Enemy aircraft were active on the northern part of our front, and a number of combats took place, in which nine German machines were destroyed and one was driven down out of control. In addition, a hostile scout was brought down by antiaircraft fire. In the course of the day we dropped 14 tons of bombs on selected targets over the line, two tons falling with good effect on Lille Junction and one and a half tons on Bruges docks. Three of our machines are missing. During the following night three tons of bombs were dropped on enemy railways and camps without loss to us.”

    RAF Communiqué No 15:

    Weather cloudy with occasional showers.

    Twenty-five reconnaissances and four counter-attack patrols.

    One hundred and twenty-four hostile batteries engaged for destruction with aeroplane observation, 13 neutralized, 56 zone calls sent.

    Fourteen tons of bombs dropped.

    On the 9th instant, 22 hostile batteries engaged for destruction with balloon observation and fire observed on 66 other targets.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Fairly active.

    Lieut C F Galbraith & Lieut G W H Parlee, 5 Sqn, RE8, Albatros Scout in flames [by Parlee] – Lieuts C F Galbraith and G W Parlee, No 5 Squadron, whilst engaged on a shoot, saw an Albatross [sic] single-seater on the tail of one of our scouts; they dived on it, but the pilot’s gun jammed after 10 rounds had been fired. The hostile single-seater left our scout and turned east. The pilot of the R.E.8 side-slipped his machine, the observer firing a burst of about 20 rounds; at the same time a second Camel dived at the E.A., which then turned west. The R.E.8 side-slipped once again, allowing the observer to fire three bursts at close range. The hostile machine burst into flames and crashed to the ground

    Capt O C Bridgeman, 80 Sqn, Fokker DVII crashed -
    Capt O C Bridgeman, 80 Sqn, Pfalz Scout crashed -
    Lieut L N Franklin, 56 Sqn, Hannover CL crashed Tilloy-les-Mofflians at 05:43/06:43 -
    Lieut E G Hayes, 80 Sqn, two-seater out of control smoking Estaires at 09:25/10:25 -
    Capt H A Whistler, 80 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control (not confirmed) La Bassée at 09:30/10:30 -
    Lieut R H Gray, 74 Sqn, Scout crashed south of Kemmel at 09:35/10:35 -

    2nd-Lieut J R Brown & AM J P Hazell, 107 Sqn, Fokker DVII in flames [by Hazell] Lille at 10:50/11:50 – whilst machines of No 107 Squadron were releasing their bombs in formation, three hostile machines attacked them in the rear. 2/Lieut J R Brown and A/M J P Hazell fired 40 rounds at one of the E.A. which burst into flames; Ltn Helmut Dilthey, Jasta 40s, Kia

    Capt H W Woollett, 43 Sqn, Pfalz Scout crashed north-east La Gorgue at 10:50/11:50 -
    Capt G W Bulmer & 2nd-Lieut J McDonald, 22 Sqn, two-seater in flames north of Bois de Phalempin at 11:00/12:00 - communique says 2 E.A.
    Lieut T W Martin & Sergt J H Hall, 22 Sqn, Albatros Scout destroyed north of La Bassée at 11:00/12:00 -
    Lieut J E Gurdon & 2nd-Lieut J J Scaramanga, 22 Sqn, DFW C destroyed north of La Bassée at 11:00/12:00 -
    Lieut T W Martin & Sergt J H Hall, 22 Sqn, Albatros Scout destroyed west of Steenwerck at 11:30/12:30 -
    2nd-Lieut F Carpenter & 2nd-Lieut F E Donkin, 98 Sqn, Fokker DrI out of control [by Donkin] Lille at 11:35/12:35 -
    Capt W L Jordan, 208 Sqn, DFW C crashed Richebourg St Vaast at 11:50/12:50 -
    Lieut O M Baldwin, 73 Sqn, Fokker DrI destroyed Moncheaux at 12:05/13:05 -
    Lieut W S Stephenson, 73 Sqn, Fokker DrI crashed west of Moncheaux at 12:05/13:05 -
    Capt W E Young, 74 Sqn, DFW C out of control Merris at 14:25/15:25 -
    Capt A H Cobby, 4 AFC, AGO C crashed north-east Gravelines at 19:40/20:40 -
    Lieut H A Kullberg, 1 Sqn, Fokker DVII crashed south of Oostnieuwkerke at 20:50/21:50 -

    Casualties:

    Lieut A E Simpson (Wia) & 2nd-Lieut H A Lamb (Kia), 98 Sqn RAF, DH9 - combat with 9 E.A. over Lille on bomb raid Fives
    Lieut S R Coward (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut P A Hand (Killed), 107 Sqn, DH9 D1725 - force landed 79 Sqn after hit by shellfire and E.A. fire on raid
    Lieut H Axford (Ok) & Cpl F Wilkinson (Ok), 211 Sqn, DH9 B7598 - damaged by A.A. fire on bombing raid Bruges - Ostend
    2nd-Lieut R H Dunn (Pow) & 2nd-Lieut H E Hinchliffe (Pow), 103 Sqn RAF, DH9 D1023 – took off 03:40/04:40 and last seen this side of line flying north on dawn reconnaissance
    Lieut A J Battel (Kia), 74 Sqn RAF, SE5a C1950 – took off 09:00/10:00 and last seen engaged with E.A. over Neuve Eglise 09:30/10:30 on OP; Ltn Joachim von Busse, Js20, 5th victory
    Lieut W R Allison (Ok), 208 Sqn, Camel D6544 – took off 09:50/10:50 then overturned in forced landing Chocques after petrol tank hit by A.A. on wireless patrol
    Lieut J Stuart (Wia) & 2nd-Lieut A W G Luke (Ok), 2 Sqn RAF, AW FK8 C3581 - attacked by E.A. and force landed east of Bethune 10:00/11:00 during photography La Bassée
    2nd-Lieut E D Shaw (Kia) & Sergt T W Smith (Pow), 48 Sqn RAF, Bristol F.2B B1113 – took off 18:00/19:00 believed to have fallen whilst engaging 3 Pfalz scouts on reconnaissance to Albert; Ltn Otto Koennecke, Js5, 22nd victory ?
    Maj J T B McCudden (Killed), 60 Sqn, SE5a C1126 - crashed on take off from Auxi-le-Chateau 17:30/18:30

    The following claims were made on this day

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    SEA WAR
    USA: Henry Ford launches first ‘Eagle Boat’ patrol vessel. 60 of 100 ordered built, PE1 commissions October 28, 1918.

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    Britain: Government announces that home*ward-bound shiping loss rate since January 1 over 1 %.
    Northern Adriatic: Austrian U-19 mined off Caorle, beaches and later plundered by Austrian troops.

    EASTERN FRONT
    Volga: Red Eastern Front C-in-C Colonel Muraviev (militant Left Socialist Revolutionary) rebels at Kazan, sails down Volga to Simbirsk with 1,000 men.
    East Siberia*: General Horvath declares himself Provisional Ruler at Grodekovo northwest of Vladivostok.

    AIR WAR
    Western Front: Major James McCudden, Victoria Cross, Commander No 60 Squadron RAF (57 victories since September 6, 1916) killed in landing accident, aged 23.

    POLITICS
    Germany: Rear-Admiral Hintze Foreign Minister on Kuehlmann’s resignation (July 8, Hintze formally appointed July 20).
    Austria: Central Powers’ Salzburg economic conference

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    Never knowingly under gunned !

  20. #3420

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    A very fitting memorial and tribute coloumn to a great airman Chris.

    Kyte.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  21. #3421

  22. #3422

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    July 10th 1918

    Captain John Harbord MC (Norfolk Yeomanry) dies of wounds received in action near Nieppe Forest on the 6th July at age 24. His brother was killed in December 1917 and his nephew will die of wounds in August 1919.
    Lieutenant Richard Milne Collingwood (Royal Air Force) is killed in a mid-air collision at home at age 21. His brother was killed in August 1915 on Gallipoli.
    Lieutenant Cecil Arthur Auchterlonie MC (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed on Gallipoli in October 1915.
    Chaplain William Black dies on active service at age 26. He was the Assistant Minister at Govan and Kilmalcolm Parish Churches in Glasgow.
    Sergeant Instructor George Samuel Allen (Royal Air Force) dies of double pneumonia at age22 in Lincoln in the presence of his parents and his fiancée, a Miss Parker who has already lost two brothers in the Great War.
    Corporal Frederick Gillies Payne (Hampshire Regiment) dies of illness contracted on active service at home at age 53. His is the son of the late ‘Sir’ Salisbury Payne, the Baronet.

    Russia adopted a new constitution that officially declared it a Soviet republic. The iconic Soviet emblem was released, which included the hammer and sickle wreathed in wheat (to symbolize its agricultural roots) with the red star on top. It contained the motto "Workers of the world, unite!" in the coat of arms.

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    British colonial forces defeated Egba rebels in Nigeria. The fighting cost 600 lives and lead to heavy taxation and forced labor policies in the African region until 1925.

    The Adubi War (known locally as Ogun Adubi or Egba Uprising) was a conflict in June and July 1918 in the British Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria ostensibly because of the imposition of colonial taxation. Direct taxes were introduced by the colonial government along with existing forced labour obligations and fees. On the 7th June, the British arrested 70 Egba chiefs and issued an ultimatum that resisters should lay down their arms, pay the taxes and obey the local leadership. On 11 June, a party of soldiers, recently returned from East Africa, were brought in to help police the area and keep the peace. On 13 June, Egba rebels pulled up railway lines at Agbesi and derailed a train. Other rebels demolished the station at Wasimi and murdered the British agent; the Oba Osile, the African leader of the north-eastern Egba district. Hostilities between the 30,000 rebels and colonial troops continued for about three weeks at Otite, Tappona, Mokoloki and Lalako but by the 10th July, the rebellion had been put down and the leaders killed or arrested.

    About 600 people were killed, including the British agent and the Oba Osile, although this may have been due to a dispute over land and unconnected to the uprising. The incident led to the abrogation of Abeokutan independence in 1918 and the introduction of forced labour in the region; imposition of the direct taxes was postponed until 1925. British soldiers who repressed the revolt received the Africa General Service Medal

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    EASTERN FRONT

    USSR: 5th Congress of Soviets adopts RSFSR Constitution.
    Volga*: Vatsetis named new Eastern Front Commander.
    North Caucasus: Denikin’s Volunteer Army defeats Red Army (until July 14.
    Siberia*: British government announce 25th Middlesex Regiment sailing from Hong Kong to Vladivostok.

    WESTERN FRONT
    Marne: French troops reoccupy Courcy, north of river Ourcq.

    MIDDLE EAST
    Armenia: Kress wires Berlin from Tiflis that Armenians threatened with extermination. Hindenburg cables Enver ‘as a Christian’ to let 500,000 starving go home (July 29).
    Persia: RAF plane flies to Urmia, arranges ammo convoy supply (July 22) for Christian Assyrian Jelus beset by Turks.

    SEA WAR
    Atlantic: U-boat sinks Cunard liner Carpathia (5 lives lost) west of Ireland. Other reports have this on 17th July so we will cover it off then.

    War in the Air

    WEDNESDAY, 10 JULY 1918

    General Headquarters, July 11th.


    “On July 10th seven enemy machines were destroyed by us and six others were driven down out of control. Four of our machines are missing. Heavy showers interrupted progress of aerial observation and photography, but, nevertheless, a good deal of this work was accomplished whenever the sky cleared, and, in addition, 10 tons of bombs were dropped by us during the day on different targets. Rain prevented flying at night.”

    Headquarters, R.A.F., Independent Force, July 11th.

    “This morning, one of our squadrons bombed the railway sidings at Offenburg. Some good bursts were observed. All our machines returned safely."

    RAF Communiqué No 15:

    Weather cloudy, with rain storms.

    Twenty-seven reconnaissances and 7 counter-attack patrols.
    Ninety-two hostile butteries engaged for destruction with aeroplane observation, 10 neutralized, 48 zone calls sent.
    Three and a half tons of bombs dropped by night and 10 by day.
    Night Reconnaissances were carried out by machines of Nos 83, 101, 148 and 149 Squadrons, and night bombing by the last three named Squadrons.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Fairly active in the North during the morning; otherwise slight.

    Lieut W H Longton, 85 Sqn, Hannover CL crashed Merville at 06:50/07:50 -

    Capt W F J Harvey & Lieut G Thomson, 22 Sqn, Fokker DrI destroyed [by Thomson] south-east Lille at 09:15/10:15 and Fokker DrI destroyed [by Thomson] south-east Lille at 09:20/10:20 - a patrol of 9 Bristol Fighters of No 22 Squadron encountered a hostile formation of between 15 and 20 Fokker Triplanes and Pfalz Scouts. Capt W F J Harvey and Lieut Thomson, his Observer, shot down a Triplane and sent another down out of control

    Lieut P T Iaccaci & 2nd-Lieut R W Turner, 20 Sqn, Fokker DVII crashed east of Zillebeke Lake at 09:20/10:20 and Fokker DVII out of control east of Zillebeke Lake at 09:20/10:20 -

    Lieut J E Gurdon & 2nd-Lieut J J Scaramanga, 22 Sqn, Pfalz Scout out of control Armentières - Lille at 09:30/10:30, Pfalz Scout out of control Armentières - Lille at 09:30/10:30 and Pfalz Scout in flames Armentières - Lille at 09:30/10:30 – a patrol of 9 Bristol Fighters of No 22 Squadron encountered a hostile formation of between 15 and 20 Fokker Triplanes and Pfalz Scouts. Lieut J E Gurdon dived one of the Pfalz Scouts and sent it down in flames. Two E.A. then got on the tail of his machine. Lieut J J Scaramanga (Observer) shot them both down out of control, himself being severely wounded

    Lieut F G Gibbons & Lieut V St B Collins, 22 Sqn, Fokker DrI out of control by Collins Lille at 09:45/10:45 - a patrol of 9 Bristol Fighters of No 22 Squadron encountered a hostile formation of between 15 and 20 Fokker Triplanes and Pfalz Scouts. Lieut F G Gibbons (Pilot) and Lieut V St B Collins (Observer) were attacked by 3 E.A. who got on the tail of their machine. One of these the Observer shot clown out of control

    2nd-Lieut R E Meredith, 43 Sqn, Pfalz Scout crashed Laventie at 10:00/11:00 -

    Lieut W T Martin & Capt D E Waight, 22 Sqn, Pfalz Scout out of control Lille at 10:00/11:00 - a patrol of 9 Bristol Fighters of No 22 Squadron encountered a hostile formation of between 15 and 20 Fokker Triplanes and Pfalz Scouts. Lieut T W Martin and Capt D E Waight fired long burst at a Pfalz Scout, which went down out of control

    Capt V S Bennett, 80 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control east of La Bassée at 10:15/11:15 -

    Lieut F C Stanton & Lieut C J Tolman, 22 Sqn, Pfalz Scout crashed south of Lille at 10:15/11:15, Pfalz Scout crashed south of Lille at 10:15/11:15 and DFW C out of control south of Lille at 10:30/11:30 - a patrol of 9 Bristol Fighters of No 22 Squadron encountered a hostile formation of between 15 and 20 Fokker Triplanes and Pfalz Scouts. Lieut F C Stanton dived on another Pfalz Scout, when five got on his tail, all of which the Observer, 2nd Lieut C J Tolman, engaged, sending one down out of control. Lieut Stanton brought down 2 other machines

    Casualties:

    Lieut H M ****inson (Kia) & Lieut M H K Kane MC (Pow), 22 Sqn RAF, Bristol F.2B C795 – took off 07:50/08:50 and last seen over Merville going south on OP
    Lieut J Loupinsky (Pow) & 63901 Sergt J R Wright (Pow), 25 Sqn RAF, DH4 D9279 – took off 07:55/08:55 then missing from photographic duty Renaix area
    Lieut L L McFaul (Kia), 80 Sqn RAF, Camel D6463 – took off 08:20/09:20 then missing on offensive patrol La Bassée

    Lieut C B Ridley (Pow), 43 Sqn RAF, Camel D9500 – took off 08:50/09:50 and last seen east of Lens gliding west apparently with engine trouble on patrol; often said to be Ltn d R Hans Holthusen, Js30, 2nd victory [Kemmel at 10:09/11:09] but Kemmel is much too far north

    Lieut J E Gurdon (Wia) & Lieut J J Scaramanga (Wia; dow), 22 Sqn RAF, Bristol F.2B C1003 – took off 08:00/09:00 then damaged in combat with E.A. on OP 09:30/10:30

    Lieut R Moore (Ok), 4 Sqn AFC, Camel D6512 - force landed near Robecq 11:30/12:30 after being hit by shell on bombing and offensive patrol

    One British Air Ace was lost on this day:

    Lieutenant James John Scaramanga 22 Squiadron RAF (Flying a Bristol Fighter) - The son of John and Lousie Scaramanga, James John Scaramanga scored twelve victories as a Brisfit observer. Wounded for the first time on 11 April 1918, he was mortally wounded on 10 July 1918.

    The following claims were made on this day

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    Top performer on this day was Captain John Everard Gurdon DFC 22 Squadron RAF (Flying a Bristol Fighter) - who scored a hat trick of aerial victories on this day

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    In an historic dogfight known as "Two Against Twenty," John Everard Gurdon and his observer, Anthony Thornton, together with Alfred Atkey and his observer, Charles Gass, encountered 20 German scouts during the evening of 7 May 1918. In the epic battle that followed, Atkey and Gass shot down five enemy aircraft while Gurdon and Thornton knocked down three. Gurdon and Atkey were both flying the Bristol F.2b.

    DFC Citation: Lt. John Everard Gurdon.
    This officer is a brilliant fighting pilot who on all occasions shows great determination with entire disregard of personal danger. He has personally destroyed nine enemy machines. On a recent date when on offensive patrol with another Bristol fighter he attacked a formation of seven enemy machines; one of these he shot down in flames. The enemy were then reinforced by two other formations, which brought their number up to twenty. Fighting continued for about half an hour when the Bristols broke off the engagement, their ammunition being exhausted. Only seven enemy machines remained, many having been seen to spin away, and one was shot down by this officer.

    18 British airmen were lost on this day

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    Captain Tunstill's Men: In huts and tents at Club Camp, west of Granezza.

    L.Cpl. Smith Hesselden (see 30th June), who had suffered severe wounds to his back and to both thighs ten days’ previously, died of his wounds at 24th Casualty Clearing Station; he would be buried at the nearby Cavaletto British Cemetery.

    Pte. Norman Greenwood (see 24th July 1917) was reported by L.Sgt. Jonathan Richardson Sunderland (see 23rd March) and Acting CSM Frank Shelah Gilleard (see 30th April) as having “dirty rifle on 9am parade”; on the orders of Capt. James Watson Paterson (see 15th June) he was to be confined to barracks for three days.

    A/RSM Harry Dewhirst (see 24th May), formerly of 10DWR, serving with the Military Provost Staff Corps, was posted as CSM to the Prisoner of War Camp at Brocton, Staffs..

    Lt. Stanley Currington (see 1st July 1917), who had been wounded in October 1916, resigned his commission with DWR having been appointed to a post as Lieutenant with the RAF.

    Pte. Claude Prosser (see 6th May), who had had his left arm amputated having been wounded on 7th June 1917, was formally discharged from the Army as no longer physically fit for service. He was awarded a pension of 27s. 6d. per week.

    A payment of £4 5s. 4d. was authorised, being the amount due in pay and allowances to the late Pte. Herbert Ridley (see 27th March) who had been killed in action on 27th March while serving in France with 5DWR; the payment would go to his widow, Ellen. She would also receive a parcel of his personal effects comprising of, “2 letters, photos, 2 registered envelopes (unused)”.

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    Never knowingly under gunned !

  23. #3423

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    Great hat trick by Captain Gurden - What was he flying? - a Bristol Fighter you say! Well I never
    OK, now I know I shouldn't draw attention to petty details like typing errors, but the thought of ninety-two hostile butteries being engaged for destruction is just too good to let go! Bet that put a stop to the lunchtime sandwiches
    Sorry Chris - you're doing a damned fine job really - keep churning them out mate

  24. #3424

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    Great hat trick by Captain Gurden - What was he flying? - a Bristol Fighter you say! Well I never
    OK, now I know I shouldn't draw attention to petty details like typing errors, but the thought of ninety-two hostile butteries being engaged for destruction is just too good to let go! Bet that put a stop to the lunchtime sandwiches
    Sorry Chris - you're doing a damned fine job really - keep churning them out mate
    Sacked the typist.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  25. #3425

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    Oh well it was fun while it lasted but alas it's NOT coming home...

    11th July 1918

    Looks like this could be a very quiet day - so apologies for that...

    MIDDLE EAST
    Palestine: Lawrence at Allenby’s HQ told outline of Palestine September offensive. Allenby informs CIGS that it will be mid-September (July 12), replies no winter reinforcements from France (July 20).

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    WESTERN FRONT
    Flanders: Rupprecht seriously considers postponing Operation Hagen because of influenza epidemic. Australian Lys sector trench raid near Merris (captured July 29).
    Marne: French deserter informs Germans that Allied tank-led offensive imminent.
    Lorraine: First of 4 US radio stations (at Toul) starts to monitor German traffic. First AEF field code in service (July 15), 9 more by Armistice.

    EASTERN FRONT
    USSR: Red Simbirsk Province Chairman ambushes and kills Muraviev, but Whites rise at Arzamas, Murom, Rostov (Yaroslav Province) and Rybinsk.
    Baltic States: Prince William of Urach (Wuerttemberg) accepts the title of Mindove II, King of Lithuania, from Council of State (Taryba).

    SOUTHERN FRONTS
    Saloniki: At Supreme War Council General Guillaumat says Balkans autumn offensive will succeed, Greeks had entered war to regain East Macedonia, Clemenceau (July 18) instructs d’Esperey to continue preparations.

    SEA WAR
    Atlantic: US supply ship Westover (10 lost) sunk in European waters.

    USS Westover (ID-2867) was a cargo ship of the United States Navy that served during World War I and was sunk during her maiden voyage.

    Westover was laid down as the Design 1013 commercial cargo ship SS War Sun by J. F. Duthie and Company in Seattle, Washington, for the Cunard Line. During construction, she was taken over by the United States Emergency Fleet Corporation and renamed SS Westover. She was launched on 17 February 1918. On 9 April 1918, while Westover was still fitting out, the U.S. Navy inspected her for possible use during World War I. After her completion on 18 April 1918, she steamed to the United States East Coast and was transferred to the U.S. Navy in May 1918. Assigned the naval registry identification number 2867, she was commissioned as USS Westover (ID-2867) at Newport News, Virginia, on 22 May 1918. Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service, Westover steamed to New York City, where she took on a capacity cargo of general United States Army supplies and got underway in convoy on 27 May 1918 bound for St. Nazaire, France. She developed engine trouble during the voyage and fell astern of the convoy. She continued toward France alone and at low speed until 0730 on 11 July 1918, when the submerged German submarine U-92 torpedoed her and sent her to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean at 46°36′N 12°21′W with the loss of 11 members of her crew.

    The Air War

    General Headquarters, July 12th.

    “On July 11th heavy rain storms limited activity in the air on both sides, but our machines carried out reconnaissance work and observation for the fire of our guns whenever brighter intervals permitted. Nine tons of bombs were dropped on railway junctions behind the German lines. Three hostile machines were destroyed during the day and two driven down out of control. Three of our machines were missing. Night flying was impossible."

    Headquarters, R.A.F., Independent Force, July 12th.

    “During the night of 11th-12th inst. our machines successfully bombed three enemy aerodromes, at two of which fires broke out. Many rounds were fired from machine-guns at trains, searchlights, and other military objects."

    RAF Communiqué No 15:

    Weather low clouds and rain.

    Twenty-one reconnaissances and five contact patrols.

    Forty-five hostile batteries engaged for destruction with aeroplane observation, 10 neutralized, 35 zone calls sent.

    Nine tons of bombs dropped by day.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Activity very slight, only few a few combats taking place.

    Capt E J K McCloughry, 4 AFC, Rumpler C crashed south-east Estaires at 04:10/05:10 -
    Capt E J K McCloughry, 4 AFC, Pfalz Scout destroyed north of Estaires at 04:20/05:20 -
    Capt G E H McElroy, 40 Sqn, Hannover CL crashed west of Vitry at 05:50/06:50 -
    2nd-Lieut F C Wilton & 2nd-Lieut E V Austin, 98 Sqn, Pfalz Scout in flames [by Austin] at 07:30/08:30 -
    Capt O C W Johnsen & Capt G H P Whitfield, 98 Sqn, Pfalz Scout out of control Don at 07:50/08:50 -
    Lieut G Richmond & Sergt Mech F Sefton, 98 Sqn, Pfalz Scout out of control [by Sefton] Don at 07:50/08:50 -
    Capt W H Dore & Lieut J E Wallace, 107 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Tournai at 08:20/09:20 -
    Lieut Holden & 2nd-Lieut H Bradbury, 107 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control Blendain, south-west Tournai at 08:45/09:45 -

    Casualties:

    2nd-Lieut W H Shearman (Ok), 17 USAS, Camel B7398 - shot through by enemy A.A. fire
    Lieut F Carpenter (Ok) & Lieut F E Donkin (Ok), 98 Sqn, DH9 D468 – took off 05:25/06:25 then force landed Saint Venant after top water tank shot through by E.A. over the lines on bombing raid
    2nd-Lieut A T Simons (Pow) & Lieut TF Blight (Pow), 107 Sqn, DH9 D5647 – took off 06:20/07:20 and last seen over Tournai on bomb raid
    2nd-Lieut J D Cook (Kia) & 2nd-Lieut H H Ankrett (Kia), 107 Sqn RAF, DH9 C2182 – took off 06:25/07:25 and last seen over Tournai on bomb raid
    Lieut R A Arnott (Pow) & 2nd-Lieut H R Whitehead (Pow), 107 Sqn RAF, DH9 C2183 – took off 06:25/07:25 and last seen over Tournai on bomb raid
    2nd-Lieut F C Wilton (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut E V Austin (Kia), 98 Sqn RAF, DH9 D1724 – took off 05:25/06:25 and force landed Essars 07:30/08:30 after petrol tank and radiator shot through by enemy fire on bombing raid

    Four ‘DH’ victories credited:

    Ltn Heinrich Nebelthau, Js29, 1st victory [north of Marquain at 08:15/09:15]
    Ltn d R Eugen Siempelkamp, Js29, 3rd victory [Molembaix at 08:15/09:15]
    Vzfw Gustav Wachwitz, Js29, 1st victory [Pecq near Tournai at 08:20/09:20]
    Oblt Adolf Gutknecht, Js43, 2nd victory [west of La Bassée at 19:35/20:35] - suspect time should be 07:35/08:35 in which case D1724 is likely

    The following claims were made on this day:

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    Claiming his first victory today we have 2nd. Lieutenant Stephen Reginald Parke Walter 32 Squadron RAF

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    The son of Stephen and Marion Walter, Lieutenant Stephen Reginald Parke Walter served with the 2nd Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment and was wounded on 23 June 1916. On 31 January 1917, he received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 4563. Posted to 32 Squadron, he scored six victories flying the D.H.5 in July 1917. Three days after his last victory, he was killed in a flying accident.

    Nine British airmen were lost on this day

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    Captain Tunstill's Men: In huts and tents at Club Camp, west of Granezza.

    Pte. Joseph Barnes (see 21st April), who had been part of the working party which had been detached since April for work at Rocchetto Station, south-east of Verona, now re-joined the Battalion.

    Ptes. Frank Dunn (see 25th April) and Frank Tucker (see 8th January) re-joined the Battalion from XIV Corps Reinforcement Camp at Arquata Scrivia.

    Pte. John Foster (see 2nd July), serving in France with 2/7th DWR, was transferred from 3rd Stationary Hospital at Rouen to 72nd General Hospital at Trouville; he was now diagnosed as suffering from “boils and carbuncles”. He would spend four days in hospital before being further transferred to 13th Convalescent Depot, also at Trouville.

    L.Cpls. Rowland Firby (see 25th February) and Norman Moorhouse (see 17th January), serving with 3DWR at North Shields, were promoted Acting Corporal.

    Pte. James Pilkington (see 12th January 1915) was formally discharged from the Army on account of sickness. He had been an original member of Tunstill’s Company having been one of those who had enlisted in Earby in September 1914. He had been 38 years old when he had volunteered and had been living in Kelbrook with his wife and daughter. In the absence of a surviving service record it has not been possible to establish anything more about his service other than that he had embarked for France with the Battalion in August 1915; when he had been taken ill is unknown.

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    Last edited by Flying Officer Kyte; 07-12-2018 at 01:00.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  26. #3426

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    12th July 1918


    Major ‘Sir’ Archibald Leonard Lucas Lucas-Tooth (Honorable Artillery Company attached Royal Field Artillery) dies of pneumonia following influenza at a casualty clearing station aged 34. His two elder brothers have been previously killed in action leaving him to succeed his father as the 2nd

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    Captain Douglas Ridley Clunes Gabell (Gloucestershire Regiment attached Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed in Wiltshire and Lieutenant George Frederick Delmar-Williamson is also killed in the same accident at age 19. Gabell is the son of the Reverend Arthur Charles Gabell Rector of Swindon and Delmar-Williamson is the son of Frederick Delmar-Williamson a well known singer and song writer.

    Lieutenant Leslie Cyril Kendall Francis
    (Submarine L9, Royal Navy) drowns at sea at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend W B K Francis.

    SEA WAR
    Pacific: Japan’s first dreadnought 21,900t Kawachi blown up by magazine explosion in Tokuyama Bay, 700 killed.

    Kawachi (河内) was the lead ship of the two-ship Kawachi-class dreadnought battleships built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) in the first decade of the 20th century. Following the Japanese ship-naming conventions, Kawachi was named after Kawachi Province, now a part of Osaka prefecture. During World War I she bombarded German fortifications at Tsingtao during the Battle of Tsingtao in 1914, but saw no other combat. She sank in 1918 after an explosion in her ammunition magazine with the loss of over 600 officers and crewmen.

    The Kawachi class was ordered on 22 June 1907 under the 1907 Warship Supplement Program after the Russo-Japanese War as Japan's first dreadnoughts, although their construction was delayed by a severe depression. Their design was based on the Aki with a uniform 12-inch (305 mm) main-gun armament, although cost considerations prevented all the guns from having the same barrel length. The ship had an overall length of 526 feet (160.3 m), a beam of 84 feet 3 inches (25.7 m), and a normal draft of 27 feet (8.2 m). She displaced 20,823 long tons (21,157 t) at normal load. Her crew ranged from 999 to 1100 officers and enlisted men. Kawachi was fitted with a pair of license-built Curtis steam turbine sets, each set driving one propeller, using steam from 16 Miyabara water-tube boilers. The turbines were rated at a total of 25,000 shaft horsepower (19,000 kW) for a design speed of 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph). She carried enough coal and fuel oil to give her a range of 2,700 nautical miles (5,000 km; 3,100 mi) at a speed of 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph). Kawachi's main armament consisted of four 50-caliber 12-inch 41st Year Type guns in two twin-gun turrets, one each fore and aft of the superstructure, and eight 45-caliber 12-inch 41st Year Type guns mounted in four twin-gun turrets, two on each side of the superstructure. Kawachi's secondary armament was ten 45-caliber 6-inch/45 41st Year Type guns, mounted in casemates in the sides of the hull, and eight 40-caliber quick-firing (QF) 4.7-inch 41st Year Type guns. The ship was also equipped with a dozen 40-caliber 3-inch 4th Year Type guns and four others were used as saluting guns. In addition, the battleship was fitted with five submerged 18-inch (457 mm) torpedo tubes, two on each broadside and one in the stern. The waterline main belt of the ship had a maximum thickness of 12 inches amidships. It tapered to a thickness of 5 inches (127 mm) at the ends of the ship. A 6-inch (152 mm) strake of armor protected the casemates. The barbettes for the main guns were 9–11 inches (229–279 mm) thick. The armor of Kawachi's main gun turrets had a maximum thickness of 11 inches. The deck armor was 1.1 inches (29 mm) thick and the conning tower was protected by 6 to 10 inches of armo.

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    Kawachi was laid down at Yokosuka Naval Arsenal on 1 April 1909. She was launched on 15 October 1910 in a ceremony attended by Emperor Meiji and completed on 31 March 1912 at a cost of ¥11,130,000. On 3 October 1912, the ship was present when the battleship Mikasa had a fire that was started by a sailor in the forward magazine. It was flooded before the fire could get out of control and Kawachi sent over fire-fighting teams to assist Mikasa's crew in case they were needed.[9] When World War I began in August 1914, Kawachi was at Yokosuka. Together with her sister ship, Settsu, she bombarded German fortifications in October–November 1914 during the final stage of the Battle of Tsingtao. The ship was present in Yokosuka on 8 January 1915 when the victorious Second Squadron returned to Japan after the Battle of Tsingtao. She was assigned to the First Squadron from 1915 to 1917 and refitted that latter year.

    Kawachi rejoined the First Squadron after her refit commanded by Captain Yoshimoto Masaki and entered Tokuyama Bay on the evening of 11 July 1918. The following morning torpedo target practice was cancelled due to rough seas and the battleship remained at anchor for the rest of the day. That afternoon a loud explosion was heard at 15:51 in the vicinity of the starboard forward main-gun turret and large quantities of smoke erupted from the turret and between the first and second funnels. Two minutes later, she began to list to starboard and capsized at 15:55, only four minutes after the explosion. Over a thousand men were aboard Kawachi at the time of the explosion and over 600 were killed, with 433 survivors. The Imperial Japanese Navy convened a commission to investigate the explosion the day after the incident with Vice Admiral Murakami Kakuichi as chairman. The commission first suspected arson, but no plausible suspect could be found and it reported that the cordite in her magazine might have spontaneously ignited due to decomposition. Kawachi's magazines had been inspected in January–February 1918, however, and no problems were discovered, which made that possibility less likely. The commission made recommendations on tighter control of production and handling of cordite that were successfully adopted by the navy. The Japanese Navy considered salvaging Kawachi, but ultimately decided that it would be too expensive and would delay the construction of one battlecruiser by over a year. Stricken from the navy list on 21 September 1918, the wreck was later partially dismantled although most of the hull was abandoned in place to serve as an artificial reef

    WESTERN FRONT
    Somme: French capture Castel-Auchin Farm, northwest of Montdidier. Foch asks Haig to be ready to attack in Flanders from La Bassee canal north to liberate Bethune mining district. Haig demurs citing ‘water-*logged’ terrain, counter*-proposes early advance ‘east and southeast of Amiens, so as to disengage that town and the railway’. Foch agrees and reveals that Debeney (French First Army) is ‘studying an offensive with the same objective’. Petain letter to Haig: ‘I have the honour to request a more complete participation of the British Army in the burdens … weighing on my armies for 3 1/2, months: either by … at least 3 divisions or by an attack launched before 18 July on a suitable part of the front.’ Ludendorffs 5th offensive postponed to July 15.

    POLITICS
    Haiti: Government declares war on Germany.
    Australia: Prime Minister Hughes says no return of German Pacific Island.

    HOME FRONTS
    Germany: Colonel Bauer note to Ludendorff ‘We will win if the Homeland no longer stabs the Army in the back.’; repeats the view to Duesseldorf Industry Club on July 20.
    Britain : ‘Propaganda is advertising …’, by Northcliffe.

    The U.S. Army established the 12th Division at Camp Devens, Massachusetts and the 100th Infantry Division at Camp Bowie, Texas.

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    The 12th Division was an infantry division of the United States Army, active in 1918-1919.[1] Established at Camp Devens, Massachusetts, training was interrupted by the World War I Armistice and the division was quickly afterwards disestablished.

    The division was organized on July 12, 1918. The Regular 36th Infantry and 42d Infantry were ordered to Camp Devens in the latter part of July to become part of the 12th Division. (The 42nd Infantry had been assigned to the division on 5 July 1918). A certain number of non-commissioned officers and privates was taken from each company of the two regiments and assigned to the 73rd Infantry and 74th, both war-raised National Army, as a nucleus. The 12th Field Artillery Brigade, which was to become the divisional artillery, was organized and trained at Camp McClellan, Ala. It never actually joined the division at Camp Devens. It consisted of the 34th, 35th, and 36th Field Artillery Regiments and a trench mortar battery. By 1 September 1918 the training of the division for overseas service was well under way. Only after the Armistice of 11 November 1918 did orders arrive for the demobilization of the division. By 31 January 1919, all non-Regular commissioned and enlisted personnel had been discharged. Major-General Henry P. McCain commanded this division from the time of its organization until it was demobilized.[4] McCain remained in command of Camp Devens after the division was disestablished.

    The 100th Training Division (Leader Development) (formerly the 100th Infantry Division) was an infantry division of the United States Army headquartered at Fort Knox, Kentucky. It currently serves as a major training command of the United States Army Reserve. It has been known as the "Century Division" owning to the 100th designation.

    Throughout its long history, the division has taken on numerous roles. Serving as the 100th Infantry Division until the 1950s, the division then briefly became the 100th Airborne Division before becoming the 100th Division (Training). Since this transformation, the division has primarily taken on numerous training roles for other Army units. It was activated in mid 1918, too late to join the fighting in World War I. The division is best known for its exploits during World War II as the 100th Infantry Division. Fighting in the European Theater, the division advanced through France and Germany through the end of the war, fending off serious German counterattacks along the way. World War II would be the only war the division would fight in before taking on its role as a training unit.

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    The 100th Division was constituted on 12 July 1918 in the National Army. It was organized in October of that year at Camp Bowie, Texas. It was assigned the 199th Infantry Brigade commanding the 397th Infantry Regiment, the 398th Infantry Regiment and the 200th Infantry Brigade, commanding the 399th Infantry Regiment and the 400th Infantry Regiment. Each brigade commanded around 8,000 soldiers.

    The division then began preparations to deploy to Europe and join the American Expeditionary Forces in combating the Central Powers during World War I. Before the division could deploy, though, the war ended on 11 November 1918, Armistice Day. The 100th Division then began demobilization as part of the post-war drawdown of the U.S. Army.[5] It would remain on the U.S. Army's roll until November 1919, when it was completely demobilized. Only two years later, on 24 June 1921, the division was reconstituted in the Organized Reserve and assigned to the states of West Virginia and Kentucky, with its headquarters organized in Wheeling, West Virginia, on 27 September 1921. On 29 May 1923, the division received its shoulder sleeve insignia.Through its interwar years, the division saw little service. Its location was changed in 1924 to Huntington, West Virginia and was changed again in 1937 to Charleston, West Virginia.

    In 1940, the 199th and 200th Infantry Brigade headquarters were disbanded, and the division was placed in command of the 397th, 398th, and 399th Infantry Regiments directly; the 400th Infantry Regiment was inactivated. The 100th Infantry Division was ordered into active military service on 15 November 1942 at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. The enlisted and officer cadre came from the 76th Infantry Division. The commander of the 100th was Major General Withers A. Burress, one of only eleven generals who commanded their divisions for the entire war. From late 1943 to early 1944, the division trained in the mountains of Tennessee and was subsequently sent to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, for further training. While at Fort Bragg, Technical Sergeant Walter L. Bull earned the first Expert Infantryman's Badge.

    The War in the Air

    Today saw the death of the Austro Hungarian Ace Offizierstellvertreter Karl Urban

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    Karl Urban was born in Graz, Austria on 29 December 1894, when it was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. When World War I began, he was one of many who rushed into military service. He completed basic training, then volunteered for aviation duty. He was sent to pilot's training with Fliegerersatzkompanie 6 in Fischamend.

    In mid-July 1915, the newly trained pilot received his first flying assignment. He reported to Fliegerkompanie 10 on the Russian Front; it was commanded by Hauptmann (Captain) Erich Kahlen. Flik 10 was not a specialized unit; it operated predominantly two-seater aircraft, such as Hansa-Brandenburg C.Is and Knoller-Albatros B.Is. Their flights were for reconnaissance, artillery direction, and aerial photography. Urban's development of his natural abilities as a pilot soon had him acknowledged as the squadron's most skillful flier. On 1 September 1915, was dubbed a "Field Pilot". On 28 September, he and his observer had gathered military intelligence of great value while a flying reconnaissance mission. When the machine's engine quit north of Klevan, Urban managed to glide back to a deadstick landing with friendly forces near Torczyn.

    On 22 December, while flying over Rowno, he suffered another engine stoppage. While still in flight, he climbed forward, unstuck the engine's valve train, and restarted the motor for the trip home. A week later, he received Austrian Pilot Certificate number 306.

    Urban was awarded his Field Pilot's Badge on 22 February 1916. During March 1916, he was also awarded the Silver Medal for Bravery First Class. On the 26th, he once again pulled off a daring raid on Klewan's railroad depot. He and his aerial observer, Oberleutnant Grunne, bombed the depot after penetrating heavy cloud cover and extensive anti-aircraft fire; on the way home, they spotted a previously unknown Russian airfield. On the morning of 5 May 1916, Urban and Otto Jäger, his aerial observer, engaged a Russian aircraft with a crew of three. During a prolonged battle of more than 25 minutes, Jäger fired 300 shots at the Russians before his machine gun jammed. Urban then fired with a carbine while his gunner cleared the jam. Jäger then reopened fire, and drove the Russian plane down just within its own lines. When friendly infantry verified the downing, Urban had his first aerial victory.

    On 7 June 1916, Urban and Jäger scored a second victory together. The two of them cooperated with another Austro-Hungarian aircrew in driving down a pair of Russian Farman biplanes; each Austro-Hungarian crew was credited with a victory. On 2 August, Jäger and Urban scored again, when the gunner used 100 rounds of ammunition to shoot down a Farman two-seater behind Russian lines; the fatal victory was later confirmed through interrogation of Russian prisoners of war. On 28 August 1916, flying with a new observer, Urban engaged four Russian planes–three Farman two-seaters and a single-seater Nieuport fighter. The efforts to fight them off took the Austro-Hungarians down into range of enemy antiaircraft fire. As the Austro-Hungarians bucked a headwind from the north, their craft was rocked by a near-miss. Shrapnel slashed into Urban's back, knocking him out. Observer Bastyr restarted the engine, then roused Urban. The latter managed to struggle back to base and was sent to hospital. His heroism was rewarded with a personal written commendation. In September, he was awarded his empire's highest honor, the Gold Medal for Bravery.In December 1916, Urban switched to Fliegerkompanie 27. On 22 February 1917, he was granted the rare distinction of being permanently awarded the Field Pilot's Badge. Halfway through October 1917, he was reassigned again, this time to an artillery direction unit that later developed into Fliegerkompanie 66D. He would serve with them until the following Spring. Then he would be posted to a fighter unit, Fliegerkompanie 14. His Phönix D.I fighter was marked with his initial 'U' in white on a red background band wrapped around the fuselage aft of the cockpit. He used this plane for his final victory; during a general engagement on 19 May 1918, he downed an Italian fighter, probably a Hanriot HD.1.

    Relieved from combat duty during July 1918, Urban became a test pilot. A session for evaluating new aircraft was scheduled for 9–13 July at Aspern Airfield near Vienna. On 12 July 1918, while looping a new model Phönix D.I at 1500 meters, it lost its wings. Karl Urban died in the crash. A week later, he was posthumously promoted to Austria-Hungary's highest noncommissioned officer rank, Offiziersstellvertreter (Deputy Officer)

    The following claims were made on this day...

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    The stand out performance on this day was from Captain Cedric Ernest 'Spike' Howell DSO, DFC, MC 45 Squadron RAF, who claimed FIVE victories flying his Sopwith Camel (D9394)

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    Cedric Ernest "Spike" Howell, DSO, MC, DFC (17 June 1896 – 10 December 1919) was an Australian fighter pilot and flying ace of the First World War. Born in Adelaide, South Australia, he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in 1916 for service in the First World War and was posted to the 46th Battalion on the Western Front. In November 1916, he was accepted for a transfer to the Royal Flying Corps and was shipped to the United Kingdom for flight training. Graduating as a pilot, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant and posted to No. 45 Squadron RFC in France during October 1917; two months later the unit sailed to the Italian theatre.

    Howell spent eight months flying operations over Italy, conducting attacks against ground targets and engaging in sorties against aerial forces. While in Italy, he was credited with shooting down a total of nineteen aircraft. In one particular sortie on 12 July 1918, Howell attacked, in conjunction with one other aircraft, a formation of between ten and fifteen German machines; he personally shot down five of these planes and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. He had previously been awarded the Military Cross and Distinguished Flying Cross for his gallantry in operations over the front. He was posted back to the United Kingdom in July 1918. In 1919, Howell was killed while taking part in the England to Australia air race. Piloting a Martinsyde A1 aircraft, he attempted to make an emergency landing on Corfu but the plane fell short, crashing into the sea just off the island's coast. Both Howell and his navigator subsequently drowned.

    In October 1917, Howell was posted to No. 45 Squadron RFC in France, piloting Sopwith Camels. Just prior to joining the unit, Howell had suffered a bout of malaria while still in England giving him a "tall, thin and dismal looking" appearance; he was consequently nicknamed "Spike". His service over the Western Front was short-lived, however, as the squadron moved to Italy in late December. While operating over the Italian Front, Howell was engaged in both aerial combat missions and ground-attack sorties, which included "destroy[ing] enemy transport crossing the Alps". On 1 April 1918, the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service were combined to form the Royal Air Force, with personnel from the former services transferred to the new branch; Howell thus became a lieutenant in the new service from this date.

    Throughout the first half of 1918, Howell conducted several raids on ground targets, including one on an electrical power plant. From a height of approximately 100 feet (30 m), Howell, with "great skill", scored three direct hits with his bombs on the facility. He was also active in aerial engagements against Central aircraft during this period, achieving flying ace status early in the year. During a particular patrol with two other members of his squadron on 13 May, the trio intercepted a party of twelve rival planes. In the ensuring battle, Howell "carried out a most dashing attack", being personally credited with the destruction of three of the aircraft and with driving a fourth down out of control, despite suffering "frequent jams in both of his machine guns". Cited for his "conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty" in carrying out ground-attack missions, coupled with his destruction of seven Central aircraft, Howell was awarded the Military Cross. The announcement of the decoration was promogulated in a supplement to the London Gazette on 16 September 1918. Promoted to temporary captain on 1 June 1918, Howell led a party of three machines out on patrol eight days later. The trio spotted a formation of six Austrian scout planes and went in to attack; Howell shot down two of the aircraft.Later that month, he took off on a similar sortie with two other aircraft. They intercepted a party of nine machines, and during the consequent battle no less than six of the Central planes were destroyed with a seventh shot down as out of control; Howell was credited with two of these. Described as a "fine fighting officer, skilful and determined", Howell was commended for his efforts in destroying five aircraft during June, which resulted in his award of the Distinguished Flying Cross. The notice for the decoration was gazetted on 21 September 1918.

    Howell was out on patrol on 15 June 1918 when German and Austrian forces initiated the Battle of the Piave River by striking Allied lines on the opposite bank. After landing back at base at 11:40, he was the first to bring news of the attack. With the aircraft refuelled and loaded with bombs, he—in company with the rest of the squadron—then led his flight on a total of four sorties against the enemy insurgents. No. 45 Squadron succeeded in destroying with its bombs a pontoon bridge, a boat, and a trench filled with soldiers, before inflicting at least a hundred casualties with machine gun fire. Heavy rain washed other bridges away and by 18 June the stranded Austrian forces on the Allied bank of the river were routed by a counterattack.

    On 12 July 1918, Howell and Lieutenant Alan Rice-Oxley took to the sky in their Camels. The pair were soon confronted by a formation of between ten and fifteen Central aircraft. As the consequent dogfight raged, Howell destroyed four of the aircraft and sent a fifth down out of control. Two days later, Howell was credited with bringing down another plane, forcing the machine to crash down in Allied-held territory. On 15 July, he led a trio of Camels in an assault on sixteen scout planes; he destroyed two of the machines. The two scouts were to prove Howell's final aerial victories of the war, bringing his total to nineteen aerial victories which were composed of fifteen aircraft destroyed, three driven down as out of control and one captured. His total made him No. 45 Squadron's second highest-scoring ace after Matthew Frew, although some sources place Howell's score as high as thirty aerial victories. Late in July, following ten months of active service in the cockpit, Howell was posted back to the United Kingdom where he spent the remainder of the war attached to training units as a flight instructor. Cited for his "distinguished and gallant services" in Italy, he was mentioned in the despatch of General Rudolph Lambart, 10th Earl of Cavan on 26 October 1918. For his efforts in destroying eight aircraft over a four-day period in July, Howell was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

    General Headquarters, July 13th.

    “Low clouds and heavy rain storms prevailed on the Western front on July 12th. Enemy aircraft showed no activity, and our own machines could only carry out observation work for the artillery during the brief intervals of brighter weather. There were no combats or casualties. At night, in spite of high wind and an overcast sky, our airmen carried out some useful reconnaissances and dropped four tons of bombs."

    Headquarters, R.A.F., Independent Force, July 12th.

    “On the 12th inst. the railway sidings at Saarburg were attacked. All our machines returned safely."

    RAF Communiqué No 15:

    Weather, low clouds and rain.

    Fourteen reconnaissances and six counter-attack patrols.

    Fifteen hostile batteries engaged for destruction with aeroplane observation, eight neutralized, 31 zone calls sent.

    One ton of bombs dropped by day.

    On the 12th instant, four targets were registered by balloons.

    The following is an extract from Intelligence Summary of the 1st Australian Division, dated 12th instant:- Several prisoners stated they were unable to offer any resistance owing to one of our aeroplanes, which by machine-gun fire forced them to keep their heads down in their shell hole position.”

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Activity practically nil – no combats.

    Casualties:

    ? (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut J A Wilson (Wia), 35 Sqn RAF, AW FK8 – ground fire?

    2nd-Lieut F J Church (Kia), 74 Sqn, SE5a D6908 – took off 08:00/09:00 and last seen over Warneton 08:30/09:30 on patrol; said to be Ltn Joachim von Busse, Js20, 6th victory [north of Bailleul at 08:5/09:55] but his claim made on 13 July

    A total of 12 British airmen were lost on this day

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    Never knowingly under gunned !

  27. #3427

  28. #3428

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    Bit of a lull before the storm at the moment - very quiet day today but some major offensives waiting in the wings.

    13th July 1918

    Major Herbert Selwyn Aston MC (Highland Light Infantry attached Machine Gun Corps) is killed in action by an aeroplane bomb. He had taken 1st place in Science at the Cambridge Local Examinations and was awarded the Duke of Westminster Gold Medal.
    Captain Edward Parker Wallman Wedd MC (Royal Army Medical Corp attached Essex Yeomanry) is killed at age 34. He is the son of Edward Arthur Wedd JP.
    Lieutenant Odo Louis D Mackay Simpson (Sherwood Foresters) is killed at age 34. He is the heir presumptive to his brother ‘Sir’ Walter Grindley Simpson the Baronet.
    Lieutenant William Scott Robertson (Royal Air Force) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the editor of the North Eastern Daily Gazette
    Second Leutenant Evan Francis Kerruish (Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed at age 20 at home. He is the son of the Reverend Thomas Kerruish.
    Lance Corporal James Dodds Ross (Quebec Regiment) dies at home as the results of being gassed on the Western Front. His brother was killed in action in July 1916.

    WESTERN FRONT

    France: Petain fixes Mangin’s D-day as July 18. General Haller made C-in-C Polish Army (1 regiment).
    Aisne: British XXII Corps transferred south to Ardre Sector.

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    EASTERN FRONT
    Turkestan: White railway*-men massacre Tashkent’s Cheka chief and bodyguard in Ashkabad, but Red Guards repulse drive on Tashkent (July 24).

    SOUTHERN FRONTS

    Greece: French General Gramat made CoS Greek Army.

    The War in the Air

    There were two more confirmed victories for Captain (later Major) William George Barker (37 and 38) he was flying Sopwith Camel B6313 for 66 Squadron RAF.

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    It was around this time that Barker won both the bat to his DSO and 2nd bar to his MC.

    T./Capt. William George Barker, D.S.O., M.C., Gen. List and R.F.C.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When leading patrols he on one occasion attacked eight hostile machines, himself shooting down two, and on another occasion seven, one of which he shot down. In two months he himself destroyed four enemy machines and drove down one, and burned two balloons.
    (M.C. gazetted 10th January, 1917.)
    (Bar to M.C. gazetted 18th July, 1917.)

    Capt. (T./Major) William George Barker, D.S.O., M.C.
    A highly distinguished patrol leader whose courage, resource and determination has set a fine example to those around him. Up to the 20th July, 1918, he had destroyed thirty-three enemy aircraft—twenty-one of these since the date of the last award (second Bar to the Military Cross) was conferred on him. Major Barker has frequently led formations against greatly superior numbers of the enemy with conspicuous success.

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    The following other claims were made on this day

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    General Headquarters, July 14th.

    “Twelve enemy aeroplanes were destroyed by us on July 13th, and four driven down out of control. Three of our machines are missing. A good deal of reconnaissance and observation work was carried out by our airmen in fine intervals, and four and a half tons of bombs were dropped by them during the day. On the night of July 13th-14th. our bombing machines were very active. Over 1,100 bombs, weighing in the aggregate 19 tons, were dropped upon enemy camps, railway lines, trains, transport and billets. All our night-flying machines returned safety."

    RAF Communiqué No 15:

    Weather, clouds and rain with occasional bright intervals.

    Thirty reconnaissances, one contact and six counter-attack patrols.

    Forty-one hostile batteries engaged for destruction with aeroplane observation, eight neutralized, 46 zone calls sent.

    Three tons of bombs dropped by night and 4½ tons by day.

    On the 13th instant, 10 hostile batteries engaged for destruction with balloon observation and fire observed on 40 other targets.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Fairly active in the North during morning.

    Lieut E S Morgan & 2nd-Lieut R Simpson, 211 Sqn, E.A. out of control -
    Lieut T S Harrison, 29 Sqn, SE5a C8859, Balloon in flames east of Bailleul at 05:15/06:15 - a hostile balloon was shot down in flames by Lieut T S Harrison, No 29 Squadron (confirmed by another pilot; shown in 2 Brigade summary as 14 July)
    Capt G E H McElroy, Lieut I L Roy, Lieut G J Strange and Lieut F H Knoebel, 40 Sqn, Hannover CL crashed west of Estaires at 06:45/07:45 - a patrol of No 40 Squadron attacked an enemy two-seater which was shot down and seen to crash
    Lieut C G Brock and Lieut A Hamilton, 3 Sqn, DFW C out of control 57c.S.11 [north of Longueval] at 07:10/08:10 -

    Patrol, 74 Sqn, SE5a, Scout broke up Steenwerck at 08:55/09:55 and Scout out of control Steenwerck at 08:55/09:55 - a patrol of No 74 Squadron had a combat with six enemy scouts. Several of the patrol opened fire at close range. One hostile machine was shot to pieces in the air and another driven down out of control. Ltn d R Hans-Rudolf von Decker, Jasta 20, Wia

    1st Lieut F E Kindley, 148 USAS, Albatros Scout crashed south-east Ypres at 08:57/09:57 - the 148th American Squadron got their first blood, Lieut F E Kindley shooting off the tail plane of an Albatros scout
    Lieut J Austin-Sparks & Lieut F M Loly, 103 Sqn, Pfalz Scout out of control W Armentières at 17:30/18:30 -
    Lieut F T S Sehl, 203 Sqn, DFW C crashed E Lens at 18:15/19:15 -
    Lieut P J E Pierce, 19 Sqn, Fokker DVII crashed Bois de Biez at 20:05/21:05 -
    Lieut C V Gardner, 19 Sqn, Fokker DVII in flames Bois de Biez at 20:05/21:05 -
    Capt J D de Pencier, 19 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control Bois de Biez at 20:05/21:05 -
    Lieut M S Gregory, 19 Sqn, Fokker DVII crashed south of Bois de Biez at 20:05/21:05 -
    Lieut J W Crane, 19 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control south-east Bois de Biez at 20:05/21:05 -
    Lieut A R Whitten, 40 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Vitry at 20:05/21:05 -
    Lieut G J Strange, 40 Sqn, Pfalz Scout destroyed east of Brebières at 20:05/21:05 -
    Capt G E H McElroy, 40 Sqn, Pfalz Scout crashed Vitry at 20:05/21:05 -
    Lieut I L Roy, 40 Sqn, Pfalz Scout crashed Vitry at 20:05/21:05 -
    Lieut L K Callahan, 85 Sqn, Fokker DVII crashed west of Armentières at 20:30/21:30 -
    Capt G C Dixon, 85 Sqn, Pfalz Scout crashed west of Armentières at 20:30/21:30 – confirmed by another pilot
    Capt E J K McCloughry, 4 AFC, Albatros C crashed west of Merville at 21:15/22:15 -

    Casualties:

    Lieut E C Brown (Ok), 85 Sqn, SE5a E5944 - force landed Winnezele due propeller shot away on offensive patrol
    ? (Ok) 2nd-Lieut C W T Colman (Wia), 211 Sqn RAF, DH9 – combat?
    Lieut G W Wood (Ok), 64 Sqn, SE5a D6865 - overturned in forced landing near Bethune 06:00/07:00 after shot through on OP
    Lieut G W Graham (Kia), 204 Sqn RAF, Camel B6389 - collided with Camel D3386 over Zeebrugge 16:40/17:40, broke up in air and burst into flames falling into sea during special mission
    2nd-Lieut J Mesham (Kia), 204 Sqn RAF, Camel D3386 - collided with Camel B6389 over Zeebrugge 16:40/17:40 and last seen gliding towards Holland on special mission

    2nd-Lieut W Gilman (Kia) & 238558 1/Pte W J Atkinson (Kia), 211 Sqn RAF, DH9 B9346 – took off 15:20/16:20 then fired white Very light and landed in sea about 4 miles north of Nieuport 17:15/18:15 after A.A. hit on return from bomb raid Ostend - Nieuport; anti-aircraft fire or Flgm Eduard Blaass, MFJIII, 2nd victory

    Lieut W S Robertson (Kia), 85 Sqn RAF, SE5a C1818 – took off 19:15/20:15 last seen in combat south-east of Armentières on patrol
    Lieut C E Hurst (Ok) & Lieut S G Birch (Ok), 22 Sqn, Bristol F.2B C4835 - overturned in crops in forced landing near Lilliers 19:25/20:25 after rear petrol tank shot by E.A.A. on OP

    On a bad day for the RAF, 20 British airmen were lost

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    Captain Tunstill's Men: Support positions near Cesuna.

    L.Cpl. Martin Reddington (see 13th March) re-joined the Battalion from the Base Depot at Arquata Scrivia.

    Pte. John Thorp Newsome (see 2nd February) was admitted to 23rd Division Rest Station, suffering from diarrohea; he would be discharged and re-join the Battalion after three days.

    L.Cpl. Harry Bailey (25248) (see 29th June) was admitted via 69th Field Ambulance and 9th Casualty Clearing Station to 62nd General Hospital at Bordighera, near Ventimiglia; he was suffering from jaundice.

    Pte. Robert William Gough (see 29th October 1917) departed on seven days’ leave to Lake Garda.

    Pte. John Walter Gethen (see 12th June), serving with 69th Trench Mortar Battery, was discharged from 11th General Hospital in Genoa and posted to the Convalescent Depot at Lido d’Albano.

    Pte. James Kilburn (see 11th June), who was being treated for influenza and boils at the Camp Hospital at Northern Command Depot at Ripon, was reported as “Breaking out of camp after roll call and remaining absent until apprehended, breaking in to camp, by the Provost Sergeant about 10.55pm” and also for, “Irregular conduct, ie giving a false name and number to the Provost Sergeant”; he would be ordered to be confined to barracks for eight days.
    A payment of £10 9s. 6d. was authorised, being the amount due in pay and allowances to the late Pte. George Binns (see 10th May), who had been killed in action on 14th April while serving with 1st/4th DWR; the payment would go to his father, George.

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    Never knowingly under gunned !

  29. #3429

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    Blimey its warm again, so will probably publish this in installments, as currently trying to follow the football, the cricket, sunbathe and drink beer at the same time (who says men can't multi task???) - its a hard life at times...

    14th July 1918

    The Battle of Abu Tellul
    (called the Affair of Abu Tellul by the British Battles Nomenclature Committee[6]) was fought on 14 July 1918 during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I after German and Ottoman Empire forces attacked the British Empire garrison in the Jordan Valley. The valley had been occupied by the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) from February 1918 when Jericho was captured. Following two raids east of the River Jordan by the EEF the first in March and second in April the defence of the valley became the responsibility of the Desert Mounted Corps. A German and Ottoman force attacked the Australian Light Horse units defending the heights at Mussallabeh and Abu Tellul on the edge of the Judean Hills, while a German force attacked those defending the Wadi Mellaha midway between Abu Tellul and the Jordan River. As these attacks were taking place on the western bank of the river, on the eastern side the Ottoman Caucasus Cavalry Brigade deployed two regiments, to attack the bridgeheads at the fords of El Hinu and Makhadet Hijla. However, the Ottoman formation was overwhelmed by a combined force of British and Indian troops before it could launch its attack. These were the last attacks against the British forces in this campaign.

    Abu Tellul was a strategically important ridge located near the west bank of the Jordan river which, together with another ridge to the north called Mussallabeh, formed a salient in the British defensive line in the Jordan valley. A number of defensive posts were constructed by the Australian and New Zealand garrison which were often between 400 yards (370 m) and 1,000 yards (910 m) apart, consisting of either dug or built up stone sangars, while the ravines in between were covered with barbed wire. The British artillery batteries were concealed close behind the front line just south of the ridge. El Mussallabeh had been attacked on 11 April, between the first and second Transjordan raids. The attack had been launched by a composite force of four Ottoman infantry battalions and several batteries.Subsequently, defensive work was carried out. From early May, when the withdrawal of the forces involved in the second Transjordan attack was complete, the occupation of the Jordan Valley by the Egyptian Expeditionary Force was unchallenged, except for the attacks on 14 July and shelling by long-range Ottoman and German artillery.

    The Ottoman and German attack occurred on the front line protecting the garrison in the valley; the main focus being a salient in the wilderness to the north north west of the Wadi el Auja on the western side of the Jordan River. They sought to cut off the British force in the Jordan Valley from the infantry holding the front line in the Judean Hills by creating a wedge between the infantry and the mounted force in the valley. Such an action would, if successful, have destabilised British control of the Jordan and Dead Sea area, effectively ending the threat of a third Transjordan attack by pushing Lieutenant General Harry Chauvel's forces back out of the Jordan Valley. If the attack succeeded, the front line stretching from the Mediterranean Sea would have been considerably shortened and potentially destabilised. The Ottoman Eighth Army defending the coastal sector, the Seventh Army defending the Judean Hills and the Fourth Army defending the east would have been able to strengthen their considerably shorter line to threaten General Edmund Allenby's right flank making the attacks in September at Megiddo very difficult, if not virtually impossible.

    Bad feelings between the two allies arose when it was believed by sections of the Ottoman Army in Palestine that some German units had been withdrawn and sent to the Caucasus. In fact, no units of the Ottoman Army were withdrawn from Palestine to support the Trans-Caucasian campaigns, one infantry division and an infantry regiment were sent to eastern Anatolia in 1918 but from Constantinople. Indeed, considerable reinforcements arrived in Palestine from Caucasia in 1918 including the 2nd Caucasian Cavalry Division and the 37th Division.The cordial relations developed between Ottomans and Germans during three years of war in the Sinai and Palestine were, however, seriously undermined in May 1918 when Enver Pasha violated the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and aggressively expanded the Ottoman presence in Georgia.

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    The attack commenced with long-range artillery shelling from both sides throughout the night, then 17 German aircraft bombed the Jordan Valley garrison at 04:00 in the morning of Sunday 14 July, causing dozens of casualties.

    Movements were heard between Vale and View posts defended by the 3rd Light Horse Regiment just after 01:00 when the regimental commander ordered an artillery barrage in front of Vale post. Ottoman artillery also started shelling Mussallabeh and Abu Tellul. This bombardment ceased about 02:30 when the movement of many Ottoman units was again heard by the defenders. These were the German 702nd and 703rd Battalions, one company of the 11 Regiment Jäger Battalion and one company of the 146th Regiment. This force was supported on the left by the 32nd Regiment attacking Mussallabeh, and on the right by the 163rd and 58th Regiments facing Abu Tellul, with 2nd Regiment forming a reserve in the rear.

    At 03:30 the Mussallabeh salient protecting the Wadi el Auja was attacked by 1,250 Germans in two and a half battalions. Just before the attack began, the regimental commander of 2nd Light Horse Regiment withdrew his headquarters, located just behind Vale position, which was the first position attacked, narrowly escaping capture to Abu Tellul West where they established and maintained their position throughout the attack. The 2nd Light Horse regimental commanding officer observed from his new position on Abu Tellul West, just before dawn, a large body of troops coming up the hill towards his twelve-man post. At first he assumed they were some of his own men retiring from the outer posts, but when they reached the wire and began to cut it, he at once gave the order to open rapid fire. The German battalions forming the centre of the attacking force made a considerable advance circling over the Vale position and across Abu Tellul; establishing a post on Abu Tellul East and then pushing on to eastern side; to The Bluff where they occupied a post with their backs to Kh al Beiyudak. This move cut off all the Light Horse posts at Vyse and on Mussallabeh as well as those on The Bluff and Abu Tellul East, all were without communication to regimental or brigade headquarters. Despite being isolated, heavily attacked and in a number of cases surrounded, they held their ground. They were able to successfully defend their sangars and posts from whatever direction the attack came. Only the troop at Vale and Maskera posts were forced to retire, while one trench on Mussallabeh was captured for a short period before being retaken, and one sangar on Abu Tellul East held by a troop of the 2nd Light Horse Regiment was captured after all the garrison was killed or wounded.

    The Germans found themselves caught in numerous cross fires from the front, flank and rear from the mutually-supporting defensive positions, while the Ottoman forces deployed on their left and right flanks were unable to strongly support the German attack. On the left of the main attack the Ottoman 32nd Regiment made a frontal attack on Mussallabeh and captured a post, which was retaken by the defenders shortly after.[38] Three attempts were made by the left of the attacking force on Mussallabeh, but were driven back each time with heavy loss by well placed machine-gun fire leaving about 200 dead. The whole position was completely restored and 380 German and about 200 Ottoman prisoners were sent back to headquarters.[39] On the right flank, Ottoman units from the Ottoman 58th Regiment climbed a cliff to attack View post but a sentry shot the leaders; one of whom must have been carrying incendiary bombs as he burst into flames. By the light of this human torch the remaining would-be attackers were shot, and as a result the remaining Ottoman soldiers at the bottom of the cliff did not make another attack.[40] Regardless, the attack by the Ottoman 163rd Regiment on Vaux post continue.

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    When it was found that the Germans had advanced between the 2nd and 3rd Light Horse Regiments and reached the centre of the advanced Light Horse position, the reserve; the 1st Light Horse Regiment launched a counter-attack at 04:30. When the alarm had first been raised, the commander of the 1st Light Horse Brigade had sent forward one squadron of the reserve regiment; with four machine-guns to reinforce the 2nd Light Horse Regimental headquarters on Abu Tellul West and at 03:40 sent a second squadron forward which attacked Abu Tellul East. At the foot of Abu Tellul an artillery officer found two officers and twelve men of the reserve regiment of the 1st Light Horse Brigade, who were on their way to counter-attack the Bluff and ordered the battery to fire in support of the assault. Their 13-pounder high explosive shells burst among the rocks of the German position causing forty Germans to quickly surrender. These prisoners were disarmed, and put in charge of two of the Australians, while the counter-attack; now reduced to seven Australians, moved forward again. Another group of Germans was discovered occupying the end part of Abu Tellul and again the battery opened fire, and after a few minutes, six officers and eighty men surrendered to seven light horsemen; the two groups of prisoners being quickly taken to the rear. While the outer light horse posts had been surrounded, they had all held out, and turned their machine-guns on the attacking force and by this stage reinforcements of the 1st Light Horse Regiment and the Wellington Mounted Rifle Regiment, were pushing along both sides of the Abu Tellul Ridge, to quickly drive out the remainder of their oppononts, and restored the position. The Germans were caught scattered and disorganised; the light horse posts had prevented them digging in and they were quickly swept from their position retreating back into the valley to the north where they were fired on from Mussallabeh posts. The Germans still held their position at The Bluff as did the Australians and when, at 08:00, the 1st Light Horse Regiment retook the position just three men in The Bluff sangars out of twenty remained unwounded; while 100 Germans were captured. Meanwhile, the Ottoman 163rd Regiment's attack on Vaux post continued until they were strongly counter-attacked by the Wellington Mounted Rifle Regiment and driven back; the mounted riflemen capturing sixty-one prisoners.

    Attack on the Wadi Mellaha

    On the Wadi Mellaha the Ottomans shelled the 2nd Light Horse Brigade throughout the night; at dawn two German infantry companies from the 146th Regiment and two Ottoman battalions were seen at various points along the front digging trenches. A troop from the 5th Light Horse Regiment from the 2nd Light Horse Brigade, twice left their lines with bombs, attacking a force many times their number. On the first occasion, a large group in front of Star Post near the centre of the line was reconnoitred by an officer and fourteen men. They got to within 20 yards (18 m) of a group of about 150 Germans position, who threatened to completely surround the small group; before being attacked by the light horsemen who captured fifteen prisoners. Two hours later at 08:00 the same officer went forward with twenty men to within bombing distance and charged throwing bombs and bayoneting many of the Ottomans. One officer and two light horsemen were slightly wounded, while they killed twenty-five, wounded thirty and captured thirty to forty-five, the remainder escaping to their rear position 1,000 yards (910 m) behind. The German and Ottoman attacks on Abu Tellul and Mussallabeh, were successfully counter-attacked by the 1st Light Horse Brigade and the Wellington Mounted Rifle Regiment, while the remainder of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade cleared the country for 1,000 yards (910 m) in front of the original front line. After six-and-a-half hours of fierce hand-to-hand fighting at Mussallabeh, Abu Tellul and on the Wadi Mellaha, a total of 425–448 prisoners were captured, 358–377 of whom were German while the Light Horse suffered 108 casualties. Six machine-guns, forty-two automatic rifles, 185 rifles and a large quantity of ammunition were captured. In the rear of the attacking force the Ottoman 3rd Cavalry Division waited in vain for an opportunity to exploit any successes and link up with the attack on Abu Tellu.

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    Falls' Sketch Map 29 Abu Tellul cavalry operations at El Hinu Ford 14 July 1918

    While the attacks on Mussallebeh and Abu Tellul on the western side of the Jordan River were in progress, an Ottoman cavalry force was seen massing for an attack on the east bank of the river. The cavalry were advancing towards El Hinu ford, between the Ghoraniyeh bridgehead and the Dead Sea. The Jodhpur and Mysore Lancers from the 15th (Imperial Service) Cavalry Brigade galloped out from the fords, while the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry and the 34th Prince Albert Victor's Own Poona Horse, from the 14th Cavalry Brigade moved out from the Ghoraniyeh bridgehead to attack the Ottoman cavalry. At 03:30 a squadron of the Jodhpore Lancers crossed the Jordan at the El Hinu ford and a squadron of the Mysore Lancers crossed at Makhadet Hijla to discover the Ottoman cavalry force on a 2-mile (3.2 km) long front with its right flank just north of the Wadi er Rame 1.5 miles (2.4 km) east of Makhadet Hijla. This force, made up of the Ottoman 9th and 11th Cavalry Regiments with one squadron of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, from the Caucasus Cavalry Brigade, was advancing towards the El Hinu ford; their squadrons forming a wide front while one squadron of the 7th Cavalry Regiment was in reserve in the rear. These squadrons attacked the outposts of the 15th (Imperial Service) Cavalry Brigade on the right of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry.Two armoured cars of No. 1 Australian Light Car Patrol supported the Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade in their successful counterattack.

    At 10:30 two squadrons of the Jodhpore Lancers crossed the Jordan River at the El Hinu ford and moved 2.5 miles (4.0 km) east north-east to a ford over the Wadi er Rame, which flowed from the east at right angles into the Jordan River, at Ain el Garaba. Here they were to attack the Ottoman cavalry while the Mysore Lancers and Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry would be in support. When the two squadrons of Jodhpore Lancers were in position south of the Ottoman flank, they charged in extended order two horses' lengths apart. As they came under fire, they swung left-handed in column of troops and galloped due north with a machine-gun subsection covering this advance. The Jodhpore Lancers charge crashed into the Ottoman cavalry spearing a number with their lances before advancing to the ford, capturing fifty prisoners and a large number of horses. Here they came under heavy machine-gun fire from the right bank of the Wadi er Rame and suffered twenty-eight casualties out of the 125 men who were in the attack. After seeing the advance of the Jodhpore Lancers, at 13:15 the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry and Mysore Lancers advanced on the Ottoman cavalry; the Mysore Lancers attacking and spearing around thirty Ottoman soldiers before retiring from the open ground to the bank of the Wadi er Rame. At 14:30 the Poona Horse moved out of the Ghoraniyeh bridgehead and galloped through shellfire to get in touch with the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry who were deployed in front of Ain el Garaba. Here their leading troop attacked straight towards the Ottoman trenches suffering six casualties and at 17:30 the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry and Poona Horse attacked the same position, causing the Ottoman force to withdraw under cover of machine-gun fire. The Jodhpore and Mysore Lancers and the Poona Horse commanded by Major General H.J.M. Macandrew took 100 prisoners, killing more than ninety Ottomans with the lance, but suffered the loss of eighty troopers. Nine men from the Alwar and Patiala Infantry defending the Ghoraniyeh bridgehead were wounded by artillery fire. The Ottoman prisoners included six officers, four squadron leaders and eighty-six other ranks.

    Casualties


    The total losses suffered by the German and Ottoman forces in the hills at Abu Tellul and Mussallabeh, at the Wadi Mellaha, and at the Wadi er Rame and Ain el Garaba defending the fords on the eastern bank of the Jordan, were 540 prisoners (377 German and 71 Ottoman) and up to 1,000 casualties while the British Empire forces suffered a total of 189 casualties.Between 14 and 15 July the 4th Light Horse Field Ambulance evacuated a total of 278 men; eighty-five of whom were wounded and forty-four sick Light Horsemen, twenty-four were wounded Lancers, 111 were wounded German prisoners and fourteen were wounded Ottoman prisoners. Many casualties came in to the 4th Light Horse Field Ambulance soon after the long-range artillery shelling commenced; the numbers increasing when bombing and machine-gun attacks by the aircraft followed. Stretcher bearers collected the wounded from the front line and brought them to waiting ambulances which transported them back to the tent division of the field ambulance. At the tent division all wounded were attended, receiving emergency treatment from the medical officers and hospital staff before being loaded on the ambulances again by the stretcher bearers and evacuated by road to the casualty clearing stations in Jerusalem. Cars and extra men came from the 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance to help the 4th Light Horse Field Ambulance as speedy evacuation was of major importance. In the afternoon, German and Ottoman prisoners were brought in to the field ambulance, but they had to be separated to stop them fighting and abusing each other. The Germans blamed the Ottomans for letting them down and the Ottomans hated the Germans for their arrogance and envied their equipment. The Ottomans had practically no equipment, wore ragged clothes and had rags round their feet instead of boots while the German soldiers were in good uniforms and boots and the equipment in their haversacks included a supply of quinine, for prophylactic use against malaria, as well as water bottles.

    Aftermath

    While the Egyptian Expeditionary Force had successfully demonstrated its attacking abilities at Gaza, Beersheba, Jaffa and Jerusalem, this victory by the Desert Mounted Corps' Australian Light Horse, British Yeomanry, Indian Lancers and New Zealand Mounted Rifles' brigades demonstrated their strength in defence in the face of determined German and Ottoman attacks. This had been the only occasion during the Sinai and Palestine campaign when German infantry attacked as storm-troopers and Chauvel commented on their crushing defeat, that it might improve the image of Australian troopers "in the minds of their detractors, who are many."

    The defeat was a severe blow to German prestige. German prisoners captured at Abu Tellul claimed they had been betrayed by their Ottoman allies who should have more strongly supported their flanks. Von Sanders, their commander in chief, knew that these same regiments had fought well, just a few months before, during the two Transjordan attacks in March and April. He later wrote that "Nothing had occurred to show me so clearly the decline in the fighting capacity of the Turkish troops as the events of the 14th July." An Ottoman artillery attack began at 01:00 on Tuesday 16 July and the 1st Light Horse Brigade, still in position on Abu Tellul and Mussallabeh, was heavily shelled. Over 1,500 shells were fired at their positions, causing heavy casualties, especially among the horses, who were not well protected against shell fire or bomb attacks. The accuracy of the Ottoman artillery was enhanced by spotter planes and accurate distance observation posts. In the afternoon when the 3rd Light Horse Brigade moved to relieve the 1st Light Horse Brigade; their advance guard was so heavily shelled that the main body of brigade did not take over until after dark. During the day gas drills were carried out and funk holes dug. Just two months later on 19 September, the Battle of Megiddo, which finished the war in this theatre, began.

    French passenger ship Djemnah was torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean Sea of the coast of Libya by German submarine SM UB-105 with the loss of 436 of the 754 passengers and crew on board

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    SS Djemnah was a French cargo-passenger ship, launched in 1875, that was sunk in the Mediterranean by the German submarine UB-105 during the First World War. The Djemnah was built in La Ciotat in 1875 for the shipping company Messageries Maritimes.

    Displacing 5,400 tonnes, the ship was 125 metres long, with a beam of 12.1 metres. Her top speed was 14 knots. The ship could carry 1385 passengers (83 in First Class, 42 in Second, 60 in Third and 1,200 below decks). The ship was used as a line ship to the Far East and to the Southern Indian Ocean. On 6 July 1918, the ship left from Marseilles for Madagascar, with a crew of 153, 601 passengers and 530 tons of cargo. On 14 July the ship was 69 nautical miles north from the Libyan coast when she was torpedoed at 21.32 by the German submarine UB-105 under command of Wilhelm Marschall. The ship sank in two minutes, taking with her 436 people, including the captain. 110 survivors were picked up by the trawler Presidency and 218 by the British escort HMS Mallow.

    German submarine SM UC-77 struck a mine and sank in the North Sea off the coast of West Flanders, Belgium.

    SM UC-77 was a German Type UC II minelaying submarine or U-boat in the German Imperial Navy (German: Kaiserliche Marine) during World War I. The U-boat was ordered on 12 January 1916 and was launched on 2 December 1916. She was commissioned into the German Imperial Navy on 29 December 1916 as SM UC-77. In 13 patrols UC-77 was credited with sinking 34 ships, either by torpedo or by mines laid. UC-77 was mined and sunk off Flanders on 14 July 1918.

    A German Type UC II submarine, UC-77 had a displacement of 410 tonnes (400 long tons) when at the surface and 493 tonnes (485 long tons) while submerged. She had a length overall of 50.45 m (165 ft 6 in), a beam of 5.22 m (17 ft 2 in), and a draught of 3.65 m (12 ft). The submarine was powered by two six-cylinder four-stroke diesel engines each producing 290–300 metric horsepower (210–220 kW; 290–300 shp) (a total of 580–600 metric horsepower (430–440 kW; 570–590 shp)), two electric motors producing 620 metric horsepower (460 kW; 610 shp), and two propeller shafts. She had a dive time of 30 seconds and was capable of operating at a depth of 50 metres (160 ft). The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 11.8 knots (21.9 km/h; 13.6 mph) and a submerged speed of 7.3 knots (13.5 km/h; 8.4 mph). When submerged, she could operate for 52 nautical miles (96 km; 60 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 8,660 to 10,230 nautical miles (16,040 to 18,950 km; 9,970 to 11,770 mi) at 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph). UC-77 was fitted with six 100 centimetres (39 in) mine tubes, eighteen UC 200 mines, three 50 centimetres (20 in) torpedo tubes (one on the stern and two on the bow), seven torpedoes, and one 8.8 cm (3.5 in) Uk L/30 deck gun. Her complement was twenty-six crew members.

    The RAF established No. 157 Squadron

    No. 157 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force Squadron active as a night fighter unit in World War II.

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    No. 157 Squadron Royal Air Force formed on 14 July 1918 at RAF Upper Heyford and was eventually equipped with Sopwith TF.2 Salamander aircraft for ground support duties, but disbanded on 1 February 1919 without becoming operational. The squadron reformed in December 1941 at RAF Debden as a night fighter unit and was eventually equipped with the latest Mosquito night-fighter aircraft at RAF Castle Camps. The squadron flew patrols over East Anglia and by July 1943, after moving to RAF Hunsdon, began intruder attacks on German fighter bases with its new Mosquito Mk VIs. In November 1943 it moved to RAF Predannack in Cornwall, closer to the German bases. In March 1944 it moved to RAF Valley and flew defensive patrols over the Irish Sea. In May 1944 it moved back to East Anglia, receiving Mosquito Mk XIXs and supporting bomber streams as part of No. 100 Group RAF. It disbanded on 16 August 1945 at RAF Swannington.

    MIDDLE EAST
    Palestine – Action of Abu Tulul: 5800 Turks and Germans (1,000 casualties including 475 Germans and 540 PoWs, 6 MGs lost) attack 2,500 Anzacs and Indian cavalry (c.200 lancers cause 192 Turk cavalry casualties east of Jordan), unsupported Germans repelled for 70 ALH (Australian Light Horse mounted infantry) casualties (189 total).*

    WESTERN FRONT

    Marne: 27 German PoWs (chiefly Alsatian) reveal to French Fourth Army timings of impending Champagne-Marne offensive.
    Champagne and Marne: Germans gas shell US 3rd Division with 7,500 rounds (15t) mustard gas and phosgene; 600 gassed (9 deaths); US 26th Division at Chateau-Thierry endures 10,000 rounds (20t) mustard gas and phosgene (until July 17); 518 gassed (no deaths).

    SOUTHERN FRONTS
    Trentino: Field Marshal Conrad resigns from active service (especially due to Hungarian protests at Piave failure), is made Count and Colonel of all the Guards; General Krobatin (Tenth Army) takes over his Tyrol army group.

    SEA WAR
    Mediterranean: Coastal submarine UB-105 sinks French transport Djemnah (442 lost) off Cyrenaica. British Australia*-bound SS Barunga (ex-German SS Sumatra) sunk by U-boat.

    AIR WAR

    Western Front: 9 RAF squadrons fly to reinforce French in Champagne despite rainstorms, lose 15 aircraft in action (until July 17).

    HOME FRONTS
    Britain: National rationing for sugar (until November 29, 1920), butter (until May 30, 1920), margarine (until February 16, 1919) and lard (until December 16, 1918), national bacon and ham rationing discontin*ued on July 29. Local jam, cheese and tea rationing for 500,000 to 17.5 million people since early 1918.

    General Headquarters, July 15th.

    “On the morning of July 14th our aeroplanes completed several reconnaissances and carried out much observation for our artillery. The afternoon was wet and stormy. The sidings at Roulers, the ammunition dumps at Warneton and Bapaume, the docks at Bruges, and dredging parties at Zeebrugge were heavily bombed. Nine hostile machines were brought down, and three balloons shot down in flames. Five of our machines are missing.”

    RAF Communiqué No 15:

    Weather, fine early; overcast later.

    Forty-seven reconnaissances, nine contact and counter-attack patrols.

    One hundred and twenty-four hostile batteries engaged for destruction with aeroplane observation, 15 neutralized, 62 zone calls sent.

    Thirty-three and a quarter tons of bombs dropped.

    On the 14th instant, 33 hostile batteries engaged for destruction with balloon observation and fire observed on 113 other targets.

    During the night No 207 Squadron dropped 132 112-lb and 33 25-lb bombs on the railway between Blanc Misseron and Thulin and on the Valenciennes – Mons railway from heights varying from 300 to 3.500 feet. Eight hits were obtained on the line at Blanc Misseron. Eight 112-lb bombs were dropped on a train from 900 feet, causing several explosions. Explosions were also caused in the railway works at Quievrechain.

    Enemy Aircraft:


    Fairly active in early morning, otherwise quiet.

    Capt F J Davies, 29 Sqn, Halberstadt CL crashed north-east of Estaires at 05:30/06:30 – confirmed by another pilot
    Lieut S T Liversedge, 70 Sqn, Albatros C crashed Armentières at 07:00/08:00 -
    Capt J F Chisholm & Sergt R J Williams & formation, 218 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Zeebrugge at 07:10/08:10 -
    Lieut N C Trescowthick, 4 AFC, AGO C crashed Laventie at 07:15/08:15 -
    Capt A H Cobby, 4 AFC, Balloon in flames Estaires - La Bassée at 07:18/08:18 -
    Lieut C L W Brading & Sergt F Smith, 218 Sqn, Fokker DrI out of control off Zeebrugge at 07:20/08:20 -
    Lieut A C Lloyd & Sergt J Harris, 218 Sqn, Fokker DVII crashed in the sea at 07:30/08:30 -
    Lieut R G Landis, 40 Sqn, Pfalz Scout crashed Épinoy at 07:30/08:30 -
    Capt G E H McElroy, 40 Sqn, Hannover CL crashed north of Drocourt at 07:30/08:30 -
    Capt A C Randall, 85 Sqn, Pfalz Scout crashed north of Merville at 08:35/09:35 -
    Maj E Mannock, 85 Sqn, Fokker DVII crashed east of Merville at 08:35/09:35 – confirmed by another pilot
    Lieut J C Rorison, 85 Sqn, Fokker DVII crashed south-west Estaires at 08:45/09:45 -
    Capt G C Dixon, 85 Sqn, Pfalz Scout out of control Estaires at 08:55/09:55 -
    Lieut W H Longton, 85 Sqn, Albatros C crashed north-east of Estaires at 08:55/09:55 -
    Capt D Latimer & Lieut T C Noel and Lieut A T Iaccaci & Lieut R W Turner, 20 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control south-east of Ypres at 09:00/10:00 -
    Capt D Latimer & Lieut T C Noel, 20 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control south-east of Ypres at 09:00/10:00 -
    Maj E Mannock, 85 Sqn, Halberstadt CL crashed/forced to land? north of Merville at 09:05/10:05 - [turned over on landing]
    Lieut C P Brown and Lieut G F C Hopewell, 213 Sqn, Fokker DVII in flames Ostende at 09:25/10:25 -
    Capt R C L Holme, 29 Sqn, Balloon in flames Merville at 09:50/10:50 – confirmed by another pilot
    Capt P J Clayson, 1 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control Neuf-Berquin - Estaires at 17:35/18:35 -

    Casualties:

    Lieut H A Whittaker (Wia), 29 Sqn RAF, SE5a D405 - anti-aircraft fire
    Lieut R A Yates (Pow), 73 Sqn RAF, Camel F5920 - last heard of after force landed requiring oil and petrol 1 mile from Nogent on travelling flight from Planques then no further news
    2nd-Lieut H H Palmer (Wia) & 2nd-Lieut W C Snowdon (Ok), 211 Sqn, DH9 D2782 - hit by A.A. fire on bomb raid to Zeebrugge
    Lieut L N Franklin (Kia), 56 Sqn RAF, SE5a D6064 – took off 04:10/05:10 and last seen going down in flames over Hendicourt 06:00/07:00 on patrol
    Lieut A M Anderson (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut C J Swatridge (Wia), 218 Sqn RAF, DH9 B7673 - anti-aircraft fire Zeebrugge 07:30/08:30
    Lieut S Moxey (Kia) & Lieut J E Weston (Kia), 4 Sqn RAF, RE8 C2444 - attacked by E.A. and shot down 36a.E.19 [east of Morbecque] 07:45/08:45 on artillery observation
    Lieut B N Garrett (Pow), 64 Sqn RAF, SE5a C6447 – took off 08:00/09:00 then missing from OP 1st Army front
    2nd-Lieut N H Marshall (Pow), 85 Sqn RAF, SE5a C6490 – took off 08:05/09:05 and last seen over enemy lines in combat north of Estaires 08:35/09:35

    Four credited ‘SE’ victories:

    Ltn d R Willy Rosenstein, Js40, 4th victory [south-east of Vieux Berquin at 08:30/09:30]
    Ltn d R Carl Degelow, Js40, 10th victory [south-east of Vieux Berquin at 08:35/09:35]
    Ltn d R Carl Degelow, Js40, 11th victory [west of Merville at 08:40/09:40]
    Ltn d R Hermann Gilly, Js40, 3rd victory [near Vieux Berquin at 08:40/09:40]

    2nd-Lieut D Mallett (Pow) & 2nd-Lieut J S Burn (Pow), 18 Sqn RAF, DH4 A7939 - last seen going east near Arras 09:40/10:40 during bomb raid; AA battery state that machine seen to be brought down at 57c.B.6 [west of Écoust-St-Mein] and believed made safe landing; anti-aircraft fire ?

    Lieut C M Wilson (Ok), 29 Sqn, SE5a C9575 – took off 09:15/10:15 then overturned in cornfield in forced landing Sh27.v.24.C.8.4 [east of Hazebrouck] 10:10/11:10 after magneto hit by hostile machine-gun fire on offensive patrol
    2nd-Lieut A Duncan (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut JH Dunbar (Ok), 18 Sqn, DH4 A7900 - overturned after hitting light railway track in forced landing Ligny junction 10:20/11:20 after radiator shot through and engine seized during bombing
    Lieut R C Nelson (Pow), 4 Sqn AFC, Camel E1410 – took off 09:45/10:45 and last seen south-west of Estaires 11:00/12:00 on patrol

    The following claims were made on this day

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    13 British airmen were lost on this day

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    Captain Tunstill's Men: Support positions near Cesuna.

    Cpl. Abel Roberts (see 23rd March), L.Cpl. William (Billy) Hoyle MM (see 18th April), Ptes. William Hutchinson (see 10th June), James Percival (see 21st January), William Smart (see 20th June) and Frederick George Westlake (see 26th April) and Drummer John Walton (see 4th April) departed on two weeks’ leave to England.

    L.Cpl. Frank Revell (see 29th October 1917) was reprimanded for having been “absent until apprehended about 9.35pm by the Military Police”; he was, at the time, at the Base Depot at Arquata Scrivia, although the circumstances under which he had found himself there are unknown.

    Lt. Charles Frederick Wolfe (see 18th May), former Transport Officer to 10DWR, now serving with the ASC, was appointed as “conducting officer for transport of ten battalions of 16th Division; to return to Park Royal after handing over transport in France”.

    Cpl. Thomas Angus McAndrew (see 31st October 1917), formerly of 10DWR but now serving with the Chinese Labour Corps, was transferred to 770th Area Labour Company of the Labour Corps.

    Pte. Ernest Frederick Authers (see 1st October 1917), who had been in England since having suffered wounds to his right knee and foot on 20th September 1917, was posted to 3DWR at North Shields. He was immediately reported “absent off sick leave from tattoo until reporting himself to the NCO in charge of the HQ Guard at 9.30pm” the following day; he would be ordered to be confined to barracks for five days and to forfeit one day’s pay.

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    Never knowingly under gunned !

  30. #3430

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    Blimey its warm again, so will probably publish this in installments, as currently trying to follow the football, the cricket, sunbathe and drink beer at the same time (who says men can't multi task???) - its a hard life at times...
    Hope that beer has a good head on it Chris


    I'm learning to fly, but I ain't got wings
    Coming down is the hardest thing

  31. #3431

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    Another big issue. Well done sir.
    Kyte.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  32. #3432

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    trying to follow the football, the cricket, sunbathe and drink beer at the same time (who says men can't multi task???) - its a hard life at times...
    Couldn't agree more Chris - really tough life trying to fit everything in

    Currently reading a biography of William Barker - interesting indeed

  33. #3433

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    15th July 1918

    The Second Battle of the Marne

    On this day in 1918, near the Marne River in the Champagne region of France, the Germans begin what would be their final offensive push of World War I. Dubbed the Second Battle of the Marne, the conflict ended several days later in a major victory for the Allies.

    The German general Erich Ludendorff, convinced that an attack in Flanders, the region stretching from northern France into Belgium, was the best route to a German victory in the war, decided to launch a sizeable diversionary attack further south in order to lure Allied troops away from the main event. The resulting attack at the Marne, launched on the back of the German capture of the strategically important Chemin des Dames ridge near the Aisne River on May 27, 1918, was the latest stage of a major German offensive—dubbed the Kaiserschlacht, or the “kaiser’s battle”—masterminded by Ludendorff during the spring of 1918.

    On the morning of July 15, then, 23 divisions of the German 1st and 3rd Armies attacked the French 4th Army east of Reims, while 17 divisions of the 7th Army, assisted by the 9th Army, attacked the French 6th Army to the west of the city. The dual attack was Ludendorff’s attempt to divide and conquer the French forces, which were joined by 85,000 U.S. troops as well as a portion of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), most of which were located in Flanders.

    When the Germans began their advance after an initial artillery bombardment, however, they found that the French had set up a line of false trenches, manned by only a few defenders. The real front line of trenches lay further on, and had scarcely been touched by the bombardment. This deceptive strategy had been put in place by the French commander-in-chief, Philippe Petain.

    As a German officer, Rudolf Binding, wrote in his diary of the July 15 attack, the French “put up no resistance in front…they had neither infantry nor artillery in this forward battle-zone…Our guns bombarded empty trenches; our gas-shells gassed empty artillery positions….The barrage, which was to have preceded and protected [the attacking German troops] went right on somewhere over the enemy’s rear positions, while in front the first real line of resistance was not yet carried.” As the Germans approached the “real” Allied front lines, they were met with a fierce barrage of French and American fire. Trapped and surrounded, the Germans suffered heavy casualties, setting the Allies up for the major counter-attack they would launch on July 18.

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    The battle began on 15 July 1918 when 23 German divisions of the First and Third armies—led by Bruno von Mudra and Karl von Einem—assaulted the French Fourth Army under Henri Gouraud east of Reims (the Fourth Battle of Champagne (French: 4e Bataille de Champagne)). The U.S. 42nd Division was attached to the French Fourth Army. Meanwhile, 17 divisions of the German Seventh Army, under Max von Boehn, aided by the Ninth Army under Johannes von Eben, attacked the French Sixth Army led by Jean Degoutte to the west of Reims (the Battle of the Mountain of Reims (French: Bataille de la Montagne de Reims)). Ludendorff hoped to split the French in two.

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    "German soldiers advancing past a captured French position, between Loivre and Brimont, Marne department, 1918"

    East of Reims the French Fourth Army had prepared a defense in depth to counter an intense bombardment and infiltrating infantry. Their main line of resistance was four to five km behind the front, beyond the range of the enemy field guns, it was a continuous trench line — to prevent infiltration— dug on a reverse slope so it could not be overlooked by enemy artillery observers on the ground. Between the front and the main line of resistance were two lines of strong points, again mostly on reverse slopes. The French gun line behind the front was lightly manned, but the remaining guns fired frequently, so the Germans did not detect its weakness from rate of firing, although aerial observers did spot a concentration of field guns behind the main line of resistance. German offensive tactics stressed surprise, but French intelligence based on aerial observation gave clear warning and from twenty-seven prisoners taken in a trench raid they learned the hour for the attack. The German bombardment was scheduled for 12:10. The French opened fire on the German assault trenches at 11:30, naturally shaking the confidence of attackers. When the Germans opened fire they pounded the almost empty French front line and their counter-battery fire struck many vacated gun pits. The attackers moved easily through the French front and then were led onward by a rolling barrage, which soon was well ahead of the infantry because they were held-up by the points of resistance. When they encountered the French mainline they were ordered to rest, regroup and wait until their field guns were moved into range. They attacked the main line at 08:30 the following morning, an hour after their schedule. They were stopped by accurate fire by the bulk of the French artillery. They tried again at noon, but failed. A French counter-attack gained little ground, but convinced the German commanders that they could not prevail. The Fourth Army was now able to send reinforcements to their neighbors to the west who had not fared as well.

    In the west on the opening day of the offensive the defenders of the south bank of the Marne had to hold the river bank by enduring an intense three hour bombardment, including many gas shells. Under this cover stormtroopers swarmed across the river in every sort of transport—including 30-man canvas boats and rafts. They began to erect skeleton bridges at 12 points under fire from the Allied survivors. Some Allied units, particularly Colonel Ulysses G. McAlexander's 38th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Division, the "Rock of the Marne", held fast or even counterattacked, but by evening, the Germans had captured a bridgehead on either side of Dormans 4 mi (6.4 km) deep and 9 mi (14 km) wide, despite the aerial intervention of 225 French bombers, dropping 44 short tons (40 t) of bombs on the makeshift bridges. Ludendorff regarded their advance as "the very pinnacle of military victory".

    The French were reinforced by the British XXII Corps and 85,000 American troops, the German advance on stalled 17 July 1918.

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    The German failure to break through, or to destroy the Allied armies in the field, allowed Ferdinand Foch, the Allied Supreme Commander, to proceed with the planned major counteroffensive on 18 July; 24 French divisions, including the American 92nd and 93rd Infantry Divisions under French command, joined by other Allied troops, including eight large American divisions under American command and 350 tanks attacked the recently formed German salient.

    The Allied preparation was very important in countering the German offensive. It was believed that the Allies had the complete picture of the German offensive in terms of intentions and capabilities. The Allies knew the key points of the German plan down to the minute. There is a legend, possibly true, that engineer Cpt. Hunter Grant, along with the help of engagement coordinator and engineer Cpt. Page, devised a deceptive ruse. A briefcase with false plans for an American countererattack was handcuffed to a man who had died of pneumonia and placed in a vehicle which appeared to have run off the road at a German-controlled bridge[dubious – discuss]. The Germans, on finding and being taken in by these plans, then adjusted their attack to thwart the false Allied plan.[citation needed] Consequently, the French and American forces led by Foch were able to conduct a different attack on exposed parts of the enemy lines, leaving the Germans with no choice but to retreat. This engagement marked the beginning of a German withdrawal that was never effectively reversed. In September 1918 nine American divisions (about 243,000 men) joined four French divisions to push the Germans from the St. Mihiel salient. Earlier, in May, Foch had spotted flaws in the German offensives. The force which defeated the German offensive was mainly French, with American, British and Italian support. Co-ordinating this counter-attack would be a major problem as Foch had to work with "four national commanders but without any real authority to issue order under his own name[...]they would have to fight as a combined force and to overcome the major problems of different languages, cultures, doctrines and fighting styles." However, the presence of fresh American troops, unbroken by years of war, significantly bolstered Allied resistance to the German offensive. Floyd Gibbons wrote about the American troops, saying, "I never saw men charge to their death with finer spirit." On 19 July, the Italian Corps lost 9,334 officers and men out of a total fighting strength of about 24,000. Nevertheless, Berthelot rushed two newly arrived British infantry divisions, the 51st (Highland) and 62nd (West Riding),[9] through the Italians straight into attack down the Ardre Valley (the Battle of Tardenois (French: Bataille du Tardenois)—named after the surrounding Tardenois plain).

    The Germans ordered a retreat on 20 July and were forced back to the positions from which they had started their Spring Offensives. They strengthened their flank positions opposite the Allied pincers and on the 22nd, Ludendorff ordered to take up a line from the upper Ourcq to Marfaux. Costly Allied assaults continued for minimal gains. By 27 July, the Germans had withdrawn their center behind Fère-en-Tardenois and had completed an alternative rail link. The Germans retained Soissons in the west. On 1 August, French and British divisions of Mangin's Tenth Army renewed the attack, advancing to a depth of nearly 5 miles (8.0 km). The Allied counterattack petered out on 6 August in the face of German offensives. By this stage, the salient had been reduced and the Germans had been forced back to a line running along the Aisne and Vesle Rivers; the front had been shortened by 28 miles (45 km).

    WESTERN FRONT

    Champagne and Marne: *FOURTH BATTLE OF CHAMPAGNE (until July 18) and SECOND BATTLE OF THE MARNE (until August 4). Ludendorff launches his fifth offensive since March 21 (codenamed Friedensturm = ‘Peace Storm’) against French and 9 US divisons from east of Reims to the Marne. Seventh, First (watched by Kaiser) and Third Armies (0435-0530 hours) attack with 43 divisions on 50-mile front after 4-hour barrage (0010 hours, pre-empted by French from 2330 hours on July 14), Germans advance rapidly to the Marne at Fossoy. German fire 500,000 rounds (9,000t) mustard gas, phosgene and diphenylchlororsine; 2,600 gassed (47 deaths) (until July 18).
    Petain’s ‘recoiling buffer method of defence’ (Liddell Hart) absorbs initial attack’s 2*-mile impetus in lightly-held forward zone and awaits wearying, entangled attackers on a strong rear position. East of Reims German 21-division offensive fails on a 25-mile front north of Roman Road; 20 German tanks in sector all knocked out by French guns. More success achieved west of Reims vs Italians (8th Division annihilated) and 2 French divisions.
    Foch countermands Petain’s 1000 hours order to Fayolle postponing July 18 attack. German 10th and 36th Divisions’ try to force Marne crossing against reinforced US 38th Infantry Regiment. Outnumbered 3:1, pounded by 336 German guns and with both flanks dangling, 3600 Americans stand firm in savage hand-to-hand fighting. 8 German divisions achieve 9-mile, 13-mile deep bridgehead astride Dormans to east.
    Paris Gun, in new emplacement near Fere-en-Tardenois, fires 14 shells at French capital (until July 19).


    POLITICS

    USA: US Treasury estimates Allies have 303 million people and $495 billion wealth vs Central Powers’ 147 million people and $134 billion.
    Britain: British War Cabinet to inform Berlin that British Army will continue to use paper-cored bullets (instead of aluminium) as fully legal and not like ‘dum-dums’. Ex*-Empress Eugenie to Colonel
    Vernier ‘This League of Nations, what folly!’
    Austria*: Count Burian peace memo published.

    AIR WAR
    Western Front: 225 French bombers (25 lost) in 20-30 formations drop 44t bombs on makeshift German Marne bridges. Constant air attacks (*until July 20) till Germans evacuate bridgehead. Germans shoot down 37 Allied aircraft for loss of 9.

    The German Air Ace Friedrich Friedrichs of Jasta 10 was killed on this day

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    Friedrichs was one of the German balloon-busters. Before his transfer to the German Air Force in 1917, he served with infantry regiments until a disabling wound left him unfit for duty. By the start of 1918, Friedrichs was flying single seat aircraft with Jasta 10. More than half of his confirmed victories were against enemy balloons. On the day he died, his Fokker D.VII (309/18) burst into flames when the incendiary bullets he used for attacking balloons exploded. As he baled out of the burning Fokker, his parachute caught and tore on the tailplane. Friedrichs fell to his death, never knowing he'd won the Blue Max.

    General Headquarters, July 16th.

    “On the 15th inst., storms again handicapped work in the air. Our machines dropped a few bombs and kept the front under observation. Six hostile machines were brought down by us. One of our machines is missing. A violent thunderstorm prevented night bombing after midnight. Prior to this hour over 4 tons of bombs were dropped on Seclin railway station and on hostile billets. All machines returned."

    Headquarters R.A.F., Independent Force, July 16th.

    “On the 15th inst. the railway sidings and sheds at Offenburg, and a hostile aerodrome, were successfully bombed, good bursts being observed."

    RAF Communiqué No 16:

    Weather, low clouds and rain.

    Eight reconnaissances, six counter-attack patrols.

    Seven hostile batteries engaged for destruction with aeroplane observation and four neutralized; 16 zone calls sent.

    Three and a quarter tons of bombs dropped.

    On the 15th instant, three hostile batteries engaged for destruction with balloon observation and fire observed on 31 other targets.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    lnactive.

    Maj K L Caldwell, 74 Sqn, Fokker DVII broke up south of Roulers at 08:50/09:50 -
    Lieut G R Hicks, 74 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control south-east Roulers at 08:50/09:50 -
    Capt W B Green, 32 Sqn, Pfalz Scout out of control Dormans at 12:30/13:30 -
    Capt H W Woollett, 43 Sqn, Balloon in flames Dorman at 12:30/13:30 -
    Capt D R MacLaren, 46 Sqn, DFW C crashed west of Neuve Chapelle at 14:45/15:45 -
    Lieut H G Watson, 4 AFC, Pfalz Scout out of control Armentières at 17:25/18:25 -

    Capt A H Cobby, 4 AFC, Pfalz Scout in flames Armentières at 17:25/18:25 and Pfalz Scout broke up Armentières at 17:25/18:25 – Capt A H Cobby, 4th Squadron, A.F.C., while flying with Lieut H G Watson, attacked five Pfalz scouts, one of which he shot down In flames and another broke up in the air after being attacked

    Lieut I L Roy, 40 Sqn, Fokker DVII crashed Hulloch at 20:05/21:05 -
    Lieut I L Roy, 40 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control Hulloch at 20:05/21:05 -
    Capt G E H McElroy, 40 Sqn, Fokker DVII crashed north-east Hill 70 (Lens) at 20:15/21:15 -
    Capt G E H McElroy, 40 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control north-east Hill 70 (Lens) at 20:15/21:15 -

    Lieut J Gould-Taylor & Lieut B G Thomson, 3 AFC, two-seater crashed [by Gould] Bois de Becourt at 20:19/21:19 – Lieuts J Gould-Taylor and B G Thomson, 3rd Squadron, A.F.C., while on artillery observation, attacked an enemy two-seater, which dived steeply after 50 rounds had been fired at it by the pilot, and burst into flames on hitting the ground

    Casualties:

    ? (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut F H Foster (Wia), 4 Sqn RAF, RE8 – combat?
    Lieut R T Hall (Wia), 32 Sqn RAF, SE5a E5942 - crashed and bombs exploded on landing from special mission
    2nd-Lieut R H Gray (Pow), 74 Sqn RAF, SE5a D6910 - took off 08:00/09:00 and last seen over Roulers 08:50/09:50 in combat on patrol; Vzfw Emil Soltau, Js20, 2nd victory [north-west of Dadizeele at 08:50/09:50]
    2nd-Lieut M B Lewis (Kia), 54 Sqn RAF, Camel D1945 - last seen at 1,200 feet over Paroy 12:30/13:30 on offensive patrol
    4268 Sergt P H Williams (Kia), 54 Sqn, Camel D9401 - last seen over Courthiezy 12:30/13:30 at 2,000 feet on patrol; Ltn Erich Löwenhardt, Js10, 36th victory [south of Dormans at 12:07/13:07] ?
    Lieut T E Babbit (Kia), 43 Sqn RAF, Camel D1778 – took off 12:35/13:35 and last seen being attacked by 5 Pfalz scouts near Soilly on special mission; Ltn Karl Bolle, Js2, 21st victory [Dormans at 13:00/14:00] ?
    Lieut H G S Phipson (Kia) & 2nd-Lieut N C H Auster (Kia), 27 Sqn RAF, DH9 D469 – took off 16:15/17:15 and last seen south-east of Dormans during bombing
    Lieut C C Conover (Ok) & 11375 Sergt R S Dobbie (Wia), 49 Sqn, DH9 D2872 - damaged by A.A. fire and force landed near Montmort 19:20/20:20 while learning country
    2nd-Lieut E H Lyon-Hall (Ok) & Lieut E Clark (Ok), 101 Sqn, FE2b A6487 – took off 22:25/23:25 then force landed after radiator and engine sump shot through by enemy machine-gun fire on return from bomb raid

    The following claims were made on this day

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    22 British Airmen were lost on this day

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    RAF Driffield was established west of Driffield, England

    Royal Air Force Station Driffield or RAF Driffield is a former British Royal Air Force station in the East Riding of Yorkshire, in England. It lies about 2 miles (3 km) south-west of Driffield and 11 miles (18 km) north-west of Beverley.

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    The site was first opened in 1918 by the Royal Air Force under the name of RAF Eastburn, and closed in early 1920. In 1935 a new airfield was built, initially training bomber crews. In 1977 the site was turned over to the British Army for use as a driving school, and was renamed Alamein Barracks, a satellite to Normandy Barracks of the Defence School of Transport at at Leconfield. The station was initial posting base of the pilot Leonard Cheshire. On 15 August 1940 there was a German air raid on the airfield. Casualties included the first fatality in the Women's Royal Air Force. On 1 August 1959, the base was armed with PGM-17 Thor ballistic missiles, which were subsequently decommissioned by April 1963.

    Captain Tunstill's Men: In the evening the Battalion returned to the front line north-west of Mount Kaberlaba, relieving 8Yorks, with the relief completed by midnight. These were the same positions which they had occupied in early June (see 2nd June). Two companies would held the front line, with a third garrisoning the three redoubts which had been constructed, and the fourth in support.

    On the way back into the line Pte. Herbert Crowther Kershaw (see 6th November 1917) was injured when, “whilst leading a mule near the front line a dog caused the animal to shy and knock the injured man to the ground”; he suffered brusing to his left arm and left knee and would be admitted via 70th Field Ambulance to 23rd Division Rest Station.

    Maj. Herbert St. John Carr West joined the battalion on attachment from 12th Durham Light Infantry. He was 35 years old and originally from Lewisham. Before the war he had spent some time in South Africa where he had married Sarah Jane Stanley; their only daughter, Vida Evelyn, had been born in South Africa. The family had then returned to England and Herbert had worked as a clerk on the London Stock Exchange. He had volunteered for the 10th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (Stockbrokers’ Battalion) and had then been commissioned in April 1915, joining 12DLI with whom he went to France in August 1915. He had been wounded on 5th July 1916 in the actions around Contalmaison when, “a rifle bullet struck him on the inner and anterior aspect of the right thigh about two inches above the knee making a further wound about one and a half inches long”. He had been evacuated to England on 8th July and had remained in England until re-joining 12DLI on 29th September. He had then been injured in a fall from his horse in November 1916, suffering a broken rib and other minor injuries and had spent around two months in England before again re-joining his battalion. He had then been taken ill in August 1917 suffering from “bronchitis and asthma which have been aggravated by a slight attack of gas”; he had spent a month England before returning to France and then proceeding to Italy with 12DLI.

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    Never knowingly under gunned !

  34. #3434

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    Thanks Chris. Another interesting post

  35. #3435

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    One does ones best Mike, thank you

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  36. #3436

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    Good eveneing one and all. tonights edition comes courtesy of Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii and the delights of Mason's Dry Yorkshire Gin..... (I can't believe I was living 10 minutes away from Pompeii when this event took place - mind you I was only six.. I have never forgiven my parents for such a staggering lack of foresight...)

    16th July 1918

    The Cunard liner Carpathia the ship that in 1912 picked up the survivors of the Titanic disaster is struck by two torpedoes fired by a German U-boat. The ship is traveling in convoy, bound for Boston from Liverpool and is some one hundred twenty miles west of Fastnet. A third torpedo hits the ships as the lifeboats are being manned. The explosions kill five of the crew. The remainder of the crew and the one hundred fifty-seven passengers on board are picked up by HMS Snowdrop and safely brought back to Liverpool. The Carpathia sinks at 12:40 the following morning.

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    RMS Carpathia was a Cunard Line transatlantic passenger steamship built by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson. Carpathia made her maiden voyage in 1903 from Liverpool to Boston (Massachusetts), and continued on this route before being transferred to Mediterranean service in 1904. In 1912, she became famous for rescuing the survivors of rival White Star Line's RMS Titanic after she struck an iceberg and sank with a loss of 1,517 lives. Carpathia braved dangerous ice fields and diverted all steam power to her engines in her rescue mission. She arrived two hours after Titanic had sunk and rescued 705 survivors from the ship's lifeboats. Carpathia herself was sunk on 17 July 1918 after being torpedoed by the German submarine SM U-55 off the Irish coast in World War I. Five of her crew died in the sinking.

    Carpathia departed from New York City on 11 April 1912 bound for Fiume, Austria-Hungary (now Rijeka, Croatia). Among its passengers were the American painters Colin Campbell Cooper and his wife Emma, author Philip Mauro, journalists Lewis Palmer Skidmore and Carlos Fayette Hurd, with their wives, Emily Vinton Skidmore and Katherine Cordell Hurd, photographer Dr. Francis H. Blackmarr, and Charles H. Marshall, whose three nieces were travelling aboard Titanic. Also on board were Hope Brown Chapin, honeymooning youngest daughter of former governor of Rhode Island, Russell Brown, Pittsburgh architect Charles M. Hutchison and wife, Sue Eva Rule, sister of Judge Virgil Rule of the St. Louis court of appeals, as well as Louis Mansfield Ogden, Esq., with his wife, Augusta Davies Ogden, a granddaughter of Alexander H. Rice.

    On the night of 14 April, Carpathia's wireless operator, Harold Cottam, had missed previous messages from the Titanic, as he was on the bridge at the time. After his shift ended at midnight, he continued listening to the transmitter before bed, and received messages from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, stating they had private traffic for Titanic. He thought he would be helpful and at 12:11 a.m. on 15 April sent a message to Titanic stating that Cape Cod had traffic for them. In reply he received Titanic's distress signal, stating that they had struck ice and were in need of immediate assistance. Cottam took the message and coordinates to the bridge, where the officers on watch were sceptical about the seriousness of the distress call.[17] Agitated, Cottam rushed down the ladder to the captain's cabin and awakened Captain Arthur Henry Rostron, who immediately sprang into action and "gave the order to turn the ship around", and then "asked the operator if he was absolutely sure it was a distress signal from the Titanic".The operator said that he had "received a distress signal from the Titanic, requiring immediate assistance", gave Titanic's position, and said that "he was absolutely certain of the message". Whilst dressing, Rostron set a course for Titanic, and sent for the chief engineer and told "him to call another watch of stokers and make all possible speed to the Titanic, as she was in trouble."[18] Rostron testified that the distance to Titanic was 58 nmi (67 mi; 107 km) and took Carpathia three and a half hours.[18] At the same time, Rostron had Carpathia's crew prepare hot drinks and soup for the survivors, prepare the public rooms as dormitories, have doctors ready to treat any wounded survivors, and to have oil ready to pour down the lavatories to calm the water on the sides of the ship should the sea become rough.

    Rostron ordered the ship's heating and hot water cut off in order to make as much steam as possible available for the engines, and had extra lookouts on watch to spot ice.Cottam, meanwhile, messaged the Titanic that Carpathia was "coming as quickly as possible and expect to be there within four hours." Cottam refrained from sending more signals after this, trying to keep the air clear for Titanic's distress signals. Carpathia reached the edge of the ice field by 2:45 a.m., and for the next two hours dodged icebergs as small growlers of ice ground along the hull plates. The Carpathia arrived at the distress position at 4:00 a.m., approximately an hour and a half after the Titanic went down, claiming more than 1,500 lives. For the next four and a half hours, the ship took on the 705 survivors of the disaster from Titanic's 20 lifeboats. Survivors were given blankets and coffee, and then escorted by stewards to the dining rooms. Others went on deck to survey the ocean for any sign of their loved ones. Throughout the rescue, Carpathia's own passengers assisted in any way that they could. By 9:00, the last survivor had been picked up, and Rostron gave the order to get underway.

    After considering options for where to disembark the passengers, including the Azores (the destination with the least cost to the Cunard Line) and Halifax (the closest port, although along an ice-laden route), Rostron consulted with Bruce Ismay and decided to disembark the survivors in New York. News of the Titanic disaster spread on shore, and the humble Carpathia became the center of an intense media attention as it steamed westward toward New York at 14 knots. Hundreds of wireless messages were being sent from Cape Race and other shore stations addressed to Captain Rostron from relatives of Titanic passengers and journalists demanding details in exchange for money. Rostron ordered that no news stories would be transmitted directly to the press, deferring such responsibilities to the White Star offices as Cottam provided details to Titanic's sister ship, Olympic. On Wednesday, 17 April, the scout cruiser USS Chester began escorting Carpathia to New York. Cottam, by then assisted by Titanic's junior wireless operator Harold Bride, transmitted the names of third-class survivors to Chester. Slowed by storms and fog since the early morning of Tuesday, 16 April, Carpathia finally arrived in New York on the evening of Thursday, 18 April 1912.

    For their rescue work, the crew of Carpathia were awarded medals by the survivors. Crew members were awarded bronze medals, officers silver, and Captain Rostron a silver cup and a gold medal, presented by Margaret Brown. Rostron was knighted by King George V, and was later a guest of President Taft at the White House, where he was presented with a Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honour the United States Congress could confer upon him.

    During the First World War, Carpathia was used to transfer Canadian and American Expeditionary Forces to Europe.[27] At least some of her voyages were in convoy, sailing from New York through Halifax to Liverpool and Glasgow.

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    On 15 July 1918, Carpathia departed Liverpool in a convoy bound for Boston carrying 57 passengers (36 saloon class and 21 steerage) and 166 crew. At 9:15 a.m. on the morning of 17 July, while sailing in the Southwest Approaches she was torpedoed near the No. 3 hatch on the port side by the Imperial German Navy submarine U-55, followed by a second which penetrated the engine room, killing three firemen and two trimmers.[29] As Carpathia began to settle by the head and list to port, Captain William Prothero gave the order to abandon ship. All passengers and the surviving crew members boarded the lifeboats as the vessel sank. There were 218 survivors. U-55 surfaced and fired a third torpedo into the ship near the gunner's rooms, resulting in a large explosion that doomed the ship. U-55 started approaching the lifeboats when the Azalea-class sloop HMS Snowdrop arrived on the scene and drove away the submarine with gunfire before picking up the survivors from Carpathia. Carpathia sank at 11:00 AM at a position recorded by Snowdrop as 49°25′N 10°25′W, approximately 120 mi (190 km) west of Fastnet. At the time of her sinking, Carpathia was the fifth Cunard steamship sunk in as many weeks; the others being the Ascania, Ausonia, Dwinsk, and Valentia, leaving only five Cunarders afloat from the large pre-war fleet.

    HMS Anchusa is sunk by the German submarine U-54 off the north coast of Ireland killing 78.

    Lieutenant Henry Neville Chamberlain (Royal Naval Reserve) is killed in the sinking of the sloop. He dies at age 31 and is the son of the late Reverend George Chamberlain.
    Leading Stoker Frank Woodey killed at age 25. His brother will be killed in November.

    EASTERN FRONT
    USSR: EX-TSAR AND IMPERIAL FAMILY MURDERED at Ekaterinburg by Red Ural Regional Council’s order or by Moscow’s. Zsarina’s sister and 5 Romanov princes murdered in nearby Alapaevsk on July 17. (spoiler alert - the next bit is pretty bloody grim even by the standards of the past 4 years - editor)

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    The Russian Imperial Romanov family (Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Tsarina Alexandra and their five children Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Alexei) and all those who chose to accompany them into imprisonment—notably Eugene Botkin, Anna Demidova, Alexei Trupp and Ivan Kharitonov—were shot, bayoneted and clubbed to death in Yekaterinburg on the night of 16-17 July 1918. The Tsar and his family were killed by several Bolshevik troops including Peter Ermakov, and led by Yakov Yurovsky under the orders of the Ural Regional Soviet and according to instructions by Lenin, Yakov Sverdlov and Felix Dzerzhinsky. Their bodies were then stripped, mutilated, burned and disposed of in a field called Porosenkov Log in the Koptyaki forest.

    Following the February Revolution, the Romanov family and their loyal servants were imprisoned in the Alexander Palace before being moved to Tobolsk and then Ekaterinburg, where they were killed, allegedly at the express command of Vladimir Lenin. Despite being informed that "the entire family suffered the same fate as its head",the Bolsheviks only announced Nicholas's death, with the official press release that "Nicholas Romanov's wife and son have been sent to a secure place." For over eight years, the Soviet leadership maintained a systematic web of disinformation as to the fate of the family, from claiming in September 1919 that they were murdered by left-wing revolutionaries to denying outright in April 1922 that they were dead. They acknowledged the murders in 1926 following the publication of an investigation by a White émigré, but maintained that the bodies were destroyed and that Lenin's Cabinet was not responsible. The emergence of Romanov impostors drew media attention away from Soviet Russia, and discussion regarding the fate of the family was suppressed by Joseph Stalin from 1938.

    The burial site was discovered in 1979 by an amateur sleuth, but the existence of the remains was not made public until 1989, during the glasnost period. The identity of the remains was confirmed by forensic and DNA investigation. They were reburied in the Peter and Paul Cathedral in Saint Petersburg in 1998, 80 years after they were killed, in a funeral that was not attended by key members of the Russian Orthodox Church, who disputed the authenticity of the remains. A second, smaller grave containing the remains of two Romanov children missing from the larger grave was discovered by amateur archaeologists in 2007. However, their remains are kept in a state repository pending further DNA tests. In 2008, after considerable and protracted legal wrangling, the Russian Prosecutor General's office rehabilitated the Romanov family as "victims of political repressions". A criminal case was opened by the post-Soviet government in 1993, but nobody was prosecuted on the basis that the perpetrators were dead. Some historians attribute the order to the government in Moscow, specifically Sverdlov and Lenin who wished to prevent the rescue of the Imperial Family by the approaching Czechoslovak Legion (fighting with the White Army against the Bolsheviks) during the ongoing Russian Civil War. This is supported by a passage in Leon Trotsky's diary. An investigation led by Vladimir Solovyov concluded in 2011 that, despite the opening of state archives in the post-Soviet years, there is yet no written document found that indicates that either Lenin or Sverdlov instigated the orders; however, they did endorse the executions after they occurred. Lenin had close control over the Romanovs although he ensured his name was not associated with their fate in any official documents. President Boris Yeltsin described the killings as one of the most shameful pages in Russian history.

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    While the Romanovs were having dinner on 16 July 1918, Yurovsky entered the sitting room and informed them that the kitchen boy Leonid Sednev was leaving to meet his uncle Ivan Sednev, who had returned to the city asking to see him; Ivan had already been shot by the Cheka.[89] The family was very upset as Leonid was Alexei's only playmate and he was the fifth member of the imperial entourage to be taken from them, but they were assured by Yurovsky that he would be back soon. Alexandra did not trust him, writing in her final diary entry just hours before her death, "whether its true & we shall see the boy back again!" Leonid was in fact kept in the Popov House that night.[84] Yurovsky saw no reason to kill him and wanted him removed before the execution took place.

    Around midnight on 17 July, Yakov Yurovsky, the commandant of The House of Special Purpose, ordered the Romanovs' physician, Dr. Eugene Botkin, to awaken the sleeping family and ask them to put on their clothes, under the pretext that the family would be moved to a safe location due to impending chaos in Yekaterinburg. The Romanovs were then ordered into a 6 m × 5 m (20 ft × 16 ft) semi-basement room. Nicholas asked if Yurovsky could bring two chairs, on which Tsarevich Alexei and Alexandra sat. Yurovsky's assistant Grigory Nikulin remarked to him that the "heir wanted to die in a chair. Very well then, let him have one." The prisoners were told to wait in the cellar room while the truck that would transport them was being brought to the House. A few minutes later, an execution squad of secret police was brought in and Yurovsky read aloud the order given to him by the Ural Executive Committee:

    Nikolai Alexandrovich, in view of the fact that your relatives are continuing their attack on Soviet Russia, the Ural Executive Committee has decided to execute you.

    Nicholas, facing his family, turned and said "What? What?" Yurovsky quickly repeated the order and the weapons were raised. The Empress and Grand Duchess Olga, according to a guard's reminiscence, had tried to bless themselves, but failed amid the shooting. Yurovsky reportedly raised his Colt gun at Nicholas's torso and fired; Nicholas was the target of all of the assembled shooters, and he quickly fell dead, pierced by many bullets. The intoxicated Peter Ermakov, the military commissar for Verkh-Isetsk, shot and killed Alexandra with a bullet wound to the head. He then shot at Maria, who ran for the double doors, hitting her in the thigh. The remaining executioners shot chaotically and over each other's shoulders until the room was so filled with smoke and dust that no one could see anything at all in the darkness nor hear any commands amid the noise.

    Alexey Kabanov, who ran out onto the street to check the noise levels, heard dogs barking from the Romanovs' quarters and the sound of gunshots loud and clear despite the noise from the Fiat's engine. Kabanov then hurried downstairs and told the men to stop firing and kill the family and their dogs with their gun butts and bayonets. Within minutes, Yurovsky was forced to stop the shooting because of the caustic smoke of burned gunpowder, dust from the plaster ceiling caused by the reverberation of bullets, and the deafening gunshots. When they stopped, the doors were then opened to scatter the smoke.[94] While waiting for the smoke to abate, the killers could hear moans and whimpers inside the room. As it cleared, it became evident that although several of the family's retainers had been killed, all of the Imperial children were alive and furthermore, only Maria was even injured.

    The basement where the Romanov family was killed. The wall had been torn apart in search of bullets and other evidence by investigators in 1919. The double doors leading to a storeroom were locked during the execution. The noise of the guns had been heard by households all around, and had awakened many people. The executioners were ordered to proceed with their bayonets, a technique which proved ineffective and meant that the children had to be dispatched by still more gunshots, this time aimed more precisely at their heads. The Tsarevich was the first of the children to be executed. Yurovsky watched in disbelief as Nikulin spent an entire magazine from his Browning gun on Alexei, who was still seated transfixed in his chair; he also had jewels sewn into his undergarment and forage cap.[99] Ermakov shot and stabbed him, and when he failed, Yurovsky shoved him aside and killed the boy with a gunshot to the head. The last to die were Tatiana, Anastasia, and Maria, who were carrying a few pounds (over 1.3 kilograms) of diamonds sewn into their clothing, which had given them a degree of protection from the firing.However, they were speared with bayonets as well. Olga sustained a gunshot wound to the head. Maria and Anastasia were said to have crouched up against a wall covering their heads in terror until they were shot down. Yurovsky himself killed Tatiana and Alexei. Tatiana died from a single bullet through the back of her head. Alexei received two bullets to the head, right behind the ear.[102] Anna Demidova, Alexandra's maid, survived the initial onslaught but was quickly stabbed to death against the back wall while trying to defend herself with a small pillow which she had carried that was filled with precious gems and jewels. While the bodies were being placed on stretchers, one of the girls cried out and covered her face with her arm. Ermakov grabbed Alexander Strekotin's rifle and bayoneted her in the chest, but when it failed to penetrate he pulled out his revolver and shot her in the head.

    While Yurovsky was checking the victims for pulses, Ermakov went back and forth in the room, flailing the bodies with his bayonet. The execution lasted about 20 minutes, Yurovsky later admitting to Nikulin's "poor mastery of his weapon and inevitable nerves".[107Future investigations calculated that a possible 70 bullets were fired, roughly seven bullets per shooter, of which 57 were found in the basement and at all three subsequent gravesites.[96] Some of Pavel Medvedev's stretcher bearers began frisking the bodies for valuables. Yurovsky saw this and demanded that they surrender any looted items or be shot. The attempted looting, coupled with Ermakov's incompetence and drunken state, convinced Yurovsky to oversee the disposal of the bodies himself. Only Alexei's spaniel, Joy, survived to be rescued by a British officer of the Allied Intervention Force, living out his final days in Windsor, Berkshire.

    Alexandre Beloborodov sent a coded telegram to Lenin's secretary, Nikolai Gorbunov. It was found by White investigator Nikolai Sokolov and reads:Inform Sverdlov the whole family have shared the same fate as the head. Officially the family will die at the evacuation. Aleksandr Lisitsyn of the Cheka, an essential witness on behalf of Moscow, was designated to promptly dispatch to Sverdlov soon after the executions of Nicholas and Alexandra's politically valuable diaries and letters, which would be published in Russia as soon as possible. Beloborodov and Nikulin oversaw the ransacking of the Romanov quarters, seizing all the family's personal items, the most valuable piled up in Yurovsky's office whilst things considered inconsequential and of no value were stuffed into the stoves and burned. Everything was packed into the Romanovs' own trunks for dispatch to Moscow under escort by commissars. On 19 July, the Bolsheviks nationalized all confiscated Romanov properties, the same day Sverdlov announced the tsar's execution to the Council of People's Commissars.

    WESTERN FRONT
    Champagne and Marne: French hold Germans east of Reims, but fall back slightly at Prunay; west of Reims German advance up Marne to Renil threatens Epernay (7 miles east), US 42nd Division counter-attacks north of St Agnan La Chapelle.

    SEA WAR
    North Atlantic: U-54 sinks sloop HMS Anchusa off Northern Ireland.
    Western Mediterranean: Destroyer night collision between HMS Cygnet and Italian Garibaldino sinks latter off Villefranche (South France).

    AIR WAR
    Germany: 12 DH9s of No 99 Squadron and 6 DH4s of No 55 Squadron attack Thionville (over 93 casualties); 15-wagon munition train explodes; another train hit; serious fires started, and goods station badly damaged. Handley Pages drop 5 bombs in Saarbruecken centre (heavy damage). 10 FE2s bomb Hagendingen; bomb destroys tunnel shelter (23 casualties) and burns large stocks af fodder and coal.
    Western Front: *Germans claim 37 Allied aircraft for loss of 14.

    Ther German Air Ace Hans Kirschstein of Jasta 6 was killed on this day

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    Hans Kirschstein served with the 3rd Pioneer Battalion in Poland, France and Macedonia where he contracted malaria in 1915. In February 1916 he transferred to the air service and was sent to flying school in May. Upon graduating he was posted to FA 19 where he was awarded the Iron Cross, second class, for bombing Dover, England. In 1917 Kirschstein served with FA 256 and FA 3. He attended Jastaschule in February 1918 and was posted to Jasta 6 on 13 March 1918. With this unit he earned the Iron Cross, first class, and the Knight's Cross with Swords of the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern. Having scored 24 victories, he assumed command of Jasta 6 on 10 June 1918. After downing three more enemy aircraft, bringing his total to 27, he was awarded the Blue Max on 24 June 1918. Soon afterwards, Kirschstein was killed in a crash on a return flight from Fismes in a Hannover CL.II piloted by Leutnant Johannes Markgraf. A board of inquiry later concluded the crash was the result of pilot error.

    On 16 July, Kirschstein flew one of his planes in for maintenance at the repair depot at Fismes. He was accompanied by a new pilot in his Jasta, Leutnant Johannes Markgraf, flying formation in a two-seater Hannover CL. After leaving the Fokker, Kirschstein climbed into the rear seat of the Hannover for the return trip. Markgraf, who was unfamiliar with the Hannover, stalled it out at about 50 meters altitude on takeoff. The crash killed both men.

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    The following claims were made on this day

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    On a shocking day for the RAF 39 British Airmen were lost... (Including)

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    Captain Tunstill's Men: Cpl. Thomas Anthony Swale (see 11th June) re-joined the Battalion from 23rd Division Convalescent Camp.

    Pte. Reginald James Nosworthy (see 17th June) was transferred from 38th Stationary Hospital in Genoa to the Convalescent Depot at Lido d’Albano; he had been suffering from “I.C.T.” (Inflammation of the connective tissue).

    Pte. John William Procter (see 29th June), who had been suffering from an abcess to his left thigh, was transferred from hospital in Marseilles to 16th Convalescent Depot, also in Marseilles.

    After ten days’ treatment for ‘debility’, Pte. Albert John Start (see 5th July), who had been serving in France with 791st Area Employment Company, Labour Corps, was posted back to England, travelling onboard the Hospital Ship Aberdonian.

    Pte. Leonard Nicholl (see 28th November 1916), who had been wounded in November 1916, was discharged from the Army as no longer physically fit due to his injuries.

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    Last edited by Hedeby; 07-16-2018 at 14:31.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  37. #3437

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    Apologies today's edition will be delayed until tomorrow as have spent most of the day at hospital whilst my grand daughter had surgery. (She is fine had steel pins removed that were put in last year) bringing her home tomorrow hopefully.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  38. #3438

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    I trust that all is well Chris and a successful outcome was the result of your granddaughter's operation.
    Best wishes.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  39. #3439

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    Ditto Kyte!
    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Winston S. Churchill

  40. #3440

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    Here's wishing your granddaughter a speed recovery Chris

  41. #3441

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    Many thanks chaps, she is out of hospital and at her dad's house, bandaged legs but taking faltering steps - just the arm she broke back flipping off the monkey bars to get fixed now... kids !!!!)

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  42. #3442

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    Thanks for your time and effort on this, nice work.

  43. #3443

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    17th July 1918

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    Albert Chalmers Borella, VC, MM (7 August 1881 – 7 February 1968) was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. Born in Victoria, Borella was one of 64 Australians to receive the Victoria Cross for their actions during the First World War, doing so while serving with the 26th Battalion around Villers-Bretonneux in July 1918. After the war, Borella returned to Australia, initially farming a property in Victoria before rejoining the Army during the Second World War and serving in a number of garrison units in Australia. He was demobilised in 1945 and worked as a public servant until he retired in 1956. He died in 1968 at the age of 86.

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    Albert Chalmers Borella was born at Borung, Victoria. His parents were Louis Borella and Annie Borella née Chalmers. After attending state schools at Borung and Wychitella, Borella became a farmer, working around Borung and Echuca. He also enlisted as a part-time soldier in the Victorian Rangers, serving for a period of 18 months. He travelled to Melbourne in early 1910 and became a firefighter in the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, remaining in the city until early 1913 when he travelled to the Northern Territory to take up a pastoral lease, working a property on the Daly River until early 1915 when his financial situation forced him to leave the land.

    Borella enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in Townsville, Queensland, on 15 March 1915.[2][3] He had to go to some effort to do so because at the outbreak of the First World War the military authorities were not accepting volunteers from the Northern Territory. Borella accepted a job as a cook for a survey party in Tennant Creek and in January 1915 he set out for Darwin to volunteer for active service. With Charlie, an Aboriginal man, he walked 140 kilometres (87 mi) and swam across flooded rivers. After borrowing a horse at Powell Creek, just north of Renner Springs, Northern Territory, he rode to Katherine where he caught the mail coach to the railhead at Pine Creek. He sailed from Darwin to Townsville on 8 March 1915 with four other men who were among the first 15 volunteers for active service from the Northern Territory.

    Initially serving in the ranks as a private, Borella served with the 26th Battalion at Gallipoli from 12 September 1915 until being evacuated with jaundice on 19 November. He did not rejoin his unit until 5 February 1916, and then served on the Western Front in France, being wounded in the Battle of Pozières Heights on 29 July. He achieved promotion from corporal to sergeant and was commissioned as an officer – second lieutenant – on 7 April 1917, and to lieutenant on 28 August 1917. He attended officer training in the United Kingdom. Borella received a Military Medal for conspicuous bravery on 11 May 1917, was Mentioned in Despatches on 1 June 1917, awarded the Victoria Cross on 16 September 1918 for actions in July 1918 during a peaceful penetration operation prior to the start of the Allied Hundred Days Offensive.

    His citation for the Victoria Cross, gained in 1918 in Villers-Bretonneux, France, at the age of 37, reads in part:

    “ During the period 17/18 July... Lieutenant Borella, whilst leading his platoon, charged and captured an enemy machine-gun, shooting two gunners. He then led his party, by now reduced to 10 men and two Lewis guns, against a very strongly held trench, using his revolver and later a rifle with great effect and causing many casualties. Two large dug-outs were also bombed and 30 prisoners taken.... ”
    He received his VC at Sandringham from King George V. Three of Borella's brothers also served during the war: Charles and James in the 7th Battalion, and Rex in the 8th Light Horse. All survived and returned to Australia

    The Assassination / Murder of the Romanovs.

    There seems to be some confusion as to whether this dastardly crime took place on the 16th or 17th July - so to build on the details from the 16th here is another version from a different source:

    The family had been in exile in the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg, Siberia, Russia since the previous spring. The residence was also known as The House of Special Purpose, as the Bolsheviks had wanted to eventually bring Nicholas to trial.

    At the time of the family’s execution, the Bolshevik Red Army controlled Yekaterinburg with the anti-communist White Army gaining strength in the surrounding area. Additionally, Czechoslovak troops were also gaining on the city but (unknown to Red Army forces) this was to protect the Trans-Siberian Railway rather than the imperial family. To prevent the family from possible escape into White Army hands, the decision was made to execute them. The family doctor, Eugene Botkin, awoke the family around midnight on July 17, urging them to dress quickly. All seven of the Romanov family plus Botkin and three servants (maid Anna Demidova, cook Ivan Kharitonov, and footman Alexei Trupp) were escorted to a basement room. Anastasia also took the family dog. Chairs were brought in for Nicholas, Alexandra, and Alexei. The family believed they were being evacuated to a new location.

    Eight members of the firing squad entered the basement room along with Yakov Yurovsky, the commandant of the Ipatiev House. A few minutes later Yurkovsky informed the prisoners that they were about to be executed. Nicholas arose in shock but was quickly shot down. Chaos ensued as the executioners gunned down the family members and their servants. Alexandra and her daughters had sewn jewels into their clothing to provide money if the family was sent into exile and these jewels acted for a time as shields against the bullets. Anna Demidova carried a pillow also sewn with jewels. Eventually, the soldiers brought out bayonets to kill the last remaining survivors. After several minutes of ricocheting bullets and stabbings, all eleven members of the party were dead. Vladimir Lenin had ordered the assassination.

    After much debate and multiple vehicle problems, the bodies were taken to a remote site north of Yekaterinburg. The initial plan was to burn to bodies but when this took longer than expected, the remaining bodies were buried in an unmarked pit. Acid was poured on the corpses, the bodies were covered with railroad ties, and the pit was smoothed over with dirt and ash. The murder of the imperial family shocked Russia and the world. The ensuing Soviet regime and the considerable length of time between the executions and the discovery of their bodies gave way to many different legends of survival of at least one of the family members. Many different people claimed to be Alexei or one of his sisters in the 1920s and 1930s, the best known of which was Anna Anderson who was later proven to be a Polish woman. In 1934, Yakov Yurovsky, the commandant of the Ipatiev House, produced an account of the execution and disposal of the bodies. His account later matched the remains of nine bodies found north of Yekaterinburg in 1991. In 1994, when the bodies of the Romanovs were exhumed, two were missing – one daughter, either Maria or Anastasia, and Alexei. The remains of the nine bodies recovered were confirmed as those of the three servants, Dr. Botkin, Nicholas, Alexandra, and three of their daughters. The remains of Olga and Tatiana were definitely identified based upon the expected skeletal structure of young women of their age. The remains of the third daughter were either Maria or Anastasia.

    The family and their servants were canonized as new martyrs in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in 1981, and as passion bearers in the Russian Orthodox Church in 2000. Formal burial of Nicholas, Alexandra, Olga, Tatiana, Anastasia, Dr. Botkin, and the three servants took place on July 17, 1998, the 80th anniversary of their deaths, in the St. Catherine Chapel at the Peter and Paul Cathedral in Saint Petersburg. Boris Yeltsin, President of Russia, many Romanov family members, and family members of Dr. Botkin and the servants attended the ceremony. Prince Michael of Kent represented his first cousin Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. Three of his grandparents were first cousins of Nicholas II.


    WESTERN FRONT
    Western Front at its longest, with 532 miles.
    Champagne and Marne: Germans advancing on Epernay, reach Montasin-Chare la Rare (French later recapture. Chare) between Marne and Reims. Germans reach Nanteuil-Pourcy but Italians counter-attack successfully. East of Reims Germans defeated south of Prunay (retaken July 18) as Gouraud advances north. German losses 50,000; Boehn stops Seventh Army attacks. Violent thunderstorms (night July 17-18).

    EASTERN FRONT
    USA: Definitive US memo on Siberian intervention proclaims the principle of political non-interference (Japan approves on July 18).

    AIR WAR
    Germany: 17 DHs attack Thionville (alternate target for Stuttgart).
    Western Front: German fighter units airborne 7 times trying to stem Allied air attacks an Marne bridges, claim overall 23 aircraft for loss of 6.

    The U.S. Army established the 13th Division at Camp Lewis, Washington.

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    The 13th Division was an infantry division of the United States Army. It was established at Camp Lewis, Washington, in 1918, during World War I. The war ended before the division saw combat, and it was inactivated in 1919.

    The 13th Division was activated at Camp Lewis, Washington on July 16, 1918 as part of the U.S. military mobilization for World War I. It was manned and trained at Camp Lewis in preparation for combat in France, and formed from a few existing units as the organization's nucleus, while draftees, predominantly from the west coast of the United States, filled out the majority of the division. The "square" 13th Division's complement of four regiments included the 1st, 44th, 75th, and 76th Infantry Regiments] In August 1918, the regiments were organized to form two brigades -- the 25th (1st and 75th Regiments, plus the 38th Machine Gun Battalion) -- and the 26th Brigade (44th and 76th Regiments, plus the 39th Machine Gun Battalion)

    Cornelius Vanderbilt III served as the division's interim commander in the summer of 1918. As they had for the recently departed 91st Division, community leaders welcomed Vanderbilt at a formal reception which took place at the newly-constructed Camp Lewis gymnasium, and included an orchestra, and more than 1,000 guests, including Governor Ernest Lister. In addition to the reception for Vanderbilt, the civilian community welcomed the 13th Division's soldiers with public events, including a picnic and a track meet.Horace R. Cayton Sr., the publisher of Cayton's Weekly and Seattle's first African American journalist, criticized Vanderbilt for barring black troops from Camp Lewis's most popular recreation center. He had also segregated the camp's Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) Hostess House, which was widely popular among soldiers. Vanderbilt lifted the bans in September as the result of the public outcry generated by Cayton's articles.

    The 13 Division was briefly commanded by Brigadier General Frank B. Watson, with Vanderbilt taking command of the 25th Brigade. When the permanent commander, Major General Joseph D. Leitch arrived in October 1918, Watson assumed command of the 26th Brigade. In late September 1918, the Spanish influenza epidemic reached Camp Lewis, and the post soon averaged 10 deaths per week. In early October, the 213th Engineer Regiment arrived for assignment to the 13th Division, and brought even more ill soldiers into the camp. In an effort to halt the widening epidemic, Leitch imposed a quarantine on October 19. A Tacoma Daily Ledger fundraising campaign to erect the world's largest flagpole at Camp Lewis culminated on October 12, 1918, when soldiers attempted to raise a 60-by-90-foot American flag which was mounted on a 314-foot-tall pole made from a Douglas fir tree. The event was sparsely attended because of the flu quarantine, and soon after the pole went up, a gust of wind whipped the flag hard enough to snap the pole in three places. An attempt to raise a 214-foot pole in November also met with failure, as the wind caught the flag during the dedication ceremony, snapped the pole into two pieces and shredded the flag. A third, more traditional flagpole was successfully erected later in November.

    Major Alexander P. Cronkhite was a company commander in the 213th Engineers and the son of Major General Adelbert Cronkhite. He arrived at Camp Lewis in early October, and was soon hospitalized with influenza. Major Cronkhite was released on October 21, and joined his company for a cross-country hike.[3] Because he was still recovering, another officer was temporarily in command. When the group stopped to rest and eat lunch, Cronkhite used a borrowed handgun to engage in target practice by shooting at a tobacco tin on a nearby fence post. While engaged in this activity, Cronkhite sustained a gunshot wound and died at the scene. Subsequent investigation found that it was accidental and self-inflicted. Adelbert Cronkhite did not accept this finding, and pushed for several years to have the investigation reopened. In the mid-1920s, the sergeant and captain who had been with Alexander Cronkhite when he died were arrested and charged with murder. Because the captain was Jewish, Adelbert Cronkhite's cause was taken up by anti-Semitic newspapers, creating a nationwide story. When the sergeant was tried, defense attorneys were able to demonstrate that an accidental shooting was the most likely possibility. He was acquitted, and charges against the captain were soon dismissed.

    The armistice of November 11, 1918 ended World War I before the 13th Division could complete its training and depart for France. Within a few days, Leitch began permitting the release of officers who were no longer needed, as well as soldiers who requested discharge so they could return home to support their families. The 13th Division held a demobilization parade on November 22, 1918, with members of the local community watching primarily from their automobiles as a precaution against the spread of influenza. The division was nearly demobilized by February 1919, except for the 13th Field Artillery Brigade, which was briefly employed in Seattle to help restore order during a labor strike. Demobilization resumed again on February 25, and the soldiers of the 13th Field Artillery Brigade were soon discharged to civilian life.

    The War in the Air

    General Headquarters, July 18th.

    “On the 17th inst. the weather was cloudy at first, but improved later allowing a considerable amount of aerial reconnaissance, photography, and artillery work to be accomplished by us. Eleven and a half tons of bombs were dropped during the day on enemy dumps and railways and on the Brugeoise Works. Comparatively few enemy machines were encountered. We shot down three and drove one down out of control. We lost one machine. We also shot down six hostile balloons in flames. Severe thunderstorms prevented our machines from carrying out night bombing."

    Headquarters R.A.F., Independent Force, July 18th.


    “During the night of July 16th-17th our machines bombed the works at Hagendingen and the Burbach works. Good results were observed and appreciable damage done. A hostile aerodrome was also bombed with good results. All our machines returned safely.

    “On the 17th inst. our machines successfully attacked the railway and sidings at Thionville. All our machines returned safely."

    Admiralty, July 18th.

    “The Secretary of the Admiralty announces that during the period July 11th-17th inclusive, Royal Air Force units working with the Navy in home waters have maintained anti-submarine and escort patrols. Bombing raids have been carried out, when weather was favourable, with good results. Enemy destroyers have been sighted off the Flanders coast on several occasions and attacked with bombs. A direct hit was obtained on one large destroyer. Our formations have also attacked destroyers with machine-gun fire. On one of these occasions five enemy seaplanes approached at beginning of action, but immediately withdrew. Enemy aircraft have been active and have attacked our bombing and patrol formations. Three hostile machines have been destroyed and four driven down out of control. Two of our machines are missing and two collided and crashed. One of our machines on anti-submarine patrol observed an enemy seaplane upside down in the sea, no occupants. Enemy attempts to salve the torpedo-boat destroyer recently sunk close to Zeebrugge by a bomb from one of our machines have been greatly hindered by our bombing formations."

    RAF Communiqué No 16:


    Weather, low in early morning, then fine; thunderstorms in evening.

    Forty-nine reconnaissances, five counter-attack patrols.

    Ninety-five hostile batteries engaged for destruction with aeroplane observation, nine neutralized, 59 zone calls sent.

    Eight and a half tons of bombs were dropped by night and 16¼ tons by day.

    On the 17th instant, 34 hostile batteries engaged for destruction with balloon observation and fire observed on 67 other targets.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Inactive.

    Lieut G F Anderson & Lieut H R Goss, 88 Sqn, Halberstadt CL in flames Map 20x.26 [south of Roulers] -
    Lieut R G Smallwood, 4 AFC, Balloon in flames north-east Estaires at 05:00/06:00 -
    Lieut L T E Taplin, 4 AFC, Albatros C crashed south-west Estaires at 06:20/07:20 -
    Maj G H Bowman, 41 Sqn, Rumpler C out of control south-west Bapaume at 08:45/09:45 -
    Capt T F Hazell, 24 Sqn, Balloon in flames Ovillers at 10:05/11:05 -
    Lieut N W R Mawle, 84 Sqn, Balloon in flames Proyart at 10:35/11:35 -
    Capt J D Canning, 79 Sqn, DFW C crashed Le Trois Tilleuls at 10:40/11:40 – confirmed by another pilot (2 Brigade summary gives location as west of Armentieres)
    Capt A T Cole and Lieut C O Stone, 2 AFC, Fokker DrI in flames Armentières at 17:30/18:30 - Ltn Otto Franke, Jasta 30, Kia,
    Lieut F G Harlock & Pbr A S Draisey, 20 Sqn, Fokker DVII out of control north of Tourcoing at 18:50/19:50 -

    Casualties:

    Lieut R Turner (Wia) & Sergt W B Harold (Wia), 27 Sqn RAF, DH4 – combat?
    ? (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut A N Thomson (Wia), 42 Sqn RAF, RE8 - anti-aircraft fire
    ? (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut J G Breeze (Wia), 211 Sqn RAF, DH9 – shot up bombing Zeebrugge; ground fire
    Lieut E G Hayes (Wia), 80 Sqn RAF, Camel C8254 – took off 07:00/08:00 then missing from offensive patrol Fère-en-Tardenois
    2nd-Lieut R E White (Pow), 19 Sqn RAF, Dolphin C3792 – took off 17:02/18:02 then missing on offensive patrol

    Captain Claude Robert James Thompson a six victory ace from 19 Squadron RAF was killed on this day

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    From Richmond, Victoria, Lieutenant Claude Robert James Thompson received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 4343 at Shoreham on 1 March 1917. Flying the SPAD VII and SPAD XIII, he was credited with six victories while serving with 19 Squadron in 1917. Reassigned to the Home Establishment, he was killed in a crash during the summer of 1918.

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    Lieutenant Douglas Arthur Davies of 150 Squadron RAF was awarded the DFC for his exploiits on this day

    Serving with the Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment), Douglas Arthur Davies, the son of Herbert Arthur and Elsie Davies, was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on 17 October 1915. He was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps and appointed Flying Officer on 20 November 1917. Posted to Salonika with 150 Squadron in 1918, Lieutenant Davies scored ten victories flying the Sopwith Camel in the summer of 1918.

    Lt. Douglas Arthur Davies (Wilts. R.).
    This officer sets a fine example of gallantry and courage, notably on two occasions. On the 12th of June he, single-handed, engaged four enemy scouts, one of which he shot down in flames and a second out of control; the latter was seen to catch fire on reaching the ground. Some weeks later he led his patrol of four scouts against a formation of eleven hostile machines; two of these were shot down in flames, the wings fell off another, and the remainder dispersed.

    The following claims were made on this day

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    It was another bad day for the RAF with 22 airmen lost including:

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    Captain Tunstill's Men: Pte. James Frederick Palmer (see 16th January 1917) suffered an accidental injury to his left foot while delivering water to the front line near Mount Kaberlaba. Palmer himself declared that, “I was going with a pack mule to the front line carrying water. As I was going along the mule track I lost my footing on a rock. This happened about 5pm.” There were no direct witnesses to the accident but Pte. Henry Lindley Harvey (see below) confirmed that, “I was going up the mule track at 5.15pm and found Pte. Palmer sitting down on the side of the track. He complained about his foot being bad, saying he had caught his foot on a rock coming down the track”. It is not clear what medical treatment Palmer received.

    Pte. Henry Lindley Harvey was 19 years old and from Doncaster; in the absence of a surviving service record it has not been possible to establish when he had joined 10DWR.

    Pte. Alfred Charles Dolphin (see 17th June) was admitted via 69th Field Ambulance and 29th Casualty Clearing Station to 29th Stationary Hospital in Cremona; he was suffering from “I.C.T.” (Inflammation of the connective tissue) to his left hand.

    Lt. Robert Oswald Milligan (see 21st June 1917), who had suffered severe injuries to his left arm on 7th June 1917, was finally discharged from hospital following more than a year’s treatment. The details of his treatment and posting after discharge are unknown.

    A payment of £2 5d. was authorised, being the amount due in pay and allowances to the late L.Cpl. Luther Pickles (see 4th February) who had been officially posted as missing in action since 7th June 1917; the payment would go to his widow, Lily.

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    Last edited by Hedeby; 07-18-2018 at 15:17.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  44. #3444

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    18th July 1918

    Interestingly today we see the first mention of one of the most notorious figures in human history and the birth of one of the most famous figures of the latter half of the 20th Century...

    Private David Stevenson (Middlesex Regiment) is executed by firing squad for desertion at age 23 in the mining village of Bully-Grenay, near Lens. The last words of a member of the firing squad were “What will my mother say?”

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    Battle of Soissons

    The Battle of Soissons (also known as the Battle of the Soissonnais and of the Ourcq (French: Bataille du Soissonnais et de L'Ourcq)[a] was a battle during World War I, waged from 18 to 22 July 1918, between the French (with American and British assistance) and German armies.

    Ferdinand Foch, the Allied Supreme Commander, launched the offensive on 18 July; 24 French divisions and 2 British and 2 U.S. divisions under French command, supported by approximately 478 tanks, sought to eliminate the salient that was aimed at Paris.

    The Allies suffered 107,000 casualties (95,000 French and 12,000 American), while the Germans suffered 168,000 casualties.

    The battle ended with the French recapturing most of the ground lost to the German Spring Offensive in May 1918.

    Adolf Hitler, the future Führer of Nazi Germany, earned and was awarded the Iron Cross First Class at Soissons on August 4th 1918.

    The Battle of Château-Thierry was fought on July 18, 1918 and was one of the first actions of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) under General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing. It was a battle in World War I as part of the Second Battle of the Marne, initially prompted by a German offensive launched on 15 July against the AEF, an expeditionary force consisting of troops from both the Army and Marine Corps, and the newest troops on the front.

    On the morning of 18 July 1918, the French (some of them colonial) and American forces between Fontenoy and Château-Thierry launched a counter-assault under the overall direction of Allied généralissime Ferdinand Foch against the German positions. This assault on a 40 km (25 mi) wide front was the first in over a year. The American army played a role fighting for the regions around Soissons and Château-Thierry, in collaboration with predominantly French forces. The allied forces had managed to keep their plans a secret, and their attack at 04:45 took the Germans by surprise when the troops went "Over the Top" without a preparatory artillery bombardment, but instead followed closely behind a rolling barrage which began with great synchronized precision. Eventually, the two opposing assaults (lines) inter-penetrated and individual American units exercised initiative and continued fighting despite being nominally behind enemy lines.

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    Despite the revolution in Russia, fortune seemed to favor the Allies with the arrival of the Americans to France. However, these troops needed time to train before they could be combat effective. Recognizing the window of opportunity, General Ludendorff consolidated the manpower freed up from the Eastern Front to conduct Operation Michael in order to split the Allies' lines. The successes of the German Stormtroopers infiltration tactics earned Germany approximately 40 miles of territory. But the offensive lost momentum when it surpassed its supply lines. Up to this point, American General Pershing refused to hand over American divisions to either the British or French armies, insisting on keeping them together as one army. But in the face of the German onslaught, Pershing relented and sent a portion of his army to assist the French in blocking the German advance. Looking to defeat the British occupied in Flanders, Ludendorff sought to divert the Allies' French reserves away from the region. In his Operation Blucher, Ludendorff aimed some of his forces at the Chemin des Dames and took the French Sixth Army by surprise. Driving on, the Germans were soon at the Marne River, situated under 50 miles from Paris. With Marshal Ferdinand Foch unable to acquire British assistance, General Pershing's chief of operation, Colonel Fox Conner, recognized the gravity of the situation and ordered the 3rd Division to block them

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    U.S. field artillery in Château-Thierry

    The 3rd Division occupied the main bridge on the south bank of the Marne that led in Chateau Thierry on May 31 as the French 10th Colonial Division rendezvoused with them from the north bank. The Americans positioned their machine guns to cover the French retreat, and had a unit led by Lt John Bissell situated north of the second bridge. The French spent the night adding explosives to the bridges to destroy them. Early the following morning, on June 1, the Germans advanced into Chateau Thierry from the north, forcing the French to the main bridge, which they defended with the support of American machine-gun fire. The French succeeded in destroying the bridge as the Americans kept up their fire on the Germans. Lt. Bissell's group was still on the north side of the Marne. They worked their way back to the secondary bridge in-between American machine-gun fire and made it across, along with a group of Germans that were captured shortly afterwards. From the north of the Marne on June 2, the Germans engaged in heavy artillery and sniper fire against the Allies. They made an attempt to take the remaining bridge but were forced to end the assault as the casualties rose.

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    Hill 204 Memorial

    After World War I, a memorial was built on Hill 204, 2 miles (3 km.) west of the town for which it is named. The Château-Thierry Monument, designed by Paul P. Cret of Philadelphia, was constructed by the American Battle Monuments Commission "to commemorate the sacrifices and achievements of American and French fighting men in the region, and the friendship and cooperation of French and American forces during World War I." There is also a monument in front of the Bronx County Courthouse in New York City that was presented by the American Legion on November 11, 1940. The monument consists of the "Keystone from an arch of the old bridge at Chateau Thierry," which the monument notes was "Gloriously and successfully defended by American troops."

    The first Filipino to die in World War I was Private Tomas Mateo Claudio who served with the U.S. Army as part of the American Expeditionary Forces to Europe. He died in the Battle of Chateau Thierry in France on June 29, 1918. The Tomas Claudio Memorial College in Morong Rizal, Philippines, which was founded in 1950, was named in his honor.

    Russia

    Agents with Cheka executed several Russian nobles related to the Romanov family in Alapayevsk, Russia including princes and brothers Constantine, Igor and John, Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, Vladimir Paley and Sister Barbara Yakovleva.

    WESTERN FRONT

    Champagne and Marne – SECOND BATTLE OF THE MARNE: ALLIED COUNTER*STROKE. Franco-Americans, backed by 2000 guns, attack at 0435 hours on 27-mile front, Fonteroy-Belleau. French Tenth Army (Mangin) including US 1st and 2nd Divisions (among 9) supported by 223 tanks (62 hit), achieve complete surprise advances up to 4 1/2 miles to within a mile of ‘Mt Paris’, Soissons and Crive Valley. Allies take 12,000 PoWs and 250 guns from 11 German divisions. Farther south, Franco*-Americans (Degoutte) advance 3-5 miles north of Marne. Germans reach St Agnan south of Marne.
    Flanders: Ludendorff morning Mons conference (with Rupprecht, army commanders and staffs for projected ‘final offensive’ Hagen scheduled early August), thrown into confusion by news of Marne debacle. Ludendorff immediately sends 2 divisions to threatened front, but news of fresh defeats abruptly ends conference. Army Group Crown Prince William orders 14 German divisions south of the Marne to retire, Ludendorff cancels planned thrusts around Reims and halts transfer of Bruchmueller’s artillery to Flanders. At 1535 hours Rupprecht is ordered to dispatch 2 more divisions to Reims, his diary comments ‘no doubt that we have passed the zenith of our successes’. Ludendorff rows with Hindenburg twice as latter insists on counter*-attack from north of Soissons.

    AIR WAR

    Western Front: French 1st Air Division gives close support to Allied ground attack (for heavy losses) at Chateau-Thierry and Soissons. Comprises 590 aircraft in 2 Groupements each with 12 escadrilles Spad S13 fighters; 1st Groupement has 9 escadrilles Breguet 14 day bomber and reconnaissance aircraft; 2nd Groupement 6 Breguet escadrilles. RAF (aircraft attached to French XI Corps) also gives support. Allies lose 34 aircraft (14 to JG1) to 8 German. Sergeant Willi Gabriel of Jasta 11 scores 4 victories. Germans regain air supremacy over parts af Marne battlefield (July 22, when 41 Allied aircraft lost for 2 German; until August 6).

    The German Ace Leutnant Moritz-Waldemar Bretschneider-Bodemer a six victory ace from Jasta 6 was shot down and killed on this day.

    The German Ace Leutnant Arthur Laumann of Jasta 66 claimed three victories on this day

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    After two years in an artillery regiment, Laumann's request for a transfer to the German Air Force was approved. While with Jasta 66, his first victory was over a SPAD during the dogfight in which his commander, Rudolf Windisch, was killed. Laumann, who's Fokker D.VII carried the initials " AL" on the fuselage, was the last member of Jagdgeschwader I to be awarded the Blue Max.

    The following claims were made on this day

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    17 British Airmen were lost on this day

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    Captain Tunstill's Men: Pte. Harry Robinson (see 23rd February) was wounded by Austrian shelling, suffering multiple shrapnel wounds; he was evacuated to 24th Casualty Clearing Station at Cavaletto. Pte. John Chadwick Taylor (see 16th December 1917) was also wounded; he suffered shrapnel wounds to his right buttock and would be admitted via 70th Field Ambulance and 39th Casualty Clearing Station to 29th Stationary Hospital in Cremona.

    Pte. Richard Metcalfe (see 21st April), who was on attachment to the Royal Engineers, was ordered to be confined to barracks for two days; the nature of his offence is unknown.

    Pte. Sidney Powdrill (see 23rd June) was discharged from 29th Stationary Hospital in Cremona, after suffering from influenza, and posted to the Base Depot at Arquata Scrivia.

    Pte. Charles William Hird (see 9th June), serving in France with 2DWR, was wounded, suffering shrapnel wounds to his leg; the details of his treatment are unknown.

    Pte. Michael Hopkins MM (see 17th June), serving with 29th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, returned to France.

    Capt. Herbert Sparling MC (see 28th January), who had been severely wounded on 18th October 1917, having his left leg amputated below the knee, appeared before a further Army Medical Board. The Board extended his current leave for a further three months and noted that he was “awaiting admission to Roehampton”; Queen Mary’s Hospital in Roehampton was a specialist centre for the fitting of prosthetic limbs.

    The War Office wrote in reply to the recent letter from 2Lt. Frederick Millward MC (see 27th June), who had been severely injured during a trench raid carried out in November 1916 and had had his right leg amputated above the knee. Millward had written enquiring about any additional financial assistance for which he might be eligible. The reply stated that, “I am directed to inform you that the £250 wound gratuity you were awarded is the maximum amount issuable under the regulations to an officer of your rank for loss of a limb. Your application for an artificial leg has been passed to the Ministry of Pensions, from whom you will hear in due course”.

    100 years ago today was born Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (/mænˈdɛlə/[1], Xhosa: [xoliɬaˈɬa manˈdɛla]; 18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by tackling institutionalised racism and fostering racial reconciliation. Ideologically an African nationalist and socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress (ANC) party from 1991 to 1997.

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    Never knowingly under gunned !

  45. #3445

  46. #3446

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    19th July 1918

    At 03:14 three Sopwith Camels take off from HMS Furious in the first ever air raid launched from an aircraft carrier. The raid on the Zeppelin sheds at Tondern has been delayed for some weeks due to bad weather. Each aircraft carries two specially made 60-pound Cooper bombs. The second flight of four aircraft departs HMS Furious at 03:22 but only three reach Tondern as one aircraft suffers severe engine trouble and is forced to return to the fleet where the pilot is successfully picked up, though is aircraft is destroyed when the rescuing destroyer runs in over. There is no protecting enemy fighter aircraft at the base, although ground fire is intense. Two Zeppelins, L54 and L60, are destroyed in huge explosions in one of the three sheds at the base. Clouds and poor visibility may be a contributing factor to only one other aircraft returning safely to a British ship. One pilot drowns when he presumably runs out of fuel and has to ditch. Three other pilots are forced to land or ditch in Denmark where they are interned.

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    HMS Furious was a modified Courageous-class battlecruiser built for the Royal Navy (RN) during the First World War. Designed to support the Baltic Project championed by the First Sea Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Fisher, the ship was very lightly armoured and designed to be armed with only two heavy guns (18-inch), one forward and one aft, plus a number of lesser guns. Furious was modified and became an aircraft carrier while under construction. Her forward turret was removed and a flight deck was added in its place, such that aircraft had to manoeuvre around the superstructure to land. Later in the war, the ship had her rear turret removed and a second flight deck installed aft of the superstructure, but this was less than satisfactory due to air turbulence. Furious was briefly laid up after the war before she was reconstructed with a full-length flight deck in the early 1920s.

    After her conversion, Furious was used extensively for trials of naval aircraft and later as a training carrier once the new armoured carriers like Ark Royal entered service in the late 1930s. During the early months of the Second World War the carrier spent her time hunting for German raiders in the North Atlantic and escorting convoys. This changed dramatically during the Norwegian Campaign in early 1940 when her aircraft provided air support to British troops ashore in addition to attacking German shipping. The first of what would be a large number of aircraft ferry missions was made by the carrier during the campaign. After the withdrawal of British troops in May, Furious made several anti-shipping strikes in Norway with little result before beginning a steady routine of ferrying aircraft for the Royal Air Force.

    At first Furious made several trips to West Africa, but she began to ferry aircraft to Gibraltar in 1941. An unsuccessful attack on German-occupied ports on the Arctic Ocean interrupted the ferry missions in mid-1941. Furious was given a lengthy refit in the United States and spent a few months training after her return in April 1942. She made several more ferry trips in mid-1942 before her aircraft attacked airfields in Vichy French Algeria as part of the opening stages of Operation Torch in November 1942. The ship remained in the Mediterranean until February 1943 when she was transferred to the Home Fleet.

    Furious spent most of 1943 training, but made a number of attacks on the German battleship Tirpitz and other targets in Norway during the first half of 1944. By September 1944, the ship was showing her age and she was placed in reserve. Furious was decommissioned in April 1945, but was not sold for scrap until 1948.

    More on the above

    SEA WAR
    North Sea – The Tondern Raid: 7 Sopwith Camels (each 2 50lb or 65lb bombs) fly 80 miles from carrier Furious, escorted by 6th Light Cruiser Squadron, destroy double Zeppelin shed at Tondern near Sylt (Schleswig).
    Destroyer HMS Garry (ramming) and ML23 convoy escorts sink coastal submarine UB-110 off Yorkshire coast.
    Mediterranean: U-boat sinks French liner Australien (20 lost).
    West Atlantic: Cruiser USS San Diego (6 lost) sunk by mine off Fire Island (New York). The culprit U-156 herself mined off Bergen on September 25.

    AIR WAR
    North Sea – Tondern Raid: German airships L54 and L60 bombed and burned in Tondern sheds by 6 Camels (4 lost) from British carrier Furious; 3 pilots fail to locate carrier, land in Denmark, another drowned at sea (future Air Marshal RAF ****son one of the two pilots who returned).

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    Near Merville, Captain Edward Corringham Mannock, fires 80 rounds into an Albatross two-seater, which then goes to the ground in flames.

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    HMS Garry twice rams sinks the German submarine UB-110. For his actions during this affair her commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Charles Herbert Lightoller will be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. The damage to the Garry is so severe that she just bareGly gets back to dry dock. Commander Lightoller was the Second Officer of RMS Titanic on her maiden voyage in 1912.

    HMS Garry was a Yarrow-type River-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. under the 1903 – 1904 Naval Estimates. Named after the River Garry in north central Scotland, she was the first ship to carry this name in the Royal Navy

    She was ordered under the 1903 – 1904 Naval Estimates, laid down on 25 November 1904 at the Yarrow shipyard at Poplar and launched on 21 March 1905. She was completed in September 1905. Her original armament was to be the same as the turtleback torpedo boat destroyers that preceded her. In 1906 the Admiralty decided to upgrade the armament by landing the five 6-pounder naval guns and shipping three 12-pounder 8 hundredweight (cwt) guns. Two would be mounted abeam at the foc's'le break and the third gun would be mounted on the quarterdeck. After commissioning she was assigned to the East Coast Destroyer Flotilla of the 1st Fleet and based at Harwich. On 26 July 1907, Garry and the destroyer Waveney collided off Sandown, damaging both ships. In April 1909, she was assigned to the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla on its formation at Harwich. She remained until displaced by a Beagle-class destroyer by May 1912. She was assigned to the 5th Destroyer Flotilla of the Second Fleet with a nucleus crew. On 30 August 1912 the Admiralty directed all destroyer classes were to be designated by alpha characters starting with the letter 'A'. The ships of the River class were assigned to the E class. After 30 September 1913, she was known as an E class destroyer and had the letter 'E' painted on the hull below the bridge area and on either the fore or aft funnel.

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    In early 1914, when displaced by G-class destroyers she joined the 9th Destroyer Flotilla based at Chatham, tendered to St George. The 9th Flotilla was a patrol flotilla tasked with anti-submarine and counter-mining patrols in the Firth of Forth area. By September she had been redeployed to Scapa Flow Local Flotilla and tendered to Orion. Here she provided anti-submarine and counter mining patrols in defence of the main fleet anchorage.

    On 23 November 1914, the German submarine U-18 was attempting to enter Scapa Flow when it was spotted in Pentland Firth and was rammed by the naval trawler Dorothy Grey. In an attempt to escape U-18 dived, struck bottom forcing her back to the surface. Garry then rammed U-18 which sank at position 58°41′N 002°55′W with the loss of one person and 22 survivors becoming prisoners of war. In August 1915, with the amalgamation of the 7th and 9th Flotillas, she was assigned to the 1st Destroyer Flotilla when it was redeployed to Portsmouth in November 1916. She was equipped with depth charges for employment in anti-submarine patrols, escorting of merchant ships and defending the Dover Barrage. In the spring of 1917 as the convoy system was being introduced the 1st Flotilla was employed in convoy escort duties for the English Channel for the remainder of the war. On 19 July 1918, Garry (Lt Cdr Charles Lightoller DSC RNR) attacked the German submarine UB-110 off the north coast of Yorkshire. Damaged by the depth-charge attack, the U-boat surfaced and was rammed by Garry at position 54°39′N 00°55′E. According to a British account, UB-110 sank with the loss of 13 of her men. There were 15 survivors.[8] According to a German account, all but the two radio operators were able to escape from the sinking U-boat, but the survivors were subsequently attacked while in the water with the result that only 13 of the crew of 34 survived. The wreck was raised by the Royal Navy in October 1918. Lt Cdr Lightoller was awarded a bar to his DSC for this action.

    The submarine E34 (Lieutenant Richard Ivor Pulleyne DSO DSC age 28) is lost with all thirty one hands in the North Sea through unknown causes.

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    E34 in a floating dock

    The Turks and Germans mount a brief attack at Abu Tellul near the Jordan, but are defeated by Australian Light Horse regiments with heavy casualties to the Germans.

    SS Australien was a French passenger ship that was sunk during World War I on 19 July 1918 in the Mediterranean Sea 26 nautical miles (48 km) northeast of Cap Bon, Tunisia, by a torpedo fired by the Imperial German Navy submarine SM UC-54. Three of her 951 passengers and seventeen of her crew died in the sinking

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    U.S. Navy cruiser USS San Diego struck a mine and sank in the Atlantic Ocean with the loss of six crew

    The second USS California (ACR-6), also referred to as "Armored Cruiser No. 6", and later renamed San Diego, was a United States Navy Pennsylvania-class armored cruiser. She was launched on 28 April 1904 by Union Iron Works, San Francisco, California, sponsored by Miss Florence Pardee, daughter of California governor George C. Pardee, and commissioned on 1 August 1907, Captain V. L. Cottman in command.

    Joining the 2nd Division, Pacific Fleet, California took part in the Naval Review at San Francisco in May 1908 for the Secretary of the Navy Victor H. Metcalf. Aside from a cruise to Hawaii and Samoa in the fall of 1909, the cruiser operated along the west coast, sharpening her readiness through training exercises and drills, until December 1911, when she sailed for Honolulu, and in March 1912 continued westward for duty on the Asiatic Station. After this service representing American power and prestige in the Far East, she returned home in August 1912, and was ordered to Corinto, Nicaragua, then embroiled in internal political disturbance. Here she protected American lives and property, then resumed her operations along the west coast; she cruised off California, and kept a watchful eye on Mexico, at that time also suffering political disturbance. During that time in Mexico, she was involved in an international incident in which two of her crew were shot and killed. California was renamed San Diego on 1 September 1914, in order to free up her original name for use with the Tennessee-class battleship California. She served as flagship for Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, intermittently until a boiler explosion put her in Mare Island Navy Yard in reduced commission through the summer of 1915. The boiler explosion occurred in January 1915 and the actions of Ensign Robert Cary and Fireman Second Class Telesforo Trinidad during the event earned them both the Medal of Honor. San Diego after spending time at Guaymas, went on to repair at Mare Island. Afterwards, she served as a popular attraction during the Panama–California Exposition. San Diego returned to duty as flagship through on 12 February 1917, when she went into reserve status until the opening of World War I.

    Placed in full commission on 7 April, the cruiser operated as flagship for Commander, Patrol Force, Pacific Fleet, until 18 July, when she was ordered to the Atlantic Fleet. Reaching Hampton Roads, Va., 4 August, she joined Cruiser Division 2, and later broke the flag of Commander, Cruiser Force, Atlantic, which she flew until 19 September. San Diego's essential mission was the escort of convoys through the first dangerous leg of their passages to Europe. Based in Tompkinsville, New York, and Halifax, Nova Scotia, she operated in the weather-torn, submarine-infested North Atlantic safely convoying all of her charges to the ocean escort.

    Early on 18 July 1918, San Diego left the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard bound for New York where she was to meet and escort a convoy bound for France. Her captain — Harley H. Christy — ordered a zigzag course at a speed of 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph). Visibility was reported as being from 6–8 mi (9.7–12.9 km). In his report to a Board of Inquiry on the cruiser's loss, Christy stated that all lookouts, gun watches, and fire control parties were at their appointed stations and on full alert, and that all necessary orders to safeguard the watertight integrity of the ship in dangerous waters had been given and were being carried out. At 11:05 the next day, 19 July, San Diego was steaming northeast of the Fire Island Lightship when an explosion occurred on the cruiser's port side adjacent to the port engine room and well below the waterline. The bulkhead at the site of the explosion was warped so that the watertight door between the engineroom and No. 8 fireroom could not be shut, and both compartments immediately flooded. Captain Christy assumed that the ship had been torpedoed and immediately sounded submarine defense quarters and ordered all guns to open fire on anything resembling a periscope. He called for full speed ahead on both engines and hard right rudder, but was told that both engines were out of commission and that the machinery compartments were rapidly flooding. The ship had taken on a 9° list and water began pouring in through one of the 6-inch (150 mm) gun ports, flooding the gun deck.

    Informed that the ship's radio was not working, Christy despatched the gunnery officer to the mainland with a boat crew to summon rescue vessels.

    About 10 minutes after the explosion, the cruiser began to sink. Orders were given to lower the liferafts and boats. Captain Christy held off giving the order to abandon ship until he was certain that San Diego was going to capsize, when the crew abandoned the vessel in a disciplined and orderly manner. Christy was rescued by a crewman named Ferdinando Pocaroba. She had sunk in 28 minutes with the loss of six lives, the only major warship lost by the United States after its involvement in World War I. Two men were killed instantly when the explosion occurred, a crewman who had been oiling the port propeller shaft was never seen again, a man was killed by one of the smokestacks breaking loose as the ship capsized, one was killed when a liferaft fell on his head, and the sixth was trapped inside the crow's nest and drowned.

    Meanwhile, the gunnery officer had reached shore at Point O' Woods, New York after a two-hour trip, and vessels were at once sent to the scene.

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    The Navy Department was informed that a German minelaying submarine was operating off the east coast of the US and the US Naval Air Service was put on alert. Aircraft of the First Yale Unit, based at Bay Shore, Long Island, attacked what they thought was a submerged submarine lying on the seabed in around 100 ft (30 m) and dropped several bombs; it turned out to be San Diego. Captain Christy was of the opinion, following the sinking, that San Diego had been sunk by a torpedo. However, there was no evidence of a U-boat in the area at the time, and no wake of a torpedo was seen by the lookouts. While it was reported that five or six mines had been found in the area, the idea that she had struck a mine was also considered unlikely as it was thought that a mine would have been more likely to detonate at the bow or the forward part of the ship. It was subsequently reported that experienced merchant officers believed that a mine was the probable cause, due to the violence of the explosion and the rapidity with which the ship sank. In August, the Naval Court of Inquiry appointed to investigate the loss of the cruiser concluded that San Diego had been sunk by a mine, mentioning that six contact mines had been located by naval forces in the vicinity of the spot where she had sunk. The German submarine U-156 had earlier laid a number of mines along the south shore of Long Island, and the sinking of San Diego was attributed to her. In 1999, a theory was advanced that a German spy Kurt Jahnke had planted explosives aboard causing the sinking. The claim was contested by the Naval Historical Center.

    The Air War


    The following claims were made on this day

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    Another poor day for the RAF - the following 14 airmen were lost on this day

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    WESTERN FRONT
    Flanders: British 9th Division recaptures Meteren (300 PoWs).
    Champagne and Marne*: Franco-American troops with 195 tanks (50 hit) take 3,000 PoWs and 150 guns, advance 2 miles towards Soissons-Chateau*-Thierry road, but German 20th Division regains this artery; south of Marne Allies recapture Montoisin. British 51st and 62nd Divisions replace Italians. US 2nd Division relieved after 5,000 casualties.

    POLITICS
    Honduras: Government declares war on Germany.
    France: Franco-Swiss Economic Agreement.
    Britain: New British Assistance Foreign Secretary Lord Cecil’s statement af Allied trade policy.
    Italy: Rumanians’ Action Committee formed to organize Rumanian PoWs of Austro-Hungarian Army into legions.

    HOME FRONTS
    India: Rowlett Sedition Committee report.
    Britain: War Cabinet refuses Churchill’s plea to halt ‘combing out’ which has halved tank production, Milner wants men naw not machines later. National Service Ministry finally convince Army of civil doctor priority need.
    USA: Baseball ‘non-essential’ under ‘Work or Fight’ law.

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    Never knowingly under gunned !

  47. #3447

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    Mmmmm, lots of ships and no Bristols. Only a brief mention of Camels - posted at 10.43 a.m. Has retirement already had that much effect? Cheers Chris - nice post!

  48. #3448

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    Mmmmm, lots of ships and no Bristols. Only a brief mention of Camels - posted at 10.43 a.m. Has retirement already had that much effect? Cheers Chris - nice post!

    Very amusing Mike.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  49. #3449

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    Thanks for the good read, keep it up the war will be over soon.

  50. #3450

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    20th July 1918

    Right having just lost the whole bloody lot 30 seconds before saving it - lets try again !!!!!!

    East of La Bassee, Captain Edward Corringham Mannock attacks and crashes an enemy two-seater from a height of 10,000 feet. About an hour later he attacks at 8,000 feet a Fokker biplane near Steenwercke and drives it down out of control, emitting smoke.

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    Near Marfaux, France, Sergeant John Meikle VC MM (Seaforth Highlanders) single-handed and armed only with a revolver and a stick, rushes and puts out of action a machine-gun which is delaying his company’s advance. Shortly afterwards, seizing a rifle and bayonet from a fallen comrade, he charges another machine-gun post, but is killed almost on the gun position at age 19. His bravery enables two other men who followed him to put this gun out of action. For his actions he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

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    John Meikle was one of the many First World War recruits that were so anxious to join up that they lied about their age. He was just 16 years when he volunteered to go to war by pretending to be 18, the lowest official age for enlistment. One historian has estimated that as many as 250,000 "boy soldiers" under the age of 18 signed up to fight in the Great War. Three years after he enlisted, Meikle died aged 19 and is thought to be one of the youngest-ever recipients of the Victoria Cross. He is also the only Scottish railway employee to have received this award for valour. Of the 628 crosses awarded during the war, only 25 went to men under 20. Like so many young men at the start of the war, Meikle was motivated by patriotism to "do his bit" for his country. He attempted to enlist after war broke out in 1914 but was rejected due to his youthful appearance and small stature.

    Eventually he was accepted by the Seaforth Highlanders on 8 February 1915 at Maryhill Barracks. He lied about his age saying he was 18, when in fact he was 16 years and five months old. But even at his pretend age of 18, he had to wait a further year to go to France, as a soldier had to be 19 to fight overseas. Meikle's personal military service record, along with many others, was destroyed in an air raid during the Second World War. But it is know that on July 30, 1916, Meikle, who had by now trained as a Lewis (machine-) gunner, was sent to France. He was transferred to the 1/4th Seaforth (Ross Highland) Battalion, fighting in the Battle of the Somme and subsequently rising quickly through the ranks.

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    He was injured in the 3rd Battle of Ypres in 1917, during which he was awarded the Military Medal for his actions near Langmarch. He was sent home to Glasgow to recover from his injuries. While in Nitshill in November 1917, he was presented with a gold watch on behalf of his fellow villagers in the local public hall. The watch engraved with his initials remains a treasured family heirloom. When Meikle returned to France, he had been promoted to sergeant.

    The Second Battle of the Marne was the turning point for the Allies in the War, and became known as the last great German offensive. By 20 July 1918, Meikle and his unit (No 2 Company, 4th Battalion), were with the 51st Highland Division in the French Aisne-Marne Sector, and would defend the Ardre Valley. Meikle's comrade, Company Sergeant Major G W Sturrah, (who was only 23 years old himself), in a letter to Meikle's mother Annie, wrote: "It is with the deepest regret that I write to you to inform you of your dear son 200854 Sgt Meikle, J, of his death, (killed in action) on the 20th July. We were on this day attacking a strong enemy position, and your dear lad behaved as gallantly as ever Britisher did. He single handed knocked out an enemy machine gun post and its crew. Knocking out with a walking stick he always used to carry and was afterwards rushing another similar post when he was killed by Machine Gun fire. His death was instantaneous."

    A memorial to John Meikle stands in Station Road, Dingwall. The inscription reads: "In memory of Sergt John Meikle V.C M.M late clerk at Nitshill Station who enlisted in H.M. Forces (Seaforth Highlanders) 8th February 1915 during the Great War and was killed in action on 20th July 1918. Erected by his railway comrades". The memorial formerly stood at Nitshill railway station and was unfortunately vandalised many times over the decades. It was moved to Levern Primary School in Nitshill, the local school John had attended and was on display in the school entrance for many years. When the school was to be demolished in 1997 the Head Teacher, Margaret Gallagher, contacted the Railway Authorities to enable the memorial to be saved for posterity. On 18 October 2016 a new memorial funded by the Railway Heritage Trust was unveiled at Nitshill Station by ScotRail Alliance MD Phil Verster with Sgt Meikle's nephews Alan and John Meikle.

    Lieutenant Colonel David Francis Bickmore DSO (Norfolk Regiment) commanding 4th Gordon Highlanders) is killed at age 27. He is the only child of the Reverend Francis Askew BIckmore Vicar of Roxwell and son in law of the President of Trinity College Oxford.
    Captain John Brown (Gordon Highlanders) is killed in action at age 34. He is the only son of ‘Sir’ John Brown JP.
    Captain Walter Short (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 39. He is a minister of the Bootie Free Church.
    Acting Captain Kenneth Walton Grigson MC (Devonshire Regiment attached West Yorkshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend Canon William Shurkforth Grigson who has already lost one son in the Great War and will lose another in October of this year.
    Lieutenant Wallis Austin Jonathan Marsden (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds at home received on the Somme on 20th July 1916. He is the son of the Reverend J Marsden.
    Lieutenant Sidney Henry Ernest Russell MM (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 22. He is the son of Herbert W H Russell, a Reuters war correspondent on the Western Front and grandson of the sea novelist William Clark Russell.
    Lieutenant Noel Felix Perris (Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed at home at age 24. He is the only son of a war correspondent for the Daily Telegraph.

    Royal Navy troopship Justicia, already damaged by torpedo from German submarine SM UB-64 the previous day, was torpedoed while at anchor in Lough Swilly, Ireland by German submarine SM UB-124, killing 16 of her crew

    SS Justicia was a British troopship sunk during the First World War. She was laid down as SS Statendam, a 32,234 gross-ton ocean liner built for the Holland America Line by Harland and Wolff in Belfast. Before the ship was completed she was acquired by the British government and operated on behalf of the shipping controller by the White Star Line. After several trips as a troopship she was torpedoed by a German U-boat off the British Isles in 1918 while sailing unladen.

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    Statendam was launched on 9 July 1914 and after her christening work began on fitting her for service. Before this could be completed, the First World War broke out and work stopped for one year. In 1915 the British government requisitioned Statendam for use as a troopship. The ship was at first given to the Cunard Line to manage because of the sinking of Lusitania, and the ship was renamed Justicia (Latin for justice) because of their traditional ship suffix -ia. Cunard had difficulty in assembling a crew for Justicia, so the ship was reassigned to the White Star Line, who had the crew of the sunken Britannic available. The ship’s grey hull was repainted in a dazzle camouflage scheme, and she went on to transport troops successfully. On 19 July 1918 Justicia sailed unladen from Belfast to New York escorted by destroyers.[2] While 23 miles south of Skerryvore, Scotland, she was torpedoed by the German Type III Coastal U-boat UB-64, under the command of Otto von Schrader. Justicia took on a list but the watertight doors were closed in time, temporarily preventing her from sinking. UB-64 then fired two more torpedoes at Justicia, striking her side. A fourth torpedo struck the wounded Justicia but she still remained afloat. The escorts were able to damage UB-64, which departed the area, while radioing in Justicia's position.[1] Most of the crew were evacuated, leaving only a small number on board. Justicia's engines were still operable and the tug Sonia took her in tow, in an attempt to beach the stricken ship at a suitable location near Lough Swilly.

    The following day, UB-124 found Justicia and fired two more torpedoes just after 9:00 am, which struck her amidships. By noon the remaining crew had been evacuated and the vessel rolled onto her starboard side and sank. 16 crew members were killed. In total, Justicia had been hit by six torpedoes. The destroyers HMS Marne, Milbrook, and Pigeon attacked with depth charges and sank UB-124 with gunfire after she surfaced.

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    Today, the wreck of Justicia lies 28 mi (45 km) north-west of Malin Head, Ireland in waters 68 metres (223 ft) deep.

    WESTERN FRONT
    Champagne and Marne: *GERMANS RECROSS THE MARNE. Total Allied captures since July 15 are 20,000 PoWs and 400 guns. Mangin has only 32 tanks but makes 8 attacks. British 51st and 62nd divisions attack but gain only a mile and 500 PoWs vs hidden MGs (Battle of Tardenois until July 31).
    Flanders*: Ludendorff cables Rupprecht: ‘In view of the situation of the Army Group Crown Prince Wilhelm which … will absorb a still great amount of troops, and … the possibility of a British offensive action the ‘Hagen’ operation will probably never come into execution.’

    SEA WAR
    East Atlantic: Troopship White Star liner Justicia (32,234t, 10 lost) sinks off West Scotland after persistent attacks since July 19 by coastal submarine UB-64 (Schrader) and a coup de grace from UB-124 despite up to 40 escorts. (UB-124 sunk later by destroyer HMS Mame‘s depth charges in Northern Channel).

    HOME FRONTS
    France: Foch asks Clemenceau to call up 1920 conscript class at end of 1918.

    The War in The Air

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    A better day for the RAF and in particular those flying the Bristol Fighter with a number of notable Hat-tricks claimed on this day...

    Lieutenant William McKenzie Thompson MC, DFC 26 Squadron RAF

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    Raised and educated in Toronto, Ontario, William McKenzie Thomson served with 20 Squadron and scored 26 victories as a Brisfit pilot.

    T./Lt. William MacKenzie Thomson, R.A.F.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on offensive patrols. In five days he destroyed as many enemy machines. He showed fine determination to close with the enemy, and set a splendid example of enterprise and gallantry.

    Lieut. William McKenzie Thomson, M.C.
    This officer has destroyed thirteen enemy machines, invariably displaying courage, determination and skill. Disparity in numbers never daunts him. On a recent occasion, in company with eight other machines, his formation was attacked by twenty-five scouts; he shot one down. On another occasion his formation of ten machines engaged between twenty and thirty Fokkers; in the combat that ensued this officer shot down one out of the four that were destroyed.

    Lieutenant George Thompson DFC 22 Squadron RAF

    A printer from Celista, British Columbia, George Thomson enlisted in 1914 and served with the 30th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and the 48th Highlanders. He then served with the 7/8th King's Own Scottish Borderers and was wounded twice before transferring to the Royal Flying Corps in October 1917. In 1918, he was posted to 22 Squadron as an observer and scored 14 victories before returning to the Home Establishment in August to receive pilot training. Transferred to the unemployed list on 9 April 1919.

    Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
    "Lieut. George Thomson (King's Own Scottish Borderers).
    A brilliant and intrepid observer in whom his pilot places implicit confidence when engaged in action. He has personally accounted for nine enemy machines. On one raid, when acting as escort, 15 enemy aeroplanes were encountered; of these this officer shot down two, which crashed, and one out of control."

    Captain William Frederic James Harvey MC, DFC & Bar 22 Squadron RAF

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    William Frederick James Harvey transferred from the Royal Engineers to the Royal Flying Corps at the end of 1916. A year later, he was flying the Bristol Fighter with 22 Squadron. By 22 August 1918, Harvey and his observers shot down eighteen aircraft with the Bristol Fighters front gun and 8 with the rear gun. He married John Gurdon's sister in 1920. During World War II, he left his farm to rejoin the Royal Air Force. An MBE and author of "Pi in the Sky," Harvey wrote several articles for "Air Pictorial" magazine and later served as president of the British chapter of "Cross & Cockade."

    Lt. William James Harvey, R. Dub. Fus., Spec. Res., and R.F.C.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During one night he made five consecutive raids over the enemy's lines, during which period he dropped over half a ton weight of bombs on his four objectives. In addition he fired during these raids 1,150 rounds of ammunition from a height varying from 100 to 500 feet on hostile infantry and transport. He has proved himself to be a consistently good observer, and has performed much successful night-bombing.

    Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) Bar
    Lieut. (A./Capt.) William Frederick James Harvey, D.F.C. (FRANCE.)
    A brilliant fighting pilot, who has proved himself a capable leader in many offensive patrols. During the August operations he personally accounted for seven enemy machines and, in company with another pilot, destroyed an eighth, displaying courage and tenacity of high order.

    Other claims on this day:

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    19 British Airmen were lost on this day

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    Captain Tunstill's Men:

    Pte. Walter William Ford (see 29th October 1917) departed on seven days’ leave to Lake Garda.

    Sgt. Lionel Vickers (see 20th June) was admitted to 23rd Division Rest Station, suffering from a recurrence of the injury to his his knee which he had suffered whilst playing football in February; he would be discharged to duty after two days.

    Pte. Tom Lister Ellison (see 24th April) was reported for “being absent from billets and stating a falsehood to the Military Police”; on the orders of Maj. Edward Borrow DSO (see 5th July) he would undergo seven days’ Field Punishment no.1.

    Pte. Herbert Jacklin (see 1st July), who had been wounded on 21st June, was discharged from the Convalescent Depot at Lido d’Albano and posted to the Base Depot at Arquata Scrivia.

    Pte. Horace Trinder (see 27th June), serving in France with 2nd/4th DWR, was wounded in action, suffering shrapnel wounds to his right buttock; he would be admitted to 12th General Hospital at Rouen and would be posted back to England on 27th July.

    Lt. George Stuart Hulburd (see 30th March) was examined by the Medical Officer at the Officer’s Command Depot at Eastbourne, where Hulburd had been serving in the Orderly Room. The official report of his examination requested that Hulburd should be re-examined by an Army Medical Board with a view to his being classified as category Cii. Under this category he would be regarded as fit for garrison duty at home, being “free from serious organic diseases; able to walk 5 miles, see and hear sufficiently for ordinary purposes”.

    A request was made for Maj. Harry Robert Hildyard (see 1st May) to be posted to Northern Command to undertake one month’s training in Assistant Provost duties. After some debate, authorisation was given for Hildyard to be posted as “there is no serving officer available in Northern Command and … it is desired to remove the Assistant to another area in this Command and no other officer, except Major Hildyard, is available to replace him”.

    Esther Mary Heap, aged 59, died at home in Halifax as a result of ‘cardiac disease and bronchitis’; she was the mother of Pte. Fred Heap (see 29th May).

    The Halifax Weekley Courier reported news of the death of Pte. Alfred Baker (see 7th July);

    Private A. Baker (13230), WRR, who lived at 32 Victoria Street, Haley Hill, died suddenly during the night of July 6-7, the supposed cause of death being heart failure. Major W.N. Town with the Italian Expeditionary Force, has written to Mrs. Baker under date July 8. He states: “Your husband was going about apparently in his usual state of health on Saturday 6th and was seen to come into camp about 9pm, and go to his tent. There was only one other man living in the tent and he was out on a working party that evening, and did not return until 2am. He went into the tent and laid down without making a light. On the morning of the 7th he woke about 7 o’clock and tried to wake Pte. Baker. He was unable to do so and called another man. They found he was dead. A doctor was called but was unable to state definitely the cause of death. He had apparently laid down just as he came in, as he was still wearing his equipment and box respirator. He was lying on his right side with his chest towards the ground, as though he had felt unwell and thrown himself down. It looked as if it was a case of heart failure or a fit”.

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    Never knowingly under gunned !

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