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July 18 1915

Old 22nd Jan 2021, 14:01
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July 18 1915

Below is an extract from my grandfather's diary for July 18 1915. He was seconded to the RFC from the cavalry as an observer.

I've had the whole diary transcribed .... can anyone suggest someone who might be interested in it for the record?

Started off on straightforward reconnaissance at 3.42 a.m. but whilst getting our height and just preparatory to going over the line an inlet valve broke & we had to land 4.25 a.m. We then took the other machine (Abercrombie’s) & started off at 5.15 a.m., but at a height of 4000’ the engine began to miss. Landed again at 5.40 a.m., the trouble being traced to a drop of water on the jet. Started off for third attempt at 6.25 a.m. Reconnaissance over DADIZEELE – LEDEGHEM – LENDELEDE at a height of 7200’, Archies pretty hot. Thence on over INGLEMUNSTER &, ISEGHEM & ROULERS, no archies in this area. Whilst over RUMBEKE I noticed a German monoplane coming up to us very fast & looking like trouble. I grabbed my Winchester automatic & got ready. The German passed about 500’ below us & to the left. Within two or three minutes he had circled round & was engaging us on a level & behind with a machine gun at about 300˟. I held my fire till he had got to about 100˟ & then let him have it. He turned & made off in the direction of BRUGES. I confess to feeling very frightened when I saw him commencing to attack as I realised what an enormous advantage he had over us in speed & climbing power, no chance of running for home at that distance. I hope I put the wind up him. So ended the aerial conflict.

Continued reconnaissance over LICHTERVELDE & just before we reached THOUROUT a large bank of cloud came up below us & we lost all sight of the earth. So we turned & made back by compass. Archies again.

Awfully nice up there all alone, nothing to be seen. A white cotton wool blanket below you & a blue sky with a bright sun above.
Eventually & ran out of the bank & found ourselves in the vicinity of DIXMUDE where Archie again got busy. Sort of speeding the parting great idea.

Landed none the worse for our experience at 8.18 a.m.
Took report to 2nd Wing. PD very pleased with our effort & tells me that Bosch monoplane is something new.
Rest of the day off – feel very done up this evening. Rather a nervous strain all the morning.

Romeo Tango is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2021, 17:09
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Wonderful post, Romeo Tango! It reminds me of the excellent prose of Danny 42C; different war, same courage!

- Ed
cavuman1 is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2021, 21:21
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A couple of suggestions. Either the RAF Museum or the IWM. If you know the squadron, I would also suggest either the sqn as is or the association. That sort of stuff needs preserving.

As cavuman says; brave men.
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Old 23rd Jan 2021, 10:42
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You might want to try the Air Historical Branch as well.
rolling20 is offline  

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