Author Topic: On this Day (WWI aviation news)  (Read 11494 times)

Offline KiwiZac

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #240 on: October 08, 2022, 09:23:11 AM »
Splendid Gotha Design
I for one have always liked the G.IV above all other Gothas - splendid is a terrific term to describe it!

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #241 on: October 08, 2022, 10:54:27 PM »
I for one have always liked the G.IV above all other Gothas - splendid is a terrific term to describe it!

I wonder if anyone's done a survey poll of which country produced overall the most elegant vs. ungainly aircraft.  I'd argue for France & Germany in the lead; Italy & Austria somewhere in the middle; Britain and Russia trailing.  USA = honorable mention.

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #242 on: October 09, 2022, 12:44:48 AM »
Fritz Rumey Falls
The death of Germany's sixth-highest-scoring ace of the Great War received minor mention in the allied press this week in 1918.  One of only five pilots to have been awarded both the Pour le Mérite and the Prussian Militär-Verdienstkreuz (Military Merit Cross), in his last month of life Fritz Rumey shot down sixteen opponents. He was killed dogfighting over Neuville-Saint-Rémy on 27 September after his plane collided with an SE.5a flown by British ace Lieut. George Edgar Bruce Lawson. Rumey plunged to his death while his parachute failed to open.  Lawson was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for this encounter, the citation for which read (c/o wikipedia):

"...he attacked fifteen Fokker biplanes that were harassing one of our bombing formations, driving down one in flames. He then engaged a second; in the combat the two machines collided, and the enemy aeroplane fell down completely out of control.  Although his machine was badly damaged, Lieutenant Lawson successfully regained our lines."

(respectively from the Daily Star, the Tägliche Omaha Tribüne, and the Alaska Daily Empire (Oct 8-9):

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Check out forum member Glenn Boss' newly minted 1/72-scale Eduard build of Fritz Rumey's colorful Albatros D.V, which was posted on the eve of the 104th anniversary of the Ace's death: https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com/index.php?topic=13365.msg248388#msg248388
« Last Edit: October 09, 2022, 05:31:18 AM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #243 on: October 09, 2022, 10:22:57 PM »
Was is Das Für ein Groß Doppeldecker?
Und warum hat es drei flieger?
(from Popular Mechanics, October 1915):

« Last Edit: October 11, 2022, 01:18:29 AM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #244 on: October 11, 2022, 12:06:39 AM »
Work Hard, Play Hard
Here are two unrelated but insightful reports on the intense lifestyle of German Aviators on the Western Front.  First, we learn of their impressive six-to-one kill ratio (assisted by anti-aircraft fire).  Next, we hear of their demands for higher pay.  Intentional or not, the second snippet records that their complaint arises not from the high cost of living... but rather the 'cost of high living'!  Noch ein Bier, bitte!
(respectively from the Evening Star and the West Virginian, 10 October 1916):



« Last Edit: October 11, 2022, 01:20:49 AM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #245 on: October 11, 2022, 11:17:52 PM »
Welcome to the Jungle
After being shot down in German-occupied Africa, this unlucky/lucky Irishman had to endure days of mosquitos, thorny underbrush, crocodiles and a lion... all while nursing three broken ribs and a fever!
(from the Vernon County Censor, 11 October 1916):

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« Last Edit: October 18, 2022, 10:45:08 AM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #246 on: October 12, 2022, 11:02:53 PM »
Shot in the Back. Blinded by Burst Propeller. A 'Perfect Hurricane' of Shrapnel.
And they all survived.
(from the Deseret News, 12 October 1915)

« Last Edit: October 12, 2022, 11:30:56 PM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #247 on: October 14, 2022, 12:18:15 AM »
Lady Killer
Here are two spotlights on little-known aviatrix A. H. Heinrich, an American who flew for Italy during the war.  I'm not certain, but she appears to be posing possible in an American Burgess Type O 'Gunbus'.  Thirty-six of these were ordered by the Royal Naval Air Service; the first of which flew at Hendon in August 1915.  The plane was considered inferior with only a few relegated as trainers.  The rest went into storage, and evidently the last six were never even unpacked!
(respectively from the Iron County Register and Illustrated War News, 11-12 October 1916):

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More derring-do in the news today features Alyn Bryant who gave up aviation for diving and aided in the Black Tom cleanup effort.  For those who aren't familiar with this event, it was one of the largest man-made non-nuclear explosions in history.  From wikipedia:

"The Black Tom explosion was an act of sabotage by agents of the German Empire, to destroy U.S.-made munitions that were to be supplied to the Allies in World War I. The explosions, which occurred on July 30, 1916, in New York Harbor, killed four people and destroyed some $20,000,000 ($500 million in 2022 dollars) worth of military goods. This incident, which happened prior to U.S. entry into World War I, also damaged the Statue of Liberty."

After this event the Statue of Liberty's torch was closed to the public for seventy years, only reopening after restoration in 1986.
(from the Imperial Valley Press, 13 October 1916):

« Last Edit: October 17, 2022, 05:17:46 AM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #248 on: October 15, 2022, 01:30:20 PM »
Burn or jump - what will you do?
In that era before standard parachutes, every flier must have pondered this dilemma whenever called to combat.  Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Mathy of the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German Navy) was forced to choose at 15,000 ft. over England on the first midnight of October 1916.  Mathy, veteran of more dirigible missions than any other airman, has been described as the 'most daring and audacious of all the Zeppelin raiders'.  Yet over time even he became understandably apprehensive.  "It is only a question of time before we join the rest", he once wrote.  "Everyone admits that they feel it. Our nerves are ruined by mistreatment.  If anyone should say that he was not haunted by visions of burning airships, then he would be a braggart." 

Mathy was commanding R-Class 'Super Zeppelin' LZ 72 (navy designation L 31) following a London incursion when he was spotted by Major Wulstan Joseph Tempest of the Royal Flying Corps.  Tempest was patrolling in his BE.2c as searchlights revealed Mathy's position fifteen miles away.  Tempest immediately pursued.  More on their fateful meeting (via wikipedia):

"As he [Tempest] approached his fuel tank pressure pump failed, and he was forced to use the hand pump to keep his engine operating.  He eventually closed with the airship, running the gauntlet of [British] anti-aircraft fire.  Approaching from the bows he fired a burst into her, then dived underneath firing another burst, seeing his incendiary bullets ripping through the airship's fabric skin, before turning to make another pass from the tail.  He momentarily saw a red glow illuminate the Zeppelin from within "like an enormous Chinese lantern" before flames erupted from the bows.  Tempest spun away to avoid being hit by flames and debris as the airship plunged to the ground, crashing at Potters Bar.  Exhausted by his exertions and the bitter cold Tempest crashed his aircraft on landing, cracking his skull against the butt of his machine gun.  The next day he travelled to Potters Bar to survey the wreck of L.31, but the area was cordoned off by the Army, and he was obliged to pay a shilling to see the wreckage from an adjoining farm."

Their encounter was reportedly witnessed by tens of thousands of Englanders.  As for Mathy's ultimate decision (via gwpd.org): "...his last act had been to leap clear of the falling inferno rather than wait for the crash.  His body was found some way from the wreckage of the ship, half-embedded in the corner of a field".  For further narrative, read this thrilling account (and inspiration for today's tagline) by Tom Morgan at hellfirecorner: http://www.hellfirecorner.co.uk/pottersbar/pottersbar.htm

Today's news records the King of England's honoring of Tempest's achievement; plus a front page featuring the wreckage of R-class Zeppelin LZ 76, which was downed over Essex a few days earlier (respectively from the Evening Star and the Pensacola Journal, 14 & 16 October 1916):






Bonus (above): an unknown artist's depiction of the moment of Mathy's dilemma while Tempest, simultaneously facing the same predicament, desperately evades the collapsing carnage.
Extra bonus: original film footage of both Zeppelin wrecks can be seen here: https://youtu.be/QjpfHOf2Fu0
« Last Edit: October 27, 2022, 01:08:30 AM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #249 on: October 15, 2022, 11:11:54 PM »
100-Plane Battle Blocks Daylight
Report on a huge aerial action above the town of Obendorf-on-Neckar, home to the German arms manufacturer Mauser.
(from the Washington Herald, 15 October 1916):

« Last Edit: October 17, 2022, 05:09:58 AM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #250 on: October 17, 2022, 05:06:57 AM »
Stars in the Sky
Spotlights on two American aces today.  The legendary Frank Luke (who was already dead when this story went to press) will reappear here in future articles; meanwhile, here's an incredible anecdote on the lesser-known but much-longer-lived Arthur Raymond Brooks (abbreviated from military-historyfandom.com): 

Circa 1985, Mr. Brooks (age 90), was visiting the National Air and Space Museum's restoration facility in Silver Hill, Maryland.  Upon entering a storage hangar as part of the tour, he spotted a tattered World War I vintage SPAD XIII airplane, the type he flew during the war.  As he drew nearer, he was astonished to discover it was his very aircraft.  He climbed into the cockpit and was immediately approached by a restoration technician who advised him in a very stern manner that these aircraft are delicate pieces of American history and visitors are not permitted to touch, much less sit in.  When Mr. Brooks explained that this was his airplane, the technician’s first thought was of a doddering old veteran, longing for the glory days of yesteryear.  While Mr. Brooks' speech and external mannerisms were befitting of a nonagenarian, his mind was as sharp as it was 30 or 40 years past.  He spoke to the technician as if reading from a history book about the last time this aircraft was in action over France.  Included in the lesson was the name and serial number of the plane, which was not readily visible.  The technician was aware of the aircraft's history and asked the old gentleman to stay right where he was while he summoned the NASM curator emeritus, Paul E. Garber.  Less than two years after this meeting, Ray Brooks' fully restored SPAD Smith IV was unveiled with great fanfare at the NASM's 'Great War in the Air' exhibit (Gallery 206).  Mr. Brooks was a guest of honor at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

(from the Spokane Daily Chronicle, 16 October 1918:

« Last Edit: November 12, 2022, 02:47:30 AM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #251 on: October 18, 2022, 10:06:23 AM »
Bird Carcasses
Today we're treated to two unrelated pictorials showing the scavenged remnants of a German two-seater and a French R.E.P. monoplane.  These 'trophies' must still have been seen as novelties by ground troops during the conflict's opening months. 
(from Aero & Hydro, 17 October 1914):

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I've always been fond of the less-remembered clean-lined R.E.P., which was designed and produced by Robert Esnault-Pelterie, who also invented and patented the 'joystick' control column.  His parasol version was similar in span and horsepower to its contemporary competitor, the Morane-Saulnier L; however, the R.E.P. featured tubular steel construction of simplified triangular cross-section, which contributed to it weighing nearly 200 lbs. less.  If anyone cares to see, here's a 1/72 R.E.P. Parasol in R.N.A.S. livery that I scratch built back in 2004.  Had I been aware of this old news photo then, I would have approached the build differently.  In retrospect, my desperately low-budget attempt at scenery in the last image (simply dried dill from the kitchen spice rack sprinkled atop an upholstered chair seat photographed outdoors) doesn't look too bad.
 
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« Last Edit: October 18, 2022, 11:09:13 AM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #252 on: October 19, 2022, 10:52:10 AM »
What Goes Up...
(from Popular Science, October 1918):


Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #253 on: October 20, 2022, 12:03:28 AM »
World-Famous Aviator, Grahame-White, Executed for Espionage
He was a regular subject of the British Tabloids and was just reported on here ten days prior in a 1914 article noting his role in developing British Air Strategy.
(respectively from the Rochester Sentinel and the Evening News 18-19 October 1915):

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« Last Edit: October 20, 2022, 12:08:30 AM by PJ Fisher »

Offline torbiorn

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #254 on: October 20, 2022, 01:58:10 AM »
He wasn’t though, he passed away in Nice at 79 years of age  :)