Author Topic: On this Day (WWI aviation news)  (Read 4794 times)

Online PJ Fisher

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #210 on: September 10, 2022, 08:52:18 PM »
Richtofen's Last Flight
(from the Evening World Daily Magazine, 10 September 1918):




Online PJ Fisher

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #211 on: September 12, 2022, 01:24:13 AM »
'Music of Bullets' and Misinformed Chivalry
Today's headline announces the death of Harold Buckley Willis, flyer for the Lafayette Escadrille and the designer of their famous 'Sioux Warrior' insignia.  Willis was felled in aerial combat (likely by Lt. Wilhelm Schulz of Jasta 16b) on 18 August 1917. Like a scene out of a future Hollywood movie, word of the loss was exchanged between belligerents via messages dropped by lone airmen over rival aerodromes. The trouble with this poignant interaction?  Willis never died.  He reveals the true tale himself in a letter written within a Westphalian prison camp (c/o wikipedia):

"I will tell you how I happened to be the first in the Escadrille to be taken alive a dubious distinction. We were protecting a group of bombing planes on a daylight raid some distance in enemy territory. Suddenly we were attacked by a rather energetic patrol of monoplaces, and a general mix up ensued. One of our planes in front of me was attacked and I was able to 'crock' the German short lived satisfaction. The monoplace was protected by two others which in turn attacked me from behind riddling my machine. To continue in a straight line was fatal so I did a renversement and attacked my only defense.

Immediately, of course, I was separated from our group, which continued. It would not have been so bad had my motor not been touched at the first volley. It worked only intermittently causing loss of height. We had a wild fight almost to the ground. I did all sorts of stunts to avoid fire on the line of flight. The enemy flew well. We missed collision twice by inches. I was badly raked by cross fire; music of bullets striking motor and cables. Toward the end my wind-shield was shattered and my goggles broken by a ball which slightly stunned me. I had an awful feeling of despair at the thought of the inevitable landing in Germany. As I neared the ground I had an instant's desire to dive into it saw a wood in front of me, jumped it and landed instinctively on the crest of a hill. One of the Germans flew over me waved his hand turned and landed followed by his two comrades.

All saluted very politely as they came up young chaps perfectly correct. My machine was a wreck thirty bullets in the fuselage motor and radiator exactly half of the cables cut tires punctured and wings riddled. It was a beautiful machine and had always served me well. Too bad!

The aviators took me to lunch at their quarters where I awaited a motor which took me to a prison in a fortress. One always expects to be either killed or wounded never taken. So I had left the ground in two sweaters no coat and with no money. Confess I cried like a baby when I was finally alone in my cell. The first three days were terrible. One is not glad to be alive, especially when one wakes, forgets for a moment where one is, and then remembers. Pleasantest are the nights, for one always has vivid dreams of home or the Front. You can understand how wearing it is, to be helpless a sort of living corpse when there is need of every one. I try not to think of it."


Then, after fourteen months a prisoner and only five weeks before war's end, Willis escaped from captivity disguised as a German guard.  He crossed the Rhine and returned to Paris via Switzerland then returned to the front.  Willis subsequently served in WWII and lived until 1962.  His memoirs were recently published in 2019.

(from the South Bend News-Times, 11 September 1917):

« Last Edit: September 18, 2022, 01:47:33 PM by PJ Fisher »

Online PJ Fisher

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #212 on: September 12, 2022, 10:22:51 PM »
Dummy Bombs
Found this odd snippet illustrating the practice of 'bombing' (rather than shooting?) a stationery decoy plane strung between two cliffs.  Not sure why the military needed to conduct this experiment over a highway but my sympathy goes to the apparently oblivious family out for their Sunday drive in the motorcar directly beneath.
(from Popular Science Monthly, September 1916):

« Last Edit: September 15, 2022, 12:10:01 PM by PJ Fisher »

Online PJ Fisher

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #213 on: September 13, 2022, 10:12:24 PM »
Flying Freuline?
A possible precursor to the 'Night Witches' of WWII, this article recounts vaguely the discovery of a female flyer's body in the wreckage of a German plane.  News of a Russian female combat pilot, Nedeshda Degtereva, was posted here several weeks back.  Can anyone identify this pilot, or confirm this story?
(from the Eugene Register-Guard, 13 September 1918):


Online PJ Fisher

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #214 on: September 15, 2022, 12:08:59 PM »
French Ace Attacks Aviatik, Discovers Pistol Camera
Found, no less, by the legendary Jean Navarre.  Based available information, his discovery likely was made on 19 May 1916, when he shot down a German Aviatik C over Chattancourt, France.  This event also earned him the singular status of becoming the first Allied ace credited with 10 victories.
(from Popular Science Monthly, September 1916):



And here's an example of a similar gun discovered by the British a year later when, evidently, it was still considered rare enough to be newsworthy.
(from the Washington Times, 19 November 1917):

« Last Edit: September 18, 2022, 01:59:55 PM by PJ Fisher »

Online PJ Fisher

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #215 on: September 17, 2022, 08:49:33 AM »
Used Planes for Sale!
(from the Aerial Age Weekly, 16 September 1919):


Online PJ Fisher

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #216 on: September 18, 2022, 01:21:59 PM »
British Find Yet Another Way to Keep B.E.2 Alive
Here's one more reincarnation (the 'E' in 'B.E.' stood for 'Experimental') of Geoffrey De Havilland's ancient brainchild that was birthed way back in the first weeks of 1912.  B.E.2 offspring remained operational into 1919.
(from Popular Science Monthly, September 2016):

« Last Edit: September 19, 2022, 11:42:13 PM by PJ Fisher »

Online PJ Fisher

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #217 on: September 18, 2022, 09:52:24 PM »
Canada Warns American Birdmen Not to Cross Border
(from the Spokane Spokesman-Review, 17 September 1914):


Online PJ Fisher

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #218 on: September 19, 2022, 10:57:15 AM »
Londoners Advised to Keep Calm and 'Dodge' Bombs
(from the Boston Evening Transcript, 18 September 1918):


Online PJ Fisher

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #219 on: September 19, 2022, 11:36:35 PM »
New Russian Record While RNAS Tanks German Trawlers
Two unrelated articles in today's issue of the Greensburg Daily Tribune (19 September 1917):


Online PJ Fisher

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #220 on: September 21, 2022, 02:11:43 AM »
Medusa Meets Charlie Chaplin
Here's an interesting picture story on early nose art.
(from the Illustrated War News, 20 September 1916):


Online PJ Fisher

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #221 on: September 21, 2022, 09:45:51 PM »
Precision Proves Fatal Flaw
(from the Meriden Daily Journal, 21 September 1918):


Online PJ Fisher

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #222 on: September 22, 2022, 11:15:48 PM »
Aeroplane Lights Army's Way
This early war article paints a vivid picture of how airplanes, before they became armed, were used for spotting and signalling.
(from the Easton Free Press, 22 September 1914):

« Last Edit: September 23, 2022, 03:10:20 PM by PJ Fisher »

Online PJ Fisher

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #223 on: September 23, 2022, 02:55:20 PM »
No Occupation on Earth Compares
(from the Clinton Mirror, 23 September 1916):


Online PJ Fisher

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #224 on: September 25, 2022, 01:16:28 AM »
Austrian Aeronauts Swamp Sub then Rescue Entire Crew
Thrilling adventure in the Adriatic when two Lohner L flying boats spotted the French submarine Foucault of Cattaro (present day Kotor).
(from the Topeka State Journal, 24 September 1916):



More from wikipedia:
"On 15 September 1916, while on patrol off Cattaro under the command of Lt. L. Devin, Foucault was spotted under the surface by two Austro-Hungarian Lohner L seaplanes. These were L132, flown by Lts. Konjovics and Sewera, and L135 (Lts. Zelezny and Klimburg). The two planes bombed Foucault, scoring hits which forced her to surface. Unable to dive and without power, Devin ordered her to be abandoned and scuttled. All her crew escaped without casualties. The seaplanes landed and took the crew prisoner, holding them until the arrival of an Austrian torpedo boat. This incident was the first instance of a submarine at sea being sunk by air attack."

History comes alive again here with forum member Tim Mixon's recent post on his 1/72 'Wings 72' vacuform build depicting one of the exact planes from this historic event: https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com/index.php?topic=13282.msg247190#msg247190
« Last Edit: September 25, 2022, 01:43:12 AM by PJ Fisher »