Author Topic: On this Day (WWI aviation news)  (Read 11363 times)

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #345 on: January 10, 2023, 03:03:46 PM »
'El-Schahin' Attacks
Another apparent case of mistaken identity today; this time in the Dardanelles.  The 'Turkish aviator' referenced in this clipping is likely German ace Leutnant Hans-Joachim Buddecke, who first made the news here in a November 1916 article where he was reported as walking in Kurt Wintgen's funeral procession.  Buddecke arrived from the Western Front in December 1915 to serve with Ottoman FA 6 against the Royal Naval Air Service.  Flying mainly a Fokker E.III (which he described as 'my yellow bird with the black threatening eyes', Buddecke was credited with four confirmed and seven unconfirmed kills during his first assignment in Turkey.  For his efforts he was award the the Pour le Mérite that April, and is said to have been personally awarded the Gold Liakat Medal by Enver Pasha.

Interestingly, Buddecke spent part of his youth in the United States and learned to fly before the war at the same flying school as Katherine Stinson, who headlined here back on December 27.  He joined the '27 Club' when he was killed in combat in March 1918.
(from the Sunday Vindicator, 9 January 1916):


« Last Edit: January 10, 2023, 03:23:07 PM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #346 on: January 11, 2023, 04:14:05 AM »
New York 'Aeroplane Militia'
Here's a story from the American homefront showing the governor of New York's six-year-old daughter christening a Curtis Model F FLying Boat for the state's Naval Militia.  Over 150 of variants of the Model F were built.  Most flew in American, with some flying in Russia and Italy.  Still in existence today, the NYNM's website notes:

"1916 saw the establishment of the United States Naval Reserve Force. Unfortunately, only those persons with prior Naval service could affiliate. This left the Naval Militias as the only avenue for landlubbers to become sailors. The National Defense Act of 1916 resulted in the creation of the National Naval Volunteers, which the New York Naval Militia joined en-masse. 1916 also saw the formation of a Naval Militia Marine Company. The Militia Marine Company was the first in the Nation and predated the United States Marine Corps Reserve program by four months. In addition, the donation of a hydroplane, by patriotic citizens, marked the beginning of the Naval Reserve Aviation Program."

(from Popular Mechanics, January 1918 {left}):

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With woodgraining effect reminiscent of these images, check out forum member Tim Mixon's current in-progress build of Esoteric's 1/72nd scale Curtiss F Boat: https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com/index.php?topic=13501.0
« Last Edit: January 11, 2023, 04:24:10 AM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #347 on: January 12, 2023, 03:36:26 AM »
Losing the Woman of My Heart
Alongside the torpedoing by U-32 of the British battleship HMS Cornwallis, today we receive news of the loss of the second aviation vessel sunk by enemy action during the Great War (first was the HMS Hermes in October 1914).  One of several ships to bear the name, HMS Ben-My-Chree (Manx Gaelic for 'Woman of My Heart') was a relatively speedy packet steamer converted for use in 1915 by the Royal Navy as seaplane carrier.  Ben-My-Chree's flock included the little-remembered Sopwith Type 860, Sopwith Schneider and Baby single-seaters, along with Short Type 830 and Type 184 floatplanes (including the one Flight Commander Charles Edmonds famously torpedoed a ship with while taxiing).

After serving in the North Sea then the Dardanelles, Ben-My-Chree became for a time the flagship of the East Indies and Egypt Seaplane Squadron at Port Said, Egypt.  The ship's final engagement occurred January 1917, upon return to the Turkish coast under the command of the redoubtable Charles Rumney Samson (who headlined here four days ago).  This summary of the ship's demise via talesfromhistoy.com:

"On the 20th of December 1916, French troops occupied the Greek island of Kastellorizo hoping to use it as an advance base against the mainland Ottoman positions. Understandably irritated by the French trying to put up a base the Ottoman army secretly sent an artillery battery of four 155-millimetre (6.1 in) and twelve 77-millimetre (3.0 in) under the command of Mustafa Ertuğrul Aker which set up his guns in range of the French position where he waited for the right moment to strike.  Arriving on the 11th of January she [Ben-My-Chree] would anchor in the harbour that faced the mainland In full view of the artillery battery. Mustafa Ertuğrul Aker would open fire about two hours later, hitting the carrier with his third shot. Subsequent shells disabled her steering and started a fire in her hangar that spread across her upper deck. Soon the crew was ordered to abandon ship after about forty minutes of the bombardment using the only remaining operable motor lifeboat. One officer and four enlisted men were injured, but no one was killed. The Ottomans continued their bombardment for five hours until HMS Ben-my-Chree listed to starboard and sank in shallow water. After this event no Navy ever send a carrier type ship near enemy controlled lands again."

Later that day the captain and chief engineer reportedly returned to the scene to rescue the ship's mascots... a cat and dog which had both survived the attack.  The wreckage was raised and salvaged for scrap a few years after the armistice.
(from the Butte Daily Post, 11 January 1917):

« Last Edit: January 12, 2023, 10:31:26 PM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #348 on: January 12, 2023, 11:04:39 PM »
In the Hands of the Enemy
Hey, that would be a fun theme build... captured planes in foreign markings.
(from The Aeroplane, 12 January 1916):

« Last Edit: January 14, 2023, 08:33:36 AM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #349 on: January 14, 2023, 09:02:59 AM »
Armored Monoplanes vs. Flocks Swarming 'Monsters'
(from the Daily Gate City, 13 January 1915):

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« Last Edit: January 29, 2023, 05:50:52 AM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #350 on: January 14, 2023, 11:50:22 PM »
Back From the Dead, Again
Today's story covers three American aviators of the Lafayette Escadrille on return from the Front. All were reported dead multiple times.  Ironically, William Thaw and Elliott Cowdin survived the war (though both would be gone by 1933).  Only Norman Prince fell in action... he died later in 1916, after a crash landing upon return from the '100-aeroplane' raid on the Mauser works in Obendorf (reported here back on 15 October).
(from the Pacific Farm Record, 14 January 1918):

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(image: Cowdin, Prince, Thaw on 23 December 23 1915; via wikipedia)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2023, 11:59:35 PM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #351 on: January 16, 2023, 12:27:32 AM »
Max Müller Falls
He was Bavaria's highest-scoring ace of the Great War.  By October 1917 Max Müller was second only to Manfred von Richthofen as the 'highest scoring ace still at the front'.  He inherited leadership of Jasta Boelcke after Walter von Bülow-Bothkamp was killed on 6 January 1918.  Müller's tenure lasted three days.  Here's an account of his final flight (c/o rogersstudy.co.uk.com):

"On January 9th 1918 Max Muller left the aerodrome at Marke in Albatros D Va 5405/17 leading six other Albatros Scouts and headed for the lines, an RE 8 from 21 Squadron was engaged on a photographic reconnaissance in the Paschendaele area.  Muller soon saw this machine and led his unit on to it in a formation attack.  The pilot of the RE 8, Captain G Zimmer, saw the seven Albatros Scouts approaching and manoeuvred his machine to allow his observer, Second Lieutenant H Sommerville, to get a good burst into the leading Albatros at very close range.  The Albatros, after firing at the RE 8, veered off and began to glide away; then suddenly it burst into flames and fell out of control.  The pilots of Jasta Boelcke saw their leader's aircraft fall in flames and as they watched they saw Muller detach himself from the burning machine to fall to his death near the ruins of Moorsledge at 12.50hr. "

Wikipedia notes has that Müller’s body was found hit by a single bullet 'between the first and second button of his tunic'.  In early 1919, he was posthumously approved for the Knight's Cross of the Military Order of Max Joseph, backdated to 11 November 1917. Thus in death, he became a non-hereditary knight, Max Ritter von Müller. 

Interesting that this article, which originated in German papers, says Müller died due to a defective engine... rather than return fire from a lowly R.E.8.
(from the Youngstown Vindicator, 15 January 1918):



Check out forum member rcboaterbill's recent post featuring a 1/72 albatross flown by Müller : https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com/index.php?topic=13547.msg250915#msg250915
« Last Edit: January 29, 2023, 05:54:23 AM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #352 on: January 17, 2023, 12:45:59 AM »
Britain's Favorite Ballad
(from Trench and Camp, 16 January 1917):



I'll bet these lyrics will be familiar to many.  I've you've never heard the melody in 'close harmony', here's a snippet of it in a scene from an old 'Young Indiana Jones' episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Av_vjm4hgi4

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #353 on: January 17, 2023, 11:42:18 PM »
Topsy Turvy Birdmen Feast
They sure knew how to party back then.  This wild dinner, which featured an upside-down model airplane as the centerpiece, honored Bentfield Charles Hucks, the first Briton to loop-the-loop and the inventor of the Hucks Starter device.  Hucks spent some time over the Western Front with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant but was of ill health and died of pneumonia shortly before the armistice.
(from the Edmonton Journal, 17 January 1914):



Check out forum member Sarcococca's 1/48-scale diorama depicting 94th Aero Squadron scene involving an Eduard SPAD XIII and a Skala Ford Model T converted into a Hucks starter: https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com/index.php?topic=12443.msg232972#msg232972
« Last Edit: January 23, 2023, 01:08:12 AM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #354 on: January 19, 2023, 02:36:41 AM »
Italian Seaplanes Raid Prosecco and Trieste
(from the Pierre Weekly Free Press, 18 January 1917):


Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #355 on: January 19, 2023, 03:39:35 PM »
Déjeuner sur l'aile
There was no story to accompany this image, but it wonderfully captures a man in a moment's rest between sorties.  He appears at ease on the wheel of what looks to be a Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter (presumably either a SOP. 1A.2 or 1B.2.   The Strutter was the sixth most-produced aircraft of the Great War.  Between 4,200-4,500 were built in France. 
(from the Mohave County Miner, 19 January 1917):



Check out forum member coyotemagic's 1/48 scale build of Roden's Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter:  https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com/index.php?topic=6996.0

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #356 on: January 21, 2023, 05:39:24 AM »
Pilot's View of Poison-Gas Attack
Difficult to discern the details in this image taken from a Russian observation plane, but this depicts a gas attack on the Eastern Front.  The first use of chemical weapons in this form occurred in April 1915, on the Western Front.  Here's a brief eyewitness account of that event (c/o theworldwar.org):

A panic-stricken rabble of Turcos and Zouaves with gray faces and protruding eyeballs, clutching their throats and choking as they ran, many of them dropping in their tracks and lying on the sodden earth with limbs convulsed and features distorted in death.

An estimated 1.3 million casualties were caused by gas attacks during the Great War, resulting in approximately 90,000 fatalities.
(from the Lakeland Evening Telegraph, 20 January 1916)


Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #357 on: January 22, 2023, 01:57:53 AM »
Spies and Lies
Today's story comes from American Aviator Bert Hall, one of the seven original members of the Lafayette Escadrille, who became famous for writing about (and embellishing) his exploits.  Like most involved in espionage... how can you know who is ever telling the truth?  From Hall's wikipedia entry:

"...he was greatly disliked by his comrades. Besides having an abrasive personality, he was known to be a liar.  According to this book [Autobiographies of the Lafayette Escadrille] Bert Hall did get four confirmed kills [this article credits him with six] in the LS and several medals and was the squadron adjutant. But he was a four-flusher, a liar, a deserter and a good poker player who could read his opponents.  And usually cleaned the table."

Well after the Great War, Hall spent time in jail after some shady dealing of surplus American warplanes in China before the formation of the Flying Tigers.
(from the Seattle Star, 21 January 1917):



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« Last Edit: January 29, 2023, 05:58:03 AM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #358 on: January 23, 2023, 12:58:33 AM »
Fokker Fear
Though the 'Fokker Scourge' had yet to be coined by the press when this headline was published, it had already been underway for several months.  German air superiority significantly impacted British and French operations.  Per wikipedia, just eight days before this article:

"RFC HQ issued orders that until better aircraft arrived, long and short-range reconnaissance aircraft must have three escorts flying in close formation. If contact with the escorts was lost, the reconnaissance must be cancelled, as would photographic reconnaissance to any great distance beyond the front line. Sending the B.E.2c into action without an observer armed with a Lewis gun also became less prevalent. The new tactic of concentrating aircraft in time and space had the effect of reducing the number of reconnaissance sorties the RFC could fly."

(from the Daily Capital Journal, 22 January 1916):



Check out forum member miamiangler's 1/32 WNW Fokker E.III from the scourge:  https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com/index.php?topic=3194.msg53509#msg53509
« Last Edit: January 29, 2023, 05:58:32 AM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news)
« Reply #359 on: January 23, 2023, 11:43:23 PM »
Sky Battleships and Flying Fish
(from the Sunday Telegram, 23 January 1916):