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Regulus 1

Rhys Davids 56 Sqdn crash site

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MikeyH

Found a mint copy of 1984 William Kimber edition of 'Brief Glory' a week or so ago locally for a bargain £4.00. Added it to my 'to be read' pile.

Mike.

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alex revell

James

Glad you like Brief Glory. The original publisher of HITEB, Jack Herris, is currently publishing a great number of extremely good books on WW1 aviation. My biography of James McCudden will be published by him next year. Earlier this year he was contemplating re-publishing HITEB, but finally decided that it would too difficult to do, logistically. Shame, because I have some additional material and I thought it would find a new market, having been out of print now for some years and still fetching good prices in the 2nd hand market. You wouldn't believe the troubles/problems I had to get it published in the first place. Hopeless, until Jack came along. I owe him an eternal debt of gratitude for getting over 15 years of research into print in such a superb fashion.

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John(txic)

Alex,

Might it not be possible to publish the additional 56 Sqn material as a Supplement to HITEB? Just a thought...

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alex revell

John,

No, I'm afraid not. Only those who already have the book would possibly be interested, and I suspect most of those wouldn't even bother.

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Paul bardell

Alex

Hi - I for one WOULD be very interested in getting your updated version of HITEB (or a supplement up dating it)

This is one book that I take down and read through on a regular basis (along with your British Single-Seater Fighter Sqdns)

I am also looking forward to getting you new McCudden book as soon as its available.

Keep 'em coming!

Best Regards

Paul

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John(txic)

Cough, spit, eeurggggh - e-book, maybe, Alex? (Can't believe I just wrote that...).

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Rogueraven

Alex I guess logistically re-publishing HITEB would be easier if done in a series. Which could also make it easier to add new material. That only begs the question how many books would you want to make from the one? This also begs the question would you want to slice and dice a masterpiece into a series of books just to make it easier to re-publish (Yea I would consider HITEB a masterpiece) Hard decisions. I would welcome a series of books created from HITEB but I cannot speak for everyone.

Oh and something is bugging me about the photograph. Does it look like the engine was salvaged prior to the photograph being taken?

Best Regards

James

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alex revell

James, Thanks for the thought, but I'm afraid that splitting HITEB into a series would not solve the republishing problem. Forgive me, but what photo of an engine are you talking about?

Alex

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Rogueraven

Sorry Alex I have a bad habit of not being very specific sometimes :doh: If you look at the photograph of the suspected Rhys Davids crash site. Does it look like the engine of the SE5 was salvaged prior to the photo being taken? I seem to be having a hard time identifying anything that could be a part of the engine of the SE5 other than the exhaust.

If I remember correctly there is a photograph in your collection of Albert Ball's SE5 engine in a German scrapyard or salvage yard. I merely wondering if the same could have happened to ARD's engine.

Oh and back to the subject of books I was wondering if you could drop a line to your friend Peter Kilduff and get him to write one on Lothar von Richthofen :thumbsup:

Regards

James :poppy:

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alex revell

James,

I think the engine is probably under the wreckage, which is quite a mess. I've always thought that the Germans salvaged Ball's engine because they possibly wanted to examine it, the SE5 being a new type to them in May 1917.

I'm not sure about Peter writing a book about Lothar. I'm sure it must have occurred to him, but by his latest he seems to have now branched out into writing fiction. :closedeyes:

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Rogueraven

I can understand why they would want to salvage a new types engine for examination. But, I was thinking more down the lines of it being a big block of metal that can be scraped and re-used to help their war effort.

Anyway the other reason why I was looking at this. If the engine is underneath the wreckage like we can assume, why is the exhaust in a position like its been pulling away from the wreckage? Also if the engine is underneath the wreckage then the body should be above the engine or in this case the body fell over the top of the engine. When you consider that it does throw into question the position of the exhaust.

I think it is safe to say that this is not a untouched crash site prior to the photograph being taken but I think the extent of disturbance is really open to debate. I was trying to find documentation to support a salvaged engine but I have no idea where to even look. I sent off a few e-mails to German archives and got no reply maybe you might have an idea ?

Last time I looked I thought Peter Kilduff was doing 2 books Billy Bishop and I forgot what the other was it was ww1 aviation though. I wish Peter was registered here maybe he would know which German archives might hold information about salvaged engines :unsure:

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alex revell

James,

I think you are underestimating how a crash can completely destroy an aeroplane and its components. A crash of that magnitude doesn't leave things in any kind of order or position. Although RD's body is still under the wreckage, it (the wreckage) has obviously been disturbed: note the Lewis gun propped up against the wheel, plus other sections which have been propped up against others. It's hard to tell from the photo, but it looks as if it's possible that the engine has penetrated into the ground to some extent. Note the smashed tip of the prop, and the lack of wreckage detail in that area.

The exhaust. From its position and the position of RD's body, it looks to me that the starboard side of the fuselage has been completely smashed into the port side, twisting and bending the starboard exhaust pipe. I would say that the body has not been moved and is exactly where it ended up; thrown back from the cockpit towards the tail and the end of the exhaust pipe. Incidentally, I've blown up the photo quite a bit - something I couldn't do when I first had it - and it certainly looks to me like RD. My old mate, Les Rogers, thought so from the very first, claiming that he could recognise it as RD, and he wasn't one to make such statements lightly.

I really don't know where one would look for German records of captured engines salvaged for scrap. Pretty esoteric subject , I would have thought. The photo of Ball's engine in the scrapyard was given to me by Frank Cheesman. I didn't query with him the source, or that it was Ball's engine. Frank was a pretty good and careful researcher and one has to trust other's research in such circumstances. I'm sure he had a reliable source for saying that.

Peter Kilduff. I'm afraid I was being a little facetious when I mentioned him branching out into fiction. I was thinking of the bio of Bishop. The last one, by Bishop's son, certainly erred into that in many places: made up dialogue/conversations, for instance.

Alex

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David Filsell

Can't help feeling anything to do with William Bishop VC is fraught with danger and confusion Alex.

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alex revell

David, Once one strips away all the hype, there's not much confusion. :-)

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Rogueraven

I doubt the engine penetrated the ground to any extent. I think if it did it will still be visible. I think there is a few valid reason to determine why that is the case. I think firstly you have to look at the nature of our crash site. We can say the engine was still attached to the mass of the aircrafts structure based on fact exhaust and part of prop is present in photograph, was the engine still running or not is another question, but state of exhaust suggestion the impact was more side on rather than direct like you suggested. I think the lack of footprints in the plough soil suggests it was somewhat firm, someone propped up the Lewis gun but left no trace or very little of the path they took to wreckage. Given the amount of rain in month leading up to event suggest the geology is naturally firm hence no mud due to water running off and no footprints due to the firmness of the top soil. I think writing it out like this and discussing it with you has convinced me the engine is still within the wreckage somewhere. Based on very little disturbance of the soil surrounding crash and more importantly the exhaust is actually a clincher when you think about it. Salvage the hard bit and leave the easy bit does not make sense. I still think they would have salvaged the engine though I am without doubt the Germans would have scrambled for every precious metals they could find.

I mentioned Peter because in one of his books he actually mentioned an engine that was salvaged from a crash site that was misidentified by the Germans at the time and I cannot remember which book :blush: but apparently the Germans documented its salvage, serial number, location and some information with regards to a casualty if I remember correctly. It is a big ask but if that sort of information exist it could open new research opportunities given RD's engines serial number is known. I guess I need to start reading Peter's books again.

Regards

James

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David Filsell

Alex

'Hype' and much, much more I think.

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Rogueraven

Alex

I not sure if you have any of Peter Kilduff books at hand but Page 139 Black Fokker Leader (Carl Degelow - The First World War's Last Airfighter Knight)

Bottom of page `Not far from Zillebeke Lake our men found pieces of a S.E.5 wreckage. The serial number of the engine was noted for our records. The body of a British pilot was found nearby. In his coat pocket, the mechanics found a cigarette case bearing the inscription "Bennett to his Brand" Research by Peter Kilduff suggests Degelow's comrades had located the wreckage of Captain Crawford's S.E.5. While the body they discovered belong to a Lt Harry J. Bennett an Aircro D.H9 Pilot from 49 Squadron. Surely Peter Kilduff had located the documentation with regards to the logging of the serial number by the Germans. How else would he have known who's S.E.5 that engine belonged too? maybe documentation exists for the logging of RD's engine this is why I suggested Peter Kilduff. I am not sure if you have contact with him I have tried to make contact with him but have failed. If you could maybe you can direct him to here assuming you might still have contact with him.

Regards

James

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alex revell

James,

Not having the book in question, I'm a little confused. Did they find the wreckage of the SE5, but not the body of Crawford, but the body of Bennett nearby. I don't know why the serial number of the SE5a would have been noted for the German records. The Germans wouldn't have been in a position to match it up with anything, they wouldn't have had the documentation - access to the engine serial numbers of SE5s - necessary to do so. It's possible that they were referring to the serial number of the aeroplane in question. Can't say whether or not Kilduff located the documentation logging the serial number. I'll email your question to him and see what he says. Only two Crawfords lost. Capt. C 41 Sqdn POW on 24 Sept. 1918. Capt K A Crawford 60 Sqdn KIA 11 April 1918.

Alex

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alex revell

James,

I'm sorry. I was all ready to email your question to Peter Kilduff, but found I don't have his email address. I've been all through my address book, but it's not there. Strange, because he emailed me a couple of times about his Bishop book, so it should be there. I can only think that it disappeared along with a lot of other addresses when I had my PC updated to Windows 7. I lost a lot of addresses then. Sorry. Why not ask on The Aerodrome site, I know he sometimes posts there.

Alex

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Rogueraven

In the name of research I have to go to the Aerodrome.... :unsure:

This was a evening flight of S.E.5's escorting a bombing flight of S.E.5's on the 24th September. Carl Degelow singled out an escorting S.E.5 with a Y painted on its top wing from a unfavourable position Degelow with a bit of luck managed to shoot this S.E.5 down witnessing it explode at low altitude. The pilot of the lone S.E.5 casualty - confirmed as Carl Degelow's 17th victory was 22 year old Capt. Charles Crawford of 41 Squadron. (POW) . A search party was sent out the next morning to look for the wreckage of Degelow's victim but Degelow did not join that party because he assumed he had killed the pilot of the S.E.5. (This reads like Degelow was talking) Not far from Zillebeke Lake our men found pieces of a S.E.5 wreckage. "The serial number of the engine was noted for our records". The body of a British pilot was found nearby. In his coat pocket, the mechanics found a cigarette case bearing the inscription "Bennett to his Brand" (Degelow tried to return this memento after the war but no one would accept it, it was lost in 1940)

New research by Peter Kilduff suggests Degelow's was wrong in assuming he had killed his opponent. And while his comrades had located the wreckage of Captain Crawford's S.E.5. that body they discovered belong to a Lt Harry J. Bennett an Aircro D.H9 Pilot from 49 Squadron lost on the morning of the 24th September.

I am guessing if the Germans logged the serial number of the engine. Peter would have crossed checked this with the engine number on Capt. Crawford's missing report. I not sure how else he would have been able to confirm the S.E.5 they found belonged to Capt. Crawford. unless it loose translation (Engine/Aircraft Serial).

Regards

James

Just a thought, Geneva convention. logging of information that could lead to identification of a victim.

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