Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

2nd Lieut. D C H MacBrayne RFC


mamk1

Recommended Posts

In an old post about Christopher Godfrey Guy, freddy1918 says

"Collegers" live about the oldest buildings around the courtyard whereas the other 900 odd boys (Oppidans) are scattered about in literal houses at the same end of the town. There are lots of course but off the top of my head, Oppidan RFC men included General David Henderson's son Ian. The youngest Etonian to die with the flying services was a David MacBrayne, also an Oppidan.

I am trying to find out more about the short life of 2nd Lieut. D C H MacBrayne RFC killed on 21/06/1917 aged 19

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This relates to David Cecil Hope (according to the medal roll) McBrayne. 11 squadron. General list RFC. Cannot tell you much else except his father came from Glasgow. However it is possible that this service record exists under WO 339/66880 but cannot be sure...

Simon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2Lt D C H MacBrayne from Glasgow was killed in action on 21 June 1917 while flying Bristol F2B A7139 of No 11 Sqn RFC, with Sgt W Mollison as his observer (taken PoW). The airmen left La Bellevue aerodrome on a Close Offensive Patrol at 05.00 and were last seen over Oppy going east. Ltn Otto Fuchs of Jasta 30 was credited with a victory over a Bristol south east of Izel at 0800 (German time); it was the first of his three victories.

I hope that this is useful.

Gareth

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you - that is some first class information. I'll have to get out my map of France and pinpoint where all this took place.

Sgt W Mollison was my grandfather. I have had a verbal account of his war career from my uncle (88). In brief, he enlisted in the Black Watch in 1915 and fought at Loos, High Wood and Arras.

It was after the battle at Arras that he transferred to the RFC in May 1917. He was only in the RFC 6 weeks when he was shot down. (April 1917 was known as "Bloody April" by the RFC but perhaps after surviving months in the trenches and three major assaults he figured it couldn't be any worse than anything he's already experienced.)

The pilot, Cecil MacBrayne, was shot and killed and grandfather got a bullet in the leg. He steered the plane back towards the British lines, but when the plane burst into flames he was forced out onto the wing to escape the flames and got catapulted off on landing. He was captured unconscious. I've been sent a photocopy of the letter that his mother got saying he was "missing in action" dated June 22. Also the letter from the Red Cross a month later to say he was on the P.O.W list ,and then a record of his return in March 1919 after the war.

There is a wooden cross in the Dean Cemetry in Edinburgh as a memorial to 2Lt D C H MacBrayne.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very interesting background about what happened to Sgt Mollison. I can add that this was the first loss for 11 Sqn on Bristol Fighters after they had re-equipped from their RAF FE2b pusher aircraft through June.

Regards,

Trevor

Link to comment
Share on other sites

mamk1

A few months ago I started a thread about the emergency control system fitted to the Bristol F2B - how much control did the observer actually have?

 

As far as I could tell looking at the F2B in the RAF Museum, he only had longitudinal (up and down) control via a control column, and possibly could have some control of the rudder by pulling directly on the control cables. Certainly your grandfather did a very good job of getting down more or less safely, with the aircraft in flames, given that he would have had no formal flying training.

Adrian

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Trever - I guess someone had to be the first. :huh:

Adrian - many thanks for your info. From my uncles account of his father's daring do, it sounded very much as though he was in a carboard and canvas construction and clutching a gun! Duel control of any sort seems to give the observer a fighting chance of making it back without a pilot, and I uess in an emergency like that you'd try very hard. There is a superb photograph of a F2B in the Shuttleworth collection, and I see it was quite a sophisticated set-up with a gun mounted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From 'Pi in the Sky', a history of 22 Squadron in WW1, who, like 11 Squadron, Flew FE2's then F2B's;

...simple toggles fixed to the rudder wires which passed through the rear cockpit could, with the emergency stick, have helped many rear gunners with a dead of unconcious pilot to put their machine down without fatality

So, basically, they only had the auxiliary control column

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 years later...

Well, it's a long time since I posted on here looking for some information about my Grandfather's short time in the RFC and I was delighted and grateful for the facts that were given to me. Further to this, I was surprised a few months later when I was contacted by an author who was translating the book that Ltn Otto Fuchs of Jasta 30 had written about his war times experiences, and who asked me "would I like to read the chapter of his book where he described shooting down your Grandfather's plane?".

Well - can you imagine? So now I have a picture of Otto - The Flying Fox - in his plane and a picture of the wreckage, as well as x marks the spot on a map. One day I'm sure I will visit France to see the location. To read Otto's account was something special and he relates at the end of being told the observer had been taken prisoner having been thrown clear of the wreckage and knocked out.

I feel very lucky and grateful that through this forum I now have much more rounded story of what happened to my Grandfather. I have many of the documents including the letter from the Squadron Major saying Srgt W Mollison hadn't returned from a flight over the German lines and then the letter from the Red Cross saying he was listed as a Prisoner of War and also a postcard of my Grandfather with other airman taken in the prison camp and sent back to his family. This is a great collection to have, but to also have an account from the "otherside" is truly amazing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...