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gord97138

"Three Famous Heroes"

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gord97138

I came across this photo from "The Great War"-Dec.9 1916 issue

I picked up on my last trip to England!

This picture was an individual insert in magazine!

"Three Famous Heroes of the Royal Flying Corp."

left to right:

Lieut. W.J. Tempest. D.S.O.

Captain W. Leefe Robinson. V.C.

Lieut. F. Sowrey. D.S.O.

gordon

post-25-1080001237.jpg

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Dolphin

What a great find! The three famous airmen are all successful anti-airship pilots of 1916.

On 2/3 September, flying a BE2c (either 2092 or 2693) of No 39 (Home Defence) Squadron, Lt William Leefe Robinson shot down the German Army Schütte-Lanz airship SL11, commanded by Hauptmann Wilhelm Emil Schramm. Lt Robinson was awarded the Victoria Cross for his exploit.

On 22/23 September, flying BE2c 4112 of No 39 (HD) Squadron, 2Lt Frederick Sowrey shot down German Navy Zeppelin airship L32, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Werner Petersen. 4112 is preserved in Canada. 2Lt Sowrey was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

On 1/2 October, flying BE2c 4577 of No 39 (HD) Squadron, 2Lt Wulstan Tempest shot down German Navy Zeppelin airship L31, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Mathy. 2Lt Tempest was awarded the DSO.

A photograph of the three, taken at No 39 Sqn’s airfield at Suttons Farm in October 1916 is below.

post-25-1080015582.jpg

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armourersergeant

'Tempest' a great name for a fighter pilot. Did any of the men servive the war?

Arm.

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Dolphin

Captain W Leefe Robinson VC survived the War, but not much longer. He was shot down and taken prisoner on 5 April 1917 while flying Bristol F.2A A3337 of No 48 Sqn, with Lt Edward Darien Warburton as his observer. The victory was credited to Feldwebel Sebastian Festner of Jasta 11, who was flying Albatros D.III 2023/16. Robinson had a harsh time in captivity, largely due to the notoriety attached with his VC. Nevertheless, he made a number of escape attempts. His health suffered while a prisoner, and he fell sick with influenza while being repatriated after the Armistice. He died on 31 December 1918 and is buried at Harrow Weald.

Major Fred Sowrey DSO MC served in France with No 19 Sqn RFC (SPADs) and ended the War as commander of the home based night fighter unit, No 143 Sqn. He remained in the RAF until after the 1939-1945 War and died in 1968.

Major Wulstan Tempest DSO MC served with the night bombing No 100 Sqn RFC (FE2bs and other types) on the Western Front, eventually commanding the unit until June 1918. He left the RAF in 1921 and died in 1966.

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gord97138

Thanks a lot for the info and history of these three flying heroes-

I appreciate very much your research!

I found the magazine and picture in a small military shop in Colchester

on my last trip over to England!

gordon

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armourersergeant

So they wernt all twenty minuters then? :lol:

Arm.

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Dolphin

Arm

The 'twenty minuters' legend, as mentioned in the Blackadder series, is something of an embellishment of the real situation, but there is a foundation of truth under it. According to one study, some 80% of pilot casualties were suffered by men who had flown less than 20 missions.

Cheers

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