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Help Identifying a Balloon Observer


Dave G
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I have a third impression (July, 1929) copy of Ernst Junger's book Storm of Steel. On the front pastedown is the ex libris of "T. C. Annan", and on page 223 written next to a passage dealing with a German scout plane shooting down a captive balloon over Bourlon wood and the observer jumping out without a parachute is written "T. C. Annan". The assumption is that Annan was the balloon observer and that he survived his jump. Extrapolating from the text, this incident must have happened about December 1, 1917. Given that Junger's book isn't meant to be an official history and he may or may not have played fast and loose with the facts, does anyone have any information on Annan (a strange English surname in my mind) that actually ties him to this incident? Might he have been Belgian? Or French? Any help appreciated.

Best Regards,

Dave

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... a passage dealing with a German scout plane shooting down a captive balloon over Bourlon wood and the observer jumping out without a parachute ...
.

I have the Fifth Impression (1929) of the same edition and it says "... and the observer jumped out with a parachute" - and the original German text on which the translation is based says: "...Beobachter mit Fallschirm absprang" ('observer jumped out with a parachute').

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html...750C0A9669C8B63 - Obituary of Lord (Noel) Annan.

I can't help you with TC Annan, but the name is plausible for an Englishman and Jünger did not claim that he could fly!

Mick

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Mick, you've already helped - helped establish that my reading comprehension skills are not all they should be. Thanks for the information regarding the plausible connection of the name Annan as well. Would be interesting to find an association with the incident.

All the best,

Dave

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Supplement to London Gazette 30335, 12 Oct 1917

ROYAL FLYING CORPS.

Mil. Wing.—The undermentioned appts. are made:—

Balloon Officer.— 2nd Lt. T. C. Annan, Arg. and Suth'd Highrs., T.F., and to be secd. 24th July 1917.

post-16303-1234990103.jpg

Adrian

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Good luck with your research, Dave. I have a similarly inscribed book that suggested the original owner took part in the Zeebrugge Raid, and after a good deal of digging in odd corners he was eventually found on one of the motor launches. Nice to own a book with a direct link.

In fact, I think I might just start a thread about interesting people pals have 'come to know' through acquiring a book they used to own.

Mick

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Dave

Some additional data concerning 2/Lt. T.C. Annan; the MIC gave his home addresses as Glasgow,

and the Register of Births for Scotland contains the following entry:

Annan, Thomas Craig, born in 1894 at Glasgow City, Lanark (# 644/09 1497 if you want to secure a copy)

Regards

Trelawney

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His original commission:

LG 28-12-1915

Princess Louise's (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders).

Private Andrew Brown, from Scottish Rifles, to be Second Lieutenant. Dated 16th December, 1915.

The undermentioned, from Scottish Rifles, to be Second Lieutenants. Dated 19th December, 1915: —

Private Thomas Craig Annan.

Private John Bickerton Robertson.

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/29418/pages/12929

and DFC:

LG 1-1-1919

AWARDED THE DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS.

Lieut. (A./Capt.) Thomas Craig Annan.

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/31098/supplements/96

also:

Air Ministry,

21st May, 1918.

ROYAL AIR FORCE.

FLYING BRANCH.

The undermentioned Lts. (K.B.) to be Lts. (Flying): —

T. C. Annan. 8th Apr. 1918.

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/30694/pages/5995

LG 11-2-1919

Air Ministry,

11th February, 1919.

ROYAL AIR FORCE.

FLYING BRANCH.

The undermentioned are transferred to Unempld. List: —

31st Jan. 1919.

Lt. (actg. Capt.) T. C. Annan (Arg. & Suth. Highrs.).

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/30694/pages/5995

Steve.

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Trelawny and Steve, thanks for the additional information. Where might I find information specific to his balloon career? I'd like to try and tie him to the event in Junger's book.

Dave

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