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Remembered Today:

Downed english plane, type, pilot ? photo attached


tharkin56
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Can anyone provide any info on this plane it is from a photo album i am researching from a 2nd bn swb. believe it was taken in 1917 but unlike other photos this one has no date.

any help gratefully received

post-7184-1254430238.jpg

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It's an RE 8, a very common type in the last two years of the War. Is the serial number on the fin at all discernible on the original? It's defied my efforts to enlarge it after copying the photo.

Gareth

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thanks for the quick reply the number is B 3441

The B could be an 8.

original photo is about 2" by 1"

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2Lt C B Andrews (pilot) and Spr A G White (observer) were the crew of RE 8 B3441 on 27 September 1917. They left Proven aerodrome on a photographic reconnaissance mission and were shot down on the Allied side of lines; 2Lt Andrews was wounded and Spr White was killed. Oblt Hans Waldhausen of Jasta 37 was credited with a victory over an RE 8 over Farbus Wood at 17:10 - it was the 5th of his 6 victories.

Gareth

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I'm no expert, but it doesn't look too badly shot up. The propeller blade is intact which might indicate the engine had been hit and the resultant crash landing caused the damage to the wing when running into the shell hole. The reference to the pilot being wounded, seems to indicate that some bullets hit elsewhere, though!

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It has the enlarged fin introduced to reduce spinning acidents on takeoff (but not the very enlarged fin on some training aircraft).

Pilot could easily have been wounded in the crash, it certainly looks as if it was under control when it came down but as has been said with engine off. Observer might have been killed in the crash (seat belts were quite primitive) or killed by the attacking aircraft.

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I'm no longer convinced about the attribution of the loss of this aircraft to Waldhausen of Ja37 as this crew is reported as leaving at 12-25pm - and at this time Allied and German times matched so they would not have been over Farbus Wood five hours later. They were seen to crash at U.20.d.4.5. 2000 yards west of Langemarck, so if this is near the farm you mention then events might tie up with the images.

Trevor

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No, the evidence still points clearly to enemy action - an air fight - but the times don't seem to fit this particular German claim.

Trevor

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I'm no longer convinced about the attribution of the loss of this aircraft to Waldhausen of Ja37 as this crew is reported as leaving at 12-25pm - and at this time Allied and German times matched so they would not have been over Farbus Wood five hours later.

Regardless of position there is something awry - the RE8 had a maximum endurance of 4 hours 15 minutes and so would have had to come down well before the time claimed.

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The photos were taken by the rev kennelm swallow 2nd south wales borderers and the picture in the album before were taken in august 1917 so i guess the clues are where were the 2nd south wales and on which trench map would you find sentier farm off bridge street.

The other photos are described as ruisseau farm etc .

Then maybe we can come to a new conclusion as to the crews fate.

Would the wreckage been cleared quickly for spares or would it have been too risky..

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There are a number of options

  1. The take off time is wrong and the aircraft left much later
  2. Its not the RE8 that Waldhausen claimed
  3. It is the RE8 that Waldhausen claimed but the time on that is wrong and it was shot down much earlier
2 would seem most likely
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Hello,

Ruisseau Farm and Sentier Farm are near the Steenbeek, close to Langemark

2SWB was part of the 29th Division that fougt in that sector in August 1917

Regards,

Cnock

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