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Remembered Today:

Which RAF bombed Vieux Berquin 13 April 1918?


Chris_Baker

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I accept that this may be a very long shot.

I have some anecdotal evidence that some men of 4 Guards Brigade who had just been taken prisoner by the Germans near Vieux Berquin on 13 April 1918 were hit by a bomb dropped by an RAF aircraft. This would be early evening time.

Is it conceivable that we could identify the unit concerned and if so is it likely that their combat reports would be so specific?

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I accept that this may be a very long shot.

I have some anecdotal evidence that some men of 4 Guards Brigade who had just been taken prisoner by the Germans near Vieux Berquin on 13 April 1918 were hit by a bomb dropped by an RAF aircraft. This would be early evening time.

Is it conceivable that we could identify the unit concerned and if so is it likely that their combat reports would be so specific?

Hi Chris,

I think its almost inconceivable you will find out which unit dropped that bomb, given how intense the RAF's activity was over this sector during that week (Battle of the Lys). This is especially the case as you only have a time as specific as "early evening".

I cant speak for other unit, but No. 4 Squadron AFC was hitting German held towns and road hards that afternoon in the vicinity. I've attached the relevant page from their squadron war diary- but it doesn't record any specific strike of Vieux Berquin.

post-15214-1260826162.jpg

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Thanks, Michael. I know I am asking a lot, and with all fingers crossed.

The 4 Squadron AFC report is very interesting; as you know it places the bombing in the Pacaut Wood area. Not far away, but far enough.

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Chris,

These might help - they are the entries out of Sky Their Battlefield for April 13th - with a few added/amplified from what was originally published back in '95 - some (most!) of the casualties seem decidedly associated with low straffing, and may lead to identifying the unit/s involved. Keep in mind that the weather was bad that day and flying was limited - you may well track down the unit. Note that 2 and 10 Sqns were "Corps Units" - ostensibly occupied with co-operating with artillery etc, but even some of these were thrown into the fray and at least partly ordered to drop bombs. 54, 203 and 208 Sqns all appear to have been dropping bombs and straffing (in the usual manner..). Let us know if any of the place names mentioned start to make sense.

Regards,

Trevor

C3583 A.W.FK8 2Sqn

**SpM-B left 4pm bombed LOCHON CHURCH & shot up LE VERT BOIS FERME returned 5-15pm (2Lt AF McGlashan OK/2Lt HS Woodman WIA)

B33__? A.W.FK8 10Sqn

**CAP left 1-20pm METEREN-NEUVE EGLISE shot up from X28.a.8.8. & fired back returned 3-20pm(Lt RO Williams OK/2Lt JP Mackenzie WIA) a’c serial unreadable

Bristol F2b 22Sqn

** mg fire(2Lt HF Davison WIA)

D6461 Sopwith Camel 54Sqn

**OP seen ok ovNEUF BERQUIN 3-55pm shot down MIA(Capt EZ Agar Can. KIA)

A5632 FE2b 101Sqn

*NB French AA on way out ftl cr ldg LONGRE(Lt GEP Elder inj/2Lt SM Sproat shaken) left 2-45am ERCHIES

D3347 Sopwith Camel 203Sqn

**SpM mg shot up ESTAIRES-MERVILLE cr ldg WoL Sh36A H.5.A(FSLt J Denison KIA) found with bullet in head

D1840 Sopwith Camel 208Sqn

**SpLP left 12-45pm mg shot up ST VERANT fuel tank hit ftl 1400yd WoL cr wr OK(FSLt WEG Mann) unsalvable

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That's great, Trevor. Thank you. From a location/timing viewpoint, the Camel of 54 Squadron is nearest. It gives me something to chew on, at least.

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