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Crashed British Aircraft - The Great Escape (II)

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michaeldr

I came across the memoirs of a chap named Buss, I only made scant notes on his pre-HP days but I this was in his memoirs - "Ditched at sea of Sulvla Gallipoli in an Avro 504, picked up by monitor, rescued by earl of Peterborough" - does anyone have any more information on this?

Was that Buss or Busk? see

 

 

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RobL

Most definitely Buss - he survived the war, by 1917 he was training on Handley Pages at Manston

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centurion

I came across the memoirs of a chap named Buss, I only made scant notes on his pre-HP days but I this was in his memoirs - "Ditched at sea of Sulvla Gallipoli in an Avro 504, picked up by monitor, rescued by earl of Peterborough" - does anyone have any more information on this?

Was that Buss or Busk? see

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=133338&st=

Samson's Eastchurch Squadron had one Avro 504 but it's not listed in the aircraft sent out to Imbros when as No 3 squadron they went to support the Gallipoli campaign. HMS Earl of Peterborough was a 12 inch monitor but only arrived in the Dardenelles in Autumn 1915. After the evacuation it moved to support Salonika operations.

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Guest

Turning to October 13th...we have the following entries:

Sqn Cdr Davies is up alone in something numbered N 26 for a recon of the Suvla area but comes down after 25 minutes and abandons his aircraft due to engine trouble. Sounds like that's it. (Is it the Nieuport with fin code 26 mentioned in Miscellany p431 of Sturtivant and Page's magnificent RNAS Serials and Units? This a'c was tested on Tenedos 3.9.15 and then went to Imbros.)

Later in the day FLt Newton-Clare and Capt Walser are spotting between 2.30 and 3-35pm in Farman M 4 and are noted "landed Suvla"

Hope this helps.Regards, Trevor

All - thank you for the considerable input and debate.

Amidst all this shooting down of aircraft and theories it strikes me that the best fit for the episode on 13th October 1915 was Flt Lt Newton-Clare and Capt Walser in a Farman M4. This is on the basis that it is the only record of a plane landing in Suvla on that day with 2 crew. The only account that it is at odds with is Henry Day's account. I believe that Day's account is the least reliable.

I assume Newton-Clare and Walser were part of 3 Wing?

Can anyone confirm this and tell me if 3 Wing kept a diary separate from Samson's account?

Would the Farman M4 be a float plane or wheeled? (apologies if this has been answered before)

MG

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centurion

All - thank you for the considerable input and debate.

Amidst all this shooting down of aircraft and theories it strikes me that the best fit for the episode on 13th October 1915 was Flt Lt Newton-Clare and Capt Walser in a Farman M4. This is on the basis that it is the only record of a plane landing in Suvla on that day with 2 crew. The only account that it is at odds with is Henry Day's account. I believe that Day's account is the least reliable.

I assume Newton-Clare and Walser were part of 3 Wing?

Can anyone confirm this and tell me if 3 Wing kept a diary separate from Samson's account?

Would the Farman M4 be a float plane or wheeled? (apologies if this has been answered before)

MG

M4 is an aircraft number not a type. There were two types of Farman still being used in Theatre at the time the Henri Farman F27 and the Maurice Farman 11 (Shorthorn) Both types were used by No3 squadron and were landplanes

Edit M4 might indicate it was one of the Maurice Farmans (although there were only 3!)

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Guest

M4 is an aircraft number not a type. There were two types of Farman still being used in Theatre at the time the Henri Farman F27 and the Maurice Farman 11 (Shorthorn) Both types were used by No3 squadron and were landplanes

Centurion - Thank you for the clarification and a timely reminder I am out of my depth in this part of the forumsmile.gif..... In post No. 27 you say:

There were two types of Henri Farman. The F22 and F27. The F22 was underpowered and only flown as a single seater (and not used much some being sent back to Britain as 'useless'). The F27 had a bigger engine and was used as a bomber from July 1915 onwards operating from Imbros. It was a two seater. AFAIK only the F22 was available in theatre as a seaplane (although most were landplanes).

Three Maurice Farman Shorthorns were used. The Shorthorn was available in land and sea plane versions but I think those at Imbros were landplanes. Again two seaters but sometimes flown single seat to allow extra bombs to be carried

From the above, you don't seem to be 100% convinced that the Shorthorn was only available as a landplane (if I am reading your post 27 correctly) i.e. there seems a possibility that the Shorthorn could have been a seaplane......Is there any possibility they had both types and/or could have converted from one to the other....which leads onto another question about No.3 Sqn / 3 Wing - was it operating exclusively landplanes or both landplanes and seaplanes?... and did this change when they moved from Tenedos to Imbros? Clearly there were some seaplanes in theatres (monitors) but I am assuming that Newton-Clare and Walser were the crew and now need to establish what they could have been flying...

So I am thinking it is;

Henri Farman F27 landplane.......or

Marice Farman Shorthorn landplane.....or as a remote possibility

Maurice Farman Shorthorn seaplane....

As ever, any mistakes are mine. MG

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michaeldr

Most definitely Buss - he survived the war, by 1917 he was training on Handley Pages at Manston

Rob,

Thanks for the clarification

regards

Michael

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centurion

Centurion - Thank you for the clarification and a timely reminder I am out of my depth in this part of the forumsmile.gif..... In post No. 27 you say:

There were two types of Henri Farman. The F22 and F27. The F22 was underpowered and only flown as a single seater (and not used much some being sent back to Britain as 'useless'). The F27 had a bigger engine and was used as a bomber from July 1915 onwards operating from Imbros. It was a two seater. AFAIK only the F22 was available in theatre as a seaplane (although most were landplanes).

Three Maurice Farman Shorthorns were used. The Shorthorn was available in land and sea plane versions but I think those at Imbros were landplanes. Again two seaters but sometimes flown single seat to allow extra bombs to be carried

From the above, you don't seem to be 100% convinced that the Shorthorn was only available as a landplane (if I am reading your post 27 correctly) i.e. there seems a possibility that the Shorthorn could have been a seaplane......Is there any possibility they had both types and/or could have converted from one to the other....which leads onto another question about No.3 Sqn / 3 Wing - was it operating exclusively landplanes or both landplanes and seaplanes?... and did this change when they moved from Tenedos to Imbros? Clearly there were some seaplanes in theatres (monitors) but I am assuming that Newton-Clare and Walser were the crew and now need to establish what they could have been flying...

So I am thinking it is;

Henri Farman F27 landplane.......or

Marice Farman Shorthorn landplane.....or as a remote possibility

Maurice Farman Shorthorn seaplane....

As ever, any mistakes are mine. MG

Both the Henri Farman F22 and the Maurice Farman 11 were operated in seaplane versions by the RNAS however in the case of the Henri this was pre WW1. There does not appear to have been a seaplane version of the F27. Both the F27 and Shorthorns were operated by no 3 squadron who were only equipped with land planes. I did wonder if M4 might have been a floatplane Shorthorn spotting for the monitor Lord Roberts whose ship number was M4 but have since discovered that this ship had a Short 184 seaplane spotting for it

BTW Landing at Suvla might mean just that as there was a landing strip there. There was a fatal crash by an aircraft delivering spares there but on a different date and into a ravine.

Edit. It was no3 squadron (sometimes referred to as 3 wing - possibly incorrectly) and No 2 Wing. Both only operated landplanes, however the carrier born seaplanes did come under Samsons command but not it seems the aircraft supporting the monitors who were under the control of their captains

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michaeldr

Quote from Centurion: It was no3 squadron (sometimes referred to as 3 wing - possibly incorrectly)

Per the OH by H A Jones (footnote p. 371 of Vol. II) Admiralty orders in June 1915 "changed the nomenclature of the aeroplane units. They were now called wings, the word squadron being reserved for a group of six aeroplanes or seaplanes."

regards

Michael

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Guest

Both the Henri Farman F22 and the Maurice Farman 11 were operated in seaplane versions by the RNAS however in the case of the Henri this was pre WW1. There does not appear to have been a seaplane version of the F27. Both the F27 and Shorthorns were operated by no 3 squadron who were only equipped with land planes. I did wonder if M4 might have been a floatplane Shorthorn spotting for the monitor Lord Roberts whose ship number was M4 but have since discovered that this ship had a Short 184 seaplane spotting for it

BTW Landing at Suvla might mean just that as there was a landing strip there. There was a fatal crash by an aircraft delivering spares there but on a different date and into a ravine.

Edit. It was no3 squadron (sometimes referred to as 3 wing - possibly incorrectly) and No 2 Wing. Both only operated landplanes, however the carrier born seaplanes did come under Samsons command but not it seems the aircraft supporting the monitors who were under the control of their captains

Centurion - many thanks again. You knowledge is very impressive and I can't thank you (and all the others) enough for sharing it. As Blackadder said "the plot thinnens".... One question - Where was the landing strip at Suvla?? I had not seen any reference or mention of it. I know there was one at Helles. Can you give an approximate location? Thanks. MG.

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centurion

Centurion - many thanks again. You knowledge is very impressive and I can't thank you (and all the others) enough for sharing it. As Blackadder said "the plot thinnens".... One question - Where was the landing strip at Suvla?? I had not seen any reference or mention of it. I know there was one at Helles. Can you give an approximate location? Thanks. MG.

Unfortunately I've only seen references to aircraft at it needing spares to get off again etc but nothing about its actual location. Suspect it was primarily for emergency landings.

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Guest

Unfortunately I've only seen references to aircraft at it needing spares to get off again etc but nothing about its actual location. Suspect it was primarily for emergency landings.

Please don't take this the wrong way, but I am pretty sure there was no airstrip, emergency or otherwise.

One of the unique things about Suvla Bay was that the whole British sector was under direct observation from the surrounding hills. There was no dead ground, save a small cliff behind Lala Baba and the extremely steep northern slopes of Kiretch Tepe Sirt. Any landing aircraft would have been smashed to pieces within minutes (like the one on the Salt lake). The diaries are full of comments that there were no rest areas at Suvla because everywhere could be shelled. There is no reference to an airstrip in any Bn War Diary in the 2nd Mtd Div, 10th Div, 11th Div, 13th Div, 29th Div, 53rd Div or 54th Div - and that's a lot of Bn diaries and there are no maps with any airstrip marked to my knowledge. The reference to a Ravine is equally confusing. The terrain is markedly different from Helles and ANZAC and I can't think where there is anything that could be described as a ravine like Gully Ravine at Helles.

If you can find the reference I would be extremely grateful to see it as it opens up an area that is new to me and one that I would be interested in researching.

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michaeldr

Like Martin, I have never read of an air strip at Suvla. The one at Helles only lasted a very few brief weeks, due to the attention which any plane there drew from the Turkish artillery. As Suvla was basically a depression surrounded on three sides by hills full of Turkish artillery, then I should say that an air strip there was very unlikly, except perhaps in the most extreme emergency

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Like Martin, I have never read of an air strip at Suvla. The one at Helles only lasted a very few brief weeks, due to the attention which any plane there drew from the Turkish artillery. As Suvla was basically a depression surrounded on three sides by hills full of Turkish artillery, then I should say that an air strip there was very unlikely, except perhaps in the most extreme emergency

The sort of emergency you would not expect to fly away from as your aircraft would be obliterated.....

Looking at the IWM articles, they only mention an emergency Airstrip at Helles above W beach. There is a mention of a pilot crashing into a ravine (Collett) but that is on Tenedos taking off and hitting a bad air current. Crashes and was nearly burned to death, his observer jumping free as it crashed. MG

http://www.iwm.org.u...oli/airopen.htm

http://www.iwm.org.u...ipoliAirWar.pdf

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centurion

The sort of emergency you would not expect to fly away from as your aircraft would be obliterated.....

Looking at the IWM articles, they only mention an emergency Airstrip at Helles above W beach. There is a mention of a pilot crashing into a ravine (Collett) but that is on Tenedos taking off and hitting a bad air current. Crashes and was nearly burned to death, his observer jumping free as it crashed. MG

http://www.iwm.org.u...oli/airopen.htm

http://www.iwm.org.u...ipoliAirWar.pdf

But his mission had been to fly spares into Suvla to try and recover another aircraft. He was not nearly burned to death - he was - dying within minutes of being pulled clear.

There are plenty of examples in military history of emergency strips that had to be used under fire. The Helles strip was not originally intended to be an emergency strip but a forward airfield but the two officers despatched to run it arrived to find it under bombardment with some wrecked aircraft on it. They used some parts to build a decoy aircraft which they pushed around the airfield to different positions to fool the Turks that the strip was still in use. The Turkish artillery proved singularly inept in hitting the decoy which apparently survived for weeks. The strip at Helles was then closed and the officers withdrawn.

There is an account of a pilot in a Voisin being chased by an Eindekker (which places this towards the campaign after the Helles strip was closed) who cleared the trenches by a few feet before putting his 'plane down on the Suvla strip 'just behind'. One assumes that as soon as the Fokker had gone he would have taken off again. I wouldn't think that such a strip would be much more than a cleared relativity flat area with not a lot to distinguish it. In an emergency a pilot in a land plane might much prefer to land properly than ditch in the sea even if his aircraft did not necessarily survive for long afterwards. There was always the possibility that a minor fault might be fixed before the Turks spotted the aircraft and turned guns on it and hit it so he could get the aircraft out again. At worst he'd be clear and there might be some salvageable spares.

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michaeldr

COLLET, CHARLES HERBERT

Initials: C H

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Flight Commander

Regiment/Service: Royal Naval Air Service

Unit Text: 3rd Wing

Secondary Regiment: Royal Marine Artillery

Secondary Unit Text: and (Capt.)

Age: 27

Date of Death: 19/08/1915

Awards: D S O, Twice Mentioned in Despatches

Additional information: Son of James Francis Herbert and Teresa Collet (nee Pilley), of "Woodleigh," Westend, Southampton. Successfully carried out the first long distance air raid into enemy territory of the war, when he bombed the Zeppelin sheds at Dusseldorf on 22nd Sept.1914.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: K. 49.

Cemetery: LANCASHIRE LANDING CEMETERY

as he was buried at Helles then I do not think that he can have died at Suvla

or have I missed the point again?

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centurion

COLLET, CHARLES HERBERT

Initials: C H

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Flight Commander

Regiment/Service: Royal Naval Air Service

Unit Text: 3rd Wing

Secondary Regiment: Royal Marine Artillery

Secondary Unit Text: and (Capt.)

Age: 27

Date of Death: 19/08/1915

Awards: D S O, Twice Mentioned in Despatches

Additional information: Son of James Francis Herbert and Teresa Collet (nee Pilley), of "Woodleigh," Westend, Southampton. Successfully carried out the first long distance air raid into enemy territory of the war, when he bombed the Zeppelin sheds at Dusseldorf on 22nd Sept.1914.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: K. 49.

Cemetery: LANCASHIRE LANDING CEMETERY

as he was buried at Helles then I do not think that he can have died at Suvla

or have I missed the point again?

I didn't say he died at Suvla but that the propose of this flight was to land spares there. As I understood it the accident happened soon after take off at Tenedos

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Guest

There is an account of a pilot in a Voisin being chased by an Eindekker (which places this towards the campaign after the Helles strip was closed) who cleared the trenches by a few feet before putting his 'plane down on the Suvla strip 'just behind'.

Centurion - can you recall where this account is recorded and are there any dates?. This is the only record of a Suvla strip to my knowledge, so it would be interesting to know what the source is......

Michael - My reference to Collett was that this is the only example I can find of an aircraft crashing into a Ravine And that it was on Tenedos. MG

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horatio2

Collett was killed after engine failure on take off from Kephalo, Imbros. He was flying a Sopwith 807.

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centurion

Collett was killed after engine failure on take off from Kephalo, Imbros. He was flying a Sopwith 807.

Which was a seaplane - he was flying a BE2C

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michaeldr

Unfortunately I've only seen references to aircraft at it needing spares to get off again etc but nothing about its actual location. Suspect it was primarily for emergency landings.

Centurion

It would be most helpful if you could be more specific in provideing details of your references

regards

Michael

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Guest

Which was a seaplane - he was flying a BE2C

The IWM article by Brad King on the RNAS in the Dardanelles written in Sep 2000 (see links a few posts up) says BE2C and Imbros (I'll stand corrected on the location...blush.gif). Can't paste it as it is his copyright but the links work. It quotes Arthur Beeton who graphically describes the scene, but it does not provide the source document in the references... but back to my point, it is the only reference I can find to and aircraft crashing into a ravine.... and I would be very interested in finding the source for the Suvla strip if you can dig it up Centurion. MG

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michaeldr

but it does not provide the source document in the references

The on-line version is edited down from his book, but alas here too he is no more specific, simply listing 'Beeton Arthur IWM' in his list of unpublished records.

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centurion

The IWM article by Brad King on the RNAS in the Dardanelles written in Sep 2000 (see links a few posts up) says BE2C and Imbros (I'll stand corrected on the location...blush.gif). Can't paste it as it is his copyright but the links work. It quotes Arthur Beeton who graphically describes the scene, but it does not provide the source document in the references... but back to my point, it is the only reference I can find to and aircraft crashing into a ravine.... and I would be very interested in finding the source for the Suvla strip if you can dig it up Centurion. MG

I don't have the original but from my notes it is Bremner, IWM SR 4 The pilot being Flight Sub Lieutenant Donald Bremner, 2nd Wing, RNAS. It was right at the end of the campaign after the Helles strip was closed. It appears that an aircraft sized dug out had been made to protect against shelling.

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michaeldr

Flight Sub Lieutenant Donald Bremner

FSL (later Captain) Francis D H Bremner see IWM 000004/09 (per Brad King's book)

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