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Crashed British Aircraft - The Great Escape (II)


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Thats the one seeing it again I can recognise it as a Voisin not a Shorthorn - from No 2 Wing

Possibility

  • The Shorthorn near the cliffs is Samson's that landed on the 19th Aug
  • Collet was flying out a replacement magneto for it when he crashed on the same day
  • The aircraft that crashed 13th Oct was trying to reach the same area

I would certainly agree on your theory on the first 2 bullets.....

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Regarding the Salt Lake aeroplane, here is the account of an RAMC private, written in his personal diary:

Oct 13. Watch a very interesting sight about 4pm, a British aeroplane came down on Salt Lake. As soon as it dropped the Turks began to fire shells at it. After firing at least 80 shells, shrapnel and high explosive, they hit the front portion of it and blew it in the air.

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Regarding the Salt Lake aeroplane, here is the account of an RAMC private, written in his personal diary:

Oct 13. Watch a very interesting sight about 4pm, a British aeroplane came down on Salt Lake. As soon as it dropped the Turks began to fire shells at it. After firing at least 80 shells, shrapnel and high explosive, they hit the front portion of it and blew it in the air.

Which makes the salvaging of the engine problematic?

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lve seen the same photo, its a panoramic shot scanning round the beach with the aircraft a mere detail.

Nils, could hospital tents be seen in the panoramic shot? If so, the aeroplane might have been the one mentioned in the 1/1 Highland Mounted Bde Field Ambulance War Diary, which was located somewhere on B or C Beach:

6th Nov

About 12.30 a British Aeroplane fell in the sea near the 14th Casualty Clearing Station, about 50 yards from shore. The Turks opened fire on it with shrapnel and percussion shell. As our hospital was in the line of fire, 8 shells dropping short landed in our camp area. 1 man died of wounds.

The 14th CCS War diary gives the date for this episode as a day earlier:

5/11/15. An aeroplane was brought down in the sea in front of the hospital, and was beached. The air men were taken to H.S. LETICIA. The hospital was shelled for a couple of hours. Two of the tents were somewhat damaged, but there was no loss of life.

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Nils, could hospital tents be seen in the panoramic shot? If so, the aeroplane might have been the one mentioned in the 1/1 Highland Mounted Bde Field Ambulance War Diary, which was located somewhere on B or C Beach:

6th Nov

About 12.30 a British Aeroplane fell in the sea near the 14th Casualty Clearing Station, about 50 yards from shore. The Turks opened fire on it with shrapnel and percussion shell. As our hospital was in the line of fire, 8 shells dropping short landed in our camp area. 1 man died of wounds.

The 14th CCS War diary gives the date for this episode as a day earlier:

5/11/15. An aeroplane was brought down in the sea in front of the hospital, and was beached. The air men were taken to H.S. LETICIA. The hospital was shelled for a couple of hours. Two of the tents were somewhat damaged, but there was no loss of life.

Doesn't seem consistent with Martin G's description "It is very close to the cliff near Lala Baba - no beach can be seen." but does sound like the Voisin in the water in the link that he provides.

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Doesn't seem consistent with Martin G's description "It is very close to the cliff near Lala Baba - no beach can be seen." but does sound like the Voisin in the water in the link that he provides.

Nils, Tuesmith - many thanks for your input. More witnesses to the 13th event is/was original subject of the thread. Thanks. MG.

1. All - The Lala Baba aircraft is the Shorthorn and is on dry land. No tents in sight. Looks pretty intact with people milling around so unlikely to be the one that landed and was shelled and blown up.

2. Centurion - blowing the front end off an aircraft or blowing it into the air does not preclude salvage for spare parts. The location of this witness would have been as good as it gets, certainly equal or better than the Derbyshire Yeomen in the reserve trenches. 80 shells is fairly close to Wedgwood Benn's account of 75 shells for the aircraft of the 13th October. Interesting that it is described as British.

3. Tunesmith - it is not unusual for diaries to be one day out of synchronisation. Reasonably common in fact. Often they were written up days after the events.

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Nils, Tuesmith - many thanks for your input. More witnesses to the 13th event is/was original subject of the thread. Thanks. MG.

.

2. Centurion - blowing the front end off an aircraft or blowing in into the air does not preclude salvage for spare parts.

Wouldn't do much for the engine

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Wouldn't do much for the engine

Agreed.... but there are so many variants of the story we will never know what the real extent of the damage was. All we know is a plane was forced to land, was shelled, and then partly recovered. Even for reasons of morale it would be worth recovering from under the noses of the Turks rather than have it as a symbol of defeat in full view of everyone. Who knows. For my money it is a plausible account.

To my mind it is axiomatic that a plane crashed and was shelled and recovered. My interest is finding out who they were and what they were flying and especially finding the original source material. I think we are getting closer..... MG

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On 16/04/2011 at 00:55, Martin G said:

Separately I see in Steve Newman's book "Gallipoli Then and Now" a photo of a downed Marice Farman Shorthorn MF11 at Suvla near Lala Baba on p.125. Source is cited as an IWM photo. MG

Looking at the tail of the plane shown in Steve's book, are those French markings?

If so then that would explain the Turkish claim

see

Looking at Nikolasen & Yilmazer's Chapter 6 'Airwar over Gallipoli' (from their 'Ottoman Aviation 1909-1919') this pane must have been French

In the list of 'Enemy aircraft claimed by Turkish forces over Gallipoli Feb. 15 – Apr 1916' they have, quote:

"13/10 French a/c hit by G/F seen to crash btw. trench"

regards

Michael

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On 16/04/2011 at 21:26, michaeldr said:

Looking at the tail of the plane shown in Steve's book, are those French markings?

If so then that would explain the Turkish claim

see

Looking at Nikolasen & Yilmazer's Chapter 6 'Airwar over Gallipoli' (from their 'Ottoman Aviation 1909-1919') this pane must have been French

In the list of 'Enemy aircraft claimed by Turkish forces over Gallipoli Feb. 15 – Apr 1916' they have, quote:

"13/10 French a/c hit by G/F seen to crash btw. trench"

regards

Michael

Need to be careful as given the different film types used what looks monochromatic "red" on one photo can look blue on another. Also some RNAS aircraft did at first use French markings. Is there any way that those of us with out access to the book can see the photo?

Between trenches doesn't sound like the description given.

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Steve Newman used to be a regular here on the GWF; we could certainly do with him back here today.

In his book of 'then & now' photographs he claims to have identified the site near Lala Baba, at Suvla, where this aircraft came down.

His book is a must for any Gallipoli enthusiast:

'Gallipoli Then and Now' [iSBN 1 870067 29 0] by Steve Newman/After the Battle 2000

Published by Battle of Britain International Limited

This is a crop of the photograph reproduced in Steve's book and shows the tail markings

Suvlaaircraftforcedlanding13Oct19150001.jpg

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Thats the one seeing it again I can recognise it as a Voisin not a Shorthorn - from No 2 Wing

Possibility

  • The Shorthorn near the cliffs is Samson's that landed on the 19th Aug
  • Collet was flying out a replacement magneto for it when he crashed on the same day
  • The aircraft that crashed 13th Oct was trying to reach the same area

Note the details quoted by the Museum Victoria with respect to the photographer here and in particular the dates:

Photographer: Sergeant John Lord, Gallipoli Peninsula, Dardanelles, Turkey, Nov 1915-Dec 1915

Lord's service record (available online from the National Archives of Australia) indicates that he was in Gallipoli from early November to no later than 20 December 1915.

In Nov-Dec 1915 the Turks show two planes downed at Suvla, one over land which must have been behind their lines as the crew were captured, and one over the sea on 6 November 1915. The map (which is very rough and aprox.) indicates that this latter plane fell into the sea not in Suvla Bay, but in the Gulf of Saros. They give the details for this as "Brit. biplane hit by G/F seen crash - Conf"

Edited by michaeldr
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Looking at the tail of the plane shown in Steve's book, are those French markings?

Michael

During the Great War both the British and French used blue-white-red rudder stripes; the RAF changed to red-white-blue in about 1930. The orthochromatic film used at the time made red appear as black.

The tail of the aeroplane in the photo looks rather like that of a Caudron.

Regards

Gareth

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Michael

During the Great War both the British and French used blue-white-red rudder stripes; the RAF changed to red-white-blue in about 1930. The orthochromatic film used at the time made red appear as black.

The tail of the aeroplane in the photo looks rather like that of a Caudron.

Regards

Gareth

Caudron elevators were split whereas the Shorthorn had a one piece elevator as in the photo above. Also the rudder on the Caudron had an accute angle at the top and not a curve as in the photo. Finally the difference between the lower and upper wing span on the Caudron was greater. It appears to be a Shorthorn one of the earlier models as it has strut bracing to the upper wing extension rather than wire bracing from a king post. This would be consistent with it being one of Samson's squadron/wing. The RNAS did not use the Caudron III operationally in WW1.

There are a number of photos extant showing British Shorthorns with similar tail markings.

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Gareth & Centurion,

Thanks for your continued interest and your comments here

One piece of background information which I found interesting and would like to share concerns he date of the original forced landing under discussion 13 October 1915. The 'Ottoman Aviation 1909-1919' chapter makes it clear that the Turks had no land based planes flying over Gallipoli at this time.

On the night 6th/7th October 1915 storms of such severity struck the area that the Ottoman forces lost nearly all of their land planes when the hangar(s) at Galata (on the peninsula) collapsed. Only 1 plane was left undamaged, AK.2. (an Albatros C.I.) While the 5 damaged craft were sent to Yesilköy for repair, the one serviceable craft was sent the next day to reconnoiter over Mytilene. It developed engine trouble while there and was forced to land near Izmir. The damaged craft was eventually repaired, but remained for some time with the Army Corps in the Izmir area. It was only towards the end of October that flights by Turkish land planes resumed over Gallipoli. Regrettably, exactly when is not stated. The Turkish force of land planes available at their Galata base on Gallipoli at the end of October is given as, 4 Albatros C.I.s. (Two Albatros B.I.s "with wireless transmitters" arrived the next month.)

There is no mention of their seaplane unit having been affected by this storm

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The Albatross CI at this time only carried an observers gun. The Albatross Bs were unarmed officially but some enterprising German observers carried automatic carbines, pistols or even very light mgs and there is no reason to suppose that Turkish observers would not do the same (although there is no evidence that they did). They would be handicapped as, in the same manner as the BE2, the Albatross B observer sat in the front cockpit with the prop in front and struts and rigging all around.

At least one, possibly more, Turkish seaplane were modified with a gun position over the top wing and the observer stood up through a hole in the wing to fire it. Whether this was available at Gallipoli I don't know. The float planes were much slower than the British landplanes. So even if there had been been some Turkish aircraft available it would seem not too likely that a British aircraft would be brought down by one on 13th Oct. Much more likely is mechanical failure and/or AA fire.

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Note the details quoted by the Museum Victoria with respect to the photographer here and in particular the dates:

Photographer: Sergeant John Lord, Gallipoli Peninsula, Dardanelles, Turkey, Nov 1915-Dec 1915

Lord's service record (available online from the National Archives of Australia) indicates that he was in Gallipoli from early November to no later than 20 December 1915.

In Nov-Dec 1915 the Turks show two planes downed at Suvla, one over land which must have been behind their lines as the crew were captured, and one over the sea on 6 November 1915. The map (which is very rough and aprox.) indicates that this latter plane fell into the sea not in Suvla Bay, but in the Gulf of Saros. They give the details for this as "Brit. biplane hit by G/F seen crash - Conf"

Michael,

Many thanks for posting the cropped extract of the photo from "Gallipoli, Then And Now" which was under discussion a few posts back, and also for your Holmesean detective work on the photographer's dates.

So - forgive me if I'm being a bit slow here but here's my Dr Watson question - is this therefore the aeroplane which came down off on C Beach on November 6th, as mentioned in the field ambulance diary?

And another question: is this the only photo of a downed plane at Suvla (referred to in posts 98, 112 and 113), or is there another one knocking about, which may or may not be of the same aircraft?

Tunesmith

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And another question: is this the only photo of a downed plane at Suvla (referred to in posts 98, 112 and 113), or is there another one knocking about, which may or may not be of the same aircraft?

Well with a bit of googling I've just answered one of my own questions:

http://museumvictoria.com.au/collections/items/1699501/photograph-damaged-seaplane-suvla-bay-turkey-private-john-lord-world-war-i-1915

Michael, this is presumably the photo by Sgt John Lord that you referenced. I'm guessing it must be the plane which came down on November 6th off C Beach (not, as catalogued, Suvla Bay). But it's evidently not the same as the one in 'Gallipoli, Then and Now'. So where does Steve Newman locate the one in his photo, and does he give a date or any other details? Any idea who took it?

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Well with a bit of googling I've just answered one of my own questions:

http://museumvictoria.com.au/collections/items/1699501/photograph-damaged-seaplane-suvla-bay-turkey-private-john-lord-world-war-i-1915

Michael, this is presumably the photo by Sgt John Lord that you referenced. I'm guessing it must be the plane which came down on November 6th off C Beach (not, as captioned, Suvla Bay). But it's evidently not the same as the one in 'Gallipoli, Then and Now'. So where does Steve Newman locate the one in his photo, and does he give a date or any other details? Any idea who took it?

Yes its the Voisin I posted about earlier

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I suspected I was being thick...I'll get my coat.

Keep it on the hanger - it's all a very confusing farrago. You'd think someone at the time would have had the foresight to keep proper notes and photos :rolleyes: Never mind all those Turkish shells and bullets, think about future forums!

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it's all a very confusing farrago.

Agree 100%.

When Martin started discussing this on the Gallipoli sub-forum I thought that we were talking about a unique situation which would therefore be strait forward to sort out with a little effort. Now it seems that allied planes were coming down all over the place at Suvla. I am no longer sure how useful the info from the Turkish side is regarding their claims for downed craft, as clearly some of these planes landed after technical difficulties rather than after being hit by gun/ground fire.

Tunesmith, regarding the photo from Steve Newman's book; he shows Lala Baba in the background, but it is very difficult to work out the angle it was taken from, hence I thought it would be useful if he were to call back here soon. Just to remind myself of the geography there, this morning I have had a look at our group's snaps from last year. Based on the shadows and the slope of the foreground, I am guessing that the plane came down on the almost flat fields between Nibrunesi Point and Lala Baba (on the Suvla Bay side of that small peninsula, rather than the C Beach side).

We are all going to have to give this a lot more thought

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it's all a very confusing farrago.

Agree 100%.

When Martin started discussing this on the Gallipoli sub-forum I thought that we were talking about a unique situation which would therefore be strait forward to sort out with a little effort. Now it seems that allied planes were coming down all over the place at Suvla. I am no longer sure how useful the info from the Turkish side is regarding their claims for downed craft, as clearly some of these planes landed after technical difficulties rather than after being hit by gun/ground fire.

Tunesmith, regarding the photo from Steve Newman's book; he shows Lala Baba in the background, but it is very difficult to work out the angle it was taken from, hence I thought it would be useful if he were to call back here soon. Just to remind myself of the geography there, this morning I have had a look at our group's snaps from last year. Based on the shadows and the slope of the foreground, I am guessing that the plane came down on the almost flat fields between Nibrunesi Point and Lala Baba (on the Suvla Bay side of that small peninsula, rather than the C Beach side).

We are all going to have to give this a lot more thought

I would agree. I am pretty sure it is on the Nibrunesi Point side of Lala Baba. It is the only way you can get that viewpoint. The photo below is taken from the lower western slopes of Lala Baba looking towards the Nibrunesi Point. The clump of dark trees on the horizon is Lala Baba cemetery. The ground between the Cemetery and the cliffs is fairly flat but does afford a small amount of cover. I think the aircraft in "Gallipoli Then and Now" was somewhere in the vicinity of the greenest fields between the Cemetery and the cliffs. MG

post-55873-0-95623200-1303113300.jpg

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And another close up of the cliffs and the flat ground above. The photo in Gallipoli Then and Now would have been taken from the Nibrunesi Point side looking back towards Lala Baba i.e. looking back towards the view point of this photo.

post-55873-0-49912400-1303113761.jpg

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