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Remembered Today:

11 SQUADRON RFC KILL (21st October 1917) Cambrai / Bullecourt


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Hello Team ! ... I'm currently researching an 11 Squadron kill of an Albatross over Cambrai /Bullecourt on 21st October 1917.

Apparently the encounter started at 15,000 feet with our F2b "Bristol Fighter" engaging the enemy a/c in a dog fight which took both parties down to 8000 feet over Bullecourt where (at 5;00pm) the enemy Albatros was seen out of control and to crash.

I believe the Observer was (or may have been) Corporal Observer (later 2/Lt) IVOR LEE R.F.C.

I'm trying to establish (a) who the pilot of the Bristol Fighter was, and (B) who was flying the German Albatros and his Squadron etc.

Also, while writing I know that Ivor Lee went onto pilot training during WW1 and passed out as an SE5a Scout Pilot , but for some reason he always retained his "Observer" status and wore his "O" flying wings even after 1st April 1918 and after the end of the war. It's a mystery why he never seems to be pictured wearing his pilots wings... if anyone can shed light on any of the above I would be very pleased to hear from them....Thanks in Advance............Alan

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Alan,

I've just acquired a copy of 'Practical Flying' (1918) which belonged to Ivor Lee (service no. 2901). It is signed by him and dated July 28th 1918. It also has what looks like an aircraft serial number 'LXI327104' written inside the front cover. There is one sheet of notes written by him loosely inserted in the book, about the interpretation of trench maps.

All I've been able to discover about him is that he enlisted in the RFC on 11th January 1915.

But I can tell you that two possible pilots of 11 Squadron F2b's on 21st Oct 1917, either of whom might be the one you are looking for, are 2/Lt J T Johnson and 2/Lt H L Walter. Both are mentioned in 'The Sky Their Battlefield' p240 as having been wounded that day. Unfortunately, their observers are not named. If I find out more I'll let you know.

I'd be very interested to see a photo of Ivor Lee if you have one, and anything else you can tell me about him would be very helpful. Thanks.

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Johnson and Walter were both observers. Johnson's pilot was probably Lt Nixon - this team claimed an Albatros scout out of control at 10:50 (British time) on 21 October 1917 as reported in RFC Communique number 110:

Four Bristol Fighters of 11 Squadron engaged two two-seater EA, escorted by ten scouts. Lt R F S Maudit & Cpl Mason drove one EA down in flames, then drove down another which was seen to crash, and drove a third EA completely out of control. One of the EA attacked by 2nd Lts Nixon and Johnson turned over and fell upside down completely out of control. Lts Davies and Tubbs each fired over 200 rounds into an EA which went down and crashed in the Belgian trenches."

The location for this combat was Lécluse, something over 10 Km north-east of Bullecourt. I've got nothing else for 11 Squadron on this date.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,

WW1 Observers wore their wing proudly because they were awarded after flying numerous missions on active service, as opposed to pilots who were awarded wings upon completion of training.



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