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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Officer Killed


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There is a full obituary for him in Flight Magazine for the 3rd October, 1918. This can be accessed on line. He had a very interesting background.

Regards ... Maricourt

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Not sure how accurate this is (unconfirmed) and it doesn't say 'how' he died..........

Lieut. VAN DYKE FERNALD, R.A.F., who is now reported as having died as a prisoner in Austrian hands, was born in San Francisco in 1897, anc^ was the son of Mr. Chester Bailey Fernald, the dramatic author.

His American ancestry dated from 1630, through a long line of English colonial blood. At the period when America's entry into the war seemed doubtful, his protest was to surrender his Ajnerican nationality in order to enter the British Army. \ From Trinity College, Oxford, he entered the University Training Corps, and was gazetted second lieutenant in the Royal West Surrey Regt. He was subsequently attached to the R.F.C., qualified as an observer, and saw six months' service on the Western Front. He then qualified as a pilot, and was sent to Italy. He was last seen on July 23rd over the Austrian front, where, having finished a reconnaissance, it is believed he stayed behind his escort, on the joint initiative of himself and his observer, Lieut. Watkins, in the hope of meeting an enemy.


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I have a copy of his WO339 file from the TNA, if you would like a copy let me know and I will send it to you. Contact me through www.66squadron.co.uk

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