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Remembered Today:

Zeppelin LZ 95 (L-48) and GH Bittles


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I've come across something of a curiosity when researching a RNAS seaplane pilot at Yarmouth. George Henry Bittles is attributed with successfully attacking the L-48 near Great Yarmouth on the night of 16th June 1917.

However, every other source I've encountered attributes the final destruction to (future Air Marshal) Robert HMS Saundby, the victory shared with aircraft from RFC's 37 Squadron, i.e. no RNAS involvement.

Does Bittles warrant a mention at all? He certainly wasn't decorated for it, and finished the war in relative obscurity as a ferry pilot, having been hospitalized in December 1917.

If anyone is aware of the RNAS equivalent of the Air Combat report (an operations report?) and/or Communiqué reference for this incident then I'd be most grateful.

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In one of the reports I read on the destruction of L-48, it mentions that several aircraft initially attacked L-48, however, its Commander was able to climb out of the reach of those aircraft, who mostly withdrew, shortly after, L-48's Commander thinking the danger had passed, descended to take advantage of more favourable winds, and it was during that descent that R. Saundy spotted the descending L-48 and again made his attack, destroying L-48.

Perhaps G.H. Bittles was in one of those ' several ' aircraft which initially attacked L-48 ?

Also, In the December 17, 1915 issue of ' Flight ' it lists the granting of Aviators' Certificates, and one of those AC's issued was to :-

No. 2130 - Flight Sub-Lieut. George Henry Bittles, R.N.A.S., ( Maurice Farman Biplane, Central Flying School, Upavon ) Nov 11th 1915.



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According to Cole & Cheesman's The Air Defence of Britain 1914-1918, Flt Sub-Lieut G.H. Birtles was in the air in a Sopwith Baby that night, but attacked L.42.

L.42 was seen by five aircraft from Yarmouth, but only one managed a brief attack. Bittles spotted her at 11,000 ft about 30 miles east of Lowestoft and fired a drum from 100 ft below, whereupon she shot up to an altitude far beyond the reach of his Sopwith Baby.

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Thanks to everyone for the additional information, it helps narrow my search.

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