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Remembered Today:

Sopwith Strutter landed in Holland on 19/01/1918


Cnock
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Hello,

on 19 January 1918 a Sopwith Strutter landed in Zeeland (Holland) during an attack on Zeebrugge.

The crew, Captain W. Biheller and Lt. J. Brans burnt their plane.

Doe any one has more info, Squadron? Where based?

regards,

Cnock

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There was no attack

Biheller had actually flown from 42TS Wye and gave the false name Brett and made up a fanciful story that he was a war hero

There is a good article on him here:

https://greatwarlondon.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/the-delusions-of-walter-biheller/

Note that there are two casualty cards for him in the RAF Museum online Archive under casualty cards-person

One in the name L Biheller when he was repatriated and claimed to be deaf dumb and blind

The aircraft was a Camel, probably B2391

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From a local newspaper of the time the "de Zeeuw, Christelijk-historisch nieuwsblad voor Zeeland" :

An English doubledecker has landed near Ossenisse [Hooglandpolder] on Saturday late morning. .

The pilot, called James Brand, set the machine on fire. He had participated in an aerial attack on Zeebrugge.

It is reported from Terneuzen that the English pilot who landed near Ossenisse took off in France, dropped two bombs on Zeebrugge, and then flew along the Scheldt river.

The motor and de 9 cylinders are undamaged. The pilot has been interned in Terneuzen.

All newspaper reports speak of just one pilot.

Also, the plane when landing took approx. 100 metres to come to a full stop

To see a Google streetview of where James Brand landed : type "Hooglandpolder, Ossenisse" into Google maps

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And another newspaper report :

From “Nieuwe Zeeuwse Courant” of the 22nd January 1918 :

“Ossenisse,a doubledecker plane flew over the village on Saturday end of the morning.

It landed in the Hooglandpolder, and took approx 100 metres to come to a full stop.

The plane appeared to be French. There was only one person in the plane.

He said he was in the army for 4 years already, of which 3 at the front, and that he had dropped his bombs over Zeebrugge the previous night.

He was carrying a revolver but that was not loaded. Upon landing he set fire to the plane.

He was taken by the local policeman to Hengstdijk. He was a 23-year old Englishman”

( A lot of “He” but that’s how it was reported)

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JWK and nieuport11,

thank You for the great info!

regards,

Cnock

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Plus he was flying a Sopwith Camel. Great article on him in a SAGA magazine about 1990

Menti0ned in Winged Victory as a German spy! All in all one heck of a story here :ph34r: !

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