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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

John W Chalmers RNAS/RAF F13029 213029


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I am researching my friends father who joined the RNAS on 12 April 1916 and was stationed at Batersea Experimental Workshops, he was employed on

improving the performance of machine guns, He was also stationed at Grain, Eastchurch, and Daedalus, His Navy (RNAS) records show that between

23 Aug 1917 and 31 Jan 1918 he served in President 11 (Dunkirk) but this is very faint writing.

At some stage during this period he voluntered for flying duties and was posted to Sqd 7 RAF 1/4/1918 and then 97 sqd 17/7/1918.

He was reported missing 23/8/1918 and repatreated 23/12/1918 from Germany.

The above info is from his RNAS/RAF records(which are not very clear and full of abreviations).

He said he was on a bombing raid and was shot down and crashed into a building, he was injured and taken prisoner, unfortunately his pilot was killed,

He was found in a POW camp in Germany by the British Red Cross and arrived at Dover 23/12/1918 and transfered to reserve 18/3/1919.

My future searches are to find the name of the pilot who died and the airfield from which they flew.

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22nd August 1918, H.P.0/400 of 97 squadron forced to land east of the lines at Pechelbronn, Alsace. Captain SG Gilmour, 2/Lt GE Rochester and Sgt JW Chalmers all taken Prisoner of War.

The mission was a night bombing raid to bomb the railway and aerodrome at Herzing.

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Thankyou MikeW most helpfull,

Sgt Chalmers was found unconscious in a field by a local farmer and taken into the farmhouse, when he regained consciousness he was in bed, a local doctor

treated him and after some days he was turned over to the police.

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Rochester later became a writer of boys fiction working for WE Johns.Perhaps in one of his stories he" fictionalised" the story of his capture?

Johns did that in a Biggles story.

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Thankyou nils d

I have not found any info with regards to Rochester and Gilmour on RAF files, so a new lead there,

I am trying to find the airfield they took off from, but 97sqd don't list anything for this date,

Also the target is not clear, I can only find Hering in Germany, there is a railway line nearby.

The crash site town is clear enough.

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Thankyou topgun1918,

Xaffevillers and the crash site at Pechelbronn and the target at Herzing or Hering are on a a straight flight path, as I live in France I plan to visit the site area in the summer.

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