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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

PENTLAND Alexander Augustus Norman Dudley


stevenbecker

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Mates,

Can any one give me when Jerry Pentland was in these RFC Sqns and where he received his awards?

PENTLAND Alexander Augustus Norman Dudley 674 Pte 12 LHR MG Sect att MG Sect/01 LHR 8-15 (G) disch to British Army prom 2/Lt 16 Sqn RFC (pilot) to 29 Sqn RFC to 19 Sqn RFC to Capt 87 Sqn RAF MC - for his actions on Ground attack sortie DFC - for his actions in combat against four German planes F&B kickname "Jerry" (23 victories) later WWII RAAF Sqn Ldr 1st Search & Resue Sqn RAAF AFCr - reported with the one armed Alan Binnie dropping grenades on Japanese troops from a Dragon Rapide in PNG

Cheers

S.B

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Not sure how to post links but try www.theaerodrome.com

Bob

Link not working Bob is this it

Here

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Mates,

Yes I saw that, but they still don't show at what dates he served in those RFC Sqns?

Also while the awards are shown, there is no date or where these awards were given?

Any ideas

Cheers

S.B

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Steve,

Jery Pentland was with 16 Squadron from as early as June 1916. The RFC Communiqué (39/1916) of that year indicates that on 10 June "2/Lt Pentland and Capt. W.H. Walker, in a BE2c of 16 Sqdn, when on artillery duty, saw a Fokker flying over the enemy's trenches. They followed him for about 1 1/2 miles in the direction of Lille, where he turned to attack. Half a drum was fired at the German at a range of about 50 yards. When level with the tail of the BE2c the hostile machine turned sharply and dived, and the BE2c was able to fire half a drum at him as he turned. He dived more steeply and was observed by 2/Lt Pentland to crash in a field near Haubourdin".

Of his other exploits with 19 Sqdn? On 16 Aug 1917 Pentland and Boeree attacked enemy transport on the Ypres-Menin road. Actually, just looking at the sheer volume of air-to-air and air-to-ground engagements by Pentland I'm not going to attempt to list them. He was definitely with 19 Squadron in Aug and Sept 1917.

Given that most sources will focus on the air-to-air engagements, here's another of his ground attack operations, and probably the one that you're looking for in respect of the medal citation:

RFC Communiqué 105/1917, which covered Sept 1917, makes reference to an omission from 103/1917 of a 19 Sqdn operation on 26 August 1917.

"Five SPADs of 19 Squadron, escorted by seven other SPADs of the same squadron, set out to attack Bisseghem and Marcke aerodromes. Although fiercely attacked by EA the work was satisfactorily concluded ... Lt A.A.N. Pentland had an engagement on the way to Marcke aerodrome, then went down to 20 feet and fired into the eight Albatros scouts on the ground, and at mechanics. After leaving Marcke he saw a troop train leaving Courtrai, so, guarded above by Lt R.L. Graham, engaged two EA, then returned".

However, there's another interesting ground attack operation on 20 Sept 1917, RFC Communiqué 106/1917 refers:

"Lt A. Pentland and Lt C. Thompson patrolled together over Polygon Wood, then went to Courtrai and from there to Beclaere, where they fired at infantrymen from 400 feet. They observed a battery firing so Lt Pentland dropped a bomb on it, while Lt Thompson raked the position with gun fire. In another patrol Lt Pentland dropped one bomb on the railway bridge near Comines, and Lt Thompson attacked troops marching towards the lines from 100 feet, scattering them".

On 26 Sept 1917 there's another potential medal winner mentioned, in RFC Communiqué 107/1917:

"Lt Pentland, 19 Squadron, crossed the lines at 2,000 feet and attacked a two-seater, but was driven back by EA scouts. On avoiding them he recrossed the lines and fired at scattered troops from low altitude. He then found an ammunition dump so dropped a 20-lb bomb and blew up the dump. He was again attacked by EA so dived into the barrage to escape, and a shell went through his fuselage, cutting the elevator controls and one side of the rudder controls. His machine fell out of control and he only regained control a few feet from the ground. He crossed the lines and crashed just on our side. Infantry ran to his assistance but unfortunately one was killed and another wounded, and Lt Pentland was also hit. Others then came and carried him away. On the way to safety a shell knocked the party down but no one was hurt".

If you've the exact medal citation info you should be able to link the ground attack award to one of the above incidents.

The air-to-air tussle with four EA was probably the following one, relating to his time with 87 Sqdn. The very first DFCs were issued around this time. RAF Communiqué 12/1918 refers to his actions on 18 June 1918:

"Capt. A. Pentland, 87 Sqdn, while flying alone attacked four enemy two-seaters. He fired at the straggler, which dived east very steeply, and then climbed back to the other three. He attacked the leader, which went down east, with his engine stopped, followed by one of the others. Capt Pentland then attacked the remaining EA, which he shot down out of control".

However, there's an incident on 25 Aug 1918 in which Pentland destroys at least two EA but is hit in the petrol tank and has to fight his way back across the lines, being chased by the rest of the enemy.

Btw, as you're probably aware, Jerry's father was a reasonably well-known Irish surgeon prior to his emigration to Australia. The Pentlands of Blackhall were a prominent-enough Anglo-Irish family, and Jerry actually spent time in Ireland when recovering from the typhoid fever he contracted in his time with the army.

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His Military Cross was Gazetted on 26 September 1917, with the Deed appearing in the Gazette of 9 January 1918, the citation reading:

T./2nd Lt. Alexander Augustus Norman Pentland, Gen. List and R.F.C.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. On a recent occasion he flew to an aerodrome fifteen miles behind the enemy lines, descended to within twenty feet of the ground, and fired into eight hostile machines. On his return journey he attacked a train with considerable effect from a low altitude. He has in addition brought down several enemy machines, and has always set a splendid example of fearlessness and devotion to duty in attacking enemy balloons and troops on the ground.

The Register of the Military Cross states that the award was for his actions on 26 August 1917.

Graeme

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