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Remembered Today:

Zantvoorde British Cemetery Case #3: Two Aviators with Plane Serial Number


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These come from the cemetery topic list located here: https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/262948-zantvoorde-british-cemetery/


They are not identified by the time they made the GRRF 2157688. They are not identified on the HD-SCHD 1867515


Trevor has the capability to search his database by serial number, so PING TREVOR (done).



Edited by laughton
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Hi Richard, Well I've given the last couple of hours to this.  Unfortunately nothing is revealing itself. 


For starters, they are not serial numbers  - not ones that could be there anyway - eg A9711 turns out to be a DH6 training aircraft out in Egypt...  I've checked them all very thoroughly.  I've then searched my entries in my book The Sky Their Battlefield II and come up with a fairly exhaustive list of 8 possible candidates for crews - at least in the sense of what I know and have recorded in my book yielding mentions of place names within 2 or 3 km of where the grave and wreckage was found, according to the map ref. above, at Kruiseke, and then the possibles need to be from a two-seater crew, both NKG, and possibly mentioning being on fire - though only a couple mention this.  I've then checked each of these meticulously off against their Casualty Report, for gun or engine numbers etc - but nothing has shown.  There could be other candidates, but they're not obvious at this time.  


Here are the crews NKG in and around Kruiseke, that I have found so far, all being the relevant entries from The Sky Their Battlefield II:

Two-seater NKGs Gheluvelt (1.5km n Kruiseke)


3 Jan 18

A7687      DH4                    57 Sqn

**Phot left 10-50am down EoL MIA (Capt AFE Pitman KIA NKG/Lt CW Pearson KIA NKG) Ja26 [?'Bristol' claim combat swGHELUVELT 12-30pm Oblt B Loerzer Ja26]


29 July 18

B7668      DH9                    206 Sqn

**B seen over COURTRAI wMENIN near ROULERS ROAD 7-20pm MIA (1Lt G Cheston USAS. KIA prob NKG/Sgt JW Pacey KIA NKG) left 5-35pm [?'BF' claim combat GHELUVELT 7-35pm Ltn F Ritt vRöth Ja16] Δ


Two-seater NKGs Gheluwe (2km e Kruiseke) (Two of these mention flames)


13 July 1917

A8335      Sopwith Strutter 70 Sqn

**Phot combat fell in flames near BECELAERE MIA (2Lt MO Baumann KIA NKG/Bdr E Fletcher KIA NKG) left 9am GHELUWE ZONNEBEKE [?'Sopwith' claim combat sBECELAERE 10-35am Oblt E Dostler Ja6] [?'Sopwith' claim combat ST JULIEN ZONNEBEKE 10-30am Vfw F Krebs Ja6] Δ


3 May 1918

C6101     DH9                    98 Sqn

**B MENIN combat with 18 EAs incl DrIs EoL, ooc then broke up and seen going down vertically in flames over GHELUWE MIA (Lt RA Holiday MM KIA NKG/ Lt CB Whyte KIA NKG) left 12pm, observer fell [?possible unconfirmed 'DH9' claim combat FREZENBERG 1-10pm Ltn K Bolle JaB] Δ


25 July 18

C6121     DH9                    206 Sqn

**B combat with EA? 2m nGHELUWE 8-15am MIA (2Lt FT Heron KIA NKG/2Lt CJ Byrne KIA NKG) left 6-29am [?'BF' claim combat ZONNEBEKE 8-15am Ltn A Weinschenk Ja16] Δ


Two-seater NKGs Zandvoorde (2km w Kruiseke)


19 August 17

A8298      Sopwith Strutter 45 Sqn

**COP split in two by shell 10,000' broke up near ZANDVOORDE MIA (Lt CM Ross Aust.  KIA NKG/2Lt JO Fowler KIA NKG) seen by 53Sq, Obs fell out? Δ


Two-seater NKGs Terhand (3km ne Kruiseke)


8 Oct 17

A4315      RE8                     7 Sqn

**AOb left 8-30am MIA (2Lt CB Wattson KIA NKG/Lt J Diamond MC KIA NKG) last WT 8-50am [?unconfirmed 'RE' claim swTERHAND: Vfw  Reichenbach? JaB]


Two-seater NKGs Becelaere (2km n Kruiseke)


24 June 1917

A7473      DH4                    57 Sqn

**Phot combat with EA, in spin down over BECELAERE 9000' 8-30am MIA (Capt NG McNaughton MC KIA NKG/Capt AH Mearns KIA NKG) left 7-40am, MvR55 ['DH' claim combat BECELAERE 8-30am Rittm M Fr vRichthofen JG1] Δ


It's a tragic list, in itself, for such a tiny area.  All 16 lay nearby somewhere.  Rest in Peace.




Edited by fetubi
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Dear Trevor,

A tragic list, indeed. Pilots with MCs and an MM. An Australian pilot, an American, and so on.

Portraits of the von Richthofen victim, Capt Norman George McNaughton, MC, and Lieut Angus Hughes Mearns, are shown on p.143 of "Under the Guns of the Red Baron" (Grub Street, 1995)...

Kindest regards,


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Any chance it could be French or Belgian, such as a SPAD A-1? Do lists exist of their serial numbers? This is out of my league.

Edited by laughton
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I don't know!  Could be (but if I had to put money on it I would say it was an RFC/RNAS crew, from the location).

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True, it clearly says "U B Aviator" and I don't suspect they meant Belgian.


There was an A4371 but it was lost in a training accident on 26 February 1918 with Sherwood and Kennard. They are buried in Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension.


RFC men Marvin and Barton are buried in the same Zantvoorde British Cemetery so I checked the others around that date of 26 October 1917. Lots of action in the area (THTB pages 126-128). The reference to "A16" (not AID - but close if marked on the plane) did catch my eye, newly formed "A" Squadron to be redesignated "16 (Naval Squadron)", but it appears that was at a later date. There are seven (7) on the AFSM (CWGC Link) for that date range but nothing fit.


Strikes me as odd that we have all those numbers and nothing matches?

  • AID
  • A9711
  • 4371
  • A6237

Thanks for all your hard work Trevor, sorry to have sent you on a wild goose chase!

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I saw it as AID - standing for Aircraft Inspection Department - which oversaw quality and consistency during manufacture and construction.  I wasn't aware of this - but they might have some how stamped components to show they were passed.


PS Wild Goose Chases are always accepted, when they're about lost airmen - I kept thinking something would click, with all that data - but shucks!!  Learnt a lot!

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