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74 Squadron credits/victories and losses/casualties


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Both of these histories seem to have a nearly identical assessments of the squadron's successes/claims but vary considerably in losses. Any thoughts on this? Both look like they are Air Historical Branch attempts at a squadron history, with varying degrees of accuracy.

AIR 27 644.jpg

Grid Caldwell's DFC squadron.jpg

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Airmen died in the great War 1914-1918 lists the following 74 Squadron deaths (1 more than the 13 accounted for in your first post document):

Barton, Lt L F

Battel, Lt A J

Begbie, Lt S C H

Bright, 2Lt R E

Cairnes,Capt W J

Church, 2Lt F J

Dolan, Lt H E

Link, Lt F L C

Moore, AMII G J

Nixon, 2Lt L M

O'Hara, Lt H E

Sanderson, Lt A M

Skedden, Lt C E L

Stuart-Smith, Lt P J

Details about each individual appear chronologically and biographically in the book.






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From my 100 years ago today threads on the other Forum:

11 Killed in Action/Died of Wounds:

21-Apr-1918 - Lieut Sydney Claude Hamilton Begbie (Pow; dow 22-Apr-18) - S.E.5a D281 - last seen at 13,000 feet near Armentières going down in flames on patrol

08-May-1918 - Lieut Ronald Ernest Bright (Kia) - S.E.5a B8373 - last seen in dogfight with 10 E.A. east of Zillebeke on patrol; Vzfw Erich Buder, Jasta 26, 2nd victory [west of Becelaere at 08:37/09:37] ?

08-May-1918 - Lieut Philip James Stuart-Smith (Kia) - S.E.5a C1078 - last seen in dogfight with 10 E.A. east of Zillebeke on patrol; Vzfw Fritz Classen, Jasta 26, 3rd victory [Zillebeker See at 08:40/09:40] ?

12-May-1918 - Lieut Henry Eric Dolan (Kia) - S.E.5a B7733 - last seen 4 miles east of Dickebusch Lake fighting on OP; an S.E.5 seen to crash near Wulverghem; Ltn Raven Frhr von Barnekow, Jasta 20, 1st victory [Dickebusch at 18:10/19:10]

17-May-1918 - Lieut Leigh Morphew Nixon (Kia) - S.E.5a C6404 - last seen over Estaires on patrol; an S.E.5 was seen to go down in flames over La Gorgue 5 minutes later; Gefr Marat Schumm, Jasta 52, 3rd victory [Le Parc at 09:45/10:45] ?

17-May-1918 - 2nd Lieut Lambert Francis Barton (Kia) - S.E.5a C1854 - hit by A.A. and crashed in flames at Sheet 36a.Q.26.c [Riez-du Vinage] on patrol

01-Jun-1918 - Capt William Jameson Cairns MC (Kia) - S.E.5a C6443 - last seen in dogfight north-east of Estaires on patrol; Ltn d R Paul Billik, Jasta 52, 19th victory [east of Merville at 16:40/17:40]

09-Jul-1918 - Lieut Andrew John Battel (Kia) - S.E.5a C1950 - last seen engaged with E.A. over Neuve Eglise on OP; Ltn Joachim von Busse, Jasta 20, 5th victory [south-west of Dickebusch at 09:25/10:25]

12-Jul-1918 - Lieut Frederick James Church (Kia) - S.E.5a D6908 - last seen over Warneton on patrol; Ltn Joachim von Busse, Jasta 20, 6th victory [north of Bailleul at 08:55/09:55]

01-Oct-1918 - Lieut Albert Montague Sanderson (Kia) - S.E.5a F5464 - missing on patrol; Ltn d R Carl Degelow, Jasta 40, 20th victory [Menin, no time] ?

05-Oct-1918 - Lieut Frank Edgar Bond (Pow) - S.E.5a D6922 - last seen 3 miles south-east of Roulers on patrol

7 Prisoners of War:

12-Jun-1918 - 2nd Lieut George Frederick Thompson (Pow) - S.E.5a C6497 - last seen at 15,000 feet in spin north-west of Armentières on OP

15-Jul-1918 - 2nd Lieut Robert Hector Gray (Pow) - S.E.5a D6910 - last seen over Roulers in combat on patrol

19-Jul-1918 - Lieut Alexander M Roberts (Pow) - S.E.5a E5948 - last seen over Menin on patrol; Ltn d R Josef Carl Peter Jacobs, Jasta 7, 24th victory [Moorslede at 08:30/09:30] ?

21-Sep-1918 - Capt Sydney Carlin (Pow) - S.E.5a D6958 - last seen west of Lille in combat on patrol; Uffz Siegfried Westphal, Jasta 29, 2nd victory [east of La Bassée at 18:45/18:45] ?

01-Oct-1918 - 2nd Lieut Rea Isaiah Hagenbuch (Pow) - S.E.5a E1272 - missing on OP

09-Oct-1918 - Lieut William Edward Bardgett (Pow) - S.E.5a D6976 - missing on patrol

26-Oct-1918 - 2nd Lieut Murdo Maclean (Pow) - S.E.5a E3942 - last seen 1,500 feet in combat over Cordes at 13:45/14:45 on OP

3 Killed in accidents:

08-May-1918 - Lieut Charles Edwin Lloyd Skedden (Killed) - S.E.5a C6445 - broke up at 1,000 feet and burst into flames on hitting ground during patrol

25-May-1918 - 2nd Lieut Henry Eyre O'Hara (Killed) - S.E.5a C6483 - stalled on turn downwind and spun into ground catching fire during practice

07-Jun-1918 - 2nd Lieut Frederick Leslie Cuff Link (Killed) - S.E.5a C6491 - stalled at 100 feet and crashed on line patrol




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There is a good summary of Mannock's combat victories whilst with 74 Squadron in Franks & Saunders 'Mannock', The Life and death of Major Edward Mannock VC, DSO, MC, RAF' (Grub Street 2008)....




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I am particularly interested in Mannock and 74 Squadron, because they called in to our local 37 (HD) Flight Station at Goldhanger in March 1918.....

To ‘Fear no Man’ – a visit by 74 Squadron

            Although the 37 Squadron pilots would later be equipped with Sopwith Pups, 1½ -Strutters, Camels and Snipes, Sydney Armstrong’s aircraft, the B.E.12 with a top speed of 102mph and fitted with a .303 Lewis machine gun, was a far cry from the model flown by some unusual visitors to Goldhanger on March 27th 1918. During that morning twenty SE5a’s of 74 Squadron flew from London Colney and landed at the field. This state of the art aeroplane had a 1x200hp Hispano-Suiza engine, it could reach speeds of 132mph and, as well as a machine gun, it could carry 4 x 25lb bombs under the fuselage. If the Home Defence pilots were thought of by the locals as “cocky” then the elite members of 74 Squadron were the very epitome of arrogance. Even the squadron motto; ‘I fear no man’ announced that confidence. They were a hand-picked squadron, highly trained and equipped with the most robust and powerful flying machines available at the time. One of their flight commanders was the young Irishman and famous flying ace, Captain Edward ‘Mick’ Mannock (later Major Mannock, VC, DSO, MC). Credited with an unofficial tally of 73 kills, making him the probable top scorer of English pilots during World War I, Mannock was like a cat on hot bricks from the time he landed at Goldhanger. He couldn’t wait to take off again and continue on his route to the front. He wrote a quick note to one of his friends explaining that he had been; “…ordered here at the last moment after all our baggage and transport had been dispatched to France. Shall be here probably a week until they can find an aerodrome for us. I suppose this big Germans attack has thrown them somewhat off their balance. Anyhow, I am sick of waiting and want to get out there. There must be lots of fun out there now, in view of the scrap….”. The night before his squadron finally left for France, Mannock and his confederates decided to have a farewell drink at the Goldhanger ‘Chequers’ public house. The apprehensive landlord, Henry Hind, tried to make the men as comfortable as possible, but the “great big chief of the village” (could this have been Dr. Salter or was it, as some sources suggest, the local Bobby?) objected to the airmen singing some of their renowned and somewhat bawdy ballads. Mannock resented the intrusion and gave the “big noise” two choices – to be thrown out or to have a drink. He chose the latter! On March 30th, 74 Squadron left Goldhanger for good. For many it would be their last flight and Mick Mannock himself was shot down and killed between Calonne and Lestreme in the July. (He was awarded a posthumous VC). Just four months later it would all be over and in the following February (of 1919) 37 Squadron moved out of Goldhanger. Buildings were dismantled and sold to firms like May and Butcher, from Heybridge Basin, and the Crittall Company at Witham, and the fields of the little saltwater village returned once more to the plough.........

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For the sake of completeness:

11 Injured in Accidents:

29-Apr-1918 - Lieut Gerald Radford Savage (Inj) - S.E.5a B8409 - got into spin in failing light on landing from OP

12-May-1918 - Lieut Geoffrey Murland Atkinson (Inj) - S.E.5a D266 - crashed 2 miles from aerodrome after pressure gave out on OP

17-May-1918 - 2nd Lieut Sydney Lidiard Russell (Inj) - S.E.5a C6407 - struck ridge and overturned due engine failure on landing from OP

20-May-1918 - Lieut Henry Eyre O'Hara (Inj) - S.E.5a C1811 - ran into fence on take-off for practice

07-Jul-1918 - Lieut Alexander M Roberts (Inj) - S.E.5a C1779 - force landed due engine failure on OP

15-Jul-1918 - Lieut Percy Frank Charles Howe (Inj) - S.E.5a D6855 - force landed Sheet 28.B.7.2.3 [Sheet 28.B.7 is north-east of Elverdinghe] after air pressure gave out in pressure tank on OP

06-Aug-1918 - Lieut Wilfred Bertie Giles (Inj) - S.E.5a E1389 - engine cut out on LP north of Poperinghe

07-Aug-1918 - Lieut Austin Finley Morrison (Inj) - S.E.5a C9585 - crashed in field adjoining aerodrome due internal engine problem on OP

14-Aug-1918 - Lieut William Edward Bardgett (Inj) - S.E.5a C1825 - force landed Sheet 27.Q.18.b.5.5 [Godewaerswelde] after propeller and longeron shot through on OP

09-Oct-1918 - Capt Clive Beverley Glynn (Inj) - S.E.5a E5761 - damaged by enemy action on OP near Moorslede (12 October?)

10-Nov-1918 - Lieut James Wallace (Inj) - S.E.5a H7250 - force landed Sheet 29.I.35.c.2.9 [east of St Louis] due engine failure on OP



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