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Guest Hill 60

Captain Prothero

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Guest Hill 60

Ok, I accept that there will be an obvious answer to this question, but if I don't ask I won't know for sure!

Captain Philip Bernard Bruce Prothero was in the RFC after transferring from the 4th A&SH in 1915.

He was noted for always wearing a kilt into combat, and my question concerns this kilt; which tartan did he use?

Were the A&SH a kilted regiment? Would it be most likely that Prothero would have continued to wear the tartan of his old unit?

Prothero was killed in combat against Jasta 27, when his SE.5 was seen spinning, wingless, out of control north-east of Houthem. He is remembered on the Arras Memorial to Missing Airmen.

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Tom Tulloch-Marshall

Lee - Prothero would have worn the Sutherland Tartan. His attachment seems to be a bit ambiguous because he has two entries in ODITGW - one showing A&S Highs attached RFC, the other implying that he had transferred to the RFC. In either case I wouldnt think that wearing the Kilt in an aircraft would have been very sensible - simply from the point of view of the cold.

Regards - Tom

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Guest Hill 60

Tom - Thanks for the information.

Capt Prothero has been quoted as saying "You wouldna have me taken prisoner in disguise would you now laddie?" referring to the kilt he wore on combat missions.

Have to agree with you, that must have been very cold!

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Malcolm

According to his Canadian comrade V P ' Versh ' Cronyn he would " return from patrol with his knees blue with cold and the hairs on his legs sticking out like ' bristles on a hog ' "

:blink:

no further comment required!

Aye

Malcolm

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Guest Hill 60

Thanks Malcolm, that is much better than the tiny picture I've seen of him elsewhere.

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Dolphin

Lee

I'm just dotting the i and crossing the t here.

The victory over Capt Prothero (flying SE5 A8925) was credited to Vfw Alfred Muth of Jasta 27, the first of his two victories. After being credited with a DH4 on 20 August, Muth was killed near Moorslede on 5 September 1917.

Dolphin

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Guest Hill 60

Dolphin - Thank you for that :)

Where did you get the info from?

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Dolphin

Lee

I'm pleased to have been of use.

I looked in three books for information on Capt Prothero:

'The Sky Their Battlefield' by Trevor Henshaw

'Airmen Died in the Great War' by Chris Hobson

'The SE5 File' by Ray Sturtivant and Gordon Page.

Another three books had information of Vfw Muth:

'Casualties of the German Air Service 1914-1920' by Norman Franks, Frank Bailey and Rick Duiven

'The Jasta Pilots' by the above three authors

'The Jasta War Chronology' by the same three.

I hope this helps.

Dolphin

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Guest Pete Wood
The victory over Capt Prothero (flying SE5 A8925) was credited to Vfw Alfred Muth of Jasta 27

According to Henshaw, Muth claimed a 'Sopwith' which he has linked to the Camel (B3756) that was lost by 70 Sqn, flown by Captain NW Webb, near Becelaere.

Which author credits Muth with the victory over Protheroe, as more info has obviously come to light...?

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Guest Hill 60
I'm pleased to have been of use.

Dolphin - You are always 'of use' :D

Seriously, many thanks for the list of books. The aerial war is something I have only recently become interested in and any pointers given are of tremendous help.

RT - Could it be that Muth was mistaken? From what I have read the German pilots weren't too hot on aircraft recognition.

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Guest Pete Wood
RT - Could it be that Muth was mistaken? From what I have read the German pilots weren't too hot on aircraft recognition.

There have been many cases of pilots on both sides reporting types of aeroplane, and in the heat of an engagement, I fully understand that.

But Dolphin appears to have found a source which confirms this victory - and contradicts Henshaw's theory. So I'm just curious as to which author thinks who did what, so I can swot up on it.

The Richtofen claims have long been discussed/changed over the decades and it sounds like Mutz's claim (Henshaw does say "?possible Sopwith") has now been scrutinised and appraised.

I am fascinated by the research that goes into the theories concerning the air war which, rather like naval battles, always seem more personal to me than the war on the ground.

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Dolphin

The information on Vfw Muth was in 'The Jasta Pilots' and 'The Jasta War Chronology' which both say that Capt Prothero was probably brought down by Muth, while 'Airmen Died in the Great War' indicates Capt Webb was possibly brought down by Muth. I suppose I instinctively gave more credence to a 'probable' over a 'possible' attribution. The potential mis-identification of an SE5 as a Sopwith isn't too unusual; for quite understandable reasons, airmen of the day were inclined to be a bit loose with this aspect of combat, eg Manfred von Richthofen identified his 73rd victory, a Sopwith Dolphin, as a Bristol F2b. From a German perspective, if it was chocolate brown and had roundels on the wings, it was British and to be shot at. Muth had been flying with Jasta 27 since 20 April, so the most common British-built scout he would have encountered would been the Sopwith Pup. The SE5 and SE5a wouldn't have been encountered too often by July, so the thought process was likely to be: British and single seat = Sopwith.

Sometimes I wonder if the airmen of the Great War ever thought that their deeds would be the subject of such interest nearly ninety years after the event. I'm glad that it is! It's good to encounter others with similar thoughts.

To slightly change the subject, Vfw Muth's commander in Jasta 27 in July 1917 was a certain Oblt Hermann Goering, who went on to be well known in a later conflict.

Cheers

Dolphin

(as in Sopwith 5.F1 Dolphin)

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Guest Hill 60
Dolphin

(as in Sopwith 5.F1 Dolphin)

Dolphin - Thank you for the extra information.

I wondered why you used 'Dolphin' as a 'handle', now I understand :)

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Dolphin

Lee

I have to take back my statement about both of the 'Jasta' books crediting Vfw Muth with the victory over Capt Prothero. I just re-checked, and noticed that 'The Jasta Pilots' does indeed associate Muth with the victory, while 'The Jasta War Chronology' by the same team of authors, states that the 'Sopwith' was probably Capt Webb's machine.

There were only three German fighter claims on the Western Front that were 'confirmed' on 26 July. Ltn F Goette of Jasta 20 claimed a Sopwith over Dixmuiden at 1900 (probably Camel B3814, 2Lt J C Smith of No 70 Sqn RFC), Vfw Muth claimed another Sopwith at 2040 (Prothero or Webb?) and Flgmt B Heinrich of Marine Feld Jasta 1 claimed a Camel west of Dunkerque (perhaps N6356, FSLt A C Campbell-Orde of No 6 Sqn RNAS?).

Of course, Capt Prothero may have fallen to anti-aircraft fire or been the victim of structural failure.

Camera guns would have sorted out much of the confusion but, alas, in 1917 they were yet to come.

Cheers

Dolphin

(a much under-rated aircraft)

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Guest Hill 60

Dolphin - Thanks for clearing that up for me

Don't know much about the Dolphin, I'll have to check it out soon.

I just love the Fokker DR.I, the SE.5/a, the Albatros D.III and doesn't the shape of the Taube look super?

I didn't realise that the DR.I was brought to counter the Sopwith Triplane, flown by the RNAS.

I didn't realise what an interesting subject the airwar is, I had totally overlooked this side of the war.

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Laverdaton

If anybody is reearching Captain Prothero...I hve discovered some photos of him flying in a album belonging to Frederick King Laverton (RFC).

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Open Bolt

We'd certainly like to see them....

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sadbrewer
1 hour ago, Laverdaton said:

If anybody is reearching Captain Prothero...I hve discovered some photos of him flying in a album belonging to Frederick King Laverton (RFC).

You may find this interesting...courtesy of The British Newspaper Archive. 

 

 

Screenshot_20200326-141523.jpg

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