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Chris

German plane shotdown 25/7/1915

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Chris

Hi all

Whilst Steve and i were looking at what the 46th Division, inparticular the 1/5th Lincs, were up to during their time around Ypres; Zillebeke to Hill 60 area, numerous references are made to the shooting down of a German plane at 6.30pm on 25th July 1915. It is stated that the occupants fell from the plane to the ground, and so one would presume they were killed. Is it possible to determine the plane that was shot down and the identities of the arimen.

Cheers

CHRIS

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Dolphin

Chris

The German aeroplane was an Albatros C-type (armed two-seater), probably a C.I, from Fliegerabteilung 3, crewed by Oberleutnant Alfred Übelacker or Übeacker (pilot) and Hauptmann Hans Roser (observer). Hauptmann Roser fell out of the aeroplane at 10000 feet, and landed in the British lines. A map on his body showed the location of four German artillery batteries, one of which had eluded British aerial reconnaissance for some weeks.

A victory was credited to [then] Captain Lanoe Hawker of No 6 Sqn RFC, flying in Bristol Scout 1611, he had already had an inconclusive fight with an other German machine and shot down another Albatros C-type earlier that evening; these were the second and third victories of his eventual seven. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his exploits on 25 July. As Major L G Hawker VC he was killed in action in a fight with Manfred von Richthofen on 23 November 1916.

I hope this helps.

Gareth

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Chris

Gareth

It does indeed help, very much indeed. A brilliant summary of the evenings actions that men of the 46th Division viewed. If you do not mind me asking what is the source of this tremendous info.

Thanks alot

Chris

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Dolphin

Chris

I looked at the following books:

Volume II of The War in the Air, by H A Jones;

Above the Trenches by Christopher Shores, Norman Franks & Russell Guest;

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

Hawker VC by Tyrrel Hawker.

Regards

Gareth

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Dolphin

Chris

I thought that I'd add something to my earlier post, as some of the difficulties involved in Capt Hawker's feat may not be clear. In the absence of an effective method of flying through the propeller, his Bristol Scout, No 1611, was armed with a Lewis gun, set to fire at an angle to the direction of flight. This would not be easy!

A photograph of 1611 from The Air VCs by Peter Cooksley, is below.

Regards

Gareth

post-45-1149512924.jpg

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Chris

Gareth

thank you once again, not only for the additional info, but also for the time, and effort you have put into ansewering my post. Your help is very much appreciated.

Kind Regards

Chris

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John S

Hauptmann Roser is commemorated in Sanctuary Wood Cemetery. I have a picture of the headstone - if I cn find it I will post it.

The Air Communique for that day records Hawker seeing a hostile machine being fired at by AA guns about 10,000' over Hooge.

Approaching down sun he opened fire at about 100yds range. The hostile machine burst into flames and turned upside down, the observer falling out.

One report by an officer in the 1/7 Sherwoods records the machine descended in a blazing mass and burning itself out on the ground including the pilot who was strapped in.

Regards

John

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John S

Here is the picture of Hans Roser's headstone in Sanctuary Wood Cemetery.

Sorry about the quality of the photo, it was taken early in March a few years ago.

Regards

John

post-3978-1149518730.jpg

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Steve Bramley

Hi All,

Thanks for the very interesting replies, this is an account from the History of the 1/5th Sherwood Foresters:

'A Victim'

'We spent a further six days in Strong Posts in Sanctuary Wood and maple Copse, during which an enemy areoplane was brought down in flames. this was claimed by the Archies as a victim, but as the petrol tank was perforated in nine places by bullets their claim was disallowed.

It was an interesting sight for those who saw the event-the first burst of smoke, the observer throwing himself out, falling the greater part of the way like a partly deflated balloon (his trench coat held the air), the bump when he struck the ground, the sweep of the machine as it turned to land in the open by Maple Copse, and the perfect landing, from which it was obvious that the pilot was concious when the ground was reached. Within a fewseconds of landing, three enemy shells burst durectly over the plane, evidently intended for an anticipated rush of the curious.

The charred remains of the pilot were removed, when the fire had burned out, and buried, together with the remains of the observer, in the cemetery at the east of the wood. The light machine gun with which the plane was equipped was recovered and is now at Derby.'

The last sentence is very interesting as regards the grave of Hans Roser. Is this the cemetery that the history mentions? Even if the remains were relocated then surely the pilot should be named on the headstone as well, any thoughts?

Steve.

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Adrian Roberts
In the absence of an effective method of flying through the propeller, his Bristol Scout, No 1611, was armed with a Lewis gun, set to fire at an angle to the direction of flight. This would not be easy!

...especially as the direction in which he would have had to shoot (45 degrees to the left and forward) would have placed him in precisely the position in which the German gunner would have had the best field of return fire. Hence the VC.

Unfortunate for the Germans that they had an Oberleutnant and a Hauptman, relatively senior officers, in the same aircraft; was this unusual? (Generally, German aviators held lower ranks than the British; e.g Von Richthofen was only ever a Rittmeister, the equivalent of Captain, when he had responsibilities that would have made him at least a Lt-Col in the RFC.)

It seems from the Sherwood Foresters account that the German pilot was killed by his own side; was this deliberate/common?

Adrian

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Dolphin

Adrian

You're certainly correct that it was unusual for the Germans to have two relatively senior officers in the same aeroplane, especially as they didn't regarded being a pilot as being justification for rank; many German pilots were junior NCOs, or even Privates. I wonder if the 25 July crew could have been engaged in some special reconnaissance mission when they were killed?

The shelling of a downed aircraft was pretty common practice, primarily to stop anything sensitive falling into enemy hands. However, from the Sherwood Foresters' description, the Germans seem to have started shelling almost as soon as the burning aeroplane hit the ground. Perhaps, as the Foresters surmised, this was meant to harm anyone having a look at the wreckage.

Regards

Gareth

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Chris

Cheers to everyone for all the informative info and pictures. Your help is very much appreciated

Cheers

CHRIS

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toofatfortakeoff
Hi all

Whilst Steve and i were looking at what the 46th Division, inparticular the 1/5th Lincs, were up to during their time around Ypres; Zillebeke to Hill 60 area, numerous references are made to the shooting down of a German plane at 6.30pm on 25th July 1915. It is stated that the occupants fell from the plane to the ground, and so one would presume they were killed. Is it possible to determine the plane that was shot down and the identities of the arimen.

Cheers

CHRIS

Isnt there a conflict of dates with this-Ithink Feildsend has it going down on the 20th in which case it is another aircraft although not on thwe exact date.

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Steve Bramley

Hi Sean,

Just checked Fieldsend, he has it on the 25th, and the description is exact. He does mention aeroplanes on the 20th so I see where you're coming from.

Steve.

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toofatfortakeoff

The other pilot that I looked up on the back of Fieldsends notes who was killed around the time is Lt.von Prodzynski and A.N.other.

They were in the same aircraft-well they were in the same unit I should say and they fell in two different sectors though if one was shot out of the plane first, or bailed out after the pilot was killed this counts from time to time for the bodies being found in two places. Rear gunners found that no one was driving after theyd been giving it laldy for a few minutes on the MG. and naturally many took the option of bailing out.

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Dolphin
The other pilot that I looked up on the back of Fieldsends notes who was killed around the time is Lt.von Prodzynski and A.N.other.

Ltn d R Hans von Prondzynski (observer) and Uffz Paul Lindemann (pilot) of Fleigerabteilung 41 were killed in action on 20 May 1915, ie two months prior to the Hawker VC action.

Gareth

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mikebriggs

This is an old post but just came across a reference to this in the 1/6th Sherwood War diary

post-4619-0-08669200-1379875424_thumb.jp

A nice little gesture in so much brutality

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