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Remembered Today:

Combat reports


Tom Kilkenny
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The NA closed, I paid a visit to the IWM in Lambeth this weekend to see what I could find out about Charles Crosbee of 24 Squadron RFC.

In the event, I found precious little (though I didn't expect to find much), just one combat report and a mention in the CO's diary of him having been taken prisoner. But reading through the copies of combat reports for the Squadron (which form part of the collection of the CO's papers) I started wondering where the originals would have gone. Are these held at the NA or at Hendon or somewhere else? Does anyone know?

Tom

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Hello Tom,

I can't comment on your 24 Squadron reports, but a few years ago a reserarch colleague of mine was researching 218 Squadron's contribution to the first, and found a number of combat reports in the Air1 class at the PRO. There didn't seem to be any method or means to the way they were filed, and he found them spread out across quite a few different files, as i recall.

I guess i should finish by adding "happy hunting"!!

Hope that helps at least a little Tom.

L/O

Greg

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Yes, the combat reports (some are missing, of course) are in the PRO under Air 1. I haven't been there for a long time but by memory they are filed under the general heading of Squadons. At the time, copies were also sent to Wing so it's worth looking under the Wing records.

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Whilst down at the TNA a fortnight ago, I looked up the combat reports for 25 sqn. I'm sure that 24 sqn were in the same file box (AIR1/1221/204/2634). However, there was also a note to the effect that a reader had been caught stealing some of the reports and that while some were recovered it was by no means all. The 25 sqn file seemed somewhat thin in comparison to the others in the same box.

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Some are at TNA, some at the RAF Museum Hendon and others were weeded. It is possible that others made their way into COs papers, as you have found, and could still be in private hands.

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Thanks gentlemen.

I have another question for you.

There is at least one mention in Lt Crosbee's logbook of him firing into trenches but there was no reference to this among the combat reports I saw. Does 'combat' refer only to contact with enemy aircraft?

Tom

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I thought I'd bump this up to the top, if for no other reason than to make sure you all saw the thanks! The previous post didn't move this thread to the top of the batting order - don't know why.

The question in the post stands.

Tom

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Tom

As you surmise the combat reports relate to combats in the air. Ground strafing would have been written up in the Squadron and Wing war diaries.

Patrick

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APW is generally right, but 66 Squadron for one have a number of combat reports for October 1918 where amongst others Capt(T) Harry King Goode shot up, and or bombed a/c on an enemy aerodrome, he was credited with at least one destroyed.

john_g

www.66squadron.co.uk

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