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Author Topic: Air Raid, Kent, 22nd August 1917  (Read 1400 times)
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John
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« on: August 22, 2012, 07:41:28 AM »

From: Flight Commr. G.E.Hervey
His Majesty's Aeroplane Station,
Dover
22nd August 1917

To: The Commanding Officer,
R.N. Aeroplane Station,
DOVER.


Submitted:-

I left at 9-20 G.M.T. and proceeded to North Foreland, when at 11000 feet I saw 10 Gothas coming inland.  I climbed up to them and engaged one on the right of the formation about 3 miles out to sea off Margate at something over 12000 feet.  Fired 100 rounds from straight behind his tail at 100 yards range.  Tracers were seen going into the Huns fuselage.  Machine started into a slow spin, my gun jambed (sic) and took several seconds to clear.  I then followed Gotha down and fired about 25 more into him to make sure of him, my gun jambed (sic) again and in trying to clear it I got into a very fast spin with my engine on.  I got out of this in time to see the Hun crash in the sea about half a mile off Margate.  I then landed at Manstone (sic), had my gun jamb (sic) cleared and then went up after their remaining 8 Gothas (one had been shot down in flames near Manstone (sic) ).  I caught up with them just off Dover at 14000 feet and engaged several of them in turn from both above and below.  I then devoted all my attention to one Gotha and after I had fired over 200 rounds both his back guns were silenced.  I think both Hun gunners must have been hit as I was able to get within 60 feet of him without being fired at.  I finally ran out of ammunition and the Gothas went on apparently all right.  I left the enemy about 15 miles of (sic) North Foreland.  They were still being pursued by a number of our machines.  During the time I was in contact with these German machines they were observed to use a signal like a Very's light, all white, and they were only seen singly.  I am of the opinion that these machines must be armoured as from the last machine attacked he appeared full of bullets.  Also I could not see the pilot at all, so that he must be well covered in.  Their back guns fire extremely fast.

(Signed) G.E.Hervey
FLIGHT COMMANDER
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2012, 18:27:05 PM »

Walmer Air Station
22nd August, 1917.


COMBAT REPORT.

Pilot: Flt.Sub-Lt. Kingsford
Machine: Sopwith Scout N.6439.
Type of Hostile Machine: "Gotha"

On receipt of hostile aircraft signal went off climbing in direction of Manston in company with Flight Lieut Kirby. Observed about ten Gotha machines. Flight Lieut Kirby was, I should think about 3,000 feet above me when I saw him attack a Gotha, and immediately afterwards it went down in a spinning nose-dive. I kept on climbing and proceeded to Dover when I saw A.A. fire and joined up with a flight of our machines, and turned back when they turned as Gothas were by that time out of sight.

(Signed) W.K.(?) Kingsford
Flight Sub-Lieutenant, R.N.
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2012, 09:11:41 AM »

Walmer Air Station
22nd August, 1917


Submitted:

Herewith report of action taken by Walmer Defence Flight against enemy aircraft on the morning of 22nd August.

The "Readiness" signal was received at 10.20 a.m and the following machines left the Aerodrome at 10.24 a.m. on sighting enemy aircraft off Broadstairs:

Sopwith N 6440, FLT.LT. KERBY;
Sopwith N 6439, FLT.SUB-LT. Kingsford.

Sopwith N 6438, FLT. COM. MacLaren left from Dover Aerodrome as it had been under repair there and was being fetched at the time.

Flt. Lt. Kerby climbed up to about 11,000 feet and engaged one of the ten Gothas over Broadstairs and sent the enemy aircraft down in a spin into the sea off Margate, a quarter of a mile from the shore (see Combat Report).

Flt. Sub-Lt. Kingsford was unable to climb so fast and so did not engage enemy aircraft (see Report).

On leaving Dover my gun would not fire so landed at Walmer, and had this repaired, the ammunition shoot (sic) having been knocked out of place.  I then left again 11.5 a.m. in pursuit of seven Gotha machines and pursued them ten miles out to sea, but was unable to catch them up, so returned after patrolling in the direction of the Kentish Knock Light Vessel.

Flt. Lt. Little left at 10.35 a.m. in sopwith 9947, and engaged enemy aircraft over Dover, but had trouble with his gun and could only fire single shots.  He pursued enemy aircraft across the Channel and landed at Aircraft Depot, Dunkirk (see Combat Report).

Your obedient servant,

(Signed) ? MacLaren
Flight Commander
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Man of Kent1
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2012, 23:04:25 PM »

V interesting!  Where exactly was the Walmer airfield?
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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2012, 08:15:07 AM »

T'was up on Hawkshill down somewhere - there's a memorial at (or near ) the site. See THIS TOPIC.
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« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2012, 15:50:34 PM »

Walmer Air Station
August 22nd, 1917


REPORT.

Pilot: Flt.Cmdr.C.T.Mac Laren
Machine: Sopwith Scout N.6438.
Type of Hostile Machine: "Gotha"

When signal reporting H.A. was received I was at Dover fetching repaired machine, Sopwith Pup N 6348.  Left Dover at 10.15 a.m. B.S.T., but gun would not fire a shot.  Landed at Walmer and found that gun-shoot (sic) was displaced.  Had this repaired and left again at 11.5 a.m. B.S.T. in pursuit of seven Gothas observed two miles north of Walmer at about 10,000 feet; chased these to Dover and 10 miles seawards but could make no impression on them so observing signal previously at Dover proceeded towards Kentish Knock Light Vessel, but nothing seen there.  Returned and landed at 12.0 p.m. B.S.T.  Did not observe any damage in neighbourhood of this Aerodrome.

(Signed) C.T. MacLaren
Flight Commander.
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« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2012, 16:21:51 PM »

Walmer Air Station
22nd August, 1917.


COMBAT REPORT.

Flight Lieut. Kerby (sic) reports:-

On receipt of hostile aircraft signal went off climbing in direction of Manston.  Observed ten "Gotha" machines at about 11,000 feet approaching Broadstairs.  In company with five "Camels" kept on climbing.  Gothas now turned in direction of Stoner under heavy and very accurate A.A.  Camels had now outdistanced and outclimbed me; observed two Camels attacking one of the leading Gothas, which immediately burst into flames.  Another Camel and myself were now in a favourable position for attack on the right-hand Gotha.  I closed and attacked from slightly below and on his quarter.  Observed my "tracers" going into fuselage and Gotha practically at once went into a steep spinning nose-dive.  I kept following it down getting in an occasional burst until Gotha finally fell into sea about quarter of a mile off the beach near Margate.  My engine was oiled up and would not pick up and so I had to land on the beach at Margate.

(Signed) H.F. Kerbey
Flight Lieutenant, R.N.
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« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2012, 10:51:14 AM »

Walmer Air Station
August 22nd, 1917


REPORT

Pilot: Flt.Lt.Little.
Machine: Sopwith Scout N.9947.
Type of Hostile Machine: "Gotha"

Left Aerodrome in persuit (sic) of E.A. at 9.35. a.m. and chased 8 E.A. to Dover, when the last machine was attacked, but owing to the gun jamb (sic) the fight had to be broken off. Cleared jamb, but gun jambed again after ten rounds. Followed enemy aircraft out to sea and were last seen being attacked by five De Havilland 4's off Ostend.

(Signed) C.T. MacLaren
for F.Lt. Little

Flight Lieutenant, R.N.


(My note - "De Havilland 4's" has been queried in pencil, and the handwritten addition "Bristol Fighters" put below).
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« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2012, 09:44:35 AM »

18th October.

Vice Admiral Commanding,
DOVER PATROL.


With reference to your submission of the 26th August, No. 2740/048 J.R., forwarding a report from the Wing Captain, R.N.A.S., Dunkerque, on the distinguished services rendered by Flight Commander Gerald Essex Hervey, R.N.A.S., in destroying a Gotha aeroplane on the 22nd August, 1917, and also on other occasions, I am to acquaint you that the King has been pleased to approve of the award of the Distinguished Service Cross to Flight Commander Hervey in recognition of these services.

BY COMMAND OF THEIR LORDSHIPS,

(signed) ? ? Walker
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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2017, 16:22:37 PM »

Some great detail there. Were these classed as Pilot "reports" or logs? Presumably given the infancy of combat they were probably more formally submitted that would happen in later years?
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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2017, 14:48:35 PM »

I think they pretty much used any bit of paper that came to hand!

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