Author Topic: Gotha G.IV (663/16(?)) crash, near Manston, 22 August 1917  (Read 202 times)

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Online pomme homme

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Gotha G.IV (663/16(?)) crash, near Manston, 22 August 1917
« on: October 24, 2023, 10:26:32 am »
On 22 August 1917 a fleet of ten Gotha G.IV bombers made the last German daylight bombing raid on the British mainland. When they were spotted, two miles off the coast, five aeroplanes took off from Manston Airfield to engage them and prevent them from reaching and dropping their bombs on London. Three of the Gothas were shot down. Two were the victims of anti-aircraft fire. I have not ascertained their identities. A third, 663/16 (I am not certain about this identity), was shot down by Sopwith Camel F.1 B3834 flown by a RNAS pilot, Flt Lt Arthur Frank Brandon, from Manston. The Gotha broke up and fell to earth at Vincent Farm, near Manston, thereby becoming the first German aircraft to crash on British soil in WW1.

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Re: Gotha G.IV (663/16(?)) crash, near Manston, 22 August 1917
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2023, 13:54:11 pm »
There is a detailed and lengthy account of this incident, which differs in certain respects from the account in my opening post, to be found at https://www.manstonhistory.org.uk/first-battle-britain-gotha-raid-22nd-august-1917/ .

According the airhistory.org website (see http://www.airhistory.org.uk/rfc/Kagohl3-diary.html - scroll down to 22 August 1917) Gotha 663/16 was shot down - by anti-aircraft fire, it is said - off Margate and crashed at sea. If so, it cannot have been the Gotha shot down by Flt Lt Brandon. I have not ascertained the identity of this aircraft. However the airhistory.org website goes on to say that the Gotha which crashed at Vincent Farm was also brought down by anti-aircraft fire, rather than being shot down by Flt Lt Brandon. He does not get a mention on that website but, equally, there is no mention there of a third Gotha being shot down on the British side of the Channel. I'm beginning to get rather confused! 

Online pomme homme

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Re: Gotha G.IV (663/16(?)) crash, near Manston, 22 August 1917
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2023, 14:39:14 pm »
The confusion intensifies! On the aerodrome.com forum it is claimed that on 22 August 1917 two Gotha IVs were shot down by RNAS aircraft (rather than anti-aircraft fire). The aircraft were Sopwith Pup N6440, flown by Flt Cdr H. S. Kerby (off Margate), and Sopwith Camel B3844 (a serial number very close to B3834 - see first post), flown by Sub Flt-Lt E. B. Drake (off Dover).