Aerial Combat, 20th August 1917
From G. K. Rose, The Story of the 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.
“On August 18, starting at 4 a.m., the Battalion marched to Goldfish Château, close to Ypres, and the Transport to a disused brickfield west of Vlamertinghe. We lived in bivouacs and tents
and were much vexed bv German aeroplanes, and to a less degree by German shells. On August 20, while companies were making ready for the line, an air fight happened just above our camp. Its
sequel was alarming. A German aeroplane fell worsted in the fight, and dived to ground, a roaring mass of fire, not forty yards from our nearest tents. By a freak of chance the machine fell in
a hole made by a German shell. The usual rush was made towards the scene–by those, that is, not already sufficiently close for their curiosity. A crowd, which to some extent disorganised our preparations for the line, collected round the spot and watched the R.F.C. extract the pilot and parts of the machine, which was deeply embedded in the hole. For hours the wreckage remained the centre of attraction to many visitors. The General hailed the burnt relics, not inappropriately, as a lucky omen.”
It seems that the areoplane shot down was a DWF C.V. shot down by French Ace, captain George Guynemer; “war in the air continued at a furious pace, with the effects of battle stress becoming ever more apparent in his demeanour and physical appearance. However, his score of confirmed victories continued to mount until, on the 20th August 1917, it reached 53 with the downing of another DWF C.V. in the Ypres Sector of Belgium.”
“August 20th, 1917. — Brought down a D.F.W. on fire near Poperinghe. Two hours, fifteen minutes.” From Guynemer, The Ace of Aces by Jacques Mortane.
French Ace, Captain George Guynemer
Two pilots and an observer of Fliegar Abteiling 3 were killed on that day: Names and locations are below:
Uffz. Martin Ewald, pilot, Poperinghe
Ltn.d.R. Walter Rode, observer, Ypres, Bisseghem
Vfw. Wilhelm Donner, pilot, Valenciennes.
The DFW C.V.
The DFW C.IV, C.V, C.VI, and F 37 were a family of German reconnaissance aircraft first used in 1916 in World War I. They were conventionally configured biplanes with unequal-span unstaggered wings and seating for the pilot and observer in tandem, open cockpits. Like the DFW C.II before them, these aircraft seated the gunner to the rear and armed him with a machine gun on a ring mount. Compared to preceding B- and C-class designs by DFW, however, the aerodynamics of the fuselage were more refined, and when coupled with more powerful engines, resulted in a machine with excellent performance.
Please see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DFW_C.V for more details.
Allied Kite Balloon
Vlamertinghe, from the south west, August, 1917
Lieut. C. H. Barraud
Pictures of the Goldfish Château.