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Simon Birch

65 Squadron

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Is anyone aware of any published history of 65 squadron and / or any history on Captain Eric Guy Brookes (KIA 08/08/1918). I know he came from Gloucester and went to the Crypt school, dates of his 6 "kills" and have his medal card - although there appears to be no service record. He was a private in the 5th Gloucesters, later in the Worcestershire Regiment before RFC / RAF. I do also have a copy of a picture of (I believe) the squadron in 1918 but not a lot move.....

Many thanks for your help,

Simon

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I don't recall any published history of 65 Squadron, but I may be wrong. There's a nice page at http://www.rafweb.org/Sqn061-65.htm that tells a little bit about the squadron:

"October 1917, when it received Camels. At the same time the squadron moved to France conducting defensive patrols until February 1918, when it started ground attack operations. A move to the Belgium coast came in August 1918 with the squadron escorting day bombers. It remained in Belgium until the end of war and returned to Yatesbury in February 1919, where it disbanded on 25 October 1919."

There's also a downloadable article about 65 Squadron at http://www.crossandcockade.com/store/shopexd.asp?id=68

By the way, just as an aside - technically WW1 aerial victories are 'victories', not 'kills'. I kinda went "OUCH!" when I saw Captain Brookes got 'kills', LOL. Quite a few of the pilots regarded the WW2 (and modern) usage of the word 'kill' to be in bad taste and while folks like Mannock liked to think of German pilots "roasting all the way down", I think (or perhaps I like to think) most pilots hoped that their opponents survived after being shot down. Perhaps the word 'victories' makes light of a bloody business, but I think it's a nice way of honouring their memory by using the term the pilots themselves used. But that's just me. Maybe I'm being pedantic.

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Thanks Beery - the Cross and Cockade link is very useful.

Thanks Again,

Simon

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For some background on life in 65 Sqn over the winter of 1917 - 1918 try C. Burgess, The Diary and Letters of a World War One Fighter Pilot. The book prints the letters home from Guy Mainwaring Knocker (Burgess' grandfather) who was a pilot with 65 during this period - and it is an excellent read. I have just finished it and can't remember a mention of Capt Brookes, and the index does not have him. Nonetheless, you'll get a good idea of squadron life from these letters.

Hope this helps,

David

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