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No 78 Squadron RFC / RAF


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#1 Tony H

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 02:32 PM

Hallo all

Seeking any additional information on the events surrounding the following casualties of No 78 (Home Defence) Sqn RFC / RAF between 1.11.16 & 31.12.19

Royal Flying Corps

2nd Lt David Dennys Fowler. Age 20 - killed in an air raid 17/3/17
2nd Lt Cyril Frenerick Crapp. Age 23 - killed in a flying accident 22/5/17 NB: is this death connected to the one below??
2nd Lt William John Douglas Vince. Age 27 - killed 22/5/17 - NB: is this death connected to the one above??
2nd Lt Sidney Rex Burton. Age 27 - killed in a flying accident 11/9/17
2nd Lt William Hayes?? Pickup. Age NK - killed 12/3/18 no further details known
Capt SP Gamon. Age 23 - killed during aerobatics 17/3/18 in Camel C6726

Also

An individual by the name of; A. De Tessier - date of death unknown - but has to be between 1/11/16 & 31/3/18 but listed as killed whilst serving with 78 HD Sqn RFC

Royal Air Force

Maj Cuthbert Roger Rowden MC Age 21 - killed 20/4/18 in Camel C6717 NB: the first (of two) Officer Commanding 78 Sqn to be lost
Air Mechanic 1st Class John Dunbar Age 29 - killed 15/7/18 - What was the events of his death?
2nd Lt Cyril George Joyce Age 21 - killed in a flying accident 22/5/18
2nd Lt Hugh Casillis Smith Age 19 - killed 15/5/19 no further details known

Also

An individual by the name of; R.A.J.Sadler - date of death unknown - but has to be between 1/4/18 & 11/11/18 or possibily disbandment on 31/12/19

If anyone could assist, I would extremely grateful for news - and before the end of the month if possible?

Thanks in advance for your co-operation

Tony H
78 Sqn
RAF Benson

No 78 (Bomber) Squadron, Royal Air Force will be 95 years old on Tuesday 1st November 2011. It was formed at Stede Court, Harrietsham (Kent) on Wednesday 1st November 1916




#2 John(txic)

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 06:47 AM

Tony,


You might care to cast your net into here also:


http://www.theaerodr...m/wwi-aviation/




John

#3 Trevor Henshaw

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 02:14 PM

Hi Tony,

I've marked up below in bold what details I have on these men, and I hope it helps:

Hallo all

Seeking any additional information on the events surrounding the following casualties of No 78 (Home Defence) Sqn RFC / RAF between 1.11.16 & 31.12.19

Royal Flying Corps

2nd Lt David Dennys Fowler. Age 20 - killed in an air raid 17/3/17
17 March 1917 - 7180 BE2e 78(HD)Sqn Telscombe Cliffs - AZep left 12-01am flat spin on turn 9 mins after take off broke up fire wr (2Lt DD Fowler KIFA) first 78 Sqn op.
2nd Lt Cyril Frenerick Crapp. Age 23 - killed in a flying accident 22/5/17 NB: is this death connected to the one below??
2nd Lt William John Douglas Vince. Age 27 - killed 22/5/17 - NB: is this death connected to the one above??
Yes, they were in an air collision:
22 May 1917
6581 BE12 78(HD)Sqn - air coll with A602 near HOVE (Lt CF Crapp KIFA)
A602 BE12A 78(HD)Sqn - air coll with 6581 near HOVE (Lt WJP Vince KIFA)


2nd Lt Sidney Rex Burton. Age 27 - killed in a flying accident 11/9/17
11 September 1917 - B2582 Sopwith Strutter 78(HD)Sqn Abbey Wood - hit trees ldg (2Lt SR Burton KIFA/2AM S Rescorla inj) shaken
2nd Lt William Hayes?? Pickup. Age NK - killed 12/3/18 no further details known
12 March 1918 - C1625 Sopwith Camel 78Sqn Hornchurch - Prac spinning nose dive from 1000' wr (2Lt WH Pickup KIFA)
Capt SP Gamon. Age 23 - killed during aerobatics 17/3/18 in Camel C6726
23 March 1918 (note date!) - C6726 Sopwith Camel 78Sqn Hornchurch - Prac spinning nose dive wr (Capt SP Gamon KIFA)
Also

An individual by the name of; A. De Tessier - date of death unknown - but has to be between 1/11/16 & 31/3/18 but listed as killed whilst serving with 78 HD Sqn RFC
I believe his name's slightly different:
12 October 1917 - A8249 Sopwith Strutter 78(HD)Sqn - Prac stall on tk off cr (2Lt A de Teissier KIFA)
Royal Air Force

Maj Cuthbert Roger Rowden MC Age 21 - killed 20/4/18 in Camel C6717 NB: the first (of two) Officer Commanding 78 Sqn to be lost
20 April 1918 - C6717 Sopwith Camel 78Sqn Hornchurch - bad flying spinning nose dive cr (Maj CR Rowden KIFA)


Air Mechanic 1st Class John Dunbar Age 29 - killed 15/7/18 - What was the events of his death?
15 July 1918 - B9249 Sopwith Camel 78Sqn - hit by prop (1AM J Dunbar Kld)

2nd Lt Cyril George Joyce Age 21 - killed in a flying accident 22/5/18
22 May 1918 - D6677 Sopwith Camel 78Sqn - engine choked spinning nose dive cr (2Lt CG Joyce DoI)
2nd Lt Hugh Casillis Smith Age 19 - killed 15/5/19 no further details known
15 May 1919 - E8139 Sopwith Snipe 78Sqn Hornchurch - spinning nose dive cr wr (2Lt HC Smith KIFA)

Also

[/b]An individual by the name of; R.A.J.Sadler - date of death unknown - but has to be between 1/4/18 & 11/11/18 or possibily disbandment on 31/12/19
23 September 1918 - C1582 Sopwith Camel 78Sqn - Prac spinning nose dive cr (2Lt RA Sadler KIFA)

If anyone could assist, I would extremely grateful for news - and before the end of the month if possible?


Very happy to help Tony.

Regards,

Trevor

#4 Trevor Henshaw

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 02:28 PM

Tony,

And here are a three more more injureds and another fatality from your Squadron during the late 1918-early 1919 period. You might want to add them in:

17 October 1918 - D9576 Sopwith Camel 78Sqn - cr (2Lt ST Chidderton inj)
30 December 1918 - D9459 Sopwith Camel 78Sqn - air coll with D6637 (of 44 Sqn) on climbing turn cr (2Lt CD Hurndall KIFA)
21 January 1919 - F1912 Sopwith Camel 78Sqn - weather ftl cr (Lt AC Thornton inj)
30 January 1919 - F2110 Sopwith Camel 78Sqn Hornchurch - injured swinging its prop (AC1 AJT Batchelor inj)


Think that's it!

Regards,

Trevor

#5 Tony H

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 05:40 PM

Trevor

Many, many thanks for this information- 95 years of very varid history is rapildy approaching. I just want to be sure that the first three years of it are correct!

If possible, can you please kindy confirm the ages of; 2nd Lt De Teisser, 2nd Lt Sadler, 2nd Lt Pickup and 2nd Lt Hurndall - and was he 78 or 44 Sqn aircrew . . .??

The only outstanding missing link is the location of our second HQ in Hove!

Kind Regards

Tony H

#6 Trevor Henshaw

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 06:31 PM

Hi Tony,

Sorry I don't have info about birth dates etc, but you're on the right forum to find out such details (Maybe put a query on the main Aviation Forum page - people are more likely to see it all there, despite you having a Home Defence query).
Most of the above info came off the Casualty Cards held at RAF Museum, and on these (having just checked my transcriptions) Hurndall is definitely shown as 78 Squadron - with the other aircraft showing up as being from 44 Squadron. The details of the latter are:
D6637 Sopwith Camel 44Sqn - air collision with D9459 (Lt WAH Ellercamp KIFA), whose Casualty Card is actually the source of the tie-up - i.e. this card mentions the collision. The details are also referred to in Sturtivant and Page's "The Camel File" - Air Britain, and match what I've given you.

I agree with you - it's worth making sure your details of the early years are as accurate as you can make them. There's quite a bit about the squadron in these years in a Putnam Book - The Air Defence of Great Britain by Cole and Cheeseman (in fact, this gives you details of every home defence sortie they flew in WW1)

Regarding Hove, I'm not at all savy about where the base was exactly at that town, but this is all I've gleened over the years about your unit's locations, parent groups, COs etc

LOCATIONS
Formed as No.78(Home Defence) Sqn RFC on 1 Nov 1916 at Harrietsham
Harrietsham 1.11.16
Hove (HQ) Dec.16
Detachments at Telscombe Cliffs, Chiddingstone Causeway (later renamed Penshurst) until Sep 1917
Detachment at Gosport until Jul 1917
Suttons Farm (HQ) 20.9.17

Became No.78 Sqn RAF 1 Apr 1918 at Suttons Farm
Suttons Farm (HQ) 1.4.18
Detachment at Biggin Hill
Squadron disbanded 31 Dec 1919
Reformed as No.78 (Bomber) Squadron on 1 Nov 1936 at Boscombe Down.

PARENT FORMATIONS

Home Defence Wing Nov 1916 - Sep 1917
Eastern Home Defence Wing Sep - Oct 1917
49th HD Wing - VI Bgde Oct 1917 - May 1918
49th HD Wing - Southern Group - VI Bgde Jun 1918 - Jun 1919

COMMANDING OFFICERS

Formed as No.78(Home Defence) Sqn RFC on 1 Nov 1916 at Harrietsham
Maj HA Van Ryneveld MC 1.11.16
Maj JC Halahan 20.4.17
Maj CR Rowden MC 5.7.17

Became No.78 Sqn RAF 1 Apr 1918 at Suttons Farm
Maj CR Rowden MC 1.4.18
Maj G Allen 26.4.18
Maj CJ Truran 12.8.18 - @1.19
Squadron disbanded 31 Dec 1919

Hopefully the above is vaguely correct! Regarding details about the flights at Biggin Hill I've never been able to track details down.

Finally I should mention you had a WW1 ace on strength of 78 Squadron at one time:
Capt D'Urban Victor ARMSTRONG DFC (South African), active 1917-1918: who had 5 victories as a Sopwith Camel pilot. He'd been earlier with 60 & 44 Squadrons and was later with 151 Sqn (Camel Night Fighters). He was considered by many as one of the supreme (possibly even the very best) acrobatic pilots of the RFC/RAF in the Great War, but just two days after the Armistice this caught up with him when he was stunting in 151 Sqn Camel C6713 and crashed at BOUVRINCOURT at 2-20pm and was killed.

Some more names - to remember - at any rate.

I'm happy to help in any further way.

Best Regards,

Trevor

#7 Tony H

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 06:54 PM

Trevor

When convenient please contact me at; tonyhibberd752@yahoo.co.uk

Thanks

Tony