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Pierce09

13 Sqn war diaries

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Pierce09

To anyone who is interested, i am in the process of digitising the war diaries for 13 Sqn from it's inception at Gosport on 10-1-15 through to it's disbandment at Sedgeford on 24-3-19

i am more than happy to look up any details or enquiries regarding the sqn's activities during this time. Just PM me with details

Rhys

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sadsac

Rhys, just for interest, which you may already have, here are awards to two members of 13 Squadron ;

HORTSMAN Frederick G N/E Flt.Lt. RNAS 85T280 No.13 Squadron

Vice Admiral Dover Patrol 17.04.18 Gazetted

R.N.A.S. Officers - Flanders 1918 DSC

For good services rendered in a bombing attack on Ostende Seaplane Base, on the 3rd March, 1918, when many direct hits were made.

Also for skill and courage as a Fighting Pilot during many engagements with the enemy.

PAYNTER John de C. N/E Flt.Lt. RNAS 85T280 No.13 Squadron

Vice Admiral Dover Patrol 17.04.18 Gazetted

R.N.A.S. Officers - Flanders 1918 DSC For the good work performed by him during a bomb attack on Ostende Seaplane Base, on the 3rd March, 1918.He has shown zeal and courage as a Fighting Pilot, having destroyed three enemy machines, and been twice wounded in aerial combats.

Sadsac

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Pierce09

thanks, i shall add these two.

i'm only up to 1916 so i haven't looked this far in as yet!

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fetubi

Rhys and Sadsac,

I suspect Rhys is researching 13 Squadron Royal Flying Corps/RAF, whilst Hortsman and Paynter look like they were serving with a different unit, 13 Squadron Royal Naval Air Service.

Hope this helps.

Trevor

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sadsac

Trevor, you may well be correct, I have only posted what the Award says.

RHYS, please take note of Trevor's input !!

Apologies if I confuse - am no great expert in RAF / RNAS matters.

Have taken note of it.

Sadsac

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fetubi

Sadsac,

It's fascinating to see the Citations. Thanks for posting them.

Trevor

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topgun1918

The citation for Paynter's Distinguished Service Cross appears in the London Gazette of Wednesday, 17 April 1918 (Gazette number 30635, page number 4647) and reads:

Flt. Lieut. John de Campbourne Paynter, R.N.A.S.

For the good work performed by him during a bombing attack on Ostende Seaplane Base on the 3rd March, 1918, carried out in spite of very adverse weather conditions. He has shown great zeal and courage as a fighting pilot, having destroyed several enemy, machines, and been twice wounded in aerial combats.

As far as I can see, he gained 12 victories with No 9 Sqn RNAS, the Seaplane Defence Flight, No 13 Sqn RNAS and No 213 sqn RAF.

Horstman's DSC was announced in the same Gazette (also on page number 4647) with the following citation:

Flt. Lieut. Frederick George Horstman, R.N.A.S.

For good services rendered in a bombing attack on Ostende Seaplane Base on the 3rd March, 1918, when many direct hits were made. The raid was carried out in spite of very adverse weather conditions. He has also shown skill and courage as a fighting pilot during many engagements with the enemy.

I have no record of any victories claimed by him.

Graeme

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Pierce09

thanks for informing me! i had a quick look today whilst at work and couldn't find any mention and i suspected this was RNAS but couldn't look up this message to confirm!

Rhys

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Bernoullis

Pierce09

i am in the process of digitising the war diaries for 13 Sqn from it's inception at Gosport on 10-1-15 through to it's disbandment at Sedgeford on 24-3-19

I am curious in the process - are you digitising 13 Sqn's War Diaries on behalf of an organisation who holds them, or have you acquired the Diaries somehow? I am in the very early phases of researching a pilot who flew with 70, 45 and 40 Sqns during WW1, and have often wondered where/who/how/why War Diaries and Operations Record Books are kept/digitised/made available to researchers.

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Pierce09

i have been tasked by the owner of the diaries to type them up so that they are not lost. i have a wealth of information and i'm a bit busy with work this month so i've had to put it on hold at the moment. here is a few pages that i've photographed and started to type up.

also a small pic of a Bristol propeller that has the inscription of the pilots from 13th Sqn in 1917 at Arras

phonestuffagain014.jpg

phonestuffagain006.jpg

also have a letter recommending Lt Norton for the MC and the official submission

phonestuffagain003.jpg

phonestuffagain011.jpg

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topgun1918

Pierce09

I'm a little confused by the details on the propeller blade. The first-named pilot, Capt G O Brunwin-Hales, was shot down and killed on 24 March 1917, yet the prop is inscribed with the date 9 April.

Flight magazine ran the following obituary:

Captain GREVILLE OXLEY BRUNWIN-HALES Essex Regiment and R.F.C., killed while flying at the Front, aged 27, was the elder son of Canon and Mrs. Brunwin-Hales, of Colchester, and grandson of the late Rev. George Hales, of Norfolk and Yorkshire, and of the late John Oxley Parker, of Woodham, Mortimer Place, Essex. He was educated, like his father, at Winchester and Jesus College, Cambridge, and when war broke out was land agent to Mr. Christopher Turnor, of Stoke Rochford, Lincolnshire, and also to the Dowager Lady Carnarvon. He was gazetted Flight-Commander last December. His only brother, Second Lieutenant H. T. Brunwin-Hales, Lincoln Regiment, fell in the battle of Loos in October, 1915.

His observer on this date was Lt Ayton Richey Leggo (shown as A P Leggo on the propeller), a Canadian. He too was killed.

Graeme

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Pierce09

Graeme,

having checked against the war diary, i agree this is quite strange. i shall try and find out more about the propeller as i have no answer!

i have found the relevant dates in the war diary and i'll post pics of the pages on here as soon as i can. but an interesting point that i have no details on!

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topgun1918

Pierce09

Just to add fuel to the fire:

2nd Lt Oswald Frederick Grevatte Ball and Lt Herbert Howell-Evans were killed in action on 5 April 1917 in BE2c 2520.

Graeme

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mickdavis

2520 Presentation a/c Gatooma, replacing 2119. At Birmingham 14.7.1916 allotted to EF France. 2 AD Candas tested 28.7.1916. 12 Sqn Avesnes-le-Comte dd ex 2 AD 30.7.1916. 13 Sqn Savy dd ex 12 Sqn 2.1.1917 damaged by AA 11.2.1917 (squadron repair), vict 19.3.1917 (Flt Sgt Ryder/Lt JHS Alexander sent an EA OOC) and LIA 5.4.1917 when hit by British AA (2Lt OFG Ball/Lt HH Evans both killed).

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topgun1918

Mick

Bizarrely, RFC Communique number 80 reports:

March 24 - F/Sgt C Ryder & Lt J E S Alexander, 2 Squadron, drove down a Halberstadt out of control.

Graeme

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Pierce09

Graeme,

Sqn war diaries have April casualties as below. this is an exact transcription of what the diaries have written down:-

2nd Apr Lt P J C Powell )

1 A/M P.Bonner) Missing and Dead

5th Apr 2/Lt O F G Ball )

Lt H Howell-Evans ) Machine shot down at St Catherine by one of our shells. Both killed

5th Apr 2/LT G E Brookes Wounded in Action

2 A/M J Bolton Killed in Action

11th Apr 2/Lt E C E Derwin )

2 A/M Pierson ) Shot down by H.A. both wounded

2/Lt E R Gunner )

Lt C Curtis ) Wounded in Action

2/Lt E T Dunford Missing Dead*

Cpl G Stewart Missing Dead*

*War office list shows as having D of W on 25 Apr 1917 as POW

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Pierce09

summarising; i think the propeller was a memorial to pilots, killed or missing up to the Battle of Arras in 1917. i can find Leggo and Hales as KIA, Powell as missing presumed dead, Ball and Evans as killed accidentally all listed in the Diaries. i'm going to see if the other pilots mentioned are listed as KIA or similar but with other sqns and previously served with 13 Sqn.

all the more intriguing!!

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jimmymc

Hi

I'm definitely interested in anything about 13 Squadron. I'm very new to this, but there was always a family 'rumour' about my grandad flying in WW1. I've known for a while that I have what I believe to be his flying goggles, and a few photos of trenches he took. A couple of weeks ago, I found ~80 negatives of photos he took between 1917-1918 (I've scanned one of them in, but I'm nervous about doing them all as they're so delicate - I will hunt down some professional advice on how to handle/scan them).

Some of the photos are of him in uniform, and with his aircraft, and a couple of his colleagues ('Captain Walker' is mentioned, as is a man named 'Miller'). I have no proof currently, that he was in 13 Squadron - but I did find a menu with a bunch of autographs (attached), which mentions it. I shall have to start the long road of research!

Menu Front:

Menu Front   Greetings from 13 Squadron In The Field 1917

Menu Inside:

Menu Inside   Greetings from 13 Squadron In The Field 1917

Miller & Self (WK McMillan) on gate (from the negatives):

V19 Miller & Self (Walter Keith McMillan) On Gate

I have been trawling the forums for hints, and will continue to do so - but any hints, pointing me in the right direction as to personnel listed in that squadron would be much appreciated!

Cheers, James

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Pierce09

James,

i shall keep a lookout for any mention of a McMillan as i trawl and type up. having a quick look through the diaries, 1917 isn't as well documented as previous years but i'll let you know if anything is mentioned.

please let me know if you find anything out about your relative and a connection to 13 Sqn RFC!

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fetubi

James,

Bingo! I can confirm that your grandfather was in 13 Squadron.

And some more - he was involved in an aircraft crash on 22nd August 1917 in France - he was an observer, and that day he was with pilot 2Lt ELP Evans. They were in RE8 A4328, taking off at 5-35am for an Artillery Patrol (co-operating with the guns - directing fire etc) when they hit a haystack and crashed. Evans was slightly injured but you grandfather walked away - probably a bit shaken, given the time of the morning!

It's a wonderful find for you and your family that you've made. I wish you the best of luck with your project. I am sure you can get your negatives safely transferred. The idea of professional advice is a good one. I've done a bit of it myself. One option is to re-photograph them on a lightbox - this is very passive for an old, delicate original. But others will no doubt be able to help.

By the way, 13 Squadron were based at Étrun, just north-west of Arras at this time, and into the Christmas period of the card. The airfield there would have been where your grand-dad's crash occurred.

Thank you for sharing the images, and look forward to more!

All the best,

Trevor

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jimmymc

Trevor..

What can I say - fantastic work!! It's great to hear some personal history like that. Names and numbers are one thing, but experiences are wonderful to hear. Where did you find the information? Is it publicly accessible? I have a ton of papers and photos to sift through.. (found his call-up papers also). It might take some time, especially with the old negatives, but as soon as I can I'll be sure to post them all on the forum.

Thanks again.. brilliant stuff..

Cheers, James

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Pierce09

annoyingly, the diaries are very sparsely populated for 1917, i don't think the Adjutant of the Sqn at the time liked writing!

all it has down for the 22nd Aug is work as for 21st.

21st Artillery patrols, observation and photgraphy.

III Bde summary for 21st has :- Capt Robinson and Lt. Pocock during a flight of 4 hours ranged 113 S.B. on hostile battery 43 observations given, 5 being M.O.K. Then went on to range 86 S.B - 24 rounds observed, 2 being O.K. 2 pits damaged.

good luck with transferring the slides. really looking forward to seeing your posts!

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fetubi

Hi James,

I'm only too happy to help. That piece of information about the crash your grandfather was involved in came from my transcription of an RFC Casualty Report. These are kept in the 'AIR1' category at the National Archives at Kew, and are all viewable at Kew. It's almost certainly in file 'AIR1/850/204/5/390' which covers accidents and casualties from 16th to 31st August 1917.

If you can ascertain how long he was with the squadron then I can fill in a few more blanks for you. For example, from September onwards this squadron got very involved in photographic reconnaissance for the Cambrai battle (tanks et al) and took a key role in it. They were serving in 12th (Corps) Wing of the RFC right through this period, who were the Corps wing of III Brigade RFC. And in turn, therefore, they were serving the British 3rd Army, providing it with intelligence and support. So to see what your grandfather was doing in a wider sense your first port of call can now be to explore a bit about the British 3rd Army.

Good hunting.

Best Regards,

Trevor

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mickdavis

A4328
1 AAP
Coventry 13.6.1917 allotted to BEF, VTBF.
1 AD
dd ex England 24.6.1917.
13 Sqn
dd ex 1 AD 10.7.1917 (2Lt J.S. Green) and wrecked on take-off for Artillery Patrol, XVII Corps Front, 22.8.1917 (2Lt E.L.P. Evans IOAS/2Lt W.K. McMillan OK – the machine hit a small haystack with its undercarriage and crashed).
2 AD
ex 13 Sqn 29.8.1917 and deleted 1.9.1917.

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jimmymc

Looks like I've found a contact at a 'well-known museum' who might be able to help me digitise the negatives. WKW catalogued them all, which is nice as apparently a lot of the archives contain photos of 'unknown' at 'unknown' locations! It will take some time I expect, but I shall of course share as soon as I have them.

I found some documentation online at the National Archives - I'm not used to the writing, and don't really recognise some of the abbreviations which makes it even more difficult. If anyone is able to help me decipher them, I shall be owing a beer! (I think I already owe for some of you!)

This really is exciting stuff. I've started reading 'The Diary And Letters Of A World War I Fighter Pilot', by Christopher M. Burgess - to try and help me get some sort of an idea of life in the sky during the period.

Cheers, James

WKW National Archives AIR 76 327 97 004

WKW National Archives AIR 76 327 97 003

WKW National Archives AIR 76 327 97 002

WKW National Archives AIR 76 327 97 001

(I think I might have taken this a little off-topic. Not sure how strict the rules are - let me know and I'll be happy to continue in a new thread if something else comes up)

Edited by jimmymc

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