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#4295703 - 09/12/16 11:33 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Clever Saville
Sgt, RFC
70 Sqn
Fienvillers, Flanders.


Sept 12, 1916.

Holy smokes, these Fokker's had 2 wings. We did a Line Patrol at 1500 meters and contacted 3 e/a. A nice little shoot up till one got on my tail couldn't shake him and he hung right where my gunner couldnt shoot him. All I could do was RUN.

Ammo Rpt. Vickers 112 rds fired / Lewis 97 Rds fired No hits.

Sgn RPT. 1 Sopwith 1 1/2 er destroyed. No claims of e/a.


#4295932 - 09/13/16 05:11 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Clever Saville
Sgt, RFC
70 Sqn
Fienvillers, Flanders.

Sept 13, 1916


Another 3 a/c line Patrol with no contact.

#4296013 - 09/13/16 09:45 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Give them hell Carrick. I'm still flying the Fee and my gunner is having all the fun. Thinking of switching to Strutters.


"Take the cylinder out of my kidneys,
The connecting rod out of my brain, my brain,
From out of my arse take the camshaft,
And assemble the engine again."
#4296048 - 09/14/16 12:35 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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2Lt Alfred Keers is finally back in the air...

My mechanics thanked me for burning my DeHavilland so thoroughly. They estimated it saved them thirty-six hours of repair work. The back strain from my two wrecks continued to bother me. At times it was difficult to walk. I slept with a board under my mattress. For the first three days I was ordered to rest and then begin mild stretching exercises.

On 6 May I was sent over to St-Omer, ostensibly to await delivery of a new machine, but in fact to get more hours in on the DH2. I headed over to the depot on after dinner that night. Lieut. Kennedy-Cochran-Patrick, the OC Depot, welcomed me back like a long-lost brother and insisted I stand him a gin in the mess to celebrate my commission. There were two DH2s earmarked for 32 Squadron. He assigned me one and said I should treat it as my own machine for a couple of days or until someone came to pick it up. But best of all, he flew the other alongside me. We practised dead-stick landings, S-turns, and spin recovery. The DH2 had a reputation for spinning its pilots into the ground, but it was actually quite simple to get it out of a spin as long as you had a bit of altitude. Patrick then led me in games of follow-the-leader. He threw his machine all over the sky. I soon learned that Id been far too light on the rudder. This aeroplane needs a good boot on the rudder bar to start a good turn. Aileron can wait. The thing is light and easy to turn, as long as you keep your speed up.

My two days were well-spent. By the time I my replacement machine arrived from England, Id regained my confidence. Now all I had to do was learn to shoot in the thing. But my plans for some extensive practice shooting were dashed by the weather. It rained every day for a week.

Finally, on 16 May 1916, I was added once more to the duty board. To my delight, I was assigned to lead a three-aircraft raid on the Hun aerodrome at Lille. There was heavy cloud from 7000 to 9500 feet. I led the fellows through it and emerged into glorious sunshine, the first Id seen in a long while. We followed a bearing southeast for twenty-five minutes, which should have placed us over the Lys river. When I finally found a break in the clouds, no river could be seen. We descended and continued southeast. At 3000 feet I made out the smoke from a thousand chimneys off to the east. We had nearly overshot Lille!

Turning north and following the lines, I at last saw the line of hangars at our target aerodrome. I fired a green flare, our attack signal, and made a firing pass over the hangar. Sergeants Thomas and Long followed close behind. I turned for a second run, emptying my drum and pulling up only when my wheels skimmed the rooftops of the Hun buildings.

Suddenly there were three loud smacking sounds. Two holes appeared in the instrument panel in front of me and there was a gash in the arm of my leather flying-suit. I regained height and checked my instruments. The LeRhne continued steadily. I fired a red flare to order the flight to regroup. The scene we left behind was rewarding. We saw an overturned tender and a hangar and fuel dump on fire.

We made for home. I was looking forward to our second, real breakfast when we got back to Abeele. This time I cleared the treetops and cut the engine only when nearly on the ground and down to 50 m.p.h.

As I dismounted I noticed for the first time that the mechanics has stencilled a small yellow arrow on the side of the DeHavilland's nacelle. It pointed upwards and beneath it were stencilled the words, "This end up. Handle with care."




"This time I cleared the treetops..."


#4296176 - 09/14/16 04:43 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Clever Saville
Sgt, RFC
70 Sqn
Fienvillers, Flanders.


14 Sep 1916.

Patrol up to Messines= No Joy.

#4296478 - 09/15/16 07:58 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Clever Saville
Sgt, RFC
70 Sqn
Fienvillers, Flanders.

Sept 15 1916.

Security Patrol: Same O no joy.

#4296592 - 09/16/16 02:30 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Raine Offline
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New Brunswick, Canada
Alfred Keers is on a hot streak...dance

Now that the winter was over, the great military mind that plans such things thought we might enjoy moving out of our tents and into huts. A row of Nissen huts was erected, with officers billeted at one end and sergeant-pilots at the other. 29 Squadron had a surfeit of sergeant-pilots. There were only four flying officers other than the major: me, Lieutenant Tom Pillings, and Second Lieutenants Rick Bolster and Rob Dinton. We all shared a single Nissen.

Pillings was from Derbyshire, a cherub-faced, short fellow with a silly sense of humour. He could play the piano. Rick was the son of a station master in Dorset. He claimed to know ninety-nine ways to make love, but I dont believe he knew any women. He should make a fine consultant one day. Rob Dinton was our resident toff, a Cambridge student who vowed it his lifes work to make teach me the works of Shakespeare and Milton. I vowed to make it my lifes work to frustrate his efforts. Our typical conversations sounded like this:

Dinton: Shakespeare and Milton. You absolutely must know them, Keers.

Me: Shakespeare and Milton...arent they the lot that did that funny bit about the vicar and the flower girl and opened for Vesta Tilley at the Royal Variety last year?

Let me describe our home at Abeele. A dirt road ran along the south end of the field where our huts were built. Every night vehicles, waggons, and men plodded along it going to or from Ypres, just a short way to the east of us. To the north of our huts lay a cluster of farm buildings. Our squadron office was set up in the main house and the officers mess in an outbuilding. Beyond the farm were a number of sheds, used mainly for vehicles and equipment storage. Our gunnery officer, Captain Bowlby, had done himself an office and billet in one of them. Hed fitted it out with all manner of buckshee furniture and ruled over his little kingdom like a tin god on his own island.

The hangars and landing ground were just west of all this, in a long field across a north-south dirt lane. All in all, Abeele was a comfortable spot even if the guns were a bit too close for sound sleeping. Looking east on a clear day, you could see the Hun balloon lines from the aerodrome.

17 and 18 May 1916 offered a bit of adventure. I was up twice each day, and on all four occasions, Major Dawes had me leading a three-aircraft patrol. On the morning of the 17th we shot up another rail siding near Lille. I flew so low I rolled the wheels of my DH2 on the top of a Hun railway carriage! On our return, I patrolled north through deepest Hunland, seeing nothing. We spotted a pair of two-seaters on our way back, Aviatiks or Albatros types, but we gave up the chase as fuel was getting low.

In the afternoon we escorted a pair of naval Sopwith Strutters to bomb the enemy aerodrome at Ghistelles. Things got interesting. Three Fokkers dived on the Strutters, obviously not noticing our DeHavillands perched above them. We charged to the rescue, each picking our target. My opening shots obviously hit the engine of the Fokker Id selected, for the machines propeller stopped and it drifted down and turned over in a field. We were now very low down. A second Fokker tried to get behind me, but I gave him the slip and dropped behind and below him. He lost me and made the mistake of flying straight for a few seconds too long. I popped up on his tail and fired until the machine tumbled out of the sky. Sergeant Thomas was right behind me and saw the whole thing. The two Huns Id downed in less than five minutes brought my official tally up to six kills! I began to feel like a bit of a star turn.

The 18th began with an attack on the German balloon line near Passchendaele. It was cloudy and I became unsure whether the first balloon we spotted was our assigned target. We attacked it anyway. I emptied a drum into it without result, but Sergeant Long flamed it. Then we turned north and spotted another gasbag. As I was well ahead of the others I got two passes at it and set it alight before the others arrived. Kill number seven!

We were up again in the afternoon, an uneventful escort of a group of Fees down to Lille. The highlight of the week was a binge in my honour that evening. I have a vague recollection of playing rugby in the mess with a cabbage. It will take a couple of days pay from each of us to replace the furniture we destroyed.


"My opening shots obviously hit the engine of the Fokker Id selected, for the machines propeller stopped and it drifted down and turned over in a field."


"I popped up on his tail and fired until the machine tumbled out of the sky."



#4296865 - 09/16/16 08:11 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Fullofit: The 1 1/2 ers are a good bet in 1916. Easy fly when compareed to the DH2. Come on down !

Last edited by carrick58; 09/16/16 08:11 PM.
#4296868 - 09/16/16 08:22 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Clever Saville
Sgt, RFC
70 Sqn
Fienvillers, Flanders.

Sept 16, 1916.

Rail Yard near Peronne.

A Flt: 3 a/c 2nd wave.
B Flt: 4 a/c 1st Attack Wave.

Arm: Full machine gun ammo, + 4 Bombs on each a/c.

Remarks: a rough one, we caught Cannon fire, not very accurate, from the NML all the way to target. As tail end charlie spotted 2 Hits near rail shed all others missed. A Flt attacked low, no hits.
Sqn Rept: A Flt 3 missing. B Flt: 2 lt damaged.


#4297292 - 09/18/16 07:13 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Banjoman Offline
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Antigua, Guatemala
Here is the latest status report.




Last edited by Banjoman; 09/18/16 07:14 PM.

Member and provider of banjo music for the Illustrious BOC
#4297454 - 09/19/16 02:47 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Thanks for the Chart BanjoMan. Hope all is well with you and yours.


Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from either end.
BOC Member since....I can't remember!
#4297538 - 09/19/16 08:25 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Clever Saville
Sgt, RFC
70 Sqn
Fienvillers, Flanders.


Sept 19, 1916.

Sent out to Bombard an enemy A.F.

Location: Ugny

B Flt: 4 machines
Load: 4 0 lb bombs EA.

Remarks: Good Mission, alot of hits and the fuel dump. The flight bomb High and I bombed low. In addition to 2 Machine gun low level attacks.

Ammo Rpt: 84 Rds Vickers + 46 rds Lewis.





Sgn Rpt: 2 a/c lt damage.

#4297593 - 09/20/16 12:40 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Raine Offline
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New Brunswick, Canada
Banjoman, thank you for keeping us all up to date. Hope you're getting everything sorted out after your big move. Best wishes!

Here is Alfred Keers' latest report...

The next few days saw generally fair weather and we flew morning and afternoon, usually in flights of three. On the morning of 19 May 1916 I went with Sgt Noakes and Sgt Thomas to attack a Hun balloon west of Lille. I saw it first and led the attack, flaming the balloon before the others had a chance to join in. The Hun observer used a parachute to escape. This became my eight confirmed kill. As we regrouped two enemy two-seaters passed us by. We gave chase and took some long shots at them, enough to put the wind up them properly. They put down their noses and ran for the Hun aerodrome at Houplin.

The follow day was a shock. The morning patrol had us attacking a rail yard north of Lille. We went with A Flight and between the two flights, we shot up the place thoroughly. The ground fire was intense and I landed with a number of holes in my machine, including a fairly close grouping just behind my seat. Sergeant Thomas, however, did not return. Neither Sgt Noakes nor I saw what happened to him. Also, A flight returned before lunch without Rob Dinton. He took a direct hit from Archie. We sorted his kit for packing in the afternoon. Pillings and Bolster decided that he would want me to have his Everymans Library volume of Shakespeares comedies. I have resolved to read the damn thing before I go home on leave.

I miss Rob. Our little hut is darker and colder. I have never known anyone like him to be so friendly and approachable. If back home hed wandered through the engine shops of the Seaham Harbour Dock Company, Id have joined with the lads in making his upper-crust life miserable. But here at the front he was just one of us, or perhaps I was one of them. It just doesnt matter like it does at home. He was a softer man than any Id known, yet he flew without fear. His education had cost his father thousands of pounds, Im sure. Yet a few bits of German tin and a couple of ounces of powder had erased him from the world of men. The world is less without him.

We have been reading of the insurrection in Dublin and the trials there. Our Irish among the ORs generally express concern that their service in France will be devalued by the misguided idealists back home. It is a complicated thing for them, and Major Dawes cautioned us to be reserved if asked about the uprising. It seems like a simple case of treachery to me, but thats why Im not in politics.

On the morning of 21 May we attacked the balloon line near Menen. I attacked two of them and downed one, but Id separated from Noakes and it was just the two of us, so my claim remains pending. That afternoon we were off for an airfield attack near Lille, but I dropped out over Armentieres with a dud engine. It quit entirely as I crossed back over our lines and I put it down in a farm field outside the village of Steenwerke, just getting over one fence and just stopping before crashing into another.


"...I put it down in a farm field outside the village of Steenwerke, just getting over one fence and just stopping before crashing into another."

#4297617 - 09/20/16 07:49 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Good to hear from you, Banjoman! It must have been a real big change for you to move to another country. I hope all goes well! smile

I always read and enjoy the reports here. Sadly I haven't had the time to keep actively flying two DID pilots. The older DID is now in such a critical phase that I have devoted my flying hours to it. But I hope to continue this one too sooner or later.

Nice to see Alfred has now stopped wrecking his machines on landing. biggrin


"Upon my word I've had as much excitement on a car as in the air, especially since the R.F.C. have had women drivers."

James McCudden, Five Years in the Royal Flying Corps
#4297823 - 09/21/16 03:28 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Clever Saville
Sgt, RFC
70 Sqn
Fienvillers, Flanders.


Sept 20, 1916.


On the Roster for a Rail attack,but didnt make it. Power loss after take off, Full power but she ran like it was 50 % so aborted and RTB cutting off motor and doing the Dead Stick.

#4298316 - 09/23/16 12:35 AM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Raine Offline
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Alfred Keers's last few days started with good news and ended quietly...

The evening of 21 May 1916 was memorable. That expression normally denotes that one remembers many things about the time. In my case it is quite the opposite. Oh, it started off well enough. My crate was downed in a field twenty miles away at three in the afternoon and it took until nearly eight oclock to get the thing airborne again. Id got myself a ride into Armentieres while the recovery team slaved away. There is a restaurant there the Au Boeuf on the Rue de Lille that some of the lads had spoken of. My grimy leather flying coat and oil-stained face was a nice contrast to the staff wallahs at the next table. Madame served up a fine but mysterious sausage with eggs and potatoes, all washed down with dark beer. The front room was crowded (the back had separate rooms so the rest of us wouldnt have to put up with the red tabs) and two New Zealand subalterns shared a table with me. They were fine fellows, I believe, for I understood about every third word they spoke. I returned to my machine around seven and we got it off the ground a half-hour later, getting back to Abeele just before dark.

I washed quickly and wandered over to the Mess, where I was met with a loud cheer. Major Dawes stood on a chair and announced that Id been promoted Lieutenant and would finally earn enough to buy a tunic that fit properly. And then he announced that the balloon Id downed yesterday had been confirmed, bringing my official score up to nine, quite possibly the highest score of all living British pilots now in France.

Thats when the champagne began. And there was whiskey. And beer. Things became vague quickly. I awoke around three in the morning to the rumble of guns in my ears and a light rain on my face; I found myself draped over a pile of sandbags outside the Nissen. My tunic, breeches, and boots were gone Pillings and Bolster had pulled them off me before I ruined them, as I seemed to have ruined my singlet and pants adorned with foul-smelling bits of Au Boeuf sausage. I half-crawled to my bed and prayed for the room to stop spinning.

I was scrubbed from the earliest patrol and assigned along with Sergeant Long to patrol the Hun lines near Bethune. We attacked two observation aeroplanes, one of which hit my fuel line, so once again I made an unscheduled stop, this time at the field at La Gorgue.

In the afternoon of 22 May we patrolled our own lines as far south as the Lys River, but saw nothing of the enemy. Pillings was forced to land in German territory when his engine failed. A strong headwind made any thought of getting home impossible. We are confident of his safe landing but are waiting to hear a confirmation that he is all right.

On 23 May the rain started and continued without stop for the next two days. I regained my appetite, got a proper bath in town, and caught up on my letter-writing.


"...once again I made an unscheduled stop, this time at the field at La Gorgue."

#4298408 - 09/23/16 12:49 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Germany


make mistakes and learn from them

I5 4440 3.1Ghz, Asrock B85m Pro3, Gtx 1060 3GB
#4298417 - 09/23/16 02:03 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Clever Saville
Sgt, RFC
70 Sqn
Fienvillers, Flanders.

Sept 23, 1916.


Up for a Flight then the Motor went U/s. I made a landing on a road.

#4298525 - 09/23/16 10:17 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Banjoman Offline
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Antigua, Guatemala
Journal Entry: September 23, 1916
St. Pol-sur-Mer

Had a rather interesting engagement this morning. We had been hearing quite a lot of rumors and speculation concerning the Albatros a new Hun machine that has begun to be deployed in the Hun scout squadrons. Since I first heard of this machine I had wanted to have a go at one of them to see how they measure up to our Pups. This morning I got my chance and the fact that I'm writing this should tell you that our Pups are still supreme.

We were tasked with escorting three Strutters over to the Passchendaele area for a bit of recon work. We had just arrived in the area when I saw three Hun machines to our northeast and flying below us. They were of a size and shape that I had never seen before and so I drifted closer and determined that these must be the brand new Albatroses that we had heard so much about. I signaled Richard and down we went. The Huns didn't see us until we were almost upon them and in their panic one collided with another and plunged earthward plummeting smoke. That evened the odds and the engagement began in earnest. I can't speak for Richard but I had no difficulty getting on the tail of my opponent. After a couple of bursts, I saw the Hun slump forward and the machine immediately started spinning. I quickly spotted Richard just as he was dispatching his Hun. I would imagine the Albatros is a more powerful machine than our Pups, but as far as maneuverability it appears to be rather clumsy. I realize that I can not build tactics based upon one engagement, but I will start watching to learn how best to defeat this new Hun machine. I can definitely say that as today the Roland is still the toughest Hun nut to crack.





Member and provider of banjo music for the Illustrious BOC
#4298545 - 09/23/16 11:53 PM Re: DiD Centenary Challenge [Re: CatKnight]  
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Fullofit Offline
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Ajax, ON
Today the orders took us over enemy airfield. When we reached it, a lone Fokker came to greet us. My gunner/observer took aim and sent a burst his way to say hello. The Hun dove down and never recovered. He crashed between 2 hangars taking them both out. When we finally stopped leaning over the side of the nacelle of our Fee to watch what has just happened, we looked at each other in disbelief and the gunner grinned and yelled to me: "BONUS!". We returned home without any further incidents.



"Take the cylinder out of my kidneys,
The connecting rod out of my brain, my brain,
From out of my arse take the camshaft,
And assemble the engine again."
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