Saturday, September 23, 2017

Famous German Airman Killed on West Front -- September 23, 2017

Bisbee Daily Review, 03-October-1917

German ace Werner Voss, was shot down on 23-September-1917 after an epic dogfight.   This article from the03-October-1917 Bisbee, Arizona Daily Review, gives some inaccurate details.  The Germans did not find Georges Guynemer.  He is still missing.  The British did not allow their aviators to be identified. "Brown" may have been James McCudden.

Lieutenant Vosse, Missing Since Late In September, Identified. Was Killed By British Airplane Pilot

(By Review Leased Wire) 

BRITISH HEADQUARTERS IN FRANCE AND BELGIUM. -- Monday, October 1. -- The body of the famous German aviator, Lieutenant Vosse who was recently reported in a German official communication as missing, has been found within the British lines and British airmen have already dropped messages behind the German front, giving notification of his death.

Vtosse was killed September 23 while engaged in a spectacular combat with a British airman. It is a peculiar coincidence that the famous French airman. Captain Guynemer lost his life about the same time in battle over enemy territory and was reported missing until the Germans found and identified the body.

The opponent of Vosse is one of the most brilliant British aviators who for the purposes of this narrative may be referred to as Brown that not being his real name. Here is the story:

The Story.

A number of British planes were patrolling on the twenty-third, flying at a height of 7,000 feet when one of them was attacked by a German red-nosed Albatross and a triplane. It appeared later that Vosse was the pilot of the triplane. Two other planes rushed up and engaged these two, with a third enemy scout who appeared on the scene. About eleven other enemy planes were waiting at a distance to join in the fray but did not attack as some ten British planes were circling about keeping them off.

Third Enemy Joins.

The third enemy scout who had joined in the combat vanished but the Albatross and the triplane fought in wonderful form. Brown singled but the triplane and a hard fight ensued. Brown got in a number of good bursts from his machine-gun and several times had to change drums on his gun, so furiously was he firing.

Opponents Circle.

For a long time the two opponents circled, dived and maneuvered for position and so close were they at times that only a few inches separated their wings. Eventually Brown got a little above Vosse and made for triplane, the British airman working his machine gun steadily all the time.

Narrow Escape.

Vosse passed Brown's right wing by inches and dived. The British airman wheeled into position and observed the German gliding westward with his engine shut off. He dived again and got a good shot at his opponent; then followed this with a heavy burst from his gun and Vosse did a slight right-hand turn and continued to go down until he disappeared.

End Of Battle.

This ended the adventure so far as Brown was concerned. He flew away, not knowing who his opponent had been or what had become of him. Later the shattered machine was found and the body identified.

Much Fighting Lately.

There has been much fighting in the air recently and the aviators have had some remarkable experiences. One British lieutenant, flying last Wednesday, had just forced the enemy to pull down a big balloon when he was engaged by machine-guns from the ground. He dived on the gunners and fired more than a hundred rounds, dispersing the crew, who fled, leaving two of their number stretched on the ground. Continuing onward, the lieutenant had nine separate combats with enemy planes. Eight of these were indecisive, but in the other case he brought down the German.

Returns Home.

In this last combat he got right on the enemy plane, first killing the observer, then firing into the pilot and engines. The enemy plane spun down to earth. The British airman engaged in still further fighting and returned home very much shot about, one bullet having pierced the ear pad of his flying cap.

No comments: