2 Sqn RFC Pilot
No 2 Squadron RAF
1918, Lt. Montgomerie's diary cont'd
Apr 4th Thurs
France and stayed at Folkestone Hotel, Boulogne for the night. Met
Max Deans and had dinner with him.
Apr 5th Fri
at Sqdn. Found they had made two bombing trips to the Somme. Chisnall
was wounded in the foot the first time- second time Smart and Barford
were missing [27 Mar a/c
serial B288 claimed
by Rittm M v Richthofen JG1 over Foucaucourt (1)]
- Dunkerly and Wardrope McLeod and Hammond were all severely
wounded. Hammond got three Huns and Spence one.
Lt. W H Wardrope
RFC Communiqué 133
Enemy Aircraft - 2nd Lt. H I Pole & Lt. L C
Spence, 2 Squadron, were attacked by six Fokker Triplanes and an EA
scout, and they shot down one Triplane out of control which burst
into flames before reaching the ground and was seen burning on the
ground west of Estrees.
Apr 6th Sat
Went up to try
shoot on NX 62 with 14 th SB but it was too dud. Heard
McLeod had been recommended for the VC and he got it. Blenkinsop and
Doran had a fight with the Huns. Doran was wounded in the arm. This
makes nine Huns to the Sqdn in three months.
2/Lt. Alan Arnett McLeod VC
2nd Lt. McLeod
was the last RFC recipient of the VC. The incident is recorded
in the RAF Communiqué 1.
While on a bombing
mission on 27 March, McLeod and his observer Lt.
A W Hammond MC, were attacked by eight
Fokker Triplanes of Jadgstaffel 6.
Driving three aircraft down out of
control, their aircraft caught fire
during the engagement and both McLeod and Hammond were severely
wounded [claimed by Ltn
H Kirschtein of Jasta 6 SW of Albert (1)].
McLeod famously stood on one wing, away from the fire, and managed
to pilot the aircraft to a landing in "No man's land".
McLeod having been thrown clear on landing, extracted Hammond from
the burning aircraft (still armed with bombs) and dragged him to
temporary safety. They were rescued by soldiers of the South African Scotish
Regiment. McLeod died subsequently on 6
Nov 1918 in Canada a victim of influenza while recovering from
his wounds. See link
for further details on McLeod's story. Arthur Hammond received a Bar
to his MC and went on to make a full recovery though he lost a leg.
RAF Communiqué No 1
2nd Lt.s E K Blenkinsop and C F G Doran, 2 Sqn, were attacked by
three EA triplanes and one enemy scout; 60 rounds were fired at close
range into one of the triplanes, which was seen to go down in flames.
Apr 7th Sun
shoot on the NX 62 with 164 th SB. Had Salt as an observer. Went in
to Bethune in the afternoon and met Smallwood who had just arrived
and was going to No 4 Australian Sqdn. Heard Matt had been drowned at Montrose.
Captain Salt in front of AW FK8
Apr 8th Mon
all day. Visited batteries with Pole. Went to 493 SB and discussed
my shoot of 15th March. Took Stanners with us and he was arrested for
a spy while noting information to annotate his photo for the
CO. Pole and I picked Stanners up at the Officers Club about 9
in the evening.
Apr 9th Tues
all day. Huns start an offensive north of the La Bassée canal
and advance at most six thousand yards. Heavy gun fire all day.
The German offensive on the Lys commenced on 9 April 1918 (following
the late March offensive on the Somme) and advanced rapidly between
La Bassée and Armentieres, five miles in
two days extending to ten miles by 14 April before being held. No 2
Sqn was based at Hesdigneul nr Bethune just South of the new bulge in
the front line.
Apr 10th Wed
Went up on
patrol. Clouds and mist 1,000 feet. Got lost over Hunland and machine
was badly holed by M-c bullets. Climbed into the clouds and came out
of them over Bethune. Hun line much the same as yesterday.
Armentieres reported taken by the Huns. Spence as an observer.
Apr 11th Thurs
officer. Was standing by in the afternoon to lead a
bombing formation, but it washed out.
Apr 12th Fri
photos at 9.30 exposed 12 plates. Archie was very
active, but very few Huns.
Apr 13th Sat
and mist. Patrol and ground strafing at 4.30. Went to
the German line]
twice and flew towards Robecq. Engine cut out over canal
and landed about 800x from line. Men came for machine at 9.15 and got
it out by morning. We rang up from 11 th Brigade NZ in Bellerive (4
th Div). This was in 3566.
Apr 14th Sun
shoot on 4 FA battery near Richebourg with ?? SB. When dropping a
bomb I got hit above the right knee with a MC bullet. Finished shoot
and dropped other bomb near Pacaut Wood [north of Hinges]. This
shoot was with 71 SB. Went to 33 EA at Fouquiers and was sent to 23
McLachlan was wounded with Rathbone and went to 22 CCS.
Apr 15th Mon
in 22 CCS. Left Lazinghen for hospital train at Lapugnoy after lunch.
Arrived Etaples in morning. Went to No 1 Red Cross Hospital [Duchess
of Westminster's] [the
casino at Le Touquet].
Apr 16th Tues
McLachlan in another ward. McLachlan went to England tonight.
Apr 17th Wed
Was told I was
going to England.
Apr 18th Thurs
Etaples in early morning in hospital train for Calais. Arrived Calais
at 12.30. Crossed in Princess Elizabeth to Dover. Arrived
at Charing Cross and sent to RFC hospital, 82 Eaton Square, London
SW, arriving there about 10.30 pm. I was carried by German stretcher
bearers at Calais and Dover.
to list of 2 Squadron officers and men mentioned.
Montgomerie never returned to active flying in France, he had
an operation to take a bullet out of his leg. He returned to flying
in July and went to a training Squadron (37 TS (24 Wing) later
redesignated 39 TS ) as an instructor. He survived the war.
2 Sqn RFC
Page 1, 2, 3,
Note: 1. The Jasta War Chronology, Franks, Bailey and Duiven