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Aden observer/pilots

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Ian Burns View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ian Burns Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Oct 2015 at 21:31
Nick, Rob.

Thanks for the input. Without photos or a fully identified group photo the 'other ranks' will, as always, remain anonymous.

Interestingly, in the groups photos I do have there are clearly ORs of Indian origin.
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gilesforrest View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gilesforrest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2016 at 12:41
Hi all,

My ancestor, 2/Lt Forrest, record state (having been in 14 squadron as an Observer):

"26.2.17. Proceeded to Aden & struck off strength of E.F."
And a second page of his movements state:
"26-2-17 Proceeded to ADEN. H.T. 'Jeddah' Struck off strength."

He is listed on the 14 Squadron Roll (27th February 1917) but the remarks say "26-2-17 Flt overseas"

And then he is also listed at the bottom underneath a title "Officers who have gone overseas since last return" with the comment "To No.3 School of M.A. for course of instruction in aviation 4/2/17 Reposted as Observer Detached Flight 26-2-17" 

In the 14 Squadron records War Diary records he is listed under Tuesday 6th March "The undermentioned officers having proceeded to port of Embarkment for duty overseas are struck off the strength of 5th Wing (14 Squadron) with effect 1-3-17"

But then he magically appears on the roll of 57 Reserve Squadron at the end of April (and again in May).

So it appears he goes to Aden is struck off the strength but then within a month or two is back in Egypt.

I wonder if he is an early recruit to the Aden Flight? I wonder why it was so brief though....
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Ian Burns View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ian Burns Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2016 at 19:04
Hi Giles,
What a pretty problem!

All Aden Flight personnel I have been able to identify to date came from India. The post war Aden Flight, and the Snipe detachment detailed by Peter Dye in the latest Fabric, came out of Egypt.

Perhaps your ancestor was actually detailed to one of the units supporting Lawrence and 'Aden' was just a convenient tag to put in his records?

The AGM presentation, and upcoming monograph, might throw some light on that possibility.

However, I do not claim to have a complete list of Aden Flight personnel. I do know that at least one member arrived from India, went immediately into hospital and was returned to the more bearable climate of India.

If I do find anything I will post to this. But don't hold your breath.

Ian
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gilesforrest View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gilesforrest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2016 at 20:15
Thanks for that Ian.

I'm not sure I understand regarding an AGM/monograph helping to answer the question?

If he was supporting Lawrence what would this be?

Apologies for the questions I'm only an amateur researcher!

A contact on another forum sent me this earlier:

Giles

Just found the routine orders for 5 Wing
On 11.3.17 the following 3 BE2e were transferred from X Aircraft Park to Detached Flight Aden:
4152, 4332 and 4395 plus 4 engines
This was later amended to serials 4356, 4464 and 5413

The RO lists some of the personnel to be transferred but I've cut off the top, only 2Lt J. Bottomley is shown
The document is in the AIR 1/1762/204/141/78 file

The War Diary for 5 Wing is in AIR 1/1757/204/141/24 and might shed more light on the operation


Is Bottomley on your list, given he would have come from Egypt according to the records?

Regards,

Giles
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Ian Burns View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ian Burns Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2016 at 20:35
The AGM is presenting a " mini seminar on the theme of Lawrence of Arabia" and the Society is publishing "a monograph entitled TE Lawrence and the Air War in the Middle East." this from the latest Newsletter - Wind in the Wires 16.

The BE2 allegedly sent from X Aircraft Park never reached Aden. All the BEs used in Aden came from India.
From my notes for the Aden Flight article:
Several additional BE2s were noted for Aden whilst at X Aircraft Park in Egypt early in 1917, including 4152, 4332, 4464, 5413, 5419. Which suggests an earlier attempt to form an Aden Flight in Egypt some nine months prior to the 114 Sqn detachment. However, all four BE2s eventually served in Palestine or India with no evidence that they reached Aden.

The only confirmed aircraft in Aden during the war are listed in my article. See 46.232 lower first column.
BTW I would love to be proved incorrect. But I have located no documentary or photographic proof. It may exist. One thing I have learned as a researcher is that you never find everything - see Peter Dye in the latest Journal.

All known pilots and observers (some NCO observers are unidentified), are also in my article. I did not find any mention of a Bottomley. Was he commissioned? I only have names for officers.

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gilesforrest View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gilesforrest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2016 at 22:58
Ah I now understand what you mean about the AGM - with Roger Bragger lecturing. I've emailed him with my info a few times but I'm not sure he can help.

It does appear my ancestor was in the first expedition to Hejaz but he had returned by February for training. It's the subsequent posting to Aden that's a mystery at the moment....

Giles
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gilesforrest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2016 at 11:08
Looking into this further it does appear there was a half flight from Egypt to Aden in 1917:


During 1917 half a flight was despatched from Egypt to co-operate with the British forces at Aden, and a flight was sent to Jeddah to co-operate with the forces of the King of the Hedjaz.  

It appears the other men who left 14 Squadron the same time as my ancestor had all returned to Egypt by April, so this must have been a short term exercise
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NickForder View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2016 at 14:40
In terms of of 'detached flights' int he Middle East, there was X Flight with Lawrence & the Nieuport flight of 111 Squadron at Sarona (due to the limited endurance of the aircraft): not sure of any others ?
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Ian Burns View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ian Burns Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2016 at 14:48
Hi Giles,
I have a reply to your reply commencing 'Thanks for that Ian', stuck with the d---d moderator.

But turning to your latest:
The Flight entry is interesting, but I am doubtful.

There are no references to aircraft in Aden prior to the Aden (Half Flight of 114 Squadron).
Aviation in India during the war for operations came under local control but, I believe, was dependent on Middle East/Egypt for supplies and aircraft. This is possibly where the confusion regarding a 'half a flight was despatched from Egypt ' begins.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gilesforrest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2016 at 16:24
Looks like you have done a lot of research Ian - and there's no point me going through Aden files if I'm not going to find my ancestor....

In the same way Aircraft was intended for Aden but never made it, could that be the same of my ancestor? It is odd he doesn't appear on any rolls for March '17 but then appeared in April...the same for others who were struck off at the same time. Unless this may be an issue with March records?

If he travelled on HT Jeddah to Aden, I wonder where he would have stopped to come back?
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