No 80 Squadron RAF
The final push, August - November 1918
One of the new pilots, referred to by Victor Yeates (above), a 2nd Lt. G Smith, was killed in a flying accident on 15 August when practicing diving on the airfield, he crashed in mid air into an AW FK8, killing the observer and injuring the pilot. This incident is partially recorded in Winged Victory.
In the second half of August Lt. Brindley died of wounds and Lt.s Phear and Chadwick were wounded, all from ground fire. Lt. Tupman was killed on 22 August shot down by Ernst Udet, CO of Jasta 4.
The Squadron was very active in September. Capt. Whistler claimed a balloon destroyed and two Fokkers shot down. Lt. Welch forced down a balloon and shot down two Fokkers before being killed in action. Lt.s McGill, Fairburn, Walker and Bramwell were also killed in action and Lt. Thatcher taken prisoner.
Capt. Preeston was transferred from 80 Sqn on 23 September to serve with the French forces. Capt. Welch took over as Flight Commander but was killed on 29 September. Capt. Freehill joined in October as a replacement Flight Commander.
Battle for the Hindenburg line
80 Sqn was part of the air support for the Fourth Army when the assault on the Hindenburg line was launched on 29 September. The squadron being assigned both ground attack and medium height offensive patrols (to protect corps and other low flying aircraft).
Lt.s Thompson, Winthrop-Andrews and Whitman were killed in the first days of October and Lt.s Jennings and Judkins taken prisoner. Capt. Whistler continued his success claiming two Fokkers and a Halberstadt, Capt. Freehill and Lt. Messenger each claimed a Fokker.
The final major engagements between 80 Sqn and hostile aircraft were on 4 November over the Forêt de Mormal when four 80 Sqn aircraft were shot up and one was lost with Lt. Grant later confirmed killed in action.
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