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Airco DH.5 A9544

Airco DH5 A9544

This profile is taken from a photo in the AWM collection of the DH.5 A9544. The photo shows the aircraft on a trailer with six men standing around it. The aircraft was involved in an accident on the 6th of December 1917 with Lieutenant McKenzie in the cockpit, the reason which is contained in the days combat reports.

Combat Report No.24

Date : 6th December, 1917
Time : 11.30 to 12 noon.
Duty : C.O.P with Bombs
Pilots : (Plt.) Lt.Forrest (Leader) A9535
(Plt.) Lt.Robertson A4938
(Plt.) Lt.Johnson A9279
(Plt.) Lt.McKenzie A9544
Locality : MARCOING
Narrative :

Left BAISIEUX 10.50, am.

I led the formation across the line N. of CAMBRAI-BAPAUME road to drop our bombs (see A.E.I.No.32) (4) We climbed to carry out a C.O.P., and when at 7,000 feet over MARCOING, we engaged 3 Albatross scouts who were flying at the same height and who turned to dive steeply. I followed 1 for 1,000 feet, sitting right on his tail, but after firing 3 rounds, got a No.3 stoppage which I managed to rectify later on.

Meanwhile the other 3 pilots dived on the other 2 scouts and drove them well East. After this we shot at long range at sundry other scouts whom we could no (sic) close with. Ten minutes later, we engaged the same 3 scouts, but were unable to approach to close range. 15 minutes later, we climbed to 8,000 feet and engaged a group of 8 scouts. I again had a No.3 stoppage and fell out to adjust it, while the remained (sic) of the patrol engaged the E.A. During the fighting which ensued, an Albatross got onto Lieut. McKenzie's tail, being eventually driven off by Lt. Robertson, but in the meantime, he had shot the former's Aileron control away and Lieut. Mc Kenzie was forced to retire, the general engagement then being broken off. I rejoined my formation about this time and gave the signal to break off. Lt. McKenzie was unable to reach the A.L.G. and had to land at FREM where he crashed owing to his machine being unmanageable. He himself being unhurt.

Signed : (sgd)H.G. FORREST LIEUT.
Leader of Patrol.
Approved :

The serial denoted in the report for Lieutenant Forrests aircraft could possibly be A9535 as the serial is hard to read. The Squadron code for the aircraft is unknown. Lieutenant Robertsons aircraft is possibly A4938, but again the serial is hard to read. The squadron code for Robertsons aircraft is "Y". Lieutenant Johnson's aircraft A9279 coded 'W' was damaged by E.A. in same action near Bourlon Wood 6.12.17 to 2ASD. A.E.I. means Attacks on Enemy Infantry Report.


Combat In The Air Report sourced from the Squadron Diary of 2 Squadron Australian Flying Corps by Gordon Branch.

Australian Flying Corps : A Complete History of the Australian Flying Corps