No 2 Squadron RFC
Diaries 1915 -1918
Captain Allcock's diary No 2 Squadron RFC Jan 1916 continued
Stood by from 6.30 am for Tactical Reconnaissance but did not go owing to weather conditions.
Tactical Reconnaissance with Lt. Rice and Lt. Busby with Capt Denistoun (as Observer) as Escort. Clouds thick but managed to do it fairly successfully. Two Fokkers rose from Lille aerodrome but did not attack. Wind 35 mph. 2 hrs
Congratulated by the General and Colonel Ashmore for good work done the last few days.
Jan 4th Week's Leave; Arrived back Jan 12th. While on leave two machines lost. Russell on bombing Douai, Somerville on Lille Reconnaissance. Heard later that they are prisoners.
Artillery Registration on white sheds at Wingles with Rice as Observer. Clouds at 2000 ft, very difficult to see shots burst unsuccessful. 2 hrs
Art Reg on Wingles Sheds with Rice. Partially successful. Battery- ranged to A3. 2 1/4 hrs
Engine and machine test with Cpl Bowes. 30 mins
Passenger Lt. Rice. Arty Reg on Lens. Ranged to Y3, also gave bracket B4 to C10. Chased Hun away over Lens, Archie very active, hit 10 times. One main spar shot through. Machine going well. 3 1/4 hrs
Engine and machine test solo.
Art Reg on Carvin with 19th Siege, Observer Lt. Rice. Weather clear 1 OK on Ground Place. Attacked by Albatross over Pont a Vendin, eventually chased Hun away. Three Fokkers seen in the distance behind Carvin. Also engaged 19th Siege. 3 1/4 hrs
Art Reg on Wingles Sheds with Lt. Milne. Unsuccessful, bursts could not be seen. Weather conditions perfect. 2 1/2 hrs
Leader of Combined Flying. Withdrawn owing to weather conditions. Passenger Lt. Milne. 1/2 hr
Counter Battery with Lt. Rice. Left the ground at daybreak. Two batteries called up but nothing done owing to ground mist. Reached 11000 ft, descended in spirals and nose dives. 2 hrs
Jan 23rd (2nd sortie)
Leader of Combined Flying with Lt. Milne as passenger. Route Meyingarb, Festuburt, Houges, Chocques. Rendezvous over aerodrome at 7000 ft. 1 1/2 hrs
Jan 23rd (3rd sortie)
Bomb raid on Salome. Escort and Leader, withdrawn owing to thick mist coming up. Great difficulty in landing experienced owing to fog being 200 ft from ground. 1/2 hr
Left ground at 7.45 with Lt. Rice on 2685. Reached the lines, called up GS, but engine seemed to be not giving her revs, so we did not cross the lines. Some time afterwards the engine pegged out and we just managed to reach the aerodrome. Examining the engine we found a large piece out of the cylinder which had entered the crank case and broken the piston. 1 1/4 hrs
Jan 25th (2nd sortie)
Art Reg on Lens with Lt. Rice with 111th Battery. Fought Albatross. I saw him trying to cross the lines North of La Bassee, so we gave chase. He turned East, we cut him off giving a drum at 500 ft as he passed over. My Observer gave him another drum from the rear bracket. He then doubled back and we gave him three more drums and the tracers were seen to enter the fuselage and engine. His engine stopped apparently hit, and he planed towards his aerodrome. We chased to behind Hulluch but owing to being shot about, shortage of ammunition and loss of height, we returned to our lines. Bransby Williams thinks he saw the Hun land behind Lens. We returned to our Artillery Reg. Also straffed two captive balloons behind Lens. 3 hrs
Editor's note: The following is the RFC Communiqué (Comic cuts) account of the aforementioned action.
Jan 25th (3rd sortie)
Art Reg with Lt. Rice on Lens. One of the Sausages (observation balloons) was apparently hit by us in the morning for it was hauled in by the afternoon 2 3/4 hrs
Counter Battery with Cpl. Bowes, Clouds at 800 ft.
Jan 27th (2nd sortie)
Left the ground solo at 1.25. Clouds 700 ft. We were being heavily shelled "by the Huns and the Poole Group rang up to see if we could do anything for them. I went up and spotted some flashes and reported them to F Ground Station. Very bumpy. Fired at by field guns. 2 hrs
Clouds 1000 ft to 2500 ft. Passenger Capt Dennistoun. Counter Battery and Art Reg to Y3 on Target 247. ..... rifle fire and field guns on us. 3 hrs
Machine and engine test, found satisfactory. Looped the loop at 4000 ft three times one after the other, dropping down to 3000 ft. Congratulated by General Rawlinson for good work done. 1/2 hr
Diary © Guy Griffiths