Capt W T L Allcock's
      RFC Diary



 No 2 Squadron RFC Jan 1916


Jan 1st

Stood by from 6.30 am for Tactical Reconnaissance but did not go owing to weather conditions.

Jan  2nd 

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

Jan 3rd

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.

Editors note:

2nd Lt. W E Somerville and Lt. G C Formilli were shot down by Lt. Oswald Boelcke after a recce over Lille on the morning of 5th Jan. Both were wounded and taken prisoner.

No 3 Sqn had provided a two aircraft escort (Moranes) for a fifteen aircraft bombing raid by 2 Sqn on Douai on 5th Jan. Then Sgt Jimmy McCudden was one of the 3 Sqn gunners involved and recorded the mission in his autobiography witnessing a BE2c being attacked by a Fokker. The raid is also mentioned in Boelcke's diary - he identifies a Lt. Ernst Hess and himself as bringing down a British aircraft (BE2c 2019) with a single crew and bombs at Vitry, the pilot (Lt. A L Russell) being taken prisoner. Lt. Hess went on to achieve 17 victories before being killed in action in December 1917.

Jan 13th   

Artillery Registration on white sheds at Wingles with Rice as Observer. Clouds at 2000 ft, very difficult to see shots burst unsuccessful. 2 hrs

Jan 14th 

Art Reg on Wingles Sheds with Rice.  Partially successful.  Battery- ranged to A3. 2 1/4 hrs

Jan 16th

Engine and machine test with Cpl. Bowes. 30 mins

Jan 17th 

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

Jan 18th 

Engine and machine test solo.

Jan 19th 

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

Jan 19th

Art Reg on Wingles Sheds with Lt. Milne.  Unsuccessful, bursts could not be seen.  Weather conditions perfect. 2 1/2 hrs

Jan 20th  

Leader of Combined Flying.  Withdrawn owing to weather conditions. Passenger Lt. Milne. 1/2 hr

Jan 23rd  

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

Jan 25th   

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.

RFC Communiqué 28

January 25th

2nd Lt. Allcock and 2nd Lt. Rice (BE2c 2 Sqn) noticed an Albatros crossing the lines north of La Bassée. They gave chase, and eventually the engine of the hostile plane was hit, as it stopped, and the enemy planed down behind his own lines.

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

Jan 27th   

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

Jan 28th

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

Jan 30th 

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


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