The Nov AEROPLANE has an article on the downing of Zeppelin L.15.
It had bombed London and was on the way 'home' when it was unsuccessfully attacked and contact lost in the darkness by a B.E.2c but was sighted by Brandon who made two attacks dropping 'Rankin Explosive Darts' only to see it disappear into cloud.
However, it had been badly damaged and ended up in the sea.
Evidently Brandon was a 2nd Lt and from New Zealand.
Post by errolmartyn on Oct 7, 2012 22:06:47 GMT 12
The Aeroplane or the author got Brandon's name wrong: it's Alfred, not Albert.
From Colin Hanson’s By Such Deeds - Honours and Awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999 :
BRANDON, Squadron Leader Alfred de Bathe, DSO, MC, mid(2). Born Wellington, 21 Jul 1883; RFC/RAF 8 Dec 1915 to 29 May 1919, 2128; NZAF 1 Oct 1929 to 30 Sep 1931; Pilot. Citation Military Cross (15 May 1916): For conspicuous gallantry and skill in bombing a Zeppelin airship at night. On 31 Mar 1916, while flying a BE2c aircraft, he contributed to the destruction of Zeppelin L15. On 1 Apr 1916, the War Office announced - “Casualties reported as a result of the Zeppelin raid on the night of 31 March amount to 43 killed and 66 injured....Nearly 200 explosives and incendiary bombs were dropped....A church, three houses and two cottages were demolished and a town hall, four houses and 35 cottages were damaged. A number of our aeroplanes went up to meet the Raiders. Lt Brandon, RFC, on rising to 6000 feet at 9.45 pm saw a Zeppelin about 3000 feet above him. At 9000 feet he attacked, dropping several bombs on the aircraft, [these are believed to have been incendiary bombs and ‘Ranken’ explosive darts] three of which he believed took effect....At 10 pm he released two more bombs over her nose.” Citation Mention in Despatches (1) (6 Jun 1916) Not available, but believed to be for night flying against Zeppelins raiding England. Citation Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (4 Oct 1916): In recognition of his gallantry and distinguished service in connection with the successful attacks on enemy Airships. On 23 Sep 1916 he severely damaged Zeppelin L33, which had been hit by ground fire. Unable to remain airborne L33 force-landed in England and was set on fire by her crew. This was the first DSO awarded to a New Zealand airman. Citation Mention in Despatches (2) (25 Jan 1917) For distinguished services rendered in connection with the war. On 27 Feb 1917 Captain Brandon was injured when he crashed in fog, breaking a leg and not flying again till Sep 1917. CO 50 Sqn RAF Oct 1917-Aug 1918. In 1919 Staff Officer to Lt Col Bettington (qv). Died Upper Hutt, 19 Jun 1974.
Author: Swift to the Sky – New Zealand’s Military Aviation History Author/publisher: For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 & A Passion For Flight - New Zealand aviation before the Great War. Publisher of Gp Capt C M Hanson’s By Such Deeds - Honours and Awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999