Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 30, 2006 20:50:09 GMT 12
On the 30th of July 1915, New Zealand's first military trained pilot was killed in action, when he landed his Caudron, which he was flyign with an Australian, he was captured and killed by Arab tribesmen.
The thing is, i am having trouble finding out exactly who this man was.
The History of New Zealand Aviation by Ross Ewing and Ross Macpherson states he was Wallace Burn.
The Commonwealth War Grave Commission website does not list either! Why not I wonder?
Burn/Burns was apparently born in Queensland, Australia, but came to NZ and was a Lieutenant in the New Zealand Army. He and Lt Arthur Piper were selected to travel to the UK to train as New Zealand's first military pilots. Burn/Burns received his Royal Aero Club flying certificate in Februray 1914. By the time he got back to new Zealand the war was on and NZ's only military aircraft, Bleriot XI "Britannia" had been sent back to Britain for the war effort. So Burn/Burns went abroad to join the Indian Air Service, which took him to Mesopatamia, where he was killed.
Can anyone establish exactly what this man's name was? Does anyone have a copy of ,For Your Tomorrow' Volume One to hand please?
Post by planeimages on Jul 30, 2006 21:13:36 GMT 12
This quote supports your information:
The second Caudron of Merz and the New Zealander Lieutenant Burn was forced down amongst a hostile Arab force who attacked them upon their aircraft landing. Armed with only revolvers the two airmen decided to make a stand. In the ensuring engagement both airmen died. According to reports from friendly Arabs groups in the area, Merz and Burns inflicted one dead and five wounded on their opponents. The bodies of Merz and Burn were never seen again. Their Caudron was found a few days later and returned to the aerodrome at Basra by Barge and Truck, it had been virtually destroyed by the attackers. www.australianflyingcorps.org/story/2006/2/28/10595/1308
planeimages Peter Finlay
"Let's show these bastards the real X-1". Chuck Yeager when he lit the main rocket motor switch at 300 ft feet in front of the Muroc tower.
Name: BURN, WILLIAM WALLACE ALLISON Initials: W W A Nationality: New Zealand Rank: Lieutenant Regiment/Service: New Zealand Staff Corps Secondary Regiment: Royal Flying Corps Secondary Unit Text: attd. Age: 24 Date of Death: 30/07/1915 Additional information: Son of Mrs. Isabel Matilda Burn, of Christchurch, New Zealand. Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: Addenda Panel. Memorial: BASRA MEMORIAL
Post by planeimages on Jul 31, 2006 21:15:01 GMT 12
Here are some more details:
The remains of an aircraft flown by Lieutenant G. P. Merz and Lieutenant W. Burn, who were killed in action after their Half Flight aircraft was forced down by engine failure in Mesopotamia on 30 July 1915. The Caudron was collected by motor transport after it had been hacked by Arabs.
Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 31, 2006 21:41:30 GMT 12
Whoa, that's a bit grim.
I know that RAF pilots still had the problem in WWII where Arab tribes would kill them if they could - a favoured method was death by cutting off the ghoulies! - and they carried special promise notes from the British Government that if any downed pilots were returned safe and intact to British lines they'd receive a handsome rewar. Nasty buusiness.
Post by planeimages on Aug 1, 2006 21:06:24 GMT 12
Hi Dave, Here is some more info,
July 30th - The two Caudrons of the Half Flight upon returning from an operation are both forced down. The Caudron of the Indian Flying Corps pilot Captain Reilly lands at the village of Abu Salibiq, fortunately among friendly Arabs. The Caudron of Lieutenant G.P. Merz and Lieutenant W.W.A. Burns was forced down with engine trouble about 20 miles from the refilling station amongst hostile Arabs. After a shoot out with the Arabs both Merz and Burns are killed. Friendly Arabs who witnessed the gun fight retold the incident to British authorities later. Cutlacks Official History of the Australian Flying Corps remarks that the pair fought a running battle of five miles in which they killed one Arab and wounded five others before being killed. White led a group which tried to find the Arabs that had shot Merz and Burns but was unable to find the. White's group burnt the house of the local Sheik in a village where the Arabs were reported to be hiding