Sunday, June 26, 2011

Map of 73Sqn Action In France - Anderson At War

We know Keith Anderson was borne in Perth Australia and lived in South Africa, working as a clerk in the Education Department for "Whites" when he joined the Royal Air Corps. After his training he joined 73 Sqn and was sent to the front line in France on 24th February 1918 (He would have been 19 years Old).

We know 73 Sqn was sent to France in January 1918 and saw action over Lietres (73Sqn's Base) ; Bethune; Fleurbaix; Menen; Boesinghe. On 1 April 1918 Keith Anderson was made a lietenant in the newly formed Royal Air Force. Keith Anderson returned to England and was posted to the "Home Establishment" (Like the Home Defence Force shooting down Enemy "Blimps" bombing England etc) on 6th April 1918.

Anderson was Posted Back to the "Independent Force France" on 23rd October 1918The Armactice was signed three weeks later on 11 November 1918.

The map also shows "The Somme" lines in 1916 to the South of 73Sqns lines in Northern France.  

From Wikapedia on 73 SQN
The first offensive patrols over enemy lines took place on 18 February 1918. On the 20th, all 18 Camels, divided into three 'Flights' patrolled a line between Roeselare and Menin and the first combat report was completed by Captain Gus Orlebar, submitting that an Albatros D.V may have been damaged. It was the start of a combat record that would show ten aces serving in the squadron, including Owen BaldwinGavin L. GrahamWilliam StephensonWilliam Henry HubbardEmile John LussierRobert ChandlerNorman CooperMaurice Le Blanc-SmithThomas Sharpe, and future Air Vice-Marshal Geoffrey Pidcock.

[edit]Aircraft used

As at 1 October 1917, the squadron had the following aircraft:
'A' Flight:
'B' Flight:
'C' Flight:
  • 1 Avro
From November 1917, the squadron began to re-equip entirely with Sopwith Camels powered by 130 hp Clerget engines. By the time it deployed to France in January 1918, the Squadron had 18 Camels, which it retained throughout the rest of the Great War.

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