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Edward Mannock: World War I RAF Ace Pilot

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Dec 2008 19:46    Onderwerp: Edward Mannock: World War I RAF Ace Pilot Reageer met quote



On a pleasant April afternoon high above northwestern France in 1918, S.E.5as of A Flight, No. 74 Squadron, Royal Air Force, were on their second patrol. It was the unit’s first day of combat, and all the pilots except their leader, Captain Edward “Mick” Mannock, were novices. As his men watched wide-eyed, Mannock suddenly wagged his wings, alerting them that the enemy was nearby, then dropped down like a hawk on a formation of German Albatros fighters. Mannock centered a black-and-yellow Albatros D.V in his Aldis sight, sucked in a breath and gently squeezed the firing button, loosing a lethal stream of silky white tracers. The Albatros broke up in the air. Back on the ground, pilots congratulated their captain on his second victory of the day, but what left them full of undying admiration for him was Mannock’s combat report, in which he wrote, “The whole flight should share in the credit for the EA [enemy aircraft], as they all contributed to its destruction.”

That disclaimer was indicative of the unselfish and intense devotion to his comrades that characterized the life of Edward Mannock, one of Britain’s all-time greatest combat pilots and leaders of men. By any measure, he was a man of extraordinary gifts, a man who surely would have made as great an impact on the postwar world as he did on those who knew and loved him during his brilliant career as a fighter pilot.

Mannock was born in Cork, Ireland, on May 24, 1887, son of a soldier in the Royal Scots Guards who fought in Britain’s imperial wars. A rough man, he beat Edward and his siblings and drank heavily. While his father was posted to India, Mannock contracted an amoebic infestation that weakened his left eye. That misfortune would be subsequently transformed into the oft-repeated myth of Mannock’s being the “ace with one eye.” Despite early hardships, young Edward possessed a sharp analytical mind. He hated inequality and later became a fervent socialist.

When Mannock was in his early teens, his father abandoned the family, and Edward had to work to support them. He left home and boarded with the Eyles family. Jim Eyles later wrote that Mannock was a person “with high ideals and with a great love for his fellow mortals. He hated cruelty and poverty….A kinder, more thoughtful man you could never meet.” It seems likely that Mannock could have risen in the Labour Party, for he was an excellent speaker. But the coming global conflagration would soon shatter his high ambitions.

When war was declared in August 1914, Mannock was working for a British company in Constantinople. Since the Ottoman empire sided with Germany, he and other British citizens were thrown into prison camps, where they endured appalling conditions. Mannock quickly developed a hatred for the Turks and the Germans. In April 1915, with the assistance of Jim Eyles, he was repatriated. Shortly afterward, Mannock joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and then the Royal Engineers, where he was commissioned a second lieutenant. But he immediately transferred to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) in August 1916, so he could be more involved in the fighting.

Despite his weak left eye, Mannock passed the medical exam. He was apparently a natural pilot with an excellent feel for his machine. One of his instructors, just returned from combat flying in France, was ace Captain James McCudden. The two got along well, and McCudden made a great impact on his pupil. “Mannock,” McCudden wrote, “was a typical example of the impetuous young Irishman, and I always thought he was the type to do or die.” He would do both in France.

With his flight training completed, on April 6, 1917, Mannock was posted to C Flight in No. 40 Squadron, which was flying the highly maneuverable French-built Nieuport 17 fighter armed with one Lewis machine gun mounted above the upper wing. A new phase in Mannock’s life had commenced, and as always for him it was filled with challenges. He made an awful first impression at his new home and rubbed just about everybody the wrong way, failing to appreciate the clubby public school atmosphere of an RFC squadron. Lieutenant Lionel A. Blaxland, a squadron mate, recalled that Mannock “seemed too cocky for his experience, which was nil….New men usually took their time and listened to the more experienced hands; Mannock was the complete opposite. He offered ideas about everything: how the war was going, how it should be fought, the role of scout pilots.” He also broke several unwritten rules of pilot etiquette, asking comrades how many “Huns” they had shot down and—a terrible faux pas—sitting in the seat previously occupied by a pilot who had just been killed.

To make matters worse, Mannock spent hours at target practice but appeared hesitant when confronting enemy planes over the lines. He recorded his emotions on his first combat patrol in his diary on April 13, 1917: “I went over the lines for the first time, escorting FEs [Farman Experimental F.E.2b reconnaissance planes]. Heavily ‘Archied.’ My feelings very funny.” In fact, the novice pilot who had talked so big in the mess had been very afraid. On subsequent flights Mannock was seen as timid in the face of the enemy—“windy” or “having the wind up,” in pilot’s slang. Some of his squadron mates began to shun him and talk about him behind his back. The squadron was soon divided into his supporters and detractors.

His detractors could only be silenced by deeds. They got a taste of Mannock’s mettle on April 19 when, while practice diving at a ground target from 2,000 feet, the lower right wing of his Nieuport snapped off and the plane plunged downward. Mannock somehow managed to land the crippled craft safely. After that display of sang-froid and flying skill, the other pilots began to reconsider their opinions of him.

They were further impressed on May 7 when Mannock joined a flight of five others for a strike on German observation balloons. Mannock destroyed a balloon for his first victory that day. But he wrote in his diary: “My fuselage had bullet holes in it, one very near my head, and the wings were more or less riddled. I don’t want to go through such an experience again.”

Still, fired with new confidence, Mannock became more aggressive in the air and was now accepted in the squadron; men who had formerly given him the cold shoulder now bought him drinks in the mess. He sometimes led combat patrols, and on at least two occasions believed he had brought down a German aircraft but did not claim it, as there were no witnesses. His great desire at that point was to gain a “real” victory over an enemy airplane, but this eluded him.

His persistence eventually paid off. On June 7, flying Nieuport B1552 north of Lille, Mannock went after an Albatros D.III at 13,000 feet. He had been flying escort for a squadron of F.E.2b bombers. Coming in from behind, Mannock pumped 60 rounds into the German fighter at 10 yards, and it went down out of control, an action he jubilantly reported back at the base.

Shortly afterward, Mannock suffered an eye injury, and was sent home on a two-week leave. He used his time at home to think about combat tactics, and when he rejoined his unit, he was convinced of his fighting abilities. On July 12, Mannock shot down a DFW C.V two-seater that crashed inside British lines. Delighted with the opportunity to examine his “work” up close, Mannock drove out to the crash site. The observer had survived, but the pilot was dead. Upon returning to base, he spoke about this to his friend Lieutenant William Maclanachan. “It sickened me,” Mannock told him, “but I wanted to see where my shots had gone. Do you know, there were three neat little bullet holes right here”—Mannock indicated the side of his head. In his diary, Mannock added a further detail, a “little black-and-tan terrier—dead—in the observer’s seat. I felt exactly like a murderer.” Nevertheless, he sent another DFW down out of control the next day.

July 1917 would be important for Mannock in many ways. Not only did he score his first concrete kill, but a squadron mate, Captain George L. “Zulu” Lloyd, spoke privately with him, telling him that a few men still doubted his fighting spirit.

“Of course, I’ve been frightened against my will—nervous reaction,” Mannock forthrightly explained. “I’ve now conquered this physical defect and, having conquered myself, I will now conquer the Hun. Air fighting is a science. I have been studying it and have not been unduly worried at not getting Huns at the expense of being reckless.” Lloyd was more than satisfied with this answer. When some men still questioned Mannock’s abilities, it was put down to jealousy.

Another event that same month was to have a profound effect on Mannock. On the 21st he watched in horror as 2nd Lt. F.W. Rook, a well-liked squadron member, plummeted to earth in flames after being attacked by 1st Lt. Adolf Ritter von Tutschek of Jasta 12. Maclanachan remembered that Mannock later came into his hut, speaking about what was to become an obsession with him. “That’s the way they’re going to get me in the end—flames and finish,” Mannock said with tears in his eyes. Then he explained why he had started to carry his service revolver with him on flights: “to finish myself as soon as I see the first sign of flames.”

The next day Mannock was awarded the Military Cross for his “very fine offensive spirit and great fearlessness attacking the enemy at close range and low altitudes under heavy fire from the ground.” Major General Hugh M. Trenchard, commander of the RFC, even sent his personal congratulations. Soon after that Mannock was made leader of A Flight.

Although taking responsibility did not come easily to Mannock, his score now rose dramatically. He had sharp eyesight and was a magnificent shot. In August alone he was credited with four Albatros D.Vs and one DFW. By the end of 1917, he had 15 confirmed victories under his belt and had received a Bar to his MC. He was becoming an excellent flight leader, fighting with tactics rather than sheer audacity. He also had a sense of humor; he once used a pair of women’s silk stockings on his struts for leader’s streamers.

Mannock looked after the men who flew with him with fatherly compassion and patience, helping them develop into successful combat pilots. If a man was killed, Mannock took it very hard, often retiring to his hut, sobbing and “keening”—mourning by rocking back and forth, as was done in ancient Ireland. Although combat intensified his hatred for the Germans, he was revolted on September 4 when he flamed a DFW. “It was a horrible sight,” Mannock wrote in his diary, “and made me feel sick.”

But that same flight illustrated Mannock’s superb tactics. As noted in his diary, he had had trouble recognizing the two-seater’s national markings at first. “So I turned my tail towards him,” Mannock related, “and went in the same direction, thinking that if he were British he wouldn’t take notice of me, and if a Hun I felt sure he would put his nose down and have a shot (thinking I hadn’t seen him). The ruse worked beautifully. His nose went (pointing at me), and I immediately whipped round, dived and ‘zoomed’ up behind him before you could say ‘knife.’ He tried to turn but he was much too slow for the Nieuport. I got in about 50 rounds in short bursts whilst on the turn and he went down in flames.”

On October 17, 1917, the squadron was delighted to receive the RFC’s new British-made fighter, the Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a. This was a powerful aircraft, faster and tougher than the nimble Nieuport. The pilots loved them at first, especially their double armament—a synchronized Vickers machine gun and an over-wing Lewis—which at long last put them on a par with the Germans. They soon found out that this machine was having teething troubles, however, including gun jams and engine failures. The squadron suffered more than 20 such incidents in a two-week period.

By December, after 10 months of continuous air fighting, Mannock was worn out. Maclanachan described him as tense and noted that he often “brought up the subject of catching fire in the air.” On January 1, 1918, Mannock shot down another DFW and was informed that he was being sent back to England to serve as a flight trainer. That night at his farewell party, Lieutenant W. Douglas remembered, Mannock rose and “entertained us to one of his marvelous speeches,” full of giving the Hun hell and injecting “jokes about one or other of his comrades going down in flames or crashing in some other horrible way.” The commander of No. 40 Squadron, Major L.A. Tilney, wrote in the unit’s diary, “His leadership and general ability will never be forgotten by those who had the good fortune to serve under him.”

Back in England, Mannock was posted on February 2 to London Colney as a flight commander at No. 74 Squadron, which was in training. The unit was suffering from low morale, apparently due to unmotivated instructors. Mannock electrified the disheartened pilots. He was a natural teacher and a powerful speaker, and his lectures on aerial combat were always fully attended. “Gentlemen,” he told his men, “always above; seldom on the same level; never underneath.” His practical advice was priceless and would save lives at the front. “Don’t ever attempt to dog-fight a triplane on anything like equal terms as regards height,” he warned, “otherwise he will get on your tail and stay there until he shoots you down.” He also told his pilots never to follow a victim too close to the ground, because they might be hit by fire from the trenches.

To motivate his men, Mannock—much like a football coach—affected a “kill-all-the-bloody-Huns” persona that later gave birth to another hoary myth about his being a “Hun-hater,” which would have appalled him. In fact his diary reveals his respect for his opponents. Concerning a two-seater that escaped him in early September 1917, Mannock wrote, “He deserved to get away really, as he must have been a brave Hun.” In an earlier dogfight in which the British outnumbered the Germans 2-to-1 but could not bring one down, Mannock noted, “I shall always maintain an unsullied admiration for those Huns.” Major Keith L. “Grid” Caldwell, No. 74 Squadron’s New Zealand–born commanding officer, recalled that “Mick was a very human, sensitive sort of chap; he did not hate people or things at all….I believe that this hatred was calculated or assumed to boost his own morale and that of the squadron in general.”

In April 1918, Mannock and No. 74 Squadron landed their S.E.5as at their new aerodrome in France, Clairmarais North. Mannock was eager to fight. Leading A Flight on April 12, he scored a double kill over Albatros D.Vs, the unit’s first victories. In the next three months or so, he would increase his victory list by an amazing 33, not counting those he did not claim or gave away to fellow pilots to pump up their self-confidence—a habit with him. Under his leadership, No. 74 came to be known as the “Tiger Squadron,” and his men reverently called him the “Iron Man.”

Mannock took it as his responsibility to protect the members of his flight and often guided them over the lines. “It was wonderful to be in his Flight;” remembered one young pilot, “to him his Flight was everything and he lived for it. Every member had his special thought and care.” Mannock gave them vital advice on how best to deal with the enemy. “He placed gunnery before flying,” recalled Lieutenant Ira “Taffy” Jones, a close friend. “Good flying has never killed a Hun yet,” Mannock pointed out. Moreover, he would set up kills for inexperienced pilots. Lieutenant Henry E. Dolan related how Mannock had shot up a German two-seater and then “nodded at me to get it. I went down on the Hun’s tail and saw that Mick had killed the gunner, and I could attack safely.”

With his piercing blue eyes and his trademark affectations, a long-stemmed pipe and a cane, Mannock was famous along the front. He had, recalled Jones, “an intriguingly complex nature. It fluctuated so,” for Mannock could be ruthless as a fighter, boyish in the mess, harsh with his pilots’ mistakes, gentle and complimentary for good work, morbid when depressed. Once Mannock dived repeatedly on a crashed German two-seater, firing at the crew. Asked about this later, he growled, “The swines are better dead—no prisoners for me.”

On May 21, Mannock brought down four German planes—three Pfalz D.IIIs and a Hannover two-seater—and the next day was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. Before the month was out, he flamed eight new victims. After such victories, he would burst into the mess shouting, “Sizzle, sizzle, sizzle, wonk woof!” to boost morale. But privately he expressed darker thoughts. By the middle of June, Jones noticed that Mannock’s nerves were “noticeably fraying. He was now continually talking about being shot down in flames.” Writing to his sister, Mannock said, “I am supposed to be going on leave, (if I live long enough)….” He was fighting depression and plagued by dreams of burning aircraft.

On June 18, Mannock sailed home for leave in England. Upon his arrival he was informed that he had been promoted to major and given command of No. 85 Squadron, previously led by Canadian ace Major William A. “Billy” Bishop, and that he also had been awarded a Bar to his DSO. He reacted with indifference to the news.

After spending a brief but painful time with his mother, an alcoholic, Mannock went to stay with his friend Jim Eyles, who saw that he “had changed dramatically. Gone was the old sparkle we knew so well; gone was the incessant wit. I could see him wring his hands together to conceal the shaking and twitching.” One day, as the time approached for Mannock to return to the war, “he started to tremble violently. This grew into a convulsive straining. He cried uncontrollably….His face, when he lifted it, was a terrible sight. Saliva and tears were running down his face; he couldn’t stop it.” Given his condition, 31-year-old Mannock should never have been sent back to the front. But back he went.

Back in France again, Mannock took command of No. 85 Squadron on July 5, 1918, and his arrival was seen as a godsend. He immediately set to work teaching his new men about aerial tactics. Two days after his arrival he got two Fokker D.VIIs as his new squadron mates, infected by his enthusiasm, brought down an additional three. Within a matter of days, Mannock’s personality had completely transformed the unit. He threw himself into his work and even enjoyed a respite from the nightmares and depression. It would not last long.

On July 10, Mannock heard that his friend James McCudden had been killed in a flying accident, news that hurled Mannock back into depression but also spurred him to a furious killing spree. He shot down six aircraft between July 14 and 26. But he was also taking risks and ignoring his own teachings. Often he followed a victim down to spray the wreckage with bullets. He led his flights with rage and flew solo patrols in his hunt for Germans. Premonitions of death haunted him. In his last letter to his sister he wrote, “I feel that life is not worth hanging on to.” And Ira Jones found him unstable, noting: “One minute, he’s full out. The next he gives the impression of being morbid and keeps bringing up his pet subject of being shot down in flames.”

Early in the morning of July 26, 1918, Lieutenant Donald Inglis walked into the mess where Mannock was smoking his pipe and playing “Londonderry Air” on the gramophone. The two were to fly a morning patrol together. Earlier, Mannock had asked the rookie pilot, “Have you got a Hun yet, Inglis?” and to his negative answer replied, “Well come on out and we will get one.” Mannock told Inglis that they would hunt for a two-seater. Once it was located, Mannock would attack first, with Inglis coming in behind to finish the enemy off and thus get his first kill.

At 5:30 a.m. over Merville, Mannock dived on a two-seater at about 5,000 feet. He knocked out the observer and pulled away, letting Inglis come from underneath, firing into the gas tank. The German plane burst into flame, with the two S.E.5as very low over the ground. Violating his own teaching, Mannock circled the burning wreck twice. Then, as Inglis later wrote in his combat report, “I saw Mick start to kick his rudder and realized we were fairly low, then I saw a flame come out of the side of his machine; it grew bigger and bigger. Mick was no longer kicking his rudder; his nose dropped slightly, and he went into a slow right-hand turn round, about twice, and hit the ground in a burst of flame.” Mannock’s S.E.5a had been brought down by groundfire. Inglis’ plane was shot up, too, and he crash-landed in the British lines, sputtering: “The bastards killed my major. They killed Mick.”

It is impossible to know if Mannock shot himself as he had always threatened to do. Most likely, given the way his plane flew after he was hit, he was either wounded, unconscious or dead. In any event, some unknown German soldier buried the ace after first retrieving Mannock’s ID discs, pistol, notebook and other personal effects, which were returned to his family after the war. These items had all been on Mannock’s body, and they showed no signs of fire.

Back at the airfield, the awful news spread quickly. Jones scribbled in his diary: “26th July—Mick is dead. Everyone stunned. No one can believe it. I can write no more today. It is too terrible.”

In the years after the war, Eyles and others attempted to locate Mannock’s grave, which had been obliterated by shelling. Some researchers believe he lies in the grave of an unknown British aviator near La Pierre-au-Beure. In addition, his friends campaigned for him to be awarded Britain’s highest decoration, the Victoria Cross, which was conferred on July 18, 1919.

A final apocrypha is Mannock’s victory score, which most books give as 73—a number dreamed up by his admirers (above all Jones), many of whom disliked Billy Bishop, who finished the war with 72 kills. According to the most reliable estimates, Mannock brought down 61 enemy aircraft—not counting, of course, the many victories he gave away or did not claim—which makes him Britain’s second-highest scoring ace of the war.

Mannock’s deeply felt emotions, the immense fears and obstacles he faced and the manner in which he overcame them, his achievements, his unconventionality and his great promise all make him vividly human and bring home the tragedy of the lives lost in World War I. The way Mannock touched people was extraordinary. “I was awed by his personality,” wrote Maclanachan after first meeting Mannock. “He was idolized by all who came into intimate contact with him,” recalled another pilot. “He was a man among men,” added a third, while long after the war another remembered Mannock as “a warm, lovable individual of many moods and characteristics. I shall always salute his memory.”

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BerichtGeplaatst: 10 Dec 2008 12:52    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Mooi stukje, intrigerende man. Benieuwd of zijn graf ooit nog gevonden wordt.

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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Mrt 2009 8:26    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The trembling ace

By John Hayes Fisher

The air aces of World War I - like the Red Baron - left a rich mythology that persists to the present day. But the man who was, perhaps, Britain's best pilot, remains little known.

A 90-year-old photo album discovered recently in northern France, reveals possibly the last picture of Britain's "highest scoring" fighter pilot from World War I.

It's an innocent photograph. A highly decorated RAF pilot poses for the camera, his arm gently resting on the shoulder of a local French child standing in front of him.


And yet look into the face of the airman and you see the drawn expression of a man haunted by his experience of battle.

Within days of this picture being taken the pilot - Major Edward "Mick" Mannock VC - would be dead.
Foto op:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7952995.stm

Photographs of Mannock, Britain's highest scoring fighter pilot from World War I, are surprisingly rare. This new one has come to light when researchers recently stumbled across an old album belonging to a French farmer whose land was being used by the RAF in the summer of 1918.

Mannock had just completed an extraordinary run of success shooting down 20 German planes that May - four of them in one day - and winning the Distinguished Service Order (one below the Victoria Cross) not once but three times in little over a month.

Last known image of Mick Mannock, courtesy of Robin Vansemmortier Collection

Enlarge Image

But all was not right with this ace. The inspirational hero of both his squadron and the RAF was struggling to control his nerves, nerves which were tearing him apart.

From his personal diary held at the RAF Museum in London it's clear that Mannock had been wrestling with his emotions from the moment he first went into action just over a year earlier.

"Feeling nervy and ill during the last week. Afraid I'm breaking up."

So bad were the terrors that in his early days of flying some of his fellow pilots on the Western Front believed that Mannock was "windy", in other words, a coward.

A sympathetic commanding officer gave him a chance and over the following months Mannock was able to suppress his fears and start shooting down enemy aircraft. With the "kills" came the awards for gallantry.


Flamerinoes boys! Sizzle sizzle wonk
Mannock's words after a confirmed kill


Flying aircraft in World War I was a shockingly dangerous profession. Of the 14,000 airmen killed in that war, well over half lost their lives in training.

On an early patrol over France one of the bottom wings of Mannock's Nieuport bi-plane suddenly broke off in flight. Mannock managed to land the aircraft, extraordinarily lucky to have survived.

But what Mannock - and many other pilots - feared most, was going down in flames, without a parachute, and burning to death. For this reason he carried a revolver in his cockpit, vowing that if his plane did catch fire he would shoot himself, before the flames devoured him.

Perils of being a WWI flying ace

Mannock developed his own macabre way of conquering his nerves. Not dissimilar to the Captain Flashheart character played by Rik Mayall in Blackadder Goes Forth, Mannock too could be loud and brash.

"Flamerinoes boys! Sizzle sizzle wonk," he would announce as he burst into the mess regaling all of how he had sent some unfortunate "Hun" airman down in flames.

And when in April 1918 various members of his squadron raised their glasses to the recently killed Manfred von Richthofen - the Red Baron - Mannock refused with the words "I hope the bastard burnt all the way down".
Manfred von Richthofen
The Red Baron was feted, his British rivals were not

And yet behind this brash exterior was a deeply sensitive man. Born into a working class military family Mannock was not the typical young public school airman associated with World War I movies. He was a committed socialist and at 29 he was much older than his fellow pilots.

But Mannock was also a man of contradictions. He hated Germans with a vengeance, possibly because he was so badly treated by the Turks - Germany's WWI ally - when he was interned by them earlier in the war.

Yet despite this, when he rushed out to inspect the remains of a German plane he had just shot down and found one of the airmen dead inside, he recorded in his diary: "I felt exactly like a murderer."

In little over 12 months Mannock amassed 73 victories, confirming him as Britain's highest scoring pilot of the First World War and yet today, outside aviation circles, virtually no-one has heard of him.


THE OTHER GREAT WWI ACES
Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron: Germany's star pilot, propaganda icon and the most famous of all the aces
Albert Ball: Leading British and indeed Allied ace at time of death in 1917
Adolphe Pegoud: Frenchman and first pilot to be called an ace
Rene Fonck: Top Allied ace by number of victories

Part of the explanation is that unlike Germany who promoted their air heroes such as the Red Baron, Britain had a policy of keeping their pilots identities firmly under wraps, preferring the idea that it was a team effort and not all about the individual.

The effect was that while photos and stories of the Red Baron were splashed over newspapers around the world, in Britain Mannock, or "Captain X" as the press referred to him, was virtually unknown.

By the early summer of 1918 the air war had reached its savage climax and Mick Mannock's nerves had returned. A friend witnessed Mannock on leave, sobbing and trembling violently, saliva and tears having soaked his collar and shirt.

And despite all this, Mannock's sense of duty meant that he returned to France to face whatever came his way.

On the morning of 26 July while out on patrol he downed his last German aircraft, but made the fatal error of flying low to observe the kill and it was then that his aircraft was hit by German ground fire.

Mannock's aircraft was last seen going down in flames. His nightmare had been realised. It is not known if he was able to use the revolver he always carried with him.

Meer foto's, © en lees vooral de commentaren bij dit artikel op:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7952995.stm


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http://firstworldwar.cloudworth.com/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Mrt 2009 9:58    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Toevallig was er zaterdag op BBC2 een docu over Mannock en McCudden

Oeps! Zie nu dat de info van de BBC site zelf is
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Mrt 2009 18:19    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Mannock is zowat de meest complexe persoon van al de Engelse azen en een figuur van veel controverses.

Echt een buitenbeentje in de RFC: Socialist, van lage komaf, 10 jaar ouder dan de gemiddelde piloot toen.

Zijn vader liet het gezin in de steek en zijn moeder geraakte meer en meer aan de drank. Via zijn oudere broer had hij een redelijk mooie kantoorjob met zicht op latere promotie. Maar liet dat staan om als gewoon handarbeider (aan een veel lager loon) te gaan werken omdat hij vond dat dat veel 'eerlijker' was.

Hij begon later te werken als telefoonarbeider en het was in die hoedanigheid dat hij in Turkije terecht kwam. (De firma waarvoor hij werkte had daar een contract binnen gehaald.

Hij was zo goed als blind in één oog en om zijn medisch examen te passeren voor piloot leerde hij het letterbord gewoon van buiten!
Het probleem als je maar één oog hebt is dat je geen dieptezicht hebt. Zeker bij luchtgevechten is dat nogal een handicap. Hij loste dat op door zo dicht mogelijk bij zijn slachtoffer te gaan vliegen alvorens het vuur te openen.

Uit de manier van zijn dood en de vele getuigenissen en zijn brieven blijkt dat hij gewoon op was... Een brok zenuwen en een inzinking nabij is het eigenlijk onverantwoord dat hij nog de lucht zou ingaan. Maar ja termen als battle fatigue, shell shock en post-traumatic stress disorder moesten nog uitgevonden worden.
Ik zie nogal wat gelijkenissen met het einde van von Richthofen. Beide zaten er eigenlijk compleet door en hun morbide dromen zijn eigenlijk self-fulfilling prophecies geworden...

Naast de locatie van zijn graf is er na de oorlog nog een laatste controverse opgedoken. Namelijk rond zijn VC. Deze werd namelijk (met al de rest van zijn medailles) aan zijn vader gegeven. (Ondanks de uitdrukkelijke wens van Mannock zelf) die er mee verdween en ze korte tijd later verkocht voor £5...
Gelukkig zijn ze in de loop der jaren terecht gekomen en zitten ze nu in de collectie van het RAF Museum te Hendon. (Waar ik ze vorig jaar heb kunnen bewonderen)

Over Mannock zijn er een aantal werken verschenen. Een heel mooie biografie is 'Mannock, VC Ace with one eye' van Frederick Oughton. Oughton steekt zijn bewondering voor Mannock niet onder stoelen of banken maar levert toch een mooie beschrijving van Mannock complexe persoonlijkheid en zijn leven af zonder zelf conclusies te trekken: dat laat hij aan de lezer over.

Wienne
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Mrt 2009 18:23    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Ook hier Wienne hetgeen we gister zagen en hoorden, de sterke veroudering in korte tijd.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Nov 2009 12:48    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

http://historiek.net/index.php/edward-mannock-1887-1918.html
Jammer, het artikel mist een paar belangrijke dingen, die om de persoon Mannock te verklaren toch wel essentieel zijn.
Artikel slaat volledig de plank mis. Jammer, wat een gemiste kans.
Ik heb ze maar hierheen verwezen.
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Laatst aangepast door Yvonne op 07 Nov 2009 13:15, in totaal 1 keer bewerkt
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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Nov 2009 12:49    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Yvonne @ 23 Mrt 2009 18:23 schreef:
Ook hier Wienne hetgeen we gister zagen en hoorden, de sterke veroudering in korte tijd.

Om te verduidelijken bekijk de foto's: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7952995.stm
We hebben meer van dit soort gevallen gehad, een totale veroudering in zeer korte tijd.
Ik schat zo in dat deze mannen in onze tegenwoordige tijden niet meer zouden mogen vliegen.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 10 Nov 2009 18:42    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

In WO2 hadden ze wel degelijk hun lesje geleerd: na hun 'tour of duty' werden piloten overgeplaatst naar een trainingssquadron voor een 'refresher course'. Die tour bestond uit een bepaald aantal missies.
Bedoeling was om inderdaad te verhinderen dat ze aan een burn-out ten onder gingen. Bijkomende bedoeling was ook dat ze hun ervaring met jongere piloten deelden.
Bovendien was het goed voor het moreel: men had zicht op een eindpunt en een kans op de oorlog te overleven. Zeker bij Bomber Command was dat belangrijk.

Trouwens, van aan Britse zijde tijdens WO2 bestaan er ook biografieën van onder andere Warburton en 'Buzz' Beurling die meer dan de moeite waard zijn en een glimp geven van zeer complexe persoonlijkheden die totaal niet konden functioneren in een normale setting, maar in hun geval in Malta, in de niet alledaagse oorlogssfeer open bloeiden, maar uiteindelijk toch ook niet de druk aankonden.

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BerichtGeplaatst: 11 Feb 2010 17:39    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The air war over the Western Front was going badly for the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) in April 1917, when 2nd Lt. Edward Mannock arrived from England to join Number 40 Squadron. It was April 6, the same day the United States declared war on Germany, and the British Army's long awaited spring offensive, the Battle of Arras, was to begin in less than 72 hours.

Aircrew casualties were growing at an ever increasing rate, alarming the RFC's commander, Brig. Gen. Hugh Trenchard. In the first six days of the month alone, the 25 RFC squadrons along the Arras section of the front had lost 64 aircraft shot down with 42 aircrew killed, 9 wounded, and 36 more taken prisoner. (1) This after having lost 143 airmen killed or missing in March. (2) The RFC's counterpart, the Deutschen Luftstreitkrafte (German Air Force) (3) had lost only 12 aircraft during the same period, with 10 aircrew killed, two wounded and three more becoming prisoners of war. The aggressiveness of the RFC crews in accomplishing their commander's edict of maintaining offensive operations no matter the cost was displayed daily. But also on display was the fact that the Luftstreitkrafte, outnumbered in aircraft by nearly two to one, had the technological superiority with faster, better armed aircraft and a core of highly trained pilots who were led by the likes of Manfred and Lothar von Richthofen, Ernst Udet, Werner Voss, and a host of others whose sole intent was to make the RFC pay dearly for every venture into German airspace over the Arras sector.

Lees verder:

http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-5320633/Always-above-Major-Edward-Mick.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 17 Apr 2010 19:56    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Deze nog maar eens onder de aandacht omdat het een puik stukje werk is.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 17 Apr 2010 21:25    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

the PILOT EDWARD 'MICK' MANNOCK
the PLACE LESTREM, FRANCE 1918

A colleague said of him, "A kinder, more thoughtful man you could never meet."

But in combat, Mannock became an ruthless and relentless 'Killing Machine'.

Often physically ill before going on patrol, he became obsessively fearful of one thing - a flaming death. He took to carrying a loaded pistol with him. "I'll put a bullet through my head if the machine catches fire . . . they'll never burn me."

Lees verder (klein beetje naar beneden scrollen):

http://www.bigscalemodels.com/planes/se5/se5.html

en dit:

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=9351062
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BerichtGeplaatst: 02 Jan 2011 13:01    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Edward "Mick" Mannock

Place of Birth: Ballincollig, Cork
Allegiance: United Kingdom
Service/ Branch : Royal Air Force
Years of Service : 1915-1918
Rank: Major
Unit: No.s 40, 74 and 85 Squadrons
Commands: No.74 and No. 85 Squadrons
Awards:
Victoria Cross
Distinguished Service Order &Two Bars
Military Cross and Bar


That disclaimer was indicative of the unselfish and intense devotion to his comrades that characterized the life of Edward Mannock, one of Britain’s all-time greatest combat pilots and leaders of men. By any measure, he was a man of extraordinary gifts, a man who surely would have made as great an impact on the postwar world as he did on those who knew and loved him during his brilliant career as a fighter pilot.

Mannock was born in Cork, Ireland, on May 24, 1887, son of a soldier in the Royal Scots Guards who fought in Britain’s imperial wars. A rough man, he beat Edward and his siblings and drank heavily. While his father was posted to India, Mannock contracted an amoebic infestation that weakened his left eye. That misfortune would be subsequently transformed into the oft-repeated myth of Mannock’s being the “ace with one eye.” Despite early hardships, young Edward possessed a sharp analytical mind. He hated inequality and later became a fervent socialist.

When Mannock was in his early teens, his father abandoned the family, and Edward had to work to support them. He left home and boarded with the Eyles family. Jim Eyles later wrote that Mannock was a person “with high ideals and with a great love for his fellow mortals. He hated cruelty and poverty….A kinder, more thoughtful man you could never meet.” It seems likely that Mannock could have risen in the Labour Party, for he was an excellent speaker. But the coming global conflagration would soon shatter his high ambitions.

When war was declared in August 1914, Mannock was working for a British company in Constantinople. Since the Ottoman empire sided with Germany, he and other British citizens were thrown into prison camps, where they endured appalling conditions. Mannock quickly developed a hatred for the Turks and the Germans. In April 1915, with the assistance of Jim Eyles, he was repatriated. Shortly afterward, Mannock joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and then the Royal Engineers, where he was commissioned a second lieutenant. But he immediately transferred to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) in August 1916, so he could be more involved in the fighting.

Despite his weak left eye, Mannock passed the medical exam. He was apparently a natural pilot with an excellent feel for his machine. One of his instructors, just returned from combat flying in France, was ace Captain James McCudden. The two got along well, and McCudden made a great impact on his pupil. “Mannock,” McCudden wrote, “was a typical example of the impetuous young Irishman, and I always thought he was the type to do or die.” He would do both in France.

With his flight training completed, on April 6, 1917, Mannock was posted to C Flight in No. 40 Squadron, which was flying the highly maneuverable French-built Nieuport 17 fighter armed with one Lewis machine gun mounted above the upper wing. A new phase in Mannock’s life had commenced, and as always for him it was filled with challenges. He made an awful first impression at his new home and rubbed just about everybody the wrong way, failing to appreciate the clubby public school atmosphere of an RFC squadron. Lieutenant Lionel A. Blaxland, a squadron mate, recalled that Mannock “seemed too cocky for his experience, which was nil….New men usually took their time and listened to the more experienced hands; Mannock was the complete opposite. He offered ideas about everything: how the war was going, how it should be fought, the role of scout pilots.” He also broke several unwritten rules of pilot etiquette, asking comrades how many “Huns” they had shot down and—a terrible faux pas—sitting in the seat previously occupied by a pilot who had just been killed.

To make matters worse, Mannock spent hours at target practice but appeared hesitant when confronting enemy planes over the lines. He recorded his emotions on his first combat patrol in his diary on April 13, 1917: “I went over the lines for the first time, escorting FEs [Farman Experimental F.E.2b reconnaissance planes]. Heavily ‘Archied.’ My feelings very funny.” In fact, the novice pilot who had talked so big in the mess had been very afraid. On subsequent flights Mannock was seen as timid in the face of the enemy—“windy” or “having the wind up,” in pilot’s slang. Some of his squadron mates began to shun him and talk about him behind his back. The squadron was soon divided into his supporters and detractors.

His detractors could only be silenced by deeds. They got a taste of Mannock’s mettle on April 19 when, while practice diving at a ground target from 2,000 feet, the lower right wing of his Nieuport snapped off and the plane plunged downward. Mannock somehow managed to land the crippled craft safely. After that display of sang-froid and flying skill, the other pilots began to reconsider their opinions of him.

They were further impressed on May 7 when Mannock joined a flight of five others for a strike on German observation balloons. Mannock destroyed a balloon for his first victory that day. But he wrote in his diary: “My fuselage had bullet holes in it, one very near my head, and the wings were more or less riddled. I don’t want to go through such an experience again.”

Still, fired with new confidence, Mannock became more aggressive in the air and was now accepted in the squadron; men who had formerly given him the cold shoulder now bought him drinks in the mess. He sometimes led combat patrols, and on at least two occasions believed he had brought down a German aircraft but did not claim it, as there were no witnesses. His great desire at that point was to gain a “real” victory over an enemy airplane, but this eluded him.

His persistence eventually paid off. On June 7, flying Nieuport B1552 north of Lille, Mannock went after an Albatros D.III at 13,000 feet. He had been flying escort for a squadron of F.E.2b bombers. Coming in from behind, Mannock pumped 60 rounds into the German fighter at 10 yards, and it went down out of control, an action he jubilantly reported back at the base.

Shortly afterward, Mannock suffered an eye injury, and was sent home on a two-week leave. He used his time at home to think about combat tactics, and when he rejoined his unit, he was convinced of his fighting abilities. On July 12, Mannock shot down a DFW C.V two-seater that crashed inside British lines. Delighted with the opportunity to examine his “work” up close, Mannock drove out to the crash site. The observer had survived, but the pilot was dead. Upon returning to base, he spoke about this to his friend Lieutenant William Maclanachan. “It sickened me,” Mannock told him, “but I wanted to see where my shots had gone. Do you know, there were three neat little bullet holes right here”—Mannock indicated the side of his head. In his diary, Mannock added a further detail, a “little black-and-tan terrier—dead—in the observer’s seat. I felt exactly like a murderer.” Nevertheless, he sent another DFW down out of control the next day.



July 1917 would be important for Mannock in many ways. Not only did he score his first concrete kill, but a squadron mate, Captain George L. “Zulu” Lloyd, spoke privately with him, telling him that a few men still doubted his fighting spirit.

“Of course, I’ve been frightened against my will—nervous reaction,” Mannock forthrightly explained. “I’ve now conquered this physical defect and, having conquered myself, I will now conquer the Hun. Air fighting is a science. I have been studying it and have not been unduly worried at not getting Huns at the expense of being reckless.” Lloyd was more than satisfied with this answer. When some men still questioned Mannock’s abilities, it was put down to jealousy.

Another event that same month was to have a profound effect on Mannock. On the 21st he watched in horror as 2nd Lt. F.W. Rook, a well-liked squadron member, plummeted to earth in flames after being attacked by 1st Lt. Adolf Ritter von Tutschek of Jasta 12. Maclanachan remembered that Mannock later came into his hut, speaking about what was to become an obsession with him. “That’s the way they’re going to get me in the end—flames and finish,” Mannock said with tears in his eyes. Then he explained why he had started to carry his service revolver with him on flights: “to finish myself as soon as I see the first sign of flames.”

The next day Mannock was awarded the Military Cross for his “very fine offensive spirit and great fearlessness attacking the enemy at close range and low altitudes under heavy fire from the ground.” Major General Hugh M. Trenchard, commander of the RFC, even sent his personal congratulations. Soon after that Mannock was made leader of A Flight.

Although taking responsibility did not come easily to Mannock, his score now rose dramatically. He had sharp eyesight and was a magnificent shot. In August alone he was credited with four Albatros D.Vs and one DFW. By the end of 1917, he had 15 confirmed victories under his belt and had received a Bar to his MC. He was becoming an excellent flight leader, fighting with tactics rather than sheer audacity. He also had a sense of humor; he once used a pair of women’s silk stockings on his struts for leader’s streamers.

Mannock looked after the men who flew with him with fatherly compassion and patience, helping them develop into successful combat pilots. If a man was killed, Mannock took it very hard, often retiring to his hut, sobbing and “keening”—mourning by rocking back and forth, as was done in ancient Ireland. Although combat intensified his hatred for the Germans, he was revolted on September 4 when he flamed a DFW. “It was a horrible sight,” Mannock wrote in his diary, “and made me feel sick.”

But that same flight illustrated Mannock’s superb tactics. As noted in his diary, he had had trouble recognizing the two-seater’s national markings at first. “So I turned my tail towards him,” Mannock related, “and went in the same direction, thinking that if he were British he wouldn’t take notice of me, and if a Hun I felt sure he would put his nose down and have a shot (thinking I hadn’t seen him). The ruse worked beautifully. His nose went (pointing at me), and I immediately whipped round, dived and ‘zoomed’ up behind him before you could say ‘knife.’ He tried to turn but he was much too slow for the Nieuport. I got in about 50 rounds in short bursts whilst on the turn and he went down in flames.”

On October 17, 1917, the squadron was delighted to receive the RFC’s new British-made fighter, the Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a. This was a powerful aircraft, faster and tougher than the nimble Nieuport. The pilots loved them at first, especially their double armament—a synchronized Vickers machine gun and an over-wing Lewis—which at long last put them on a par with the Germans. They soon found out that this machine was having teething troubles, however, including gun jams and engine failures. The squadron suffered more than 20 such incidents in a two-week period.

By December, after 10 months of continuous air fighting, Mannock was worn out. Maclanachan described him as tense and noted that he often “brought up the subject of catching fire in the air.” On January 1, 1918, Mannock shot down another DFW and was informed that he was being sent back to England to serve as a flight trainer. That night at his farewell party, Lieutenant W. Douglas remembered, Mannock rose and “entertained us to one of his marvelous speeches,” full of giving the Hun hell and injecting “jokes about one or other of his comrades going down in flames or crashing in some other horrible way.” The commander of No. 40 Squadron, Major L.A. Tilney, wrote in the unit’s diary, “His leadership and general ability will never be forgotten by those who had the good fortune to serve under him.”

Back in England, Mannock was posted on February 2 to London Colney as a flight commander at No. 74 Squadron, which was in training. The unit was suffering from low morale, apparently due to unmotivated instructors. Mannock electrified the disheartened pilots. He was a natural teacher and a powerful speaker, and his lectures on aerial combat were always fully attended. “Gentlemen,” he told his men, “always above; seldom on the same level; never underneath.” His practical advice was priceless and would save lives at the front. “Don’t ever attempt to dog-fight a triplane on anything like equal terms as regards height,” he warned, “otherwise he will get on your tail and stay there until he shoots you down.” He also told his pilots never to follow a victim too close to the ground, because they might be hit by fire from the trenches.

To motivate his men, Mannock—much like a football coach—affected a “kill-all-the-bloody-Huns” persona that later gave birth to another hoary myth about his being a “Hun-hater,” which would have appalled him. In fact his diary reveals his respect for his opponents. Concerning a two-seater that escaped him in early September 1917, Mannock wrote, “He deserved to get away really, as he must have been a brave Hun.” In an earlier dogfight in which the British outnumbered the Germans 2-to-1 but could not bring one down, Mannock noted, “I shall always maintain an unsullied admiration for those Huns.” Major Keith L. “Grid” Caldwell, No. 74 Squadron’s New Zealand–born commanding officer, recalled that “Mick was a very human, sensitive sort of chap; he did not hate people or things at all….I believe that this hatred was calculated or assumed to boost his own morale and that of the squadron in general.”

In April 1918, Mannock and No. 74 Squadron landed their S.E.5as at their new aerodrome in France, Clairmarais North. Mannock was eager to fight. Leading A Flight on April 12, he scored a double kill over Albatros D.Vs, the unit’s first victories. In the next three months or so, he would increase his victory list by an amazing 33, not counting those he did not claim or gave away to fellow pilots to pump up their self-confidence—a habit with him. Under his leadership, No. 74 came to be known as the “Tiger Squadron,” and his men reverently called him the “Iron Man.”

Mannock took it as his responsibility to protect the members of his flight and often guided them over the lines. “It was wonderful to be in his Flight;” remembered one young pilot, “to him his Flight was everything and he lived for it. Every member had his special thought and care.” Mannock gave them vital advice on how best to deal with the enemy. “He placed gunnery before flying,” recalled Lieutenant Ira “Taffy” Jones, a close friend. “Good flying has never killed a Hun yet,” Mannock pointed out. Moreover, he would set up kills for inexperienced pilots. Lieutenant Henry E. Dolan related how Mannock had shot up a German two-seater and then “nodded at me to get it. I went down on the Hun’s tail and saw that Mick had killed the gunner, and I could attack safely.”


With his piercing blue eyes and his trademark affectations, a long-stemmed pipe and a cane, Mannock was famous along the front. He had, recalled Jones, “an intriguingly complex nature. It fluctuated so,” for Mannock could be ruthless as a fighter, boyish in the mess, harsh with his pilots’ mistakes, gentle and complimentary for good work, morbid when depressed. Once Mannock dived repeatedly on a crashed German two-seater, firing at the crew. Asked about this later, he growled, “The swines are better dead—no prisoners for me.”

On May 21, Mannock brought down four German planes—three Pfalz D.IIIs and a Hannover two-seater—and the next day was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. Before the month was out, he flamed eight new victims. After such victories, he would burst into the mess shouting, “Sizzle, sizzle, sizzle, wonk woof!” to boost morale. But privately he expressed darker thoughts. By the middle of June, Jones noticed that Mannock’s nerves were “noticeably fraying. He was now continually talking about being shot down in flames.” Writing to his sister, Mannock said, “I am supposed to be going on leave, (if I live long enough)….” He was fighting depression and plagued by dreams of burning aircraft.

On June 18, Mannock sailed home for leave in England. Upon his arrival he was informed that he had been promoted to major and given command of No. 85 Squadron, previously led by Canadian ace Major William A. “Billy” Bishop, and that he also had been awarded a Bar to his DSO. He reacted with indifference to the news.

After spending a brief but painful time with his mother, an alcoholic, Mannock went to stay with his friend Jim Eyles, who saw that he “had changed dramatically. Gone was the old sparkle we knew so well; gone was the incessant wit. I could see him wring his hands together to conceal the shaking and twitching.” One day, as the time approached for Mannock to return to the war, “he started to tremble violently. This grew into a convulsive straining. He cried uncontrollably….His face, when he lifted it, was a terrible sight. Saliva and tears were running down his face; he couldn’t stop it.” Given his condition, 31-year-old Mannock should never have been sent back to the front. But back he went.

Back in France again, Mannock took command of No. 85 Squadron on July 5, 1918, and his arrival was seen as a godsend. He immediately set to work teaching his new men about aerial tactics. Two days after his arrival he got two Fokker D.VIIs as his new squadron mates, infected by his enthusiasm, brought down an additional three. Within a matter of days, Mannock’s personality had completely transformed the unit. He threw himself into his work and even enjoyed a respite from the nightmares and depression. It would not last long.

On July 10, Mannock heard that his friend James McCudden had been killed in a flying accident, news that hurled Mannock back into depression but also spurred him to a furious killing spree. He shot down six aircraft between July 14 and 26. But he was also taking risks and ignoring his own teachings. Often he followed a victim down to spray the wreckage with bullets. He led his flights with rage and flew solo patrols in his hunt for Germans. Premonitions of death haunted him. In his last letter to his sister he wrote, “I feel that life is not worth hanging on to.” And Ira Jones found him unstable, noting: “One minute, he’s full out. The next he gives the impression of being morbid and keeps bringing up his pet subject of being shot down in flames.”

Early in the morning of July 26, 1918, Lieutenant Donald Inglis walked into the mess where Mannock was smoking his pipe and playing “Londonderry Air” on the gramophone. The two were to fly a morning patrol together. Earlier, Mannock had asked the rookie pilot, “Have you got a Hun yet, Inglis?” and to his negative answer replied, “Well come on out and we will get one.” Mannock told Inglis that they would hunt for a two-seater. Once it was located, Mannock would attack first, with Inglis coming in behind to finish the enemy off and thus get his first kill.

At 5:30 a.m. over Merville, Mannock dived on a two-seater at about 5,000 feet. He knocked out the observer and pulled away, letting Inglis come from underneath, firing into the gas tank. The German plane burst into flame, with the two S.E.5as very low over the ground. Violating his own teaching, Mannock circled the burning wreck twice. Then, as Inglis later wrote in his combat report, “I saw Mick start to kick his rudder and realized we were fairly low, then I saw a flame come out of the side of his machine; it grew bigger and bigger. Mick was no longer kicking his rudder; his nose dropped slightly, and he went into a slow right-hand turn round, about twice, and hit the ground in a burst of flame.” Mannock’s S.E.5a had been brought down by groundfire. Inglis’ plane was shot up, too, and he crash-landed in the British lines, sputtering: “The bastards killed my major. They killed Mick.”


It is impossible to know if Mannock shot himself as he had always threatened to do. Most likely, given the way his plane flew after he was hit, he was either wounded, unconscious or dead. In any event, some unknown German soldier buried the ace after first retrieving Mannock’s ID discs, pistol, notebook and other personal effects, which were returned to his family after the war. These items had all been on Mannock’s body, and they showed no signs of fire.

Back at the airfield, the awful news spread quickly. Jones scribbled in his diary: “26th July—Mick is dead. Everyone stunned. No one can believe it. I can write no more today. It is too terrible.”

In the years after the war, Eyles and others attempted to locate Mannock’s grave, which had been obliterated by shelling. Some researchers believe he lies in the grave of an unknown British aviator near La Pierre-au-Beure. In addition, his friends campaigned for him to be awarded Britain’s highest decoration, the Victoria Cross, which was conferred on July 18, 1919.



A final apocrypha is Mannock’s victory score, which most books give as 73—a number dreamed up by his admirers (above all Jones), many of whom disliked Billy Bishop, who finished the war with 72 kills. According to the most reliable estimates, Mannock brought down 61 enemy aircraft—not counting, of course, the many victories he gave away or did not claim—which makes him Britain’s second-highest scoring ace of the war.

Mannock’s deeply felt emotions, the immense fears and obstacles he faced and the manner in which he overcame them, his achievements, his unconventionality and his great promise all make him vividly human and bring home the tragedy of the lives lost in World War I. The way Mannock touched people was extraordinary. “I was awed by his personality,” wrote Maclanachan after first meeting Mannock. “He was idolized by all who came into intimate contact with him,” recalled another pilot. “He was a man among men,” added a third, while long after the war another remembered Mannock as “a warm, lovable individual of many moods and characteristics. I shall always salute his memory.”

http://www.raf74.com/Mannock.php

Gr P
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BerichtGeplaatst: 02 Jan 2011 13:19    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Zelfde tekst als de eerste post. Wink
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BerichtGeplaatst: 02 Jan 2011 13:54    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Yvonne @ 06 Nov 2009 12:48 schreef:
http://historiek.net/index.php/edward-mannock-1887-1918.html
Jammer, het artikel mist een paar belangrijke dingen, die om de persoon Mannock te verklaren toch wel essentieel zijn.
Artikel slaat volledig de plank mis. Jammer, wat een gemiste kans.
Ik heb ze maar hierheen verwezen.

http://historiek.net/victoria-cross/edward-mannock-1887-1918-2477
Andere url geworden, en de reacties hebben ze verwijderd Very Happy
Neemt niet weg dat het een flutartikel blijft en nog steeds de essentie mist.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 02 Jan 2011 15:32    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Bugger, niet goed gelezen... Embarassed

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BerichtGeplaatst: 02 Jan 2011 21:01    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Voor de digitale kijkers onder ons; maandagavond een reportage op Discovery World:

03 jan
18:20
(50 mins)
Timewatch
Aces Falling
Edward Mannock VC en James McCudden VC waren twee Britse vliegende azen in WOI. We onderzoeken hun strijd om te overleven en het mysterie rond de dood van één van hen.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 26 Jul 2012 9:55    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

On this day 1918, Major Edward Mannock, Britain’s highest-rated air ace, was shot down and killed. He was posthumously awarded a Victoria Cross, now on display at IWM London. Find out how he earned it:

http://archive.iwm.org.uk/upload/package/184/aggression.html
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