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Archive Report: Allied Forces
1914 - 1918

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
Major Billy Bishop VC - Canadian Fighter Pilot Legend

Major William Avery "Billy" Bishop VC MC DSO & Bar DFC Born on 8 Feb 1894 in Owen Sound. RMC in 1911, then to RCMR. Sent to UK, he transfers to RFC in July 1915 2/Lt transfer to RFC on 1 July 1915, from the Canadian Mounted rifles.

He starts w/ No.21 RFC Sqn as observer in Fall 1915 Injured in a crash and Hospitalized Trains as a pilot Served w/ No.60 RFC Sqn from March 1917

(1) On 25 March 1917 flying Nieuport 17 #A306, he claims an Albatross D.II s/d N of St.Leger at 17:00 he is also forced to land unhurt.

(2) On 31 March 1917 flying Ni-23 #A6769 he claims an Albatross D.II s/d S of Gavrelle at 07:30. It may have been Oblt Von Tutscheck who claimed a Ni-23 s/d over Loos, neither side lost any a/c.

(3 & 4) On 7 April 1917 60 RFC Sqn sends it’s a/c for a recce patrol at 16:40, He attacks a Balloon and claims it s/d at Vis-en-Artois, they are intercepted by Jasta 11 at 17:45 N of Mercatel, he claims an Albatros D.III sent SENT OOC over Arras.

(5 to 7) On 8 April 1917 flying Ni-23 #A6769 he claims an Albatross 2-seater shared s/d w/ Major AJL Scott between Douai and Flesquieres at 09:30, plus two Albatross D.III sent SENT OOC NE of Arras at 09:30 and over Vitry-en-Artois at 10:10.

(8) On 20 April 1917 flying Ni-17 #B1566/C5, he claims an Aviatik type-C s/d in flames over Biache-St.Vaast at 14:58. (the German only record the Observer kia near Peronne, 40km S of Bishop's claim.

(9) On 22 April 1917 flying Ni-17 #B1566/C5, he claims an Albatross D.III sent OOC E of Vimy at 11:20

(10 & 11) On 23 April 1917 flying Ni-17 #B1566/C5, he claims an Albatross type-C s/d over Vitry en Artois at 15:30 and an Albatross D.III s/d in flames E of Vitry at 15:59.

(12) On 27 April 1917 flying Ni-17 #B1566/C5, he claims a balloon s/d at 08:55 near Vitry-en-Artois

(13) On 29 April 1917 flying Ni-17 #B1566/C5, he claims a Halberstadt D.II s/d in flames E of Epinoy at 11:55 (no recorded loss by the germans). Promoted Capt in April 1917 One of the German two-seaters was nicknamed the "Flying Pig" by Sqn 60, because its crew was so incompetent. It was never shot at, although attacking it was fair.

(14) On 30 April 1917 flying Ni-17 #B1566/C5, he claims a Two-Seater s/d SE of Lens at 11:15.

(15 & 16) On 2 May 1917 flying Ni-17 #B1566/C5, he claims Two Albatross type-CIII s/d and sent OOC E of Epinoy at 10:10 and 10:12.

(17) On 4 May 1917 flying Ni-17 #B1566/C5, he claims an AEG type C-IV shared s/d between Brebieres and Vitry at 13:36 w/ Lt WM Fry.

(18 & 19) On 7 May 1917 flying Ni-17 #B1566/C5, he claims an Albatross D.III sent OOC N of Vitry at 09:50 and an Albatross D.III sent OOC over Brebieres at 15:00.

(20) On 26 May 1917 flying Ni-17 #B1566/C5, he claims an Albatross D.III sent OOC over Izel les Esquerchins at 10:16

(21) On 27 May 1917 flying Ni-17 #B1566/C5, he claims an Albatross type-C s/d between Dourgies and Monchy at 09:40

(22) On 31 May 1917 flying Ni-17 #B1566/C5, he claims an Albatross D.III s/d over Epinoy at 07:11

(23 to 25) On 2 June 1917 flying Ni-17 #B1566/C5 for a lone patrol to the enemy airfield at Estourmel, he attacks 7 Albatross on the ground at Esnes or Avoingt, claiming two Albatross D.III s/d on take off, and an Albatross D.III s/d between 04:23 and 05:00. He is severely damaged by flak and ground fire. Awarded VC. (the details are murky, and discrepancies exist in the story).

(26) On 8 June 1917 flying Ni-17 #B1566/C5, he claims an Albatross D.III s/d N of Lille at 12:10

(27) On 24 June 1917 flying Ni-17 #B1566/C5, he claims an Albatross D.III s/d in flames over Beaumont at 11:23

(28) On 24 June 1917 flying Ni-17 #B1566/C5, he claims an Albatross D.III sent OOC over Dury at 12:05

(29 & 30) On 26 June 1917 flying Ni-17 #B1566/C5, he claims two Albatross D.III s/d in flames and sent OOC between Annay and N of Etaing at 10:55 and 10:56.

(31) On 28 June 1917 flying Ni-17 #B1566/C5, he claims an Albatross D.III s/d between Drocourt and La bassee at 11:30

(32) On 10 July 1917 flying Ni-17 #B1566/C5, he claims an Albatross D.III sent OOC between Vitry and Quierry at 20:10

(33) On 12 July 1917 flying Ni-17 #B1566/C5, he claims an Albatross D.III s/d between Vitry and Douai at 13:40

(34 & 35) On 17 July 1917 flying Ni-17 #B1566/C5, he claims an Albatross D.III s/d in flames over Havrincourt at 19:45 and an Albatross D.III at 19:55

(36) On 20 July 1917 flying Ni-17 #B1566/C5, he claims an Albatross D.III sent OOC 6km SE of havrincourt at 12:05 in mid July the unit re-equip on SE-5's

(37) On 28 July 1917 flying SE-5 #A8936, he claims an Albatross D.III s/d in flames over Phalempin at 18:10

(38) On 29 July 1917 flying SE-5 #A8936, he claims an Albatross D.III sent OOC over Beaumont at 07:10

(39 & 40) On 5 Aug 1917 flying SE-5 #A8936, he claims an Albatross D.III s/d in flames and an Albatross D.III sent OOC between Hendecourt and Monchy at 20:00.

(41) On 6 Aug 1917 flying SE-5 #A8936, he claims an Albatross D.III s/d over Brebieres at 15:45

(42) On 9 Aug 1917 flying SE-5 #A8936, he claims an Albatross D.III s/d over Ecourt St.Quentin at 09:00

(43 & 44) On 13 Aug 1917 flying SE-5 #A8936, he claims two Albatross D.III s/d 5m S of Douai at 19:02

(45) On 15 Aug 1917 flying SE-5 #A8936, he claims an Albatross D.V sent OOC over Henin-Lietard at 20:20

(46 & 47) On 16 Aug 1917 flying SE-5 #A8936, he claims an Albatross type-C s/d over harnes at 19:03 and and Albatross D.V s/d over Carvin at 19:05 Promoted Major Returns to Canada in Sept 1917 Returns to UK as Chief Gunnery instructor He has 60 vict in 1917. Posted OC No.85 RFC Sqn on formation, the unit moves to France on 22 May 1918.

(48) On 27 May 1918 flying SE-5 #C6490 he claims a Two-Seater s/d over Passchendaele at 16:32

(49 & 50) On 28 May 1918 flying SE-5 #C6490 he claims two Albatross D.V s/d SW of Cortemarck at 15:55

(51 to 53) On 30 May 1918 flying SE-5 #C6490 he claims a Two-Seater s/d over roulers at 15:42 and an Albatross D.V s/d over Roulers at 15:45, later he claims an Albatross D.V s/d 1km N of Armentieres at 19:53

(54 & 55) On 31 May 1918 flying SE-5 #C6490 he claims a Pfalz D.III s/d over Quesnoy at 15:05 followed by another Pfalz D.III s/d 2m NE of Estaires at 20:15.

(56) On 1 June 1918 flying SE-5 #C6490 he claims a Pfalz D.III s/d over La Gorgue at 20:10

(57) On 2 June 1918 flying SE-5 #C6490 he claims a Pfalz D.III s/d S of Armentieres at 20:15

(58 & 59) On 4 June 1918 flying SE-5 #C6490 he claims an Albatross D.V s/d in flames 3m off Nieuport at 11:28 and an Albatross D.V sent OOC over Leffinghe at 11:37.

(60) On 15 June 1918 flying SE-5 #C1904 he claims a Pfalz D.III s/d E of Estaires at 18:55

(61 & 62) On 16 June 1918 flying SE-5 #C1904 he claims a Two-Seater s/d E of Armentieres at 20:20 and an Albatross D.V s/d over Armenteieres at 20:25

(63 to 65) On 17 June 1918 flying SE-5 #C1904 he claims a Two-Seater s/d in flames between Staden and Hooglede at 10:25, a Two-Seater s/d over Sailly-sur-la-Lys at 10:50 and an Albatross D.V s/d over Laventie at 10:55.

(66 & 67) On 18 June 1918 flying SE-5 #C1904 he claims two Albatross D.V s/d NE of Ypres at 10:45, possibly piloted by Lt R Heinz and Uffz Kohler from Jasta 56 who were both Wia.

(68 & 72) On 19 June 1918 flying SE-5 #C1904 he claims three Pfalz D.III s/d E of Ploegsteert at 09:58, two colided, a Pfalz D.III s/d E of Ploegsteert at 10:00 and a Two-Seater s/d between Ploegsteert and Neuve-Eglise at 10:10.

On 19 June 1918, he passes 85 Sqn to Mannock. In Aug 1918 posted to Canadian HQ to form the RCAF He ended the war w/ 72 vict: fourth ace of the war.

His claims were rarely corroborated by witnesses and were questioned. The controversy is still alive 100 years after his birth.

After the war he partners w/ Billy Baker VC to form a commercial air company In WW2, served as AVM in charge of training He died on 11 Sept 1956

SY 23 May 2016

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling WW1 material include: Dunnigan, James F. (2003). How to Make War: A Comprehensive Guide to Modern Warfare in the Twenty-first Century. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-060090-12-8.Durkota, Allen; Darcey, Thomas; Kulikov, Victor (1995). The Imperial Russian Air Service: Famous Pilots and Aircraft of World War I. Mountain View: Flying Machines Press. ISBN 978-0-060090-12-8.Franks, Norman; Bailey, Frank W.; Guest, Russell (1993). Above the Lines: The Aces and Fighter Units of the German Air Service, Naval Air Service and Flanders Marine Corps, 1914–1918. Oxford: Grub Street. ISBN 978-0-948817-73-1.Franks, Norman (2005). Sopwith Pup Aces of World War I. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-841768-86-1.Franks, Norman; Guest, Russell; Alegi, Gregory (1997). Above the War Fronts: The British Two-seater Bomber Pilot and Observer Aces, the British Two-seater Fighter Observer Aces, and the Belgian, Italian, Austro-Hungarian and Russian Fighter Aces, 1914–1918. Oxford: Grub Street. ISBN 978-1-898697-56-5.Franks, Norman; Bailey, Frank W. (1992). Over the Front: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the United States and French Air Services, 1914–1918. Oxford: Grub Street. ISBN 978-0-948817-54-0.Guttman, Jon (2009). Pusher Aces of World War 1. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-846034-17-6.Guttman, Jon (2001). Spad VII Aces of World War I: Volume 39 of Aircraft of the Aces. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-841762-22-7.Kulikov, Victor (2013). Russian Aces of World War 1: Aircraft of the Aces. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-780960-61-6.Newton, Dennis (1996). Australian Air Aces: Australian Fighter Pilots in Combat. Motorbooks International. ISBN 978-1-875671-25-0.Pieters, Walter M. (1998). Above Flanders Fields: A Complete Record of the Belgian Fighter Pilots and Their Units During the Great War. Oxford: Grub Street. ISBN 978-1-898697-83-1.Shores, Christopher (2001). British and Empire Aces of World War I. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-377-4.Shores, Christopher; Franks, Norman; Guest, Russell (1990). Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915–1920. Oxford: Grub Street. ISBN 978-0-948817-19-9.Shores, Christopher; Franks, Norman; Guest, Russell (1996). Above the Trenches Supplement: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces. Oxford: Grub Street. ISBN 978-1-898697-39-8., Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 23 May 2016, 15:25