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RAF_Louvert

not OT at all: Superb Photo of Captured FE2b

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Greetings All,

 

I posted the photo below over in the Great War Forum to see if anyone has run across it before and if so what information they might have about it. I received a CD this last weekend with about 2500 photos from various old German albums of the War and this was one of the items on the CD. It appears to be a captured FE2b of RFC 25, but beyond that I know nothing about it.

 

 

Captured_FE2b_001.jpg

 

An outstandingly clear, crisp, large photo showing a lot of detail. I hope someone will have more information on this kite and where the picture was taken.

 

Cheers!

 

Lou

 

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Ah - I thought you had written that, Lou! What an honour, eyh?

Sorry I can't help you - if even you don't know it - who should?

Maybe Shredward - but I guess it's a tough question.

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That's my plane! Some time ago, I made the Worst Navigation Error Ever (at least at the time--it was recently surpassed by an Italian cruise ship captain :grin: ). Warp went haywire on me and before I realized it, my whole flight was in the vicinity of Dusseldorf :yikes: . We tried to get home but ran out of fuel and ditched in the SE corner of The Netherlands. But the bloody Dutch handed us over to the Germans, who made a big deal out of attempting to bomb their cities, even though we were on a photo mission. So propaganda pics all around, including this one.

 

If you want, I'll autograph that photo for you :cool:

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Maybe the German soldiers were so awestruck by the Fee that they followed it across No Man's Land and surrendered to it? :dntknw:

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Bullethead, would you make it out: "To Lou, The greatest Camel pilot ever, and one swell guy."grin.gif

 

Certainly! It would be a pleasure. As long as you hang it on your wall with a brass plaque saying it was signed by the greatest Fee driver ever :).

 

On a more serious note, you could perhaps get a general timeframe from looking at the uniforms and lack of winter clothing. Knowing you, you've probably already done this. But obviously this pic was taken far behind the lines. Nobody is carrying a rifle, nobody's covered in mud, and all the enlisted men on the left have the full-checked, clean-shaven look of REMFs. Also, most of them look rather annoyed at being taken away from their soft living to pose for this picture, which involved standing in the mud.

 

Maybe the German soldiers were so awestruck by the Fee that they followed it across No Man's Land and surrendered to it? :dntknw:

 

Yes, that's quite plausible. I've seen that happen many times, when I've actually made it across the lines, that is. Usually I get bounced long before then. But when I do manage to get across, the universal feeling amongst the German infantry is that if they can look up and see a Fee, then the war is surely lost and they surrender en masse :lol:

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F.E.2b (5206) 21 May 1916 brought down near Houthem by Ltn W. Frankl

 

Can't help you with your Fee, Lou, but here I have another which I found at the FLICKR photo website.

There was another photo of it, which was used as a postcard. It carried the following text on the back:

Flandern, den 28.5.1916

 

Lieber Cousin Karl !

Zu meiner größten Freude habe ich gestern Deine Ansicht erhalten un danke Dir herzlichst dafür.

Auch ich bin noch wohlauf, wenn es auch am vergangenen Montag mir bald am Kragen gegangen wäre.

Wir erhielten schwere englische Artilleriebeschießung in dichtester Nähe, 10, 15, 20 Meter ab.

Sogar ein schlug 6 m von mir ab ein und explodierte mit größter Gewalt. Glücklich wurde ich verschont.

Nur bekam ich von dem furchtbaren Luftdruck heftiges Nasenbluten. Auch heute haben sie unsere

Arbeit wieder zerschossen. Lieber Karl, sende Dir anbei eine Ansicht von dem englischen Doppeldecker,

den 4 Fokker über unserem Quartier vorigen Sonntag zum Landen zwangen, und habe ich mir die hübschen

englischen gefangenen Offiziere in Augenschein nehmen können. Leutnant Franke holte mit dieses engl.

Flugzeug sein 6. runter. Lieber Karl, an Urlaub ist immer bei mir noch nicht zu denken, u. denke ich im

August wird der Frieden näher sein. Habe von Hermann u. Peterson, Grimm auch Nachricht (gute).

Habe ihnen eine neue Aufnahme von mir gesandt und werden mich wohl nicht erkennen ?

Nun leb wohl und sei herzlichst gegrüßt von Erich

 

 

 

Dear Cousin Karl!

To my great joy I received your picture yesterday, sincerest thanks for that.

I am still doing well, although last Monday I soon went on the collar.

We received a heavy British artillery bombardment in close proximity: 10, 15, 20 metres.

Actually one hit about six meters from me, and exploded with great violence. Happily I was spared.

I only got a heavy nosebleed from the pressure.Even today, they have shot up our work again.

Dear Karl, I'm sending you herewith a view of the English double-decker, four Fokkers forced to land

over our quarters last Sunday, I inspected it and the pretty English officers in captivity. With this English

plane, Lieutenant Franke has his sixth aircraft down. Dear Karl, on leave do not think of me, I think in

August we will be closer to peace. Have heard from Hermann, Peterson and Grimm also (good).

Have sent them a new shot of me which they will probably not recognize me?

Now farewell, warmly greetings, Erich.

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I am still doing well, although last Monday I soon went on the collar.

Olham: What does 'on the collar' mean?

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@Olham

I don't think that's the same plane. Besides the lack of fence points right in front of it, there are a number of structural differences. The one in your pic is a definite factory-fresh FE2b, but the one in Lou's pic is a mongrel. Lou's has the FE2d landing gear, despite the FE2b nacelle and radiators. Also, there are different exhaust pipes.

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What are the protrusions above the upper wing leading edge a few feet in from the tips? Are those lights? Could this be a night flyer?

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What are the protrusions above the upper wing leading edge a few feet in from the tips? Are those lights? Could this be a night flyer?

 

They're pulleys for the aileron cables, which you can see beautifully modeled in OFF. If anybody besides me flew the Fee, they'd know these things :grin:

Edited by Bullethead

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.

 

Mystery solved everyone. After further research I discovered several other photos of the same bus over at the 'Wingnuts' website. The Fee in question is #4909, "Baby Mine", of 25 Squadron, flown by Lt. J R B Savage with the front office manned by 2AM T Robinson. Although mortally wounded in combat with Max Immelmann on the afternoon of 18 June, 1916 , Lt Savage managed to land his bus south of Lens. Immediately after attacking "Baby Mine" Immelmann's plane was seen to fall apart in mid-air and plunge 2000 metres to the ground, killing Germany's then leading ace. As a side note, Immelmann was not credited with the force down of #4909, but rather it was his good friend Max Mulzer who put in the successful claim, giving him his fourth victory, (information courtesy of 'Early German Aces of World War I', by Greg VanWyngarden).

 

Also BH, I'm afraid I must disagree Sir, those are indeed small 'landing' lights on the leading edge of the top wing. I have seen them before on other photos of Fees set up for night work, though more often they are fitted to the top side of the lower wing. The pulleys you mention are a bit farther in on the wings as well as a bit farther back, and would not be seen from the angle that photo was taken.

 

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Olham: What does 'on the collar' mean?

It must be a direct translation, which doesn't make sense in English.

"Es ging mir an den Kragen" would be in English "They grabbed my collar", which is something you do in a bar fight.

You grab the other guys collar to look in his face from close on in rage, cause you are upset and about to punch him.

In German we use that for any dangerous situations we get in.

 

@Olham

I don't think that's the same plane.

I didn't say it was.

 

Edited by Olham

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