Air Aces of World War One



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Major Lanoe George Hawker V.C. England’s 1st Ace 1890/1916

The son of a Distinguished Military family, Hawker was born on the 30th of December 1890 at Longparish, Hampshire, England. He was educated at Stubbington House School and then at 11 yrs old to The Royal Navy College in Dartmouth, although highly intelligent and a keen sportsman, his grades didn’t reflect this and a Naval career seemed unlikely.

And so, he entered The Royal Military Academy in Woolwich before joining the Royal Engineers as an Officer Cadet. A clever inventor, Hawker developed a keen interest in all mechanical and engineering developments. During the summer of 1910 he saw a film depicting the Wright Flyer and after attending an aircraft flying display at Bournemouth.

He quickly gained an interest in Aviation, learning to fly at his own expense at Hendon Aerodrome. On the 4th of March 1913, he was awarded Aviators Certificate No.435 by The Royal Aero Club. Promoted to 1st Lieutenant in October 1913, he was posted to Cork Harbour with the 33rd Fortress Company. His request for attachment to The Royal Flying Corps was granted and he reported to the Central Flying School at Upavon on 1st August 1914.

Hawker was posted to France in October 1914, as a Captain with No.6 Sqn. R.F.C. flying Henri Farmans. The squadron soon converted to the B.E.2c and Hawker undertook numerous reconnaissance missions, into 1915 being wounded once by ground fire. On the 22nd Of April he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for attacking a German Zeppelin shed at Gontrode by dropping hand grenades at low level, below 200ft from his B.E.2c. He used a tethered German Balloon to shield him from enemy fire from the ground while he made successive attacks. During the 2nd battle of Ypres, Hawker was wounded in the foot by ground fire. For the remainder of the battle he had to be carried to and from his Aircraft but refused to be grounded until the battle was over.

To be Continued ……..

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Air Aces of World War One

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Captain Arthur Roy Brown – Canadian Ace 1893 / 1944

Brown was born in Carleton Place, 30 miles west of Ottawa. Although Brown did well in High School, He transferred to a business school to study accounting with a view to eventually taking over the family business. As a follow-on to this course he wanted to take a course in business administration, but he needed his high school matriculation which technically he did not have. He took a course at Victoria High School in Edmonton from 1913 to 1915 to get his high school diploma. Whilst there he befriended Wilfred R. ‘Wop’ May, another Ace in the making.

Brown enlisted in 1915, as an Officer cadet at the Army Officers training, as a prerequisite to joining the Royal Naval Air Service. Brown received his flight training at the Wright Flying School near Dayton, Ohio, from September to November 1915. He was awarded the Aero Club of America’s Pilot’s certificate No. 361 on the 13th of  November and was conformed as a sub-lieutenant in the R.N.A.S. on the 15th.

Brown set sail for England on November 22nd 1915 and underwent further training at Chingford. On the 2nd of May 1916, Brown crashed his Avro 504 emerging apparently unscathed, although the next morning he experienced severe back pain as he had broken a vertebra. He spent two months in hospital and in September 1916 was transferred to Eastchurch Gunnery School. In January 1917 he was sent to Cranwell to complete his advanced training.

In March 1917, Brown was posted to No.9 Naval Squadron, flying coastal patrols off the Belgian coast in Sopwith Pups. In April ‘B’ flight which included Brown was attached to The R.F.C. to assist during the Battle of Arras. Brown took ill at this time and missed ‘Bloody April’ when the British suffered heavy losses.

In June 1917, Brown was posted to No.11 Naval Squadron, on the 17th of July he achieved his first victory, over an Albatros D.III, whilst flying a Sopwith Pup and later that month another three unconfirmed kills.

To Be Continued ………….

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 92 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 92 )

Conclusion of Police Surgeon’s Report:

The left calf showed a long gash through skin and tissues to the deep muscles and reaching from the knee to five inches above the ankle. Both arms and forearms had extensive jagged wounds.

The right thumb showed a small superficial lesion about one inch long with extravasation of blood in the skin, and there were several abrasions on the back of the hand moreover showing the same condition.

The pericardium was open below and the heart absent. In the abdominal cavity was some partially digested food of fish and potatoes and similar food was found in the remains of the stomach attached to the intestines.

Dr. George Bagster Phillips was also present at the scene, and gave the following testimony at the inquest:

‘ The mutilated remains of a female were lying two-thirds over the edge of the bedstead nearest the door. She had only her chemise on, or some linen undergarment. I am sure the body had been removed subsequent to the injury which caused her death from that side of the bed which was nearest the wooden partition, because of the large quantity of blood under the bed and the saturated condition of the sheet and palliasse at the corner nearest the partition. the blood was produced by the severance of the carotid artery, which was the cause of death. The injury was inflicted while the deceased was lying on the right side of the bed.’

  (C) Damian Grange 2018

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 35

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 

  The Mayor, although a hefty man could be surprisingly agile should the occasion merit it, and this was certainly one of those occasions. He rode Samira with a vengeance, every time she screamed, in pleasure or pain? He increased the speed and depth of his thrusting.

Samira may have begun as a virgin, but the way she was returning his thrusting, one for one suggested to the Mayor that she was now without doubt a woman. And maybe even his woman, after all she had chosen him to take her virginity. It was all very confusing?

Samira, started to moan louder, ‘ Faster, I’m cumming! the Mayor increased his thrusting and they came together in a shuddering climax. To his surprise and delight Samira kissed the Mayor passionately on the lips, Kissing was something new to him.

He rather relished the moment, reaching out he fondled her breasts once more, she made no attempt to stop him, in fact she openly encouraged him, and he loved it. She was young, beautiful and apparently available. Life was good!

Sanjay Patel received an urgent message from his wife, there were problems at the Holiday Camp, Samira wasn’t there, and everything appeared to be in confusion, nobody seemed to know what was happening.

Sanjay was furious, he was responsible for organising the weekend, and Samira had left him open to ridicule, now he would have to take charge himself, wasting his own valuable time. Where was that girl? It is possibly a good thing he didn’t know!

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Conor Dillon – Beginnings Excerpt 10

Conor Dillon – Beginnings Excerpt 10

  ‘I am Michael Fallon, known to most folks who know me as Black Michael, I used to be an assassin, I killed for money, I make no excuses. But I had no inclination that I was bought here to kill your father, your Father, Shamus and myself were in the wars together, we were friends and comrades.’

‘I was bought here blindfolded until we were outside your door, my instructions were clear, kill the man who opens the door, I only found out a few months ago that it was your father, I have been abroad fighting in the wars, I come to seek your forgiveness and to offer my help in finding the man who ordered your Father’s death, he owes me a life!’

He spoke with such a quiet sincerity, that I felt inclined to believe him, he was not the evil killer I had first thought him to be. ‘I come to offer you my life, if you listen to mine and your Mother’s words, you will need a man to watch your back, I want to be that man and I give you my word that I will serve you faithfully!’ he stated with conviction.

My Mother said, ‘ You had better sit down, Conor, what I am about to tell you will be even more of a shock to you, the man you knew as your Father was not the man who sired you, He had to leave me to go to France, He is a Nobleman, He had to leave this country in a hurry ‘

‘ He had no knowledge that I was carrying his child, your Father, that fine man, took me on and became my Husband and your Father.’ ‘ So, why are you telling me this now, and what Information as Black Michael bought that has changed everything so?’

‘The Man who hired me to kill your Father,’ Said Black Michael, ‘ Said his name was Dillon, and your natural Father is Count Arthur Dillon, Colonel of the Irish Regiment Dillon, in the service of King Louis of France!’

(C) Damian Grange 2018



Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 91 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 91 )

Continuation of Police Surgeons Report :

The whole of the surface of the abdomen and thighs was removed, and the abdominal cavity emptied of its viscera. The breasts were cut off. The arms mutilated by several jagged wounds and the face hacked beyond recognition of its features. The tissues of the neck were severed all round down to the bone.

The viscera were found in various parts viz : The uterus and kidneys with one breast under the head, the other breast by the right foot, the kidneys between the feet, the intestines by the right side of the body and the spleen by the left. The flaps removed from the abdomen and thighs were on a table.

The bed clothing at the right corner was saturated with blood, and on the floor beneath, a pool of blood covering about two feet square. The wall by the right side of the bed and in line with the neck was marked by blood where it had struck it in several separate splashes.

The face was gashed in all directions, the nose, cheeks, eyebrows and ears all being partially removed. The lips were blanched and cut by several incisions running obliquely down to the chin. There were also numerous cuts extending irregularly over all the features.

The neck was cut through the skin and other tissues, right down to the vertebrae, the fifth and sixth being deeply notched. The skin cuts in the front of the neck showed distinct ecchymosis. The air passage was cut at the lower part of the larynx, through the cricoid cartilage.

Both breasts were more or less removed by circular incisions, the muscle down to the ribs being attached to the breasts. The intercostals between the fourth, fifth and sixth ribs were cut through and the contents of the thorax visible through the openings.

The skin and tissues of the abdomen from the costal arch to the pubes were removed in three large flaps. The right thigh was denuded in front to the bone, the flap of skin including the external organs of generation, and part of the right buttock. The left thigh was stripped of skin fascia and muscles as far as the knee.

(C) Damian Grange 2018


Air Aces of World War One

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Captain Edward Vernon Rickenbacker – America’s Top scoring Ace 1890 / 1973 Part 3

On May the 3oth 1918, he scored his sixth victory. It would be his last for three and a half months, he developed an ear infection in July which grounded him for several weeks and almost put an end to his flying career.

On his return to combat, he shot down Germanys new fighter the Fokker D.VII on September the 14th and another the following day. On September the 24th 1918, Rickenbacker, now a Captain, was promoted to commander of the Squadron. And on the following day he downed two more ,German planes, for which he was belatedly awarded the Medal of Honour in 1931 by President Herbert Hoover.

After claiming yet another Fokker D.VII on September the 27th, He joined the ranks of the balloon busters, downing balloons on the September the 28th and October the 1st, 3rd, 27th and 30th. Thirteen more victories followed in October, bringing his total up to thirteen Fokker D.VII’s, four other German fighters, five highly defended observation balloons and only four of the easier two-seater reconnaissance planes.

The military determined Ace status by verifying combat claims by a pilot, but confirmation too was needed from ground witnesses, affirmations of other pilots, or observation of the wreckage of the downed enemy aircraft. I no witnesses could be found, a reported kill was not counted. It was an imperfect system depending on the frailties of human observation, as well as vagaries of weather and terrain. Most Ace’s records are thus ‘best estimates’ not ‘exact counts’ but despite this Rickenbacker’s score of 26 remained the American record until WW2.

Rickenbacker flew a total of 300 combat hours, reportedly more than any other American pilot in the war, although I don’t think this figure would include the veterans who began service with the Lafayette Escadrille and the R.F.C.

Rickenbacker was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, a record number of eight times, one of which in the 1930’s was upgraded to the Medal of Honour. He was also awarded the Legion of Honour and the Croix De Guerre by France.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 90 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 90 )

  Mary Kelly was found the next morning, Her rent was in arrears, so the Landlord sent round his agent to collect the arrears. The said agent, one Thomas Bowyer knocks on the door but cannot gain access because the door is locked on the inside. He peeks through the curtains and sees Mary Kelly’s Mutilated body on the bed.

He informs his boss, Mr. Mc Carthy, the proprietor of Mc Carthy Rentals of which Millers Court where Mary resides is a part. Who after seeing the mutilated remains for himself, ran to Commercial Street Police Station, where he spoke with Inspector Walter Beck, who returns to the scene with him.

They spend a couple of pointless hours awaiting the arrival of bloodhounds, ‘ Barnaby’ and ‘ Burgo’ then decide to smash in the door. Which Mr. Mc Carthy does with a axe on the orders of Superintendent Thomas Arnold, who by then was also present on the scene.

Upon entering the room, they see the mutilated remains of Mary Kelly, clad in only a chemise, the remainder of her clothes were neatly folded on a chair beside the bed, her boots in front of the fireplace.

Dr. Thomas Bond, a respected Police Surgeon from ‘A’ Division was called in on the Mary Kelly Murder, this is his report:

The body was lying naked in the middle of the bed, the shoulders flat but the axis of the body turned to the left side of the bed. The head was turned on the left cheek. The left arm was close to the body with the forearm flexed at a right angle and lying across the abdomen.

The right arm was slightly abducted from the body and rested on the mattress. The elbow was bent, the forearm supine with the fingers clenched. The legs were wide apart, the left thigh at right angles to the trunk and the right forming a right angle with the pubes.

(C) Damian Grange 2018


Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 34

Zombies by the Sea – Excerpt 34

  Samira wanted sex, all of her peers had lost their virginity years ago, but Sanjay and her Mother never let her out of their sight. The Mayor was not ideal, but he would do, he just needed a little more coaxing.

With this thought in mind, Samira removed her somewhat skimpy bra and offered the Mayor her breasts to suck, he set to with a vengeance, sucking and fondling them. Samira, to her surprise found herself getting quite aroused by this attention. Maybe this wouldn’t be the sacrifice she had envisioned, he was actually pleasuring her.

She needed him to pursue the matter further, with this in mind, she reached down and started to pop the buttons on his flies, once she had accomplished this she reached inside and grasped his penis, she soon jerked it to a promising looking erection. The Mayor was delighted, he had finally realised what Samira was offering him.

This was real revenge he thought, taking the virginity of Sanjay’s pride and joy, would be a delight to the senses in so many ways, the ultimate revenge, hit him where it really will hurt!, oh! such a joy!

Samira stood up, and removing her knickers, stepped out of them leaving her totally naked, she turned her back to the Mayor and wiggled her bottom, He was entranced, he wanted her!

Samira smiled and lay on the sofa, rubbing between her thighs, The Mayor got the message, dropping his trousers and ‘Y’ fronts, he approached her, she took his erection in her hands and guided him until he had penetrated her.

(C) Damian Grange 2018


Conor Dillon – Beginnings Excerpt 9

Conor Dillon – Beginnings  Excerpt 9

  But Shamus was a good teacher, and I soon became adept at his rough and tumble style of fighting, It was like he said, ‘ It wasn’t pretty, but it worked!’ I trained and worked under the supervision of Shamus for the next four years. He worked me hard but I grew taller and stronger.

However hard I tried, I never managed to get the better of Shamus, but I kept trying. the high point of my training came when he taught me how to throw a knife, Shamus was a knife man supreme. He could draw and throw a knife in seconds and never miss his target. I was not in his class, but I could throw a knife and he had taught me how to fight with one.

Then just a few days before my sixteenth birthday something else happened that would change my life totally. We had just returned from training, when my Mother summoned us, we had a guest. I walked through to the parlour and there, sat in my Father’s chair, as his killer, the giant.

I drew my knife, and screaming, ‘Bastard!’ lunged at him, but Shamus grabbed me from behind and disarmed me. But the moment he released me, I charged at the giant, who was now on his feet, He put out one of his massive hands and held me impotent at arms length, I was sobbing with rage. ‘Let it out, boy! its fine,’ for such a big man, he was softly spoken, almost like a priest.

‘Hello Michael, How are you?’ enquired Shamus, so they knew each other, this situation was getting odder by the moment. My Mother told me to sit and listen to what the giant had to say, because my future might well depend on it.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 89 )

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 89 )

  I heard her turn the key in the lock, then the door slowly opened. ‘Come In, Jack, it’s good to see you’ she uttered, I took in her appearance, she was only wearing a chemise, I guessed her intentions, but she had obviously no inclination of mine. I carefully locked the door behind me, I didn’t need any interruptions at this point.

She walked towards the bed, signalling me to follow, she turned at the bed just at the precise moment that my knife came up to sever her throat. I could not have timed it better, she uttered her last gasp and fell back on the bed. Now I could have my fun!

Although she obviously wouldn’t feel it, I was going to mutilate her face and body until even her own mother would not recognize her. I moved her slightly so that she lay down the middle of the bed. Then I began my ministrations on her cadaver, when I considered I had caused sufficient damage, even to my eyes, she looked horrific.

I wiped my tools, returned them to my bag, then opened the window and clambered out, leaving the door locked behind me. The reason that I had bought along McGinty suddenly became apparent to me, with his experience as a burglar, he could lock the window behind me.

A locked door and a locked window, should leave the Police with a fine little enigma to solve, good luck with that Inspector Abberline!

We left the scene of the crime, passed nary a soul on the way home, I slept like a baby, the best night’s sleep in ages.

(C) Damian Grange 2018