Air Aces of World War One

 

 

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Captain John Oliver Andrews – British Ace 1896 / 1989 Part 2

  Andrews the score sporadically until he tallied his seventh victory, and his last with No. 24 Squadron on 22nd of November 1916 when he shot down German double Ace, Stefan Kirmaier, Staffelfuhrer of Jasta 2. The following day he was one of the combatants in the dogfight in which Manfred Von Richtofen downed Major Lanoe Hawker, Andrews C.O. and friend. Andrews, the patrol leader was unable to fly to Hawkers aid because his engine had stopped by German bullets.

Andrews would not score again until after his transfer to No.66 Squadron R.F.C. flying Sopwith Pups. He bought down his eighth victim, an Albatros 2 Seater, on the 30th of April 1917. By the 11th of July he had run up his total to 12. By now, he had destroyed eight enemy aircraft ( including one shared with Lt. Robert Saundby ) driven down three others out of control, as well as killing Kirmaier and capturing his Albatros DII. On Ist July he had been promoted to Lieutenant. In the following month he was rested from combat and transferred to No.11 Training Squadron R.F.C. at Scampton Aerodrome as an instructor.

In March 1918 Andrews returned to the front, assigned to No.7o Squadron R.F.C. as a flight commander. On 1st April 1918, he was promoted to Captain in the newly formed Royal Air Force. On the 7th of May 1918, he became the officer commanding of a Sopwith Camel Unit, No.209 Squadron R.A.F, as temporary Major. In October he switched to command of No. 220 Squadron R.A.F. On 20th December 1918, he switched command to No.221 Squadron R.A.F. being tasked to operate Airco D.H.9s in Southern Russia.

Andrews served with distinction in two world wars and beyond, ending his service with the rank of Air Vice Marshal. He survived both wars and died peacefully aged 92.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

 

 

 

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