KITS 11/2022

F5910, Lt. William G. Claxton, No. 41 Squadron, Lealvillers, France, February 1918

Lt. William Gordon Claxton, DSO, DFC & Bar, was born

in June 1899 in the town of Gladstone in the Canadian

province of Manitoba. At the age of eighteen he joined the RFC and underwent training on Canadian soil.

He ended up being assigned to No. 41 Squadron operating over France. In the period between May 27 and

August 13, Claxton achieved 37 kills. For his calmness

under intense combat situations, he earned the

nickname “Dozy”. On August 17, 1918, he was shot

down by future 50-kills ace Lt. Johannes Gildermeister during combat with Jasta 20 Fokker D.VIIs east

of Wervicq. He was second Gildermeister’s victim.

With serious head wounds, he managed to land behind enemy lines and thanks to the quick treatment

in hospital his life was saved by a German doctor.

After the war, he made a living as a newsman and

died on September 28, 1967, in Toronto. Aircraft

ofNo. 41 Squadron were marked with a pair of vertical white stripes behind the national roundels from

March 22, 1918, and aircraft of A Flight had wheel

discs painted in blue. The individual aircraft letter

in white was repeated on the top surface of the

upper wing.

C9539, Capt. Henry G. Forrest, No. 2 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, Savy-Berlette,

France, March 1918

Australian ace Capt. Henry Garnet Forrest, DFC, was

born on December 5, 1895, in Brunswick, Melbourne,

Australia. He joined the Australian Army in 1915 and

took part in the Battle of Gallipoli as a member of

the 23rd Infantry Battalion. In April 1917, he joined the

ranks of the Australian Flying Corps and following

training, he served progressively with Nos. 32 and

52

INFO Eduard

43 Squadron. On August 6, 1917, he was wounded and

after recovery time, he was assigned to No. 2 Squadron AFC. He achieved eleven kills there and served

with this unit till the end of the war. He consequently left the service and died on December 3, 1945,

in Caulfeld in Australia. Capt. Henry G. Forrest,

nicknamed “Rusty”, achieved all of his eleven kills

flying this airplane. Its upper surfaces were painted in standard PC-10 color. Aircraft of the 2nd AFC

carried a white boomerang ahead of the tail surfaces

during this time period, and the individual aircraft

letter was repeated on the upper surface of the

top wing.

November 2022