From Parr’s Pilot’s Flying Log Book:

5:05 to 6:05 6–J–18 A.M. 10 NW B170 Solo 12000 Montiddier [sic] Front. Clouds. Waterpipe broke I left patrol and Landed SE of St. Just.

11:35 to 12:30 6–J–18 AM [10 NW] [B170] 8000 A Look at the lines alone. bring bus back after mending.

6:10 to 7:55 6–J–18 PM B170 17500 Montiddier [sic] Scrap with 7 Folker [sic] biplanes New Hun scouts. I following close to Tyrrell. Think I got one. engine dud. spars shot.

“Folker biplanes” has been inserted between “7” and “New Hun scouts.” These scouts were Fokker D.VIIs. By early 1918, German planes, including their Albatros D.III, which had been their ticket to dominance in the spring of 1917, were being outclassed and outflown by the planes of the Allies, including the S.E.5a. German designers engaged in a competition to create a new fighter. The winner was a Fokker design which, as the D.VII, entered service in late spring 1918.474

Starting with the word “following” Parr’s writing changes from neat printing to more hurried cursive for this and most of the remaining entries.

That Parr “got one” was confirmed by a handwritten note (“I confirm this as out of control”) signed by Tyrrell on Parr’s combat report, which reads in part: “Formation of 7 E.A. Fokker Biplanes attacked patrol at 9000ft. over MONTDIDIER at 6:45pm. Pilot attacked one E.A., firing a long burst at point blank range, about 200 rounds. E.A. went down in a spin and then out of control. E.A. was last seen at 3000ft. still out of control. Pilot was then attacked by another E.A., which Capt. Tyrrell shot down in flames.”475 Tyrrell, according to his own combat report, was himself then attacked by two enemy aircraft, one of which he was able to turn on and shoot down out of control.476 See also the second and third paragraphs of Parr’s first letter of June 9, 1918.

10:15 to 12:15 7–J–18 AM No D262 Solo 17000 Noyon Montdidier I was flying last of 4, Tyrrel [sic] leading. Clouds 6 to 8 T. Dived on 5 feltz [sic] scouts at 9000, 11:30; 11:50 dived to 2000 feet over 1st line trenches after a Feltz gave chase but no results.

The plane Parr was using, D262, while B170 was being repaired, was the same S.E.5a that had been flown by his squadron mate, Captain Jerry Hope Laurice Wilfred Flynn, on May 16, 1918, when he shot down an Albatros D.5 out of control.477

Parr evidently dove on a Pfalz, probably a D.III, a plane in use at the front through the summer of 1918.478

6:10 to 7:10 7–J–18 P.M. 3W 16000 Guiscard to Villequier Aumont. Followed Tyrrel [sic] down to one Hun, could not get to him.

Parr has left blank the space where plane type and serial number are usually entered.

2 to 3 8–J–18 PM N5 B170 3000. Fouquerolles Airdrome. Testing new wing & engine. Target practice.

Totals of time with #32 Squadron R.A.F. to date. Practice 11 hrs. 35 min. 21 Offensive Patrols 44 hrs. 35 min.

5:30 to 7:35 8–J–18 P.M. B170 18000 O.P. Montdidier to Moreuil Clouds & mist. I was leading McBean [sic] & Bateman Lease [sic] ahead of me with Rogers & Lawson; We all above 6 camels. Saw 7 hun scouts low down could not engage. My oil pipe broke coming home. Big ends melted, forced landing 1½ miles S of airdrome.

Ralph Ellsworth Leet MacBean was one of the Canadians in the squadron. He was born November 30, 1893, in Danville, Quebec, to a farmer father of Scottish ancestry; he began studying agriculture at McGill, but by autumn of 1917 had learned to fly and had joined the R.F.C. He was assigned to No. 32 Squadron on May 2, 1918.479

The second pilot Parr was leading was Arthur James Bateman. Born August 29, 1899, he had attended St. Paul’s School before beginning flying training in the spring of 1917; he joined No. 32 Squadron on September 29, 1917.480

Henry Clifford Leese was a sergeant in New Zealand’s Army Pay Department when he embarked at Wellington on August 15, 1914, as part of the New Zealand expeditionary force sent to seize and occupy the German Pacific colony of Samoa. In 1915 he apparently sailed for Suez.481 By spring of 1917 he was in England. From April through the autumn of that year he was training to fly at Denham, Oxford, Tern Hill, Upavon, and Turnberry. In October he was assigned to No. 32 Squadron.482 Leese was probably the person Rogers describes in his letter of May 12, 1918: “The deputy leader [of A flight] is a New Zealand boy, full of pep and one of the nicest chaps in the squadron.”

George Edgar Bruce Lawson, born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1899, was working as a laboratory assistant at the South African School of Mines and Technology in Johannesburg from July 1916 through April 1917. By June of 1917, he was in England, training at Farnboro, Winchester, Oxford, and Shoreham. Initially assigned to No. 88 Squadron (which was still in England awaiting equipment), he was transferred to No. 32 Squadron and France at the end of March 1918.483

5:10 to 6.00 9–J–18 AM No. Capt. Simpsons S.E. C–9626 2000 Trench straffing for Big push. Very misty thick ground mist over 75% Montdidier to Lassigny. Two 20# Bombs & 550 rounds Claydon, Hall, Tyrrel [sic], not returned, Grahm [sic] wounded.

From the 32 Squadron record book:484

Pilot [Hooper] dropped one 25 lb. bomb from 1500 feet on small body of enemy troops near Remaugies, at 5.30 AM., also one 25 lb. bomb from 1500 feet on small body of enemy troops near Conchy at 5:35 AM. Fired 550 rounds at enemy troops in trenches near Hainvillers, and on troops on roads near Bus and Beuvraignes, Tilloloy and Conchy, from 1000 feet, during patrol. Machine gun firing very active from ground in the above area.

The editors of Callender’s letters note, p. 59, that “This period involved extensive low level combat. A major German attack on the bulge in the front of Compiegne [sic] began on the 9th.” They go on to supply a detailed account of squadron activity June 9 and 10.

Sturley Philip Simpson, leader of A flight, is described with admiration and affection by Bogart Rogers in his letters. The squadron record book shows him flying not only C9626, in which he scored at least two victories, but also D6858. Simpson does not appear in the squadron record book on June 9–11 and was perhaps on leave.

The 32 squadron record book lists Hooper, MacBean, Claydon, Hall, Graham, and Callender all starting at 4:30 a.m. on June 9, 1918, on a “special mission,” with MacBean and Hooper returning together at 5:55. Callender did not return until noon, having had to replace a broken propeller after landing at Etanese. Claydon and Hall, after dropping bombs near Piennes and on Montdidier, landed at Epineuse at 7 a.m. to refuel before returning to the aerodrome, arriving at 8:30 a.m. (See also the penultimate paragraph of Parr’s first letter of June 9, 1918.) Rogers, Lawson, Flynn, Trusler,485 Leese, and Tyrrell departed on a special mission at 6 a.m. Tyrrell, after dropping three bombs on enemy troops at Roye, was, according to the squadron record book, observed by Leese “to nose dive into the ground from 1000 feet. It is assumed that he had fainted in the air as a result of wounds. The machine caught fire, and it is reported that the pilot was burnt to death.”

 Richard Thornley Hall, born in Victoria, British Columbia, August 18, 1899, was a student when he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force as a member of the Royal Field Artillery in May of 1916.486 Whether he learned to fly in Canada or England I cannot tell, but by the end of November of 1917 he was a lieutenant in No. 32 Squadron.487

Sumner Watson Graham, who apparently went by the name Robert, was born in Toronto in 1891.488 When the war began, he had completed his legal studies at Osgoode Hall Law School (York University) in Toronto and been called to the bar.489 As with Hall, I cannot tell whether Graham learned to fly in Canada or England, but his R.A.F. service record lists him at Oxford by October of 1916, and as a 2nd Lt. (on probation) on November 25, 1916. He trained in various squadrons before being assigned to No. 32 Squadron at the end of March 1918.490 Rogers, in his letter for June 9, 1918, writes: “One of our chaps was wounded, a gunshot in the leg.” The 32 squadron record book indicates he landed at No. 43 Squadron (also stationed at Fouquerolles at this time) and was admitted to the American hospital at Beauvais.