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"It's nothing much, just my leg”

JAW Armstrong of 48 Squadron RFC flying an F2b and Dodo Baines manning the gun in the backseat were shot down late on the evening of Sunday, 20 May 1917, both “ok.” A week later as Armstrong retells it in a letter to Dodo’s brother, they “were about 9000 feet up close over Douai (due East of Arras) when the anti-aircraft started to shell us… promptly steered a zig-zag course … One shell, however, burst close beneath … your brother touched me on the shoulder and told me he was wounded. He said “It is nothing much, just my leg” … I brought him straight back to our aerodrome … showed his grit during the time we were lifting him out of the machine.” Baines died a week later on 3 June 1917. Armstrong went on to bag an Albatros scout in flames north-east of Nieuport on 25 July 1917, possibly from Jasta 7 though no corresponding loss has been identified. He was also credited for another Albatros Scout south of Slype on 25 August 1917 which probably was Jasta 35b pilot Vzfw. Karl Knocke who was shot down unhurt near Bovekerke, his aircraft destroyed. Jasta 35b had turned in their Roland aircraft for three Albatros D.III and four Albatros D.V aircraft earlier in the month.  Armstrong later became an Air Commodore and passed away at 101 years of age in 1990. His RFC Commission, Officers Pilot Certificate, 'Fighting In The Air' and 'Instruction' booklets dated March 1918 are part of this collection. His logbooks are archived at the RAF Museum London.

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