Topic: BatzWF - Westn Front
France, 16-17 August 1918
Lille, situated fifteen kilometres south-east of Armentieres, France, was the scene of two famous air raids against German airfields on the city's western outskirts on 16 and 17 August 1918. Both attacks involved No. 2 and No. 4 squadrons of the Australian Flying Corps (the former equipped with S.E.5a fighters and the latter with Sopwith Camel scouts) along with two British squadrons of the 80th Wing, Royal Air Force - a total of 60-65 aircraft. The first raid was directed against Haubourdin, five kilometres southwest of the city, and the second at Lomme an equal distance to the city's north-west. The attacks were effectively carried out by the two Australian squadrons - No. 4 (under Captain Harry Cobby) leading, followed by No. 2 (Captain Murray Jones) - while the British squadrons kept guard above against approaching enemy aircraft. In what the Official History terms 'a riot of destruction', 54 enemy aircraft were wrecked on the ground along with workshops and hangars.
Extracted from the book produced by Chris Coulthard-Clark, Where Australians Fought - The Encyclopaedia of Australia's Battles, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1998, p. 155.
Additional References cited by Chris Coulthard-Clark:
F.M. Cutlack (1923) The Australian Flying Corps in the Western and Eastern Theatres of War, Sydney: Angus & Robertson.
Citation: Lille, France, August 16 to 17, 1918