LEST WE FORGET 

Lieutenant John Classon COURTNEY

Service No: 1006
Born: Auckland NZ, 14 April 1893
Enlisted in the Army: 3 July 1916
Unit: No. 4 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps
Died: Air Operations, France, 7 April 1918, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Richard Milliken Courtney and Elizabeth Anne Courtney. Born at Auckland, New Zealand
Place of Association: Manly NSW
Remembered: Arras Flying Services Memorial, Pas de Calais, France
Remembered: Panel 188, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Manly ANZAC War Memorial, Manly NSW

The new German spearhead seemed to be pointing straight at Bethune along the Lille-La Bassee road, a fact of especial interest to No. 4 Squadron, since its own aerodrome was at Bruay, just behind Bethune.  The Australian machines bombed that busy road, as far as Fournes, heavily and effectively, but in the operation Courtney’s machine (1) was hit by one of the much-hated “flaming-onion” batteries and fell in flames.

(1) Sopwith Camel aircraft B5635

Extract from Cutlack, F.M. (Frederic Morley) The Australian Flying Corps in the Western and Eastern Theatres of War 1914-8, Angus and Robertson Ltd Sydney, 1941 – Page 242

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record B2455, COURTNEY J G
National Archives UK RAF Casualty Card 268425, 61634
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

Bibliography:

Richards, E.J. (Edward John) Australian Airmen: History of the 4th Squadron, publisher unknown, c1919

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