LEST WE FORGET

Lieutenant James Basil COWAN

From Australia serving in the Royal Air Force

Service No: Not Assigned
Unit: 48th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, based at Sainte-Marie-Cappel
Died: Air Operations, Belgium, 3 October 1918, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Dadizeele New British Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Cowan, of Melbourne, Australia
Remembered: Commemorative Roll, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 3 October 1918, Captain Frederick Joseph Cunninghame RAF was leading a bombing run over Izegham when a group of 12 Fokkers were spotted to the south and engaged.  Two of the enemy aircraft were shot down in the ensuing air battle.  Lieutenant Cowan’s Bristol F2b aircraft E2523 was seen by Squadron member Second Lieutenant Herbert Thomas RAF to go down in flames at 1750 hours near Ingelmunster.  The group returned to their aerodrome to report Cowan and his Observer, Lieutenant Ludlow Norman Jones RAF, as Missing in Action.

Cowan’s plane crashed in the vicinity of the ‘Onlede Molen’, (busy windmill) between Lichtervelde and Gits. The crash site was 15 miles north-west from where the air battle had taken place. Cowan probable died in the crash and was buried next to a cross near a farmhouse outside the town of Lichtervelde. Jones was not buried with Cowan so was probably capture by the Germans and taken to a Military Hospital in Lichtervelde were he died the same day from his wounds.

References:

Australian War Memorial Commemorative Roll On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
National Archives UK RAF Casualty Book AIR 1/969 page 332, 61865
On Line Sources

 

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