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Combat Report for a 54 Kill Ace

Article about: Good Evening / Morning Ladies and Gentlemen I have just received this Combat Report for Captain Beauchamp-Proctor, VC, DSO, MC and bar, DFC - a 54 Kill South African Ace. Unfortunately it is

  1. #1

    Default Combat Report for a 54 Kill Ace

    Good Evening / Morning Ladies and Gentlemen

    I have just received this Combat Report for Captain Beauchamp-Proctor, VC, DSO, MC and bar, DFC - a 54 Kill South African Ace. Unfortunately it is not signed by Beachamp-Proctor, but rather by his CO.

    Although he preferred to 'blind the enemy' by shooting down Observation Balloons and Aircraft, he was not afraid to 'mix it' with other aircraft.

    On the 19 May 1918, he shot down an enemy Observation Plane, destroyed an Albatros DV scout and downed 3 more Albatros DVs.

    Beauchamp-Proctor was eventually killed on 21 June 1921 in a training accident flying a Sopwith Snipe, in preparation for an air show at the RAF Hendon.

    Enjoy - I know I am!

    Cheers
    Tim

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    Interesting to see the report is signed by William Sholto-Douglas who later as Deputy Chief of the Air Staff became a proponent of the "Big Wing" theory in the Battle of Britain alongside Trafford Leigh-Mallory. After many clashes withe Park and Dowding he was promoted by Portal to take Dowdings' job of Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOCinC) at the end of the battle in October 1940, Dowding disappearing into retirement un applauded and Park sidelined to Malta.

    Amongst other things, he was eventually head of Coastal Command in '44 for the invasion of Normandy, and then the first commander of the British Zone of Occupation in Germany. In 1946 he reached the pinnacle of his service being promoted to the highest rank in the RAF, Marshall of the Royal Air Force. On retirement he became Chairman of BEA in 1949, he retired in 1964 and died aged 75 in October 1969.

    A nice autograph to have.

    Regards, Ned.

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    Last edited by big ned; 06-12-2014 at 02:34 PM. Reason: Added portrait.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  3. #3

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    Arrrgh...I can't believe that I didn't put that in Ned! Thank you. This was my fourth attempt at posting (the first couple of times it was in the second sentence...) - the last time I got booted - and I not only forgot to post that the CO was Sholto-Douglas, but also omitted Beauchamp-Proctor's picture.

    Cheers
    Tim

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    Very nice Tim - I have several of this to less august personalities. There was a large theft of these form the PRO in the 60's, and there are supposed to be forms in triplicate. The pilots did not retain these but rather they went up the line. IIRC only the top copy was signed and always in ink. I would be a bit cautious about the Douglas signature being authentic, especially as it is in pencil from the looks of things. Maybe try to compare it with some known signatures of his from the era. Here is more detail on your man, and the claim and kill date all match up with your form.

    Andrew Frederick Weatherby Beauchamp-Proctor

  5. #5

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    Quote by asterperious View Post
    Very nice Tim - I have several of this to less august personalities. There was a large theft of these form the PRO in the 60's, and there are supposed to be forms in triplicate. The pilots did not retain these but rather they went up the line. IIRC only the top copy was signed and always in ink. I would be a bit cautious about the Douglas signature being authentic, especially as it is in pencil from the looks of things. Maybe try to compare it with some known signatures of his from the era. Here is more detail on your man, and the claim and kill date all match up with your form.

    Andrew Frederick Weatherby Beauchamp-Proctor
    It appears from the stamp lower left, that this was once a part of the Chas. Donald collection, a noted expert on WW1 combat reports, who's almost entire collection was auctioned off after his death by Sotheby's in 1996. Pencil was often used during the time, I have many period autographs of personalities and sportsmen from the period that are in ink and pencil, and think that it's not beyond reason that this was the case here.

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  6. #6

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    Quote by asterperious View Post
    Very nice Tim - I have several of this to less august personalities. There was a large theft of these form the PRO in the 60's, and there are supposed to be forms in triplicate. The pilots did not retain these but rather they went up the line. IIRC only the top copy was signed and always in ink. I would be a bit cautious about the Douglas signature being authentic, especially as it is in pencil from the looks of things. Maybe try to compare it with some known signatures of his from the era. Here is more detail on your man, and the claim and kill date all match up with your form.
    Sorry for the late reply - work has been hectic of late.

    Many thanks for the considered opinion Scott. I have managed to find a couple of his sigs and it appears to be 'kosher'. However, I am not a Graphologist......but as Ned indicates it does come from the Chas Donald Collection so I'm erring on the positive side.

    I am certainly aware that there were several thefts of these forms from the PRO and my understanding is that at least one person spent sometime as a guest of Her Majesty as a result. However, there was also a major clean-out done and I have heard tell of thousands of duplicate forms being dumped in a skip or two with the more enterprising people then 'liberating' them - until a guard was placed on them.

    May I ask if you've ever seen - or know of - a half size copy of these forms with the Narrative on the reverse?

    I have only seen the Foolscap size, but I have the chance of buying one of the smaller varieties with two sigs of the pilots who claimed the one plane. It is from the same source as the one above.

    Cheers
    Tim

  7. #7

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    Hi Tim,

    I have not heard of or encountered a 'smaller' size version of these. Let me ask a few friends of mine who are more paperwork oriented collectors. The only other thing I would caution about is placing too much stock in whose collection something has been in before as a validation or authenticity - nobody is infallible especially in collecting. Again, the only small question mark I would raise is the Douglas signature. Ned's point about pencil is certainly true but on official documents ink was the norm, which is why this may have been one of the duplicate copies generated at the time.

    There is a lot of discussion on these items at the aerodrome forum here form many years back: Combat Reports for Sale?
    Last edited by asterperious; 06-17-2014 at 12:40 AM.

  8. #8

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    Hi Scott

    Many thanks for offering to ask a few people - as I say, I have not encountered them before, but that really doesn't mean a lot. I'm currently at work and will post the Seller's pictures when I get home tonight.

    I wholeheartedly agree with your premise that no-one is infallible. In fact I was reading an couple of posts on The Aerodrome some time ago and they indicated that Mr Donald did apparently have at least one piece that was questionable. I can't remember all the details and I had a quick look a few minutes ago and can't immediately find it - I'll try again tonight.

    The CB that I have is certainly worthy of more research and this is what I'll be doing! I am not attempting to make it something that it is not.

    Cheers
    Tim

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    Unfortunately just sold , but I thought I'd still take the time to post the 'half size' CITAR for future reference.

    Cheers
    Tim

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  10. #10

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    Just an update on this thread...Scott's friend has indicated that he has a full sized Report - No. 190 from the 84th Squadron - that he has identified as having a sig from Sholto-Douglas. The one shown above is Report No. 197.

    He has also stated that half sized CITAR's did exist.

    Cheers
    Tim

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