Personal info

  • Name: Albert BALL
  • D.O.B: 14th August, 1896
  • D.O.A: 25th October, 1917
  • D.O.D: 17th May, 1917
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Temporary Captain, 7th Battalion The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment), attached No 56 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps

Over North-East France 25 April-6 May 1917

25 April-6 May 1917

More details about:
The First World War 1917 

On 8 April 1917 56th Squadron moved to Vert Galant, north of Amiens and south-west of Arras. It was an elite unit. Of its many distinguished airmen, Temporary Captain A Ball particularly captured the public imagination for his gallantry in aerial combat over North-East France. The award of his VC was posthumous. He was posted missing after a battle on the evening of 7 May 1917 between British and German formations. In fact, he had been killed when his machine crashed behind German lines. The reasons for the crash are uncertain, though the Germans claimed he had been shot down.

Citation

 For most conspicuous and consistent bravery from the 25th of April to the 6th of May, 1917, during which period Capt. Ball took part in twenty-six combats in the air and destroyed eleven hostile aeroplanes, drove down two out of control, and forced several others to land. In these combats Capt. Ball, flying alone, on one occasion fought six hostile machines, twice he fought five and once four. When leading two other British aeroplanes he attacked an enemy formation of eight. On each of these occasions he brought down at least one enemy. Several times his aeroplane was badly damaged, once so seriously that but for the most delicate handling his machine would have collapsed, as nearly all the control wires had been shot away. On returning with a damaged machine he had always to be restrained from immediately going out on another. In all, Capt. Ball has destroyed forty-three German aeroplanes and one balloon, and has always displayed most exceptional courage, determination and skill. 

Second Supplement to The London Gazette of 8 June 1917. 8 June 1917, Numb. 30122, p. 5702

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