Robert Oxspring

Extracts from “Sopwith Pup Aces of World War 1”
By Norman Franks.


“ -------- 11th March, at 1230 hrs Capt. Oxspring of No 54 Sqn destroyed another two- seater near Bapaume. The units pilots were escorting No 22 sqn FE 2s on a reconnaissance mission at the time when a German C-type had had the audacity to attack one of the big pushers. Oxspring quickly got on the tail of the German aircraft, which dived steeply, followed by the Pup pilot. The latter eventually had to pull out as the enemy’s dive became too great to follow. Crews of No 22 Sqn watched as the C-type hit the ground shortly after loding a wing. “

“In some lists of aces, No 54 Sqn’s Robert Oxspring has been incorrectly credited with 16 victories. Formally with the =Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, he transferred to the RFC and flew with No 12 Sqn, before becoming a fighter pilot. He then served with both Nos 54 and 66 Sqn’s on Pups, gaining a few victories. To the M.C., gained while serving with the Light Infantry, he was able to add a Bar during his time with the RFC, and he ended the war as a major. Oxsprings son, also Robert (Bobby), became a noted Spitfire ace (with 13.5 victories to his credit) in World War 2, winning the DFC and Bar.!


“ The British offensive at Arras was planned to open on Easter Monday, 9 April 1917, and the Allies tried hard to conceal their preparations for the campaign. The scout squadrons helped to ensure the German airmen did not see too many signs of troop movement, increased road and rail traffic and ammunition dumps being established.
As part of this operation, No 54 Sqn chased off two two-seaters on the 2nd. Capt. Oxspring damaged one and Lt. O.M. Sutton sent the second machine down near Peronne, its observer hit and disappearing into his rear cockpit prior to the aircraft crashing.”
-------   there was also a need to keep German kite balloons from observing too much, and No 54 Sqn was given the task of dealing with them too. On the 5th, Oxspring, together with Capt. Hudson and Lts M.D.G. Scott, R.G.H. Pixley and R.M. Charley, attacked and destroyed a balloon east of Vendeville. On the way back, some pilots shot up targets on the ground, including troops standing by lorries at a railway station and a soldier on horseback.”

“ Oxspring, now flying with No 66 Sqn, claimed a two-seater on the 13th over Douai .”













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