Victory List for William "Billy" Bishop

The following is a list of 80 Victories as listed in the Lorimer Publication of

Number     Date    Type of EA downed   Notes/Victims (if known)
 1      25 March      Albatros D3         Lt. Renatus Theiller1
 2      31 March      Albatros D3         unknown Crashed2
Unc      6 April      Albatros D3         DD near Cherisy  Lt. Eicholz KIA27
 3       7 April      Albatros D3         DD near Arras
 4       7 April      Balloon             Flamer near Arras
Unc      8 April      Albatros C5         DOOC near Arras28
 5       8 April      Balloon             DD near Arras
 6       8 April      Albatros D3         Lt. W. Frankl KIA DOOC3
 7       8 April      Albatros D3         Vfw. S. Festner DOOC4
 8       8 April      AEG C-4 2-seater    DD Near Vitry.
 9      20 April      Aviatik 2-seater    Flamer near Biache
10      22 April      Fokker D3           DD near Vis-en-Artois5
11      22 April      Fokker D3           DOOC near Vis-en-Artois5
12      23 April      Albatros C-3        Vfw. Ebert, Lt. Berger FTL Vitry
13      23 April      Albatros D3         Hpt. P. von Osterroht KIA6
14      27 April      Balloon             Flamer near Vitry
15      29 April      C-type 2-seater     Lt. H. Waldschmidt, KIA 7
16      30 April      Aviatik 2-seater    Lt. A. Rodenbeck, KIA 8
17      30 April      Albatros C3         FTL near Monchy
Unc     30 April      Albatros C3         FTL near Monchy
18       2 May        Albatros C3         Uffz. Niese KIA, Vfw. Seifert WIA
19       2 May        Albatros C3         DOOC near Epinoy
Unc      2 May        Albatros C3         FTL near Lens
20       4 May        AEG C-5             Crashed near Brebieres9
21       7 May        Albatros D3         DOOC near Vitry
22       7 May        Albatros D3         DOOC near Vitry 10
23      26 May        Albatros D3         DOOC near Izel-les-Epeurchin
24      27 May        Rumpler 2-Seater    Crashed near Monchy11
25      31 May        Albatros D3         Crashed near Phalempin Aerodrome
26       2 June       Albatros D3         Crashed at Estourmel Aerodrome12
27       2 June       Albatros D3         Crashed at Estourmel Aerodrome12
28       2 June       Albatros D3         Crashed at Estourmel Aerodrome12
29       8 June       Albatros D3         Crashed near Lille
30      24 June       Albatros D3         Flamer near Beaumont13
31      25 June       Albatros D3         DOOC near Dury14
32      26 June       Albatros D3         Flamer near Etaing
33      26 June       Albatros D3         DOOC near Etaing
34      28 June       Albatros D3         DOOC near Drocourt
35      10 July       Albatros D3         DOOC near Vitry15
36      12 July       Albatros D3         Crashed near Vitry Vfw. L. Patermann KIA16
37      17 July       Albatros D3         Flamer near Havringcourt17
38      17 July       Albatros D3         Flamer near Marquion
39      20 July       Albatros D3         DOOC near Havringcourt
40      28 July       Albatros D3         Flamer near Phalempin
41      29 July       Albatros D3         DOOC near Beaumont18
42       5 August     Albatros D3         Flamer near Monchy Lt. B. Lehmann KIA19
43       5 August     Albatros D5         DOOC near Monchy19
44       6 August     Albatros D4*        Crashed near Brebieres20
45       9 August     Albatros C5         Crashed near Ecourt
46      13 August     Albatros D3         Flamer near Douai
47      13 August     Albatros D3         Flamer near Douai
48      15 August     Albatros C5         DOOC near Henin
49      16 August     Aviatik 2-seater    Crashed near Harnes
50      16 August     Albatros D3         Crashed near Carvin
51      27 May        C-type 2-seater     Crashed near Houthulst21
52      28 May        Albatros D5         Crashed near Cortemarck Uffz. Siche WIA
53      28 May        Albatros D5         Crash landed Cortemarck Uffz. Peisker WIA
54      30 May        C-Type 2-seater     Crashed near Roulers22
55      30 May        C-Type 2-seater     Flamer near Roulers
56      30 May        Albatros D5         Crashed near Armentieres witnessed by AA
Unc     30 May        Albatros D5         DD smoking near Armentieres29
57      31 May        Pfalz D3            FTL near Quesnoy23
58      31 May        Pfalz D3            DOOC near Lille Lt. E. Kaus WIA Jasta 30
59       1 June       Pfalz D3            Crashed near Estaires24
60       2 June       Pfalz D3            Crashed near Armentieres25
61       4 June       Albatros D5         Flamer off Ostend
62       4 June       Albatros D5         DOOC near Leffinghe
63      15 June       Pfalz D3            Crashed near Estaires
64      16 June       Pfalz D3            Crashed near Armentieres
65      16 June       Pfalz D3            Crashed near Armentieres
66      17 June       Halberstadt C-type  Crashed near Staden
67      17 June       Albatros D5         Crashed near Sailly-sur-Lys
68      17 June       Halberstadt C-Type  Flamer near Laventie
69      18 June       Albatros D5         Crashed near Ypres Lt. R. Heins WIA
70      18 June       Albatros D5         Crashed near Ypres Uffz. Kohler WIA
71      19 June       Pfalz               Crashed near Ploegsteert
72      19 June       Pfalz               Crashed near Ploegsteert26
73      19 June       Pfalz               Crashed near Ploegsteert26
74      19 June       Pfalz               Crashed near Ploegsteert
75      19 June       LVG 2-seater        Flamer near Neuve

First, you'll notice that this list gives Bishop 75 confirmed victories. That's because they include 3 balloons, that according to McCaffrey, were not previously included in any of Bishop's victory lists. If that's the case, then according to info I've seen, his score of confirmed victories should be close to 100. The reason being that several of his contemporaries claim for Bishop, that he shot down at least 23 balloons. IF that were true, that would make him the 4th ranking balloon buster, and THE Ace of Aces with 95 victories. But I doubt if we'll ever see any paperwork confirming that score. According to what I was told recently, a lot of British Empire pilots' records were lost enroute from the front back to England.

McCaffrey's claimed resources for the above list are Bishop's log book, records from 60 and 85 Squadrons, and the German "Luftstreitkrafte" casualty files.
He states further that "...Lieutenant John Grider of 85 Squadron and Lieutenant J.B. Crompton of 60 Squadron both reported seeing Bishop shoot down enemy machines. However, which two victories are involved has never been established."

The notes.
* I have no idea where this came from. I can only hope it's a typo. And the book it came from has more than a few typos in it.
1Witnessed by Lt.s Binnie and Bower, 60 Squadron, RFC, and AA. TJP lists his death as 24 March 1917
2Witnessed by AA and Lt. Leckie, 60 Squadron RFC
3The Jasta Pilots (referred to as TJP above and from now on) agrees he was KIA on 8 April 1917
4TJP lists his death as 25 April, 1917, because he survived this flight, though his aircraft did not, MvR had it scrapped!
5Witnessed by Lt.s Young, Horn, Fry and Rutherford, and Maj. Scott, all of 60 Squadron RFC
6TJP agrees he was KIA on 23 April, 1917. Witnessed by Nieuport pilot from 40 Squadron RFC.
7Witnessed by FE2B Crew from 11 Squadron RFC.
8FFA A.233 2nd crewman not identified, probably not a casualty.
9Witnessed by and shared with Lt. Willy Fry, 60 Squadron, RFC, and by AA.
10Witnessed by Lt. Lloyd, 60 Squadron, RFC.
11Vfw. Fritz Johanntges, KIA, Oblt. Gerd von Roedern, KIA
12These 3 victories are the ones Bishop got on his raid on Esnes that won him the VC. McCaffery, names the location as Estourmel, but we now know that's not possible as Estourmel was not occupied on this date. He also lists Lt. Townsend of 12 Squadron RAF as confirming the 3 claims in 1918, but according to Phillip Markham, Townsend objected to McCaffery's claims that he (Townsend) verified the claims. Townsend insisted that it was 3rd hand knowledge and not necessarily reliable.
13Witnessed by FE2B crew, 11 Squadron RFC.
14Witnessed by Lt.s Rutherford, Young and Soden 60 Squadron, RFC.
15Witnessed by Maj. Scott, 60 Squadron, RFC.
16TJP agrees on date of KIA, but not location, that is listed as Montfaucon. Witnessed by Lt. Robert Little, 8 Squadron, RNAS.
17Witnessed by Lt. Barnett, 11 Squadron RFC. Jasta 4. By looking at TJP casualty lists, only one Jasta 4 pilot was wounded that day, Lt. Richard Krüger who was wounded over Comines and died of wounds later in hospital.
18Witnessed by Capt. Caldwell, 60 Squadron, RFC.
19Witnessed by Lt. Molesworth, 60 Squadron, RFC.
20Witnessed by Lt.s Clement and Carter, 11 Squadron, RFC.
21FFA A204, Flieger Kark Andreison, KIA, Lt. Keil, WIA, Witnessed by AA
22Lt. Koch, KIA, Lt. Felder, KIA
23Witnessed by Lt. Horn, 85 Squadron RAF.
24Witnessed by Lt. Springs, 85 Squadron, RAF. McCaffrey claims this was Leut. Paul Billik, but TJP lists his date of being WIA and made POW as 10 August, 1918. However, there was one Jasta 52 pilot who was shot down and KIA on 1 June, 1918. Lt. Wilhem Saint Mont, his aircraft went down in flames over Mourmelon, near Lille, he jumped in a parachute which also burned, he fell to his death.
25Witnessed by Lt. Callahan, 85 Squadron, RAF. McCaffrey lists the victim as "Flieger M. Sawatski, KIA" In TJP, the closest listing I could find was Flgmt Horst Sawatzki of MFJ1. He was shot down on this day, but he was flying an Albatros D5, and he was only WIA, not KIA.
26Witnessed by Lt.s John Gurdon and J.J. Scaramanga of 22 Squadron, RAF
27In spite of McCaffrey's identification, I could find no listing in TJP for a Lt. Eicholz
28McCaffrey lists this one as UNconfirmed, yet Above The Trenches lists it as Bishop's 5th confirmed victory, both list it as shared with Maj. Scott. From McCaffrey's book it reads as follows: "Shared and witnessed by Major Scott, 60 Squadron, RFC. Why this victory is not confirmed is a mystery." Seems to me, Mr. McCaffrey missed something.
29The interesting thing is that McCaffrey lists Bishop with 2 C-types and one single seater as confirmed on 30 May, 1918, while ATT lists Bishop with 1 C-type, and two Albatross D5's as officially confirmed.

My Conclusions

Of the victories listed above, 15 were witnessed by fellow squadron members, 4 by anonymous pilots, crew from other squadrons, as well as AA batteries, and at least 5 by named pilots and crew from other Squadrons. I come up with a total, therefore of 24 claims of Bishop's that he had witnesses for. This count does NOT include the 3 claims at Esnes, sometimes mistakenly thought to be Estourmel on 2 June, 1917.

And with a new publication of OTF last year, which had an article written by Willy Fry, published for him by his friend, Alex Revell. In this article, Fry basically denies that he and Bishop shot down an enemy aircraft on May 4, 1917. Why he waited until after his death to say this, is anyone's guess. But he did, you can draw your own conclusions.

However, I have to state that I have some problems with Dan McCaffrey's list. There are more than a few inconsistencies, consequently, I have to state that I just do not trust it completely. But then I don't trust the German records completely either.

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Created May 22, 1999
Last updated: December 29, 2005
© 1999 by Albert Lowe, All rights reserved.
The opinions expressed on this web page are mine alone. By no means should the use of any reference be construed as to suggest that anyone else mentioned on this site shares those opinions, unless stated explicitly so.
If you have any problems with my opinion, you should email me, Al Lowe .
References for this web page are...
"Billy Bishop, Canadian Hero" by Dan McCaffrey, published by James Lorimer & Company.
"The Jasta Pilots" by Norman Franks, Frank Bailey, and Rick Duiven, published by Grub Street
And "Above The Trenches", by Christopher Shores, Norman Franks, & Russell Guest, published by Grub Street.
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