Finally!! The controversy can be laid to rest!!!

After over 2 years being in search of something more substantial than speculation and suspcion, I have finally found a piece of evidence, testimony actually, that SHOULD lay the "Billy Bishop Controversy" surrounding his June 2, 1917 aerodrome raid, to rest.

This information came to me from pages 125 and 126 of "Knights of the Air" by Lt. Col. David Bashow, published in 2000 by McArthur and Company, used here with the kind permission of the author.

The following is from a letter written by Dan McCaffery to the author of "Knights of the Air" concerning a 1993 interview he had with a former German Rumpler pilot, Otto Roosen, in Bracebridge, Ontario.

I then asked him if he had heard of Bishop's VC raid. I made it very clear I was asking if he had heard about it during the First World War. He replied, "Oh yes, we all knew about it. Our pilots talked about it for weeks. I talked to pilots who were there, but I can no longer remember their names." I asked Roosen about the lack of confirmation in German records and he was openly contemptuous of the records. "Our leaders didn't want to admit that sort of thing," he said. "If they could salvage a compass from the cockpit they'd say the plane was only damaged. It wouldn't go into the records as having been shot down."
The only thing that bothers me about this, is the interview was done in 1993!! IF I had known this back in August of 1998, this whole thing might not have been necessary! But, all things considered, I'm just as happy to find out now as I would have been back then.

UPDATE!!!! Ok, it seems I was a little bit hasty. Oh, I don't doubt Mr. Roosen's story. But apparently the skeptics (Formerly known as the "ANTI-BISHOP" crowd) aren't too eager to accept the testimony of a WWI veteran who's over 80. Strange, they're more than willing to accept the testimony of ANTI-Bishop vets, who are in the same age bracket. Well, I guess using a "double-standard" can apply almost anywhere.

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Created:March 18, 2001
Last updated:April 23, 2001
©2001 by Albert Lowe, All rights reserved.
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