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British Airmen - Tyne Cot Cemetery

There are two airmen here who were exhumed from German cemeteries and reburied in Tyne Cot after the Armistice.

Tyne Cot Cemetery. British airmen. Ypres Salient. Battlefields Belgium. Flanders
Authors image. Tyne Cot Cemetery

Grave LVIIIA.28 2nd Lieutenant Charles Angelo Moody. Pilot. 1 Squadron RFC. Age 18. KIA 21.8.17. Son of the Rev. Henry and Evelyn L. Moody, of Welshampton Vicarage, Ellesmere, Salop. He was flying a Nieuport 23, B1613, when he was shot down over Westroosebeke by Leutnant Fritz Loerzer of Jasta 26. His body was exhumed from Hooglede German Military Cemetery and reburied here after the Armistice.

Leutnant Fritz Loerzer – He was the younger brother of Hauptmann Bruno Loerzer, who later became a high-ranking Luftwaffe officer more due to his friendship with Goring than talent. Fritz Loerzer was known as the ‘Flying Pastor’ due to his pre-war religious career. He joined the Fliegertruppe on 15 June 1915, training in FEA 2, Aldershof. After service with a two-seater unit, he joined his brother in Kek Jametz on 11 March 1916. He went to Jasta 6 as a Vizefeldwebel, on 10 September and scored one victory before he was commissioned and joined his brother in Jasta 26 on 21 February 1917. He was appointed commander of Jasta 63 on 9 January 1918 however, he took over command of Jasta 26 on 21 February, one year after joining it, when his brother took over commanded of JGIII. He had recorded eleven victories when he was shot down and captured on 12 June 1918, when his wing broke in combat.

Tyne Cot Cemetery. Jasta 26. Fritz Loerzer. Ypres Salient. Battlefields Belgium. Flanders
Group photo of the pilots of Jasta 26 left to right Buder, Klassen, Riemer, Zogmann, Weiß, Fritz Loerzer, Bruno Loerzer, Mar. At right Fritz Beck

After returning from captivity, he resumed his studies in 1920 and was ordained in 1922, he became a pastor in Falkenstein, a district of Friedeberg (Neumark), in 1923 . In 1928 he took over a pastorate at the Advent Church in Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg. He joined the Nazi

Fritz Loerzer. Jasta 26. Ypres Salient. Battlefields Belgium. Flanders
Fritz Loerzer. Protestant Priest

Party in 1932, and he was one of the founders of the German Christian faith movement and was appointed as an unskilled worker in the Berlin-Brandenburg consistory after it seized power in the Evangelical Church of the Old Prussian Union in 1933. In July 1933 he became deputy Reich leader of the German Christians; In October he took over the general superintendence of the Kurmark. When the German Christians broke up into various competing groups in 1935, Loerzer joined Joachim Hossenfelder's “Struggle and Faith Movement of German Christians” and became Deputy Reich Leader. He became Senior Consistorial Councillor in the Evangelical Consistory of the Church Province of Saxony in Magdeburg and returned to Berlin in the same position in 1939. From 1940 he took up military service. He did not receive a pastorate after the end of the war but was able to provide auxiliary services in the Bavarian regional church from 1945 to 1948 .He died a few days before his 59th birthday on 21 July 1952.

Tyne Cot Cemetery. RFC. Ypres Salient. Battlefields Belgium. Flanders
Authors image. Tyne Cot Cemetery

Grave LXII.C.5 Captain Vivian Hugh Nicholas Wadham. 1st Hampshire Regiment attached 15 Squadron RFC. Pilot. Age 24. KIA 17.1.16. Son of Hugh Davison Wadham and Mabel Emily Wadham, of Thamesfield, Shepperton, Middlesex. One of the 34 Pilots who flew from Salisbury Plain to France on 12th August 1914 attached, at that time, to the 3rd Squadron. He was flying in an BE2c, 2105, with Sergeant Piper as observer, when they were shot down over Bapaume by Leutnant Gustav Leffers Feld Abteilung 32, KEK B. Wadham was buried in Oostnieuwkerke German Military Cemetery and his body was exhumed and reburied here after the Armistice.

Leutnant Gustav Leffers - was assigned to a Field Telegraph Battalion but, with his engineering background, was then reassigned to the Fliegertruppen. After pilot training, he was posted to Feldflieger Abteilung 32 (FFA 32) in February 1915, flying over the northern part of the 2. Armee sector. Starting as a Gefreiter, Leffers rose rapidly through the ranks to become a Leutnant der Reserve on the basis of his excellent performance in reconnaissance roles flying LVG B type aircraft.

Leutnant Gustav Leffers. Ypres Salient. Battlefields Belgium. Flanders
Leutnant Gustav Leffers

On 24 September 1915, he was sent for training on single-seater aircraft at Mannheim. He returned to his unit on 5 November of that year in a Fokker Eindecker EIII (No. 86/15), the first to be attached to FFA 32. The aircraft was destroyed on landing due to a mechanical systems fault. He recorded his first victory on 5 December 1915, a BE2c of No.13 Squadron.

By March 1916 Leffers had four victories. His fourth, on 13 March, was especially hair-raising. He barely escaped a mid-air collision, scraping his plane's landing wheels across a Royal Aircraft Factory BE.2c's upper wing before turning onto its tail and shooting down the aircraft.

FFA 32's fighter element eventually became Jasta 1, and Leffers scored another 4 times with the Jasta. He received the Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order after his sixth victory on 31 August 1916, and the Pour le Merite in November 1916 after his eighth victory. He was also awarded the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class. Leffers seventh victim insists he was shot down by a Nieuport; it seems Leffers used his captured French plane for this victory. On 27 December 1916 he was shot down and killed, he was age 21, in combat with FE2b's of No 11 Squadron RFC, the most likely victors being the crew of Captain John Quested and Lt. H. J. H. Dicksee. He was flying the captured Nieuport when he was killed.

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