Air power and the battle for Vimy Ridge by Maj Bill March

Except for brief periods, the lousy weather continued for almost the entire period of the assault on Vimy Ridge. While this made it difficult for 16 Squadron to carry out counter-battery work, it made the need for contact patrols even more important. Flying low over weather-obscured bodies of troops was always dangerous; in the height of battle soldiers on the ground often assumed that low-flying aircraft were hostile and therefore to be shot at. But when aircrew deliberately called attention to themselves with blaring klaxons, they were often met with a fusillade of ground fire rather than a positional flare from friendly troops. The divisional and battalion diaries of the Canadian Corps contain numerous entries noting the presence of, and reports from, these contact flights. READ  MORE