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Gotha Bomber

Heroes Remember

Did you ever hear of a Gotha Bomber? Well the Germans had a, it was a large plane probably as big as a Lancaster with four engines and it flew about 75 miles an hour and about 500 to 1000 feet up and on bright moonlight nights it would come over and when the troops, they knew where all the troops were coming out on rest and their spies and one thing or another and they'd drop bombs on these; harassment of the rest camps and I think everybody that served in France that went out on, you know was on a line and then came out for rest and everything got to know that bomber and they hated their guts because it was, where I was, this Houdain place, we had a search light there and a machine gun, not us, the Royal Engineers had it mounted on a tripod where they could get it in and get up there and then they get the search light on the plane and then they would have something to fire with, you see. This plane came over and we had the search light and they got the search light on and this machine gun got firing and you could see they had one huge great big bomb and it probably weighed 500 lbs, that bomb, and you could see the bomb let go. The bomb was a dud, I don't know where it went, thank God for that!

Mr. Burton describes the Germans' use of the Gotha bomber to harass allied rest camps at night. He describes coning a Gotha and watching it release its bomb, which, fortunately, was a dud.

Robert Burton

Robert Burton was born on February 21, 1896 in Dundas, Ontario. After public school, he was accepted into university which he attended from 1914 to 1916, in the Canadian Officer Training Corps. For a time, he worked at Massey, checking shrapnel shells. Despite being shortsighted, Mr. Burton was recruited into the 13th Brigade in Mar, 1916. In England, he joined the 5th Division, a reinforcement unit, and deployed to France with the 2nd Division as a sapper. Mr. Burton became a mounted courier at Courcelette, and had several interesting experiences in that capacity. He witnessed and was attacked by Gotha bombers at Arras, and was shelled at St.Pol. Mr. Burton also served in the trenches at Amiens. During the 2nd World War, he was a very successful engineering instructor at camp Petawawa, where he attained the rank of Major.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Robert Burton
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War
2nd Division (Special Force)

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