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1. Photograph of T.J. Hammond courtesy of Gina Hammond.
Themetre James Hammond was born in 1893, in Sydney and at the outbreak of hostilities was a Grazier in Adavale, Queensland. After serving with the Lighthorse he transferred to the Australian Flying Corps and after training served with 2 Squadron AFC, joining the squadron on 24th of May 1918. Unfortunately Hammond wasnt to be with the squadron for long, being killed in combat just over a month later, after scoring a Destroyed victory and after 12.35 hours of flying time with the squadron.
The end of May was dominated by bad weather, so bad that in the Armienteres region 2 Squadron AFC was based in, there was little to no flying, and any flying that was done, was practise flying only. This also disrupted the tactics that 2 Squadron AFC had been using, mimicing the German Circus formations, or stacked formations where mixed Squadrons of machines flew at differant altitudes and forced attacking aircraft into the lower layers where they could be outnumbered.
By the beginning of June, the weather cleared and German Army resumed an offensive in the Somme region. As German Aviation strength followed the ground offensives, 2 Squadron AFC starting seeing constant combat in the air as the density of allied and German aircraft increased to match the activity on the ground. Hammond, new to the squadron flew in this environment through early June until on the 11th he scored his first victory over a two-seater, and unfortunately the next morning, he fell to the same fate. The Official History describes June 11th and 12th;
"In the afternoon of the June 11th five machine under Forrest brought six enemy two-seaters to an engagement over Curvilly. Lieutenant T.J. Hammond destroyed one of them. Soon after dawn next morning Hammond was himself shot down and killed near Noyon in a fight with the circus against eight Pfalz Scouts and four Fokker Triplanes. Two Pfalzes having dived on a Camel of the second deck of the circus, Manuel, leading the SE5a's promptly attacked one and set it on fire. In the general engagement which followed Hammond was killed, but three enemy machines were shot down by the Camels, two of them in flames."
It is possible the Camels were from 73 Sqn RAF, who were operating in the area at the time and made three claims for 10.00 AM on the morning of June 12th. Hammond was shot down in SE5a, D3960 by Hans Martin Pippart of Jasta 19, it was Pippart's 15th victory. Pippart himself was killed near Noyon less than two months later. Hammond's memorial is at the Arras Flying Services Memorial, Pas de Calais, France
1. "Casualties of the German Air Service" lists three casualties suffered by the German Air Service in the region of Compiegne. They are Uffz Albert Arnold, Gefr Erich Bischoff and Uffz Walter Held are listed as KIA, but there is not record of a unit.
1. Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour Card entry for Hammond's memorial location.