• photo
  • Photo
  • Newspaper Clipping
  • Headstone

FOSTER, Franklin James

War
1st World War
Date of Birth
Date Attested
Attested at
Toronto, Ontario
Regimental Number
490812
Rank
Second Lieutenant
Date of Death
Age at Death
27 years 1 month
Biographical Summary

SQUADRON:                     Royal Flying Corps
                                             13th Fighter Wing
                                             11 Squadron 
                                             Motto: “Swifter and keener than eagles”
SERVICE NO:                   490812
RESIDENCE:                    Goderich – Ontario 
DATE OF BIRTH:            July 23, 1890
                                             Clinton – Goderich Township – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH:           August 23, 1917                   27 years     1 month
CEMETERY:                     Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery – Saulty –
                                             Pas de Calais – France
                                             XI     A     14
PARENTS:                         Mr. Adam and Sarah Foster – Goderich – Ontario
Occupation:                        Student                                 Religion:     Church of England                     
Enlistment:                         Toronto – June 8, 1916 into University of Toronto Training Company  
Enlistment Age:                 25 years     11 months

Franklin was educated in Clinton Public School, Goderich Collegiate Institute, University College (1910-1914), B.A. in Political Science, University College Literary Society Executive, “Varsity” staff, Regina Law School. In 1916 he enlisted in the University Overseas Training Company, and in September joined the Royal Flying Corps after passing first in the qualifying examinations.
He then went to France during the month of April 1917 and joined the 11th Squadron of the 13th Wings which was based on the Lens-Cambrai front.
No. 11 Squadron was formed on February 14, 1915 at Netheravon, Wiltshire. This squadron was sent overseas as a “fighter squadron. In June of 1916 the squadron received new Bristol fighters. These aircraft were used for offensive patrols and ground attack rolls over the enemy lines. When Lieutenant Foster was killed the squadron was based at Izel-le-Hameau which was in the Pas de Calais in France.
Frank passed into the Royal Flying Corps and was first in his class.
The Squadron was based at Mory which was located in Pas de Calais in France.
On the day Lieutenant Foster died he and a number of other aircraft from the squadron were out on patrol in the area of Warlincourt when a storm broke. A number of machines began to return to their base and was just about to land when another plane crossed in front of him. He could have landed safely but in doing so would have put those in the other aircraft in danger, so he pulled up and began to gain height but his aircraft stalled and he crashed and he lost his life instantly.
The rank of 2nd Lieutenant was for an individual who was in Pilot Training.
Our research told us that at the time of his death he was flying a Bristol F2B Fighter or “Biff”. This was a maneuverable and heavily armed aircraft. This was a 2 seater that was able to hold its own against enemy aircraft. It was powered by a 12 cylinder, liquid cooled inline V – 270 hp motor. The top speed for this aircraft was 123 mph at 5,000 feet It had a ceiling of 21,500 feet. It had a 3 hour endurance. There was a pilot and an observer. The armament was a sycronized Vickers machine gun the pilot would use and the observer had 2-3 Vickers guns on a Scraff ring. It also could carry 240 pounds of bombs.