Intelligencer report 1917 Sep 14 on Domville and Kramers' deaths

Report in the Intelligencer newspaper of September 14th, 1917, courtesy Belleville Public Library


Two Airplanes Collide Over Landing Place and Crash to Earth – Cadets Domville and Kramer in Training for Royal Flying Corps, Instantly Killed

Camp Mohawk, where so many bright young men are being trained for service in the Royal Flying Corps overseas, was saddened yesterday by a double tragedy which cost the lives of two popular young students of aviation. Cadet Domville, of Montreal, and Cadet Kramer, of Detroit, both strong and vigorous young men, with high hopes and ambitions to give their best, even life itself, in the great struggle for the freedom of the world which is being waged with such relentless fury on the battlefields of Europe, on the sea and in the sky, where the “eyes of the army” keep unceasing vigil on the movements of the the enemy and fight thrilling duels among the clouds with armed enemy aircraft.

The two young cadets had each taken a machine up and after successful flights returned about the same time and were manoeuvring over the landing place preparatory to alighting, when in some manner both machines came together and crashed to the ground. Death came almost instantaneously to both cadets and life had departed when the bodies were lifted from the wreckage.

The Toronto express was just passing the camp when the accident took place and the machines fell near the station. Many of the passengers were witnesses of the event and were shocked and thrilled by the spectacle of a collision between two of these aircraft, and saddened by the certainty of death to the gallant young aviators.

Cadets Domville and Kramer were fine upstanding types of young manhood eager for adventure and anxious to take a man’s part in the great task of freeing the world from the menace of German domination. Both were blessed with jovial and kindly natures and had many friends in the camp and in Belleville who sincerely regret the sudden call with closed to prematurely lives giving such abundant promise of usefulness.

James de Beaujeu Domville had enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps in Toronto on July 12th, 1917 with the regimental number 74199. He was born in Montreal on March 1st, 1899, the son of James Domville and Adele (née de Beaujeu). He was five feet eleven inches tall and was flying with 84 Canadian Training Squadron at Camp Mohawk.

Justin John Kramer initially joined the United States Army and transferred to the Air Service. He was born in Dayton, Ohio on April 28th, 1895, the son of John Kramer and Theresa Rosa (née Stompf).

The official reports of the accident assigned blame to neither pilot. Kramer was flying under the instruction of 2nd Lieutenant E. C. Bridgman, who escaped the crash with cuts to the face and bad bruising.

J. J. Kramer RFC Casualty Card

Royal Flying Corps casualty card for Justin John Kramer, courtesy of the Royal Air Force Museum

Date of Casualty: 13.9.17
Where occurred: Canada Camp Mohawk
Type of Machine: Curtiss JN4a.
Nature and Cause of Accident: Mach[ine] C650 piloted by Cadet Domville while coming in from an altitude of over 400 ft in a straight glide collided with a machine C632 piloted by Cadet Kramer who was flying at less than 400 feet & turning to the left to make landing into aerodrome
Result of Accident: Killed
Name of other Occupant of Machine: 2Lt Bridgman Injured
Remarks: Cadet Kramer had control of the machine & the finding of the Court of Inquiry attached no blame to Cadet Kramer

Once again, we have photographs showing the aftermath of the crash.

Kramer and Domville crash

From Sergeant Devos’s photographic collection, 2009.09(29), courtesy of Denzil Devos

James de Beaujeu Domville was buried in the Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery in Montreal.

Justin John Kramer was buried in the Calvary Cemetery, Kettering, Ohio.