Author Topic: On this Day (WWI aviation news), Vol. 3  (Read 2726 times)

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news), Vol. 3
« Reply #45 on: May 10, 2024, 11:13:00 PM »
Boss of Voss
Arthur P. F. Rhys Davids was still a teenager when he shot down Germany's twenty-year-old ace Werner Voss in one of the Great War's most epic dogfights. That battle, as well as the British pilot's biography are published in today's posthumous report.  During the twenty-two weeks between his first victory and final flight the Etonian tallied twenty-two victories.  A brief but brilliant career.  Does anyone know who's airplane the 'painted banana' refers to?

(from the Southern Herald, 10 May 1918):


Voss' last battle headlined here back in October 2022: https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com/index.php?topic=12930.msg248561#msg248561
https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com/index.php?topic=12930.msg248561#msg248561

Have a look at forum member lcarroll's 1/32nd-scale WNW build of Rhys Davids' Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a: https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com/index.php?topic=13011.msg242678#msg242678

And here's a link to a video portraying Voss' final flight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkKhIZJCjY0
« Last Edit: May 17, 2024, 02:15:25 PM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news), Vol. 3
« Reply #46 on: May 11, 2024, 10:58:59 PM »
Front Row Seat to History
From a glance this grainy image may look like a simple child's doodle but it's actually a fascinating aerial photograph capturing the world's first great tank assault during the Battle of Cambrai.  Attempting to break the years'-long stalemate of trench warfare the British Expeditionary Force Tank Corps employed an astounding 476 tanks (378 combat tanks), with artillery and air coordination.  "On the first day, the British... took more ground in six hours than they had in three-and-a-half months at Passchendaele, or five months at the Somme."At 0620 hours covered by a brief barrage from 1000 guns, the tanks of C and F Battalions in MkIV tanks advanced alongside the men of the British 12th Division against the impregnable German Hindenburg line at Cambrai. Supported in the air by 4 RFC squadron flying ground attack missions, the general offensive had broken through 3 trench lines and penetrated 5 miles on a 6 mile front by lunchtime. Although these gains were not exploited and later retaken by a German counter offensive, Cambrai showed the full potential of the tank on the battlefield." (via cranstonmilitaryprints.com).  By the second day of combat about one-half of the British tanks were already out of action but it must have made an awe-inspiring sight to witness from the air!
(from the Queenslander, 11 May 1918):



(image via wikipedia)
« Last Edit: May 11, 2024, 11:15:14 PM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news), Vol. 3
« Reply #47 on: May 13, 2024, 12:23:54 AM »
Russians Raid Constantinople
One month after the signing of the secret Constantinople Agreement, in which France and Great Britain promised to give Ottoman-controlled Constantinople and the Dardanelles, to the Russian Empire in the event of victory, Russia takes the initiative to assault the historic city.  Fun fact - the first Russian attack on Constantinople occurred in 860 A.D.!
(from the Forest City Press, 12 May 1915):


(image via periodpaper.com)

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news), Vol. 3
« Reply #48 on: May 14, 2024, 09:18:51 AM »
Teen Machine
Precocious pilot Horatio Harle Bright earned Royal Aero Club certificate number 1648 when he was just sixteen.  This Bright achieved by flying a Beatty-Wright Biplane, of the Beatty School of Flying at Hendon, which trained over one-thousand pilots for the Royal Flying Corps, Royal Naval Air Service and Royal Air Force.  Alas, the War Office refused to accepted Bright until his seventeenth birthday.  Upon officially earning his wings he served stints in Nos. 17, 1 and 29 Squadrons and the Aeronautical Inspection Department at Filton, where his 'maverick' behavior began to emerge
(from the Daily Sketch, 13 May 1915):



(image: Beatty-Wight Biplane at Hendon, 1917, via flyingmachines.ru)

"There were complaints of extremely dangerous flying, such that he was, after several warnings, forbidden to fly by the officer commanding Filton. He was also forbidden to use the officers mess on account of passing worthless cheques and was taking women into Filton and giving them unofficial flights. In addition, he was absent on a number of occasions.

On 29th May 1917 he was arrested and three days later tried by General Court Martial. There were two charge sheets, involving a total of eight charges. Four of these involved having in his possession photographs of various parts of Filton and Bristol, then showing them to unauthorised individuals in such a way that it was calculated to 'be useful to the enemy'. Of the eight charges he was convicted of six of them, he was sentenced to cashiered and imprisoned for twelve months without hard labour. ...the imprisonment was remitted due to Bright's young age and war service and the fact that there was no traitorous intent. As far as the photography charges, he was deemed to have behaved with "extraordinary folly." On 23rd August 1917 the Director of Recruiting, 16th Recruiting Area, at Bedford, attempted to contact Bright but he had already enlisted in the RFC and on 6th September 1917 proceeded to France. Joining 60 Squadron at Ste Marie-Cappel he carried out his first practise flight on 22nd September 1917.

Later that day (22nd September 1917) he flew on Offensive Patrol, from which he had to return temporarily, due to Vickers machine gun trouble. In the evening he delivered a new machine from No. 1 Aircraft Depot. St. Omer to the squadron. At 09.00 hours the next day, he left on a five man patrol, led by the great New Zealand ace Captain Grid Caldwell, from which he failed to return. Nobody saw what happened to him and there does not seem to be a relevant claim from the German side.
" (via wikitree.com)


Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news), Vol. 3
« Reply #49 on: May 14, 2024, 11:05:05 PM »
Italiano Intenso
Sired from an ancient noble bloodline, Fulco Ruffo di Calabria was already a military veteran when he was assigned to Italy's Battaglione Aviatori in late 1915.  In August 1916, Ruffo di Calabria shared his first aerial victory with Francesco Baracca (who first headlined here back in June 2022: https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com/index.php?topic=12930.msg244671#msg244671).  By the time of today's publication he was a full-fledged ace known for the jet-black teschio e ossa incrociate emblazoned on the fuselage of his airplanes. He scored this seventh victory just before sunset on Saturday, 12 May and ended the war as the fifth-highest-scoring Italian ace. Fulco di Calabria subsequently fathered the future queen of Belgium and was tried as a fascist after World War II.
(from the Cambria Daily Leader, 14 May 1917):




(images via wikipedia)

Here's a link to a figure of this aviator, shared by forum member bluesfan:  https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com/index.php?topic=5636.msg101164#msg101164
« Last Edit: May 14, 2024, 11:21:02 PM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news), Vol. 3
« Reply #50 on: May 15, 2024, 09:51:46 PM »
"Dog-Fight"!
This cleverly composed composition by an unknown British flyer brings us a bird's-eye battle scene and an early use of the term 'dogfight' as applied to air combat.  Anyone know who drew this?  It also provides an early anglicized interpretation of the plural for 'Albatros', which still gets debated these days.
(from The Aeroplane, 15 May 1918):



Here's a look at a singular Albatros D.III from 1918 in 1/48th scale by forum member Opapapa: https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com/index.php?topic=12404.msg231936#msg231936
« Last Edit: May 15, 2024, 09:56:57 PM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news), Vol. 3
« Reply #51 on: May 17, 2024, 12:04:28 AM »
Original Flying Kangaroo
Pioneer aviator Walter Oswald Watt became a full-fledged pilot in summer of 1911 when the Royal Aero Club issued him their 112th Aviator Certificate.  The Australian was already in his late thirties when he joined the French Foreign Legion's Aviation Militaire upon the outbreak of the Great War.  During his service with France Watt was personally decorated with the Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur by General Joffre, who served as Commander-in-Chief of French forces on the Western Front.

"In 1916 he transferred to the newly formed Australian Flying Corps, with the rank of captain and command of B Flight, No.1 Squadron, then stationed in Egypt. In September he was promoted major and took command of No.2 Squadron which was being formed in Egypt. The new squadron was sent to England (Tetbury) for training in early 1917 and arrived on the Western Front in September. He kept three Australian squadrons in France throughout the war to end all wars.

Charles Bean, on visiting No.2 Squadron after the battle of Cambrai, where Watt became famous for leading his squadrons on daring low level strafing attacks, recorded his impressions of its work: "They are winning themselves a magnificent name, this first Australian fighting squadron … It is Watt who has worked them up to this remarkably high level of conduct and general tone".   As the squadron commander Watt worked long hours, rising at 5 a.m. to give moral support to his dawn patrols; according to Bean, the heavy fighting at Cambrai had left Watt "very wan…he fell asleep after dinner". In February 1918 Watt—by then a lieutenant-colonel—was promoted to command the four squadrons (Nos. 5, 6, 7 and 8) of the Australian training wing at Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England. He excelled as a leader who inspired his crews with his ideals of service.
" (via pittwateronlinenews.com)
(from the Sydney Morning Herald, 16 May 1916):




(images via pittwateronlinenews.com)

(image: "a plane piloted by Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Walter Oswald Watt, seen flying over German territory in 1915", via awm.gov.au)

Footnote: In 1921 Watt died of accidental drowning in shallow water near home at Bilgola Beach, in northern Sydney.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2024, 12:34:32 AM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news), Vol. 3
« Reply #52 on: May 17, 2024, 09:44:24 PM »
Flying Colors
On Friday the 12th, recently promoted 2nd Lieutenant Georges Guynemer was on hand as standard bearer for the 1st flag of French military aeronautics during a ceremony on the field of the aérodrome that would later bear his name. Base aérienne 102 Dijon became operational in the spring of 1914 and was assigned the headquarters of the 1st Aviation Group, which was accommodated in several aircraft hangars and barracks. Four squadrons were stationed there when the World War broke out: the BR 17, BL 18, HF 19 and MF 20. It was on this military airfield that the 2e reserve aviation unit dedicated to the centralization of deliveries made by factories working for the aviation and transit to aviation squadrons of the parks from the front of the stored goods.[clarification needed] 2Y also worked, from 1917, a flight school dedicated to piloting aircraft manufacturing company Voisin[/color] (via wikipedia).  Just over 260km southeast of Paris, Dijon-Longvic airfield would be run by the Armée de l'Air for another 100 years, until ceasing military operations 2016.  A museum opened there in 2022.
(from the Daily Sketch, 17 May 1916):



A film clip of this very day, celebrated on its centennial, can be seen here: https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/bourgogne-franche-comte/cote-d-or/dijon/dijon-base-aerienne-102-rend-hommage-georges-guynemer-du-9-au-14-mai-981808.html
« Last Edit: May 17, 2024, 10:40:12 PM by PJ Fisher »

Offline PJ Fisher

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Re: On this Day (WWI aviation news), Vol. 3
« Reply #53 on: Today at 12:48:16 AM »
Polish Power
Here's an interesting article on a seldom-reported subject - the birth of Polish military aviation and the involvement of private funding from the then-still-neutral United States.  "The first independent units of the Polish Air Force, in service to the re-emerging Polish sovereign state, were... formed in 1917, before World War I had come to an end. When the Russian Revolution began and the tsardom gradually lost control of the country, Polish pilots took advantage of the chaos and formed spontaneous aerial units in areas of present-day Belarus, south Ukraine, and by the Kuban river.  Up until that point Polish pilots had only flown as members of Russian, German or Austro-Hungarian militaries.  The first known air force units in service to the re-emerging Polish state were: I Polski Oddział Awiacyjny (1st Polish Aviation Squad) in Minsk formed on 19 June 1917, the 1st and 2nd Aviation Units of the 2nd Corps, the aerial fleet of the 4th Rifle Division, as well as the Samodzielny Polski Oddział Awiacyjny (Independent Polish Aviation Squad) in Odesa."
(from the Oklahoma City Times, 18 May 1917):