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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

British scout - Staden August 1918


Cnock

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Hi,

This British fighter plane (Camel?) was shot down near Staden in August 1917, pilot was killed.

Any one has a clue about the sqn or pilot?

Regards,

Cnock

post-7723-1214663991.jpg

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Officers Died Great War lists 165 lost in the RFC during August 1917, any closer date ? Ralph.

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Hi Ralph,

no closer date, Staden is in West Flanders.

Cnock

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Perhaps Dolphin or Starlight way down under in Oz can shed some light on this when they awake from the land of nod. Ralph.

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My friend Dolphin considers it to be a Camel of 10 Sqn RNAS,

with one bar of the sqn markings removed.

Cnock

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In looking at "Airmen Died" and "The Sky . . " there are several Camels that crashed during August 1917 but none I could see that matched both the criteria of the pilot being killed and the operarions area / crash site being close to Staden. The closest loss was a Camel of 70 squadron (B2304) on 5th August against which a claim was made - crash site to the west of Staden. The pilot was injured but was not killed.

Starlight

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Starlight,

thanks for the reply!

Cnock

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Cnock,

That vertical band doesn't tie in with any usual squadron markings for any of the six Camels lost that month. Camel pilots from 70Sqn, and 4, 6, 8 and 9 Naval Sqns are the ones involved if August 1917 is correct.

Any help?

Regards,

Trevor

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Hi Trevor,

Thanks,

Cnock

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Hi Eddy,

If the date is correct, you can definitely rule out Naval 10 as they did not start to equip with Camels until late in August 1917, and did not carry out any "war flights" with Camels in August.

There were no known markings for Naval 4 or Naval 6 Camels at that time either. Naval 9 had many varied personal markings (more than have ever been seen in publications) but were based on the channel coast at the time.

Could you send me a higher res scan please to see if anything else comes to mind.

regards,

Mike

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My friend Dolphin considers it to be a Camel of 10 Sqn RNAS,

with one bar of the sqn markings removed.

Cnock

I thought that it might be a No 10 Sqn RNAS aircraft as the vertical white bar marking doesn't seem to correspond to any of the other Camel units operating at the time. The aircraft serial number and fuselage roundel have both been removed, so perhaps the forward white bar was cut away at the same time as the roundel.

Admittedly, the date doesn't fit, but sometimes this was inaccurately recorded. I'm open to any other suggestions.

Gareth

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I agree with your stab at Naval 10. It's just they were still a Triplane outfit at the time with just two flights of triplanes taking things seriously. Camels were filtering in but they didn't get many until September when Naval 6 and Naval 11 disbanded.

Mike

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Cnock,

As the consensus is moving away from August 1917, and towards a 10(N) pilot, how about

B5663 Sopwith Camel 10(N)Sqn

** comb 9EA air coll w Alb cr ooc nrSTADEN MIA(FSLt RA Blyth KIA) 23Jan.18 comb ~2-50pm, cr locked together [2"Camel" claims nrSTADEN Ltn Wandelt Ja36]

There are five other 10(N) candidates, according to my records, for a dead Camel pilot due to EA, starting from September through February.

Just wondering if the 10(N) "rear" bar was so near the roundel?

Regards,

Trevor

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Hi Trevor,

not Blythe, he was flying a black and white striped Camel - there would have surely been some evidence of the stripes.

Mustn't forget that 210 Squadron continued the Naval10 Squadron marking of the two vertical bars well into 1918 before taking up the white disc in June 18 and white dumbell marking in October 18.

Mike

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I'm no expert on aircraft recognition, but could I ask the most obvious question Cnock? Was the aircraft definitely a Camel? Looking at the shape of the horizontal stabiliser and the top surface of the undamaged part of the fuselage might it not be what's left of a DH5? If so the following entry from Trevor's book just might fit the bill as the aircraft was flying close to Staden when last seen at Houthulst. Just a thought.

12th August 1917 A9398 DH5 32 Sqn - Captain R M Williams

There was even a claim of a Sopwith? shot down near Poelcappelle at about that time on the same day by Ltn J Schmidt of Ja3, also close to Staden - a day when no Sopwith machines were lost according to the figures.

Regards

Steve

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Here are a couple of photos that show the difference in shapes between the two tailplanes and the contour of the upper surface of the DH5 fuselage.

Steve

post-2669-1215040960.jpg

post-2669-1215040976.jpg

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Steve

I thought of a DH 5, but the fuselage side looks to be slab-sided, in the Sopwith style, without the extra sections of the de Havilland. I also considered a Sopwith Triplane, but the size and position of the top wing aileron roundel (towards the right of the photograh) look more like that on a Camel.

However, I could be wrong.

Gareth

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Hi Mike,

I will try to make a beter scan

Cnock

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I thought it was a Camel.

Better scan

post-7723-1215101211.jpg

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another scan

Cnock

post-7723-1215101285.jpg

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Hi Chaps

I agree it looks like a Sopwith but it may not be a Camel. It could be a Pup or even a Naval Tripe couldn’t it?

For example, on August 9th a Naval 8 Tripe came down east of Dixmude, pilot killed. There are several more Tripe losses in August and quite a number of Pups. Someone with a sound knowledge of squadron markings may be able to identify it?

Is that soldier in the picture holding the spade grip?

Alec

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Gentlemen

I don't think that it's a Pup, as the single white vertical bar doesn't accord with the markings of the Pup squadrons on the Western Front:

No 46 Sqn used two white vertical bars ahead of the tailplane (it doesn't look as if the front bar has been removed in the photograph, as the fabric seems intact from the existing bar to the cut portion that was the roundel);

No 54 Sqn used a horizontal white bar along the top of the fuselage side;

No 66 Sqn used a long horizontal white bar along the centre line of the fuselage;

No 3 Sqn RNAS didn't use a unit marking on its Pups, nor did No 4 Sqn RNAS;

No 8 Sqn RNAS used a white disc on the rear fuselage, though perhaps it wasn't painted on its Pups.

The enhanced view of the fuselage does seem to show what could be the remnants of a roundel, but one without a white outline - something that's unusual for a Camel.

If only the German souvenir-hunters had left the serial number intact until after the photograph was taken!

Cheers

Gareth

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Just some confused notes!

I'm convinced the man in the background is holding a Pup or Triplane control column.

I would have thought that struts aside, Pup and Triplane fuselage wreckage would be indistinguishable.

What I thought was the Camel's fuel and oil filler caps is not bourne out by the better scan!

The fuselage cockade is clearly still in place! so the vertical white bar is a lot further back than I originally thought.

If it's a triplane I don't understand why we can't see one or more of the interplane or centre-section struts. They were sizeable chunks of wood. Tends towards Pup wreckage in my mind

On the markings front, some of the Naval 3 markings in my collection tend to be geometric but not like this. Naval 9 Pups carried some interesting markings to identify the flights but nothing like this. Naval 4 thended to carry personal markings like "Anzac" or "Do Do". I'm completely stumped at the moment.

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Just a couple of observations.

Triplanes can be ruled out - look at the length of the centre section spar.

It has to be a Camel - look at the aileron. It has seven rib spaces with the cockade not quite fitting the component - some overlapped inward onto the mainplane. The Pup only had 4 rib spaces to its ailerons and less of the cockade fitted (Sopwith, Standard and Whitehead - Beardmore's were further inboard).

All the hang-up about squadron markings has missed the point that they weren't ordered until 26 August and it's unlikely that complete units' machines were marked on that day - a time scale of 2-3 days would be likely and so there isn't much of August left to play with, assuming that the date attributed to the photo is correct.

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