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ChrisM

Specific RFC/RAF Aircraft 1917/1918

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ChrisM

I am trying to find further information on the following RFC/RAF machines. They were all operational in the period August 1917 to January 1919. I’m probably hoping for too much but, IDEALLY, what I am seeking is manufacturer, approx. build date, confirmation of type, total hours, eventual fate and of course any other information of interest.

Would any kind person have access to some of this information and be willing to share it, or could they at least point me in the right direction so that I can dig it out for myself?

1. B7855

2. D559, probably DH9, 206 Squadron October 1918

3. (Prefix unknown)3224, DH9, 206 Squadron, seriously damaged 22 November 1918 following forced landing at Idegem, Belgium

4. (Prefix unknown)6487, RE8, 34 Squadron, Italy, December 1917

5. (Prefix unknown)5029, RE8, 34 Squadron, Italy, December 1917

6. (Prefix unknown)4286, probably DH9, Bickendorf, Germany, early 1919

7. E9698, probably DH9A, Bickendorf, Germany, early 1919

Should really appreciate any guidance. Thanks.

Chris

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Terry Denham

D559 DH9 Built Cubitt Ltd, Waddon (200hp BHP)

Reception Park (RP) to 1 Air Issues (AI) Sec 04.10.18

To 206 Sqn by 11.18

To 104 Sqn 'E'

To 49 Sqn & returned to 1 Aircraft Supply Depot 15.07.19

D3224 DH9 Built Aircraft Manufacturing Co, Hendon (230hp Puma)

At mftrs 24.07.18 & allotted to BEF

From RP to 1 AI 13.08.18

To 206 Sqn 14.08.18 to c30.09.18

H4286 DH9 History Unknown. Built Aircraft Manufacturing Co, Hendon (230hp Puma)

E9698 DH9A Built Mann Egerton & Co, Norwich (400hp Liberty)

Tested at 8 Aircraft Acceptance Park 06-10.11.18

6 AI to 18 Sqn 13.02.19

Details from 'The D.H.4/D.H.9 File' by Sturtivant & Page (Air Britain)

B7855 was a Sopwith Dolphin built from salvage by No.1 (Southern) ARD

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Dolphin

Further to Terry's post:

B7855 was a Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin re-built by No 1 (Southern) Aircraft Repair Depot, Farnborough;

B6487 was an RE8 built by the Siddeley-Deasy Motor Car Co Ltd;

B5029 was an RE8 built by the Daimler Co Ltd/C5029 was an RE8 built by the Coventry Ordnance Works Ltd;

I hope this helps

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Terry Denham

I knew you would be on the case, Dolphin.

You just beat me to it with B7855!

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ChrisM

Thanks very much, Terry Denham and Dolphin, for the information - most useful and interesting. One or two points arise.

1. Do you think that a source of information is likely to exist anywhere concerning the ultimate fate of 5029 and B6487?

2. Do you feel it would be possible to decide, on the grounds of probability, between C and D for 5029? The 5029 I am interested in saw service with 34 Squadron. That squadron was on the Western front until October 1917 when it was transferred to Italy. I do not know when 5029 appeared but it was operating in Italy during December 1917, as was B6487. (Other RE8s in the same squadron when in France the previous autumn were 4386 and 3619). Or is it anyone’s guess?

3. I have some information concerning the operational activities of certain of these aircraft. Is such information of interest to any members of this forum? Does it add to the sum of human knowledge or is it just too specific and remote? Will gladly pull it together and post it if anyone wants to see it.

Thanks again.

Chris

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MartinWills

I have never ceased to be amazed at the breadth & depth of the knowledge and information diplayed by forum users. It would be fair to say that any and all information is welcome ...... often it obliquely fills in various holes in other peoples research - often holes that they didn't know they had in the first place.

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Dolphin

Chris

1. The UK Government's Public Records Office probably has infomation on the aircraft in question.

2. Anyone's guess, really. Some aircraft lasted longer in operational service than others.

3. As Martin says, all information is welcome to someone.

Cheers

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ChrisM

Following Dolphin’s and MartinWills’s encouraging comment, I have assembled the information I have on these aircraft and list it below, together with that kindly provided by Terry Denham and Dolphin. The sources are private photographs, pilot’s log and contemporary correspondence. It is thus original and unlikely to have been published anywhere previously. I’ll deal with each aircraft in the order in which I originally listed them. Where appropriate, information is given in the order: date – pilot/observer – flight duration (hours.minutes) – height (feet) – course and abbreviated remarks.

1. B7855 - Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin re-built by No 1 (Southern) Aircraft Repair Depot, Farnborough.

Other history, including squadron, unknown but photograph indicates it was probably based at Bickendorf, Cologne during the winter of 1918/1919.

2. D559 - DH9 Built Cubitt Ltd, Waddon (200hp BHP)

Reception Park (RP) to 1 Air Issues (AI) Sec 04.10.18

To 206 Sqn by 11.18

To 104 Sqn 'E'

To 49 Sqn & returned to 1 Aircraft Supply Depot 15.07.19

Operation Orders for 206 Squadron for October 9th, 1918 designate this as one of five “Raid Machines” with Lt. Smith/2Lt. Kennedy. It was photographed at Bickendorf, winter 1918/1919.

3. D3224 - DH9 Built Aircraft Manufacturing Co, Hendon (230hp Puma)

At mftrs 24.07.18 & allotted to BEF

From RP to 1 AI 13.08.18

To 206 Sqn 14.08.18

1918 – all 206 Squadron, initially based at Alquines

29/8 Lt. Evans/A.G.L. Bannister 0.30 6000 Aerodrome -Practice flight

1/9 Lt. Evans/A.G.L. Bannister 3.05 15000 Perenchiers -Bombing raid

3/9 Lt. Evans/A.G.L. Bannister 2.10 14000 Quesnoy -Bombing Raid

3/9 Lt. Evans/A.G.L. Bannister 2.15 13000 Perenchiers -Bombing Raid

4/9 Lt. Evans/A.G.L. Bannister 2.30 11000 Armentieres, Lille, Tourcoing, Menin, Ypres, Home -Bombing raid

5/9 Lt. Evans/A.G.L. Bannister 3.00 15500 Quesnoy -Bombing raid

7/9 Lt. Evans/A.G.L. Bannister 2.45 16000 Armentieres, Lille, Roubaix, Menin, Courtrai, Roulaix, Ypres -Reconn. escort

16/9 Lt. Evans/A.G.L. Bannister 0.40 4000 Aerodrome -Test/practice

21/9 Lt. Evans/Pte. Palliser 3.00 15000 S. of Ypres, Menin, Courtrai, Roulaix, Comines, and Home -Raid(Bisseghen)

24/9 Lt. Evans/A.G.L. Bannister 2.30 14000 Courtrai, Roulers, Ypres,

-Bombing raid

26/9 Lt. Evans/A.G.L. Bannister 1.20 12000 Aerodrome, coast, lines, home

-Long reconn.

27/9 Lt. Evans/A.G.L. Bannister 2.40 14500 Bisseghem -Bombing raid

28/9 Lt. Evans/A.G.L. Bannister 2.00 12000 Menin -Bombing raid

29/9 Lt. Evans/A.G.L. Bannister 1.40 12000 Menin -Bombing raid

29/9 Lt. Evans/A.G.L. Bannister 1.45 12000 Halluin -Bombing raid

29/9 Lt. Evans/A.G.L. Bannister 0.25 4000 Coast -Aborted raid

29/9 Lt. Evans/A.G.L. Bannister 1.20 5000 Menin -Bombing raid

1/10 Lt. Evans/Pte. Hayward 1.45 11000 Quesnoy -Bombing raid

1/10 Lt. Evans/Pte. Hayward 1.40 12000 Courtrai -Bombing raid

1/10 Lt. Evans/Pte. Hayward 1.30 11000 Ronc.(?) -Bombing raid

2/10 Lt. Evans/Pte. Hayward 2.10 6000 Mouscron -Bombing raid

2/10 Lt. Evans/Pte. Hayward 1.20 5000 Menin -Bombing raid

3/10 Lt. Evans/Pte. Hayward 1.30 6000 Menin -Bombing raid

3/10 Lt. Evans/Pte. Hayward 1.35 7000 Wevelghem -Bombing raid

4/10 Lt. Evans/Pte. Hayward 2.00 11000 Courtrai -Bombing raid

5/10 Lt. Evans/Pte. Hayward 2.00 10000 Courtrai -Bombing raid

On 5th October the squadron moved from Alquines to St. Marie Cappel

7/10 Lt. Evans/2Lt. Learmouth 1.15 14500 Lille -Photography

Operation Orders for 206 Squadron for October 9th, 1918 designate this as one of three “Photographic Machines” with Lt. Evans/2Lt. Penny. It appears that this operation did not take place probably owing to weather conditions.

9/10 Lt. Evans/2Lt. Penny 0.40 4000 Aerodrome -Practice scrap

14/10 Lt. Evans/Lt. Green M.C. 2.00 10000 Mouscron -Bombing raid

14/10 Lt. Evans/Lt. Green M.C. 2.10 11000 Courtrai -Bombing raid

14/10 Lt. Evans/Lt. Green M.C. 2.05 13000 Avelghem -Bombing raid

18/10 Lt. Evans/Lt. Green M.C. 1.15 1000 Line -Test after overhaul

23/10 Lt. Evans/Lt. Green M.C. 3.15 4000 Tournai -Photography

On 24th October the squadron moved again, to Linselles

24/10 Lt. Evans/Lt. Green M.C. 0.50 500 to Linselles -‘Drome move

26/10 Lt. Evans/Lt. Green M.C. 1.45 14000 Lille, Tournai -Photography

26/10 Lt. Evans/Lt. Green M.C. 1.10 2000 NE of Tournai, Belles, along Scheldt

-Photography

28/10 Lt. Evans/Lt. Green M.C. 2.15 13000 Tournai, Ath, Grammont,

Oudenarde, Renaix -Photography

29/10 Lt. Evans/Lt. Green M.C. 1.00 10000 Tournai, Renaix, Oudenarde

-Reconn.

30/10 Lt. Evans/Lt. Green M.C. 2.15 14000 Grammont -Bombing raid

30/10 Lt. Evans/Lt. Green M.C. 2.15 14000 Sottegem -Bombing raid

1/11 Lt. Evans/Cpl. Westcott 0.30 1000 Menin, Tourcoing

-Test (new engine)

1/11 Lt. Evans/A.M. Gillman 0.25 1000 ditto -Test, (rigger’s joyride)

4/11 Lt. Evans/Lt. Green M.C. 1.50 12000 Sottegem -Bombing raid

9/11 Lt. Evans/Lt. Green M.C. 1.25 12000 Sottegem -Bombing raid

9/11 Lt. Evans/Lt. Green M.C. 1.55 14000 Lessines -Bombing raid

13/11 Lt. Evans/Lt. Green M.C. 1.45 10000 Oudenarde, Renaix, Tournai

-Patrol

15/11 Lt. Evans/A.M. Finch 1.15 5000 ditto -Patrol

19/11 Lt. Evans/Sgt. Winslow 0.40 4000 Courtrai -Aborted patrol

22/11 Lt. Evans/Lt. Green M.C. 2.00 13000 Antwerp, Brussels

-Photography, forced landing (engine failure)

Engine failure, the only one experienced with this aircraft by its pilot, resulted in a forced landing in a field at Idegem, NE of Grammont on its way back from Brussels. Hidden fencing caused significant damage to the aircraft and one assumes that it was subsequently scrapped. The pilot and observer emerged unscathed.

Regrettably, no photo of this busy aircraft is known to exist.

4. B6487 - an RE8 built by the Siddeley-Deasy Motor Car Co Ltd;

1917 – 34 Squadron – Montebelluna, Italy

8/12 Lt. Evans/Lt. Sharpe M.C. 0.35 3000 Nervesa (line)

9/12 Lt. Evans/L.A.M. Akum(?) 1.30 4000 Montebelluna -Practice shoot

10/12 Lt. Evans/Lt. Sharpe M.C. 2.00 4000 Line, Ciano to Nervesa

-Firing on enemy positions

13/12 Lt. Evans/ A.M. Wood 1.50 3000 Line patrol

16/12 Lt. Evans/Lt. Adam 2.00 3000 Destructive shoot

19/12 Lt. Evans/Lt. Adam 1.10 3000 Lines (Dud engine)

5. C/D5029

B5029 was an RE8 built by the Daimler Co Ltd/C5029 was an RE8 built by the Coventry Ordnance Works Ltd.

1917 – 34 Squadron – Montebelluna, Italy

20/12 Lt. Evans/Lt. Adam 0.40 2500 Lines

25/12 Lt. Evans/Lt. Adam 1.30 3500 Lines

6. H4286 - DH9 built Aircraft Manufacturing Co, Hendon (230hp Puma)

This was on 206 Squadron’s inventory. It moved to Bickendorf, Cologne where it was photographed during the winter of 1918/1919.

7. E9698 - DH9A built Mann Egerton & Co, Norwich (400hp Liberty)

Tested at 8 Aircraft Acceptance Park 06-10.11.18

Other history, including squadron, unknown but photograph indicates it was probably based at Bickendorf, Cologne during the winter of 1918/1919.

8. Other aircraft

The following aircraft are known to have been attached as follows. (Prefixes unfortunately unknown).

34 Squadron, both RE8s, October 1917, Bray-Dunes

4386

3619

206 Squadron, all DH9s, August – December 1918, Western Front and Germany

4291

569

5782

8874

1688

1214

7680

7596

3257

5841

1024

1341

7678

14 T.D.S., Lake Down, believed all DH9s, July/August 1918

6064

6317

5551

6325

2776

3235

8858

Hope all this makes sense and that some of it is useful to someone.

Chris

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Terry Denham

Chris

Prefixes added

34 Squadron, both RE8s, October 1917, Bray-Dunes

A4386

A3619

206 Squadron, all DH9s, August – December 1918, Western Front and Germany

H4291

D569

D5782

E8874

D1688

D1214

B7680

B7596

D3257

D5841

D1024

D1341

B7678

14 T.D.S., Lake Down, believed all DH9s, July/August 1918

C6064

C6317

D5551

C6325

D2776

D3235

E8858

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Dolphin

Chris

Thank you very much for the information.

B7855 may have served with No 79 Sqn RAF, as this unit was stationed at Bickendorf in 1919. The other Dolphin squadrons, Nos 19, 23 and 87, were disbanded soon after the Armistice and some pilots from them were transferred to No 79, which was itself disbanded in July 1919.

Cheers

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