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Remembered Today:

MOLESWORTH MANUSCRIPT


TWORLEDGE
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Hi All.

someone handed me an old exercise book a few days ago. It was part one of a memoir by a first world war aviator. It seemed to consist of letters home about experiences of the great war. He mentions Richtovens flying circus with red Albatrosses coming over and making life "unpleasant". He flys Nieuports and there are several small watercolour sketches of same on the ground and one of a dogfight with albatrosses. Although I didn't have time to read it all I was impressed to hold something written by someone who'd fought the circus.

As this wasn't terribly long as manuscripts go and was labelled part one. It seems to me that it may have been for magazine or newspaper publication. The name and facts seem to fit the ace with 18 victories William Earle Molesworth. Can anyone tell me of an article or series of articles written by this man? Many thanks for reading this.

Terry Worledge.

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Terry

Memories of No 60 Squadron, an article by Maj W E Molesworth was published in the Autumn 1964 Journal of the Australian Society of World War I Aero Historians and, from your description, I think that it's the document that you have.

Cheers

Gareth

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Also see FLYPAST magazine for Sept/Oct ,Nov , Dec 1981 for Molesworths letters.l suspect they were originally published in some 1930s magazine if not aprivately published book , as they are quoted in Alan Morris's BLOODY APRIL .ld like to see this notebook form the basis of a modern book.

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Thanks Gareth.

I had a look for it on the web but only found a history of 60 squadron by someone else. It has reprint of some of this guys work I believe. I sent it to my kindle and will read it later. I'd really like to find the book or article in an electronic library. The manuscript had a title. Something like "Knights of the air." or some such thing. Maybe the editor asked him for something more down to earth. Now I know the final title I maybe able to find it.

Thanks again Terry.

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Hi Lieutenant

I found a site showing Flypast. Maybe I can find some back issues somewhere. I'll also seek out a copy of "Bloody April." With 18 victories this seems an important pilot. I guess a good author could make a lot of the manuscript. I'll have a word with the owner about it. Amazing to hold something that was used by someone who fought with the red baron. Thanks for the info.

Terry.

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Hi,

There are plenty of interesting quotes but some of it is unreadable, e.g. the lengthy passages re air combat with the Flying Circus mention every last thought that went through his head. However, it is very useful for a few quotes on 60 Squadron life:

http://archive.org/details/sixtysquadronraf00scot

Molesworth even gave skteches to Scott for inclusion in the book. One of the best places to start is with the index and then go back to Molesworth's letter from there.

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Thanks.

I got the book and found the letters quite interesting. They were in the manuscript but not easy to read although the handwriting is good. The sketces are there too. Loose of course. The balloon busting one was there. The owner wants to frame them which makes me a bit leary as a mistake could ruin them in no time. She paid £130 pounds for it as an investment. Which may or may not be good I've no idea. Certainly the value may rise when the centenary occurs but I'd like to see them in the IWM where they'll be safe. Terry.

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Terry

The old "Cross & Cockade Journal" published an interview with William Earle Molesworth

around the same time the Australian Society article was published. Like the letters and

the memoir, the interview was interesting reading.

Trelawney

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Thanks Major something else to look for. As you say the letters make for interesting reading. I'm still wondering about the guy doing 300 mph in a diving SE5a before his wings came off. Maybe they just thought it looked that fast. Lots of stuff you can only learn from letters really.

thanks again Terry.

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Hi Terry

William Molesworth is a very interesting fellow. He flew in 60 Squadron with Grid Caldwell, Spencer Horn, Alan Binnie, William Fry and Billy Bishop to name a few. Moleswoth flew Neiuport 17's when they clashed with" the circus" and later the squadron switched to SE5a's. Jack Scott's "History of 60 Squadron" gives a full acount of the squadrons activities from 1917-18 and is worth the read.

Fitzee

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Hi Fitzee

yes I've seen a photo of him with his arm round Bishop. I've read the book over the last few days and it is interesting. I have often puzzled over the Neiuport's small lower plane only to learn in this book that it was a non lifting part of the structure. Little facts that you never seem to learn anywhere else. I always imagined the SE5a to be the sort of spitfire of it's day and was surprised that the some of the squadron bemoaned the loss of their Neiuports. Thanks for answering.

Terry

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