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Skyraider

The Independent Air Force

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Skyraider

I am researching the the I. F. and where the squadrons were stationed, so far I have provisionaly,

55 squadron Xaffevillers

97 squadron Xaffevillers

99 squadron Azelot

100 squadron Xaffevillers

104 squadron Azelot

110 squadron Bettencourt

115 squadron Xaffevillers or Roville-aux-chene

215 squadron Xaffevillers

216 squadron ?

Any help or correction greatly appreciated.

Peter.

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Dolphin

Peter

No 216 Sqn was based at Ochey from 9 May 1918 to 26 August, when it moved to Autreville, then to Rovile-aux-Chenes on 28 September, then to Quilen on 17 November. There were a couple of other moves before the squadron left for Egypt in May 1919.

I hope this helps you.

Gareth

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Skyraider

Gareth,

Many thanks, most helpful,

Peter.

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greg100

Peter,

At the formation of I.F. in June 1918, 100 Squadron were based at Ochey, moving to Xaffevilliers on the 10th of August 1918 (coinciding with their conversion from the Fe2b to the 0/400) where they remained until the end of the war.

Hope that helps :)

Greg

100 Squadron Association Historian

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Skyraider

Greg

Thank you for the information, Xaffevilliers is of interest to me as this is where my friend's father was stationed in 97sqn, the o/400 he was in was forced to land behind the lines and he was taken POW. I have just bought Night Raiders of the Air by A R Kingsford 100sqn only the last few pages refer to Xaffevilliers but very interesting otherwise

Peter

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topgun1918

Peter

Upon its foundation on 5 June 1918, the Independent Force comprised:

55 Squadron (D.H.4), based at Azelot from 5 June to 15 November 1918

99 Squadron (D.H.9) based at Azelot from 5 June to 15 November 1918

100 Squadron (F.E.2b - HP O/400 from August) based at Ochey from 9 May to 9 August and Xaffévillers from 10 August to 17 December 1918

216 Squadron (HP O/400) based at Ochey from 9 May to 11 August, Autreville from 12 August to 27 September and Roville-aux-Chênes from 28 September to 16 November 1918

Later additions were:

45 Squadron (Camel) based at Bettencourt

97 Squadron (HP O/400) based at Xaffévillers

104 Squadron (D.H.9) based at Azelot

110 Squadron (D.H.10) based at Bettencourt

115 Squadron (HP O/400) based at Roville-aux-Chênes

215 Squadron (HP O/400) based at Xaffévillers

There is some good information about the Independent Force in Trenchard's despatch, reproduced in the London Gazette of 1 January 1919.

Graeme

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Skyraider

Graeme,

Many thanks, I will follow up Trenchard's despatch, I am planning a visit to the area later this year.

Peter.

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greg100

Peter,

No problem, glad to assist :) You might also want to try the following books, which cover I.F and/or night bombing in WW1: -

"Rovers Of The Night Sky" by Nighthawk, M.C.

"One Spring In Picardy - A Pilot's Story of WW1" by William Stanley. This is a novel, but based closely on fact.

"Night Bombing With the Bedouins" by Robert H. Reece

Additionally, the publication of a book called "Bloody Paralyser" by Rob Langham is imminent - it should be rolling off the press next week. It covers the design and development of the 0/400, and by default has a lot of info on Xaffévillers and 97 Squadron in it. I'm in touch with Rob and have seen some of the content - based on what I've seen I thoroughly recommend it!! You can view it (and sign up for a notification when it's available to order) here: -

http://fonthillmedia.com/epages/a72b332e-5c82-4e84-ad34-4c5316ee7a6b.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/a72b332e-5c82-4e84-ad34-4c5316ee7a6b/Products/978-1-78155-080-9

All three are excellent, and well worth a read if you're keen to learn more about the night bombing campaign in WW1. I have a lot of documents referring to I.F. and the 41st Wing (I.F.) here at home - if you think I can help with any info, please feel free to ask.

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Skyraider

Greg,

Many thanks for the list of books and the offer of help.

Peter.

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greg100

Peter - I missed the obvious book from the list above: -

"First of the Many" by Alan Morris. This is an excellent history of I.F., long out of print but plenty of copies available to buy online for just a few pounds.

I'm sure the IWM did a history of 97, similiar to 100 Squadrons "Annals...." a few years ago, but I can't find it anywhere online at the moment. I've also got a history of 97 Squadron in an old Cross and Cockade magazine somewhere - if you drop me an email to 'greg@greg-harrison.co.uk' I'll have a look for it this weekend, scan it, and email it to you.

ALl the best,

Greg

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Skyraider

Greg,

Many thanks again, email on its way.

Peter.

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Bombay
Hi Peter, I can also recommend 'Independent Force: The War Diary of the Daylight Bomber Squadrons of the Independent Air Force 6 June - 11 November 1918' by Keith Rennles. It lists all operations in detail, or as much detail as the records allow, of the 'I.F' action. I too am interested in 'I.F' as my Grandfather was with 104 squadron and was fascinated to read of the raids he took place on.

In addition, I have also just finished 'First of the Few', an excellent and enjoyable read and good condition copies available on Amazon etc.

There is also a diary at IWM archive of 104 commander Captain E J Garland DFC

I can't provide you with much information from my personal records as my Grandfather left nothing from that period, but I do have a list of bombing statistics for I.F (VIII Brigade) if you would like me to send them to you. What I am looking for is a plan of the Azelot airfield, does anyone have such a thing, or a period aerial photo?

Best regards

Dan

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fetubi

I think Keith's book is one of the best.

Also note that every single raid of the Independent Force that involved casualties or accident is covered in detail in my book The Sky Their Battlefield II - namely details of all the individuals involved and the details and circumstances of each of their operations.

Copies can be obtained through my website below (PS I'm still sending them out post-free to the UK and Europe!)

Trevor

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Skyraider

Hi Dan,

Thanks for the book recommendations, I recently bought Keith's Independent Force, and agree it's a must for I.F researchers, I hope he writes "Night Bombing Squadrons of the I.F as that's my first interest. I have been unable so far to find a plan of Azelot Airfield only the photo of the entrance.

Trevor's TSTB II was the first book I bought when I started researching 12 months ago, my book is full of page markers awaiting my attention, an amazing book.

Best wishes Peter.

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Garrie215

There are photos of Azelot Aerodrome construction in http://dnlhistoire.blogspot.com (For the English version, Google Indian Labour Corps WWI Nancy and select the "translate this page" option) and you can see some of Azelot in the backgrounds.

For info about the Independent Force, and Maj Gen Trenchard's impact on strategic/tactical bombing, check out the FREE eBook Handley Page O/400 Night Bomber Pilot by Hunt at Books2Read/NightBomberPilot  All the print copies have been given away, lots of 200 to several museums and other interested parties in the UK--as well as to a couple of locations in France.  Almost half the book relates to the IF.

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