Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Black Flight RNAS


Biggles

Recommended Posts

G'day Chaps,

 

Just wondering if anyone knows where I can find photographs of Black Flight members. I've only found a photo of Collinshaw. Any photos relating to Black Flight pilots with or without their 'mounts' would be great!

 

Thanks,

Caleb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Take a read of the FAAM's policy on photos and costs for copying. It can get quite expensive. They do have some significant WW1 aerial photography collections but when I was there i am not sure if they have all the members of the so called Black Flight. 

 

What is your plan for the pics?

 

Mike Westrop's book on 10 Naval is authoritative on the subject of the Black Flight and I don't have my copy handy but I think he has pics of all the members. If I recall correctly, the Black Flight only flew together for 5 missions over 8 days. Collishaw's history and description takes more than a few liberties. 

 

The other thing you could do is look at Ancestry.com. They have all the aeroclub licences on the site and most of them have pics of the pilots. 

Edited by Cam_s
Link to comment
Share on other sites

G'day mates,

 

Thank you for your suggestions, but I found photographs of all the pilots (except Gerald Nash) on the Aerodrome Forum.

I making a scrapbook history of 'Black Flight' and their accomplishments. 

Thanks gentlemen.

 

Caleb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Cam,

 

Here's the photo of 'Black Maria'. Let me know if want more photographs.

 

Caleb

Black Flight:Black Maria.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Biggles,

 

Are you are referring to B Flight (which did notch up  an impressive set of claims, or  Collishaw's hyped up Black Flight which despite Collishaw's claims did indeed only fly together 5 times as "Collishaw, Nash, Alexander, Sharman and Reid". Even then Collishaw didn't want Nash, his personal preference was FSL JA Page but he was vetoed by the CO who didn't want the other flights weakened too much.

 

Photo's of Nash are few and far between, exacerbated by a problem that his son was a lawyer who vigorously protected his father's privacy. Having said that I do have a superb signed photo of Nash as a POW which I acquired too late for the book. I'll post it later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is the signed photo of Raymond Leslie Kent and Gerry Nash in prison camp.

 

 

Whilst on the subject of photos,I'm not convinced the photo of Black Maria above isn't a shot of a replica, it just doesn't look right. Apart from several other inconsistencies, the "Iift here" stencils on the lower rear fuselage were always overpainted in Naval 10.

 

Mike

gerry nash.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, Mike. That's a wonderful photograph! I will add that photo to my scrapbook. I've seen this photograph before, and have been looking for it, but to no avail.

As for 'Black Maria' being a replica, it's quite possible, but Collinshaw had quite a few 'Black Marias' at different stages. I've seen about four photos of 'Black Maria' on the internet.

 

Thanks again, mate.

Caleb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, MikeW said:

Here is the signed photo of Raymond Leslie Kent and Gerry Nash in prison camp.

 

 

Whilst on the subject of photos,I'm not convinced the photo of Black Maria above isn't a shot of a replica, it just doesn't look right. Apart from several other inconsistencies, the "Iift here" stencils on the lower rear fuselage were always overpainted in Naval 10.

 

Mike

gerry nash.jpg

 

 

I agree Mike, that Black Maria looks like it's been photoshoped. That might even be the one in Ottawa. 

 

For me the grass and shadow's look off. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a link to the Triplane at the Canadian Aviation and Space museum in Ottawa.

 

http://casmuseum.techno-science.ca/en/collection-research/artifact-sopwith-triplane.php

 

I feel we have a dead ringer for the Triplane above. I also find it suspect that the picture is cropped so close to the wings. None of my period WW1 photos are cropped like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that the Triplane looks too well painted, so may have been photoshopped. But the

background of the building on the left and the trees to the right remind me instinctively of

Flanders-in particular Furnes or maybe Drooglandt.

Very interesting!

Regards

Geoff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Exactly right Geoff! That does look like an authentic background, but the aircraft does look a little fake. This aircraft was based at Furnes and later Droglandt in 1917.

It is a mystery indeed. There are number of 'photographs' (all of them look similar to the one above, just different angles) of 'Black Maria' on the internet.

 

Tally-ho,

Caleb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you look at photographs of Collishaw's "Black Maria" Sopwith Pup from Naval 3, and Sopwith Camel from Naval 13, or the twin gun triplane from Naval 10, or the "pre Black Maria" Triplane photo (page 28 in the Naval 10 book) photographed by Oliver Ellis, Collishaw ALWAYS had a large "C" just behind the fuselage cockade. He only seems to have stopped the practice when he became CO of Naval 3.  The above mentioned 'photoshopped' photo, does not carry the "C"!

 

And in case anyone wonders, the Cover of Sopwith Triplane Aces from Osprey does not depict N5436 being flown by Dallas, but N5490 being flown by Collishaw,

 

Mike 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I need to ask an quick question. Ellis Reid of 'B' Flight was KIA on the 28/7/1917. I cannot find out who he was flying with. The only source I found said that he was flying with 'A' and 'C' flights. It also says that William Alexander was there, as he shot down one Albatros. So if Alexander and Reid were there, then 'B' flight must have been there. I need this clarified. Was all of 'B' flight there that day?

 

Thanks in advance,

Caleb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1) Alexander was leading C Flight from 26th July

2) Collishaw left the squadron on Canadian leave on the 28th July and did not fly that day

3) A flight (Carter) and C Flight (Alexander) were the only flights to fly on the 28th, with Reid tagging along with C Flight in the afternoon

4) B Flight's last patrol was on the 27th July and the flight was then rested/disbanded until being reformed with Camels on 3rd September, with established B Flight pilot, Desmond Fitzgibbon in charge.

5) So, no, B Flight were not there on the 28th July.

 

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...