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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Air Observers 1914/15


Old Forge
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Hi all,

 

I've searched for previous discussions that might touch on this, but most deal with matters later in the war. The RFC began spotting for the guns fairly early in the war, but observers seem to be a broad range of ranks and cap badges. When did artillery officers start to occupy the second seat? I assume it was never a hard and fast rule, but there seem to be a lot of gunners flying later in the war. Could a gunner officer who started at 'The Shop' in 1912 have been an RFC observer at Second Ypres, given (I think) pre-war officer training at Woolwich took 2 years?

 

Many thanks,

 

Richard

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On 13/11/2020 at 16:47, Old Forge said:

Hi all,

 

I've searched for previous discussions that might touch on this, but most deal with matters later in the war. The RFC began spotting for the guns fairly early in the war, but observers seem to be a broad range of ranks and cap badges. When did artillery officers start to occupy the second seat? I assume it was never a hard and fast rule, but there seem to be a lot of gunners flying later in the war. Could a gunner officer who started at 'The Shop' in 1912 have been an RFC observer at Second Ypres, given (I think) pre-war officer training at Woolwich took 2 years?

 

Many thanks,

 

Richard

Hi

 

The attached letter (from AIR 1/2266/209/70/9) dated 29 December 1914 may be of interest to you.  Note the last sentence reference that application for being a permanent RFC observer had to go through the "usual channels."  During 1916 the RA is attempting to take over the RFC artillery spotting aircraft as letters from Rawlinson and Horne indicate.

 

Mike

WW1artyobsrfc001.jpg.169aba77589fcd7a3a80c9d663c50558.jpg

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Many thanks, Mike, that's very clear. The 'lessons learned' process was going well even in December 1914!

 

Richard

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