Some emails I have received..and some WW1 links

 

 

What a truly novel and wonderful site you have. You must have loved your dad very much to leave such a tribute to him. My connection to First World War aviation is much more tenuous. I followed my own dad's lead, who always had this or that journal around the house to be read. And growing up he knew this one pilot and then my grandmother befriended another. Anyway...

I have a small collection of 'aeronautica' which you might like to see. The web address is http://charlesgosse.home.mindspring.com (no www).

All the best,

Charley



I am trying to find some technical data and photographs for the FE2B. My grandfather, Sargeant Frederick James Appleton flew with 100 Squadron until the end of WW1. He won the Croix de Guerre but I cant find out how.
Any suggestions ?
Regards
Mark Appleton


Hi Patrick,
Nice site...glad to see your a Mac man !!

I work for a Mac support house and its good to see what people do with their Macs.Your music stuff looks v. interesting. I happened upon you from your WW1 RFC bits, I was doing a search on Nieuport 17 fighters and I saw your link. I had a relative in the RFC and have his old student book and photo's - interesting reading. Keep up the nice site.

Regards
David Ekins


Dear Patrick,

(I am about number 178 I think !). Your site is the best constructed site I have visited so far on the Web. Obviously the work of a real pro - but just so you don't get a big head I should tell you I have only been "surfing" since about 12 months ago !.

Your RFC pages particularly interested me because my father, who died in 1963, was also a pilot in the First World War. I seem to remember him telling me in the RFC, but I have discovered that he enlisted in May 1918 (a month before his 18th. birthday) and believe that at time the RFC had already become the RAF. Do you know the date when the change was made ? I have 3 photos of my father taken during his service, one in leather flying gear and two others where he is wearing quite different uniforms. Unfortunately, although these photos are quite good, bearing mind their age, I cannot distinguish the caption on the cap badges.If I sent you .JPG images of these photos by e-mail do you know enough about these things to be able to identify whether RFC or RAF ? Personally, I
am doubtful if there was any significant difference in the uniforms of these two services but I have no ready access to points of reference as I have been living in France for the last 28 years.

I am now retired and partly because I plenty of spare time and also live near the Somme battlefields, one of my main interests is studying and collecting information on the 14-18 war. Your site has provided with additional material - for which many thanks.

John.


Hello Patrick....I've been checking the internet for any info I can regarding the Royal Flying Corps as my father was a pilot (Sopwith Pup and later Sopwith Camel). I'm trying to find out which squadron he was with (I believe it was the 28th) but so far have had little luck. I do have his WWI pilots license, and his discharge from active duty papers but nothing states the squadron he was with in France. He was shot down near the end of the war and was held captive for about 6 months. Anyway enough of that...I enjoyed scanning your pages and will do so again.
Thanks much for the enjoyment.

Al Harbour


>From The Ministry of Ripping Yarns

A few weeks ago, I mentioned to you a novel I read based on your father's FE2b squadron. I checked it out of our local library. It is an English book by William Stanley "Bomber Patrol". It covers many of your father's anecdotes crashes into the trees at the field, the on aircraft using the 'Pom' cannon and of course, the ladies. All and all a good read! In the UK, it was known as "One Spring in Picardy"

Cheers
David Layton


Wonderful! I got here thru a WWI aviation search, and stayed to play for hours. Please reply if you get this msg, I'm trying out a new ISP/e-mail pgm.

best,
Joe in Virginia, USA


Patrick,
Well done - your page seems to be the only British info I can find on the RFC. Let me introduce my self - Steve Jarman, from Kent. Full time Engineer in the city of London, part time Guitar Builder.

My Grandfather (Albert Jarman) was a Warrant Officer 1 in the RFC, flying BE2c's until he kept crashing them, and was told to stop flying them and start repairing them. I have the book 'TECHNICAL NOTES for the ROYAL FLYING CORPS' (or similar) and a few sepia original photos of France, and damaged aircraft.

Unfortunatly he is now dead (1910..) but he lives in my memories. Do you know of any other sites? also If you need them I'll try and scan some photos for you.

Keep it up,

Steve


Is the first picture on your page taken from an F.E.2b ?You are doing a great job with the scans, there are a lot of very poor ones out there. If you have any of your interveiws with RFC pilots stored in text files I would be very interested in seeing them. I had not realized that the F.E.2b was still being used in 1918, I would have thought that all squadrons would have been flying later model aircraft at that point. Well, gotta get back to work ...

Stuart


I have a page website dedicated to WW I aviation links, and have added your RFC page to my links. I was wondering if you would mind me linking directly to your photo scans in my picture links section.

Stuart


Patrick,
I enjoyed your RFC page. I was planning to do something similar with my father's images and story. He too was in the RFC/RAF. But you have beaten me to the punch. (I still plan to do it). About those interviews, are you going to post them on your site? I would certainly like to have look at them when you make them available.

Cheers
Lionel


Hi Patrick
We took you up on your invitation to take a look at your site, and were very impressed by what we saw. Congratulations on being awarded the Medaille d'Or for it!

As you probably already know, more information and a selection of images can be found on the page whose URL is in the sig, below.

A review of your site now appears on the "Successful Nominations and Acceptances" area of our Roll of Honour. This is a temporary home: we will move the review and link to one or more of the Roll of Honour's subject areas when you display the award.

Once again, well done.

Ken & Maureen Lussey Medaille d'Or for Web Site Excellence

 


Congratulations! Your Web site has been selected to receive the HorizonAward.

 

We are looking for web sites that are visually pleasing, interesting, and created with care and forethought. Your Web site meets this criteria and we are pleased to present the award to you. If you wish, you may provide a link-back to our Awards site. Your site will be placed in our Recipients page, as well as a page for viewers to receive email notices anytime your Web site is updated.

Again Congratulations!


Dear Patrick
I've just checked out your pages following an Altavista search for WW1 aviation. I like the look, and the plugin's a good move.
I'm very interested in hearing the interviews with RFC pilots: do you have transcripts, or are they all on tape? The photos were interesting, and make a change from the same ones which crop up again and again in WW1 books.

I'd appreciate any other information you can supply about the interviews, or any book recommendations you could make.
Good luck with the site and the albums,

All the best
Ed Griffiths


Dear Patrick
I managed to track down a complete copy of the classic official HMSO publication about Great War British aviation, 'The War in the Air' by Raleigh and Jones, 9 vols., published between 1918 and about 1935. Unfortunately it's through a specialist dealer, and costs a trifling £1000... time for a lottery application... I can't find any reference to the 1960's reprint of the book either. Our email system is very slow at the moment so my apologies for the late reply.

Best wishes
Ed Griffiths


From: Rick Crane
Were you the commander of 50th Medical Company (Air Ambulance)?


C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S! - you're site is the The Cool Crescendo Site of the Day for today.

Check out our Cool Site page -- your site is at the top. Please feel free to use our logo, and prepare for somenice hit volume!

Love your music, Patrick! Spread the Music!


I just found your Royal Flying Corps page and really love the photos. My favorite is the pilot's airborne view out over the left wing.

 

It seems surprisingly clear considering the time period and conditions under which it was taken. Do you have any idea what type of plane it is? Also, what is the object projecting from the front outermost wing strut? Pitot tube? Rocket rail? Neither seems very likely, so if you have any idea, please let me know. My curiosity has been aroused ;)

Thanks for any info you can share. I've long been interested in military aviation and fly PC-based flight simulators regularly.


John Graham (aka Oslo)

The "forward projecting device" is a pitot tube...it measures airspeed and air pressure (ie altitute) and was commonly found on many different types of RFC aircraft)The aircraft in the unknown photo...

 

... has dihedral on the lower wing only giving it a different geometry to the Bristol F2 you thought it was.
I was initially confused by the extra strut and checked my references for a 2 bay biplane with no dihedral on the upper wing but then I realized that it must be the rear cabane attatched to the fuselage, making it a single bay, and a Sopwith Camel. I have attatched a photo
(that I found on the web somewhere) of a two seat Camel that is similarly equiped.

Michael Fletcher


Hi Patrick,

Thanks for the letter. Your page is great as it is... I can't wait to see what it becomes.
I am quite familiar with the story of the bombing attacks on Richthofen's airfield, it is one of my favorite stories in fact. Did you read
Richthofen's version of it in his autobiography 'Der Rote Kampfflieger' (translated into 'The Red Baron' by Stanley Ulanoff)? He scoffs at the bombing and compares it to a fireworks display, adding that "I find, in general, bombing at night has only a moral significance. If one fills his pants, it is very uncomfortable or embarrassing; but it is seldom more harmful than this." The Baron did have a sense of humor which he showed on occasion. If you don't have this book I'd be happy to type up the chapter about the bombings (it's only 2 1/2 pages). Then you can get the German perspective as well as the English.
Great to hear of all the memorabilia you have from your father. I'm looking forward to learning more about it as your page grows.
I also collect aviation relics, so if you have any doubles of photographs or other unwanted pieces, please let me know. Yes, I've heard of Cross & Cockade, it was a pretty popular aviation magazine some years ago... I think it went out of business though.
That's about all here...

Best Regards, Mark


Patrick,
Nice page. I'll list you on my links page when I do the next update on the weekend.

Mike Iavarone
Trenches on the Web


I had a look and I was impressed! You're site was too large to explore at one go--so I bookmarked it. I'll get back to it later, for sure. It's an attractively-designed site with interesting material overall. Of course, I concentrated on your WWI area. I especially enjoyed its snapshot/home photo album look and feel (that opening snapshot from the cockpit of what might be a Camel is very good). It gives a glimpse only an "insider" can know. How about that? So your father was a WWI pilot? Well, I'm sure you've got a storehouse of info from that source! We'll probably correspond some more. Thanks for writing!

Martin Speed of Cincinnati, OH-
You are cordially invited to visit my terrific web site: http://www2.eos.net/speed/


Patrick

I found you site by chance, superb graphics and contents.

For the past twenty years I have been studying the postal history of Iraq, and as a result of this, it has led me to research the Air Mail route operated by the RAF in 1919 to 1930ish of which the RFC was a forerunner to this.

The reason for my mailing is to ask if you could help me in establishing the identity of a photograph in which the aircraft is a "Havilland Moth" reg no. G - EBTU, named "RED ROSE" showing two aviators, one being female standing near the wing tips. I suspect this photograph to have been taken around 1925ish. I hope you could help me in identifing theowners of the aircraft?
Looking forward to your reply.

Regards
Greg Pos

P.S I wonder, do you collect related material of the RFC, including correspondence? I have recently aquired an old photographic album belonging to a Jack Evans who was an official photographer in Iraq withthe RAF in 1928/29, showing over 50 photographs of aircraft taken around Baghdad and in the air, some showing the dropping of bombs on military targets. Are they of an interest to you and if so I will have them put onto a web-site for you to view?


Hello,

just finished reading thru your page about ww1 aviation. I found it very interesting and quite tastefully done. Thank you for sharing with me. like the music too.....you made that?

steve b


Hi,
I've just found your page and it looks great !! I havn't see the whole work, but I'll tell you further. I met a few weeks ago a man who was a french aviator of WWI. I was told he is the last still alive. His name is Albert SANS. He's 102 years old. I've had light conversations with him and I'll try to collect information on his life during WWI. If you have some hints about finding documents on this era, it would be very kind to let me know.
Looking forward to your message...

Michel AZAM


I have looked at hundreds of web sites...Why... becasue that is my hobbie. I like looking at photos done on computers... and I dont have
the words to say how much I like your web site... it is like ITS OWN LITTLE WORLD.... you are always entertained where ever you go.... I love it I have bookmarked it to come back to again and again..... love your work as well.... what program do you use for most of your work...like the UFO over the landscape.

Brad
Atlanta, GA


Dear Mr. Wilson,
I am a graduate student in the United States and would like to ask your help in locating veterans and pilots who served in World War I (1914-1918). I am trying to find these people to include them in a documentary I will make on the subject. Today they are growing increasingly difficult to find. Like you I have interviewed numerous WWI veterans over the past 8 years, however of them I know of only one who is still living today. He is 99.
If you know of any people or organizations that might help me, I would be grateful if you would direct me to them. (Please note that I am seeking veterans of any nationality living anywhere in the world.) Ihave included my street address and phone number below and invite you to distribute them and this letter to whom-ever you please. You may publish it if you wish.
Please feel free to contact me if you or anyone else have any information or questions.
Thank you very much for your help. I hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely

Kirk Goolsby
6772 Foster's Fork Rd. #1
Warrenton, VA 20187
USA


Dear Patrick,
Thank you so much for contacting me. I am still looking for veterans and will take your suggestions.
I will be going to Canada to visit with a 99 year old friend of mine. He served from 1916 until the end and among other things he shot at
the Red Baron on two occassions. Apparently he was in the same sector as Richtofen at the time. He also won the Military Metal for shooting down a German photo reconnaisance plane from the ground. En route I will be visiting an American veteran who is 102 years old.

Thanks again if you find any mailing addresses or E-mail addresses for organizations I would be grateful for them. Not all organizations are on the Web yet.

Yours truly,
Kirk Goolsby


I have been looking on the web for WWI aviation sites. I came here.
There is a real & personal aire to this site. They are not 'just some guys', but real people. Good site...really good site.

I am perusing the web in hopes of finding someone who might know how actual flight briefings, and what there content was, were conducted for that era. If you have any ideas on where I might look for this information, I would dearly like to hear from you.

Thank you,
John Medelman


 

Thank you for your efforts in producing a truly wonderful site. I browsed in from A Red Baron 2 game web site and was enthralled.

Tim Wynn
ex Queen's Own Hussars, ex Royal Signals


I was most interested to find your web site . My late uncle was in 100 squadron and was its first casualty , being shot down on the very first night bombing raid on 6. 4. 1917. He was A.R.M.Rickards . Despite a number of escape attempts he spent the rest of the war in various POW camps . I have his camp diaries , photos , and various other docs. covering this period .
Is Roy Shillinglaw still alive ? If so , do you think it would be worth asking him if he has any recollection of my uncle - or did he join
100 Sqn. after 6. 4. 1917. ? Are you proposing to transcribe any more of the taped recollections ?

James Offer


Dear Mr. Wilson,
I'm an 18-year old girl, writing you this from Sweden. I was searching for material on The Great War for my Senior year Special
Project and came across your aviation pages. They were very informative, and since I am very interested in this subject, I'd like to know everything I can come across. :)

I was wondering if I could use some of the pictures and information I've found in your pages for my Project. It would be very helpful.
Please write back, I will not use anything without your permission to do
so.

Sincerely,
Marie-Louise


Dear Patrick,

Greetings from 'Down under'- I have been away on tour with my drumming show around the north island, received your note and YES I do indeed remember Roy - he was a most friendly gent when I visited him on the Isle of Man. He drove me around the Island, showing me sights as he answered my questions on his experiences in the 1stWW.

My grandfather 'reg' Kingsford (photo inset below) knew him all those years ago, my reason for visiting Roy (and his brother Jack-is he still alive?) was partly to meet a genuine living RFC pilot who knew pop, also I felt somewhat compelled to spend time with him-sort of an unspoken link or something!

During my visit to England in 1985 I also managed to visit the modern day '100 squadron' - what a feeling, actually visiting the modern day unit from which my pop had flown in all those years ago. Reg wrote two books after the 1st WW, sadly he passed away some years ago.

I'll close now and get this off to you, also wishing you a joyous Christmas, and a happy new year patrick.

Sincerely, Adrian kingsford


Dear Patrick,

Great to hear from you - thanks for the info regarding your additions to your site on 100 Squadron. What a great thing to have done - I don't just mean the transcriptions, of course, which are a fantastically valuable resource in their own right - what I think is so great is the long term project as a whole that you've worked up. I'm sure it meant a great deal to Roy Shillinglaw as well, but you'll no doubt know this! Your site is a great feast of interest - so well put together and absorbing.

Thanks for your comment about my book ("a millstone in aviation history," as I used to paraphrase my publisher's words!). It's had a lot of good responses over the three years since publication and it is gratifying to see it so useful and utilised by people. If you are serious about a copy you can pay somewhat less by buying it direct from me, you know, so let me know if you want a copy. More specifically, if you want any RFC-related gen, or to tap my WW1 aviation resources (best imagined by visualising a creaking loft), or just to throw ideas at one another, then please get in touch. It would be great.

I will now settle down and read a few transcripts - my beautiful 18-month-old son Richard permitting. Again, very well done. Let's keep
in touch.

Regards,

Trevor


Dear Patrick,

Many thanks for drawing my attention to the additions to your site. I found the interview with Roy Shillinglaw a most fascinating document of considerable human and historical interest. What a great means of communication is the "Web" for disseminating information that would otherwise be lost to later generations.

Best wishes for the coming New Year,

John Roberts


From a freshman at the university of Texas in Austin with dreams and hopes of one day recreating the WWI flying experience on the silverscreen.........I really enjoyed your transcripts. I was moved.

Nick


Pat: That picture brought back memories. I learnt to fly on open cockpit Tiger Moths at Portsmout Flying Club at the end of 1952. It had that type of pitot head mounted in the same position. I was very fortunate, my instructor was an ex-RFC pilot.

The then head of the Hamble aviation school used to come over and I got 'gash' flights in the back seat while these two old RFC pilots would dog-fight ove Langstone harbour.

Bruce


Dear Mr Wilson,

I was just browsing the net looking for a copy of "Annals of 100 Squadron" when I came across your site - well done it is fascinating!

I thought you might like to know that Roy is about to celebrate his 100th birthday on May 16th. 100 Squadron have very kindly offered to do a flypast for him! He now lives in a nursing home in Douglas where he is well looked after.

Perhaps I ought to introduce myself - I am married to Roy's granddaughter. I am trying to buy a copy of the Annals for her. If you happen to hear of one for sale, I would be very grateful to hear of it.

I was talking about Roy to our local vicar's wife, and I could hardly believe my ears when she told me her father flew in 100 Squadron in the 1st War as well! Her maiden name was Bourne and I believe he flew on raids with Roy. She has a message pouch with a letter from her father still enclosed with the weighting stone. It emplored his mother to ask the gardener to save some moleskins to make a new flying cap because it was so cold flying in the open cockpit.

What a coincidence!

With kind regards

Don Fuller


Hi Patrick
I saw your site today and liked it! I will put a link to it from my aviation history web page, which is still under development (my site URLis http://www.skatefans.demon.co.uk/index.htm).
I am hoping to write about the experiences of young RFC men and am very interested in the training and 'joining-up' procedure for RFC pilots during the war, as there is very little information available about it, especially mundane details about everyday life, living conditions in training, equipment issue and so on. I would love to contact any survivors to ask them about it, especially what happened when they first joined up; how did they come to be recruited, where did they go to actually join the RFC, etc. I presume that Roy Shillinglaw is no longer alive? If he is, I'd really like to write to him, through you if necessary. If not, do you have any other contacts with surviving veterans? Did your late father talk about his early days in the RFC and his training experiences?
Best regards in the meantime,

Ruth Mackie


Patrick

I very much enjoyed visiting your site. We've recently established a site dedicated to preserving the memory of all those who took part in the Great War and thought this might interest you. I hope you will take some time to visit our site and give us some feedback about its contents. There is not that much there just yet (not that much aviation-related any way) but we're working on it!

http://www.jwhalley.freeserve.co.uk (link no longer working)


Hi Patrick.....

I have good news----I finally received my dad's full WWI records from the RAF last month through some very stringent efforts by my cousin who lives in the Isle of Wight and his son who is a professor at Oxford. It seems as though the records are being kept at a town not too far from Oxford called Kew (if I read my cousin's writing correctly). I had my dad's squadron as No. 28, but it seems as though I was a bit off as they found it to be Squadron No. 43 and he was shot down on August 29, 1918 by a squadron of Fokker Biplanes and Triplanes. They were escorting DH 9s at approximately 12,000 feet when they encountered 23-24 enemy aircraft at 8:30 a.m. I have his aircraft number (they were equipped with Sopwith Camel F.1s) and I have the names of most of the squadron members, the aircraft numbers, and the names of the other pilots that were shot down on the same day as my father. If these can be of any assistance to you I'm more than happy to share this information. Please let me know your desire.

I can't tell you how excited I was to finally see his entire flying experience registered in these log sheets and signed by the squadron commanders. It was almost as if I were there with him. I'm not sure how many other off-spring might be looking for this type of information, but I'm sure there must be a few of us 70 somethings looking for their father's records. (And probably a lot of grandchildren, also.)

By the way, my dad was a Sgt. Pilot---the only one in his squadron which makes this information all the more special to me because I know how fortunate he was to fly combat and not be commissioned.

Best Regards to you and your web-site....it was very helpful to me---and I hope it will be to others.

Al Harbour


Hello Patrick,

My name is Gordon Buckley and I am OC 100 Sqn. Don Fuller gave me your address at the celebrations of Roy's 100th and I have just seen the site - excellent!

If I can be of assistance to you or your studies in the future then please get in touch with me.

Yours sincerely

Gordon Buckley.


Very good site with a lot of beautiful WWI picture.
Best Regards

Paolo


Very interesting site, the photo of the FE2b looks like a 2c (pilot in front) should also be Farman not Farnan. The date given with the photo of the Bristol F2b cant be correct as first flight was 9/9/16. With the radiator configuration shown not flown till 10/1916. The FE2b in the photo behind the 100 SQDN pilots is interesting as it shows a single seat aircraft with a one pounder quick firing gun.

andy


Thank You.....for taking all the trouble to create that wonderful website. Your interviews with Roy Shillinglaw are fascinating. I've been researching the Independent Force and the detail that you've provided is not available anywhere else.

I truly appreciate your efforts.

Steve Suddaby


I have created a website at http://www.kw.igs.net/~brianj which contains several photos my father took while he was instructing with the RFC in Egypt. I also have his diaries for 1917-1918 which he faithfully filled out every day. They are very illuminating about his lifestyle at that time. Please have a look and send your comments.

thanks
Brian Johannesson


Dear Sir,
Thank you for your Timely efforts to increase the base of knowledge in this very esoteric but fascinating aspect of history.


Terry A. Crisp



Thanks very much for the links. That was very nice of you. The"Xaffévillers Aerodrome 3" item could be a fitting, possibly for an undercarriage leg. But I don't know the RFC/RAF aircraft nearly as well asthe German, I am sorry to say, so I can not readily identify it for you. You could ask the folds at RAF/Hendon or post the photo on the aerodrome forum and probably get an answer very quickly.

The metal detector is a very good idea. Just be careful of unexploded ordinance. I am serious about that; there was an article in Simthsonian magazine some years ago, four or five, about an existing french unit which goes all over the country looking in woods for unexploded ordinance. A lot is still churned up by plows and every year there are injuries because some of it is found and does explode, all these many years later.

If you do go back, do research the field and get a layout first. There must be an aerial shot somewhere in the squadron's records. Or you could post a request for help in W.W.I Aero and Cross and Cockade and I'm sure people could help you with a photo. From that you could layout where the buildings were and really maximize your work. There must be records at the PRO. If you need a researcher, I think I have a name of someone. Of course, they do charge, but I imagine it wouldn't be very much.

I just looked at your site again. The Handley Page photos are great. You obviously know about WWI Aero and Aerodrome and all that. Again, I would use them to find a photo and from that orient it and create a layout and so forth. There must be large refuse areas with loads of discarded and buried aircraft and parts, much of it rusting away, but you never know. I would just be very, very careful. You could ask Tighar - The international group for historic aircraft recovery - for assistance. They are at http://www.tighar.org/ and might be able to offer advice. Anyway, good luck and let me know what happens, it sounds just like the sort of thing which would really intrique the readers of WWI Aero and C&C.

Charles Gosse


Dear Patrick,
I've have surfed the web for a few years now but the thing that has really caught my eye recently are the futuristic images drawn in "Bryce" etc. Basically I want to set up my own web page (like everyone else!) but want to have or to link to some of my favourite artists images, but of course only with their permission. I'm not quite ready start building my page yet and are still looking at various artists work. I particularly like the way you show the ufo in your images. It's subtle but also eery in a good way - if that makes sense. Especially with your sound efects on the reconnaisance image! (still recovering !!!)
Would it be possible to link or to display some of your images on my page? Any suggestions would be welcome. I will obviously only do what you request - I don't want to upset anyone!

Regards
Steve Pope


I have a gold RFC tie pin that, so the story goes, was given to my grandmother by a 'sweetheart' during WW1. Do you by any chnce know if such items were made and worn by RFC or have you perhaps come across similar items?

I would just appreciate it if you have anything you could tell me.

Thanks

Chris Smith


Patrick,
Thanks for putting up your website and the fascinating images and words from the past. I understand your sense of pride in your father's accomplishments, and I can share in the sense of honoring such a man. Those fellows lived in an uncosseted age when none had a governmental guarantee of health and income, and the physical world was opening new doors every day. I have a hard time imagining what it must have felt like to climb into one of those lumbering heavies, when each flight parted a frontier, much less entering into combat and ever present antiaircraft fire.

The two shells interest me because I grew up in Texas where at nearby Camp Barkley, the US had trained 45,000 soldiers during WW2. I explored the ranches which had been the training grounds and impact areas for shellfire. I also explored the old firing ranges and grenade butts. I found various unexploded shells and grenades. It was only later that I discovered that while the fuse may not have functioned, the explosive contained in each shell or grenade probably was still powerful and deadly, sometimes even more unstable due to age. I had a 20mm cannon shell explode in my garage, hurling shrapnel around and leaving dozens of holes in the pine boards of the structure while I stood there blankly with my ears ringing from the blast. God was watching for me. I later saw a news story of a man deactivating a US Civil war cannon shell who was torn apart by its explosion. Having supplied you with this information, is it OK for me to ask if you have had ALL explosive removed from these shells? If not, it can be done, but the process is exact, and dangerous even when done correctly. It is more dangerous to not do it. Please excuse me for my concern.

I did not see an explanation about the balloon shell. Is it something designed to explode on contact with a gas-bag observation balloon? I assume the other is an artillery shell.

I am also interested in your father's flying goggles. Were they actually issued by the RFC or were they something he procured from a civilian source? I ask because I am in the process of constructing a flying replica WW1 airplane, a Nieuport 11. This aircraft was flown by the RFC as well as the French, and I am still thinking about the paint scheme. Details of the crew's flying gear on your website are really interesting. At some point I will try to have a flying suit and such constructed, and I can use your pictures as models. Is it possible that you might supply measurements from the goggles as well as details of material used in them?

Robert Bridwell




Dear Patrick,
Thank you so much for this "wonderful site."  I have been riveted to it since I found it. My father 2/Lieut Basil Evans was a pilot with 100 Squadron and The Annals of !00 Squadron has helped me fill in some detail of a part of his life I knew little about.

lieut basil evans
2/Lieut Basil Evans

I was only 14 when Dad died in 1955, but several of the names of his fellow officers are familiar to me. I remember Lieut Crocker who kept on touch to the end.

Lieut B. Evans and Lieut Crocker -
          100 Squadron

Dad only joined the squadron on Oct 31. 1918. As you will see from the Flying Log Pages attached he had to make a forced landing on his first flight and remained with the machine for a few days whilst repairs were carried out. This left only a short while before The Armistice, He was to have made his first operational flight on the night of the 11th.
He also witnessed the awful fatal accident involving  Lt. Box at Xaffevilliers in 1918. There are a couple of photos of Box attached.



Dad, like Roy Shillinglaw was also sent to fly captured planes home from Cologne. From conversations I had with my father and from info in his flying logs which I still have, I can tell you that he had flown three of these Friedrichshafen aircraft at Bekendorf Aerodrome, Cologne including the two which took the lives of Carlton-Smith and the three others.

            

Dad was flown to Cologne in HP O400 No. 9318 by an American pilot Named Gower on Jan 4th. 1919. He was to fly back the first of these captured aircraft. The following morning he and Lt.Rennie set off in one of these captured aircraft and after reaching 1,500 ft. they returned to base after just 20 minutes, reporting an engine problem and difficulty with the controls. That afternoon they set off again in another of the captured bombers, this time reaching 2,000 ft. only to return 40 min. later reporting problems with the controls and both engines. Next day now Jan 6th. they took off in yet another of these aircraft and after just 10 min. they returned, this time reporting that one of the engines had died completely.

The story goes that the Army Officer in charge of the captured airfield, who out-ranked my father, was by now more than a little impatient and insistent that these planes be flown out. My father allegedly told him : "Fly Them Yourself Sir!"
Dad was then flown back to Agencourt by Gower who had obviously waited at Cologne for the outcome of these flights.
This took place just four days before J.H. Gardner, pilot, and James Wood, observer, were sent to their deaths on Jan 10th. (killed attempting to fly the planes home)
It was a month later when Hewett and Carlton-smith were also killed on Feb 19th doing same.
Incidentally, James Wood had previously flown as dads' observer. Dad also spoke of his namesake Lieut A.F. Evans who didn't make it home. I know he traveled to Lancashire to visit his parents.

Best Wishes
 Fred B. Evans


Dear Patrick,
 
I'm pleased the scans I sent you were of interest, there are a couple more when I find them.  They were only quick because I had already scanned them onto the computer.
One of my most prized possessions is Dads' training note book. I have scanned and attached a few random pages.
    

Though not strictly speaking 100 Squadron I thought it may be of interest. I never cease to be amazed how comprehensive the training was. It covered not only the principles of flight and flying, bombs and bomb aiming, use and maintenance of Vickers and Lewis Guns, photography, signaling, navigation, and everything you would expect. It also covered the build and maintenance of the engines including fault finding and repair procedures, the build maintenance and repair techniques for the airframes and much more. As an engineer, (retired), I find the whole thing fascinating.

Best Wishes
 
Fred B. Evans


 
RFC intro page

Interview Index page

More pictures of 100 squadron RFC from my father's album

Various WW1 related objects in my possession , and some found at the old aerodrome siteWW1ob1.htm near Xaffévillers, in France.
The Annals of 100 Squadron (The whole book)

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