Aviation Historian 6
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G.Ellis - Hunting the Lion of Afrika
One of a number of photographs taken by Capt Henry C. Brocklehurst of No 26 Sqn while in East Africa. Although it was rapidly becoming obsolete by 1916, the B.E.2c proved to be a reliable workhorse for 26 Sqn, its inherent stability making it a steady platform for its photographic reconnaissance role.
A pair of B.E.2cs of 26 Sqn at Njombe, now part of Tanzania. One of the unit’s observers was Leo Walmsley, who went on to become a well-known writer, and who wrote of his experiences of First World War East Africa in his 1944 memoir So Many Loves (Collins).
The rudimentary conditions in which 26 Sqn had to operate in East Africa is evident in this photograph of a B.E.2c at the ready beside a tent on an unidentified airfield. The unit moved regularly, operating from more than 15 bases between January 1916 and January 1918.
After being formed at Netheravon in October 1915, No 26 Sqn (badge at RIGHT) was sent to East Africa with a complement of Farman F.27s and Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2cs, examples of both of which are seen here serving with No 31 Sqn at Risalpur, India.
Probably B.E.2c 4349, in which Capt Brocklehurst suffered engine failure at 600ft (180m) and had to make a forced landing in thick bush 3 1/2 miles from base on September 5, 1917.
After being formed at Netheravon in October 1915, No 26 Sqn (badge at RIGHT) was sent to East Africa with a complement of Farman F.27s and Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2cs, examples of both of which are seen here serving with No 31 Sqn at Risalpur, India.