Aeroplane Monthly 1974-08
C.Bartlett - Bomber pilot 1916-1918
A line-up of Caudron G.IV bombers of No 5 Wing RNAS at Coudekerque, late in 1916. These were soon replaced by Sopwith 1 1/2-Strutter two-seat fighter-bombers.
No 5 Wing RNAS Sopwith 1 1/2-Strutters undergoing final preparations for a daylight sortie over the Lines at Coudekerque during the bitter winter of 1916-17.
A lucky escape for Flt Sub Lt Wright of 5 (N) Sqn, RNAS, when he crashed on take-off on July 13, 1917 at Petite Synthe aerodrome. The Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter, N5152 “B6”, struck a pile of Bessoneau hangar wood frames and became a write off, while the pilot escaped with bruises.
The author in the cockpit of D.H.4 N5974, on January 25, 1918. Of interest is the neatly constructed “turret” built around the rear cockpit as part-protection for the gunner.
D.H.4 N6000, the author's most usual aircraft during mid-1917 to April 1918 with No 5 (N) Sqn. It is seen here with its full complement of eight 15lb Cooper bombs under the wings and a 230lb RL bomb under the fuselage. Like most RNAS units employing D.H.4s, this aircraft was armed with twin Vickers machine guns for the pilot, and twin Lewis guns for the rear cockpit.
The “Office” - cockpit dashboard of a standard D.H.4 pilot's accommodation. The rear grip of the normal single Vickers machine gun used in RFC units can just be seen at top left.
The Sopwith B.I bomber, N50 pictured here on its arrival at 5 (N) Sqn, Petite Synthe, on May 26, 1917 for operational trials. The author flew this aircraft on several bombing sorties, in addition to normal test trials during the remainder of the month. The aircraft finally returned to England on June 7.