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  #1  
Old 19-08-17, 10:55 PM
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Default RAF/RFC - (Vickers Vimy?)

Thought I'd share this recent find, and hope that perhaps the forum birdmen might be able to throw some light on it.

I believe the plane to be a Vickers Vimy, a three-seat, heavy bomber biplane, with two 360hp Eagle VIII engines. Although first flown in 1917, there were only three in service by the Armictice, which would probably mean these men are RAF as opposed to RFC.

Any thoughts appreciated, especially any ideas as to squadron and location (it's hot, wherever it is).









Lastly, would anyone be able to show an example of the 'eagle' badge below, being worn here on the men's shoulders?





Regards to all,

JT

Last edited by Jelly Terror; 19-08-17 at 11:14 PM.
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  #2  
Old 20-08-17, 06:56 AM
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Interesting picture. It is almost definitely a Vimy and the Middle East. The Vimy served there throughout the early 1920s most notably with 70 and 216 Sqns. The Middle East being its main operating area - lot of confusion over the numbers that were built and operated by the RAF. Some men have their medal ribbons. The other interesting feature is, or appears to be, the single glazed panel in the nose. Usually there are 3 panels or none if it was used for transport or long distance flights to keep the weight down. Heliopolis?

Very hard to pin down unless someone knows an individual or has a titled copy of the photo.

Bryan
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  #3  
Old 20-08-17, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Advsmt View Post
Interesting picture. It is almost definitely a Vimy and the Middle East. The Vimy served there throughout the early 1920s most notably with 70 and 216 Sqns. The Middle East being its main operating area - lot of confusion over the numbers that were built and operated by the RAF. Some men have their medal ribbons. The other interesting feature is, or appears to be, the single glazed panel in the nose. Usually there are 3 panels or none if it was used for transport or long distance flights to keep the weight down. Heliopolis?

Very hard to pin down unless someone knows an individual or has a titled copy of the photo.

Bryan
Bryan,

Thank you for your reply. Would I be correct in thinking that the Vimy was essentially a bomber (cessation of hostilities notwithstanding)?

JT
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Old 20-08-17, 02:19 PM
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Yes you are right it was a heavy bomber. Came into service too late for WW1 and so large orders were cancelled. It was tried out as a torpedo bomber and an air ambulance. Saw service in China and became the basis for several other designs including commercial transport. It was its long range capacity that led to its fame' Alcock & Brown, et al. If I had to hazard a guess, and it is a guess, then I would say your photo is 70 Sqn at Heliopolis around 1922. That might be a good starting point for further research.

Bryan
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Old 20-08-17, 02:34 PM
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Thank you both for your posts.

I'm always fascinated and impressed with forum members knowledge on specific topics - often not badge related - and this is one of those occasions.

I love learning new details like this on topics I know nothing about.

well done chaps..

Cheerio,

Roy
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  #6  
Old 20-08-17, 02:53 PM
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Hi JT
Congratulations on acquiring this most interesting photo. The Sergeant pilot was of special interest to me ... I wonder how these guys "fitted-in" to the post WW1 RAF ?
My figures for the Vimy are as follows :
(1) Over 1,000 ordered
(2) 753 built (remainder cancelled)
(3) The three in RAF Service after 1918 to which you refer were those built by Westland with 2X USA made Liberty engines.
I don't know how many RR Eagle VIII engined versions the RAF had at this time but I suspect quite a few !
Many were of course sold to the civil market where they were converted for commercial use.
(4) The last Vimy in RAF Service was used as a target tug in 1938.

Hope these figures are of some interest. Regards Jeff
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Old 20-08-17, 03:23 PM
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SNCO aircrew were serving right through to the late 1970s. The last intake I think was in the 1960s. About a third of all RAF pilots in the Battle of Britain were SNCOs. Commissioned officers and SNCOs had there own messes so interaction only took place on an operational level. Obviously on aircraft where there was more than one aircrew then things got more complicated! The pilot may or may not have been the captain of the aircraft.


Bryan
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Old 20-08-17, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Advsmt View Post
SNCO aircrew were serving right through to the late 1970s. The last intake I think was in the 1960s. About a third of all RAF pilots in the Battle of Britain were SNCOs. Commissioned officers and SNCOs had there own messes so interaction only took place on an operational level. Obviously on aircraft where there was more than one aircrew then things got more complicated! The pilot may or may not have been the captain of the aircraft.


Bryan
This thread http://www.britishbadgeforum.com/for...hlight=armband seems to indicate that the Pilot of the Aircraft (regardless of rank) was always the Captain?

Tim
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Old 20-08-17, 04:08 PM
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Trafford Leigh Mallory certainly thought otherwise, rather foolishly as things turned out!

Quote:
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This thread http://www.britishbadgeforum.com/for...hlight=armband seems to indicate that the Pilot of the Aircraft (regardless of rank) was always the Captain?

Tim
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  #10  
Old 20-08-17, 05:39 PM
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On many large RAF aircraft the pilot is merely the driver, and the "tactical aircrew" are often more senior and/or responsible for the "mission" and so make those decisions and direct the pilot as to what is required of the aircraft. The safety and flying is the domain of the pilot. I think "captaincy" and "mission" are too different things, but the pilot is the man flying. Interestingly how things have changed in that higher levels of leadership were the sole domain of pilots but now "back end aircrew" fill many of these posts. On helicopter squadrons I have seen navigators as the squadron commander - but there is no requirement to have a navigator on a helicopter, but we had so many left over that you had to do something with them! With the rise of health and safety and risk management you need specialist engineering skills to determine if an aircraft is fit to fly, often the pilot does not have the knowledge or information to make that call. He always makes the decision to fly but he may not always get the choice.
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  #11  
Old 20-08-17, 05:58 PM
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Gents,

Fantastic stuff! I have learnt a great deal. Thank you for sharing your expertise.

If I may just ask about these cloth badges (presumably eagles)... would anyone be able to post an example?

RAF ST1.jpg
RAF ST2.jpg

With thanks,

JT
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  #12  
Old 20-08-17, 06:25 PM
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I'd expect them to be these shoulder eagles.

Rgds, Thomas.
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  #13  
Old 20-08-17, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fougasse1940 View Post
I'd expect them to be these shoulder eagles.

Rgds, Thomas.
Excellent. Thank you, Thomas.

It's amazing how different the lightness/darkness of colours can appear in B&W images. Forum member 'Drew' has been looking into this recently - really interesting stuff.

Were these RAF only (i.e. not worn pre-1918)?

Thanks for posting. Much appreciated.

JT
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  #14  
Old 20-08-17, 06:50 PM
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Introduced in May 1918.

Rgds, Thomas.
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  #15  
Old 20-08-17, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
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Introduced in May 1918.

Rgds, Thomas.
Thank you.

JT
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