Tuesday, May 1, 2018

RFC Airfield Locations and AOB Pt 1 1914-1915

RFC Airfield Locations and Air Order of Battle (AOB) on the Western Front, 1914 and 1915.

1914

Aug-14
Service Brigade Wing Squadron Location Aircraft Type Number
RFC 2 BE2a 12
RFC 3 Bleriot XI 7
RFC 3 Henry Farman 4
RFC 3 Bleriot Parasol 1
RFC 4 BE2a 12
RFC From Sep 1914 4 Maurice Farman 4
RFC Wireless Flt BE2a 3
RFC 5 Henry Farman 8
RFC 5 Avro 504 3
RFC 5 BE8a 1
RFC From Oct 1914 6 BE2a 2
RFC From Oct 1914 6 BE2b 4
RFC From Oct 1914 6 Henry Farman 4
RFC From Oct 1914 6 BE8a 2

A detailed review of the RFC's deployment to France in August 1914 and its subsequent AOB up to December 1914 can be found on the 'airhistory.org.uk' website under 'Facts & Fiction': The Departure of the Royal Flying Corps Expeditionary Force.

1915

Neuve Chapelle

Service Brigade Wing Squadron Location Aircraft Type Number
RFC - 1 2 Merville BE 2 7
RFC - 1 2 Merville BE 2c 5
RFC - 1 2 Merville Maurice Farman MF1 Shorthorn 2
RFC - 1 3 Chocques Morane L 'Parasol' 9
RFC - 1 3 Chocques Bleriot Parasol 3
RFC - 1 3 Chocques Avro 504 1
RFC - 1 3 Chocques SE 2 1
RFC - 1 16 La Gorgue Voisin LA 2
RFC - 1 16 La Gorgue Vickers FB5 1
RFC - 1 16 La Gorgue Bleriot Parasol 1
RFC - 1 16 La Gorgue BE 2c 4
RFC - 2 5 Bailleul Avro 504 4
RFC - 2 5 Bailleul Bleriot Parasol 3
RFC - 2 5 Bailleul Martinsyde S1 2
RFC - 2 5 Bailleul Henri Farman F20 1
RFC - 2 4 (flight) Bailleul Voisin LA 4
RFC - 2 6 Poperinghe BE 2 7
RFC - 2 6 Poperinghe BE 2c 4
RFC - 3 1 St-Omer BE 8 'Bloater' 4
RFC - 3 1 St-Omer Avro 504 8
RFC - 3 4 St-Omer BE 2 6
RFC - 3 4 St-Omer Martinsyde S1 1
RFC - HQ 9 (flight) St-Omer Maurice Farman MF1 Shorthorn 5


Aubers Ridge, 2nd Ypres and Festubert

Service Brigade Wing Squadron Location Aircraft Type Number
RFC - 1 2 Merville BE 2a 3
RFC - 1 2 Merville BE 2b 4
RFC - 1 2 Merville BE 2c 5
RFC - 1 3 Chocques Bleriot Parasol 1
RFC - 1 3 Chocques Morane L 'Parasol' 13
RFC - 1 16 La Gorgue BE 2a 1
RFC - 1 16 La Gorgue BE 2c 3
RFC - 1 16 La Gorgue Voisin LA 3
RFC - 1 16 La Gorgue Maurice Farman 4
RFC - 2 5 Abeele Avro 504 6
RFC - 2 5 Abeele Vickers FB5 5
RFC - 2 5 Abeele Martinsyde S1 1
RFC - 2 6 Abeele BE 2 5
RFC - 2 6 Abeele BE 2c 5
RFC - 2 6 Abeele Martinsyde S1 1
RFC - 2 8 Abeele BE 2c 6
RFC - 3 1 Bailleul BE 8 2
RFC - 3 1 Bailleul Avro 504 2
RFC - 3 1 Bailleul Morane L 'Parasol' 3
RFC - 3 1 Bailleul Caudron GIII 4
RFC - 3 1 Bailleul Martinsyde S1 1
RFC - 3 4 Bailleul BE 2 6
RFC - 3 4 Bailleul BE 2c 2
RFC - 3 4 Bailleul Voisin LA 3
RFC - 3 4 Bailleul Caudron GIII 2
RFC - 3 4 Bailleul Bristol scout 1
RFC - 3 7 St-Omer RE 5 7
RFC - 3 7 St-Omer Voisin LA 4
Aviation Militaire - I Corps 40e Compagnie d'Aerostiers (French) Chocques Balloon 1


Loos

Service Brigade Wing Squadron Location Aircraft Type Number
RFC - 1 2 Hesdigneul BE 2c 12
RFC - 1 2 Hesdigneul Bristol scout 1
RFC - 1 3 Auchel Morane L 'Parasol' 13
RFC - 1 3 Auchel Morane LA 1
RFC - 1 10 Chocques BE 2c 12
RFC - 1 10 Chocques Bristol scout 1
RFC - 1 16 La Gorgue Maurice Farman MF11 Shorthorn 6
RFC - 1 16 La Gorgue BE 2c 7
RFC - 1 16 La Gorgue BE 9 1
RFC - 1 16 La Gorgue Bristol scout 1
RFC - 1 11 (flight) Vert Galand Vickers FB5 4
RNAS - 1 6 KBS Lestrem Balloon 1
RNAS - 1 8 KBS Bethune Balloon 1
RFC - 2 1 Bailleul Avro 504 4
RFC - 2 1 Bailleul Morane L 'Parasol' 8
RFC - 2 1 Bailleul Caudron GIII 1
RFC - 2 5 Abeele Avro 504 3
RFC - 2 5 Abeele Vickers FB5 4
RFC - 2 5 Abeele BE 2c 5
RFC - 2 5 Abeele Bristol scout 1
RFC - 2 6 Abeele BE 2c 8
RFC - 2 6 Abeele FE 2b 4
RFC - 2 6 Abeele Bristol scout 1
RFC - 2 7 Droglandt BE 2c 8
RFC - 2 7 Droglandt RE 5 2
RFC - 2 7 Droglandt Bristol scout 1
RNAS - 2 2 KBS Locre Balloon 1
RNAS - 2 4 KBS Steenwerck Balloon 1
RFC - 3 4 Baizieux BE 2a 1
RFC - 3 4 Baizieux BE 2b 2
RFC - 3 4 Baizieux BE 2c 11
RFC - 3 4 Baizieux Morane LA 1
RFC - 3 8 Marieux BE 2a 1
RFC - 3 8 Marieux BE 2b 2
RFC - 3 8 Marieux BE 2c 11
RFC - 3 8 Marieux Bristol scout 2
RFC - 3 11 Villers-Bretonneux Vickers FB5 11


The physical location of the airfields listed above can be found on the following Google Maps page: RFC/RAF WW1 Airfields on the Western Front 1914-1918. (Please note that the Google Maps page is 'work in progress'.)

Part 2 - 1916 (The Somme)

Friday, March 24, 2017

RFC / RAF Photographic Reconnaissance Aircraft – WW1

The table below lists the aircraft types by year used by the RFC/RAF for photographic reconnaissance missions during the First World War.

1915
1916
1917
1918
Voisin LA
Morane L
BE 2c
BE 2c
BE 2c
BE 2d
BE 2d
BE 2e
BE 2e
BE 2f
BE 2g
Vickers FB5
Vickers FB5
FE 2a
FE 2b
FE 2b
FE 2d
FE 2d

Martinsyde 'Elephant'


Morane N
Morane LA
Morane BB
Morane P
Nieuport 12
Nieuport 11
Nieuport 16
Nieuport 20
RE 8
RE 8
Sopwith Strutter
DH 2
DH 4
DH 4
AW FK8
AW FK8
Bristol F2B
Bristol F2B
DH 9
DH 9A

Even when full camera automation was achieved in 1917 photographic missions were still usually carried out using 2-seater aircraft, predominantly the BE 2 series and its replacement the RE 8. The use of the single seat Nieuport series aircraft for photographic reconnaissance missions was limited to the period Dec 1916 to Apr 1917. The Nieuport was pressed into photographic service as the BE 2, FE 2, and early RE 8 units were proving easy pickings for the increasingly well-equipped and organised German air force of late 1916 early 1917.