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Paul McGuiness RAAF Archive
Paul McGuiness is an Australian aviation researcher and historian. Using primary sources he has assembled detailed information on the history of each plane
used by Australians and Australian forces in WWl and WW2, and on personnel involved.

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History of Australian Military Aviation

First World War

Armstrong Whitworth FK3

Avro 504

Bristol F2b Fighter

Fairey Aviation Model lllD Seaplane

Martinsyde G.100 G 102 Elephant

Maurice Farman S.11 Shorthorn

Royal Aircraft Factory BE2

Royal Aircraft Factory BE12

Royal Aircraft Factory RE.8

Royal Aircraft Factory SE5A Experimental Scout

Sopwith Camel B Series

Sopwith Camel C D E F Series

Sopwith Snipe

Sopwith Scout (Pup)

Sopwith 1½ Strutter

Supermarine Seagull lll

Supermarine Southampton Mk 1

Westland Wapiti


Post First World War

De Havilland DH.9A

Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5A

Avro 504K


Second World War

458 Sqd Wellingtons

460 Sqd Wellingtons

466 Sqd Wellingtons


Further Information:

Aces and Aviators WWl Database

Material Relating to Australia

Aircraft Types Used By Australian Forces 1914 - 1918

Sopwith 1½ Strutter

Used by 5 Sqd (Australia) Training AFC, 6 Sqd (Australia) Training AFC, 8 Sqd (Australia) Training AFC

The Sopwith 1½ Strutter was a British single- or two-seat multi-role biplane aircraft of the First World War. It was significant as the first British two-seat tractor fighter and the first British aircraft to enter service with a synchronised machine gun. It was given the name 1½ Strutter because of the long and short cabane struts that supported the top wing. The type was operated by both British air services and was in widespread but lacklustre service with the French Aéronautique Militaire.

A1113

00Dec16 Built as A1113 the 60th of 100 Sopwith Strutter aircraft built under license by Vickers Ltd Aviation in their facility at Crayford, Kent UK. Built to Contract 87/A/495 dated 15 June 1916 in the Serial Range A1054 to A1153. Fitted with a 110 hp (87 kW) Clerget 9B rotary aero engine Serial No.R1153WD7766

00Jan17 Taken on charge by the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) for acceptance checks.

00Jan17 Allocated to and received by No.28 Reserve Squadron at RFC Castle Bromwich, Birmingham.

00Apr17 Aircraft loaned to the newly formed No.71 (Australian) Sqn RFC at Castle Bromwich.

10Apr17 2nd Lt John Alexander Williamson (20) RFC and Corporal Clifford Newton Ryder departed Castle Bromwich for a local familiarization flight and short time later for unknown reasons the aircraft crashed in a field near Ullesthorpe in Leicestershire, 33km east of Castle Bromwich. Williamson was killed on impact but Ryder was seen to fall from the plunging aircraft and land in a field 100 yards from the crash site, and was killed on impact.

12Ap17 AFC fitter No.941 Corporal Clifford Newton Ryder (24) of Freshwater, Sydney NSW was buried in the Cemetery of the St Mary & St Margaret Church in Castle Bromwich, Birmingham England. He is also commemorated in several locations: on Panel 107 in the Hall of Memory Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the Manly Anzac War Memorial, located at corner of The Corso & Belgrave Street in Manly, NSW; and, on the St. Matthew’s Church Roll of Honour, located inside St. Matthews Anglican Church, The Corso & Darley Road in Manly.

Cpl Clifford Ryder’s funeral 12th April 1917

A5964

00May17 Built as A5964 the 15th of 200 Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter aircraft built under license by Morgan & Co in their factory at Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire UK. Built to Contract 87/A/963 dated 16 October 1916 in the Serial Range A5950 to A6149. Fitted with a 110 hp (87 kW) Clerget 9B rotary aero engine

00Jun17 Taken on charge by the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) for acceptance checks.

12Sep17 Received by air for use by No.30 (Australian) Training Squadron, RFC 29th Training Wing at RFC Station Tern Hill, Shropshire UK.

00Oct17 Damaged to some degree in an unspecified accident.

16Oct17 Allocated to Aircraft Repair Squadron, 29th Wing RFC for repair and reissue.

00Dec17 Received for use by No 43 Sqn at RFC Station Market Drayton.

03Jan18 Tailplane assembly collapsed in the air while flying unauthorised manoeuvres and the aircraft crashed near Tiverton in Cheshire. The machine burst into flames on impact and pilot 2nd Lt A.J Cumberland RFC was killed in the conflagration.

RFC pilot 2nd Lieutenant Andrew John Cumberland (20) of Brandon in Manitoba, Canada is buried in Plot I.4.138 of the St Peters Church Cemetery in Stoke-on-Tern in Shropshire. He is commemorated on Page 585 of Canada's First World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada.

A chauffeur by trade, Cumberland enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Feb 1915 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Regimental Number: 2791). He embarked for England, aboard the 15,000 ton White Star Line vessel SS Megantic. Private Cumberland was seriously wounded in both legs during action in France on 4 Oct 1915. He was initially admitted to No.25 General Hospital in Etaples, France; then invalided back to Manchester, England for further treatment. Upon recovery he was returned to duty in France; where he later became ill with influenza and was again treated in Etaples. In early 1917 he applied to join the RFC and was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant on 23 May 1917.

00Jan18 Aircraft struck off charge.

A6945

00May17 Built as A6945 the 45th of 100 Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter aircraft built under license by F.W Hooper & Co in their UK factory at Chelsea, London UK. Built to Contract 87/A/501 dated 23 October 1916 in the Serial Range A6901 to A7000. Fitted with a 110 hp (87 kW) Clerget 9B rotary aero engine Serial No.1468/WD11617.

00Jun17 Taken on charge by the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) for acceptance checks by the Aircraft Inspection Department (AID) at RFC Station Farnborough, Hampshire UK.

10Sep17 Received by air for use by No.30 (Australian) Training Squadron, RFC 29th Training Wing at RFC Station Tern Hill, Shropshire UK.

20Sep17 Cadet E.J.C Treadwell was standing on the wing of the aircraft which was preparing for take-off, talking to the pilot whilst observing his actions. Dismounting from the aircraft he walked into the propeller and sustained horrendous injuries. . He was rushed to Press Hill Military Hospital where he died two hours later.

Edward Treadwell was born in Ascot Vale, Melbourne VIC in 1895 and after completing his schooling in 1913 he spent five years in the Citizen Forces, the last 2 ½ as a Lieutenant. In 1915 he was made ADC to the State Commandant. He enlisted in the AIF in 1916 but medical problems prevented his embarkation to England so he transferred to the Australian Flying Corps and after completing his training embarked for the UK. After initial training at Castle Bromwich near Birmingham he was posted to Market Drayton for more advanced training. Much to his surprise and delight his assigned training officer was an old school mate, Lt Lawrence Benjamin. The firsthand account from Benjamin was: "Ted and I were at School together and were comrades in camp, afterwards as Citizen Force officers. We separated then, and you can imagine our delight in coming together at this aerodrome. On the fatal morning I was showing him how to run up the engine of a machine I was going to test, called a Sopwith Bomber. He was keen to see it all from the pilot's seat and stood on the wings to watch it done. I tested the engine, which was satisfactory, then 'throttled down' and asked him to get off it, as I was going to test it in the air. He got to the ground, seemed to stumble, and apparently did not hear the mechanics calling out to him, for he walked straight into the revolving propeller. There is one blessing that he suffered no pain, and died immediately. He died the death he would have wished to die, namely, as a soldier on active service. We buried him the next day at a pretty little cemetery near the hospital at Press Heath, Wynchbury, with full military honours.”

AFC 959 Cadet Edward Jabez Cooper Treadwell (22) single of St Kilda Melbourne VIC is buried in Grave No.17 of the Tilstock [Christ Church] Churchyard Extension, Shropshire UK. He is also remembered at Location 187 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War, Canberra ACT.

16Oct17 Issued to Aircraft Repair Squadron (ARS), 29th Wing RFC at RFC Station Tern Hill, Shropshire UK. Aircraft less engine was later transferred by road in an unserviceable condition to No.6 Aircraft Acceptance Park at Renfrew, Scotland.

19Dec18 In storage with 6AAP.

31Jan19 Aircraft struck off charge.

A8262

00Mar17 Built as A8262 the 122nd of 200 Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter aircraft built under license by Ruston, Proctor & Co. Ltd in their factory in Lincoln UK. Built to Contract 87/A/773 dated October 1916 in the Serial Range A8141 to A8340. Fitted with a 130 hp (98 kW) Clérget 9B nine-cylinder rotary engine Serial No.R288WD7776.

00Mar17 Taken on charge by the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) for acceptance checks by the Aircraft Inspection Department (AID) at RFC Station Farnborough, Hampshire UK.

00Mar17 Allocated to and received by No.71 (Australian) Sqn RFC at Castle Bromwich, Birmingham.

05Jul17 2nd Lt L.M Fletcher and Air Mechanic 1 A.J Merritt were departing Castle Bromwich for a local familiarization flight when the aircraft side slipped and crashed on the aerodrome. The aircraft caught fire and Merritt was badly burned when attempting to remove the pilot from the burning wreck. The pilot could not be removed and was burnt to death and Merritt was dragged from the wreck by rescuers.

RFC pilot Second Lieutenant Leslie Morley Fletcher (19) single of Headingly, Leeds England was buried in the Curdworth St Nicholas Churchyard Cemetery, Warwickshire UK. He is honoured on the Curdworth Airmen Memorial and is also remembered at Location 187 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

AFC Air Mechanic 1st Class No.1078 Alfred James Merritt received the Squadron's first decoration when he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, which was Gazetted on 02/11/1917. Merritt spent three months recuperating from his burns in the 1st General Military Hospital and returned to the Squadron in Oct17. Merritt survived the War and repatriated back to Australia as a Sergeant on 06May1919.

AM1 A.J Merritt as shown in the Queenslander newspaper 13 October 1917

SY 2020-04-16

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