By Michael O'Connor
During this most up-to-date addition to the Airfields and Airmen sequence, Mike OConnor describes the dramatic air activities that came about alongside the Belgian and North France beach through the nice War.In addition to the Royal scuffling with Corps and RAF element this quantity covers the Royal Naval Air carrier (RNAS) and Belgian Air carrier (AMB) in addition to the German Naval Air carrier.
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Extra info for Airfields and Airmen of the Channel Coast
The main centre for civil aviation was the motor racing circuit at Brooklands where A V Roe had made his inaugaral flight, though there were other centres like Eastchurch, and Claude Graham White’s works at Hendon (now the home of the Royal Air Force Museum). The Creation of the Royal Flying Corps The lack of official interest and progress in aviation was continually highlighted by the aviation press and eventually the government was forced to act. A sub-committee of the Imperial Committee of Defence recommended the creation of a British Aeronautical Service and this came into existence on 13 April 1912.
However, aeroplanes were never numerous and in January 1917 the AMB only had thirty-nine machines available. They eventually received more modern equipment from their allies, such as Spads and Sopwith Camels but they were in small numbers. By March 1918 the AMB had increased to twelve escadrilles of which one was a maintenance unit and another operated seaplanes. One of the escadrilles, though, still had Farmans, which had been condemned as operationally obsolete by the British in 1915. One complication for those personnel operating from the airfield at Houthem was that squeezed into the same tiny village were the Belgian royal family, and the headquarters of the Belgian army.
Since the publication of that book much more information has come to light and this spot will be the only one that will be visited for a second time. For the Allies the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery at Longuenesse (page 166) has the distinction of containing the largest number of British and Empire air service personnel from the Great War. For the Germans this honour is held by Vladslo, where there are about 250 air service casualties, both army and navy. There are three casualties from the Jabbeke raid (page 57) and they are Flugzeugmeister Wilhelm Drews (2/1713), Flugzeugmechanik Friedrich Schramm (2/1635) and Flugzeugmatrose Wilhelm Grabowski (2/1626).
Airfields and Airmen of the Channel Coast by Michael O'Connor