6 Squadron WW1 Facts 2

Extract from my book 'For God, England & Ethel'

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In For God, England & Ethel, a book about 6 Squadron operations over the Western Front during WW1, I have prefaced a few of the chapters with background narrative to cater for the more demanding readers. The section below details the operational changes to the Royal Flying Corps that were put into effect in early 1916:

 

"The first two months of 1916 brought significant changes to the Royal Flying Corps. Before then, every squadron had several types of aircraft on charge in order to fulfill its many varied duties. However, with the acceleration in the formation of new squadrons, the decision was made to split these duties into two main areas and allocate squadrons to either a Corps Wing or an Army Wing. Wings would be under the control of a Royal Flying Corps Brigade, with each Brigade supporting a single British Army. As part of this plan, both squadrons at Abeele became part of the 2nd Corps Wing, II Brigade, to be used solely for artillery support, aerial photography and close reconnaissance for the 2nd Army. This left the roles of strategic reconnaissance, distant bombing and air fighting in II Brigade predominantly to those squadrons allocated to the 11th Army Wing.

 

The impact of this directive was immediate. The popular FE2 fighter bombers ('Fees') of 6 Squadron were reassigned, as were the ageing Vickers FB5 fighter biplanes ('Gunbuses') of 5 Squadron. With the exception of a few single-seater scouts that the two squadrons would be permitted to retain for a few more months, the only type of aircraft operating from Abeele was the largely unpopular BE2c, a type not originally intended to carry weapons. The final re-organisation at Abeele came into effect in early March when it was decided that Number 5 squadron would be replaced by a newly-formed Army Wing squadron, Number 29, equipped with the new DH2 scout."

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