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basiloxford

15th Sqn Royal Flying corps

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Hello everyone,

I'm looking for information on the 15th Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps between December 1915, and March 1918, when I think, the Squadron returned home.

Any help would be much appreciated,

Barry.

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Barry, I don't know how much you already know but here are somebasic details.

No. 15 Squadron, RFC, was formed at South Farnborough on 1st March 1915, with personnel from No. 1 Reserve Squadron and the Recruits Depot. The squadron went to France in December 1915 equipped with BE2c's and served on the western front in army co-operation duties until the end of the war. The squadron was re-equiped with RE8s in June 1917. In 1918, one of its pilots flying an RE8 achieved an unusual feat when his aircraft was attacked by four German aircraft and he and his observer managed to shoot down three of them. During the time the squadron served on the western front it had numerous bases, including Droglandt, Vert Galand, Marieux, Lealvillers, La Gorgue, Bapaume, Fienvillers and Selvigny.

Steve

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Thanks Steve,

That was just what i was looking for,

Many thanks,

Barry.

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Cross and Cockade Great Britian published an article in thier journal Vol 4 (1973) page 53 - 73.

Schiffer published a history by M & V Ford-Jones called "Oxfords Own" which has a reasonable WW1 section.

There was also a private publication "Aim Sure" by T Jones, but unfortunatly I cannot find my copy.

John_g

www.66squadron.co.uk

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Hello everyone,

I'm looking for information on the 15th Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps between December 1915, and March 1918, when I think, the Squadron returned home.

Any help would be much appreciated,

Barry.

Barry, here is some more detail about 15 Squadron

The squadron was formed at South Farnborough on 1st march 1915, drawing on personnel from No1 Reserve Squadron and the Recruits Depot. A month later it moved to Houslow and then to Dover where it was engaged in training crews for operations and working up itself. It went to France on 23 December 1915 and joined No 2 Wing in January 1916 with its B,E.2c's. Its first operation , a reconnaissance of the British Army's front was flown on 10th january. A week later No 15 lost its first crew to a Fokker. In March it moved to to the 4th Army front, the Somme, but before the month was out it became a corps squadron attached to VIII Corps. It was mainly involved in artillary 'shoots', photography and contact patrols. That summer it took part in the Somme offensive. As light relief it would attack German observation balloons, often shooting them down in flames.. Later in the battle No 15 was tranferred to V Corpsfor 'air liaison' work; in other words any task the Corps commander wanted.

These included ground strafing and bombing in addition to normal corps duties.

By the end of the year No 15 had transferred to to XIII Corps and continued actively on operations despite the bitter weather.

In the battle of Arras in 1917 the Squadron was heavily involved, but in May1917 re-equiped with R.E.8's and after a period with the General Reserve joined IV Corps. With this organiastion it also engaged in bombing raids in the autumn of 1917flying with other squadrons in mass raids over the lines. Then it was fully involvedin the battle of Cambrai and after that with the German offensive in the March of 1918. Artillery observation was always the priority and No 15 flew many long hours over German positions recording the fall of shells and reporting them by morse code to their own batteries. being often shelled themselves by anti aircraft fire.

When the Allies took the offensive in the summer of 1918 No 15 was very busy. A new task came its way, that of dropping ammunition to the forward troops. It remained heavily involved until the Armistice in November 1918, after which it moved wherever V Corps went, In January 1919 it relinquished its aircraft, eventually returning to UK and dibanding at Fowlmere on 31st December 1919.

Apart from the airraft mentiined above also on strength at different times were a few Bristol Scouts in 1916 and F.E 2b's

In 1916 the Squadron was allocated an identity marking consiting of a (white?) band painted around the fuselage immediately in front of the tailplane

I hope this helps

Regards

Roger

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Then it was fully involved in the battle of Cambrai and after that with the German offensive in the March of 1918.

In 1916 the Squadron was allocated an identity marking consiting of a (white?) band painted around the fuselage immediately in front of the tailplane

The squadron marking was a white band that was used up to 22nd March 1918 (according to Les Rogers 'British Aviation Squadron Markings of WW1'). The aircraft numbers were painted on the fuselage behind the cockade as well as on the top decking.

It is interesting to note that Number 15 squadron had to move three times in a matter of days between the 22nd and 26th March 1918 during the German offensive (Lavieville, Lahoussoye and finally Fienvillers). Not an easy way to fight a war, with effectively 'by the side of the road' aircraft maintenance.

Steve

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The squadron marking was a white band that was used up to 22nd March 1918 (according to Les Rogers 'British Aviation Squadron Markings of WW1'). The aircraft numbers were painted on the fuselage behind the cockade as well as on the top decking.

It is interesting to note that Number 15 squadron had to move three times in a matter of days between the 22nd and 26th March 1918 during the German offensive (Lavieville, Lahoussoye and finally Fienvillers). Not an easy way to fight a war, with effectively 'by the side of the road' aircraft maintenance.

Steve

Apparently on clear doped aircraft the band was painted black not white. Also some R.E.8's carried a squadron aircraft number (not serial number) in large size ahead of the stripe

Roger

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I'd be very interested in any info on a member of 15 Sqn; his name was Cpl. George Pilkington, he was an observer, wia October 1916. I have his MIC and entry from 'The Sky their Battlefield'.

Anyone know any more?

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