Incident Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a A8936,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 139890
 
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Date:Tuesday 22 January 1918
Time:
Type:Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a
Owner/operator:2 Sqn AFC
Registration: A8936
MSN:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Auchel airfield in the Pas-de- Calais, NW France -   France
Phase: Take off
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Auchel (Francie)
Destination airport:Savy (F)
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Narrative:
A8936 S.E.5/5a A8936 was built in 1917 as the 39th of 50 SE.5 A/c built by the Royal Aircraft Factory, at RAE Farnborough, in Rushmoor, Hampshire, England. A8936 was fitted with the 150hp (110kW) Hispano-Suiza 8Aa (HS-31), water-cooled V-8 engine No.715WD. After Royal Flying Corps (RFC) acceptance, A8936 was allocated on 15/06/1917 to the Expeditionary Force on the Western Front, and dispatched on 20/06/1917, by air, to No.1 Air Depot (1AD) at St. Omer in the Pas-de-Calais, France. On 20/07/1917, A8936 was issued to No.60 Sqn. RFC at Filescamp Farm near Arras, France. When with 60 Sqn RFC this aircraft was flown by Lt. ‘Billy’ Bishop (later Air Marshal William Avery Bishop, VC, CB, DSO & Bar, MC, DFC, ED) who amassed 72 victories (claimed) in his career, and Lt. Spencer Bertram ‘Nigger’ Horn who amassed 13 career victories. He flew A8936 to claim an Albatros DIII in flames on 5/08/1917. A8936 was returned to 1AD on 30/09/1917 after a ‘big end’ bearing failed on operations and the A/c crashed. Lt. Thompson was OK but A8936 was wrecked. On 23/08/1917 the wreck was transferred to No.2 Air Depot (2AD) at Candas, in the Somme department in Hauts-de-France in northern France, for reconstruction and conversion to SE.5a specs, including the change to a 200hp (150kW) Hispano–Suiza liquid-cooled V8 engine No.115669. A8936 was allocated on 15/12/1917 to No.2 Sqn Australian Flying Corps (AFC) aka No 68 (Australian) Sqn RFC, based at Baizieux airfield, 98klm SE of St. Omer. On 16/12/1917 at 10:55, Lt. Les Holden left 2AD for the 10min delivery flight to No.2 Sqn at Baizieux. At 15:35 on 21/12/1917 Lt. L. Holden made a 20min test flight in A8936 and at 11:15 on 25/12/1917, Lt. L. Holden made a 90min practice flight. At 11:10 on 9/01/1918 Capt. R.C. Phillipps departed Baizieux airfield with 3 other A/c for No,2 Sqn’s new base No.2 Sqn’s new base at Auchel aerodrome in the Pas-de-Calais, 72km NNE of Amiens. But Auchel soon proved inadequate for the needs of No.2 Sqn which quickly moved to the Savy-Berlette aerodrome, 18klm NW of Arras, on 22/01/1918. On 20/01/1918 at 15:00, Lt. L.H. Holden made a 25min practice flight in A8936. On 22/01/1918, Lt. Les Holden left Auchel for a travel flight to the new No.2 Sqn base at Savy, but crashed on take-off due to carburettor trouble. Lt. Holden was uninjured but A8936 was a wreck again. The A/c was struck off charge and returned to 1ASD Repair Park, arriving at St. Omer on 26/01/1918. On 24/02/1918, A8936 was noted as on charge under reconstruction with the Repair Park at 1ASD, now fitted with the 200hp (150kW) Hispano–Suiza liquid-cooled V8 engine No.115690. On 13/03/1918 Lt. Statham of 1ASD was uninjured when A8936 hit a bump landing at Sat. Omer and the A/c turned on its nose. On 25/03/1918 A8936 was struck of charge for the last time. The final fate of A8936 is unreported.

Sources:

First World War Diaries - AWM4, Sub-class 8/5 No 2 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps
2 Sqn ORB's - AWM
Plus various cross referenced research - incl RAF A/c records and possibly from McGuinness but now so long ago that the detail has been lost to me - sorry. Narrative is an excerpt from my own WIP works on individual SE5A service with the AFC.

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
14-Nov-2011 10:29 Nepa Added
14-Nov-2011 11:20 Nepa Updated [Total occupants]
12-Feb-2021 14:45 Nepa Updated [Other fatalities, Location, Destination airport, Operator]
19-Aug-2023 05:29 Sharpienoone Updated [[Other fatalities, Location, Destination airport, Operator]]

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