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Old 28th August 2018, 03:00
Col Bruggy Col Bruggy is offline
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Join Date: May 2010
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Re: 14 Squadron "D" Flight's Vickers Vincent > later transferred to 45 Squadron (Nov.35)

Hello,

Here is what the history books have to say:

As part of the RAF's expansion scheme, and in the shadow of the Abyssinian Crisis, a fourth Flight, "D" Flight under Flt Lt J G Franks was added to the Squadron (No.14), in September (1935). The Flight's Gordon aircraft were supplied by 6 Squadron (which itself was re-equipping with the Hawker Hardy) and the Flight started an intensive work-up to prepare themselves for operations. Over the next three months they practised dive-bombing, air firing, night flying, photography, formation flying, searching and reconnaissance skills.

"D" Flight completed their work-up on 8 January (1936). Sadly rather than remaining with 14 Squadron, they were immediately equipped with Vincents and sent to join 45 Squadron as part of the response to developments in Abyssinia.

See:
Winged Crusaders The Exploits of 14 Squadron RFC & RAF 1915-1945.
Napier,Michael.
Barnsley:Pen & Sword Aviation,2012.
pp.139-40'

and ...

In the meantime, while No 6 Sqn had been exchanging its old Gordons for Harts at Ismailia, it had formed a D Flight mounted on Demons. At Amman No 14 Sqn, also with Gordons, also formed a D Flight but was not itself re-equipped. In January 1936 everyone changed partners. No 45 Sqn passed its Hart-equipped D Flight to the by now Hart-flying No 6 Sqn on the 6th. This displaced their Demon-equipped D Flight which was transferred on the same day to the Demon-flying No 29 Sqn. No.14 Sqn's Gordon-equipped D Flight (Flt Lt J G Franks, Fg Off D P McKeown,and Plt Offs W I Collett and F J O Lasbrey) joined the Vincent-equipped No 45 Sqn on the 10th.

It all seems to have been very complicated and it is difficult now to understand why the establishment of each squadron was not simply increased by one permanent flight. There must have been a sound rationale behind the adoption of such a convoluted procedure at the time but it is no longer clear why it was considered necessary to indulge in this curious game of 'musical flights'.

See:
Flying Camels The History of No 45 Sqn RAF.
Jefford,C J, W/C MBE, BA, RAF Retd,
High Wycombe:Author,1995.
pp.113-4

In Annex L, Jefford has a listing of all known Gordons, Harts and Vincents that served on 45 Sqn.

Col.

Last edited by Col Bruggy; 28th August 2018 at 04:04.
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