B9287, No. 78 (HD) Squadron, Sutton´s Farm, United Kingdom, spring 1918
Produced by Boulton & Paul as a standard Camel
F.1 according to an order placed on August 2, 1917.
Aircraft in this series were mostly equipped with
the LeRhône 9J 110 hp engine, but some were given
the Clerget 9B 130 hp, which seems to be this case.
B9287 was subsequently converted to F. 1/3 Comic
and entered service with No. 78 Squadron operating
from Sutton's Farm airfield. Like some other aircraft
of this unit (e.g., Capt. Luxmoore’s one) it received
a light blue livery, but also white stripes. It is not
known from the available photographs whether the
undersurfaces were also painted in such a way, we
tend to leave them in the canvas color. However,
painting them blue, white or both cannot be ruled
out. The middle part of the fuselage, the back behind
the cockpit and the upper surface of the lower wing
up to the third rib were painted in a uniform dark colour, probably red, another possibility could be black.
The purpose of painting the part of the lower wing
with this color remains unclear. The cockades on the
wings had a slightly darkened white field at least on
the upper wing. The color used remains unclear, might be green or light blue. With this bright coloring,
the B9287 was probably used for training flights only;
for combat use the aircraft received a green paint
job later. However, this probably did not occur until
the plane was handed over to No. 44 (HD) Sqn. There,
Lt. Taylor crashed it on take-off in May. The pilot was
seriously injured and the aircraft was written off.
B2402 No. 44 (HD) Squadron, B flight, Hainault Farm, United Kingdom, January 1918
Originally a Camel F.1 from the Ruston Proctor factory,
it was soon converted to the F.1/3 Comic and served
with No. 44 (HD) Squadron, formed on July 24, 1917
at Hainault Farm airfield as a unit dedicated for the
defence of London. B2402 was flown by Capt. George
Henry Hackwill, who had two kills to his credit from
his time with No. 22 Sqn where he was flying FE2b.
After a period as an instructor, he was assigned to No.
44 (HD) Sqn as a Flight Commander. On the night of
28–29 January, he shot down Gotha G.V serial number
938/16 near Wickford (Essex) in conjunction with Lt.
Charles Chaplin Banks (him flying B3827). Hackwill,
who was from Langtree, Devon, later flew conventional Camels in France as a Flight Commander with
No. 54 Squadron. There, he increased his number of
victories to nine and received the Military Cross. His
aircraft had heavily modified cockades on the fuselage. The blue field was completely overpainted, the
red centre had an enlarged diameter and darkened
but still visible white field. The upper cockades were
probably modified in the same way. The form of the
cockades on the wings is a reconstruction based on
other known machines. The metal part of the nose
was slightly darkened with patches of green paint.
No. 44 (HD) Squadron, C flight, Hainault Farm, United Kingdom, October 1918
Comic of unknown serial number served with No. 44
Squadron, specifically with its C flight. Originally,
No. 44 (HD) Squadron aircraft were sporting white
number markings, but these were repainted after
assignment to night fighter units. Also, the insignias
were modified. This aircraft was given a non-standard small cockade on the rudder while instead of
fuselage cockades, an emblem was painted on both
sides in the form of a knight’s head in a helmet with
a crest. A total of 13 Camel Comics served with
No. 44 (HD) Squadron (B2402, B2517, B3815, B3816,
B3827, B3852, B4614, B5192, B5206, B5411, B5412,
B9287, C6712). The drawing of the knight was the emblem of C Swarm.