KITS 06/2022

E5165 No. 8 (Training) Squadron AFC, Leighterton, United Kingdom, September 1918

This Camel was produced as a standard F.1 version with LeRhône engine by Portholme Aereodrome.

It was subsequently converted and assigned to

No. 8 (Training) Squadron Australian Flying Corps

based at Leighterton. This was one of four Austra-

lian training squadrons (Nos. 5; 6; 7; 8) and service

with them was not as easy and safe as it might seem.

According to statistics, on average each student

pilot destroyed six landing gear and two complete

aircraft. At the end of the war, 25 Australian pilots

died during the training. All of them are buried in

a cemetery near Leighterton.

E5165, Lt. L. C. Sheffield, No. 151 Squadron RAF, Vignacourt, France, September 1918

Comic E5165 was transferred from No. 8 (Training)

Squadron AFC to No. 151 Squadron, which was only

formed on June 12, 1918, as the first offensive night

fighter unit. It was made up of three flights, one each

from No. 44, No. 78 and No. 112 Sqn, with Maj Murlis-Green taking command. Its mission was to attack

German night bombers when they were still above

France territory. E5165 also served there from Sep-

tember 13, along with E5164, to the trials of a new

night color NIVO (Night Invisible Varnish Oxfordness)

paint. An emergency landing on September 19 ended the trials in this case, the pilot Lt. L. C. Sheffield

escaped uninjured. The damaged aircraft was taken

to the Aircraft Service Depot on September 20 for

repair but was scrapped on October 2. At the time of

testing, the fuselage and probably the wing cockades

were preserved, but their edges bore signs of irregularity due to careless repainting of the aircraft. The

dark nose was either black or also in NIVO color. This

color was eventually not used operationally during

the war but became the standard coloring for post-war RAF night bomber aircraft. Its use was discontinued in the mid-1930s.

B4614, No. 44 (HD) Squadron, B flight, Hainault Farm, United Kingdom, February 1918

This Comic was manufactured as a standard Camel

F.1 by Portholme Aerodrome and subsequently converted. It served with No. 44 (HD) Squadron from

February 16, 1918, the very next day it took part in

a night Anti-Gotha patrol with Lt. R. G. H. Adams at

controls. Another operational flight with this aircraft


INFO Eduard

is documented from May 19, 1918, when the aircraft

was flown by Lt. W. E. Nicholson. Although this Comic

was used for night operational flights, it retained, at

least according to available photographs, the standard cockades on the fuselage as well as the serial

number, which appears in the photograph to be blue

rather than the standard black. The appearance of

the wings cockades remains unknown, they might be

standard, as the fuselage ones, or toned down somehow.

June 2022