B3781, FSL Aubrey B. Ellwood, No. 3(N) Squadron RNAS, Saint-Pol, France, July 1917
A. B. Ellwood, son of Reverend C. E. Ellwood, joined the Royal Navy in June 1916. In April 1917 he was posted to No. 3(N) Sqn and
served with this unit until May 1918 (by which time it had been redesignated No. 203 Sqn). Ellwood achieved a total of ten kills,
the first of them when flying this Camel B3781 on June 27, 1917. His victim was an unspecified German floatplane. On his second
victory (January 30, 1918) he was already flying another Camel (B6408), as B3781 had been seriously damaged in a crash by J. W.
P. Ambrose on August 27, 1917. However, the aircraft was repaired, assigned to No. 9(N) Sqn at the end of October, and in February 1918 was credited to No. 10(N) Sqn. Here it was shot down with FSL G. T. Steeves behind controls on March 18. Steeves was
taken POW, the aircraft was destroyed. Camel B3781 was of Sopwith factory production with red hearts painted on the wings and
fuselage during service with No. 3(N) Sqn. The upper wing hearts are clearly visible on the photo of crashed aircraft.
B6398, Ernest L. Foot, No. 1 School of Special Flying, RAF Gosport, October 1918
As colourful as the B6398 Camel was, so too was its combat career. It was manufactured by Sopwith as part of a batch of 250
aircraft. In October 1917 it was assigned to No. 1(N) Sqn. Here it had a few unlucky moments, such as a ground collision with
another aircraft (March 11, 1918) or a collision with a cow on edge of airfield during a training flight (April 7, 1918). Pilots scored
twelve kills flying B9368, six of which were credited to S. M. Kinkead, with W. R. May scoring his first two kills and R. C. B. Brading scoring four, all during September 1918. At the end of the war the aircraft was assigned to No. 1 School of Special Flying,
where it was taken over as a personal machine by E. L. Foot (5 kills). He had it decorated with Egyptian motifs. A stylized head
of Cleopatra in a black field and a snake winding along the back of the machine were added. According to the photographs taken
from both sides, it seems there was a two-headed and two-tailed red snake painted. The area of the fuselage around the cockpit
is usually depicted as red, but according to photographs it is possible the wooden parts were left in their natural color and only
the canvas behind cockpit was red. It is up to modeler to choose.
INFO Eduard - December 2021