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Название: No 60 Sqn RFC/RAF
Автор: Alex Revell
Издательство: Osprey Publishing
Серия: Osprey Aviation Elite Units 41
ISBN: 978 1849083331
Год издания: 2011
Количество страниц: 131
Размер: 16 MB
When No 60 Sqn arrived in France in May 1916, partially equipped with the delightfully named Morane Bullet, there were only two dedicated single-seat fighter squadrons on the Western Front. Operating initially as a utility unit, No 60 Sqn's duties were mixed - reconnaissance, fighter patrols and escorts (by one Flight), as well as the landing of spies behind the enemy lines. In the opening weeks of the battles of the Somme in the summer of 1916, the squadron suffered heavy casualties. Its Commanding Officer complained to General Trenchard that this was mainly due to inadequately trained pilots and inferior aircraft. Trenchard withdrew the squadron from frontline duties. During its enforced rest and re-equipment, the observers were posted out, the squadron was re-equipped with Nieuport scouts, and individual pilots, who had shown promise as fighter pilots while flying the few single-seater scouts issued to the two-seater unit, were posted to No 60 Sqn. Chief amongst these was Capt Albert Ball MC who had already claimed 11 victories with No 11 Sqn. During his time with No 60 Sqn, Ball added another 20 victories and was awarded a DSO and Bar. After his death in May 1917, he was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross. With its return to active operations, equipped with the Nieuport, and later the SE 5 and SE 5a, No 60 Sqn rapidly became one of the most successful fighter units of the RFC. Many famous and high scoring pilots were to go through its ranks - Billy Bishop VC, Grid Caldwell, Willie Fry, 'Duke' Meintjes, S F Vincent, J E Doyle, S B Horn, R Chidlaw-Roberts and A W Saunders, to name but a few - and it finished the war with more 320 victories.