No 56 Sqn RAF/RFC

No 56 Sqn RAF/RFC

Aviation Elite Units 33
  • Author: Alex Revell
  • Illustrator: Harry Dempsey
  • Short code: AEU 33
  • Publication Date: 10 Sep 2009
  • ISBN: 9781846034282
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number of Pages: 128
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About this Product

By the autumn of 1916, with the formation of the new Jagdstaffeln, the pendulum of aerial supremacy had once again swung in favour of the German Air Force. The battle of the Somme in 1916 saw the RFC suffer losses of nearly 400 aircrew between September and November, and British casualties were to reach a zenith in the 'Bloody April' of 1917 when 319 aircrew were lost, killed or taken prisoner of war. This was the situation when No 56 Squadron arrived in France at the end of April 1917. Equipped with the superb new SE 5, it was the first fighter squadron of the RFC to be able to meet the Albatros and Halberstadt fighters of the Jagdstaffeln on equal terms. The squadron's pilots won an incredible tally of decorations, and by the end of the hostilities many famous fighter pilots had passed through its ranks Albert Ball VC, Canadian Hank Burden and American Robert Caldwell to name but a few. In this study, Alex Revell uncovers the early days and development of No 56 Squadron, its victories and losses, and the birth of a proud tradition.

Biographical Note

Alex Revell has been interested in World War 1 aviation since the age of six, when he began reading the famous John Hamilton series of aviation classics. Other interests intervened in his teens, but he began serious aviation research in the early 1960s. Primarily interested in people and their role in the 1914-18 air war, he traced and interviewed many ex-members of the RFC/RAF/RNAS and is particularly proud that many of them became personal family friends. An internationally acknowledged researcher into the history of the RFC/RAF and RNAS during World War 1, Alex Revell has had many articles published in specialist aviation magazines and the journals of Cross and Cockade International and The First World War Aviation Historical Society, of which he is a founder member. His has written a number of aviation-related World War 1 titles over the years. Alex Revell's latest book, British Single-Seater Fighter Squadrons on The Western Front in World War 1, was recently awarded ‘Book of the Month' in Aeroplane Monthly. A retired engineer and also a jazz musician of international repute, Alex Revell lives in Cornwall with his wife Linda and three Burmese cats.Berkshire-based Harry Dempsey is a talented profile artist who specialises in fighter aircraft of World War 1. He has illustrated all of Osprey's World War 1 Aircraft of the Aces titles to date.

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