Clickerty Click

66 Squadron, RFC & RAF, 1916 to 1919


Aircraft Profiles

A Brief Guide to 66 Sqn Markings


Sopwith Scout

The squadron was not allocated any official markings on its arrival in France during March of 1917, individual aircraft were allocated numbers at squadron level. The earliest Scouts were given number codes painted in blue and outlined in white positioned in front of the cockade A7309/2, A6152/3 and A6194/4 etc. One flight had white numbers in a similar position one example was A6175/5. At some stage one flight had white numbers behind the cockade, examples are B2177/3 and another coded 4.

A Flight used the letters A to F.
B Flight used numbers in front of the cockade,
C Flight letters at the end of the alphabet.

In late August 1917 squadron markings were introduced which consisted of a horizontal white bar through the centre of the fuselage either side of the cockade. The change was made to all letters in white, there is one know example of a letter in front of the cockade, B1757/A, and those behind the cockade include A6175/A, A’635/D & B2167/L.

Some aircraft seem to have had coloured wheel covers, see “British Aviation Squadron Markings of WW1, RFC, RAF, RNAS by Les Rogers and Cross and Cockade (USA) Volume 24 number 4, page 362 by John Guttman.

 

Boumphrey's Pup B1768/D - 2/Lt J W Boumphrey with over wing Lewis gun
White letter “D” aft of the cockade, standard RFC cockade. Black serial number out lined in white present on fin. Boumphrey was shot down in this aeroplane on 30 September 1917, becoming a p.o.w. Dario Silva.
Houston's Pup B1778 “PUNJAB 12 KASHMIR” – 2/Lt D H Houston
No individual code letter or number. Standard RFC cockade, Black serial number out lined in white present on fin. Houston overturned machine on 4 September 1917. Dario Silva.
Pritt's Pup B2162/N - 2/Lt WA Pritt with over wing Lewis gun
White letter “N” aft of the cockade, standard RFC cockade, the wheel covers may have been painted in blue and white. Black serial number present in white oblong box on fin. Dario Silva.
Taylor's Pup A7309/A - 2/Lt P G Taylor. White letter “A” aft of the cockpit and forward of the standard RFC cockade. Black serial number present in white oblong box on fin. Dario Silva.
Newcombe's Pup

A’635/D - 2/Lt M Newcombe.  Simmilar to Boumphrey Scout. Standard Cockade and paint finish, Letter “D” after the cockade.  Horizontal bar from end of metal work over engine to leading edge of tail plane. Hyphenated white serial presentation.  Newcome became lost on 12 October 1917 and landed when he thought he was over the Allied side of the lines only to be captured by the Germans near Thielt, Belgium. Dario Silva.


Sopwith Camel

The Camels were only coded with letters, those known examples in front of the cockade include, B5648/E, B5182/G, B6393/F, C3288/B & “V”, and those with the letter after the cockade:- B7384/A, C1904/C, B4628/D, B6413/J, B7353/L, B6424/P, D8101/P, B5623/R, B’7389/T, B5407/Q and machines coded “M”, & “V”.

A further complication with 66 squadron markings is due to 45 Sqn being with drawn in September 1918 to redeploy to France, in an attempt to deceive the Austrians, 66 squadron marked some of their aircraft with 45 Sqn markings. The marking consisted of white letter in front of the cockade a dumbbell between the cockade and tail with a smaller version repeated on the top of the fuselage in front of the tail, examples include B5181/C, F1923F & E7167/S. Camel F1923/A also had the dumbbell on the side of the fuselage but not on the top.

There is one other Camel that had none standard markings, this was B6313 the personnel mount of Capt. W.G. Barker, who replace Capt. J.M. Warnock as C flight commander on 10 April 1918.
Barker was posted in from 28 Sqn and brought the aeroplane with him, when he left to take over command of 139 Sqn on 14 July B6313 it went with him. There are many photographs of Barkers Camel which can be used as a reference.

 

Jerrard's Camel B5648/E Lt A Jerrard
Flight letter “E” is forward of the cockade, a white vertical bar between letter and cockade and after the cockade there is a white horizontal bar, note hyphenated serial presentation letter “E” repeated on the right upper wing near the centre cut out. This was the aeroplane that Jerrard was flying on 30 March 1918 when attacking Mansue aerodrome and for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross for the action. He was forced down and captured by the Austrians, the victory was credited to Ritt. Benno Fiala von Fernbrugg the commending officer of Flik51(J).
Jon Guttman.
Rudge's Camel B6413/J Lt Rudge
Squadron markings consisted of a vertical bar in front of cockade, individual flight letter “J” and horizontal bar in centre of fuselage in white, serial presented within the white bar in front of tail. “Willie” Hilborn flew this aeroplane a few times, but on 3 April 1918 2/Lt A E Rudge swerved on landing and hit a hangar door, there was minor damage and it soon returned to service.
Jon Guttman.
Birks' Camel B6424/P Lt G Birks
Squadron markings consisted of a vertical bar in front of cockade, individual flight letter “P” and horizontal bar in centre of fuselage in white, serial presented within the white bar in front of tail. This aeroplane had quite a long 66 squadron career. It was taken on strength by 15 October 1917 and continued through to late July 1918. It was flown by J.M. Warnock, W G Francis, P Carpenter, F S Symondson, W M McDonald and W J Courtenay and N Birks.
Jon Guttman.
bartlett's Camel B7353/L Lt Bartlett
Squadron markings consisted of a vertical bar in front of cockade, individual flight letter “L” and horizontal bar in centre of fuselage in white, black serial presented on front tail, national markings on rudder. The aeroplane had been flown by Symondson and McEvoy. On 6 June 1918 whilst being flown by 2/Lt A F Bartlett he failed to return and became a POW.
Jon Guttman.
Kelly's Camel E7167/S Lt Kelly
One of a number of aeroplanes that carried 45 Squadron markings in September 1918 in an attempt to deceive the Austrians. At this time 45 Squadron was withdrawn from Italy and re-deployed to France. Individual flight white letter ”S” in front of cockade, white dumbbell just in front of tail, dumbbell repeated on top fuselage. Joined squadron 18 September and was shot down with J M Kelly on board on 22 October. Kelly became a pow but later escaped.
Jon Guttman.
Teeporten Camel

F1923/A Lt Menzies
Another deception Camel, stylized “A” individual fight letter in white before the cockade, dumbbell in front of tail in white but not repeated on fuselage. Serial number presented over national marking on rudder. Delivered to the squadron on 28 October it was flown by Tepoorten and Menzies.
Jon Guttman.

 

Bob Pearson has also done some wonderful profiles. Two of his pieces of 66 Squadron artwork are shown here.

Contact Me | ©2006 AKA Web Design