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Photos of a DH4 pilot


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#1 159th_Jester

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 19:40

With the up-coming release of the DH4 I thought I'd share some of my Grandfather's photos.

First of all: Meet my Grandfather, 2/Lt William H. Thomas. The first photo was taken prior to his ceommencing pilot training in 1917 (note he's not got pilot's wings).

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A later photo taken either at Netheravon during his advanced training or early in his time in France:

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A later photo wearing RAF rather than RFC uniform:

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On the 10th of November 1918, 55 Sqn flew its final combat mission to bomb Cologne. My Grandfather and his observer (2/Lt J.D. Adams) were the photo machine on this flight tasked with recording the results of the raid. Although none of these show the actual target or any damage, they are photos of Cologne taken that day:

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After the Armistice my Grandfather was tasked with postal deliveries along with many of the aircrew still stationed in France. Here's a couple of aerial photos of the ex German aerodrome at Morville:

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Few more photos:

From left to right: 1/Lt Griffiths, 2/Lt Hawes, 2/Lt Clutsom, Capt. Green, 1/Lt Clarke, Capt. Philcox (i/c 55 Sqn), 2/Lt Thomas

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DH9

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Nice shot of RAF flying gear in 1918

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55 Squadron aircrew late 1918. My Grandfather is third from left in the third row. Capt Philcox (i/c 55 Sqn according to my research) is 5th from left in the front row. I think the Scots officer sitting to Philcox's left may be Capt McGreggor DFC who had at least five kills. This identification is debated (when I allowed the folks from Corss and Cockade to scan these documents opinion on whether this is or isn't in fact McGreggor was divided.

I find the photo fasinating as the variation in uniforms illustrates how the RAF in late 1918 was still very much in transition from the RFC and how the longer serving officers held onto their "old" affiliations.

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Not quite sure how or where my Grandfather got this photo, but it's interesting none-the-less: Sopwith Dolphin undergoing maintenance

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#2 hq_Jorri

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 19:42

That's really something, thank you for sharing the photos and the story, and continue to be proud of him!
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#3 159th_Jester

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 19:44

Thanks Jorri.

One more for now: My favourite photo in his collection: DH4 in flight

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#4 LordNeuro_Srb

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 19:45

Gr8 pictures and thx for shering it with us. U need to be proud of u grand father :S!:
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#5 hq_Jorri

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 19:46

Oh wow, these photos are really precious :D
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#6 159th_Jester

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 19:48

I've reduced the scans to about 25%. The original scans are TIFF files so each photo is about 30MB…… Photobucket wouldn't like that!! :lol:
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#7 WW1EAF_Paf

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 19:49

Thank you :)
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#8 WF2

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 19:50

Priceless! Just awesome. Thanks for posting them and thanks to your granddad too.
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#9 159th_Jester

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 19:54

It's a pleasure to share. :)

The thing that scares me about these photos is that I have to keep reminding myself that when they were taken, my Grandfather was about the same age as my daughter is now. I can only imagine what my Great-grandparents were going through while he was on active service…. And thank God he was only there for the last couple of months of the war.
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#10 Lukasito

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 19:55

Great photos :shock: thanks for sharing. Your Grandfather was a very brave man. :S!:
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#11 Fabioccio

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 19:57

Really nice photos and story, thanks 4 sharing.
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#12 HotTom

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 19:59

Great stuff!

Thanks for posting!
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#13 sallee

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 20:00

Thanks, Jester……I hope it's tomorrow :)
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#14 Dunringill

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 20:03

Thanks for sharing!

I wonder what the "tracks" that are coming out of the large hanger in the Morville pictures were for?
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#15 159th_Jester

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 20:08

Thanks for sharing!

I wonder what the "tracks" that are coming out of the large hanger in the Morville pictures were for?


I must admit, I have no idea. Glad you asked though: Made me go back and look at my first post again and realise I'd duplicated that photo. I've edited the post and added the second picture of Morville I meant to post in the first place! :oops:
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#16 Endy

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 20:20

Thanks for posting, those photos are fantastic.
They've aged well too.

A real part of history. :S!:
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#17 Dunringill

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 20:29

Thanks for sharing!

I wonder what the "tracks" that are coming out of the large hanger in the Morville pictures were for?


I must admit, I have no idea. Glad you asked though: Made me go back and look at my first post again and realise I'd duplicated that photo. I've edited the post and added the second picture of Morville I meant to post in the first place! :oops:

Ok :) Thanks again for the pictures!
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#18 redcoat22

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 21:37

Those pictures and the story are amazing. Must make the inbound DH4 very special for you. Have you made his skin yet?

Its amazing how young he looked
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#19 159th_Jester

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 21:45

Well in the first photo he was only 17.

By the later stages of the war, the RFC (and later RAF) had strict regulations about not sending anyone under the age of 18 to France. So he spent nearly a year undergoing advanced training at Netheravon before being posted to 55 Sqn.

And you're quite right, Redcoat…. I've been waiting for a high fidelity DH4 in a flight sim since…. Well since I started flying flight sims! :)
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#20 SYN_Vander

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 22:16

Very nice. Thanks for sharing!
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#21 P210

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 22:23

A very special post indeed. Thank you for sharing these photos and some of his story. I would love to see and read more.
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#22 pedrotrindade

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 22:25

Very cool, thanks for sharing!

S!
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#23 Jason_Williams

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 22:46

Very cool pics! I've been to Cologne and to the Cathedral there. Neat to see it as it was back then.

Jason
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#24 TheBlackPenguin

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 22:49

The quality is so good it almost seems unreal :). Thanks for sharing and for holding onto them.
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#25 159th_Jester

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 22:59

Believe it or not they've actually lost some quality from reducing them and converting them from TIFF files to JPEGS.

One of his photos is of a crash that took place whilst he was training. On the TIFF file the quality is so clear you can zoom in and read the maker's name "Palmer" on one of the tyres.

Unfortunately the original scans are huge (over 30MB per photo for the larger ones) which makes them pretty well impossible to post I'm afraid.

I'll go through the rest of the collection as I get time and if I come across any that may be of interest I'll convert them to JPEGS and post them. A lot of them are just the typical photos a group of lads in their late teens and early twenties would take…. Standing around smoking or messing about.

I've also got his handwritten training notes scanned, but I seriously doubt they'll be any use after resizing and converting them.
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#26 TheBlackPenguin

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 23:08

Have you used Dropbox before? You can get it here and it comes with 2GB free space including a Public folder where you can share files.
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#27 SYN_Kollwitz

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 23:16

very nice, thx for posting!
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#28 Spag

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 23:33

Lest we Forget.
To all those who didn't return and have grandchildren.
So many more RoF flyers who were never born.
Spag.
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Bite off more than you can chew.

Then chew like Hell ! ! !


#29 SYN_Mike77

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:37

excellent photos! I'm going to go out on a limb and guess you preordered the Dh4?
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#30 JohnnyDNGRSLY

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 04:35

With the up-coming release of the DH4 I thought I'd share some of my Grandfather's photos.
Truly amazing pictures there. Sobering stuff. It helps that I've been reading a lot about the late war in Peter Hart's "Aces Falling". Please let us know if you're able to get more (or higher quality) photos posted somewhere else online.
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#31 Wildfowler

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 04:43

Great pictures!

I notice on the picture of your Grandfathers DH4 in flight what appear to be streamers or something coming back from the elevators.

Any idea what they are? Or am I just not seeing it properly?

Thanks again for the pics!
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#32 Panthercules

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 04:53

Yes - some really wonderful pictures - thanks for sharing.

Please check your PM :)
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#33 MarcoRossolini

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 05:45

Incredible photos especially the last one, and he's so young in those pictures (I mean no disrespect of course)
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#34 SYN_Speck

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 05:56

Amazing photos, thanks so much for sharing. I can't believe how low they flew over Cologne! Incredibly, it looks like pedestrians can be seen walking in the streets around the cathedral.. I wonder what they thought of the DH4s flying past just a couple thousand feet up?
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#35 =Fifi=

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 06:08

Yes, great pictures. Keep them preciously!
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#36 Flashy

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 06:09

Great Stuff Jester! I really enjoyed those pics. +1 to posting more when you get the time! :)
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Just because I can give multiple orgasms to the furniture just by sitting on it, doesn't mean that I'm not sick of this damn war: the blood, the noise, the endless poetry...


#37 RAWeir_GrauBart

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 06:48

Amazing pictures and story, so great that you have a next generation of family to pass them on to. :S!:
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#38 SYN_MrWolf

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 08:05

Nice, would be cool to try to mimic the aerial photo in
Rof when the DH4 is released.
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#39 Nomad0406

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 09:47

Amazing photos. I love old photos, these are real gem. Thanks for sharing them with us.
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#40 jeanba4

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 10:15

Very interesting, think you

I did not know that British DH4 bombed Cologne, where did they operate from ?
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