Cross & Cockade International Autumn 2023 Volume 54/3
Annual Subscription £ 32.00 plus shipping; £ 20.00 Digital
The Great War Aviation Historical Society is a non-profit UK-based group that publishes the Cross & Cockade International journal four times a year. Issues are available in printed or digital formats. They also provide a free newsletter (sign up on their website) and occasionally publish WWI themed books like the “Sopwith Dolphin” monograph, which I reviewed earlier for IPMS/USA. Cross & Cockade International is the sister of the US journal Over the Front.
This issue features a colorized cover photograph of a Sopwith Camel, B5160, with a Clerget 9b engine. It was later lost in action on November 6, 1917, when 2Lt. R.C. Taylor lost his bearing and ran out of fuel on a counteroffensive patrol. The rear outside cover presents a colorized photograph and a black and white photograph of a Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter, A8252. Flying with 43 Squadron, it was brought down in combat while on a photography mission to Douai, France. The top photograph shows A8252 in British markings and the lower photograph depicts it in German markings. The center section, The Gazetteer Part 15, covers PER-RIB, however, no fold out map is included with this issue as in the past. The section consists of six black and white photos and fifteen black and white maps.
The late Stewart K. Taylor leads off this issue with “Emotional Overload’, a 26-page article about 2Lt. William Henry ‘Bill’ Boyd. Serving with RFC/RAF 3 Squadron in 1918, Boyd was involved in wireless interception duties, enemy aerodrome attacks, and quite dangerous ground attack missions. The top of page 54.164 shows him leaning on what most viewers would think was his personal mount. Due to Boyd’s superstitions, he was afraid of having a picture taken with his Sopwith Camel that he flew in combat. Therefore, the plane in this photograph - B9319 - was one he had flown, but never on a combat mission. Short biographies of Canadian pilots that flew with Boyd in 3 Squadron are also included throughout the article.
Ian Burns is up next with “A Flight to Damascus”. This five-page tale includes nine black and white captioned photographs and a map. Burns describes a rather unique flight by a Short Type 184 seaplane from the HMS Anne, a seaplane carrier. The HMS Anne was also interesting in that it was a captured German freighter, the Aenne Rickmers, that had been launched by Germany on February 16, 1911. It was seized in August 1914 by the British in Port Said, Egypt. It initially carried two Nieuport VI. H float planes. The HMS Anne later took on Short Type 184 seaplanes on August 2, 1915. Pilots and observers are shown at the top of page 54.174 wearing an unusual mix of outfits. I found it interesting that they were wearing shorts combined with long-sleeved jackets and even overcoats. The black and white photograph at the bottom of the page is a representative of the Short Type 184 seaplanes that served with the HMS Anne.
“Lost South African Air Personnel Finally Identified” by Nicholas J. Severs shares a detailed analysis about the discovery of the remains of two South African airmen. This eighteen-page article has twelve black and white photographs, two black and white maps, and eight detailed tables. Page 54.181 shows a RFC report on casualties and a combat report. The two airmen that are focused on were 2LT. J.C. Rimer and 2LT R.H. Lownds of 43 Squadron, RFC. Both were killed in combat with Manfred von Richthofen’s Jasta 11 and until this investigation had not had their graves identified.
Andy Thomas delivers the last article with The Memoirs of Major S.E. Parker. This article is eighteen pages and includes 25 black and white photographs. Major S.E. Parker saw combat with 1 Squadron and 60 Squadron [See Issue 49/4 for his combat experiences] before being assigned back in England to develop new pilots. Andy Thomas focuses on his instruction experiences at Gosport and Beaulieu. His first assignment was at Gosport working with the Avro 504K trainers. Page 54.204 depicts the rare occurrence of a Sopwith Baby that crashed into a wireless tower. Apparently, the pilot noticed the tower too late and attempted to pull up to clear it but ended up stalling the aircraft, hitting the tower at a very low speed. A sailor took charge and scrambled up the tower to rescue the shaken-up pilot.
Within the Modeling section, Joe Moran highlights market news and builds the KP 1/72 Sopwith Triplane. He notes that the Roden kit is easily the best Sopwith Triplane in 1/72 but be prepared for a rigging challenge. The KP kit does come with interesting decals for N5486. It was supplied to the Russian government in May 1917 for evaluation but was later captured by the Bolshevists who simply placed a Red Star on top of the British roundels. Bob Gladding extols the joys of building a Roden 1/72 kit Albatros D.II fighter. He finishes it up with Boelcke’s markings but had to outsource the airframe serial number from an Encore Models kit.
The Bookshelf section contains reviews of five WWI aviation-specific books and magazines.
As usual, this is another incredible issue from Cross & Cockade International. I am always impressed with the quality of the articles, both from a research perspective, and readability. The period pictures, maps, and drawings in this journal come off looking great thanks to the journal's glossy paper. If you are into early / WWI aviation, this journal is an incredible source of information that will have you on the edge of your seat waiting for the next issue. My thanks to Cross & Cockade International and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great issue.