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    Features on the Australian Flying Corps


    Lt Col Oswald "Ossie" Watt : One of the great leaders of the Australian Flying Corps. His military aviation career began when war broke out while he was flying at Bleriot's aerodrome in France. He joined the French Foreign Legion and flew with the French Aviation Militaire before joining the Australian Flying Corps and being posted to 1 AFC in Palestine. He was Commanding Officer of 2 Squadron AFC during it's initial stint in France and then was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel to command 1 Wing AFC. This feature attempts to depict Watt's life and his impact on the men who served with him through words and photographs.

    Twenty Five Days over Cambrai : 2 Sqn Australian Flying Corps was the first scout squadron of the AFC to become operational in France. Equipped with the by then obselescent Airco DH5 which was found wanting in the scout role, the squadron, led by then Major Oswald Watt, was almost immediately caught up in the Battle for Cambrai. Their slow and pugnacious DH5's being used in the Army support role. November saw the squadrons first loss and their first victory. By mid December when the squadron was re-equipped with SE5a Scouts the squadron was an effective fighting force in the allied aerial armoury. This feature tracks the squadrons growth from frontline naivety to operational maturity in the space of two short torrid months through the RFC Communiques.

    The Air War Over Palestine : 1 Sqn Australian Flying Corps was the first full squadron the Australian Flying Corps sent overseas for operational service. Alongside 14 Sqn Royal Flying Corps the pair of allied squadrons flew against the German Flieger-Abteilung 300 until December of 1917 when both sides added greater air strength, the allies to add to Allenby's proposed offensives and the Germans and Turkish, to counter growing numbers of entente aircraft.

    Hannes Täger has been researching into the reports of the Kriegs-Chronik der Leipziger Neuesten Nachrichten and has kindly shared his research so that it can be published here. This is the air war over Palestine and Mesopotamia as it appeared in the Turkish Headquarters Reports in the Kriegs-Chronik der Leipziger Neuesten Nachrichten.