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RAF SE5a F5457

SE5a F5457

This profile is taken from a photograph in "High Adventure" of the aircraft of G.H. Blaxland marked with the caption, "Lieutenant G.H. Blaxland and his air mechanic (Name unknown) pose before a B Flight SE5a. This aircraft carries a particurlarly interesting set of white markings, the style of the figure being wuite unusual." The serial in the photograph is not openly apparent, but the last two numbers are 5 and 7. 2 Squadron AFC had two aircraft with that sequence of numbers in late 1918, E5757 which came from 32 Squadron RAF and F5457. E5757 bore the flight marking "1". F5457 was taken on strength by the squadron on the 14th of October 1918 and sent to 1 ASD on the 18th of November 1918.

Geoffrey Blaxland was born in Broken Hill, New South Wales and was a student in Western Australia before joining up with the 10th Australian Lighthorse. Blaxlands operational service was interupted after an unfortunate incident where Blaxland shot down a French aircraft. Blaxland was posted soon after the incident to 8 Sqn AFC as part of the Australian Flying Corps Training Wing. Blaxland later returned to the squadron and posted 6 more victories in the last month of the war including three in F5457.

Blaxland was promoted to Flight Commander with 2 Sqn on the 2nd of October 1918 and flew 39 operational hours with the squadron. Blaxland was obviously an effective air fighter and a keen shot, given six months service in an operational squadron his victory count by wars end may have been much higher.

Australian Flying Corps : A Complete History of the Australian Flying Corps