|ROYAL FLYING CORPS|
(* = pictures with sound f/x)
Virtually all the WW1 images on this site are from the photo albums of 2 former members of 100 Squadron RFC. Most are from my own father's personal album and a few were given to me by the late Roy Shillinglaw (an interview with whom follows below)
I have interviewed several World War One veterans about their hair-raising experiences. They are nearly all dead now. Here is an aerial photo that one took back in 1918 from the cockpit of his bi-plane! I scanned this from a tiny sepia photo. This photo could easily have been taken from this plane (note the forward projecting 'pitot tube' which was a device for measuring airspeed).
The following photos were taken by members of 100 squadron RFC * in 1918.This famous band of intrepid young aviators twice bearded Baron Von Richtofen's incomparable squadron 'Jasta 11' in its Douai stronghold in Eastern France. Their exploits were unimaginably brave considering the ramshackle planes they flew by day and by night.This is an FE2C.The propellor is at the back.
On August 10th 1918 the squadron moved from their airfield at Ochey to Xaffévillers, fifty miles to the south. Here is a QuickTime VR panorama (173 k) of the site of Xaffévillers aerodrome today. You will see it is now just fields.
Two of these guys died there when their plane hit a tree on take-off and exploded. Here are their graves today in the solace of the forest near Charmes, France.
This is the pilot *(from the second picture back) photographed when airborne by his Observer (seated in front). Looks like he's having fun so far.
Until this happens....
One airman informed me of their 'recreational' excursions at the 'auberge' in nearby Nancy where these rather cheeky looking maidens *awaited. He said that some of the local French men were jealous of, and frustrated by the preferential treatment offered to the (richer) British Officers by Madame and her charges. The locals would vent their frustration, understandably, by shooting at the British airmen as they left the establishment. Apparently they were bad shots and added extra excitement to the night's adventure.
This is my father Captain H.B.Wilson * DFC (1896-1982) . He was a member of 100 Squadron at that time and some of these photos were taken by him.
My meeting with Roy Shillinglaw:
In May 1988 I tracked down the last surviving member of 100 Squadron to an Isle of Man address. I wrote to him not knowing what to expect; for surely now he would be a very frail and venerable old man indeed.
Roy celebrated his 100th birthday on May 16th ,1999. 100 Squadron did a 4 plane flypast for him! At that time he lived in a nursing home in Douglas (Isle of Man). During these birthday celebrations he was awarded the Legion D'Honeur by the French Government.
Roy passed away on September 24th 1999.
At the next link there are the transcript of my talk with Roy Shillinglaw (which took place over a period of days, at his home in the Isle of Man)
Interview Index page
Emails I have received about these pages
More pictures of 100 squadron RFC from my father's album
Various WW1 related objects in my possession and some found at the old aerodrome site nearXaffévillers in France
The Annals of 100 Squadron (The whole book)