RFC Log Book and Paperwork To A Sopwith Camel Pilo
A fascinating group of artefacts to a young Royal Flying Corps Officer, 2nd. Lt. Ernest John Lainchbury who, despite being injured in a crash, survived the war and later served with the Chipping Norton Home Guard during WW11.
The collection comprises:
RFC – Pilots Flying Log Book to Lieut. E.J. Lainchbury. Army Book 425 Pilot’s Flying Log Book 1917-1918, commencing entries December 6th 1917 – dual instruction with Captain Miers on DH6 for 25 minutes, further flights during December on DH6 solo flight on Avro 504. Restricted flying for two months, recommencing with Avro in early March (notes including ‘landing due to fog and ‘Rotten Landings’).
First Solo on Avros, further dual with loops, turns and spirals half-rolls and stalling –turns etc; mostly solo flights during earl April: graduation to Sopwith Pup No 1796 for 25 minutes, annotated ‘Bent axle and broken lug on firs solo’, continues through April on Pups, incidents included ‘forced landing due to throttle rod unsecured and Cross country – crashed in ditch due to engine trouble’, the same day at 7.45 ‘First solo flight on Sopwith Camel No 9138.
Continuing on Camel to end of week April 29th; very active 2nd week of May with three or four flights per day, variously annotated ‘Air-raid warning, aerial firing, loops, rolls and spins, forced landing thunderstorm, cross-wind take-off and stunts etc’ similar continues to May 16: short leave and transfer to France, having completed 64 hours 35 minutes total flying time, of which 47hrs 50mins solo.
Next entry states May 26th Aerodrome Bellevue (Nr Doulens) ‘First Flight in France on Sopwith Camel allotted to me’ (No 111661T): May 27th entry shows two patrols annotated ‘Formation with my Flight Commander- he took us over Arras and around generally: May 28th ‘1hr patrol – Aerial firing. May 31st 2.15pm 30 min. Crashed. Spun into the ground from 50ft. Concussion and injuries to face, admitted to hospital. Condition of machine not known. Time in air 9hr. 40 mins. Total time 74 hr. 15 mins. Flying entries concluded.
Towards the back of the log Book are two pages of handwritten notes on general flying and aerial fighting tactics, attack and defence and other rules to be observed. Log Book in generally very good condition.
Together with his RFC Book `Standing Orders` No.2 Cadet Wing by Lieut-Col. J.H. Arden DSO, manuscript inscribed E.J. Lainchbury 89662, Flight 15 D-Squadron in pencil to front-cover dated Aug. 1917 (1).
His original Commission Document with envelope. Very good condition.
A copy of The London Gazette dated 14 November 1917 posted to him and showing his promotion. Very good condition
An Ordnance Survey Map of South West England with the RFC Squadron Stamp. Good, slightly at fault
His Army Book 439 showing his personal details. Very good condition.
Also included is a copy of "Open Cockpit" by Arthur Gould Lee, whom Lainchbury mentions having flown with during formation training at Dartford. One of Lainchbury's instructors, Lt. N Nicholson is mentioned in Gould's book.