1917 - 1918 Draper 01


Naval Eight

Lambe could not have been nicer. “I am sending you to my best Squadron, Number Eight. Bromet is in command, and it will be a great opportunity for you, so look after yourself.”

After a few weeks as a Flight Commander, I discovered how true were Lambe’s words and what a name and reputation Naval Eight (as the Squadron was known) had acquired, so I was both nervous and honoured when I took over command from Bromet on his promotion to Wing Commander on 28 October 1917. I found it marvellous esprit de corps and the way we went from success to success is testimony of this. I cannot speak too warmly of my predecessor, who had built up the Squadron to this peak of efficiency.

The Sopwith Camel, with 130 h.p. Clerget rotary engine, and armed with two machine-guns, was just replacing the Sopwith Triplanes when I arrived. They were a big advance on the latter, and gave us new life, for nothing encourages a pilot so much as confidence in his machine.

At this time we began to specialise in “interference” A series of compass stations were set up along the Front, and by a direct line to our telephone exchange we received immediate news of any aircraft “spotting” for the enemy guns. We then sent out a couple of machines to try to interfere with the shoot and, if possible, attack the hostile aircraft. It should be borne in mind that to spot successfully for artillery the observation aircraft must remain in the locality all the time the guns are firing, and send back regular observations, so that if the spotting machine can be driven away the shoot is definitely upset.

The reports I received from the Army showed that of the spotting aircraft reported to us in this way we were successful in driving away some 85 per cent. In fact, we were so successful that the R.F.C. Wing Commander, under whose orders we were operating, arrived one day and said: “Draper, I’m not giving you any more of the usual daily operation orders for patrols, you will have a free hand to carry on exactly as you like.” I think this one of the greatest compliments ever paid to any Squadron.

Anecdote Homepage

1916 - 1939 Anecdotes Homepage


1917-18 Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

1917 - 1918 Draper 02
Home News Membership Chapters History Medals Galleries Contact Us
Home News Membership Chapters History Medals Galleries Contact Us
Chapters 1916-1939 Spit / Hurr Meteor Hunter Buccaneer Hawk
TemplateI-06 208 form.jpg