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QUIZ - Prize for winning member!

Smithy

Well-Known Member
Hello all,

Just realised whilst organising some of my things that I have an extra copy of Norman Frank's "Sky Tiger", his bio of the famous early war South African RAF ace Sailor Malan. The copy is in good nick, still with dust jacket and all pages present and I thought I'd run a quiz here. I'll send it anywhere in the world for free to the first member who posts the correct answer. Sure it's not a Bentley or a house in the south of France up for offer but it's still a good book and you can win it for free!

I don't want to make it too, too easy so you might have to do a little digging but here's the question to win:

What is the name of the pilot in my avatar?

To get you started he's an "ace" and from the Great War.

Best of luck!

Tim
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
No sorry Paddy, not McCudden. Although this fellow did also fly the Se5a. The photo is taken in March 1918. Here's a larger image:



From a flying kit perspective, it's a great image of a first generation Sidcot and one issued before the May 1918 Air Ministry 235 Order.
 

Roughwear

Well-Known Member
He is Francis Ryan Smith of No 2 Squadron Australian Flying Corps. The photo was taken on 25th March 1918 at Savy, France.
 

Roughwear

Well-Known Member
Francis Ryan Smith, MC, DFC was an Australian flying ace of the First World War, credited with 16 aerial victories.

Francis Ryan Smith worked as a clerk before joining the Australian Imperial Force on 20 July 1915. He served with distinction in the 31st Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment and winning the Military Cross in 1916, for bravery under fire. He transferred to the Australian Flying Corps for training, then joined No. 2 Squadron AFC as a pilot on 28 February 1918.

Piloting a RAF SE.5a, he began his victory string by destroying a German Pfalz D.III fighter on 9 May 1918, and continued until he ended it with a quadruple victory on 14 October 1918, when he destroyed three Fokker D.VIIs and sent another one down out of control. His final tally amounted to eight enemy fighters sent down out of control, seven others destroyed, and an enemy observation plane shot down out of control.

Along the way, Smith became a Flight Leader by mid September 1918; he also became his squadron's leading ace. Additionally, he became the squadron's final casualty, being shot down on 10 November 1918. Although downed behind enemy lines, he evaded capture by donning civilian clothing and covering 40 miles back to his squadron mess. He found his squadron-mates celebrating the Armistice ending the war. Here is is DFC citation.


"This officer combines high individual enterprise and determination with exceptionally able leadership. These qualities were conspicuous on 14 October, when, leading a patrol of five machines, he saw a formation of twelve Fokker biplanes above him. Relying on the co-operation of another higher formation of Bristol machines, he, deliberately manoeuvred his formation into a disadvantageous position in order that our higher patrol might be able to attack the enemy while the latter's attention was concentrated upon destroying his, Lt. Smith's, formation. The stratagem was entirely successful, with the result that two enemy machines were destroyed and two others were believed to crash. The Fokkers were then reinforced by eight more machines, and in the ensuing combat Lt. Smith shot down one in flames, his patrol destroying two others. We suffered no casualties."
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
Once again Andrew, well done. And Paddy I really feel a bit sorry for you as you were so close - especially loved the Savy comment, thought you had it there!

FRS was a stellar pilot and exceptionally good flight leader. I have the unit war diary for 2 Sqn, AFC for 1918 and he was in the thick of it a hell of a lot. I have a copy of his handwritten report dated 13th November 1918 about his escapades after being shot down on the 10th, he certainly had some close shaves!

I'll whizz you a PM Andrew about where to send the book ;)

Thanks to all who had a stab at guessing as well!
 
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