This is an unusual unit history in that it was written at speed early in 1919 soon after the events it recounts. The author’s history of his squadron from its inception and training at Castle Bromwich in 1916, down to the Armistice in November 1918 after its incorporation in the new RAF, cloaks the exploits of individuals under a veil of annymity, but it makes up for this in its recounting of the breezier side of war service – such as accounts of the doings of the squadron’s animal mascots. After training on Avros in England, the squadron was equipped with the new DH4s before moving to France in the spring of 1917, in time for its ‘blooding’ at the battle of Arras in April 1917. It also took part in the battle of Messines in June 1917. Based successively at Fienvillers and then Boisdinghem near St Omer, 55 patrolled over Flanders and the Belgian coast before being transferred south to Ochey and Tantonville in the French Vosges. From here it raided deep into Germany itself, hitting such targets as Mannheim and Kaiserslauten. Illustrated with black and white drawings; the book also comes with some fascinating appendices, such as the texts of airmen’s song sung around the squadron’s piano in the intervals between ‘ ops’.
CHRONICLES OF 55 SQUADRON R.F.C. R.A.F.
Breezy and informal history of 55 Squadron in the RFC and RAF over the Western front in 1917 and 1918. Includes quirky details of flying life such as the full text of flier’s songs and a glossary of squadron slang