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About mhaselden

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  1. mhaselden

    Mystery Uniform

    Did a bit more digging and if the man second from left in the photo at Post #18 is who I think it is (Arthur William Wallace), then the date is sometime after 11 Nov 1918 (assuming we are seeing some personnel from 11 Sqn). The chap at far left, Arthur George Simmons, served on 20 Sqn until Apr 1919 and then moved to 84 Sqn. As far as I can tell, neither unit was based close to 11 Sqn so, alas, I'm no further forward in my quest to identify the location.
  2. That was a window for a recce camera. I believe it was standard for regardless of whether a camera was actually installed.
  3. Thanks for the overview, Selwyn. I'm thrilled that Airfix included the scalloped fairing in the kit. I have seen a few photos of MkIVf Blenheims with it fitted. Not sure if it's because the squadron was using the earlier, shallow, gun packs.
  4. mhaselden

    Mystery Uniform

    I can see what you're saying, Dave. The challenge for me is the ripple in the fabric where the propeller badge is located, which means the vertical blades aren't straight, which (to my mind) makes it really hard to judge exactly what lines up with what. I believe I'm seeing the vertical prop lining up between the 1 and the 7. One other thought...if a 17? badge were to be centred on the epaulette (which makes sense...most such badges are aligned in that fashion), then I think it would have to be a rather broad epaulette. To my eye, the width of the epaulette with 17 centred on it looks "right" (whatever that means...it's all subjective "eye of the beholder" stuff). It would be really cool if one of the cognoscenti on here had other photos of US personnel with these squadron badges so we had some thing to compare against. I've tried googling with zero success. Perhaps my google-fu is weak.
  5. mhaselden

    Mystery Uniform

    I think it's hard to tell given the fabric fold where the propeller badge sits. One thing is clear, that the left-hand edge of the squadron number is directly in-line with the front edge of the epaulette. I've tried to find other examples of this badge (with no joy, alas) to determine whether a 3-digit badge would line up with or be in front of the front of the epaulette. If anyone has any other pics that might show this feature, I'd be interested in seeing them.
  6. mhaselden

    Mystery Uniform

    It could be something other than 17 but I'm still struggling with Beaulieu as the location. Is it realistic to think that between 4 and 6 people in the same photo trained together at Beaulieu and then all ended up on the same squadron together? That seems unlikely to me. Even if it is Beaulieu, I can find no logical connection between my relative and that airfield, unless he popped over for a weekend...but that still doesn't explain the other 3-5 personnel in the photo who were on 11 Sqn.
  7. mhaselden

    Mystery Uniform

    Here's another part of my confusion. The image below also came from the Arthur Simmons collection (Source: New Heritage Knowledge): We have Arthur Simmons on the left and James Gamble second from the right, wearing what looks like an American uniform hat. The other 4 personnel are unidentified but at least 3 of them closely match personnel who did serve on 11 Sqn with James: the chaps 2nd left, right and, lastly, the one dressed for cold weather flying, seated right. If this image was taken at Beaulieu, I wonder what the odds might be for at least 4 and possibly 6 personnel, all of whom later served on 11 Sqn, being in this image.
  8. mhaselden

    Mystery Uniform

    That's all part of the mystery. In comparing their service records, I can find no points of correlation where they served together, and yet clearly they did because so many photos of my relative, James Gamble, appear in the Arthur Simmons collection, including at least 5 images taken in Germany where 11 Sqn formed part of the occupation force based at Spich, a former Zeppelin base. James' early war record is unclear. He enlisted as a fitter in Feb 1915 and appears to have spent most of his time at Farnborough. Arthur Simmons enlisted Apr 1915 and he, too, likely spent some time at Farnborough, based on a couple of images in his collection. Both were selected for pilot training. James going to 8 TS at Netheravon then Witney on 13 Feb 1918 before proceeding to No.1 Fighting School on 3 Jul 1918 before being a staff pilot at No.1 School of Air Gunnery, at Romney Marsh, commencing 15 Jul 1918. He was posted to France to 11 Sqn on 7 Sep 1918. James remained with 11 Sqn until he was discharged in the late summer of 1919. I have images of his logbook and there's no mention of his ever landed at Beaulieu, although he did overfly it a couple of times on reconnaissance training flights. Arthur having a definite connection with Beaulieu because he trained initally at 55 TS, then 1 TS before arriving at 29 TDS (which I believe was Beaulieu) on 27 Jul 1918. On 8 Aug 1918 Simmons was posted to "RD" but I don't know what that means. Then he went to France on 29 Sep 1918 before joining 20 Sqn 4 days later. He joined 84 Sqn on 23 Apr 1919 before being discharged in Aug 1919. The really odd thing about Simmons' record is that it makes no mention of his being qualified as a pilot. The second page is almost as if another person's details, a rigger, were incorporated into Simmons' record. I'm just really struggling to determine where and when some of these photos were taken, including the one that started this thread. Since Arthur Simmons was at Beaulieu on 27 Jul 1918, was it possible that the American was also there undergoing training. If so, he must have been sent back from France because the 17th Aero Sqn was fully engaged at that time. The other alternative is that the photo was taken in France, perhaps at Vert Galant which was very close to the 17th Aero Sqn's base at Sombrin. 'Tis a puzzlement....!
  9. mhaselden

    Mystery Uniform

    Just for reference, here's the link to the whole pic (Source: New Forest Knowledge): My relative is on the left of the photo. The chap on the right was the original owner of the image, Arthur George Simmons. As noted above, the image was allegedly taken at East Boldre airfield but my relative has no connection whatsoever with Beaulieu. I was wondering if it might have been taken at either Vert Galant or Sombrin given that my relative's unit, 11 Sqn, and the 17th Aero Sqn were based respectively at those airfields in September 1918. Frankly, I can't see a 17th Aero Sqn airman being at East Boldre any time before 25 Jan 1918 when the Sqn arrived at Romsey Rest Camp, Hampshire but it wasn't there very long. The ground echelon sailed for France on 9 Feb.
  10. mhaselden

    Mystery Uniform

    Yes, there are RFC/RAF personnel in the photo. It was allegedly taken at Beaulieu (East Boldre) but I'm not sure I buy that scenario given the presence of the American.
  11. mhaselden

    Mystery Uniform

    Gents, This has helped greatly. The original image was reportedly taken at Beaulieu which I never truly believed, not least because there's no record of my relative having any association with that airfield. I wondered if the American airman was from the 17th Aero Squadron but the next challenge was working out how my relative came to be in contact with the American unit. I think I found my answer. On 19 September 1918, 11 Sqn (my relative's unit) relocated to Very Galant, which is just down the road from Sombrin Airfield, near Doullens, where the 17th arrived just a day later. It would make sense for the 2 units to get to know each other, given that the airfields were less than 25km apart. I think my question has solved the exact problem I was trying to tackle. Many, MANY thanks, Mark
  12. mhaselden

    Mystery Uniform

    I know this isn't strictly-speaking an aircraft topic but I hope the wonderful experts here can help. I came across this chap in a photo that included a relative of mine. The uniform is unfamiliar to me. My initial reaction was American but I'm far from convinced. I should point out that uniforms really aren't my "thing" so I apologise if this is a bog-standard uniform of well-known provenance. Anyhoo...here's the main pic: Here's a close-up showing the collar and shoulder area - note the '17' badge on the shoulder. Any ideas would be most welcome. I'm hoping the uniform identification may help me locate where the image was taken (or, at least, rule out a few options. Many thanks, Mark
  13. I think it's just very weathered DE/DG. Heavy chalking plus fading can make those shades look more like the Day Fighter Scheme. It could be the latter but it's really tough to tell, IMHO.
  14. Interesting that the first image in Post #7 shows the aircraft with standard black undersides. Perhaps it was a case of the underside paint being stripped back to the natural metal.
  15. Chris, Actually, I'd have gone with black for the interior of the undercarriage doors. The shade does appear lighter but not excessively so, and looking at the shadow caused by the undercarriage leg is pretty strong. However, that's just my perception of what we're seeing. Cheers, Mark
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