WWI Royal Flying Corps 4 Squadron Photograph
WWI Royal Flying Corps 4 Squadron Photograph -This photograph was originally black and white, but has faded to a sepia-toned look, illustrating thirty-five airmen in four rows, the front five are seated, three of which have swagger sticks, the other three rows are standing, all in front of an building, a man in a hat standing in a doorway at the left rear, inscribed in white ink "Recruits Depot" above "Royal Flying Corps. 4 Squad" at the base of the photograph, measuring 206 mm x 253 mm, mounted to a 300 mm x 350 mm cardboard matte, scattered contact spots on the surface along with tears along the edges of the photograph, the soiled matte with three corners torn off and edge wear. A terrific WWI collectible, in near fine condition. Footnote: No. 4 Squadron formed at Farnborough in 1912 as part of the Royal Flying Corps. Operating a miscellaneous mixture of aircraft including early Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2s and Breguet biplanes, it quickly moved to Netheravon where it remained until the outbreak of the First World War. The more useful aircraft in its inventory were sent to France under the command of Major G H Rayleigh on August 16, 1914, to carry out reconnaissance in support of the British Expeditionary Force. On August 19th, Lieutenant G. W. Mapplebeck flew the squadron's first mission over France, a reconnaissance flight searching for German cavalry in the vicinity of Gembloux, Belgium. Other aircraft remained in England to carry out anti-Zeppelin patrols. It was reinforced on September 20th by the personnel who had remained behind in England, forming C Flight, equipped with Maurice Farman "Shorthorns". It concentrated on the reconnaissance role, standardizing on the Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 in 1916. In the Battle of the Somme, 4 Squadron flew contact patrols keeping track of the position of advancing troops at low level, in addition to more regular reconnaissance and artillery spotting missions. It re-equipped with the Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8 in June 1917, in time to take part in the Battle of Messines and the Battle of Passchendaele. It remained equipped with the R.E.8 until the Armistice with Germany on December 11, 1918, ending the fighting. It returned to the United Kingdom in February 1919, disbanding in September of that year.