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No 60 Sqn RFC/RAF [Paperback]

Alex Revell , Harry Dempsey
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Sept. 20 2011 Aviation Elite Units (Book 41)
When No 60 Sqn arrived in France in May 1916, partially equipped with the delightfully named Morane Bullet, there were only two dedicated single-seat fighter squadrons on the Western Front. Operating initially as a utility unit, No 60 Sqn's duties were mixed - reconnaissance, fighter patrols and escorts (by one Flight), as well as the landing of spies behind the enemy lines. In the opening weeks of the battles of the Somme in the summer of 1916, the squadron suffered heavy casualties. Its Commanding Officer complained to General Trenchard that this was mainly due to inadequately trained pilots and inferior aircraft. Trenchard withdrew the squadron from frontline duties. During its enforced rest and re-equipment, the observers were posted out, the squadron was re-equipped with Nieuport scouts, and individual pilots, who had shown promise as fighter pilots while flying the few single-seater scouts issued to the two-seater unit, were posted to No 60 Sqn. Chief amongst these was Capt Albert Ball MC who had already claimed 11 victories with No 11 Sqn. During his time with No 60 Sqn, Ball added another 20 victories and was awarded a DSO and Bar. After his death in May 1917, he was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross. With its return to active operations, equipped with the Nieuport, and later the SE 5 and SE 5a, No 60 Sqn rapidly became one of the most successful fighter units of the RFC. Many famous and high scoring pilots were to go through its ranks - Billy Bishop VC, Grid Caldwell, Willie Fry, 'Duke' Meintjes, S F Vincent, J E Doyle, S B Horn, R Chidlaw-Roberts and A W Saunders, to name but a few - and it finished the war with more 320 victories.

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Review

"Usually anything with Alex Revell’s name on it is a sure winner for the historian, devotee and research fiend. This book is no exception."
- Stephen T. Lawson, AeroScale

"Revell does a great job of decorating the pages of this book with many photographs [and] color aircraft profiles and plan forms that are pleasing to the eye ... Revell has dedicated much of his life to researching the "Great" War. This book would be a "great" addition to your library.
- Aerodrome (Spring 2012)

About the Author

Alex Revell has been interested in World War 1 aviation since the age of six, when he began reading the famous John Hamilton series of aviation classics. He began serious aviation research in the early 1960s, being primarily interested in people and their role in the 1914-18 air war. He traced and interviewed many ex-members of the RFC/RAF/RNAS and is particularly proud that many of them became personal family friends. An internationally acknowledged researcher into the history of the RFC/RAF and RNAS during World War 1, Alex Revell has had many articles published in specialist aviation magazines and the journals of Cross and Cockade International and The First World War Aviation Historical Society, of which he is a founder member. His has written a number of aviation-related World War 1 titles over the years, including No 56 Sqn RFC/RAF. A retired engineer and also a jazz musician of international repute, Alex Revell lives in Cornwall with his wife Linda and three Burmese cats.

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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback
For the past decade and a half, Osprey Publishing has established a fine reputation for its aviation books on the air aces and units which distinguished themselves in aerial combat in various conflicts over the past century. This particular book is a prime example of the high quality research, photographs, and illustrations Osprey readers have come to expect. The reader is treated to a comprehensive history of No. 60 Squadron, which began service with the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) on the Western Front in the late spring of 1916.

Unfortunately, No. 60 got off to a rather rocky start during the Battle of the Somme, sustaining heavy casualties. It was withdrawn from operations for a time and had its obsolescent Morane aircraft replaced with the sturdy and manoeuvrable Nieuport 17 fighter. By the summer of 1917, several pilots who had been with or were still in service with No. 60 Squadron had made names for themselves. Albert Ball, who scored the bulk of his victories with No. 60 in 1916, became the top RFC fighter ace before he was killed in May 1917 (by which time, he was commanding No. 56 Squadron). Then there was Billy Bishop, a Canadian, who scored over 40 victories flying the Nieuport between March and August 1917, when he was posted away from the unit for a rest back home. By that time, No. 60 Squadron had been re-equipped with the SE 5/5A fighter, which proved to be one of the top fighters of the war, renowned for its speed, hitting power, high altitude performance, and ruggedness.

This book provides a thorough and highly readable history of No. 60 Squadron, who, by the end of the war in November 1918, had achieved more than 320 victories in air-to-air combat. For all of its 128 pages, I learned so much about No. 60 Squadron than might have been the case with a much heavier tome. Osprey has produced another winner.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE RFC's/RAF's BATTLING BAND OF BROTHERS: No. 60 Sqn. Sept. 28 2011
By MONTGOMERY - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For the past decade and a half, Osprey Publishing has established a fine reputation for its aviation books on the air aces and units which distinguished themselves in aerial combat in various conflicts over the past century. This particular book is a prime example of the high quality research, photographs, and illustrations Osprey readers have come to expect. The reader is treated to a comprehensive history of No. 60 Squadron, which began service with the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) on the Western Front in the late spring of 1916.

Unfortunately, No. 60 got off to a rather rocky start during the Battle of the Somme, sustaining heavy casualties. It was withdrawn from operations for a time and had its obsolescent Morane aircraft replaced with the sturdy and manoeuvrable Nieuport 17 fighter. By the summer of 1917, several pilots who had been with or were still in service with No. 60 Squadron had made names for themselves. Albert Ball, who scored the bulk of his victories with No. 60 in 1916, became the top RFC fighter ace before he was killed in May 1917 (by which time, he was commanding No. 56 Squadron). Then there was Billy Bishop, a Canadian, who scored over 40 victories flying the Nieuport between March and August 1917, when he was posted away from the unit for a rest back home. By that time, No. 60 Squadron had been re-equipped with the SE 5/5A fighter, which proved to be one of the top fighters of the war, renowned for its speed, hitting power, high altitude performance, and ruggedness.

This book provides a thorough and highly readable history of No. 60 Squadron, who, by the end of the war in November 1918, had achieved more than 320 victories in air-to-air combat. For all of its 128 pages, I learned so much about No. 60 Squadron than might have been the case with a much heavier tome. Osprey has produced another winner.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Combat Exploits of a Famous RFC/RAF Fighter Squadron! Oct. 7 2011
By Michael OConnor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
60 Squadron is arguably the most famous RFC/RAF fighter squadron of World War I, its members including Albert Ball and Billy Bishop! Initially equipped with second-string aircraft, the squadron came into its own with the arrival of Nieuport fighters followed by SE 5s. Alex Revell details the life and times of this famous unit in NO 60 SQN RFC/RAF, #41 in the Osprey 'Elite Units' series.

In May 1916, 60 Squadron went to war flying Morane-Saulnier biplanes and 'Bullets,' aircraft almost totally unsuited to air combat. By August, the unit had lost a CO and two flight commanders in combat! Mercifully, Nieuport 16s and 17s then arrived as did Albert Ball, the RFC's highest-scoring ace. Paced by Ball, squadron pilots like 'Grid' Caldwell, A. D. Bell-Irving and Roderic Hill began a run of successes. In March 1917, 'Billy' Bishop joined the squadron, Bishop being destined to be its top ace. Re-equipment with SE 5s came that July. By war's end, the aforementioned pilots and others such as 'Zulu' Lloyd, Alexander Beck and 'Moley' Molesworth had helped boost the unit's victory claims to 320 e/a destroyed.

Alex Revell has penned a number of WW I fighter squadron histories for Osprey and has the formula down pat. The squadron's combat exploits are covered as well as glimpses into the different personalities within the unit. Given the controversy over Billy Bishop's 'kills' and VC, Revell is diplomatic, content merely to point out various discrepancies.

As with other Revell titles, the book is illustrated with many rare photographs of squadron personnel, aircraft, enemy aircraft, crash scenes, etc. Harry Dempsey provides excellent profiles of the various Morane-Saulnier, Nieuport and Royal Aircraft Factory fighters flown by the unit.

In short, World War I air war buffs will enjoy this informative and well-illustrated guide to 60 Squadron. Whatever you think of Billy Bishop, 60 Squadron compiled a notable war record as evidenced by Revell's comprehensive history. Recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs up June 1 2014
By Jay - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very interesting and informative book. Lots of information in a small package. Plenty of photos, and well written. Good covers for a paperback too.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding - item has all of the characteristics of a well thought out product. My complements to the producer of it. Oct. 15 2013
By Thomas Crean - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Outstanding - item has all of the characteristics of a well thought out product. My complements to the producer of it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ESSENTIAL WWI HISTORY July 24 2012
By P. A. Panozzo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Montgomery and Michael O'Connor have written thorough and fabulous reviews. I have trusted their reviews for many purchases from Amazon. I couldn't really add anything new about this book. I give it 4 stars because, after awhile, the information becomes repetitive and tedious. This is not the author's fault! The author is a preeminent aero historian and impeccable researcher. The nature of aerial warfare is repetitive and predictable to a large degree. You have to read this book a section at a time and take a break from it and come back to it later. It is important, essential World War One aviation history preserved between the covers and honors all the participants that sacrificed so much so long ago in the skies of France and Belgium. Other Alex Revell titles that I recommend: Fall of Eagles: Airmen of World War One High in the Empty Blue: The History of 56 Squadron, Rfc/Raf 1916-1920 Victoria Cross WW1 Airmen and Their Aircraft and No 56 Sqn RAF/RFC (Aviation Elite Units).
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