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First Look Review
60 Sqn RFC-RAF
Osprey Aviation Elite Units 41
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by: Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]


When No 60 Sqn arrived in France in May 1916, partially equipped with the Morane N “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. It was involved in reconnaissance, fighter patrols and escort missions, as well as the landing of spies behind 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 , Major R. Smith –Barry complained to General Trenchard that this was mainly due to inadequately trained pilots and inferior aircraft. Trenchard considered the issue and withdrew the squadron from frontline duties.

Rested and re-equipped with Nieuport scouts, the unit went on the offensive. Witnessing the exploits of pilots like Albert Ball, who scored 20 victories with the unit before his death, it rapidly became one of the most successful fighter units of the war. This book tells the complete story of the unit, from its humble beginnings to the end of the war. It had 26 aces listed with 5 or more victories. It recorded 320 total victories as a unit.

Contents by chapter

1. A Troubled Start
2. The Somme
3. 1917 – A new year new challenges
4. Bloody April (1917)
5. Third Ypres
6. 1918 Moves & Alarms
7. The Last Battles
8. Appendices
9. Index

Paperback; September 2011; 128 pages; ISBN: 9781849083331


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. He presents the facts and lets the reader draw his own conclusion. The story of No.60 Sqn is filled with the triumphs and tragedies of a front line squadron from beginning to end. We all know the names Ball, Bishop and McCudden. But there is so much more to the story and Mr. Revell tells it all. In the aircraft profiles section we get to see a seven Morane Saulnier profiles, types that often get neglected.

My sincerest thanks to Aeroscale Staffer Frederick Boucher (callsign JTPRR) for passing this book on to me from Osprey publishing.

When contacting manufacturers and publishers please mention you saw this review at AEROSCALE!
Highs: The list of casualties is especially helpful. In cross-checking with the text you find that MvR’s Jasta 11 inflicted more than 60% of the RFC 60 losses during “Bloody April” 1917.
Lows: In my first two quick read throughs, I found a couple of typos in the Appendix 5 and one misplaced position of the propeller on S.E.5a B'507 profile on page 87 (It was a geared Hisso, see page 72).
Verdict: 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.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: ISBN: 9781849083331
  Suggested Retail: $25.95
  Related Link: Website
  PUBLISHED: Dec 07, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
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About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash)

I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


Thanks for a great review Stephen. Too late for my Christmas Wish List however I'll find a way to get this beauty ASAP. The Elite Units Series is, in my judgement, one of the best values of the WWI Aviation publishing industry, great "bang for the buck"! Cheers, Lance
DEC 06, 2011 - 09:21 PM

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