Though it never went to war, the Horsley saw varied service at home and abroad
The first RAF squadron to receive a production Horsley was No 100 (Bomber) Squadron based at Spitalgate, Lincolnshire, which acquired a single example in August 1926 to help prepare to replace its Fawns. By the end of the year, both 100 and another Fawn unit, No 11 (Bomber) Squadron at Netheravon, were fully equipped with the Hawker aircraft.
The entry into service of the Horsley seems to have proceeded smoothly as the units learned their new aircraft’s characteristics. However, the first loss occurred on 18 March during a practice formation by No 11 Squadron’s ‘A’ Flight to Hawkinge.The Horsleys flew into fog, and Plt Off Priestman’s aircraft J8012 was destroyed, killing Priestman and his passenger Pickering.