World War One bomber pilot recounts incredible aerial exploits

In the August 1974 issue of Aeroplane Monthly, First World War bomber pilot Sqn Ldr C. P. O. Bartlett, DSC recounts his time flying biplanes between 1916-18

In September 1916, having completed my flying training at Chingford and a brief course of gunnery and bomb dropping at Eastchurch, I joined No 5 Wing of the Royal Naval Air Service on Coudekerque aerodrome, three miles inland from Dunkirk.

The Wing was then commanded by Squadron Commander Spenser Grey and consisted merely of A and B Flights, commanded by Flight Commanders B. L. Huskisson and E. T. Newton Clare, which became Nos 4 and 5 Squadrons RNAS respectively on December 31, 1916, No 4 being fighters and No 5 bombers. My story concerns the latter, though up to that date we were very intermixed, and I found myself sometimes doing fighter patrols and more often bombing raids.

Become a free member to read more

This is a premium article, but you can read for FREE just by registering for a Key Aero account to view. We have selected a number of premium articles and made them freemium so you can try a sample of Key Aero.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have an account…

Why not join our community of enthusiasts? Along with selected articles you will also receive our newsletter packed with in-depth articles, videos and quizzes you won't find anywhere else and access to the forum.

Register for free

Want to access all our great content including premium articles? Subscribe to Key Aero Premium below