RNAS Enters The Fray

An entirely truthful account of one of our first issues with what would be the original RNAS flight, from the pen of former XO, Major AB1Cobber

Lt.Col Shooter opens the door to his office & calls the desk sergeant in.
" Sergeant, please call the Warrant Officers Hatter, Bush,Ike & Owen please."
"YES SAH!" the sergeant replies with much military pomp,salutes at attention & stomps from the Office.
Lt.Col Shooter paces the room,looking at a report in hand, with furrowed brow & deep concern on his face.
He pours a drink & sits down to await the Warrant Officers.

Knock Knock...the sergeant enters & again clomps to Attention, salutes & almost yells "The Officers you requested, SAH!".
"Thank you Sergeant."
"SAH!" the sergeant replies & leaves the room , closing the door behind himself.
Hatter ,Ike,Bush & Owen all stand to attention & hatter says"You requested our presence sir?", saluting as he does so.

Lt.Col. Shooter looks at them each in turn with a perplexed look upon his face.
Hatter looks enquiringly at the CO.

After a large swallow of his drink, Shooter begins.

"Gentlemen, I am very happy that you transfered to our squadron from the Naval service, you're all fine chaps & all that, BUT, I have a very serious report from the armourers & mechanics here that does NOT make me feel very well.According to this report, you have collectively destroyed several aircraft, that this squadron is in dire need of. WHY gentlemen?"

The warrant officers look sheepishly at each other & 3 point to Hatter. Hatter, somewhat surprised then looks to the CO.
"ummm well you see sir....errrummmm...we were looking to ....eeeruuummm.....be inovative for the good of the Nation & the war effort in general!"
"Please explain Mr.Hatter....and might i say...this had better be good!. According to this report, you've demolished an SE5, & several Bomber/ Recon planes."says Lt.Col Shooter with a serious tone.

Hatter scratches his head.
"Well sir, we had some Ideas & thought they might prove ...useful, however, we didn't think we;d actually Hurt anything!"

"HURT ANYTHING??.....A SE5a with a top wing completely ripped off, & several of our Nieuport 12's in serious need of repair & 1 FE2B that's a complete right off!HURT ANYTHING!..heaven forbid. What is the meaning of this you fellows? We aren't running an Inventors convention, we're supposed to be fighting a WAR!"Lt.Col Shooter is red faced & needs to take another slug of his drink...he pours another.

Lt.Col Shooter asks," And what of the FE2B?"

"Oh..that was Ike's Idea sir. He thought we should mount a 18pdr cannon in the nose of the FEE. The thought was to use Double Chain Shot to flail the enemy down. We figured that we could Smash the plane out from under him!", Hatter smiles...but quickly stops as he sees the frown upon the CO's face."Unfortunately we didn't take the recoil of the gun into account correctly..or the strength of the plane...as the Cockpit dislodged from it's wing mounts & ended up 50ft behind the plane..smashing the tail struts & Tailplane to pieces in the process.The Gunnery Pit is OK..but i think several did something in their pants...either from laughter or fright. Either way...it might be a good Morale booster in the right circumstances!"

"Ok...what about this "Modified N12?"the CO sips his drink & waits.

Bush puts his hand up & looks a little embarrased.
"Well Bush?",Lt Col Shooter enquires."Ummm..", Bush blurts out his explanation.."I was talking to Capt Neobaron sir, he told me some neat tricks to do with Rudder & how to use it well. However, I thought .."how is the wind gonna make me turn faster with Rudder..the Rudder on the N12..adequate as it is..could be Vastly improved!"...so I designed ...or Redesigned i might say, the Rudder."
"How so Mr Bush?".
"I wacked a Mizzen on there instead sir..my thought was that i'd out turn ANY plane currently in production with it. Sorry Sir...it didn't quite work out how i planned...the women i employed to make it for me thought i said Yards..instead of Inches...& the resultant product was...ummmm..to big.
So I added some bits here & there to make the most of a "botched situation" you might say!"

"WHAT???? you mounted a SAIL on a N12 to be employed as a Rudder?"....Lt.Col Shooter puts his head in his hands & shakes his head slowly.

"I did mean well Sir" extorts Bush. "It worked a treat..till i gave it some Rudder..sorry sir...it went straight down & i couldn't recover. The Mizzen ripped under the stress's. The Women jipped me i think...cheap material...there is a war on sir..hard to get good cloth nowadays."

"Ok , ok...& who's idea was it to BURN a N12, might i ask?" the CO asks.

Owen...who had been quiet all this time..suddenly looked up & looked around as if the CO was talking to another.
"WO Owen...please tell me this wasn't your fault!" enquires the CO.

"me Sir?" owen asks with his finger pointing to his chest.


"well sir..it's kinda like this....We being Navy chaps & all...we figured that a drink after despatching a hun was a good idea.However..we all agreed that waiting till we got back to the drome was just insane..so we came up with an idea to Have our TOT of Rum in the Air.But it wasn't my plane that Came down sir..it was Maj Reapers sir."
" I was testing the apparatus when suddenly i was assailed by an inflated Sheep that was stashed in the ribbing of the fuselage. It mustta got looose somehow & it scared te life outta me,. Just at that moment of surprise..i let drop the tube running to my mouth from the Rum bottle & it spilled all over the floor & control panel.Then, because i was wrestling that infernal inflatable sheep....i hadn't noticed i was over the Hun Lines & they started firing Archie at me. Unfortunately...i think a hot fragment must have got into the Cockpit, because next thing i knew...the cockpit was set alight.Stamping furiously i managed to put it out, but obviously not well enough because it relighted as i was coming in to land."
"I did recieve a burn to my nose...Look!"....he points to his slightly blackened nose.

"Is that All?" asks the CO ...hoping that he won't hear anymore....

"Well Sir..we did have this idea for mounting extra guns to the planes...then we could get in a Broadside or two......."

Lt.Col Shooter Looks at them all in turn.
"Gentlemen...i think that you had best leave Plane production to the designers & the flying to you. I DO NOT want any more planes destroyed by any of you from now on,unless it's in action & unavoidable...Do i make myself CLEAR?"

in unison they Salute & say "YES SAH!"

Lt.Col Shooter Salutes them & says.."That will be all gentlemen!"

The Lt.Col pours himself another long drink & settles down to write his Report to GHQ...he shakes his head...slugs another portion of his glass & sets to his task.