Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Canadian Warplanes 1-1: The Biplane Era: Fighters, Bombers and Patrol Aircraft

Biplane Ear Warplanes flown by Canadians:

Fighters, Bombers and Patrol Aircraft

Data Current to 28 Dec 2020.

This aviation handbook provides a quick general reference to identify and briefly describe military aircraft flown by Canadians during the First World War and in the post-war Canadian Air Force (CAF), the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), and the Canadian Army during the biplane era.  The handbooks in this series include a general description and a photograph from the Canadian Forces Archives of at least one of the key variants or marks of each aircraft that has been in Canadian service or used by Canadian servicemen overseas.  Each aircraft is listed alphabetically by manufacturer, number and type. General details describing the aircraft's engines, service ceiling, speed, armament and weapons load are included, along with a brief description of the Canadian squadrons which flew the aircraft.  This is the first volume in the series. It describes the fighters, bombers and patrol aircraft flown by Canadian servicemen during the biplane era. A list of museums, private aircraft collections and other locations where a number of the survivors might be found is also included. The handbook is not a definitive list of all Canadian-manufactured or operated aircraft, but should serve as a quick reminder for anyone with an enthusiastic interest in Canadian military aviation.

Order book: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000011078/Canadian-Warbirds-of-the-Biplane-Era.aspx

Order book in Canada: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/Canadian-Warbirds-Biplane-Era-Fighters-Harold-A-A-Skaarup/9780595183630-item.html?ikwid=harold+skaarup&ikwsec=Books

http://www.amazon.ca/Canadian-Warbirds-Biplane-Fighters-Aircraft/dp/0595183638/ref=sr_1_17?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322339874&sr=1-17

Nook book: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/canadian-warbirds-of-the-biplane-era-harold-a-skaarup/1004803364?ean=9781462067411&itm=26&USRI=Harold+Skaarup

For an update on military aircraft preserved in Canada, see "Canadian Warplanes".

The Canadian Air Force (England)  

During the First World War, many Canadians served with the Royal Flying Corps (RFC), later renamed the Royal Air Force (RAF).  The Directorate of Air Services was formed as the Canadian Air Force (CAF) Section of the General Staff, Headquarters Overseas Military Forces of Canada, London, England, on 19 Sep 1918.  It was reorganized as the Directorate of Air Services on 28 Feb 1919, and initially commanded by LCol William A. Bishop, VC, DSO and Bar, MC, DFC from 19 Sep to 2 Dec 1918.  This Directorate was disbanded on 9 Aug 1920.

No. 1 Wing (No. 1 Canadian Wing RAF), was formed at Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, England, on 25 Mar 1919, by amalgamating the CAF Headquarters Detachment at Upper Heyford and the CAF Training Detachment at Halton, Buckinghamshire.  This unit was initially commanded by LCol R.L. Leckie, DSO, DSC, DFC, from 25 Mar to 19 Nov 1919.  The unit began its operations on 1 Apr 1919, when it moved to Shoreham-by-Sea and served until it was disbanded on 5 Feb 1920.

  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3726516)

Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphins, Canadian Air Force, No. 1 and No. 2 Fighting Sqns, Upper Heyford, UK, 1919.

No. 1 Squadron (No. 81 Squadron (Canadian), RAF) was formed as a scout (fighter) unit at Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, England, on 20 Nov 1918.  It was initially commanded by Maj A.E. McKeever, DSO, MC and Bar, 26 Nov 1918 to 14 Aug 1919.  The squadron flew Sopwith Dolphin and S.E.5a biplanes on training flights until it was disbanded at Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, on 28 Jan 1920.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3390924)

Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a, Canadian Air Force Capt W.B. Lawson, OC, No. 2 Fighting Squadron, Upper Heyford, UK, 1919. 

 (Library & Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3523020)

de Havilland D.H.9a, No. 2 Squadron (No. 123 Squadron (Canadian), RAF), with four pilots, Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, UK, 1919. 

No. 2 Squadron (No. 123 Squadron (Canadian), RAF) was formed as a day-bombing unit at Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, England, on 28 Nov 1918.  It was initially commanded by Capt W.B. Lawson from 26 Nov 1918 to 22 May 1919.  The squadron flew two-seater de Havilland D.H.9a biplanes on training flights until it was disbanded at Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, on 5 Feb 1920.

  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3643715)

Canadian Air Force cap badge. 

Canadian Air Force 1920-1923

After the war, the Canadian government passed the Air Board Act on 6 Jun 1919, which led to the formation of three separate divisions: a Civil Aviation Branch for the control of commercial and civil flying, a Civil Operations Branch in charge of all non-military flying operations, and a Canadian Air Force (CAF) primarily responsible for training rather than defence.  The second, but this time home-based CAF, was authorized on 18 Feb 1920.  Flying training began at Camp Borden, Ontario using the hangars and other installations that had been built by the RAF during the war, and by the end of 1922, 550 officers and 1271 airmen had completed training courses.

Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) 1924-1968

The CAF was reorganized and the prefix "Royal" was officially adopted on 1 Apr 1924.  This date is marked as the official birthday of the RCAF.

Warplanes flown by Canadians in the Biplane Era, Fighters, Bombers and Patrol Aircraft, are listed individually on separate pages on this website.