Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Canadian Warplanes 2: Sopwith Dove

Sopwith Dove

Data current to 28 Dec 2020.

(Library and Archives Canada photos, MIKAN No. 3391000)

Sopwith Dove, HRH the Prince of Wales (later Duke of Windsor) with Major (later LCol) William G. Barker, VC, Hounslow, England, 10 May 1919.  The Prince's father, King George V, was not pleased with the event.

After the end of the First World War, the Sopwith Aviation Company decided to create a twin seat adaptation of its Pup fighter for the expected post-war sport aviation market.  The new type was called the Sopwith Dove.  Unfortunately for Sopwith, a civilian post-war aviation boom did not occur in Britain and only ten Doves were built.

This selection of photos were taken when the prototype Dove, Reg. No. G-EACM, had a brush with fame.  In the spring of 1919, Canadian First World War fighter ace William Barker gave the Prince of Wales a half hour ride in the Dove over London.  (Note that Barker has one of his arms in a sling; a holdover from his 27 October 1918 aerial battle for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.)

The Dove followed Barker to Canada, where it was given Reg. No. G-CAAY and flown with Bishop-Barker Aeroplanes Limited.  In 1921, the Dove was destroyed in a crash at Sault St. Marie, Ontario, while being flown by another pilot. 

Incident Report

On 16 Sep 1921, "Aviator Albert Highstone, while piloting Sopwith Dove biplane Reg. No. G-CAAY, c/n 2714, crashed 1200 feet in a trial flight, but escaped with minor injuries. The machine was to have been an attraction at the fair at Sault St. Marie, Ontario and was being placed in readiness for a series of flights. It landed in a tree near the wireless station and will be almost a total loss."

 (Library and Archives Canada photos, MIKAN No. 3391001)

Sopwith Dove, with HRH the Prince of Wales in the second seat and Sir Thomas O.M. Sopwith wearing a bowler hat closely observing.

 (Library and Archives Canada photos, MIKAN No. 3391002)

Sopwith Dove, HRH the Prince of Wales and LCol W.G. Barker, VC, Hounslow, England, 1919.

The Dove used by Barker to fly the Prince of Wales at Hounslow was Reg. No.  G-EACM (ex K-122), though for the Royal jaunt its fuselage carried only the name "Dove', in small capital letters, following a then-established Sopwith practice of distinguishing the flow of new types introduced during 1918/19.  This aircraft later flew with Bishop-Barker Aeroplanes Ltd. of Toronto, in 1920, Reg. No. G-CAAY.

 (Library and Archives Canada photos, MIKAN No. 3391003)

Sopwith Dove, HRH the Prince of Wales and LCol W.G. Barker, VC, Hounslow, England, 1919.

(Library and Archives Canada photos, MIKAN No. 3391004)

Sopwith Dove, HRH the Prince of Wales and LCol W.G. Barker, VC, Hounslow, England, 1919.

 (Alan D.R. Brown Photo)

Sopwith Dove. two-seat civilian trainer version of the Sopwith Pup.