Thursday 30 July 2009

79 Squadron Dolphin Aces

Hot on the heels of the Se5a's are the two Reviresco Sopwith Dolphins, painted up as planes from No. 79 Squadron in 1918. As stated below I was a little worried about the rough look of the unpainted models, but they have come up nice enough. Rather than Catachan Green, this time I have used Tamiya NATO Green for PC10 which is near enough an exact match with the Wings of War Sopwith Pups. Decals are as per the Se5a's below.

The two Dolphin's are painted up as the planes of two American aces serving with No. 79 Squadron...

Dolphin J was flown by Edgar Taylor who got his first combat victory on 4th August 1918 and his fifth and final one on 24th August when he was hit and brought down by ground fire and did not survive.

Dolphin V is that of Fred Gillet who scored twenty victories between August 1917 and the end of the war, claiming his final three victories on the 10th November. Gillet was awarded the DFC and bar and the Belgian Croix de Guerre. Gillet survived until 1969.

There was one more American ace who served with No. 79 Squadron, Fred Lord. He seems a fascinating character, doctoring his birth certificate so he could join up, claiming twelve victories, then subsequently fighting against the Bolsheviks in Russia, with the Republicans in Spain and then rejoining No. 79 Squadron to fly Hurricanes by using his original birth certificate in WWII! Unfortunately I couldn't find which letter his Dolphin was in the squadron to paint one up as him...

Update: Fred Lord's Dolphin sported the letter N. Ironically it is one the one on the rear cover of the Osprey 'Dolphin and Snipe Aces of World War 1' which you can see in the preview on Google Books, but the identifying text is inside and not part of the preview (nor the photo of him beside his plane also inside). Looks like there might be another order to Reviresco going off soon...

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