Title: The Battle Below – Being the History of No. 3 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps

Author: Wrigley, H N DFC, AFC

Condition: Near Mint

Edition: 2nd Edition

Publication Date: 1990s


Cover: Hard Cover without Dust Jacket – 194 pages

Comments: The detailed history of No 3 Squadron, AFC – a super rare unit history in any edition. This is a limited edition of 200 copies.

3 Squadron, the first Australian flying unit to arrive on the Western Front, was originally formed in September 1916 at Point Cook in Victoria. Transported to Europe on HMAT Ulysses, it landed in England on 28 December 1916 and was sent for training to South Carlton, Lincolnshire. Training on AVRO 504 and BE-2e aircraft lasted eight months and in July 1917 the squadron was mobilised for France. On 24 August 1917 three flights (each of six RE-8 aircraft) left South Molton for Lympne in Kent. Delayed by bad weather, the squadron finally arrived at their appointed aerodrome in France (Savy) on 10 September 1917. The squadron was subsequently employed in support of the ground forces, operating over the Canadian and XIII Corps’ front near Arras.

In November 1917, the squadron moved to Flanders to operate in support of the Australian Corps. Its duties included locating enemy gun emplacements, artillery spotting and bombing patrols. In early 1918, operations extended to dropping propaganda leaflets and, in February, photographic reconnaissance work. During the German spring offensive, the squadron moved to the Somme valley and was involved in vital artillery spotting operations. On 21 April 1918, 3 Squadron aircraftbecame involved in the action leading to the death of the German air ace Manfred von Richthofen.

In late June 1918 the squadron was involved in experiments in aerial supply methods for ground troops and in July contributed to noise diversion operations in connection with the battle of Hamel. The squadron also assisted Allied movements in the battle of Amiens by dropping smoke bombs and continued its reconnaissance duties during the Allied advance to the Hindenburg Line. The squadron’s last offensive operations took place on 10 November 1918, the day before the signing of the Armistice.

After the Armistice the squadron supported Allied forces in the move to the German frontier and was also used to provide a postal air service for the AIF. On 21 February 1919 the squadron began its move to Hurcott Camp, near Salisbury and on 6 May 1919 embarked on RMS Kaisar-i-Hind at Southampton and sailed for Australia, arriving at Port Adelaide on 16 June 1919.

Includes a list of Awards and Decorations awarded to the unit.

Previous owner’s stamps front and rear of book else a very good copy.

Nominal Roll included