Ross Smith, image courtesy State Library of South Australia B6101
Smith, Ross – July 1917
Graduated as a pilot. Started School of Aerial Gunnery
Left Aboukir for Cairo. Finished up at School. Did 4 hrs. 19 mins. Dual, and 23 hrs. 14 mins. Solo.
Left Cairo for DIER-EL-BELAH at 11 A.M.
Arrived BELAH and rejoined my Squadron. Posted to A Flight. Major Williams O.C. Jones, Ellis & Macnaughton the 3 Flight Commanders. The camp is among fig trees & vines and the aerodrome has a good level surface.
Did my first job as a pilot. Took out Sutherland in a 2E & we did the Tactical reco. with 2 other 2 E’s
July 18th. & 19th.
Out on Recos.
The ANZAC Div were doing a stunt out towards BEERSHEBA. Took Turner out and landed at ANZAC H.Q. A wheel came off as I landed & the machine stood on its nose & broke the prop. Winter brought me out a new prop, & we gathered up all the local ground telephone wires with our tail skids when we took off to come home.
Started flying Martinsydes (120 H.P.)
Reco of HARIERA with Turner. We flew in formation on all these recos. Three 2E’s in the shape of a triangle and a Martinsyde or a BEIZA above them as escort. Sometimes two D.H.’s or two Vickers Bullets\from 111 Sqdn./ would come with us or meet us over a certain place but we did not always have them. If a reco was to go out the 2E’s would get off & climb for an hour,(by which time they would reach only about 6,000ft.) then the Martinsyde or 12 A would get off about half an hour after them, pick them up & the whole lot would move off.
Out taking photos in a Martensite & escorted the reco as well.
Took out the film camera on a Martinsyde & took a strip around BEERSHEBA. Bowd came with me as escort, also on a ‘tinsyde