Tone’s Attachment to No.24 Flying Squadron

Tone was detached from No.3 FS to no.24 Flying Squadron (along with Frank Goodrich) in late May 1916. At that time No.24 FS was commanded by Major Lanoe Hawker at Bertangle and were fully equipped with Geoffrey de Havilland’s DH2s – single-seat pusher fighters – the World’s first ever fighter aeroplane unit in the field.

In the middle of June three Bristol Scouts and *two Morane Monoplanes with their pilots* were withdrawn from the corps squadrons of the third wing and attached to 24 Squadron. The third wing scouts were not replaced when they became casualties and their numbers dwindled away until, by the end of July, they ceased to exist.

CCIJ – 53. Hawker VC. by Tvrrel M. Hawker (Mitre Press. 1965). p176

from: Somme Success, p51

Logistics 1 May 1916

Tone flies Morane (N) Scout (“Bullet”) 5067 from 1 Aircraft Depot, St Omer to England where it is allotted to the newly formed No.60 FS on 5 May.

The Morane “bullet,” with a 80 h.p. Le Rhone engine, was quite a different proposition. This was a monoplane with a fuselage (body) of the monococque, or cigar-shaped, type and very small wings, giving, therefore, a very high loading per square foot of lifting surface. The speed near the ground was not too bad for 1916, being about ninety to ninety- five miles per hour, but, owing to the high loading on the wings, the machine became inefficient at a height. It had the gliding angle of a brick, as a pilot moodily complained after an unsuccessful forced landing. It is obvious that, if a machine has a very small wing surface, it must be kept going fast, when gliding without the engine, to preserve its flying speed, and this can only be done by keeping the nose well down ; hence the unfriendly description quoted above. Above 10,000 feet it was difficult to turn a ” bullet ” sharply and steeply without ” stalling ” ; moreover, in bad weather it was very uncomfortable to fly, giving the impression that it was trying its best to kill the pilot all the time. The lateral control, 1 of the ” warp ” type, was to some extent responsible for this. The armament was a fixed Lewis gun firing through the propeller, which was fitted with a metal deflector a steel wedge which prevented the propeller being shot through. There was no synchronising gear on any of the Moranes. By this is meant the device by which the detona- tion of the gun was harmonised with the beat of the propeller ; actually the gun is blocked when the blades of the propeller are in the line of fire.