‘De Havilland DH2 And The Men Who Flew Them’

NEW BOOK: Published October 2022 by The Great War Aviation Society 

The latest volume in The Cross and Cockade Monograph Series is being published in October 2022 by The Great War Aviation Society. The book focuses on an important WW1 aircraft, the de Havilland DH2 Scout, and describes in detail the efforts to perfect a design that could change the direction of air warfare, and the moving stories of the pilots and squadrons that flew the DH2 in battle.

The book is published by The Great War Aviation Society (formerly Cross and Cockade International). It runs to 260 pages, and includes 300 photographs, many never published before, of the aircraft, seen in so many roles, and the faces and the groups of comrades who flew it.  It is on sale for £25 at www.crossandcockade.com from 17th October 2022.

The DH2 was a transformative fighter aircraft. Aircraft designer Geoffrey de Havilland rose to the challenge of providing a safe and effective way to accurately fire an aircraft’s machine gun forward, in the direction of flight. As a pusher-type aircraft it set the engine and propeller behind the cockpit nacelle, allowing British pilots to have an effective and uninterrupted field of fire forward for the first time. Pointing the aircraft in flight pointed the weapon.  Its advent ended the scourge of the German Fokker Monoplanes, and then its airmen achieved considerable success through the Battle of the Somme.

Though increasingly outclassed in late 1916, as the likes of Manfred von Richthofen (the fabled Red Baron) and others brought the new German twin-gunned fighters into the Air War, the pilots of the three DH2 Squadrons showed great courage and fight well into 1917.  Those brave airmen would lodge over 460 RFC Combat Reports, describing all their battles in this small, but wonderful aircraft. Used over the Western Front, Macedonia, the Middle East, and the Home Front, no less than three Victoria Cross winners shared the fame of these innovative, but pivotal aircraft, as they found and defined air-fighting. 

The book has six parts, describing in detail all these roles, plus seven Appendices covering all manner of technical matters, a Serials Listing, plus colour profiles and modelling data. It has been written by some notable authors including Trevor Henshaw, Barry Gray, Mick Davis and Mike Kelsey, whose specific studies of the type over decades have ensured a complete and authoritative text, supported by hundreds of photos and illustrations.  Valuable contributions have also been made by several other experts and artists, without whom, the book would not have been possible.