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RAAF A12 Bristol Bulldog IIa

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From 1921 the RAAF possessed three obsolete Sopwith Pups and two equally obsolete SE5a aircraft for use in the single seat fighter role. In 1928 a decision was made to replace those aircraft with a modern front line single seat fighter and the aircraft selected was the Bristol Bulldog Mk.II fitted with the 450 hp Jupiter VII radial engine. Six Mk.II Bulldogs were ordered on 17 June 1929 at a cost of 3,750 pounds each and two additional machines were ordered later that year with all eight aircraft being delivered to Melbourne on 14Mar30. From their introduction into RAAF service until 1935 the Bulldogs were considered almost sacrosanct and a pilot had to be of Instructor rating before being allowed to fly one. However, toward the end of the aircraft’s life the novelty had worn off and other pilots were permitted to fly the aircraft.

 

Apart from fighter training the Bulldog’s spent a large amount of time training for and performing demonstrations around Australia and in cooperation with the Army and Navy during their annual exercises.  Another activity was introduced when the Victorian Meteorological Department asked for daily flights to record weather data. These flights were carried in all weather extremes and from 1930 to 1939 the flights were conducted on approximately 333 days of each year with only one serious accident, a truly amazing feat.

 

For a high performance aircraft most pilots reported that it was a delight to fly, very precise and forgiving and extremely easy to land. During its service career there were only two fatal crashes and they were both from pilot error: one where the pilot dived into the water doing gunnery practice and the other when the pilot misjudged his height when doing low level aerobatics. The only oddity the aircraft exhibited was during spin recovery but once pilots mastered this eccentricity the aircraft proved a delight in the air.

 

Part of the training regime in the period 1930-5 included several annual long distance navigation exercises from Point Cook to Adelaide 1930, -31 and, Adelaide and Perth 1932, -33, -35. These exercises were quite a feat for the day as the aircraft had to be refueled every two hours and had no navigation equipment. Pilots were trained to perform minor maintenance and it is a reflection of the Bulldog’s reliability that only three failures caused forced landings in an era when forced landings were almost a daily occurrence for many aircraft.

 

By the start of WWII only three aircraft remained in RAAF service. Two had been destroyed in crashes and three had been reduced to components, the last three were all converted to Instructional Training Aids in 1940 and finally scrapped sometime during the war years. Sadly no Bulldog airframes remain extant in Australia, a fate all too common for aircraft of that era.

 
     
 
Aircraft Serial c/n

Individual Aircraft History

A12-1 7389

17Jun29       One of six Mk.II Bulldog aircraft ordered from the Bristol Aeroplane Company, UK.

Jan30          Manufactured by Bristol in their factory at Filton, Gloucestershire UK.

29Jan30      Following acceptance by RAAF UK Liaison officer (O6 SQNLDR Henry Neilson Wrigley DFC AFC) the aircraft was disassembled and prepared for sea transportation to Australia. 

04Feb30      Loaded onto the 9,949 ton Aberdeen & Commonwealth Lines SS Fordsdale and shipped to Australia.

14Mar30      Arrived at No 9 Victoria Docks, Melbourne unloaded and transported to RAAF Base Laverton.

18Mar30      Delivered to No 1 Aircraft Depot (1AD) at RAAF Laverton for assembly and testing.

01May30      Test flown at Laverton by O12 SQNLDR John Hamilton Summers.

May30         Issued to Fighter Squadron of No 1 Flying Training School at RAAF Point Cook, VIC.

17Oct30      Piloted by O12 SQNLDR John Hamilton Summers and accompanied by A12-3 [O38 FLTLT Frederick Rudolph William Scherger] and A12-6 [O368 FLGFF Arthur Norman Evans] flew to Parafield Aerodrome SA via Nhill to participate in the 1930 Adelaide Air Pageant, the first of many formation flying displays given by Bulldog aircraft over the ensuing years. The aircraft flew formation aerobatics, fly pasts and Army support tasks. A12-1 performed the solo portion of the display in front of 45,000 spectators.

15Oct31       Flown by O12 SQNLDR John Hamilton Summers and accompanied by A12-3 [O38 FLTLT Frederick Rudolph William Scherger] and A12-6 [O368 FLGFF Arthur Norman Evans] flew to Parafield Aerodrome SA via Nhill for the the 1931 Adelaide Air Pageant. An estimated 50,000 spectators watched the Pageant. A12-1 performed the solo portion of the display.

13Mar32      Piloted by O368 FLGFF Arthur Norman Evans along with A12-2 [O12 SQNLDR John Hamilton Summers] and  A12-6 [O31 FLTLT Robert Henry Simms] and three Wapiti aircraft from No 1 (F) Sqn, departed Laverton for flight to Darwin to perform a “Meet and Greet” of three 205 Sqn RAF Southampton aircraft on their Far East 1932 Publicity Flight. The route taken was Laverton VIC – Cootamundra NSW - Bourke NSW – Longreach QLD – Cloncurry QLD– Birdum NT – Darwin.

19 Mar32     A12-1, - 2 and -6 arrived Darwin.

22Mar32     Formatted with three RAAF Wapitis, the RAF Southamptons and the German Aviatrix Ms. Elli Einchorne in her Klemm monoplane, who was on the last leg of her solo UK-Australia flight. The 10 aircraft formation then proceeded to perform a “beat-up’ of Darwin Harbour and the township.

27Mar32     Accompanied by A12-2 and -6 departed Darwin and using the same route returned to Point Cook on 01Apr32.

13Oct32      Flown by O12 SQNLDR John Hamilton Summers and accompanied by A12-2 [FLGOFF M.O, Watson] and A12-7 [O46 FLGFF Hugh William Berry] flew the Annual Cross Country Training Exercise to Adelaide SA and Perth WA.  Route taken was Point Cook – Kaniva – Adelaide (Parafield) – Kimba – Ceduna – Cook WA – Rawlina – Kalgoolie – Tammin – Perth. Actual flight time was 21.5hrs spread over nine days. Displays were given at Kaniva [est. 3,000 spectators], Adelaide [est. 40,000 spectators] and Perth [est. 12,000 spectators] on the outward leg of the journey.

26Oct32      Departed Perth for the return trip to Point Cook. A two hour display was given at Kalgoorlie [6,000 spectators] on 27Oct32. Returned to Point Cook on 01Sep32.

17Feb33      Piloted by O38 FLTLT Frederick Rudolph William Scherger along with A1338 SGT CN Scott [A12-2]; A774 SGT Terrence Alan Hopkins [A12-6] and Southampton A11-1 [O28 FLTLT L.V. Lachal] flew to Tasmania for the 1933 Display Season. Route was Point Cook-King Island-Smithton- Wynyard- Launceston – Elwick Racecourse Hobart and return. Displays were given at Smithton [3,000 spectators], Wynyard [4,000 spectators], Western Junction [4,000 spectators] and Hobart [13,000 spectators].

02Mar33     All aircraft returned safely to Point Cook

18Mar33      Flown by O31 FLTLT Robert Henry Simms in the 1933 Moonee Valley Air Pageant – 55,000 spectators.

12Oct33      Piloted by O12 SQNLDR John Hamilton Summers accompanied two other Bulldog aircraft in the Annual Cross Country Training Exercise to Perth WA.  Route taken was Point Cook – Kaniva – Adelaide (Parafield) – Kimba – Ceduna – Cook WA – Rawlina – Kalgoolie – Tammin – Perth. Actual flight time was 18.5hrs spread over seven days. Displays were given at Kaniva [2,000 spectators], Adelaide [45,000 spectators] and Perth [15,000 spectators] on the outward leg of the journey.

24Oct33      Departed for Point Cook, actual flight time was 16.4hrs spread over five days. An impromptu display was given at Kalgoorlie on 25Oct. Arrived at Point Cook 1100hrs 28Oct33.

12Feb34      A12-1 piloted by O38 FLTLT Frederick Rudolph William Scherger participated in the 1934 Defence Week Celebrations where Fighter Squadron was tasked to perform a night flying display and a simulated night fighting action at the Melbourne Exhibition Grounds, VIC.  An estimated 250,000 people attended the five displays on 12-16th February 1934.

22Mar34     During the period 22Mar-02Apr in company with A12-3 & -6 participated in the first series of night exercises with HMA ships Australia & Canberra in Port Phillip Bay [22-24 Mar] and, with Australian Army elements at Queenscliff VIC using searchlights and radar.

Nov34         1FTS Fighter Squadron was tasked by the Government of the day to provide a series of ‘Morale Boosting’ air displays for the 1934-35 Eastern States Display Season in Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle and Brisbane. All six remaining Bulldogs were committed to the program and at least five aircraft appeared at the Sydney and Melbourne displays and three aircraft at the Newcastle and Brisbane air shows. The displays began on 05Nov at Kadinia Park, Geelong [A12-2, 3, 5, 6 and 7] in support of the Geelong Centenary Celebrations; followed by the inaugural RAAF Base Laverton Air Display on 10Nov [A12-1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7]; a four and half hour Royal Salute Formation Fly Past over Sydney Harbour for the arrival of HRH the Duke of Gloucester and the subsequent parade thru Sydney [A12-1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7]; the RAAF Richmond Air Pageant on 26Nov [A12-2, 3, 5, 6 and 7]; the Newcastle Air Pageant on 01Dec [A12- 5, 6 and 7]; the Brisbane Air Pageant at Archerfield Aerodrome on 08Dec [A12-5, 6 and 7]; and culminating at the Victorian Annual Children’s Camp festivals at Somers and Balnarring VIC on 22Jan35 [A12-2, 5, 6 and 7]. The displays were a huge success and were widely reported on by the media. Total attendance at all the events was estimated to be between 750,000 and one million people.

12Dec35      Fighter Squadron 1FTS ceased to exist on this date. Fighter Squadron complete with all six Bulldog aircraft, manpower and equipment became a flight of No 1 (F) Squadron at RAAF Base Laverton and moved to Laverton on this day.

1936            While part of 1Sqn carried out many aerial displays, predominantly in the Melbourne area.

Dec36         Allocated to No 21 (CAF) Sqn at RAAF Laverton.

19Jan37       Received by 21Sqn.

26Jan37      While practicing formation take off and landings with A12-8 at Somers Camp VIC the aircraft collided at about 500ft after take-off. Minor damage resulted to the wing tips of both aircraft. Pilots PLTOFF D. J. McPherson (A12-1) and PLTOFF J.A. Cohen (A12-8) were uninjured.

12May37      Together with A12-2 and -3 flew as part of a RAAF 36 aircraft formation fly-past over the King Georg VI Coronation Parade in Melbourne. Pilot was O250188 FLGOFF John Peter Ryland.

23Oct37      Allocated to No 2 (GP) Sqn at RAAF Laverton.

11Nov37       Received minor damage when the undercarriage collapsed on landing at Laverton. Repaired at 1AD.

12Jan38       Received by 2Sqn.

09Apr38      Along with A12-2 & -3 flew in the RAAF Air Pageant at Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne attended by 165,000 people, pilot was O3379 SGT Lance Ivan Newbound.

17Apr38      Departed Laverton for Richmond with A12-2 and A12-3. Refuelled at RAAF Wagga then flew to Cootamundra for an overnight stay then on the RAAF Richmond the next day. The next few days were spent in practice then two Bulldogs flew in the RAAF Richmond Air Pag1eant on 23 April that was attended by 175,000 spectators. Pilots were O3379 SGT Lance Ivan Newbound [A12-1] and O78610 FLTLT Walter Henry Berry [A12-3].

24Apr38      In company with A12-3 flew back to Point Cook via Cootamundra.

1938-39       Performed many displays in and around Melbourne for a variety of organizations.

Jun39          Withdrawn from service and transferred to 1AD.

15Apr40      Converted to Bulldog Instructional Airframe No 1.

No further information.

 

Highlight for Album: Bristol Bulldog A12-1   

A12-2 7390

17Jun29       One of six Mk.II Bulldog aircraft ordered from the Bristol Aeroplane Company, UK.

Jan30          Manufactured by Bristol in their factory at Filton, Gloucestershire UK.

29Jan30      Following acceptance by RAAF UK Liaison officer (O6 SQNLDR Henry Neilson Wrigley DFC AFC) the aircraft was disassembled and prepared for sea transportation to Australia. 

04Feb30      Loaded onto the 9,949 ton Aberdeen & Commonwealth Lines steamer SS Fordsdale and shipped to Australia.

14Mar30      Arrived at No 9 Victoria Docks, Melbourne and unloaded.

18Mar30      Delivered to No 1 Aircraft Depot (1AD) at RAAF Base Laverton VIC for assembly and testing.

01May30      Test flown at Laverton by O38 FLTLT Frederick Rudolph William Scherger.

May30         Issued to Fighter Squadron of No 1 Flying Training School at RAAF Point Cook, VIC.

24May30     Piloted by O12 SQNLDR John Hamilton Summers, won the Annual Victorian Air Derby.

13Mar32      In company with A12-1, A12-6 and three Wapiti aircraft from No 1 (F) Sqn departed Laverton for flight to Darwin to perform a “Meet and Greet” of three 205 Sqn RAF Southampton aircraft on their Far East Publicity Flight . The route taken was Laverton VIC – Cootamundra NSW - Bourke NSW – Longreach QLD – Cloncurry QLD - Birdum NT – Darwin. Pilots were O368 FLGFF Arthur Norman Evans [A12-1]; O12 SQNLDR John Hamilton Summers [A12-2]; and, O31 FLTLT Robert Henry Simms [A12-6].

20Mar32     Arrived in Darwin.

27Mar32     The aircraft overturned when landing on a wet, boggy airfield at Birdum, NT. Aircraft was extensively damaged but SQNLDR Summers only received minor bruising and shock.

30Mar32     Loaded onto a North Australia Railway train at Birdum and taken to Darwin escorted by A1420 SGT Leonard Mervyn Diprose.

13Apr32      Loaded onto the 7,474 ton Burns Phillip Steamer SS Marella for transportation to Melbourne.

28Apr32      Arrived at No18 Victoria Dock, Port Melbourne, unloaded and taken to Laverton for repairs.

17Feb33      Piloted by A1338 SGT CN Scott along with O38 FLTLT Frederick Rudolph William Scherger [A12-1]; A774 SGT Terrence Alan Hopkins [A12-6] and Southampton A11-1 [O28 FLTLT L.V. Lachal] flew Point Cook-King Island-Smithton- Wynyard- Launceston – Elwick Racecourse Hobart and return. Displays were given at Smithton [ 3,000 spectators], Wynyard [ 4,000 spectators], Western Junction [ 4,000 spectators] and Hobart [ 13,000 spectators].

12Oct33      Participated with two other Bulldog aircraft in the Annual Cross Country Training Exercise to Perth WA piloted by A1036 SGT Francis Henry Cooper. Route taken was Point Cook – Kaniva – Adelaide (Parafield) – Kimba – Ceduna – Cook WA – Rawlina – Kalgoolie – Tammin – Perth. Actual flight time was 18.5hrs spread over seven days. Displays were given at Kaniva, Adelaide and Perth.

24Oct33      Departed for Point Cook, actual flight time was 14.4hrs spread over five days. Arrived at 1100hrs 28Oct33.

04Mar34     A1338 SGT C.N. Scott performed a special aerobatics display for the Australian Flying Corps Association at Point Cook.

11May34      Piloted by O38 FLTLT Frederick Rudolph William Scherger flew a series of Formation Aerial Displays over several Melbourne locations to support the Victorian Centenary Funding Appeal. Also involved wereA12-3 [O12 SQNLDR J.H Summers] and A12-6 [O52 FLTLT F.N. Wright].

18Oct34      Took part in the 20 aircraft formation that flew over Melbourne in support of the the Victorian Centenary Celebrations and a salute to HRH Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester. Pilot was A1303 SGT R.A. Reginald Arthur Sheppard

Nov34         1FTS Fighter Squadron was tasked by the Government of the day to provide a series of ‘Morale Boosting’ air displays for the 1934-35 Display Season in Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle and Brisbane. All six remaining Bulldogs were committed to the program and at least five aircraft appeared at the Sydney and Melbourne displays and three aircraft at the Newcastle and Brisbane air shows. The displays began on 05Nov at Kadinia Park, Geelong [A12-2, 3, 5, 6 and 7] in support of the Geelong Centenary Celebrations; followed by the inaugural RAAF Base Laverton Air Display on 10Nov [A12-1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7]; a four and half hour Royal Salute Formation Fly Past over Sydney Harbour for the arrival of HRH the Duke of Gloucester and the subsequent parade thru Sydney [A12-1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7]; the RAAF Richmond Air Pageant on 26Nov [A12-2, 3, 5, 6 and 7]; the Newcastle Air Pageant on 01Dec [A12- 5, 6 and 7]; the Brisbane Air Pageant at Archerfield Aerodrome on 08Dec [A12-5, 6 and 7]; and culminating at the Victorian Annual Children’s Camp festivals at Somers and Balnarring VIC on 22Jan35 [A12-2, 5, 6 and 7]. The displays were a huge success and were widely reported on by the media. Total attendance at all the events was estimated to be between 750,000 and one million people.

27Sep35      A12-3, 6, & 7 (O12 SQNLDR Summers, O318 FLTT Heffernan, O335 FLGOFF Chapman) Departed Point Cook for Perth for a long range navigation and show the flag exercise.  Planned route was Pt Cook-Nhill-Parafield-Bute-Ceduna-Cook-Forrest-Rawlina-Kalgoolie-Tammin-Perth. A12-3 & 6 arrived Perth 29Sep. A12-7 force landed near Cook, WA on 28Sep and a replacement aircraft [A12-2 – O55 PLTOFF Cooper] was flown from Point Cook while a ground crew took a new engine to Cook to repair A12-7 which then returned to Pt Cook on 08Oct35. A12-2 (Chapman) arr Perth 02Oct35. Air displays were given at Perth and exercises were also conducted with Army elements based in Perth.

09Oct35      A12-2, 3, & 6 departed Perth for Point Cook A12-2, 3 arrived Point Cook on 11Oct35. A12-6 had an engine failure at Cook 10Oct35, a new engine was dispatched from Pt Cook. Engine change over completed 17Oct, aircraft departed same day and arrived Pt Cook 18Oct35.

Nov35         The Victorian State Government obtained Federal Government approval to use RAAF Bulldogs for a series of night time aerial displays in support of popular Victorian organizations. Accordingly, a team consisting of SQNLDR Summers, FLTLT Lansell and FLTT Chapman was formed to perfect a night time routine.  A spectacular routine was devised that proved to be immensely popular with spectators and was instrumental in raising a large amount of money at the events. The team used A12-2,-3 & -6 for displays at the: Police Charity Carnival, Melbourne Exhibition Oval 26 Nov; Armed Forces Military Tattoo Melbourne Exhibition Oval 04Dec; Annual Armed Forces Gymkhana Melbourne Exhibition Oval 07Dec; Annual Melbourne Children’s Xmas Party at RAAF Laverton 12Dec; and the 1935 Citizen’s Xmas Appeal at Footscray Football Ground.

12Dec35      Fighter Squadron 1FTS ceased to exist on this date. Fighter Squadron complete with all six Bulldog aircraft, manpower and equipment became a flight of No 1 (F) Squadron at RAAF Base Laverton and moved to Laverton on this day.

14Mar36      Flown by O52 FLTLT F.N. Wright and accompanied by FLTLT F.W. Thomas [A12-3] and PLTOFF J.L. Webb [A12-6] provided an aerobatics display over Geelong to celebrate Veterans Day.

26Sep36      Flown by O83PLTOFF R.H. Moran and accompanied by PLTOFF B.R. Walker [A12-3] and PLTOFF J.A. Cohen [A12-6] provided an aerobatics display over Essendon Airport as part of the 1936 Air Pageant.

27Oct36      As part of the 1936 Defence Week Pageant three Bulldogs provided an aerobatics display at the following venues: Kadinia Park Geelong 27Oct; Geelong Waterfront 29Oct; Geelong Hospital Veterans Gala Day 30Oct; Geelong City 31Oct. An estimated 160,000 spectators attended the four displays. Aircraft and pilots were O83PLTOFF R.H. Moran [A12-2]; PLTOFF B.R. Walker [A12-3] and PLTOFF J.A. Cohen [A12-8]

Dec36         Allocated to No 21 (CAF) Sqn at RAAF Laverton.

19Jan37       Received by 21Sqn.

12May37     Together with A12-1 and -3 flew as part of a RAAF 36 aircraft formation fly-past over the King Georg VI Coronation Parade in Melbourne. Pilot was FLGOFF R.E Hitchcock.

23Oct37      Allocated to No 2 (GR) Sqn at RAAF Laverton.

Oct37         Issued to 1AD for overhaul.

21Mar38      Received by 2Sqn.

09Apr38      Part of the 1938 RAAF Aerial Pageant at Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne. A crowd of 165,000 people attended the event. Piloted by PLTOFF Lancelot Robert Sutherland

17Apr38      Departed Laverton for a flight to Richmond via Wagga and Cootamundra. When landing at Cootamundra a strong wind gust tipped the aircraft causing the stbd wing to hit the ground damaging the sweep and six wing ribs. The aircraft flew on to Richmond the next day and was repaired at 2AD.

22Apr38      Aircraft was to perform the solo display at the 1938 RAAF Richmond Air Pageant and during practice on this day the pilot was performing a slow rate roll over the airfield at 130mph when the stbd wing struck the ground. The aircraft immediately crashed and disintegrated: the pilot PLTOFF Lancelot Robert Sutherland (23) single of Minlaton, Adelaide SA was killed instantly.  PLTOFF Sutherland was buried with full military honours at St Peters Anglican Church Richmond, NSW.

Apr38         Aircraft salvaged by 2AD Technical Section

28Sep38      Airframe SOC and the engine converted to spares.

 

Highlight for Album: Bristol Bulldog A12-2

A12-3 7391

17Jun29       One of six Mk.II Bulldog aircraft ordered from the Bristol Aeroplane Company, UK.

Jan30          Manufactured by Bristol in their factory at Filton, Gloucestershire UK.

29Jan30      Following acceptance by RAAF UK Liaison officer (O6 SQNLDR Henry Neilson Wrigley DFC AFC) the aircraft was disassembled and prepared for sea transportation to Australia. 

04Feb30      Loaded onto the 9,949 ton Aberdeen & Commonwealth Lines steamer SS Fordsdale and shipped to Australia.

14Mar30      Arrived at No 9 Victoria Docks, Melbourne and unloaded.

18Mar30      Delivered to No 1 Aircraft Depot (1AD) at RAAF Base Laverton VIC for assembly and testing.

03May30     1st Bulldog test flown in Australia by FLTLT A.W. Murphy DFC, AFC.

May30         Issued to Fighter Squadron of No 1 Flying Training School at RAAF Point Cook, VIC.

17Oct30      Piloted by O38 FLTLT Frederick Rudolph William Scherger and accompanied by A12-1 O12 SQNLDR John Hamilton Summers and A12-6 [O368 FLGFF Arthur Norman Evans] flew to Parafield Aerodrome SA via Nhill to participate in the 1930 Adelaide Air Pageant, the first of many formation flying displays given by Bulldog aircraft over the ensuing years. The aircraft flew formation aerobatics, fly pasts and Army support tasks.

09May31      Performed the solo display at the 1931 Moonee Valley Air Pageant attended by an estimated 45,000 people. Piloted by O38 FLTLT Frederick Rudolph William Scherger.

17Oct31       Flown by O38 FLTLT Frederick Rudolph William Scherger and accompanied by A12-1 O12 SQNLDR John Hamilton Summers and A12-6 [O368 FLGFF Arthur Norman Evans] flew to Parafield Aerodrome SA via Nhill to participate in the 1931 Adelaide Air Pageant. An estimated 50,000 people watched the Pageant.

12Oct33      Participated with two other Bulldog aircraft in the Annual Cross Country Training Exercise to Perth WA piloted by O12 SQNLDR J.H Summers. Planned route was Point Cook – Kaniva – Adelaide (Parafield) – Kimba – Ceduna – Cook WA – Rawlina – Kalgoolie – Tammin – Perth.

13Oct33      On the Kaniva-Adelaide leg the aircraft suffered engine problems resulting in a forced landing at Lameroo SA. A ground crew was dispatched from Point Cook and the when the engine was repaired the aircraft was flown back to Point Cook by O52 FLTLT F.N. Wright.

12Feb34      Piloted by O12 SQNLDR John Hamilton Summers participated in the 1934 Defence Week Celebrations where Fighter Squadron was tasked to perform a night flying display and a simulated night fighting action at the Melbourne Exhibition Grounds, VIC.  An estimated 250,000 thousand people attended the five displays on 12-16th February 1934.

22Feb34      Piloted by A1303 SGT R.A. Reginald Arthur Sheppard along with A12- 5 [O318 FLGOFF P.G. Heffernan] and A12-7 [O52 FLTLT F.N. Wright] and Southampton A11-2 [O28 FLTLT L.V. Lachal] flew Point Cook-King Island-Smithton-Launceston-Wynyard-Latrobe-Hobart and return. The following displays were given: 23 Feb Smithton 3,000 spectators; 25 Feb Launceston 7,000 spectators; 27 Feb Wynyard 5,000 spectators; 28 Feb Devonport 3,000 spectators; and, 03 Mar Hobart 11,000 spectators.

05Mar34     Aircraft returned safely to Point Cook.

22Mar34     During the period 22Mar-02Apr in company with A12-1 & -6 participated in the first series of night exercises with HMA ships Australia & Canberra in Port Phillip Bay [22-24Mar] and, with Australian Army elements at Queenscliff VIC using searchlights and radar.

11May34      Piloted by O12 SQNLDR J.H Summers flew a series of Formation Aerial Displays over several Melbourne locations to support the Victorian Centenary Funding Appeal. Also involved were A12-2 [O38 FLTLT Frederick Rudolph William Scherger] and A12-6 [O52 FLTLT F.N. Wright].

18Oct34      Took part in the 20 aircraft formation that flew over Melbourne in support of the the Victorian Centenary Celebrations and a salute to HRH Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester. Pilot was FLTLT N.B Tamlyn.

Nov34         1FTS Fighter Squadron was tasked by the Government of the day to provide a series of ‘Morale Boosting’ air displays for the 1934-35 Display Season in Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle and Brisbane. All six remaining Bulldogs were committed to the program and at least five aircraft appeared at the Sydney and Melbourne displays and three aircraft at the Newcastle and Brisbane air shows. The displays began on 05Nov at Kadinia Park, Geelong [A12-2, 3, 5, 6 and 7] in support of the Geelong Centenary Celebrations; followed by the inaugural RAAF Base Laverton Air Display on 10Nov [A12-1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7]; a four and half hour Royal Salute Formation Fly Past over Sydney Harbour for the arrival of HRH the Duke of Gloucester and the subsequent parade thru Sydney [A12-1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7]; the RAAF Richmond Air Pageant on 26Nov [A12-2, 3, 5, 6 and 7]; the Newcastle Air Pageant on 01Dec [A12- 5, 6 and 7]; the Brisbane Air Pageant at Archerfield Aerodrome on 08Dec [A12-5, 6 and 7]; and culminating at the Victorian Annual Children’s Camp festivals at Somers and Balnarring VIC on 22Jan35 [A12-2, 5, 6 and 7]. The displays were a huge success and were widely reported on by the media. Total attendance at all the events was estimated to be between 750,000 and one million people.

06May35     One of three Bulldogs that performed an Aerobatic Salute over Royal Park Melbourne to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of HM King George V.  Piloted by FLTLT N.B. Tamlyn.

25May35     One of three Bulldogs that performed an Aerobatics Routine over Point Cook, Laverton and Essendon airfields to commemorate Empire Day.  Huge numbers of spectators flocked to the three venues.  Piloted by FLTLT N.B. Tamlyn.

27Sep35      A12-2, 3, 6, (SQNLDR Summers, FLTT Heffernan, FLGOFF Chapman) Departed Point Cook for Perth for a long range navigation and show the flag exercise.  Planned route was Pt Cook-Nhill-Parafield-Bute-Ceduna-Cook-Forrest-Rawlina-Kalgoolie-Tammin-Perth. A12-3 & 6 arrived Perth 29Sep. A12-7 force landed near Cook on 28Sep and a replacement, A12-2, O55 PLTOFF Cooper, was flown from Point Cook a ground crew took a new engine to Cook and A12-7 returned to Pt Cook on 08Oct35. A12-2 (Heffernan) arr Perth 02Oct35. Air displays were given at Perth and exercises were also conducted with Army elements based in Perth.

09Oct35      A12-2, 3 & 6 departed Perth for Point Cook A12-2, 3 arrived Point Cook on 11Oct35. A12-6 engine failure at Cook 10Oct35, a new engine was dispatched from Pt Cook. Engine change over completed 17Oct, aircraft departed same day and arrived Pt Cook 18Oct35.

Nov35         The Victorian State Government obtained Federal Government approval to use RAAF Bulldogs for a series of night time aerial displays in support of popular Victorian organizations. Accordingly, a team consisting of SQNLDR Summers, FLTLT Lansell and FLTT Chapman was formed to perfect a night time routine.  A spectacular routine was devised that proved to be immensely popular with spectators and was instrumental in raising a large amount of money at the events. The team used A12-2,-3 & -6 for displays at the: Police Charity Carnival, Melbourne Exhibition Oval 26 Nov; Armed Forces Military Tattoo Melbourne Exhibition Oval 04Dec; Annual Armed Force s Gymkhana Melbourne Exhibition Oval 07Dec; Annual Melbourne Children’s Xmas Party at RAAF Laverton 12Dec; and the 1935 Citizen’s Xmas Appeal at Footscray Football Ground.

12Dec35      Fighter Squadron 1FTS ceased to exist on this date. Fighter Squadron complete with all six Bulldog aircraft, manpower and equipment became a flight of No 1 (F) Squadron at RAAF Base Laverton and moved to Laverton on this day.

14Mar36      Flown by FLTLT F.W. Thomas and accompanied by O52 FLTLT F.N. Wright [A12-2] and PLTOFF J.L. Webb [A12-6] provided an aerobatics display over Geelong to celebrate Veterans Day.

26Sep36      Flown by PLTOFF B.R. Walker and accompanied by O83PLTOFF R.H. Moran [A12-2] and PLTOFF J.A. Cohen [A12-6] provided an aerobatics display over Essendon Airport as part of the 1936 Air Pageant.

27Oct36      As part of the 1936 Defence Week Pageant three Bulldogs provided an aerobatics display at the following venues: Kadinia Park Geelong 27Oct; Geelong Waterfront 29Oct; Geelong Hospital Veterans Gala Day 30Oct; Geelong City 31Oct. An estimated 160,000 spectators attended the four displays. Aircraft and pilots were O83PLTOFF R.H. Moran [A12-2]; PLTOFF B.R. Walker [A12-3] and PLTOFF J.A. Cohen [A12-8]

1936            While part of 1Sqn carried out many aerial displays predominantly in the Melbourne area.

Dec36         Allocated to No 21 (CAF) Sqn at RAAF Laverton.

19Jan37       Received by 21Sqn.

12May37      Together with A12-1 and -2 flew as part of a RAAF 36 aircraft formation fly-past over the King Georg VI Coronation Parade in Melbourne. Pilot was SGT R. Morgan

23Oct37      Allocated to No 2 (GR) Sqn at RAAF Laverton.

Oct37         Issued to 1AD for overhaul.

21Mar38      Received by 2Sqn. Performed many displays in and around Melbourne for a variety of organizations.

29Mar38     Undercarriage and lower wing damage in heavy landing at Laverton. Pilot PLTOFF C.D. Riding received minor cuts and abrasions. Repaired at Unit.

09Apr38      One of three Bulldog’s that provided the aerobatics element of the 1938 Aerial Pageant at Flemington Racecourse VIC, where an estimated 165,000 spectators attended. Pilot was O78610 FLTLT Walter Henry Berry.

17Apr38      Departed Laverton for Richmond in company with A12-2 and A12-3. Refuelled at RAAF Wagga then flew to Cootamundra for an overnight stay then on the RAAF Richmond the next day. The next few days were spent in practice then the two Bulldogs flew in the RAAF Richmond Air Pag1eant on 23 April that was attended by 175,000 spectators. Pilots were O3379 SGT Lance Ivan Newbound [A12-1] and O78610 FLTLT Walter Henry Berry [A12-3].

24Apr38      In company with A12-1 flew back to Point Cook via Cootamundra.

Jun39          Withdrawn from service and transferred to 1AD.

15Apr40      Converted to Bulldog Instructional Airframe No 2.

No further information.

 

Highlight for Album: Bristol Bulldog A12-3

A12-4 7392

17Jun29       One of six Mk.II Bulldog aircraft ordered from the Bristol Aeroplane Company, UK.

Jan30          Manufactured by Bristol in their factory at Filton, Gloucestershire UK.

29Jan30      Following acceptance by RAAF UK Liaison officer (O6 SQNLDR Henry Neilson Wrigley DFC AFC) the aircraft was disassembled and prepared for sea transportation to Australia. 

04Feb30      Loaded onto the 9,949 ton Aberdeen & Commonwealth Lines steamer SS Fordsdale and shipped to Australia.

14Mar30      Arrived at No 9 Victoria Docks, Melbourne and unloaded.

18Mar30      Delivered to No 1 Aircraft Depot (1AD) at RAAF Base Laverton VIC for assembly and testing.

12May30      Issued to Fighter Squadron of No 1 Flying Training School at RAAF Point Cook, VIC.

15May30      At 1345hrs while flying inverted at 4000ft mid-way between Point Cook and Laverton the pilot attempted an outside loop. In the course of the manoeuvre the pilot heard a loud crack whereupon the top wing proceeded to detach from the lower wing and aircraft entered an inverted flat spin. PLTOFF William Gordon Rae managed to unstrap and parachute to safety. This was the first use of a parachute to save a RAAF pilot.

18Jun30       Aircraft converted to components and engine salvaged as an instructional aid.

 

Highlight for Album: Bristol Bulldog A12-4

A12-5 7393

17Jun29       One of six Mk.II Bulldog aircraft ordered from the Bristol Aeroplane Company, UK.

Jan30          Manufactured by Bristol in their factory at Filton, Gloucestershire UK.

29Jan30      Following acceptance by RAAF UK Liaison officer (O6 SQNLDR Henry Neilson Wrigley DFC AFC) the aircraft was disassembled and prepared for sea transportation to Australia. 

04Feb30      Loaded onto the 9,949 ton Aberdeen & Commonwealth Lines steamer SS Fordsdale and shipped to Australia.

14Mar30      Arrived at No 9 Victoria Docks, Melbourne and unloaded.

18Mar30      Delivered to No 1 Aircraft Depot (1AD) at RAAF Base Laverton VIC for assembly and testing.

May30         Issued to Fighter Squadron of No 1 Flying Training School at RAAF Point Cook, VIC.

Feb32         Piloted by O31 FLGOFF R.H. Simms flew to Tasmania and performed in the 1932 Aerial Pageant Displays at Western Junction, Launceston [13Feb – 3,500 spectators]; Brighton, Hobart [20Feb-10,000 spectators]; and, Wynyard [27Feb-6,500 spectators].

22Feb34      Piloted by A1303 SGT R.A. Reginald Arthur Sheppard along with A12-3 [A1338 SGT C.N. Scott] and A12-7 [O52 FLTLT F.N. Wright] and Southampton A11-2 [O28 FLTLT L.V. Lachal] flew Point Cook-King Island-Smithton-Launceston-Wynyard-Latrobe-Hobart and return. The following displays were given: 23 Feb Smithton 3,000 spectators; 25 Feb Launceston 7,000 spectators; 27 Feb Wynyard 5,000 spectators; 28 Feb Devonport 3,000 spectators; and, 03 Mar Hobart 11,000 spectators.

05Mar34     Aircraft returned safely to Point Cook.

05May34     While performing the daily meteorological flight the engine failed at 16,000ft and the pilot O318 FLTLT P.G. Heffernan made a dead stick landing on the Williamstown Racecourse. No damage to the airframe or injury to the pilot. A RAAF ground crew towed the aircraft back to Point Cook for engine repair.

18Oct34      Took part in the 20 aircraft formation that flew over Melbourne in support of the the Victorian Centenary Celebrations and a salute to HRH Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester. Piloted by O318 FLGOFF P.G. Heffernan

Nov34         1FTS Fighter Squadron was tasked by the Government of the day to provide a series of ‘Morale Boosting’ air displays for the 1934-35 Display Season in Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle and Brisbane. All six remaining Bulldogs were committed to the program and at least five aircraft appeared at the Sydney and Melbourne displays and three aircraft at the Newcastle and Brisbane air shows. The displays began on 05Nov at Kadinia Park, Geelong [A12-2, 3, 5, 6 and 7] in support of the Geelong Centenary Celebrations; followed by the inaugural RAAF Base Laverton Air Display on 10Nov [A12-1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7]; a four and half hour Royal Salute Formation Fly Past over Sydney Harbour for the arrival of HRH the Duke of Gloucester and the subsequent parade thru Sydney [A12-1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7]; the RAAF Richmond Air Pageant on 26Nov [A12-2, 3, 5, 6 and 7]; the Newcastle Air Pageant on 01Dec [A12- 5, 6 and 7]; the Brisbane Air Pageant at Archerfield Aerodrome on 08Dec [A12-5, 6 and 7]; and culminating at the Victorian Annual Children’s Camp festivals at Somers and Balnarring VIC on 22Jan35 [A12-2, 5, 6 and 7]. The displays were a huge success and were widely reported on by the media. Total attendance at all the events was estimated to be between 750,000 and one million people.

06May35     One of three Bulldogs that performed an Aerobatic Salute over Royal Park Melbourne to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of HM King George V.  Piloted by O318 FLTLT P.G. Heffernan.

07May35     Piloted by O318 FLGOFF P.G. Heffernan flew the Farewell Salute to HMAS Brisbane as it left Port Melbourne bound for the breakers yard.

25May35     One of three Bulldogs that performed an Aerobatics Routine over Point Cook, Laverton and Essendon airfields to commemorate Empire Day.  Huge numbers of spectators flocked to the three venues.  Piloted by O318 FLGOFF P.G. Heffernan.

03Jul35       Aircraft force landed in a paddock at Templestowe, Melbourne following an engine failure. The aircraft was extensively damaged after hitting a fence during the landing. The pilot FLGOFF A.C.D. Webb suffered from bruising and shock. The aircraft was dismantled by ground staff and transported back to Laverton by road.

01Oct35      A technical survey stated the aircraft was uneconomical to repair and recommended conversion.  Conversion was approved.

 

Highlight for Album: Bristol Bulldog A12-5

A12-6 7394

17Jun29       One of six Mk.II Bulldog aircraft ordered from the Bristol Aeroplane Company, UK.

Jan30          Manufactured by Bristol in their factory at Filton, Gloucestershire UK.

29Jan30      Following acceptance by RAAF UK Liaison officer (O6 SQNLDR Henry Neilson Wrigley DFC AFC) the aircraft was disassembled and prepared for sea transportation to Australia. 

04Feb30      Loaded onto the 9,949 ton Aberdeen & Commonwealth Lines steamer SS Fordsdale and shipped to Australia.

14Mar30      Arrived at No 9 Victoria Docks, Melbourne and unloaded.

18Mar30      Delivered to No 1 Aircraft Depot (1AD) at RAAF Base Laverton VIC for assembly and testing.

May30         Issued to Fighter Squadron of No 1 Flying Training School at RAAF Point Cook, VIC.

17Oct30      Piloted by O368 FLGFF Arthur Norman Evans and accompanied by A12-1 [O12 SQNLDR John Hamilton Summers] and A12-3 [O38 FLTLT Frederick Rudolph William Scherger]flew to Parafield Aerodrome SA via Nhill to participate in the 1930 Adelaide Air Pageant, the first of many formation flying displays given by Bulldog aircraft over the ensuing years. The aircraft flew formation aerobatics, fly pasts and Army support tasks.

17Oct31       Flown by O368 FLGFF Arthur Norman Evans and accompanied by A12-1 [O12 SQNLDR John Hamilton Summers] and A12-3 [O38 FLTLT Frederick Rudolph William Scherger] flew to Parafield Aerodrome SA via Nhill to participate in the 1931 Adelaide Air Pageant. An estimated 50,000 people watched the Pageant.

13Mar32      Piloted by O31 FLTLT Robert Henry Simms along with A12-2 [O12 SQNLDR John Hamilton Summers] and  A12-1 [O368 FLGFF Arthur Norman Evans] and three Wapiti aircraft from No 1 (F) Sqn, departed Laverton for flight to Darwin to perform a “Meet and Greet” of three 205 Sqn RAF Southampton aircraft on their Far East 1932 Publicity Flight. The route taken was Laverton VIC – Cootamundra NSW - Bourke NSW – Longreach QLD – Cloncurry QLD– Birdum NT – Darwin.

19 Mar32     A12-1 and A12-6 arrived Darwin.

22Mar32     Formatted with three RAAF Wapitis, the RAF Southamptons and the German Aviatrix Ms. Elli Einchorne in her Klemm monoplane, who was on the last leg of her solo UK-Australia flight. The 10 aircraft formation then proceeded to perform a “beat-up’ of Darwin Harbour and the township.

27Mar32     Accompanied by A12-1, and -2 departed Darwin and using the same route returned to Point Cook on 01Apr32.

17Feb33      Piloted by A774 SGT Terrence Alan Hopkins along with O38 FLTLT Frederick Rudolph William Scherger [A12-1]; A1338 SGT CN Scott [A12-2]; and Southampton A11-1 [O28 FLTLT L.V. Lachal] flew Point Cook-King Island-Smithton- Wynyard- Launceston – Elwick Racecourse Hobart and return. Displays were given at Smithton [ 3,000 spectators], Wynyard [ 4,000 spectators], Western Junction [ 4,000 spectators] and Hobart [ 13,000 spectators].

18Mar33      Flown by FLGOFF M.O. Watson in the 1933 Moonee Valley Air Pageant – 55,000 spectators.

13Oct33      Dispatched to replace A12-3 in the Annual Cross Country Exercise to Perth when A12-3 was forced to land at Lameroo SA with engine problems. Piloted by A1036 SGT Francis Henry Cooper, the route taken was Point Cook – Kaniva – Adelaide (Parafield) – Kimba – Ceduna – Cook WA – Rawlina – Kalgoolie – Tammin – Perth. Actual flight time was 18.5hrs spread over seven days. Displays were given at Kaniva, Adelaide and Perth.

24Oct33      Departed for Point Cook, actual flight time was 14.4hrs spread over five days. Arrived at 1100hrs 28Oct33.

12Feb34      A12-6 piloted by O52 FLTLT F.N. Wright participated in the 1934 Defence Week Celebrations where Fighter Squadron was tasked to perform a night flying display and a simulated night fighting action at the Melbourne Exhibition Grounds, VIC.  An estimated 250,000 thousand people attended the five displays on 12-16th February 1934.

22Feb34      Piloted by O52 FLTLT F.N. Wright along with A12-1 [O318 FLGOFF P.G. Heffernan] and A12-3 [A1303 SGT R.A. Reginald Arthur Sheppard] and Southampton A11-2 [O28 FLTLT L.V. Lachal] flew Point Cook-King Island-Smithton-Launceston-Wynyard-Latrobe-Hobart and return. Gave five aerial displays at each stop in Tasmania. All aircraft returned to Point Cook on 05Mar34.

22Mar34     During the period 22Mar-02Apr in company with A12-1 & -3 participated in the first series of night exercises with HMA ships Australia & Canberra in Port Phillip Bay [22-24Mar] and, with Australian Army elements at Queenscliff VIC using searchlights and radar.

11May34      Piloted by O52 FLTLT F.N. Wright flew a series of Formation Aerial Displays over several Melbourne locations to support the Victorian Centenary Funding Appeal. Also involved were A12-3 [O12 SQNLDR J.H Summers] and A12-2 [O38 FLTLT Frederick Rudolph William Scherger].

18Oct34      Took part in the 20 aircraft formation that flew over Melbourne in support of the the Victorian Centenary Celebrations and a salute to HRH Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester. Piloted by O12 SQNLDR John Hamilton Summers.

Nov34         1FTS Fighter Squadron was tasked by the Government of the day to provide a series of ‘Morale Boosting’ air displays for the 1934-35 Display Season in Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle and Brisbane. All six remaining Bulldogs were committed to the program and at least five aircraft appeared at the Sydney and Melbourne displays and three aircraft at the Newcastle and Brisbane air shows. The displays began on 05Nov at Kadinia Park, Geelong [A12-2, 3, 5, 6 and 7] in support of the Geelong Centenary Celebrations; followed by the inaugural RAAF Base Laverton Air Display on 10Nov [A12-1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7]; a four and half hour Royal Salute Formation Fly Past over Sydney Harbour for the arrival of HRH the Duke of Gloucester and the subsequent parade thru Sydney [A12-1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7]; the RAAF Richmond Air Pageant on 26Nov [A12-2, 3, 5, 6 and 7]; the Newcastle Air Pageant on 01Dec [A12- 5, 6 and 7]; the Brisbane Air Pageant at Archerfield Aerodrome on 08Dec [A12-5, 6 and 7]; and culminating at the Victorian Annual Children’s Camp festivals at Somers and Balnarring VIC on 22Jan35 [A12-2, 5, 6 and 7]. The displays were a huge success and were widely reported on by the media. Total attendance at all the events was estimated to be between 750,000 and one million people.

06May35     One of three Bulldogs that performed an Aerobatic Salute over Royal Park Melbourne to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of HM King George V.  Piloted by O71 FLTLT J.H. Wright.

25May35     One of three Bulldogs that performed an Aerobatics Routine over Point Cook, Laverton and Essendon airfields to commemorate Empire Day.  Huge spectators s flocked to the three venues.  Piloted by O71 FLTLT J.H. Wright.

27Sep35      A12-2, 3, 6, (SQNLDR Summers, FLTT Heffernan, FLGOFF Chapman) Departed Point Cook for Perth for a long range navigation and show the flag exercise.  Planned route was Pt Cook-Nhill-Parafield-Bute-Ceduna-Cook-Forrest-Rawlina-Kalgoolie-Tammin-Perth. A12-3 & 6 arrived Perth 29Sep. A12-7 force landed near Cook on 28Sep and a replacement, A12-2, O55 PLTOFF Cooper, was flown from Point Cook a ground crew took a new engine to Cook and A12-7 returned to Pt Cook on 08Oct35. A12-2 (Heffernan) arr Perth 02Oct35. Air displays were given at Perth and exercises were also conducted with Army elements based in Perth.

09Oct35      A12-2, 3 & 6 departed Perth for Point Cook A12-2, 3 arrived Point Cook on 11Oct35. A12-6 engine failure at Cook 10Oct35, a new engine was dispatched from Pt Cook. Engine change over completed 17Oct, aircraft departed same day and arrived Pt Cook 18Oct35.

Nov35         The Victorian State Government obtained Federal Government approval to use RAAF Bulldogs for a series of night time aerial displays in support of popular Victorian organizations. Accordingly, a team consisting of SQNLDR Summers, FLTLT Lansell and FLTT Chapman was formed to perfect a night time routine.  A spectacular routine was devised that proved to be immensely popular with spectators and was instrumental in raising a large amount of money at the events. The team used A12-2,-3 & -6 for displays at the: Police Charity Carnival, Melbourne Exhibition Oval 26 Nov; Armed Forces Military Tattoo Melbourne Exhibition Oval 04Dec; Annual Armed Forces Gymkhana Melbourne Exhibition Oval 07Dec; Annual Melbourne Children’s Xmas Party at RAAF Laverton 12Dec; and the 1935 Citizen’s Xmas Appeal at Footscray Football Ground.

12Dec35      Fighter Squadron 1FTS ceased to exist on this date. Fighter Squadron complete with all six Bulldog aircraft, manpower and equipment became a flight of No 1 (F) Squadron at RAAF Base Laverton and moved to Laverton on this day.

14Mar36      Flown by PLTOFF J.L. Webb and accompanied by FLTLT F.W. Thomas [A12-3] and O52 FLTLT F.N. Wright [A12-2] provided an aerobatics display over Geelong to celebrate Veterans Day.

26Sep36      Flown by PLTOFF J.A. Cohen and accompanied by PLTOFF B.R. Walker [A12-3] and O83PLTOFF Ralph Henry Moran [A12-2] provided an aerobatics display over Essendon Airport as part of the 1936 Air Pageant.

1936            While part of 1Sqn carried out many aerial displays predominantly in the Melbourne area.

Dec36         Allocated to No 21 (CAF) Sqn at RAAF Laverton.

02May36     While flying a weather observation mission between Melbourne and Geelong the engine seized forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing in a paddock at Newport, VIC. The pilot O318 FLGOFF Patrick George Heffernan was uninjured and a ground crew from Laverton arrived to strip the aircraft for road transport back to Laverton.

19Jan37       Received by 21Sqn.

23Oct37      Allocated to No 2 (GP) Sqn at RAAF Laverton.

12Jan38       Received by 2Sqn.

02Apr38      While attempting to land in a strong crosswind the aircraft bounced then struck the tarmac heavily causing the undercarriage to collapse.  The pilot O3379 SGT Lance Ivan Newbound was uninjured, the aircraft was extensively damaged.

Apr38         Issued to 1AD for repair and returned to 2Sqn on completion.

1938-39       Performed squadron duties.

Jun39          Withdrawn from service and transferred to 1AD.

15Apr40      Converted to Bulldog Instructional Airframe No 3.

No further information.

 

Highlight for Album: Bristol Bulldog A12-6

A12-7 7395

Oct29         One of two Mk.II Bulldog aircraft ordered from the Bristol Aeroplane Company.

Jan30          Manufactured by Bristol in their factory at Filton, Gloucestershire UK.

29Jan30      Following acceptance by RAAF UK Liaison officer (O6 SQNLDR Henry Neilson Wrigley DFC AFC) the aircraft was disassembled and prepared for sea transportation to Australia. 

04Feb30      Loaded onto the 9,949 ton Aberdeen & Commonwealth Lines steamer SS Fordsdale and shipped to Australia.

14Mar30      Arrived at No 9 Victoria Docks, Melbourne and unloaded.

18Mar30      Delivered to No 1 Aircraft Depot (1AD) at RAAF Base Laverton VIC for assembly and testing.

May30         Issued to Fighter Squadron of No 1 Flying Training School at RAAF Point Cook, VIC.

22Feb34      Piloted by O52 FLTLT F.N. Wright along with A12- 5 [O318 FLGOFF P.G. Heffernan] and A12-3 [A1303 SGT R.A. Reginald Arthur Sheppard] and Southampton A11-2 [O28 FLTLT L.V. Lachal] flew Point Cook-King Island-Smithton-Launceston-Wynyard-Latrobe-Hobart and return. The following displays were given: 23 Feb Smithton 3,000 spectators; 25 Feb Launceston 7,000 spectators; 27 Feb Wynyard 5,000 spectators; 28 Feb Devonport 3,000 spectators; and, 03 Mar Hobart 11,000 spectators.

05Mar34     Aircraft returned safely to Point Cook.

18Oct34      Took part in the 20 aircraft formation that flew over Melbourne in support of the the Victorian Centenary Celebrations and a salute to HRH Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester. Piloted by O16 SQNLDR D.E.L Wilson.

Nov34         1FTS Fighter Squadron was tasked by the Government of the day to provide a series of ‘Morale Boosting’ air displays for the 1934-35 Display Season in Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle and Brisbane. All six remaining Bulldogs were committed to the program and at least five aircraft appeared at the Sydney and Melbourne displays and three aircraft at the Newcastle and Brisbane air shows. The displays began on 05Nov at Kadinia Park, Geelong [A12-2, 3, 5, 6 and 7] in support of the Geelong Centenary Celebrations; followed by the inaugural RAAF Base Laverton Air Display on 10Nov [A12-1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7]; a four and half hour Royal Salute Formation Fly Past over Sydney Harbour for the arrival of HRH the Duke of Gloucester and the subsequent parade thru Sydney [A12-1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7]; the RAAF Richmond Air Pageant on 26Nov [A12-2, 3, 5, 6 and 7]; the Newcastle Air Pageant on 01Dec [A12- 5, 6 and 7]; the Brisbane Air Pageant at Archerfield Aerodrome on 08Dec [A12-5, 6 and 7]; and culminating at the Victorian Annual Children’s Camp festivals at Somers and Balnarring VIC on 22Jan35 [A12-2, 5, 6 and 7]. The displays were a huge success and were widely reported on by the media. Total attendance at all the events was estimated to be between 750,000 and one million people.

25May35     One of three Bulldogs that performed an Aerobatics Routine over Point Cook, Laverton and Essendon airfields to commemorate Empire Day.  Huge numbers of spectators flocked to the three venues.  Piloted by A1036 SGT Francis Henry Cooper.

12Dec35      Fighter Squadron 1FTS ceased to exist on this date. Fighter Squadron complete with all six Bulldog aircraft, manpower and equipment became a flight of No 1 (F) Squadron at RAAF Base Laverton and moved to Laverton on this day.

1936            While part of 1Sqn carried out many aerial displays predominantly in the Melbourne area.

14Nov36      Departed at 0816hrs for the daily meteorological flight and an aerial search was mounted when the aircraft failed to return by 1030hrs. The following day a ground search was mounted in bad weather conditions near Bacchus Marsh after reports from locals stated they had heard an aircraft in difficulty the previous day. When the weather cleared a further air search discovered the wreckage about 10 miles SW of Bacchus Marsh in inaccessible country. A ground party reached the wreckage and found the pilot, PLTOFF Eric Vernon Read, in a serious condition who was then evacuated to a waiting ambulance. The aircraft wreckage was stripped of any valuable items and left in the rugged mountainous area.

1992            Remains of the aircraft were recovered from the Brisbane Ranges in 1992 by Mark Pilkington and donated to the RAAF Museum in 2004.

 

Highlight for Album: Bristol Bulldog A12-7

A12-8 7396

Oct29         One of two Mk.II Bulldog aircraft ordered from the Bristol Aeroplane Company.

Jan30          Manufactured by Bristol in their factory at Filton, Gloucestershire UK.

29Jan30      Following acceptance by RAAF UK Liaison officer (O6 SQNLDR Henry Neilson Wrigley DFC AFC) the aircraft was disassembled and prepared for sea transportation to Australia. 

04Feb30      Loaded onto the 9,949 ton Aberdeen & Commonwealth Lines steamer SS Fordsdale and shipped to Australia.

14Mar30      Arrived at No 9 Victoria Docks, Melbourne and unloaded.

18Mar30      Delivered to No 1 Aircraft Depot (1AD) at RAAF Base Laverton VIC for assembly and testing.

May30         Issued to Fighter Squadron of No 1 Flying Training School at RAAF Point Cook, VIC.

1931-35       Served with Fighter Sqn and performed at many airshows around Australia. Records show the aircraft suffered unspecified damage from accidents Sep and Oct 1932 and Jan 1933.

Nov34         1FTS Fighter Squadron was tasked by the Government of the day to provide a series of ‘Morale Boosting’ air displays for the 1934-35 Display Season in Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle and Brisbane. All six remaining Bulldogs were committed to the program and at least five aircraft appeared at the Sydney and Melbourne displays and three aircraft at the Newcastle and Brisbane air shows. The displays began on 05Nov at Kadinia Park, Geelong in support of the Geelong Centenary Celebrations; followed by the inaugural RAAF Base Laverton Air Display on 10Nov; a four and half hour Royal Salute Formation Fly Past over Sydney Harbour for the arrival of HRH the Duke of Gloucester and the subsequent parade thru Sydney; the RAAF Richmond Air Pageant on 26Nov; the Newcastle Air Pageant on 01Dec; the Brisbane Air Pageant at Archerfield Aerodrome on 08Dec; and culminating at the Victorian Annual Children’s Camp festivals at Somers and Balnarring VIC on 22Jan35. The displays were a huge success and were widely reported on by the media. Total attendance at all the events was estimated to be between 750,000 and one million people.

12Dec35      Fighter Squadron 1FTS ceased to exist on this date. Fighter Squadron complete with all six Bulldog aircraft, manpower and equipment became a flight of No 1 (F) Squadron at RAAF Base Laverton and moved to Laverton on this day.

27Oct36      As part of the 1936 Defence Week Pageant three Bulldogs provided an aerobatics display at the following venues: Kadinia Park Geelong 27Oct; Geelong Waterfront 29Oct; Geelong Hospital Veterans Gala Day 30Oct; Geelong City 31Oct. An estimated 160,000 spectators attended the four displays. Aircraft and pilots were O83PLTOFF R.H. Moran [A12-2]; PLTOFF B.R. Walker [A12-3] and PLTOFF J.A. Cohen [A12-8]

1936            While part of 1Sqn carried out many aerial displays predominantly in the Melbourne area.

Dec36         Allocated to No 21 (CAF) Sqn at RAAF Laverton.

19Jan37       Received by 21Sqn.

26Jan37      While practicing formation take off and landings with A12-1 at Somers Camp VIC the aircraft collided at about 500ft after take-off. Minor damage resulted to the wing tips of both aircraft. Pilots PLTOFF McPherson (A12-1) and PLTOFF Cohen (A12-8) were uninjured.

23Mar37     Whilst carrying out cine-gun practice against a towed target drogue the aircraft entered a steep dive for another pass but failed to pull out of the dive and crashed into the sea off Point Cook. An immediate air and sea search was launched and the wreckage quickly located in relatively shallow water but the pilot, FLGOFF Edward John Eagerty (23) single of East Malvern Melbourne, was never found. A memorial service was held for FLGOFF Eagerty in the Burke St Roman Catholic Church in Melbourne VIC on 17 April 1937.

24Mar37     A vessel from the Williamstown Harbour Trust arrived on the crash scene and salvaged the aircraft wreckage and returned it to Williamstown Pier where a crew from Laverton took the wreckage back to Laverton.

Mar37         Write-off approved.

 

Highlight for Album: Bristol Bulldog A12-8

 
     
     
 

Bristol Bulldog 
Photo via Ken Rowland  Bristol Bulldog
Nhill Vic.
October 15, 1931.
Photo via Kevin OReilly Bristol Bulldog 
Point Cook or Laverton
Photo Eric Douglas Bristol Bulldog 
Point Cook or Laverton
 Photo Eric Douglas

 
     

The Authors of this page are Paul McGuiness, Darren Crick and Brendan Cowan

Sources: National Archive Trove , RAAF Aircraft Status Cards, RAAF Accident Reports.

Emails: Tjalling Boelman, Dean Norman, Stig Jarlevik, Mark Pilkington, Bruce Robinson.

Version 1.3a dated 11th October 2016

     

It is our policy to only show historical events, no current operational information will be displayed on this website.
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