Cheery pilot and observer with their mascot pup ready for a flight over the German lines

Pilot and observer inside the cockpit of a two-man biplane, in France, during World War I. Holding up the regimental mascot of a pet dog and with big smiles on their faces, a pilot and an observer are pictured before setting out on a journey over enemy lines. Note the old-fashioned flying helmets and goggles that both men are wearing. The machine-gun fixed beside the rear cockpit has a swivel attachment on it, so that it can provide the plane with all-round firepower.

 

During 'the war to end all wars', an aerial battle between two or more aeroplanes was called a 'dogfight '. At the start of the conflict, fighter planes had two seats, with the pilot sitting in the front cockpit and a gunner-cum-observer occupying the rear cockpit. As the war continued, however, single-pilot aircraft became more prevalent, since these planes were clearly more effective during a 'dogfight'. During a 'dogfight ', pilots used cloud cover as an aerial form of camouflage, and often swooped down on their prey from out of the sun.

 

[Original reads: 'OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE. A cheery pilot and observer with their mascot pup ready for a flight over the German lines.']

 

digital.nls.uk/74549010

  • Jill Jichetti 5y

    Gee whiz! Found the National Library of Scotland via the feature on my log in page on Flickr--featured on the Flickr blog! My grandfather was an American military photographer during World War II. I think I have no more words to share now.
  • B.l.u.e.S.k.y. 5y

    Great description about this moment.... Thanks!
  • Howard33 5y

    Guilty of wrecklessly endangering a cute puppy. The poor critter doesn't even have a safety belt, and when that machine gun goes off it is enough to freak any dog.
  • fulvue 5y

    It looks a posed image indeed, cute as it is. The machinegun (I believe a Lewis Gun adapted for aerial use) does not appear to have its characteristic 'pancake' magazine in place. The 'swivel' attachment was called a "Scarfe Ring", and I guess this is also an RE8 observation aircraft rather than a fighter. The observer doubles as a gunner for protection, but they were slow and vulnerable. The RE8 was knick-named the "Hary Tate" after a musichall star of those days.
  • bad boy? 5y

    Great description about this moment.... Thanks!
    crusher machine and stone crusher in shibang group
  • Andrea Costa 5y

    C O M P L I M E N T S . Y O U . A R E . I N V I T E D .TO
    award_staff
    SEND YOUR IMAGES ALONG WITH A STORY, REPORTAGE AND PHOTO ADVENTURE!
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    link at magazine:
    Are you ready? for the new adventure
    REMEMBER POST 1 = COMMENTS 3
    The staff
  • The Canon 3y

    Certainly seems to be a RE8. Please don't tell me they took the dog up with them!
  • Strafemall 3y

    They didnt take mascots up with them ...dumb @$$ es . However Manfred (The Red Baron) did take his dog , Moritz , up for a fun flight. The dog seemed to like it as Manfred states however the mechanics did not as Moritz left them a little something :)
    Two seater planes were not fazed out by single seaters they both had serperate roles and two seaters were very promonate even at the end of the war.
  • guidesp 3y

    The machinegun (I believe a Lewis Gun adapted for aerial use) does not appear to have its characteristic 'pancake' magazine in place. The 'swivel' attachment was called a "Scarfe Ring", and I guess this is also an RE8 observation aircraft rather than a fighter.
    volunteercharitywork.org/
    greatadventurous.com/
  • nimrodtroyte 3y

    Howard33

    Get a life. You can't judge peoples' standards 100yrs ago.

    Obviously a 'Sopwith Pup'!
  • mambo1935 3y

    Grace!
  • Sir Scavenger ✗ 2y

    Cool shot!
  • John Sanders 2y

    Great photo!
  • Asya-Sinema.com Asya-Sinema.com 2y

  • jamica1 2y

    Wonder if they made it to 11 November 1918
  • mambo1935 1y

    grace!
  • John Sanders 1y

    Depending when this photograph was taken that crew might have carried small bombs to drop on the enemy!
28,371 views
67 faves
17 comments
Taken circa 1918
  • Show EXIF
This photo is in 1 album
This photo is in 4 galleries

Additional info

  • Viewing this photo Public
  • Safety level of this photo Safe
  • S Search
    Photo navigation
    < > Thumbnail navigation
    Z Zoom
    B Back to context