Hawker Aviation Models Hawker Aviation May 2017 - Page 5

The Lanoe Hawker Story Son of a distinguished military family, Hawker was born on 30 December 1890 at Longparish, Hampshire, England. Lanoe was sent to Stubbington House School and at the age of 11 to the Royal Navy College in Dartmouth, but although highly intelligent and an enthusiastic sportsman, his grades were disappointing. A clever inventor, Hawker developed a keen interest in all mechanical and engineering developments. During the summer of 1910 he saw a film featuring the Wright Flyer and after attending an aircraft flying display at Bournemouth, he quickly found an interest in aviation, learning to fly at his own expense at Hendon. Victoria Cross Following an initial air victory in June, on 25 July 1915 when on patrol over Passchen- daele, Captain Hawker attacked three German aircraft in succession, flying a different Bristol Scout C, serial No. 1611, after his earlier No. 1609 had been written off, transplanting the custom Lewis gun mount onto No. 1611. The first aerial victory for Hawker that day occurred after he had emptied a complete drum of bullets from his aircraft's single Lewis machine gun into it, went spinning down. The second was driven to the ground damaged, and the third, which he attacked at a height of about 10,000 feet, burst into flames and crashed. For this feat he was awarded the Victoria Cross. This particular sortie was just one of the many which Captain Hawker undertook during almost a year of constant operational flying and fighting. He claimed at least 3 more victories in August 1915, either in the Scout or flying an F.E.2. Death On 23 November 1916, while flying an Airco DH.2 (Serial No. 5964), Hawker left Bertangles Aerodrome at 1300 hours as part of 'A' Flight, led by Capt J. O. Andrews and including Lt R.H.M.S Saundby. Andrews led the flight in an attack on two German aircraft over Achiet. Spotting a larger flight of German aircraft above, Andrews was about to break off the attack, but spotted Hawker diving to attack. Andrews and Saundby followed him to back him up in his fight; Andrews drove off one of the Germans attacking Hawker, then took bullets in his engine and glided out of the fight under Saundby's covering fire. Losing contact with the other DH-2's, Hawker began a lengthy dogfight with an Albatros D.II flown by Leutnant Manfred von Richthofen of Jasta 2. The Albatros was faster than the DH2, more powerful and with a pair of lMG 08 machine guns, more heavily armed. Richthofen fired 900 rounds during the running battle. Running low on fuel, Hawker eventually broke away from the combat and attempted to return to Allied lines. The Red Baron's guns jammed 50 yards from the lines, but a bullet from his last burst struck Hawker in the back of his head, killing him instantly, becoming the German ace's 11th victim.