Bristol F2.b Fighter B1148
This profile is taken from a series of photographs from the AWM Collection as well as photographs from the Bull Creek collection. The photographic shows B1148 being pushed out of hangar to the flightline in an all white garb. B1148 was accepted into the squadron on the 27th of January, 1918 and quickly became the predominant mount of Lieutenant Henry A. Blake, who flew it on a total of fifty occasions.
During those fifty missions there is one log entry that includes,
13-8-18; Escort to Recce Dead Sea and Gaza. Dropped note to Nurse D****** at No48 Hospital.
Henry Arthur Blake joined the squadron as a private in January of 1916, and rejoined the squadron as a pilot on the 22nd of December. Blake had been an Electrical Engineer from West Perth at the time of his enlistment into the AIF and had been born in Brisbane, Queensland.
This profile is taken from a photograph in a private collection depicting B1148 in an all-over PC10 scheme. Lieutenant Henry A. Blake and Lieutenant E. Sullivan recorded an odd victory when in company with Lieutenant Dowling and Lieutenant Mulford. The previous day a DH9 of 144 Sqn RAF had been forced down engine trouble and was captured. During the flight the next day the crews of Blake and Sullivan with Dowling and Mulford found the DH9 covered with trees in an attempt to camouflage it. They fired upon the stranded DH9 and set it alight with incendiary fire.
B1148 was crashed twice by Henry Blake, with the second crash being terminal. The first crash was at a forward airfield at Beersheba on the 14th of August, 1918 with Lieutenant A.V. McCann as observer. Blakes log book reads,
14-8-18 Obs McCann. Recce S/e Dead Sea looking for Tonkin and Vyner. Landed Bedouin camp, broke tailskid. Lost wheel taking off. Landed R******. Broke prop.
Lieutenant Stooke had crashed another Bristol Fighter the same day at the same airfield. B1148 was repaired from it's accident at Beersheba and was flying again on the 16th. Henry Blake finally wrote B1148 off in an accident during landing that was attributed to "bad air" on the 3rd of October, 1918. Two days later the aircraft was struck from the squadrons service.
1 Squadron War Diary information sourced by Neville Hayes and Gordon Branch. Blakes Log book comments sourced by Neville Hayes.
Australian Flying Corps : A Complete History of the Australian Flying Corps