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Where does the name BlackFlight come from?


    During the First World War, the all Canadian "B" Flight of No. 10 Naval Squadron, led by Flight Cmdr. Raymond Collishaw, consisted of 5 black nosed Sopwith Triplanes. These Triplanes were Collishaw's Black Maria, Ellis Vair Reid's Black Roger, John E. Sharman's Black Death, W. Melville Alexander's Black Prince and Gerald Ewart Nash's Black Sheep. This was the redoubtable "Black Flight".

    In the summer of 1917 the "Black Flight" quickly earned such  a reputation that the German high command gave Jasta 11 orders to destroy them.  On June 26th, 1917,  Leutnant Karl Allmenroder, a 30 victory ace and Manfred von Richthofen's deputy commander of Jasta 11, scored the only air victory against the Black Flight, shooting down and capturing Nash.  On June 28th the "Black Flight" again met the Red Baron's "Flying Circus" where  Allmenroder was shot down and killed by Collishaw in the ensuing battle.  For a month the "Black Flight" thrashed the Jastas which had dominated the skies for so long.  On July 6, Richtofen was wounded and shot down by an observer in a FE2d being escorted by Collishaw and his Flight.

  In addition to Nash's capture the Black Flight suffered 2 more losses, Sharman on July 22nd and Reid on July 28th. - both were killed by anti-aircraft fire.  In late July, No. 10 Naval Squadron started re-equipping with Sopwith Camels,  brining to an end the exploits of the "Black Flight".

    Between June 1st and July 28th 1917, the formidable "Black Flight" shot down 87 enemy aircraft and was one of the most successful units of the war.





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