Shop H.E. Bates Online
'The First Squadron'
Page Count
Word Count
Newcastle Journal and North Mail
Publication Year
Document Types
Full-text Online
Eads, Additions to
Flying Officer X Byline
Pilots, War

Bates provides a history of the Royal Air Force's No. 1 Squadron, on the thirtieth anniversary of its founding on May 13, 1912.

He makes special mention of two pilots — Flight Lieutenant Karel Kuttelwascher and Squadron Leader J.A.F. McLachlan. As an officer assigned to write what would become the Flying Officer X stories Bates was posted to the station in Tangmere from February to July of 1942, where No. 1 Squadron was at that time based. The characters of Auerbach and Anderson in the story There's Something in the Air are based on Kuttelwascher and McLachlan. The character of McAlister in the story The Beginning of Things is also based on McLachlan.

Of additional interest is that this is one of only three non-fiction pieces with the byline of 'Flying Officer X.' (the others being On Equipment and Flying Beyond the Reach of Fear)

In the Newcastle Journal and North Mail (July 23, 1942, p. 2, attached). Thought to have been first published on the day of the squadron's Pearl anniversary in an as yet unidentified national newspaper (May 13, 1942).


The below reviews and articles are available in PDF format.