Image copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This image is licensed under CC BY-NC

ID number ART03029
Title War planes of the Australian Flying Corps
Collection Art
Object type Painting
Maker Longstaff, Will (Artist)
Place made United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made 1918-1919
Medium oil on canvas
Measurement overall: 236 cm x 141 cm; framed: 263.5 cm x 171 cm x 9.5 cm


Depicts the 1st Australian Imperial Force, No 2 Squadron and No 4 Squadron, war planes of the Australian Flying Corps. The identifiable aircraft in the painting are from top to bottom; Handley Page O/100, Sopwith aircraft (either Camel or Pup), fighter, and a French aircraft. Australia became the only British dominion to set up a flying corps for service during the First World War. Known as the Australian Flying Corps (AFC) and organised as a corps of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), its four-line squadrons usually served separately under the orders of Britain's Royal Flying Corps. The AFC's first complete flying unit, No. 1 Squadron, left Australia for the Middle East in March 1916. By late 1917 three more squadrons, Nos 2, 3, and 4, had been formed to fight in France. A further four training squadrons based in England formed an Australian Training Wing to provide pilots for the Western Front. Will Longstaff (1879-1953) was a First World War Official War Artist. Prior to this he saw active service with South African Light Horse in Boer War between 1900-01. In October 1915 he enlisted with the Remounts and subsequently served in the Middle East and France until October 1917. In 1918 he worked as an Officer in Charge of Camouflage. After the war he continued to work for the Australian War Records Section in London until 1920.