Rightly regarded as one of the finest fighting aeroplanes to emerge from World War One, the Royal Aircraft Factory’s SE5a, once initial teething troubles were resolved, went on to achieve a deservedly excellent reputation. It was strong and it was also a stable gun platform, qualities which were exploited to the fullest extent by leading pilots who flew it to war. Beauchamp – Proctor; Bishop; Jones; Mannock; McCudden; McElroy and Rhys-Davids, Gwilym Lewis, amongst others, used the SE5a to deadly effect in 1917-1918, securing it an honoured position in British air fighting annals alongside its equally famous contemporary the Sopwith Camel. By the Armistice the SE5a equipped over 20 British squadrons.