The Royal Aircraft Factory SE-5 was a British airplane that, like the French SPAD XIII and the German Fokker D-VII, epitomized the third generation of fighters (in the day called pursuit planes) in WW1. Compared to its forebears the SE-5 was bigger, heavier and not as nimble, but it was much more stable, easier to fly, faster and a better climber, due largely to the powerful in-line engine which enabled the use of a gear-driven four blade propeller. Although designed to be fighters, unlike their predecessors these aircraft could also carry bombs. The SE-5 entered service in March 1917, first equipping the newly formed No. 56 Squadron RFC, which was created to hunt down German Aces.
John Singer Sargent’s huge (in its frame 9 ft. x 21 ft.) painting Gassed will be at the National World War 1 Museum in Kansas City, MO from February 23rd to June 3rd, one stop on a North American tour that was made possible by renovation work at the Imperial War Museum in London. This work is an icon of WW1 art and shouldn’t be missed. You can read more about the visit here and about the painting here.
It’s a little early for baseball season, but we’ll get started early with someone with a World War I connection, but not a Kansan. Close though — a native of Kansas City, Missouri, Charles Dillon Stengel. He’s remembered by the nickname provided by the initials of his hometown — KC — “Casey.”
100 years ago in Kansas, January 29 – February 3, 1918:
January 29, 1918 — Kansas Day
Once again, we only have one World War I program airing this weekend on C-SPAN3, although after a show airs, it can be seen anytime on the network’s website. As usual–all times are Central.
The program that airs is American Artifacts: World War I & American Art. Art and film historian David Lubin discusses the images featured in his book, Grand Illusions: American Art & the First World War. It airs at 6:15 p.m. Saturday, January 27th, and repeats at 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Sunday the 28th.
One hundred years ago yesterday, January 18, 1918, US Army Reserve Nurse Helen Fairchild passed away while serving with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), one of five American nurses so seconded to die in WW1. Statistical firsts can be hard to verify, but she may have been the first US Army Nurse to die in France in WW1 and she may also have been the first to die as a result of contact with the enemy.
This weekend C-SPAN3’s American History TV does not give us much WWI to view. The only program has been shown the last two weekends–American Artifacts World War I, with National World War I Museum and Memorial Curator of Education Lora Vogt discussing artifacts in the collections.
100 years ago in Kansas, January 22-28, 1918:
January 22, 1918
In an address to Congress on January 8th, 1918 President Woodrow Wilson set forth his famous Fourteen Points, a concise articulation of American war aims and Wilson’s proposed basis for an honorable and lasting peace. Two days previously Prime Minister David Lloyd George had presented His Majesty’s war aims at a closed-door meeting with the leaders of the Labor Party. Here’s a newspaper report detailing what he said: