>Ah, Cam. This thread was too delicious for you to miss out on. <
>accounts of their training by both Cobby and Wright <
Cobby was supposed to go across as part of 2 AFC but pranged his plane and body and missed out, having to wait for 4 AFC. IIRC ( am at work ) Wright missed out on going across to France in Autumn and due to the low need for pilots in winter, he got to fly another 3 months before joining 4 AFC.
I also think the training Wright went through was pretty typical for the RFC pilots of that time too, as the RFC still did much of the AFC training despite 1 Wing being set up in late 1917.
Others like Weingarth were trained in Australia on a Jennys and Caudrons, then went to Point Cook and then England where he received furthur instruction before joining 4 AFC. But his extra training didnt translate into extra victories.
Cobby by comparison to Weingarth received little to no instruction in Australia and went through the British training system in England. Yet that translated into lots of victories and a good WWI leader in the air.
But Taplin and Cole come to the Western Front from having learnt and flown in Egypt/Palestine and with better aircraft or more chances for combats start racking up scores.
Apart from the Mesopotamian Half Flight all AFC squadrons received further instructions in England. Even 1 AFC spent six weeks in England after arriving in Egypt for further training and instruction. Yet they too proved to be probably the most effective squadron in the theatre.
I am still unconvinced the Australians received any better training than the British in WWI. I think any differances are going to come with the culture the men came from, the culture in the squadrons and the leadership they flew under. The AFC for having two scout squadrons, one army squadron and one corps squadron produced an awful lot of over achievers.
Australia often bemoans its lack of leadership and chances for leadership in WWI, but I think a lot of the AFC over achieving can be attributed directly to the leadership at the squadron, flight and mess level. Men like Williams, Watt, Cobby, King, Phillipps, Murray-Jones, Sheldon etc.