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Fokker D.VII Restored


On Sunday, July 15, 2018, the Great War Flying Museum will roll out their restored Fokker D.VII.

The paint scheme for GWFM’s D.VII was chosen for its Canadian connection and distinctive “RK” insignia identifying it as Richard Kraut’s plane. There are historic photos of RK in the lineup of D.VIIs in the Canadian Air Force’s first squadron at Hounslow in England. It was then sent to Canada as part of the War Trophies program and is seen at Leaside Airfield in 1919 and again at Bordon in a stack of airplanes piled up ready to be burned.

In the last few months, a connection has been made with the family of Richard Kraut who plan to attend the July roll-out. The event will include re-enactors from the Hamilton Volunteer Cavalry, the Hamilton Signals Corps and the Queen’s Own Rifles and the launch of “Over and Above”, the story of Great War pilot, John Gudron.

By the end of the Great War, aviation had proved itself as a vital part of modern warfare. The Armistice of November 11th 1918 required the German Army to surrender its most potent weapons of war, including

“1,700 pursuit and bombardment airplanes,
preference being given to all of the D-7s……..”.

In September 1918, the Canadian Air Force was created with a fighter and a bomber squadron stationed in England. Under its first commander, Lt. Col. Billy Bishop, the CAF was independent from the Canadian Expeditionary Force and the British Royal Air Force.

The commanding officer of No 1 Fighter Squadron, Andrew McKeever, was the highest scoring pilot in the Bristol F.2B. Also in No 1 Squadron was William Barker, the most highly decorated member of the British forces.

By March 1919, No. 1 Fighter Squadron had twenty D.VIIs and flew them extensively before packing them for shipment to Canada. By February 1920, the CAF squadrons had been disbanded as the Canadian government decided that a permanent peacetime air force was not needed.

Visit the Great War Flying Museum at Brampton-Caledon Airport as Fokker D.VII, “RK” joins their fleet of full scale flying First World War replica aircraft.