And When the Sky Was Opened
"And When the Sky Was Opened" is episode eleven of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It aired on December 11, 1959, it is an adaptation of the Richard Matheson short story "Disappearing Act". United States Air Force Colonel Clegg Forbes arrives at a military hospital to visit his friend and co-pilot Major William Gart; the two had piloted an experimental spaceplane, the X-20 DynaSoar, on a mission that took them 900 miles beyond the confines of the Earth's atmosphere for the first time. During their voyage the men blacked out for four hours and the craft itself disappeared from radar screens for a full day before reappearing and crash landing in the desert leaving Gart with a broken leg. Gart inquires as to the status of the plane, but Forbes is agitated and asks Gart if he remembers how many people were on the mission, producing a newspaper whose front page shows the likenesses of the two men and a headline stating that two astronauts were rescued from the desert crash.
Gart confirms that only he and Forbes piloted the plane but Forbes insists that a third man – Colonel Ed Harrington, his best friend for 15 years – accompanied them. In the flashback, the previous morning and Forbes are shown joking with Gart as they are discharged from the hospital after passing their physical exams, leaving the Major to recuperate alone; the same newspaper that Forbes would show Gart is present but instead asserts three astronauts were recovered from the crash of the X-20 with a photo depicting a crew of three. The two men visit a bar downtown. While there, Harrington is overcome by a feeling that he no longer "belongs" in the world. Disturbed, he phones his parents who tell him they have no son named Ed Harrington and believe the person calling them to be a prankster. Harrington mysteriously vanishes from the phone booth and no one in the bar but Forbes remembers his existence. Desperate, Forbes searches for any trace of his friend but can find nothing in the bar, his girlfriend, does not remember Harrington, neither does his commanding officer.
Returning to the closed bar, he breaks in calling his name repeatedly. He returns to the hospital the next morning to talk with Gart. Back in the present, Forbes is dismayed by Gart's claim that he doesn't know anyone named Harrington. Forbes glances at a mirror and discovers he casts no reflection, causing him to flee the room in terror. Gart tries to hobble. Calling the duty nurse to ask if she saw where Forbes went, Gart is stunned at the nurse's claim that nobody named Forbes has been in the building and that Gart was the only man, aboard his plane. After getting back into bed, he notices, it now says that Gart was the sole pilot of the X-20 – all mention of Forbes, including his photo, is gone. Horrified, Gart disappears. An officer enters the building and asks the duty nurse if there are any unused rooms available to accommodate new patients; the nurse takes him to the now empty room which hosted the three astronauts, stating that it has been unoccupied. In the hangar which housed the X-20, the sheet that covered the craft is shown lying on the ground.
There is no trace of the plane. Rod Taylor as Lieutenant Colonel Clegg Forbes Charles Aidman as Colonel Ed Harrington Jim Hutton as Major William Gart Maxine Cooper as Amy Sue Randall as Nurse Paul Bryar as Bartender Joe Bassett as Medical officer Gloria Pall as Girl in bar Elizabeth Fielding as Blond Nurse This episode is loosely based on the short story "Disappearing Act" by Richard Matheson; the story was first published in The Magazine of Science Fiction. Rod Taylor and director Douglas Heyes worked together on the TV series Bearcats!. "Remember Me", an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, in which ship's doctor Beverly Crusher undergoes a comparable experience. "Revisions", a Stargate SG-1 episode with a similar plot. "Games People Play", a Eureka episode with a similar plot. DeVoe, Bill. Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0. Grams, Martin; the Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0.
"And When the Sky Was Opened" on IMDb "And When the Sky Was Opened" at TV.com And When The Sky Was Opened | John's Twilight Zone Page
Norton Air Force Base
Norton Air Force Base was a United States Air Force facility 2 miles east of downtown San Bernardino, California, in San Bernardino County. For the majority of its operational lifetime, Norton was a logistics depot and heavy-lift transport facility for a variety of military aircraft and supplies as part of Air Materiel/Air Force Logistics Command as part of Military Airlift/Air Mobility Command. Major secondary missions of Norton Air Force Base was as Headquarters Air Defense Command for Southern California, during the 1950s and 1960s; the Air Force Audio-Visual Center produced air force films for public relations. The Air Force Now film, shown at monthly commander's calls at air force bases around the world was produced at Norton. Norton hosted numerous Air Force Reserve transport units; the Office of the Inspector General was located at Norton, as was the Directorate of Aerospace Safety and the Air Force Audit Agency Headquarters. Norton AFB was closed in 1994 as a result of Base Realignment and Closure action 1988.
Norton Air Force Base was named for San Bernardino native Captain Leland Francis Norton. His parents were Mrs. Thomas F. Norton, of 716 Twenty-first Street, San Bernardino, he was commissioned 6 September 1942, at Mississippi. Lieutenant Norton was sent to England in January 1944 after duty in the North Atlantic, flying from bases in Greenland, his parents received word on 5 May 1944 that he had been promoted to the rank of captain following a series of pre-invasion "softening-up" bombing missions. While attacking a marshaling yard on his 16th combat mission, Captain Norton's Douglas A-20 Havoc was struck by antiaircraft fire on 27 May 1944 near Amiens, France. After ordering his crew to bail out, Captain Norton perished with his aircraft, his portrait hung in the officers' club until base closing. Norton Air Force Base began before World War II as Municipal Airport, San Bernardino under Army Air Corps jurisdiction; the $100,000 publicly-owned 900-acre site was dedicated on Tuesday 17 December 1940.
Due to inclement weather, the ceremonies were held on the grounds of the National Orange Show rather than at the site itself. During the summer of 1941 it became a training base to meet the needs of the 30,000 Pilot Training Program. In December 1941, within days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, combat-ready fighter planes arrived to protect the Los Angeles area from enemy attack; the first commanding officer was Colonel Lucas Victor Beau, Jr. from February 1942. On 1 March 1942, the airport was renamed San Bernardino Army Air Field and the San Bernardino Air Depot was established there; the first aircraft arrived at the new base on 2 June 1942. The base was under the administration of the Fourth Air Service Area Command. All runways were completed by December and night flying was initiated in March 1943. Requests to establish commercial air service by Western Air Lines in mid-late 1942 were refused. In September 1942, the personnel and training division at the base began a training program for aircraft mechanics and maintenance men, which, by mid-1944, was the largest school of its type in the Air Service command.
The weekly newspaper for the air depot in this era was named the Areascope. During the war, Norton's primary function was the maintenance of aircraft. In mid-1944, as the Army Air Force reduced its training programs, hundreds of basic and primary training aircraft were flown to the base from all over the west for maintenance and storage. In February 1944, the Army relocated the regulating station that had operated in the facilities of the Municipal Park in Colton since September 1943 to the Base General Depot in San Bernardino; this unique operation regulated rail traffic between communications and war zones, including the evacuation of patients using hospital trains. The installation trained personnel in the important work of transportation. A branch post office of the San Bernardino post office was established in mid-March 1944, replacing an APO address out of Los Angeles that served the Base General Depot. Civilians replaced the Army personnel that operated the post office at the base. A large batch of Douglas A-20 Havoc bombers were maintained at the air depot in August 1944 in strategic reserve, ready to be deployed within 72 hours to whatever fighting front required them.
An open house for the public, celebrating the thirty-seventh anniversary of U. S. Army aviation, the first since the base was established, was held on 1 August 1944. Noted the lead editorial in the San Bernardino Daily Sun that date, "At a cost of $50,000,000 1,800 acres of farmland has been converted in a period of 28 months into a bustling military establishment; the San Bernardino Air Service command is geared to rebuild 1,000 aircraft engines monthly, to provide mountains of vital supplies for Army Air force installations at home and abroad, to overhaul gun turrets and tail assemblies, repair propellors and improve landing gears. To quote its own slogan, the Air Service command'keeps'em flying' for victory."On 2 August 1944, the Railroad Commission authorized the Associated Telephone Company, Ltd. to sell to the War Department for $36,138 its district telephone plant at the San Bernardino Army Air Field. The War Department owned part of the facilities, asked for the sale to eliminate mixed ownership.
By 1945, the base was processing hundreds of new aircraft monthly, readying them for shipment overseas. Types handled included P-51s, F-5 reconnaissance modifications of P-38s, P-47s, P-61s. San Bernardino Air Service Technical Command refurbished C-47s, which had seen heavy service, with the 100th C-47 refurbished at the beginning of August 1945, an overhau
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the United Kingdom's aerial warfare force. Formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. Following victory over the Central Powers in 1918 the RAF emerged as, at the time, the largest air force in the world. Since its formation, the RAF has taken a significant role in British military history. In particular, it played a large part in the Second World War where it fought its most famous campaign, the Battle of Britain; the RAF's mission is to support the objectives of the British Ministry of Defence, which are to "provide the capabilities needed to ensure the security and defence of the United Kingdom and overseas territories, including against terrorism. The RAF describes its mission statement as "... an agile and capable Air Force that, person for person, is second to none, that makes a decisive air power contribution in support of the UK Defence Mission". The mission statement is supported by the RAF's definition of air power.
Air power is defined as "the ability to project power from the air and space to influence the behaviour of people or the course of events". Today the Royal Air Force maintains an operational fleet of various types of aircraft, described by the RAF as being "leading-edge" in terms of technology; this consists of fixed-wing aircraft, including: fighter and strike aircraft, airborne early warning and control aircraft, ISTAR and SIGINT aircraft, aerial refueling aircraft and strategic and tactical transport aircraft. The majority of the RAF's rotary-wing aircraft form part of the tri-service Joint Helicopter Command in support of ground forces. Most of the RAF's aircraft and personnel are based in the UK, with many others serving on operations or at long-established overseas bases. Although the RAF is the principal British air power arm, the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm and the British Army's Army Air Corps deliver air power, integrated into the maritime and land environments. While the British were not the first to make use of heavier-than-air military aircraft, the RAF is the world's oldest independent air force: that is, the first air force to become independent of army or navy control.
Following publication of the "Smuts report" prepared by Jan Smuts the RAF was founded on 1 April 1918, with headquarters located in the former Hotel Cecil, during the First World War, by the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. At that time it was the largest air force in the world. After the war, the service was drastically cut and its inter-war years were quiet, with the RAF taking responsibility for the control of Iraq and executing a number of minor actions in other parts of the British Empire; the RAF's naval aviation branch, the Fleet Air Arm, was founded in 1924 but handed over to Admiralty control on 24 May 1939. The RAF developed the doctrine of strategic bombing which led to the construction of long-range bombers and became its main bombing strategy in the Second World War; the RAF underwent rapid expansion prior to and during the Second World War. Under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan of December 1939, the air forces of British Commonwealth countries trained and formed "Article XV squadrons" for service with RAF formations.
Many individual personnel from these countries, exiles from occupied Europe served with RAF squadrons. By the end of the war the Royal Canadian Air Force had contributed more than 30 squadrons to serve in RAF formations approximately a quarter of Bomber Command's personnel were Canadian. Additionally, the Royal Australian Air Force represented around nine percent of all RAF personnel who served in the European and Mediterranean theatres. In the Battle of Britain in 1940, the RAF defended the skies over Britain against the numerically superior German Luftwaffe. In what is the most prolonged and complicated air campaign in history, the Battle of Britain contributed to the delay and subsequent indefinite postponement of Hitler's plans for an invasion of the United Kingdom. In the House of Commons on 20 August, prompted by the ongoing efforts of the RAF, Prime Minister Winston Churchill eloquently made a speech to the nation, where he said "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few".
The largest RAF effort during the war was the strategic bombing campaign against Germany by Bomber Command. While RAF bombing of Germany began immediately upon the outbreak of war, under the leadership of Air Chief Marshal Harris, these attacks became devastating from 1942 onward as new technology and greater numbers of superior aircraft became available; the RAF adopted night-time area bombing on German cities such as Hamburg and Dresden, developed precision bombing techniques for specific operations, such as the "Dambusters" raid by No. 617 Squadron, or the Amiens prison raid known as Operation Jericho. Following victory in the Second World War, the RAF underwent significant re-organisation, as technological advances in air warfare saw the arrival of jet fighters and bombers. During the early stages of the Cold War, one of the first major operations undertaken by the Royal Air Force was in 1948 and the Berlin Airlift, codenamed Operation Plainfire. Between 26 June and the lifting of the Russian blockade of the city on 2 May, the RAF provided 17% of the total supplies delivered du
The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series)
The Twilight Zone is an American anthology television series created and presented by Rod Serling, which ran for five seasons on CBS from 1959 to 1964. Each episode presents a stand-alone story in which characters find themselves dealing with disturbing or unusual events, an experience described as entering "the Twilight Zone," ending with a surprise ending and a moral. Although predominantly science-fiction, the show's paranormal and Kafkaesque events leaned the show towards fantasy and horror; the phrase “twilight zone,” inspired by the series, is used to describe surreal experiences. The series featured both established stars and younger actors who would become much better known later. Serling served as executive head writer, he was the show's host and narrator, delivering monologues at the beginning and end of each episode. Serling's opening and closing narrations summarize the episode's events encapsulating how and why the main character had entered the Twilight Zone. In 1997, the episodes "To Serve Man" and "It's a Good Life" were ranked at 11 and 31 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time.
Serling himself stated that his favorite episodes of the series were "The Invaders" and "Time Enough at Last". In 2016, the series was ranked No. 7 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest shows of all time. In 2002, The Twilight Zone was ranked No. 26 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. In 2013, the Writers Guild of America ranked it as the third best-written TV series and TV Guide ranked it as the fourth greatest drama and the fifth greatest show of all time. By the late 1950s, Rod Serling was a prominent name in American television, his successful television plays included Patterns and Requiem for a Heavyweight, but constant changes and edits made by the networks and sponsors frustrated Serling. In Requiem for a Heavyweight, the line "Got a match?" had to be struck because the sponsor sold lighters. But according to comments in his 1957 anthology Patterns, Serling had been trying to delve into material more controversial than his works of the early 1950s; this led to Noon on Doomsday for the United States Steel Hour in 1956, a commentary by Serling on the defensiveness and total lack of repentance he saw in the Mississippi town where the murder of Emmett Till took place.
His original script paralleled the Till case was moved out of the South and the victim changed to a Jewish pawnbroker, watered down to just a foreigner in an unnamed town. Despite bad reviews, activists sent numerous wires protesting the production. Serling thought that a science-fictional setting, with robots and other supernatural occurrences, would give him more freedom and less interference in expressing controversial ideas than more realistic settings. "The Time Element" was Serling's 1957 pilot pitch for his show, a time travel adventure about a man who travels back to Honolulu in 1941 and unsuccessfully tries to warn everyone about the impending attack on Pearl Harbor. The script, was rejected and shelved for a year until Bert Granet discovered and produced it as an episode of Desilu Playhouse in 1958; the show was a great success and enabled Serling to begin production on his anthology series, The Twilight Zone. Serling's editorial sense of ironic fate in the writing done for the series was identified as significant to its success by the BFI Film Classics library which stated that for Serling "the cruel indifference and implacability of fate and the irony of poetic justice" were recurrent themes in his plots.
There is a fifth dimension, beyond that, known to man. It is a dimension as timeless as infinity, it is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination, it is an area. The Twilight Zone premiered the night of October 1959, to rave reviews. "Twilight Zone is about the only show on the air that I look forward to seeing. It's the one series that I will let interfere with other plans", said Terry Turner for the Chicago Daily News. Others agreed. Daily Variety ranked it with "the best, accomplished in half-hour filmed television" and the New York Herald Tribune found the show to be "certainly the best and most original anthology series of the year"; as the show proved popular to television's critics, it struggled to find a receptive audience of television viewers. CBS was banking on a rating of at least 21 or 22; the series' future was jeopardized when its third episode, "Mr. Denton on Doomsday" earned a 16.3 rating.
Still, the show attracted a large enough audience to survive a brief hiatus in November, after which it surpassed its competition on ABC and NBC and convinced its sponsors to stay on until the end of the season. With one exception, the first season featured scripts written only by Rod Serling, Charles Beaumont or Richard Matheson; these three were responsible for 127 of the 156 episodes in the series. Additionally, with one exception, Serling never appeared on camera during any first-season episode (as he woul
Robert Warwick was an American stage and television actor with over 200 film appearances. Warwick was born Robert Taylor Bien in 1878 in Sacramento, California. Handsome and with a booming voice, Warwick trained to be an opera singer, but acting proved to be his greater calling, he made his Broadway debut in 1903 in the play Glad of It. One of his co-stars was a young John Barrymore making his Broadway debut. Both actors, over time, became matinee idols. For the next twenty years, Warwick appeared in such plays as Anna Karenina, Two Women, with Mrs. Leslie Carter, The Kiss Waltz and Miss Prince, in both of which he was able to display his singing voice, The Secret, A Celebrated Case and Drifting with Alice Brady, not to mention several other plays through the end of the 1920s. Warwick served in the United States Army during World War I as an infantry captain and as a liaison officer with the French Army. Warwick started making silent films in 1914, he made numerous productions in the 1910s in Fort Lee, New Jersey.
Two films, Alias Jimmy Valentine and A Girl's Folly, both directed by Maurice Tourneur have been preserved, showcase Warwick as a silent actor, as well as Tourneur's directing talent, both are available on home video. From the 1920s on, Warwick alternated doing silent films, he was fifty when sound films arrived, now middle aged with his matinee idol looks fading, he found plenty of work in character roles in which his voice recorded well. This necessitated his moving permanently to California to be near the film studios when they moved to Los Angeles. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Warwick's dependable acting and resonant voice ensured that he was out of work, his immense filmography includes such classics as The Little Colonel with Shirley Temple and The Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn. He was one of a number of actors favored by director Preston Sturges and appeared in many of his films, among them Sullivan's Travels, The Palm Beach Story and Hail the Conquering Hero, he appeared in I Married a Witch and Man from Frisco.
Warwick made numerous appearances on television from its initial popularity in the late 1940s. In his seventies he was still hard at work and made appearances on every type of television show from westerns like Broken Arrow and Sugarfoot to the adventure series Rescue 8, to the science fiction series The Twilight Zone, to the anthology series The Loretta Young Show. Warwick was divorced from his first two wives, but survived his third, actress Stella Larrimore. By his first wife he had one daughter, who bore him two grandchildren. Betsey, who died in 2007, is interred next to her father at Holy Cross Cemetery in Los Angeles, his and his wife Stella's headstones are engraved "Beloved Father" and "Beloved Mother". Warwick died in June 1964 in West Los Angeles, California, at the age of 85. Survivors included two grandchildren. Robert Warwick at the Internet Broadway Database Robert Warwick on IMDb allmovie.
Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5
The Royal Aircraft Factory S. E.5 was a British biplane fighter aircraft of the First World War. It was developed at the Royal Aircraft Factory by a team consisting of Henry Folland, John Kenworthy and Major Frank Goodden, it was one of the fastest aircraft of the war, while being both stable and manoeuvrable. According to aviation author Robert Jackson, the S. E.5 was: "the nimble fighter that has since been described as the'Spitfire of World War One'". In most respects the S. E.5 had superior performance to the rival Sopwith Camel, although it was less responsive to the controls. Problems with its Hispano-Suiza engine the geared-output H-S 8B-powered early versions, meant that there was a chronic shortage of the type until well into 1918. Thus, while the first examples had reached the Western Front before the Camel, there were fewer squadrons equipped with the S. E.5 than with the Sopwith fighter. Together with the Camel, the S. E.5 was instrumental in regaining allied air superiority in mid-1917 and maintaining it for the rest of the war, ensuring there was no repetition of "Bloody April" 1917 when losses in the Royal Flying Corps were much heavier than in the Luftstreitkräfte.
The S. E. 5s remained in RAF service for some time following the Armistice. The S. E.5 was designed by Henry Folland, John Kenworthy and Major Frank Goodden of the Royal Aircraft Factory in Farnborough. It was built around the new 150 hp Hispano-Suiza 8, a V8 engine that, while providing excellent performance, was underdeveloped and unreliable; the first of three prototypes flew on 22 November 1916. The first two prototypes were lost in crashes due to a weakness in their wing design; the third prototype underwent modification. E.5 was known in service as an exceptionally strong aircraft which could be dived at high speed – the squarer wings gave much improved lateral control at low airspeeds. Like the other significant Royal Aircraft Factory aircraft of the war the S. E.5 was inherently stable, making it an excellent gunnery platform, but it was quite manoeuvrable. It was one of the fastest aircraft of the war at 138 mph, equal at least in speed to the SPAD S. XIII and faster than any standard German type of the period.
While the S. E.5 was not as agile and effective in a tight dogfight as the Camel it was much easier and safer to fly for novice pilots. According to "Dodge" Bailey, Chief Test Pilot of the Shuttleworth Collection, it had "somewhat similar handling characteristics to a de Havilland Tiger Moth, but with better excess power". Only 77 original S. E.5 aircraft had been completed prior to production settling upon an improved model, designated as the S. E.5a. The initial models of the S. E.5a differed from late production examples of the S. E.5 only in the type of engine installed – a geared 200 hp Hispano-Suiza 8b turning a large clockwise-rotation four-bladed propeller, replacing the 150 hp H. S. 8A model. In total 5,265 S. E.5s were constructed by six manufacturers: Austin Motors, Air Navigation and Engineering Company, Martinsyde, the Royal Aircraft Factory and Wolseley Motors Limited. Shortly following the American entry into World War I, plans were mooted for several American aircraft manufacturers to commence mass production of aircraft in service with the Allied powers, one such fighter being the S.
E.5. In addition to an order of 38 Austin-built S. E.5a aircraft which were produced in Britain and assigned to the American Expeditionary Force to equip already-deployed US Army squadrons, the US Government issued multiple orders to the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company for the manufacture and delivery of around 1,000 S. E.5s to be produced in the United States. However, only one Curtiss-built aircraft would be completed prior to the end of the conflict, after which demand for the S. E.5 had evaporated, production being halted after a further 56 aircraft were assembled using already-delivered components. At first, airframe construction outstripped the limited supply of French-built Hispano-Suiza engines and squadrons earmarked to receive the new fighter had to soldier on with Airco DH 5s and Nieuport 24s until early 1918; the troublesome geared "-8b" model was prone to have serious gear reduction system problems, sometimes with the propeller separating from the engine and airframe in flight, a problem shared with the similarly-powered Sopwith Dolphin.
The introduction of the 200 hp Wolseley Viper, a high-compression, direct-drive version of the Hispano-Suiza 8a made under licence by Wolseley Motors Limited, solved the S. E. 5a was promptly adopted as the type's standard powerplant. A number of aircraft were subsequently converted to a two-seat configuration in order to serve as trainer aircraft; the S. E.5b was a variant of the S. E.5 with a streamlined nose and upper and lower wings of different span and chord. The single example, a converted S. E.5a, first flew in early April 1918. It had a spinner on a retractable underslung radiator, its performance was little better than the S. E.5a, with the extra drag of the big upper wing offsetting gains from the more streamlined fuselage. The S. E.5b was not considered for production. In January 1919, it was tested with standard S. E.5a wings and in this form survived as a research aircraft into the early twenties. The Royal Aircraft Factory S. E.5 was a conven
Royal Flying Corps
The Royal Flying Corps was the air arm of the British Army before and during the First World War, until it merged with the Royal Naval Air Service on 1 April 1918 to form the Royal Air Force. During the early part of the war, the RFC supported the British Army by artillery co-operation and photographic reconnaissance; this work led RFC pilots into aerial battles with German pilots and in the war included the strafing of enemy infantry and emplacements, the bombing of German military airfields and the strategic bombing of German industrial and transport facilities. At the start of World War I the RFC, commanded by Brigadier-General Sir David Henderson, consisted of five squadrons – one observation balloon squadron and four aeroplane squadrons; these were first used for aerial spotting on 13 September 1914 but only became efficient when they perfected the use of wireless communication at Aubers Ridge on 9 May 1915. Aerial photography again only became effective the next year. By 1918, photographic images could be taken from 15,000 feet and were interpreted by over 3,000 personnel.
Parachutes were not available to pilots of heavier-than-air craft in the RFC – nor were they used by the RAF during the First World War – although the Calthrop Guardian Angel parachute was adopted just as the war ended. By this time parachutes had been used by balloonists for three years. On 17 August 1917, South African General Jan Smuts presented a report to the War Council on the future of air power; because of its potential for the'devastation of enemy lands and the destruction of industrial and populous centres on a vast scale', he recommended a new air service be formed that would be on a level with the Army and Royal Navy. The formation of the new service would make the under-used men and machines of the Royal Naval Air Service available for action on the Western Front and end the inter-service rivalries that at times had adversely affected aircraft procurement. On 1 April 1918, the RFC and the RNAS were amalgamated to form a new service, the Royal Air Force, under the control of the new Air Ministry.
After starting in 1914 with some 2,073 personnel, by the start of 1919 the RAF had 4,000 combat aircraft and 114,000 personnel in some 150 squadrons. With the growing recognition of the potential for aircraft as a cost-effective method of reconnaissance and artillery observation, the Committee of Imperial Defence established a sub-committee to examine the question of military aviation in November 1911. On 28 February 1912 the sub-committee reported its findings which recommended that a flying corps be formed and that it consist of a naval wing, a military wing, a central flying school and an aircraft factory; the recommendations of the committee were accepted and on 13 April 1912 King George V signed a royal warrant establishing the Royal Flying Corps. The Air Battalion of the Royal Engineers became the Military Wing of the Royal Flying Corps a month on 13 May; the Flying Corps' initial allowed strength was 133 officers, by the end of that year it had 12 manned balloons and 36 aeroplanes. The RFC came under the responsibility of Brigadier-General Henderson, the Director of Military Training, had separate branches for the Army and the Navy.
Major Sykes commanded the Military Commander C R Samson commanded the Naval Wing. The Royal Navy however, with different priorities to that of the Army and wishing to retain greater control over its aircraft, formally separated its branch and renamed it the Royal Naval Air Service on 1 July 1914, although a combined central flying school was retained; the RFC's motto was Per ardua ad astra. This remains the motto of other Commonwealth air forces; the RFC's first fatal crash was on 5 July 1912 near Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain. Killing Captain Eustace B. Loraine and his observer, Staff Sergeant R. H. V. Wilson, flying from Larkhill Aerodrome. An order was issued after the crash stating "Flying will continue this evening as usual", thus beginning a tradition. In August 1912 RFC Lieutenant Wilfred Parke RN became the first aviator to be observed to recover from an accidental spin when the Avro G cabin biplane, with which he had just broken a world endurance record, entered a spin at 700 feet above ground level at Larkhill.
Four months on 11 December 1912 Parke was killed when the Handley Page monoplane in which he was flying from Hendon to Oxford crashed. Aircraft used during the war by the RFC included: Airco DH 2, DH 4, DH 5, DH 6, DH 9 Armstrong-Whitworth F. K.8 Avro 504 Bristol's Bristol Scout single-seat fighter, F2A and F2B Fighter two-seaters Handley Page O/400 Martinsyde G.100 Morane-Saulnier Bullet Biplane Parasol Nieuport Scout 17, 24, 27 Royal Aircraft Factory B. E.2a, B. E.2b, B. E.2c, B. E.2e, B. E.12, F. E.2b, F. E.8, R. E.8, S. E5a Sopwith Aviation Company 1½ Strutter, Triplane, Dolphin SPAD S. VII Vickers FB5 On its inception in 1912 the Royal Flying Corps consisted of a Military and a Naval Wing, with the Military Wing consisting of three squadrons each commanded by a major; the Naval Wing, with fewer pilots and aircraft than the Military Wing, did not organise itself into squadrons until 1914. By November 1914 the Royal Flying Corps taking the loss of the Naval Wing into account, had expanded sufficiently to warrant the creation of wings consisting of two or more squadrons.
These wings were commanded by lieutenant-colonels. In October 1915 the Corps had undergone further expansion which justified the creation of brigades, each commanded by a brigadier-general. Further expansion led to the creation of divisions, with the Training Division being established in August 1917 and R