Saturday, 7 April 2018

The Road From Damscus - The Australian Flying Corps supporting the Australian Light Horse - 1918

The Road from Damascus - 1 Squadron and the Light Horsemen. 

October 1918 - The Australian Light Horse Brigade had just liberated Damascus in Syria and took thousands of troops prisoner when they heard that German and Turkish soldiers were trying to escape to the coast along the Damascus-Beirut road. 

The Light Horsemen galloped off to engage and do battle with them. Bristol Fighters of No 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps race ahead to scout and bomb the enemy. The Airmen had proved invaluable in the capture of Damascus by strafing Turkish machine-gun posts that had hampered the advance and bombing the railway yards to foil the escape of the enemy. 

A few hours later, Colonel T.E. Lawrence - also known as Lawrence of Arabia - entered Damascus with his Arab irregular army and  was feted as the liberator of Damascus in a political contrivance to further British interests in the Middle East. There was no mention that the Australians had already liberated the city.

100 years later and No 1 Squadron, RAAF would be back in Syria flying air support for friendly ground forces again - this time in the battle against ISIS. 

(The image above was created using marker pens and gouache paint on toned paper. 11 x 14 inch / 280 x 355mm prints available for $25.00 ea) For more info go to

Here is an image of Damascus taken by No 1 Squadron on an aerial reconnaissance prior to the liberation a few weeks later.

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No 1 Squadron's F/A-18F.