26 July 1916 – ‘X’ Aircraft Depot formed

Contrary to its mysterious sounding name, the original ‘X’ Aircraft Park was simply the designation used for the Aircraft Park serving the two squadrons in Egypt (14 RFC and 17 RFC).  It had arrived in late 1915 under Captain Claude Hamerton Rowe, and settled down at Abbassia, Cairo.

However, with the expansion of theatres and the formation of the Middle East Brigade on 1 July 1916, to cover all the operations in Egypt, Mesopotamia and Africa, the squadrons are now operating as widely scattered detachments. Today, therefore, a new ‘X’ Aircraft Depot was formed and made responsible for the issue of technical equipment and stores for all the Royal Flying Corps squadrons in the Middle East Brigade. The Depot will also deal with reinforcements and the training and trade testing of men transferred on probation in Egypt.

The original ‘X’ Aircraft Park is to become a mobile park similar to those in France. It will keep a specified number of aeroplanes, ready to fly, in its First Reserve, while aeroplanes under reconstruction are held in Second Reserve. To this reserve, aeroplanes crashed in the field, but repairable, will be sent, a replacement going to the detachment from the Park’s First Reserve.

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