A vintage photograph of Captain Arthur Cobby in the cockpit of a Sopwith Camel. Aviation, Group Captain Arthur Henry COBBY, Australian Flying Corps.

A vintage photograph of Captain Arthur Cobby in the cockpit of a Sopwith Camel

A gelatin silver print (165 × 215 mm), slightly creased in a top corner; light pencil captions on the verso; in excellent condition.

The Australian War Memorial holds an example of this photograph (C22559); it is reproduced online with the following detailed caption: 'Captain A.H. Cobby DSO DFC and two Bars sitting in the cockpit of a Sopwith Camel fighter aircraft. He was officially credited with the confirmed destruction in combat of twenty nine machines, the highest number of any Australian airman of the First World War and therefore Australia's leading "Ace". Note the chequered paint scheme on this aircraft which indicated its pilot was an instructor at the time. Cobby noted that this was "the best Camel he could find" and he flew it regularly during his posting to Number 8 Squadron (training) at Leighterton'. Arthur Cobby (1894-1955) left the RAAF in 1933 with the rank of wing commander; he rejoined at the outbreak of the Second World War, and was promoted to group captain and air commodore. In March 1944 he was awarded the George Medal for bravery; in May 1945, he was relieved of his command as AOC, 1st Tactical Air Force on Morotai Island. Notwithstanding, he was 'a man whose personal story is threaded through the entire history of Australian service and civil aviation' ('Australian Dictionary of Biography').

Item #118725