One of the two main British fighter aircraft of the first world war, along with the RAF S.E.5a. The Camel entered service with both the RFC and the RNAS in June 1917, where its outstanding maneuverability made it deadly in the hands of a good pilot. It was also used as a ground-straffer, first appearing in the battle of Ypres (from 31 July 1917), and then playing a major role in the battle of Cambrai. On 25 January 1918 a Sopwith Camel recorded the first victory in nightfighting, shooting down a Gotha bomber east of London, while it was Sopwith Camel in which the Canadian, Captain Roy Brown, shot down Baron Manfred von Richthofen (21 April 1918). In the hands of the infant RAF, the Sopwith Camel came to dominate the skies over the trenches, and was the RAF's main fighter until the Armistice, but it did not remain long in service after the war, when the RAF was reduced massively in size to the point where it was able to fill all of its squadrons with aircraft produced later in the war.
How to cite this article: Rickard, J. (13 November 2000), Sopwith Camel, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_sopwithcamel.html