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corrigendum - Herbert Smith.

Sopwith; Mitsubishi; Imperial japanese navy

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#1 Armand

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 09:42 AM

It have come to my knowledge that Herbert Smith, who is the creator of the Sopwith Pup; Triplane; Camel, and Snipe, went out of business when Sopwith closed in 1920. Fortunately the japanese engine-factory Mitsubishi headhunted him as well as others from Sopwith to create a japanese airplane factory to get the imperial forces at the pace of time.
During his 3 years in Japan he designed the Mitsubishi aircrafts: 1MT; B1M; 1MF and 2MR, wich all was aimed for use on the uprising concept of aircraft carriers.
After returning to England, Smith retired from the aiviation industry.
Though Japan was an ally to England at the time, things changed as we all know and Smith ended being disgraced for his part in the rise of the imperial japanese navy and though he died as late as in 1978 he lies in an unmarked grave - unrewarded for his achievement in the WW1 and thereby the childhood of military aircraft.
This will be my small contribution to the acknowledgement of his work!

Pictures creates bigger interrest for texts, but since not having any own pic's of Herbert Smith or any Sopwith, I had to make a christmas visit to get this picture of my nephews Camel ;-)Attached File  image.jpg   202.63KB   0 downloads

Edited by Armand, 21 December 2014 - 04:03 PM.

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#2 Kutscha

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 10:02 PM

Thank you Armand, didn't know that.



#3 Edgar Brooks

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 08:41 AM

I am not throwing any accusations at Armand, but there seems to be a possibility of some mischief-making (or lack of research) here. Marking a grave is entirely the responsibility of the family, and Smith's grave being unmarked could be because the family couldn't afford it, the cemetery/church might not allow it, or possibly because his wife feared desecration by the more moronic section of our community. The lack of a cross or headstone has nothing to do with the Establishment.
We have a series of programmes, on the BBC, in which a "celebrity" tracks down early relatives and their history, and, in one, a girl found that one of her ancestors had no headstone, so she paid for one to be erected.
Also (according to a senior RAF officer,) after his return from Japan, both Hawker's and Vickers offered him employment.

Edited by Edgar Brooks, 08 December 2014 - 10:38 PM.

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#4 Armand

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 11:16 PM

I am not throwing any accusations at Armand, but there seems to be a possibility of some mischief-making (or lack of research) here. Marking a grave is entirely the responsibility of the family, and ............

It's a plain quote, wich I also wondered the meaning of. But since english isn't my native language I thought there could be a second understanding of the term :-/
Anyhow, due to other informations on the Web he isn't that 'unmarked' hence there should be a plague at the entrance wall at the church concerned!
I have thought of his possibilities at Hawker, wich was an offspring of the closed Sopwith: Maybee he returned back to England demoralized by experiences in/with Japan :-/
Anyhow. A bunch of locals decided in the mid 70's to be teached in the old crafts - Planning to build their own Camel from scratch and managed to attend him in the plans. However, the work ended up succesfull with at flying Camel, Herbert Smith died during the progress and did not experience the result.
It seems like this have been the only honour he was granted while alive :-o

#5 Armand

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 12:23 AM

The mentioned plague appears to be situated on the townhall, high street, Skipton!

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Edited by Armand, 16 December 2014 - 12:24 AM.


#6 ChrisMcD

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 09:04 PM

Judging by the Flight article Herbert Smith had an interesting career, retired rather early from aviation, but never got back into UK aviation.

 

There is clearly some dispute about who designed which Sopwith aircraft, but Herbert Smith gets a lot of credit, particularly for the later ones (Sopwith Cuckoo?).  So he was a designer of considerable skill and reputation

 

http://www.flightglo...960 - 3097.html

 

As far as I can make out Tom Sopwith "phoenixed" "Sopwiths" in 1920 (that is he declared the original company bankrupt, paid off his creditors and then set up again with as "Hawkers Ltd").  AFAIK the change in company name was in tribute to Harry Hawker his chief test pilot, who had just died in a crash.  But, Sopwith, Hawker and Sigrist were a very close group of friends and it appears that Herbert Smith was not part of the team that went on to form Hawkers.  By the way, Sydney Camm joined Hawkers a few years later, so was not part of this series of events.

 

In the event, Herbert Smith joined another "band of brothers"; the British Naval mission to Japan that was sent to help prepare the IJN fight a "second front" war in the Pacific if the RN came to blows with the USN in the Atlantic.

 

However, the "unofficial" British Naval Aviation mission to Japan was a good idea that went rather wrong when the Brits decided that they preferred to be allied to the US rather than fight them!

 

http://www.telegraph...an-for-war.html

 

It seems clear that at least some of the mission "went native" - Frederick J Rutland for one was caught spying for the Japanese, so it is not surprising that other members would be under suspicion.  

 

What is clear is that the mission created the very effective Imperial Japanese Navies air arm - with a particular expertise in torpedo bombing!

 

However, a lot of good designers went to Japan at about that time - after all it was a time of retrenchment in Europe (Dr Voght of Bluhm and Voss springs to mind).  The Flight article states that both Vickers and Hawkers tried to sign him on.



#7 ChrisMcD

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 09:10 PM

Judging by the Flight article Herbert Smith had an interesting career, retired rather early from aviation, but never got back into UK aviation.

 

There is clearly some dispute about who designed which Sopwith aircraft, but Herbert Smith gets a lot of credit, particularly for the later ones (Sopwith Cuckoo?).  So he was a designer of considerable skill and reputation

 

http://www.flightglo...960 - 3097.html

 

As far as I can make out Tom Sopwith "phoenixed" "Sopwiths" in 1920 (that is he declared the original company bankrupt, paid off his creditors and then set up again with as "Hawkers Ltd").  AFAIK the change in company name was in tribute to Harry Hawker his chief test pilot, who had just died in a crash.  But, Sopwith, Hawker and Sigrist were a very close group of friends and it appears that Herbert Smith was not part of the team that went on to form Hawkers.  By the way, Sydney Camm joined Hawkers a few years later, so was not part of this series of events.

 

In the event, Herbert Smith joined another "band of brothers"; the British Naval mission to Japan that was sent to help prepare the IJN fight a "second front" war in the Pacific if the RN came to blows with the USN in the Atlantic.

 

However, the "unofficial" British Naval Aviation mission to Japan was a good idea that went rather wrong when the Brits decided that they preferred to be allied to the US rather than fight them!

 

http://www.telegraph...an-for-war.html

 

It seems clear that at least some of the mission "went native" - Frederick J Rutland for one was caught spying for the Japanese, so it is not surprising that other members would be under suspicion. 

 

https://books.google...opwiths&f=false

 

What is clear is that the mission created the very effective Imperial Japanese Navies air arm - with a particular expertise in torpedo bombing!

 

However, a lot of good designers went to Japan at about that time - after all it was a time of retrenchment in Europe (Dr Voght of Bluhm and Voss springs to mind).  The Flight article states that both Vickers and Hawkers tried to sign him on.

 

So, a good designer who never got back into the UK business and was under a certain amount of justifiable suspicion after his return from Japan.

 

And a cracking yarn as well!



#8 Armand

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 04:42 PM

A bunch of locals decided in the mid 70's to be teached in the old crafts - Planning to build their own Camel from scratch and managed to attend him in the plans. However, the work ended up succesfull with at flying Camel...........

Aparantly this bunch of locals formed what to be called Northern Aeroplane Workshops (NAW) wich kept themselves in business until 2013, during wich period they managed to produce 3 compleate and a half-done Sopwith-replicas.
It's clear that NAW have been a project on hobby-scale since every plane took more than ten years to build, but ones admiration of their durable interrest have to be high.
Doea anyone have knowledge of litterature of NAW? Afterall it's a nearby 40-year long story!

#9 Eric Bloodaxe

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 07:33 PM

He has a grave stone now.  Skipton. North Yorkshire.

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#10 Armand

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 10:28 AM

He has a grave stone now.  Skipton. North Yorkshire.


Actually quite a long living wife!
As Edgar isn't here anymore, does Anyone know about a possible British tradition of rising headstones as late as at the last part of a married couple dies?





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