The RAF Far East Cruise


The Far East Flight

Five new metal-hulled Supermarine Southampton II flying boats were assigned to the Flight. Aircraft S1149, S1150, S1151 and S1152 were delivered to Felixstowe in September 1927, and these four competed the Felixstowe-Singapore-Australia-Singapore legs of the cruise. The fifth aircraft, S1127, was shipped as a spare to Singapore. This aircraft replaced S1149 for the final Singapore-Hong Kong leg on Air Ministry instructions.

The Aircraft were Prepared with a Number of Modifications from standard the specification. Hulls and wingtipFloats were finished with white enamel.  The engine radiators were larger & extra oil and fuel tanks were fitted. Metal airscrews replaced the nornal wooden ones.

Internal changes were made to provide more space & support facilities for the crew, who had to live on board sometimes during the trip.  Specially Designed Collapsible Rubber Dinghies were carried.

There were no automatic pilots or Blind flying aids and only two of the aircraft had radio sets. Airborne communication between aircraft was by lamp or hand signals.


Group of officers making the flight.

In front of them is a model of the Supermarine "Southampton" twin-Napier-engined flying-boat used.

From left to right: Flight.-Lieut. C. G. Wigglesworth, A.F.C., Flight-Lieut. D. V. Carnegie, A.F.C., Squad.-Leader G. E. Livock, D.F.C. (Second-in-Command), F./O. B. Cheesman, M.B.E., Group Capt. H. M. Cave-Browne-Cave, D.S.C., D.F.C. (in Command of the Flight), Flight-Lieut. H. G. Sawyer, A.F.C., Flight-Lieut. P. E. Maitland, A.F.C., F./O. S. D. Scott, F./O. G. E. Nicholetts, F./O. L. Horwood, M.C., Flight.-Lieut. S. T. Freeman, M.B.E.



Squad.-Leader G. E. Livock, D.F.C (Flight Leader)

Flight-Lieut. P. E. Maitland, A.F.C ( Lead Navigator)

Sergeant Cushing (Fitter)

Lac Williams (Wireless Operator)


Flight-Lieut. D. V. Carnegie, A.F.C.

F./O. G. E. Nicholetts

Sergeant McMeeking (Fitter)

Corporal Myers (Fitter)


Flight.-Lieut. C. G. Wigglesworth, A.F.C.

F./O. S. D. Scott

Sergeant Hart (Rigger)

Sgt Semple (Fitter)


Group Capt. H. M. Cave-Browne-Cave, D.S.C., D.F.C. (in Command of the Flight)

H. G. Sawyer, A.F.C.

Corporal Coyne (Fitter)

Leading Aircraftsman Nelson (Wireless Operator)

Base Party

The Base party was sent on to Seletar to set up Facilities for servicing the aircraft

Flight.-Lieutenant. S. T. Freeman, M.B.E. (Engineering Officer)

F./O. L. Horwood, M.C. (Stores & Pay)

F./O. B. Cheesman, M.B.E. ( Maintenance and Handling)

Flight Sergeants

T. Parry AFM & W. P. Spinks


A. E. Nicol & J. R. Semple


A. W. Brown,  A. H. Hart,  W. Pullan, J. R. Walker, W. H. Wood

Leading Aircraftsmen

R. H. Abrook, A. W. Banner,  F. J. Head, P. Hepple,  R. Houstan, J. E. Shelley,  C. Way,  F. E. Woods


G. H. Bucknall,  S. W. Coates, V. W. Lee,  J. I. Netley,  H. Rose, C. Young



View the Full Flight