Fabric from Sopwith F1 (Camel) D3338
Flown By Captain Oliver "Boots" LeBoutillier on 21 April 1918
and a Signed Print of the Incident
Fabric from Sopwith F1 (Camel) D3338 flown By Captain Oliver "Boots" LeBoutillier on 21 April 1918 and a signed print of the incident. The print is 65cm X 50cm and has been dedicated "To Russell Nance, Happy Landings" and signed "Capt OC Boots LeBoutillier 209 Squadron RAF". The olive-green fabric is 210mm X 130mm. The fabric was accompanied by a note from Oliver LeBoutillier with a note that states, "Fabric from my Sopwith Camel".
Colin LeBoutillier was born in New Jersey USA in 1895. He crossed into Canada in 1916 and joined the Royal Naval Air Service. By April 1917 Sub-Lieutenant LeBoutillier was attached to No. 9 Sqn RNAS. On 01 April 1918 the RNAS and the RFC were amalgamated into the Royal Air Force. Now a Captain, "Boots" was in command of "B" flight 209 Sqn RAF on 21 April 1918 in the Somme river valley. He was involved with the air battle with Jagdgeschwader 1 and was an eye-witness to Lt. Wilfrid "Wop" May in Sopwith F1 (Camel) D3326 being pursued by Manfred von Richthofen in his red Fokker Dr1425/17. Captain LeBoutillier was then witness to the attack by Captain Roy Brown in Camel B7270 and the subsequent crash of von Richthofen. Immediately after the crash, "Boots" flew over the crashed Triplane of von Richthofen. This is the scene depicted in the print and the fabric is from the aircraft in the print. Click HERE to read about the action in detail. Oliver LeBoutillier survived the war with 10 aerial victories to his credit. He entered Barnstorming and piloted aircraft for no less than eighteen movies, such as " Hell's Angels" and "Wings". As a flight instructor he gave Amelia Earhart her first instruction in a twin-engined aircraft and acted as a test pilot for Howard Hughes. He eventually became CAA inspector in charge of Colorado and Wyoming USA. Oliver LeBoutillier died on 12 May 1983 in Las Vegas Nevada. Happy Landings Oliver.

FOOTNOTE: Although the artist of the print, Robert E. Carlin correctly depicted Captain LeBoutillier flying over the scene of a crashed Manfred von Richthofen, he erred in his research and painted the aircraft as Camel B3858, which was actually the Camel flown on 21 April 1918 by his wingman, Lt. Foster. The Log Record of 209 Squadron RAF show that Captain LeBoutillier flew Sopwith F1 (Camel) D3338. In later years, when "Boots" wrote the note that accompanied the fabric, believing the artist's research to be correct, it appears that he used the erred print as his reference and included a note with the fabric which states "Fabric from my Sopwith Camel, B3858". The elderly "Boots" can certainly be forgiven for not recalling an insignificant detail such as the aircraft number he flew on any given day. What is significant is that the fabric is from the actual Sopwith F1 he was flying on 21 April 1918