From the beginning of this project, each team was asked not only to select an aircraft, but to identify a specific aircraft that they would build a replica of, and to identify its pilot. Team Dallas selected the Sopwith Pup A7327 from the Number 46 Squadron, flown by Captain S.H. Pratt. Their research has turned up the following information about Captain Pratt.
Stuart Harvey Pratt was born in June 1893 and lived in Streatham Park, London, where his father ran a large furnishing store. Serving with the Royal Fusilers in France as a second lieutenant, Pratt was wounded in action. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in June 1916 and was posted to 46 Squadron in August 1916. Flying a Nieuport two-seater, Pratt scored his first victory in February 1917.
In April 1917 the No 46 Squadron received their first Sopwith Pup. On 25 May, Captain Pratt made No 46 Squadron’s first Pup claim, taking his personal tally to three. Captain Pratt would claim 4 more victories to take his overall score to seven. Captain Pratt’s Pup had distinctive markings of a Skull and Crossbones on his wheel covers.
Returning to England in June 1917 serving with No 112 Home Defense Squadron, Pratt lost his right eye and left foot in a crash on 31 August 1917 during gunnery practice at Herne Bay. He was invalided out of service due to ill health in December 1918 and put onto the retired list the following June. He lived in Sutton, Surrey, after the war, and in 1941 he volunteered for duty with the RAF Volunteer Reserve as a flight lieutenant with the Air Training Corps.
We are looking forward to bringing back Captain Pratt’s story for new generations to explore.