RAF 158 Squadron was originally formed at the tail end of World War I on 4 September 1918. The squadron was based at RAF Upper Hayford in Oxfordshire. Initially the squadron was to be supplied and equipped with Sopwith Snipe aircraft in May of 1918 however this was postponed and the Snipes were planned to be replaced by Sopwith Salamander ground attack aircraft. The Salamander was an armoured version of the Snipe. World War I ended before 158 saw any active service and the squadron was disbanded on 20 November 1918. The records are poor and it is unclear if any Salamanders were ever delivered to the squadron. Bill Chorley managed to track down one veteran of the squadron from those early days, Second Lt R.E. Walker. Chorley interviewed Walker for his book about the history of 158 "In Brave Company." Walker related that his training at the squadron had been carried out on Sopwith Pups and not on Salamanders.
Roll: Ground Attack, single engine, single seat, biplane
Manufacturer: Sopwith Aviation Company
Power Plant: 1x Bentley BR2 9 cylinder air cooled rotary piston engine. 230 HP
Wing Span: 31ft 2.6in
Wing Area: 272 sq ft
Length: 19ft 6in
Height: 9ft 4in
Max Weight Fully Loaded: 2,512lbs
Service Ceiling at max weight: 13,000ft
Maximum Speed: 125 mph
Endurance: 1hr 30 min.
Time to altitude: 6,500 ft - 9 minutes, 10,000 ft - 17 minutes
Guns: 2 x .303 Vickers machine guns - 2000 rounds of ammunition
Bomb load: 4 x 25 lbs bombs
World War I ended and 158 squadron was disbanded before the squadorn was deployed and none of these aircraft types ever saw any action with 158 squadron.