The D.H.2 was a compact, little fighting scout that served Britain’s Royal Flying Corps ( RFC) well in the fieree air battles over the Somme in 1916. Designed by Geoffrey de Havilland of the Aircraft Manufacturing Company (Airco). it was developed from the larger D.H.1.
A pusher propeller was set behind the wings, leaving a free field of fire for the Lewis gun mounted in front of the pilot’s nacelle. However, simultaneously controlling the aircraft and aiming the mobile gun was far from easy, and some D.H.2 pilots preferred
to fix the Lewis to fire straight ahead, aiming the aircraft at its target.
The D.H.2 began arriving at RFC squadrons in France in February 1910. Although the aircraft’s performance and handling qualities left something to be desired, it outclassed the German Fokker Eindecker.
Ordered to take the offensive  at all times, D.H.2 pilots claimed numerous victories over enemy aircraft. Major Lionel Rees, for example, won a Victoria Cross for attacking ten German bombers and putting them to flight, despite being wounded. However, the advent of the German Albatros D series soon made the D.H.2 hopelessly vulnerable. By June 1917 the aircraft had been withdrawn from the Western Front.