Landing on the sea surface was standard until sufficiently long landing decks were built on the first aircraft carriers. The front and detachable rear section of Camel 2F.1
were often recovered individually.
flying a Sopwith Pup from the platform mounted
on the gun turret of the cruiser HMS Yarmouth,
managed to shoot down an airship L23 (LZ 66
class Q). After that he landed on the water and
was recovered by a destroyer.
Kill scored from pontoon
If you ever saw a picture of an airplane taking
off from the pontoon towed by a fast ship, be
aware that a fighter taking off in such a bizarre
manner achieved a success. The credit goes
to the Canadian pilot FSL Stuart D. Culley. On
August 11, 1918, destroyer HMS Redoubt was
towing the H5 pontoon as a part of Harwich
Force in Heligoland Bay when Zeppelin L53 (LZ
100 class V) was spotted. Culley took off in his
Camel from the pontoon and after a long climb
shot down the airship.
Day the British assault group ships set sail and
on the following day, at 6 am the hydroplane
ships HMS Empress, HMS Riviera and HMS
Engadin reached the planned hydroplanes’
launching point. Their assembly and launching
on the water then commenced. There were nice
Short Folder hydroplanes participating in the
mission, each armed with three 20 lbs bombs.
In the end only seven of them took off at 06:54
am (RNAS No. 119, 120, 136, 811, 814 and 815).
The weather was unfavorable. The low clouds
obscured the whole mission area from the
German observation but at the same time made
the crews’ navigation difficult. Regardless,
soon they were spotted by a German patrol
ship which sounded an alarm and consequently
the airships L5 (LZ 28 class M) and L6 (LZ 31
class M) took off from the Nordholz base.
British aircraft lost the orientation and after a
futile search for the base the crews decided to
During WWI quite many German airship
bases were built. The largest ones were located
on the North Sea coast in the North-Western
Germany: Nordholz, Ahlhorn and Tondern. The
Royal Navy learnt about them soon after they
were built. Right at the outbreak of the war
the British decided to destroy Nordholz base
near Cuxhavevn. The attack was scheduled for
Christmas 1914 after the attacks from October
and November had not been successful due to
the inclement weather. Nevertheless, the Royal
Navy activity starting on December 21, 1914, by
gradual sailing of the part of the fleet did not
escape the German attention. On the Christmas
Hydroplanes against Zeppelin
2F.1 Camels ready for take-off from the HMS Furious deck.