Photo: archive


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

July 2023

Photo: archive

Hydroplanes against Zeppelin


2F.1 Camels ready for take-off from the HMS Furious deck.

INFO Eduard