Aircraft of World War I by Kenneth Munson

By Kenneth Munson

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135 H M S Riviera Flt-Cdr Cecil F. Kilner Type 135 No. 136 H M S Riviera Flt-Lt Charles H. K. Edmonds Type 74 No. 811 H M S Riviera Flt-Lt Reginald J. Bone Type 74 No. 812 H M S Empress Fit Sub-Lt Vivian Gaskell Blackburn Type 74 No. 814 H M S Empress Flt-Cdr Douglas A. Oliver Type 74 No. 815 H M S Empress Although all the aircraft were two-seaters, the choice of taking an observer remained with the pilots. Thus, all three pilots on HMS Empress took observers on the Cuxhaven raid, while none of the HMS Engadine trio did.

This was Lt Robert Erskine Childers RNVR. Erskine Childers was born in 1870 to an English father and an Irish mother. As an adult he indulged his adventurous spirit, manifested by his passion for sailing; his favourite area was the north German coast and the Frisian Islands, with their narrow channels and shifting sands. After service in the Boer War with the City Imperial Volunteers, in 1903 he published a best-selling novel, The Zeppelin Base Raids: Germany 1914 The Riddle of the Sands. It told the story of a fictional German invasion of Britain from the Frisian Islands.

Babington was now alone in the rear. The attack on t h e Zeppelin works Over Lake Constance the clouds had disappeared, revealing a bright, sunny, crisp autumn day. At the Zeppelin works the staff had been on lunch break 38 The Friedrichshafen Raid when a telephone call from Constance, about 17 miles west of Friedrichshafen across the lake, confirmed the earlier sighting from Lorrach of unidentified aircraft. The Landsturm troops guarding the works were put on alert and the crews of the three Krupp anti-aircraft guns and two machine guns defending the factory set to their weapons.

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