29 July 1915 – Reorganisation of naval air services

Today the Admiralty agreed to the reorganisation of naval air services and the Royal Naval Air Service will officially come into existence on 1 August. This follows a proposal by Sir John Jelicoe the Commander-in-Chief on 4 June on the functions of a Naval Air Service:

“(a) Observation duties from the coast generally, and from naval bases in particular.
(b) The attack of enemy aircraft wherever met.
(c) The aerial defence of all naval centres, such as dockyards, magazines, since the Army who, properly speaking, should carry out this work, have apparently turned it over to the Navy.
(cl) Scouting for enemy submarines and enemy minelayers, which properly comes under the heading of reconnaissance work.”

Consequently this also means that all semi-military ground services are to be handed over to the Army, leaving the Air Department free to confine its energies to the help of the Navy. This includes fifteen armoured car squadrons, of which six were on active service, three armoured trains and an anti-aircraft section numbering twenty-four officers and 1,500 men, which was part of the home ground defence against air raids.

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