3 Wing RNAS were sent to France to carry out strategic bombing of German targets. Up to now they have not been operating anywhere near full capacity due to the shortage of aircraft which has meant the RNAS donating a large number of their new Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutters to the RFC. This has meant that most of their activity to date has been small scale.
Today, with a full complement of aircraft, they finally carried out their first large raid, with French assistance on the Mauser Small Arms factory at Oberndorf. Eighteen naval bombers and six fighters and sixteen French bombers and numerous fighters took part in the raid.
The raiders were attacked by enemy fighters on the wat there and back – with six French and three British aeroplanes lost. Flight Lieutenant Carl Damien Newman and Gun-Layer Thomas Harry Vitty were shot down by AA fire in their Breguet V (9176) near Buggingen. Flt Sub-Lieutenant John Selwyn Nettleton Rockey and Gun-Layer Edwin Stanley Sturdee were shot down in their Breguet V (9181) by Otto Kissenberth from Kek E. Flight Sub-Lieutenant Charles Hamilton Butterworth in Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter (9660) was shot down by VItzfeldwebel Ludwig Hanstein from FA9. All five were taken prisoner.