22 October 1916 – Sheerness bombed

walterilgs

Walter Ilgs

This afternoon, at around 1337, a single aircraft was spotted over Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppy. It was so high that few people even saw it. The pilot, Leutnant Walter Ilges, dropped four bombs, three of which fell in the harbour. Two dropped between the end of the pier and the land, with the other landing between the pier head and a battleship. They caused no damage. The fourth hit the Dockyard Railway Station. The blast broke four telegraph wires, smashed two windows in a signal box, four railway carriages and a horse box of a train in the sidings, which suffered a further 18 broken windows. No one was hurt.

Shortly after making its appearance the raider flew off to the north-east. Ten minutes later, single aircraft took off from both RNAS Manston and RNAS Dover but neither saw the raider. Another six aircraft from Manston and Dover belatedly joined the search to no avail. .

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