Due to the shortage of pilots and aircraft, the RNAS is providing more and more support to the RFC on the Western Front. Earlier in the month, 4 Wing RNAS regrouped its aircraft into two squadrons according to role – 6 Squadron equipped solely for aerial fighting and 7 Squadron, equipped solely for bombing. 7 Squadron’s CO is Squadron Commander Christopher Courtney.
7 Squadron was sub-divided into two Flights by aircraft types, Caudron twins and Short Bombers. The Cauldron’s have been around for a while, but the Short Bombers are new in service, with 7 Squadron the only unit so equipped. The Short Bomber is a land version of the Short 184 Seaplane which the RNAS have been using since 1915.
The Squadron flew its first Bomber flew in 1915 and more than mission tonight in its new guise, with four Shorts, each carrying eight 65 lb bombs, attacking targets at Ostend in Belgium along with 18 Caudrons.