24 November 1916 – Hejaz bombed

Francis Russell Freeman

Russell Herbert Freeman

Over in Egypt, pilots from 14 and 67 Squadron made a bombing raid on the Hejaz railway today.  This involved a five hour flight over 350 miles, a long distance given the primitive Martinsydes used.

Captain Russell Herbert Freeman of 14 Squadron, attacked the railway bridge four miles south of Qal’at el Hasa with two 100lb. delay-action bombs dropped from a height of 20 feet. One bomb struck the bridge, but bounced off and exploded underneath. The bridge remained intact, but part of the permanent way was damaged.

Stanley Keith Muir

Stanley Keith Muir

The second pilot, Lieutenant Stanley Keith Muir of 67 Squadron, attacked Jurf ed Derawish railway station with one 100lb. and four 20lb. bombs, but scored no direct hits, although the bombs fell close to and damaged their objective.

Onthereturn journey, four 20-lb. bombs were dropped on a camp at Asluj, hitting tents.

Despite the Herculean efforts of the pilots the attack was essentially a failure. Given the crude aiming techniques and limited payload, this is hardly surprising.

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