1 December 1916 – Gereviz bombed

On the Macedonian front, the RNAS carrying out a range of reconnaissance and bombing missions. Naturally, local German forces have attempted to counter their activities by setting up their own bases at Drama, Xanthe, and Maswakli, and a seaplane base at Gereviz on Lake Boru.

From these bases the Germans made a series of attacks on the RNAS aerodrome at Thasos. The British grew tired of the assaults and when it was learned that the aerodrome at Gereviz was expanding, they decided to mount a raid.

On 29 November 1916, two Henri Farmans from 2 Wing RNAS set off on the 35 mile trip to bomb the camp. Flight Lieutenant Edward John Cooper and Lieutenant George Master Byng (The 9th Viscount Torrington) were in 3905, and Flight Sub-Lieutenant Charles William Greig and 2nd Lieutenant Rowland Wynne Frazier in 3916.

They flew unmolested to Gereviz and dropped their bombs from under 1,000 feet. They were lucky to set fire to a number of buildings, which were then fanned by strong winds, eventually burning the whole camp. The fires were visible from Thasos.

Despite their success in destroying the base, both crews failed to return from the mission and were reported as taken prisoner today. They do not appear to have been shot down, so likely the cause is the harsh weather taking its toll on the obsolete Henri Farmans.



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