2 December 2016 – Lost Short

Out in Sinai, British forces are preparing to mount an attack on the Turkish forces in the coastal city of El Arish. As part of the build up, RNAS aircraft from HMS Ben-my-Chree, HMS Empress and HMS Raven II have been making reconnaissance flights over the area.

Today one of those aircraft was lost. Flight Sub Lieutenant Alfred James Nightingale and Lieutenant Percy Maurice Woodland from HMS Empress were flying a Short 184 (8372) over Ramleh. They were hit by Turkish anti-aircraft fire and the aircraft crashed out of control. Luckily both officers suffered only minor injuries but they were taken prisoner.

Before this was known a second Short 184 (8030) with Flight-Commander Tom Harry English and Captain J Wedgewood-Benn was dispatched from HMS Ben-my-Chree, to look for Nightingale and Woodland. They too were hit by anti-aircraft file but were able to limp back to their ship.

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