20 January 1917 – Bombing Baghdad

Command of the RFC units in Mesoptamia has been restructured. Major John Edward Tennant has relinquished command of 30 Squadron and been appointed Wing Commander in charge of all RFC forces in the area which includes 1 Squadron Australian Flying Corps. Command of 30 Squadron has passed to Captain Hereward de Havilland (the younger brother of Geoffrey de Havilland) whose post as Assistant Director of Aeronautics has been abolished.

Also today, 30 Squadron pilots carried out a three plane raid on the citadel at Baghdad where the Turks had a munitions factory. The attack was basically a failure as only two of the six 100lb. bombs dropped hit the citadel, and they both failed to explode.

The pilots did however make a detailed reconnaissance of the Turkish positions at Ctesiphon, Diyala, and Baghdad, and of shipping and railway movements, and the information they brought back was added by General Headquarters to special maps which were distributed to the army commanders.


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