14 June 1917 – L43 Destroyed

Following the destruction of the L22 on 14 May 1917, the Felixstowe flying boats had another success today.

This morning around 0840, while patrolling off Vieland, an H12 (8677), spotted a Zeppelin five miles away at a similar altitude.

IMG_1052

This was the L43. The pilot Flight Sub-Lieutenant Basil Deacon Hobbs, climbed another 500 feet and then dived to attack. Flight Sub-Lieutenant Robert Frederick Lea Dickey manned the bow Lewis gun, and the wireless operator, H. M. Davies, and the engineer, A. W. Goody, manned the amid- ships and stern guns. The flying-boat passed diagonally across the tail of the Zeppelin, and, after a burst of tracer ammunition from the Lewis gun amidships, followed by Brock and Pomeroy incendiary ammunition from the bow gun, the L.43 caught fire. It then broke in two and crashed into the sea. The entire crew were killed.

This incident led to the end of lower level patrolling by Zeppelins. The returned to higher altitudes which the seaplanes couldn’t reach. This in turn made it easier for British submarines to cross the channel without detection.

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