Tag Archives: HMS Raven II

27 December 1916 – Chikadir Bridge

Yesterday the Ben-my-Chree left Port Said to rendezvous with the Raven II to carmy out A bombing raid on the Chikaldir bridge over the Jeiham

Four aircraft took off from from Ben-my-Chree, including a Short seaplane (Flt S/Lt Smith & Capt Wedgwood Benn) and three Schneider seaplanes (Cdr Samson, Flt Lt Clemson, Flt Lt Brooke), to bomb the bridge. in

The Short seaplane dropped one 65lb bomb on the bridge and two 16lb bombs on a train but none of the  three exploded and the aircraft then attacked the bridge defences. The Schneider seaplanes obtained one direct hit and two near misses on the bridge.

A second wave then attacked from Raven II, with two Short seaplanes (Flt Lt Burling & Lt Stewart, Flt S/Lt King & Lt Williams) and obtained a further hit on the bridge. Finally one Short seaplane (Flt Lt Maskell & Lt WL Samson) and two Schneider seaplanes (Flt Lt Clemson, Flt S/Lt Henderson) from Ben-my-Chree secured one more hit on the bridge and caused some damage to the embankment.

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25 August 1916 – Affule bombed, Dacre lost

Following the reconnaissance of the Syrian coast on 14 August, the Royal Navy made plans to attack the Turkish ammunition dump at Affule. Conseuqently this morning three seaplane carriers the Ben-my-Chree, Raven II, and Anne assembled at Haifa accompanied by the French destroyer Arbalete.

Ten seaplanes then flew off to Affule. On arrival the pilots found the camp greatly enlarged and the anti-aircraft defences strengthened.

Nevertheless they set about systematically bombing the camp for the next 30 minutes, and railway tracks, stores and carriages were set on fire. One train, which steamed out of the station, was found by the Raven’s seaplanes who scored a direct hit on the rear coach of the train. Other bombs damaged the track.

All the seaplanes returned safely to the carriers, and when they had been hoisted in, the three ships and their escort went south down the coast. On their way they encountered two dhows, one of which was destroyed by gunfire from the Arbalete, while the other was captured and taken in tow by the Ben-my-Chree. Prisoners from this dhow confirmed that the two vessels were used for revictualling the Sinai troops.

About midday, seven seaplanes went off to bomb the camp at Bureir and the railway viaduct over the Wadi el Hesi. The camp was hit and damaged and camels were stampeded by Lewis gun fire, but the viaduct was not destroyed, the nearest bombs exploding on the embankment. Unfortunately, Flight Commander George Bentley Dacre DSO, who has been with the RNAS since the beginning of the war, failed to return and has been taken prisoner by the Arabs.

10 August 1916 – Retreat From Romani

Following the failure of the Turkish offensive in the Sinai peninsuala, Turkish forces have been retreating eastwards from Romani.

With the Ben-my-Chree in dock spotting duties have fallen to the seaplane carrier Raven II (East Indies and Egypt Station Seaplane Squadron).

Early this morning, the two aircraft from the Raven II made spotting flights for the monitor M.21 while it bombarded a Turkish camp near Bir el Mazar on the coast road between Qantara and Arish.

One seaplane dropped four 20-lb. bombs on the camp to indicate its position to the monitor. A second plane carried out fire corrections, but soon after fire had been opened an enemy aeroplane attacked it and forced it down on the water.

It was taken in tow by the monitor and eventually hoisted back on board the Raven II

Enemy aeroplanes then appeared and bombed the carrier, but made no hits.

11 February 1916 – A narrow escape

Charles Edmonds

In January 1916, the East Indies and Egypt Seaplane Squadron was formed from the carriers Raven II, Empress, Ben-my-Chree and Anne, under the command of C. L’Estrange Malone. The squadron, based at Port Said, was under the overall control of the General Officer Commanding, Egypt and its primary duty was to watch Turkish positions and movements in southern Palestine and the Sinai.

Robert Erskine Childers

Serving on the Raven II was one of the heroes of the Gallipoli campaign, Flight Commander Lieutenant Charles Humphrey Kingsman Edmonds, the first man to successfully attack a ship with a torpedo from the air. Today he and his observer Lieutenant Robert Erskine Childers (the author of “The Riddle of the Sands”) suffered engine failure while on patrol in their Short Type 184 Seaplane (849).

They landed in heavy seas and quickly the aircraft capsized. Fortunately, Edmonds and Childers were rescued by HMT Charlsen.