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30 March 1916. Imbros.

31/03/2016

27 March

Bunnie in 1264. Escorting gun bus on evening reconnaissance. No huns. Archie exceptionally active, but mostly low. One cylinder cut out over peninsula, but picked up again before getting home. Slight south wind. Flattened out rather late on landing, so I touched lightly and bounced some way into the air. I was going fairly fast at the time so I did not open up engine, but glided down (rather a pancake) and made quite decent slow landing.

Dickinson. Cloudless and hot. Took Davey up for bomb dropping again. Lovely between 1,000 and 5,000 but very rough above that. Fairly good, I think, but Barrington most offensive. Up one hour and ten minutes. Went down to beach after lunch to get the roller and went over with Halliwell to no. 3 (Wing) where he bathed.

28 March.

Bunnie in 1264. Escorting gun bus on evening reconnaissance. Cloudy over peninsula. Fair northerly breeze. Landing all right.

Dickinson. Working on tennis court all the morning with working party. Up with Davey for an hour bomb-dropping again. Three Henris and three escorts to bomb seaplane station at 5.45 tomorrow. In early accordingly.

29 March.

Dickinson. Up at 5.00am but clouds very low so went back again to bed. Clouds cleared off before lunch before a strong north wind. Sun beautifully hot, so went round and bathed in the sea. Water coldish but but very pleaseant. Up at 4.45 tomorrow. Poor old Fitz needed a tonic which I provided.

30 March.

Dickinson. Up at 4.45. started at 5.00 in 3911 to bomb seaplane shed. Understood Brisley to say that if Barnato with three 100lb bombs seemed unable to climb I was to go off without him, which I did. Archie was extremely good, right height and quite near. Rev counter broke before leaving the island. Sun rose out of cloud bank just before six. Carburettor began to freeze and engine to get tired before we reached Chanak. Lost height accordingly. Clouds hid all north of Chanak. Dropped our bombs off Kephez and staggered back down Straits losing 3,000 feet before we reached Kum Kale. Prepared to ditch, seeing convenient destroyers in front of us and told Davey so. But after closing the throttle for a minute she picked up again on reopening and we got back all right only to be severely strafed for leaving Barney who meanwhile had attacked by a Fokker which Hooper had driven off. S.P. told me that I had ***** the whole show and that I should have bloody well have been responsible for Barney’s death if he had been shot down. Awfully upset thereby, especially as my finger was hurting me. Finished with difficulty a letter to mother and slept all the rest of the day. I feel very wicked only writing this one letter since Sunday but I can’t sit and write when it’s so hot, as it has been. I don’t know what will happen when it gets really hot. In early after finishing the Knave of Diamonds by E.M. Dell which I thought awfully good. Lucas reminded me of Dads.

Bunnie in 1264. Escorting H.F.s in bombing raid on seaplane shed. Early morning. 3 H.F.s, a gun bus, Nieuport Scout and myself. Too cloudy over straits to see. I followed left hand H.F. His engine gave trouble so he came back from Chanak via Kum Kale, W on to head for some destroyers. The others cut across the peninsula, and were attacked by the old Fokker, Hooper in the Nieuport Scout drove him off. Just my luck to be following the wrong H.F. Archie, with H.E. and shrapnel very troublesome. Good landing, no wind.

The two routes home from the bombing raid - Bunnie and Dickinson following down the straits, keeping clear of the worst of the Archie, and within gliding range of the water in case the engine failed and they could then be picked up (with luck) by a royal Navy ship, while the others went over the peninsula where they encountered the Fokker Eindekker again, much to Bunnie's chagrin.

The two routes home from the bombing raid – Bunnie and Dickinson following down the straits, keeping clear of the worst of the Archie, and within gliding range of the water in case the engine failed and they could then be picked up (with luck) by a royal Navy ship, while the others went over the peninsula where they encountered the Fokker Eindekker again, much to Bunnie’s chagrin.

This is one of the very few accounts where the two pilots seem to have been involved in the same event. Dickinson’s problem of carburettor icing is one that all pilots of piston-engined aircraft suffer, even today, and his solution – closing the throttle and opening it again – is one that commonly works by breaking the ice forming inside the throat of the carburettor.

Incidentally, this picture, courtesy Paschalis Palavouzis, shows the two aerodromes in use at Imbros.

 

The Aerodromes at Imbros. The harbour and peninsula are called Kephalos, and that name is sometimes used in accounts of the period. The harbour, much used by the Royal Navy's fleet, is on the left. Bunnie and Dickinson were with No. 2 Wing, in the neck of land between the harbour on the left and the salt lake on the right. No. 3 Wing, which Dickinson visited, was on the point of the peninsula in the distance.

The Aerodromes at Imbros. The harbour and peninsula are called Kephalos, and that name is sometimes used in accounts of the period. The harbour, much used by the Royal Navy’s fleet, is on the left. Bunnie and Dickinson were with No. 2 Wing, in the neck of land between the harbour on the left and the salt lake on the right. No. 3 Wing, which Dickinson visited, was on the point of the peninsula in the distance.

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One Comment
  1. “Barrington most offensive”. I didn’t get this phrase.

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