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30 May 1916. Imbros – Thassos

30/05/2016

1264.

Imbros to Thasos. West round south side of Imbros and then steered 300° all the way. Left 0828. Arrived 0959, landed 1015. Very bumpy at about 1500. Wind slight but very changeable. Good landing. Engine vibrating very badly.

2016-05-30 Map Imbros - Thasos

This is the actual map Bunnie used for the journey. it includes a compass rose with the course (297°) and distance (89 miles). The aerodrome, on the peninsula known as Prinos, is marked by a tiny red dot of crayon on the north west coast. That was all he had to navigate by.

I don’t know how accurate his compass was, but Samothrace (the island between Imbros and Thassos) is clearly visible from Thassos so it may have possible to see Thassos pretty early on in the flight. He gives his maximum height as 5000ft, and Thassos rises to 4000ft, so I don’t know if he went round the edge or over the top. Either way, the only flat area on the entire island is the Prinos peninsula, so his chance of surviving an engine failure were pretty remote, and probably better in the sea, where a chain of warships was stationed to pick them up.

When he got there he found the two machines who’d landed first had tried to avoid what looked like a ditch across the middle of the field and had crashed. Bunnie decided that it was just different coloured grass, landed across it and got down with 1264 intact. He was therefore the first pilot to land successfully at Prinos.

As at Imbros, facilities were pretty basic; Bessoneau hangars for the aircraft and tents for the men.

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