Tuesday 22 January 1918 We Lost 241
80 Squadron arrives in France. It is equipped with Sopwith Camels and is destined to spend much of its operational life carrying out the dangerous tasks of strafing and low bombing. As a headquarters unit it will be constantly moved about the front, taking part in nearly every great battle of 1918. For this it will pay dearly in casualties.
The Royal Naval Air Service aircraft at Mudros are most commonly occupied with routine anti-submarine patrols and reconnaissance. However on this day all available aircraft of 2 (Naval) Wing are hurriedly drawn to the island, including several Greek pilots and their aircraft and attacks are commenced on the Goeben and Breslau. Two Sopwith Baby seaplanes allotted to this work are attacked by enemy seaplanes and one Royal Naval Air Service crew is shot down in flames. One British airplane drops a bomb on Goeben making a direct hit amidships, and volume of steam and smoke appear directly afterwards from the ship. In a raid tonight three small airplanes drop more bombs on the Goeben doing minor damage. One pilot on his return flight lands midway between Lemnos and Imbros, owing to engine trouble. On gliding to the surface six shots are fired at his machine, apparently by a submarine, when at a height of approximately six hundred feet, though he is not attacked when in the water.
Flight Commander Guy William Price DSC (Royal Naval Air Service) will be awarded a bar to the Distinguished Service Cross for consistency and determination in attacking enemy aircraft, often in superior numbers. Today, when on offensive patrol, he observes seven Albatross scouts. He dives and fires into one of the enemy aircraft, which stalls, side slips, and eventually falls over on its back, disappearing through a thick back of clouds and is observed by other of our machines to fall completely out of control. He will be killed while strafing enemy positions on 18 February at age 22 as a 12-victory ace. Two British aircraft are lost behind enemy lines on the Western Front. In the first both pilot and observer die of wounds received, while in the second the pilot is taken prisoner.
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Lieutenant Kenneth Ferguson Arnold Wallis (HMS Vincent, Royal Navy) dies at home at age 26. He fought at Jutland and was Captain Cadet at Osborne and Dartmouth where he won the first prize in the Cadets bayonet competition at the Royal Navy & Marines Tournament in 1911.