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Wing Commander Samson
HMS Raven II

On this day 25 August 1916

Published: 25 Aug 2014

On this day 25 August 1916 Nine Short seaplanes attack Turkish troops in Sinai

The Turkish Army in the Sinai Peninsula posed a direct threat to the Suez Canal. The troops were supplied by a railway running behind a range of mountains and the Turks considered it immune from aerial attack. 

The three seaplane carriers HM Ships BEN-MY-CHREE, ANNE and RAVEN II (pictured) launched nine Short seaplanes from a position off the port of Haifa. Led by Wing Commander Samson (pictured), they flew in formation up a narrow valley through the mountains, subjected to heavy rifle and machine gun fire from hilltop positions.

They then broke through onto the plain and attacked the railway junction at El Afule. They hit the railway line, trains and buildings, settings fires and dropping 1,500lbs of bombs in fifteen minutes and then returned safely to their ships offshore. From the hoisting out of the first seaplane to recovery of the last took less than 2½ hours.


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