Recreating an Anti-Zeppelin Home Defence Patrol

Yourselves, events, parties, costumes...

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
7thLeicesters
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:29 pm
Location: The better 'ole
Contact:

Recreating an Anti-Zeppelin Home Defence Patrol

Postby 7thLeicesters » Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:32 pm

This Saturday, me and a friend recreated a typical anti-Zeppelin patrol, using the description from AR Kingsford's 'Night Raiders of the Air' book. Before transferring to 100 Squadron on the Western Front flying FE2b's then Handley Page bombers, he was with 33 Home Defence Squadron flying night fighting FE2b's and FE2d's, based with A Flight at RAF Scampton. Text and the two illustrations are from the book.

Image

RAF Scampton - somewhere in the murk!

Obvious difference is that we weren't flying at night and not at the heights flown on patrols - the aircraft was of 1946 vintage but travelled at the same speeds as the FE2b's and d's did, typically cruising at 90 knots.

Image

"On the twenty-first of August, 1917, I took the air in quest of Zepps for the first time. We received our first news of them at ten-thirty p.m., and at eleven o'clock, Robiers and I taxied out, having been given a great send-off."

Image

"England was not the best of countries for flying, particularly at night. The fog was our worst foe, and being near the coast, we had to be extra careful not to go wandering out over the sea, a matter very easily accomplished at night in a fog. Two or three of our chaps went west that way, and we never heard of them again. We could only conclude that the North Sea claimed them as victims"

Image

Spurn Head, at the end of Spurn Point, in the River Humber and home to coastal defences in WW1

"The Huns' Zepp Base was at Heligoland, due east of Spurn Head. His course was due west until he struck Spurn Head, where he would pick up the lights of Hull, invariably turning south and passing right over our aerodrome, then picking up Lincoln and apparently following the Northern Railway down to London"

Image

This sound mirror at Kilnsea, on the stretch of land which narrows into Spurn Point, was used to detect engine noises and amplify them, a sort of early acoustic version of radar, and would no doubt have been the source of warning for AR Kingsford's patrol

Image

"By the time we reached the Humber, our height was ten thousand, and again we circled round and round to get higher, both piercing the darkness with bulging eyes int he endeavour to glimpse a target. Seeing a searclight pop up over Hull, we set our nose in that direction, and soon there were about half a dozen, lighting up the sky. This show promised well. We were now over the Humber, just about where the ZR2 broke her back some time later. We were hoping to break the back of a Zepp before long."

Unfortunately, like most Home Defence patrols, Kingsford was not successful in shooting down a Zeppelin, despite the searchlight activity and heavy anti-aircraft fire he never saw the phantom raider

Image

AR Kingsford later in the war, with 100 Squadron, in a night bombing FE2b


We are a circus Squadron, we are old '22'
And binge and rev and joyride is all we're fit to do!

User avatar
Gandi
Posts: 115
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 4:00 pm
Location: Sussex by the Sea

Postby Gandi » Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:48 pm

very nice......had you seen these, could be of interest to you

http://www.stowmaries.com/

and

http://thevintageaviator.co.nz/


Now there's two kinds of wet in my pants!

User avatar
7thLeicesters
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:29 pm
Location: The better 'ole
Contact:

Postby 7thLeicesters » Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:38 pm

Thanks, i've been helping out Stow Maries with kit etc, haven't actually made it down myself but a lot of people I know do, including the pilot and aircraft I was with on Saturday.

Vintage Aviator down in NZ are superb, definitely need to get myself down there at some point, the FE2b replicas are fantastic


We are a circus Squadron, we are old '22'

And binge and rev and joyride is all we're fit to do!


Return to “Pictures”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests