The Sopwith Camels on the flight deck of the Furious while en route to the Danish coast.
July 19 1918, Tondern [Tønder]–The British had occasionally carried out air raids on German Zeppelin bases. Many of them were too far east to be attacked by land-based planes, so any air attack would have to come from the sea. On Christmas 1914, seaplanes had attacked Cuxhaven; the raid did little damage, but was an important morale boost for the British. By 1918, the British had developed the first real aircraft carriers as we would recognize them today, on which wheeled planes could take off and land.
After a few failed attempts due to high wind, a force of seven Sopwith Camels took off from the HMS Furious off the Danish coast. Six reached the target of the Zeppelin sheds at Tondern [Tønder], quickly destroying two Zeppelins, the L54 and L60. The Germans, taken by surprise, only managed to take a few pot-shots at the British fliers. The British had expended a large amount of fuel during the raid, however, and three of the pilots decided to land in nearby Denmark rather than risk running out of fuel over the North Sea; they were interned for the remainder of the war. Two of the other pilots made it back to the Furious, but ditched their planes rather than attempt a dangerous landing on the carrier itself; the sixth pilot did not return.
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