An Ansaldo SVA, of the type that made the flight over Lake Constance.
May 21 1918, Brescia–Battlefield aerial reconnaissance was one of the primary roles of both sides’ air forces during the war–detecting enemy troop movements, mapping their defenses, and artillery spotting, among other tasks. As airplane ranges increased, reconnaissance could be taken deeper into enemy territory–to get a sense of their economic activity, or to scout targets for future strategic bombing attacks. On May 21, two Italian planes flew north over the Alps to the area around Lake Constance, taking pictures of multiple targets in the area, including the Germans’ Zeppelin works at Friedrichshafen, returning safely to Italy after a 440-mile flight. On the same day, a German airplane flew over London on a similar mission in a 375-mile round trip. Although London was bristling with air defenses at this point, most attacks were now at night, and their small craft went undetected at a mile’s altitude over the city.
Pictured – USS Christabel, who proudly bears a white star on her smokestack as credit for one submarine defeated.
A little ship became an unlikely hero on May 21 1918 when the armed yacht USS Christabel drove off a German submarine attacking an Allied convoy. The former civilian yacht served as the rear guard for a slow British steamer convoy sailing through Quiberon Bay, in the heart of U-boat hunting territory when Lieutenant Commander M.B. McCord spotted an oil slick in the water, a sign that a German sub was prowling around.
McCord’s fast ship sailed over and dropped depth charges, which exploded but seemed to hit nothing. Two hours later, a lookout spotted a periscope rising from the water. This time McCord’s depth charges struck home when a “very violent” explosion rose up through the water. The German submarine was mortally wounded but managed to reach Spain, where the crew were interned. One American sailor named Daniel Sullivan earned the Medal of Honor for jumping on a depth charge which accidentally fell on deck and securing it before it could detonate.
“Sunday evening, May 19
1918 — At last we are having a rest.
We are now in a billet and I slept last night with my shoes and sox and shirt
off and I’ve had a bath and washed my towels and underwear and I feel 500%
journalist serving in the infantry with the Rainbow division, somewhere in Northeastern France – Somewhere Over There – Photo: WW1, Meuse region, France, American soldier doing his