Tractor Biplane Seaplanes
From the 24th December 1915 until the 3rd April 1916, he was with the Northern Aircraft Company. Probably he was still practicing his
flying skills. He then spent a spell at the naval air station at Calshot, a seaplane training centre, which is at the entrance to
From June 1916 to June 1917 he served on H.M.S. Riviera. The Riviera was a cross Channel packet of 2400 tons, completed in 1911. In August 1914 she was requisitioned from the South East and Chatham Railway Company and by October, after a rapid conversion, to carry four seaplanes, she was on active service. In February 1915 there as a more extensive refit and by April she was back in service as part of the Dover patrol. There she remained until October 1918. Her planes were principally used for gunfire spotting and other duties off the Belgium coast , North Sea sweeps, anti Zeppelin patrols and anti submarine work.
In that period he flew Short Admiralty 184 type Tractor Biplane Seaplanes. There are the following accounts of these aircraft and the actions they were involved in.
Plane no. 8357
Four unsuccessful attacks on destroyer 4 miles off Belgian coast near Ostend, 18.6.1916, FL Woolner and FSL J.A. Yonge
Plane no. 9060
H.M.S General Crauford 8.4.17 FSL J.A. Yonge
Plane no. 9066
Spotting for H.M.S. Terror (Zeebrugge) 24.9.16 FSL J.A. Yonge and S/L N.P. Playford
With this account is a schedule of the actions of a number of different seaplanes. In most cases the names of the crew are not given.
They give however a very good indication of the types of actions and activities that he would have been involved in at this time.
From June 1917 until he was posted to the Ark Royal, he was posted to the land base H.M.S. Westgate, which is near to Margate in Kent. On the 1st of October he was made a Flight Sub Lieutenant.
From the 18th October 1917 he was attached to the Ark Royal. The 7569 ton Ark Royal was originally designed as a tramp ship, to carry coal or grain, but during her building in 1913, the Admiralty took over the contract and the design was changed to carry aircraft. Her engines and bridge were placed aft and she had a flying off deck of 130 feet, although there is no evidence it was ever used as a flight deck. Her hold was adapted as a hanger capable of holding up to ten seaplanes. The seaplanes were raised from the hold and lowered into the sea by two steam cranes.
She was launched in September 1914 and commissioned in December of that year. In February 1915 she left England to take part in the ill fated Dardenelles expedition. When the Dardenelles operation was over the Ark Royal was from 1916 used as a depot ship for number 2 Wing R.N.A.S, moored at Mudros on Lesbos island. Mudros was an important base for the allied forces and it was there that the