13th February 1915
Gallery Solace - The Great War 1914-1918
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13th February 1915



Charles Rumney Samson joined the Royal Navy in 1898 and was selected as one of the first four Royal Navy officers to receive pilot training and became the first British pilot to take off from a ship in 912, When World War I broke out, Samson took the Eastchurch RNAS Squadron to France, where it supported Allied ground forces along the French and Belgian frontiers, due to a shortage of planes he improvised these patrols by commandeering pilot officers privately owned cars which had been taken to France and armouring them with a machine gun. This was the start of the RNAS Armoured Car Section. Samson's aircraft also bombed the Zeppelin sheds at Düsseldorf and Cologne and by the end of 1914, when mobile warfare on the Western Front ended and trench warfare took its place, his squadron had been awarded four Distinguished Service Orders, among them his own, and he was given a special promotion and the rank of Commander. He spent the next few months bombing gun positions, submarine depots, and seaplane sheds on the Belgian coast. He joined the Dardanelles campaign in March 1915.

Air Commodore Charles Rumney Samson CMG, DSO & Bar, was one of the few pilots who survived the entire duration of the Great War he died of heart failure at his home near Salisbury, Wiltshire on 5 February 1931.


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