The life of James Struthers

Royal Naval Air Service Coastal class airships were prominent in the fight against German U-boats during the First World War — during 1917, one captain flying from Cornwall was in the thick of the action

C9 airborne, with a helmeted James Struthers in the foreground. He wears a heavy coat, scarf and gauntlets, and holds his binoculars ready to search the seas. Aft is the wireless operator, aft again the mechanic by the rear engine, and to the left a large camera.
C9 patrolling over the Channel, her identity applied to the forward lower part of her envelope. To save fuel, her tractor engine is stopped. Behind are the cliffs at the Lizard.

From the outbreak of the First World War, Britain’s surrounding seas became a crucial part of the front line. The constant flow of merchant ships bringing essential food and raw materials, vessels taking armies, weapons and munitions to France and returning with the wounded: all had to be protected. For beneath those waters, in a battle of escalating frightfulness the slow, defenceless craft were stalked by Germany’s U-boats. Hundreds of ships were sent to the bottom.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Why not join our community of aviation enthusiasts? Pick one of our offers and access a wealth of world-class aviation content.