Waging war from ‘GOAT ISLAND CITY’

US Navy pilots joined Italy’s fight against Austro-Hungarian forces late in World War One, but — at the controls of a variety of flying boats — they engaged in some notable combats


An FBA Type H of the US Navy squadron taking off from the Porto Corsini canal. The image here is one of the few known photographs showing an FBA in the colours of the American unit.

From June 1917, after the entry of America into the war, the US Navy despatched aircraft and personnel to Europe. The principal role for its crews operating in the English Channel and North Sea was to protect Allied naval convoys against the German submarine threat, and bases were established to this end along the coasts of Ireland, France and the UK. But the Italian theatre also saw US Navy participation in combat operations against the forces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

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