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Royal Naval Air Service

Royal Naval Air Service. When the Royal Flying Corps was founded in 1912 it had a military and naval wing. The latter soon adopted the name Royal Naval Air Service, which was officially recognized in July 1914. It then possessed 39 aircraft, 52 seaplanes, and 7 airships. Their main responsibility was defence against submarines, including bombing of their bases, observation for the fleet, and coastal defence against Zeppelins. Seaplanes could be carried on cruisers, but not until August 1915 did an adapted seaplane take off from Campania and it was two years later that a seaplane relanded on its carrier. The RNAS was amalgamated with the RFC in 1918 to form the Royal Air Force. But the special requirements of the navy led to the creation of the Fleet Air Arm, jointly administered until 1937 when it was placed under naval control.

J. A. Cannon

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