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He later went to live a quieter existence with Wellmans daughter, Edith. She was finally commissioned on November 6, 1918, just before the armistice with Germany.The adventure made front page news around the world.1918. The British Royal Air Force R31 airship (dirigible) made her first trial flight of two hours under the command of Squadron Leader W. From her evolved the R32 and much interest from the USA."We commence this chronology with not what happened in Bermuda but what this Bermudian captioned above did above the battlefields of Europe as a Royal Flying Corps pilot flying for his mother-country.
The British pilot set his course due west, and flew on for some time.
Having made what he thought was sufficient allowance for the distance to the British lines, he put down the nose of his machine and saw beneath him an aerodrome.
A formation of British machines had been carrying out some important operations well over the German lines.
On the return journey the weather suddenly became hazy, and one of the pilots, Lieutenant Spurling, lost touch with the formation in the clouds.
Earlier, he'd been in the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps, was one of their contingent shipped to England to join Lincolnshire Regiment.
From there he was accepted by the Royal Flying Corps, later the Royal Air Force.
One German plane burst into flames in the air, two more went down spinning and side slipping completely out of control.
Four enemy scouts had by this time got into position to attack, clinging to the tail of the British machine. Shaking himself clear of the remainder, the British pilot opened his throttle and sped homewards leaving on that German aerodrome three blazing wrecks, and two other crashed machines as a highly satisfactory outcome of what might have proved a fatal mistake.
In addition to its basic role as a refuge for the crew should they be forced down at sea, the lifeboat doubled as a kitchen, pantry, dispensary, smoking lounge and radio position.