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History Aircraft Aerospace & Airfields

RFC Bembridge (Seaplane)

REF NR: 358

1915  saw the development of a seaplane base operated by the Royal Flying Core (RFC) on the coastal side of Bembridge Point. Four Short 184 aircrafts were used for the newly formed 412 and 413 flights. The Short Type 184 was a British two-seat reconnaissance, bombing and torpedo carrying folder seaplane, designed by Short Brothers.


By 1918, aircraft numbers had grown to twelve - having absorbed various seaplanes from the 253 (Niazm of Hyderabad’s) Squadron, such as the Hamble Babies and Campanias, to make up the ranks.



The whole framework fell apart at the end of World War I. By 31st May 1919, 253 was disbanded and the sea base gradually decreased in importance, finally being closed as an operational base around 1919 and finally disposed during 1920.


The aircraft hangar was eventually dismantled and sold to the private sector, forming part of the Summerland Amusement Arcade on Shanklin seafront.