Many Canadians served in both the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War and the Royal Naval Air Service. The main task of the RNAS was to protect English coastal centres and accompany supply ships across the Channel. The main threat came from German U-boats, which the Allies fought by using seaplanes to bomb or torpedo them when they surfaced. Greater efficiency at sea was achieved with ship-towed barges that could hold four to six seaplanes. The RNAS eventually decided to install angled launch platforms on the guns of moving ships. In 1918, the Furious and the Argus became the first ships to serve as aircraft carriers. Despite this, over 500 Allied ships were sunk during the war.
Photo : Sopwith Strutter taking off from a platform installed on the guns of the HMAS Australia.