HMS Manica

HMS Manica

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HMS Manica

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HMS Manica was the first Kite Balloon Ship of the Royal Naval Air Service which saw active service in the Dardanelles Campaign of 1915 providing fire-control at Anzac Cove.

Ships of the similar type included and .

Construction and civilian service

The ship, originally SS Manica, was built by Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd at their Deptford Yard, London as a tramp steamer for the Ellerman & Bucknall Steamship Co.

In the First World War she was hired by the Admiralty as kite balloon ship.

Diary of events

Events from Manicas war service:

  • 11 March 1915 Hired as a kite ballon ship by the Admiralty - at a time she was unloading a cargo of manure from Australia.
  • 22 March 1915 commissioned as HMS Manica with Royal Naval Reserve officers.
  • 25 March 1915 Chief Steward J.C. Dent discharged dead. He is buried in Flaybrick Hill Cemetery, Birkenhead and recorded on a screen wall.
  • 28 March 1915 sailed the UK for the eastern Mediterranean.
  • 14 April 1915 arrived off Lemnos.
  • 19 April 1915 spotters from Manicas ballon directed shelling onto a Turkish encampment
  • 24 April 1915 spotters directed fire on Gaba Tepe, where the Turkish barracks was destroyed.
  • 25 April 1915 The balloon, with its two observers, was in the air from 0521 to 1405 hours on constantly reporting on the activities associated with Anzac Cove for almost nine hours, while...... ...
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