Globe - Thursday 21 August 1913TOWING AN AIRSHIP. ACHIEVEMENT BY THE NEW ARMY CRAFT.
The new Army airship Eta achieved a remarkable feat yesterday in towing another disabled aircraft a distance of 15 miles. In a chalk pit at Odiham the little Willows airship had this week taken refuge owing to engine breakdown. The damage, it was found, would take ten days to repair, and rather than dismantle the craft and take her back to Farnborough on motor lorries, it was decided to make the untried experiment of towing her home.
Lieut. Woodcock, Royal Navy, took charge of the Willows, with one mechanic as all his crew. Capt. Waterlow, pilot of the Beta, and Naval Lieut. Usborne
, navigating officer of the Astra Torres
, with a crew of aircraft factory operatives, manned the Eta. The latter craft paid out six hundred feet of towline before the rope was made fast, and then, with this distance separating them, the two dirigibles began the journey to Farnborough.
Throughout an entirely successful voyage Lieut. Woodcock kept his craft from one hundred to two hundred feet below the Eta, and so made doubly sure that a collision should not ruin the experiment.
Newspaper reports give the name of the Naval airship as "Willows" - a few years ago, I copied photographs of the incident held in a file at the National Archives (AIR 1/728/170) which merely refer to her as "Naval Airship No.2".
Photograph below shows No.2 lurking in a chalk pit at Odiham prior to the rescue mission..