Tag: RFC

James Thomas Byford McCudden VC, DSO*, MC*, MM

James Thomas Byford McCudden (28/03/1895 – 09/07/1918 ) was awarded the Victoria Cross while serving in the Royal Flying Corps (RFC).

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 30604, Page: 3997, reads:

“His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned Officer: —

2nd Lt. (T./Capt.) James Byford McCudden, D.S.O., M.C., M.M., Gen. List and R.F.C.

For most conspicuous bravery, exceptional perseverance, keenness, and very high devotion to duty.

Captain McCudden has at the present time accounted  for 54 enemy aeroplanes! Of these 42 have been definitely destroyed, 19 of them on our side of the lines. Only 12 out of the 54 have been driven out of control. On two occasions, he has totally destroyed four two-seater enemy aeroplanes on the same day, and on the last occasion all four machines were destroyed in the space of 1 hour and 30 minutes.

While in his present squadron he has participated in 78 offensive patrols, and. in nearly every case has been the leader. On at least 30 other occasions, whilst with the same squadron, he has crossed the lines alone, either in pursuit or in quest of enemy aeroplane.

The following incidents are examples of the work he has done recently: —

On the 23rd December, 1917, when leading his patrol, eight enemy aeroplanes were attacked between 2.30 p.m. and 3.50 p.m. Of these two were shot down by Captain McCudden in our lines. On the morning of the same day he left the ground at 10.50 and encountered four enemy aeroplanes; of these he shot two down.

On the 30th January, 1918, he, single-handed, attacked five enemy scouts, as a result of which two were destroyed. On this occasion he only returned home when the enemy scouts had been driven far east; his Lewis gun ammunition was all finished and the belt of his Vickers gun had broken.

As a patrol leader he has at all times shown the utmost gallantry and skill, not only in the manner in which he has attacked and destroyed the enemy, but in the way he has during several aerial fights protected the newer members of his flight, thus keeping down their casualties to a minimum.

This officer is considered, by the record, which he has made, by his fearlessness, and by the great service which he has rendered to his country, deserving of the very highest honour.”

On 9 July 1918 McCudden was killed in a flying accident when his aircraft crashed following an engine fault. He is buried at the British war cemetery at Beauvoir-Wavans.

The wartime service and deaths of James McCudden VC and Edward Mannock VC were the subject of a documentary on the BBC entitled “Aces Falling

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 03/05/2017.  Image courtesy of Mark Green. 

Updated: 12/01/2018 — 07:09

Reginald Warneford VC.

Reginald Warneford was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the First World War

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 29189, Page: 5635, reads:

“The KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the grant of the Victoria Cross to Flight Sub-Lieutenant Reginald Alexander John Warneford, Royal Naval Air Service, for the conspicuous act of bravery specified below: —

For most conspicuous bravery on the 7th June, 1915, when he attacked and, singlehanded, completely destroyed a Zeppelin in mid-air. This brilliant achievement was accomplished after chasing the Zeppelin from the coast of Flanders to Ghent, where he succeeded in dropping his bombs on to it from a height of only one or two hundred feet. One of these bombs caused a terrific explosion which set the Zeppelin on fire from end to end, but at the same time overturned his Aeroplane and stopped the engine. In spite of this he succeeded in landing safely in hostile country, and after 15 minutes started his engine and returned to his base without damage.”

On 17 June 1915, Warneford received the award of the Légion d’honneur from the French Army Commander in Chief, General Joffre. Following a celebratory lunch, Warneford travelled to the aerodrome at Buc in order to ferry an aircraft for delivery to the RNAS at Veurne. Having made one short test flight, he then flew a second flight, carrying an American journalist, Henry Beach Newman, as passenger. During a climb to 200 feet, the right hand wings collapsed leading to a catastrophic failure of the airframe. Accounts suggest that neither occupant was harnessed and were both thrown out of the aircraft, suffering fatal injuries. In the case of Newman, death was instantaneous.


He is buried in Brompton Cemetery in London.

He is also commemorated on the main War Memorial in Stratford-upon-Avon

His name also appears on a brass plaque that commemorates the men from King Edward VI school that lost their lives in the First World War.

DRW © 2015-2020. Created 20/09/2015. Gallaher cigarette card reproduction by Card Promotions © 2001, first issued 1915.

Updated: 05/01/2020 — 14:28

Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor VC, MC*, DFC, DSO

Andrew Frederick Weatherby Beauchamp-Proctor (04/09/1894 – 21/06/1921), was awarded the Victoria Cross for his  actions between 8 August 1918, and 8 October 1918 while serving with the Royal Flying Corps.  

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 31042, Page: 14204, reads:

Lieut. (A./Capt.) Andrew Weatherby Beauchamp-Proctor, D.S.O., M.C., D.F.C., No. 84 Sqn., E.A. Force.

Between August 8th, 1918, and October 8th, 1918, this officer proved himself victor in twenty-six decisive combats, destroying twelve enemy kite balloons, ten enemy aircraft, and driving down four other enemy aircraft completely out of control.

Between October 1st, 1918, and October 5th, 1918, he destroyed two enemy scouts, burnt three enemy kite balloons, and drove down one enemy scout completely out of control.

On October 1st, 1918, in a general engagement with about twenty-eight machines, he crashed one Fokker biplane near Fontaine and a second near Ramicourt; on October 2nd he burnt a hostile balloon near Selvjgny; on October 3rd he drove down, completely out of control, an enemy scout near Mont d’Origny, and burnt a hostile balloon; on October 5th, the third hostile balloon near Bohain.

On October 8th, 1918, while flying home at a low altitude, after destroying an enemy two-seater near Maretz, he was painfully wounded in the arm by machine-gun fire, but, continuing, he landed safely at his-aerodrome, and after making his report was admitted to hospital.

In all he has proved himself conqueror over fifty-four foes, destroying twenty-two enemy machines, sixteen enemy kite balloons, and driving down sixteen enemy aircraft completely out of control.

Captain Beauchamp-Proctor’s work in attacking enemy troops on the ground and in reconnaissance during the withdrawal following on the Battle of St. Quentin from March 21st, 1918, and during the victorious advance of our Armies commencing on August 8th, has been almost unsurpassed in its Brilliancy, and as such has made an impression on those serving in his squadron and those around him that will not be easily forgotten.

Capt. Beauchamp-Proctor was awarded Military Cross on 22nd June, 1918; D.F. Cross on 2nd July, 1918; Bar to M.C. on 16th September, 1918; and Distinguished Service Order on 2nd November, 1918.”

He was killed on 21 June 1921 in a training accident in preparation for an air show at RAF Hendon. His aircraft went into a spin after performing a slow loop, and he was killed in the ensuing crash. He was originally buried at Upavon, Wiltshire, but in August 1921 his body was returned to South Africa where he was given a state funeral and buried in Mafikeng Cemetery.  

The grave of Capt. Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor VC

The grave of Capt. Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor VC

Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor was born 4 September 1894 in Mossel Bay,  South Africa.  He served with  The Duke of Edinburgh’s Own Rifles as a signalman in the GSWA Campaign, and later enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps in March 1917 . 

Inscription on the grave

Inscription on the grave

Memorial Stone at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Memorial Stone at the National Memorial Arboretum.

DRW © 2004-2020. Created 01/11/2014, updated 05/04/2015. Edited 15/05/2017. The images of the grave of  Flight Lieutenant  Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor VC, DSO, MC, and Bar, DFC was photographed by Terry Cawood and is used with his permission.

Updated: 05/01/2020 — 14:12
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