A pilots' war




 No 62 Squadron History 1918 cont'd

Capt W E Staton, RFC, No 62 Sqn

Capt.ain Staton MC, DFC & Bar

Capts Claye and Hughes, RFC, No 62 Sqn

Capt. Claye & Capt. Hughes

Capts Knights and Gibbons, RFC, No 62 Sqn

Capt. Knights & Capt. Gibbons 

[Pilots and observers identified left from "Above the Trenches" by Christopher Shores, Norman Franks & Russell Guest; photos from Maj Smith's collection © www.airwar1.org.uk.]

Well known Pilots:

Captain W.E. Staton,  MC, DFC and bar. Proceeded overseas with the Squadron on 20 January 1918 and obtained his first victory near Le Cateau on the 12th March 1918. On the following day he accounted for two in the same area.  He would attack formations of E.A, without the slightest hesitation, even at times when the enemy formation was considerably stronger than his own. Colleagues spoke of the exceptionally fine way he led his patrol, and also of his help personally to any of his aircraft which were in a difficult position. He was entirely oblivious of his own personal danger, on many occasions flying straight at German aircraft. He was an exceptionally capable shot with his machine gun, and on the occasion when he drove an enemy machine down, and destroyed it this side of the line, near Dury, (15 Sep 1918) the official report on the captured machine spoke in terms of unstinted praise of the remarkable accuracy of the firing. He was wounded in the leg by an explosive bullet, East of Cambrai on the 24 Sep 1918.   Altogether he destroyed 19 EA and drove down 7 out of control. [Later rose to the rank of Air Vice Marshal.]

Other successful pilots of the Squadron were:-

Capt. L Campbell, who accounted for 7 EA, and was, finally reported missing on the 9th October 1918. [Confirmed dead, buried at Preseau Communal Cemetery]

Capt. G F Hughes, who accounted for 11 EA [including Lt Lothar Von Richthofen], and was afterwards posted to the Home Establishment.

Capt. E T Morrow, who accounted for 7 EA, and was finally seriously wounded on 22 August 1918 by an explosive bullet, and was extricated from his burning aircraft by his observer, 2/Lt L M Thompson.                      

Capt. G E Gibbons, who accounted for 17 EA was finally posted to the Home Establishment, having been decorated with the MC and the DFC.

Capt. T L Purdom who accounted for 13 EA, and then proceeded to the Home Establishment to command a Squadron.

Sgt. F Johnson 16 EA (most with 20 & 22 Sqns)

Lt. D A Savage 7 EA

Lt. W K Swayze 6 EA

Lt. H C M Nangle 5 EA

2/Lt. P S Manley 5 EA 27 Sep pow


Well known Observer/Gunners:

Lt. J R Gordon  15 EA flying with Capt. Staton

2/Lt. P V G Chambers  12 EA flying with Capt. Purdom

Capt. H Claye 11 EA flying mainly with Capt. Hughes (POW 19 May)

Lt. T E Elliott 11 EA flying with Swayze, Allday and Capt. Gibbons

Lt. S Parry 9 EA flying with Lt Arnison and Lt Nangle

Sgt. W N Holmes 8 EA with several pilots

Capt. S A W Knights 8 EA flying with Capt. Gibbons

Lt. L E Mitchell 8 EA flying mainly with Capt. Staton

Lt. H E Merritt 9 EA

2/Lt. R Lowe 5 EA

2/Lt. J Bruce-Norton 5 EA with Lts Arthur and Rees-Jones

2/Lt. W Hodgkinson 5 EA with Capt. Campbell, finally reported missing on the 9th October 1918. [Confirmed dead, buried at Preseau Communal Cemetery]

Sgt. G F Hines 5 EA with 2/Lt Manley 27 Sep pow

No 62 Sqn Pages  1  2  3  4  5  6  7