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Rugbyfan1972

R I P James McCudden

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As no one else has posted it yet, I thought I had better post something to remember the ace that was James Thomas Byford McCudden, who died 92 years ago today after his engine failed on take off while he was on the last leg of returning to the front to take up a new command (60 squadron if memory serves).

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Poor chap - it seems to remain a mystery why he died when he might have saved himself, one presumes. A terribly sad end to a marvellous pilot.

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Poor chap - it seems to remain a mystery why he died when he might have saved himself, one presumes. A terribly sad end to a marvellous pilot.

 

Themightysrc,

 

His engine failed because the Royal Aircraft Factory were still ignoring all the field modifications that the frontline squadrons, in particulary 56 squadron had told them about to make it a better engine/aircraft. Also the stall speed in a WW1 aircraft rose dramatically one the angle of bank was above 60 degrees (if memory serves it rose from 48mph to 110mph, I do not have High in the empty blue handy to refer to at the moment).

 

Also McCudden had in the seconds before he crashed undone his seatbelt and as a result had been thrown clear of his SE5A. He died 3 hours later never having recovered conciousness.

 

The book that I mentioned above was written by Alex Revell and is a very detailed history of 56 squadron during world war one, the other book I have used as a reference for the fact his seatbelt was undone is Peter Harts' Aces Falling which is the last book in the trilogy he has written, the other 2 being Somme Success which deals with the air war over the Somme battlefield in 1916 and Bloody April which deals with the slaughter in the skies over Arras in april 1917.

 

Thanks

Rugbyfan1972

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Anyone who shoots down Huns gets my respect!

(especially as I have noticed no Germans saying anything?) :grin:

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Ja, thanx widowmaker,

 

Only you can use this opportunity for propaganda.

 

That is so wrong.

 

Jokingly,

 

M

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Widow, will you ever get off the "propaganda rail" ?

 

He didn't shoot down "Huns", but other airmen, who also fought for their fatherland.

I haven't said anything much in this respect about him, as I haven't said much about

von Richthofen in this respect either.

 

All I say, for both of them, is: may they rest in peace.

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.

 

Von Paulus wrote:

 

I'm thinking on buying "Flying Fury". Can anyone recommend?

 

You will not be disappointed Sir. I have read it at least half a dozen times over the years and have completely enjoyed it each time. You can often pick up one of the 1930's Aviation Book Club hard cover printings for about the same price as a new soft bound copy. Check AbeBooks and other such online used book sellers if you like, VP. A number of years ago I was lucky enough to obtain a beautiful, original 1918 1st edition, when the book was published under the title "Five Years in the Royal Flying Corps".

 

Cheers!

 

Lou

 

.

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Guest British_eh

Hi there,

 

Yes, it is one of the best book, as RAF L has indicated.

 

Shame that such an individual, as a superb pilot, and trainer, committed the one thing he would never allow his students to do, turned his plane back the the base on the stall. Pity.

 

Cheers,

 

British_eh

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As no one else has posted it yet, I thought I had better post something to remember the ace that was James Thomas Byford McCudden, who died 92 years ago today after his engine failed on take off while he was on the last leg of returning to the front to take up a new command (60 squadron if memory serves).

 

Actually, he was on his way to take over 85 Squadron, replacing Billy Bishop who was being sent back to Canada, supposedly kick start the RCAF. (Actually, the RAF was afraid Bishop would end up dead, like so many other of their hi scoring pilots, and considered such an eventuality a morale breaker.) With his death, 85 squadron was instead taken over by Mick Mannock.

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Actually, he was on his way to take over 85 Squadron, replacing Billy Bishop who was being sent back to Canada, supposedly kick start the RCAF. (Actually, the RAF was afraid Bishop would end up dead, like so many other of their hi scoring pilots, and considered such an eventuality a morale breaker.) With his death, 85 squadron was instead taken over by Mick Mannock.

 

BigAl56,

 

Actually you are wrong on Mannock taking over 85 squadron on McCudden's death, I have just checked "The Aerodrome" website for Mannock's victories and he scored his first one while flying with 85 squadron on the 7th July 1918, over a Fokker DVII over Doulieu, it is according to the list given his 53rd victory, although I am one of the people who believe that Mannock scored 73 victories and not the 61 he is credited with in some circles. I have also checked wikipeadia and McCudden's own biography, which both state that he was to take command of 60 squadron on his return to france.

 

Thanks

Rugbyfan1972

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BigAl56,

 

Actually you are wrong on Mannock taking over 85 squadron on McCudden's death, I have just checked "The Aerodrome" website for Mannock's victories and he scored his first one while flying with 85 squadron on the 7th July 1918, over a Fokker DVII over Doulieu, it is according to the list given his 53rd victory, although I am one of the people who believe that Mannock scored 73 victories and not the 61 he is credited with in some circles. I have also checked wikipeadia and McCudden's own biography, which both state that he was to take command of 60 squadron on his return to france.

 

Thanks

Rugbyfan1972

 

I think, the idea of his taking over 85 squadron was one that was floated, but never took place. I recall reading that those in 85 Squadron were apprehensive of his taking command, as he supposedly had a reputation for sticking strictly to the rules, and, 85 Squadron was some what "loose" with the rules. Being more of a party squadron than anything else.

 

As for Mannock's "73" victories, this was, according to most accounts I can find, a number put forward after the war by his friend, Ira "Taffy" Jones, supposedly as part of a feud between Jones and Bishop. How many did Mannock actually shoot down? I doubt we'll ever know for certain. The book by Shores, Guest and Franks, "Above the Trenches" may not be the last word on victory claims. But, unless something more accurate has come out since, it is what we have. I also have a book published about 1930, and in that one, it uses the score of 50, that was mentioned in his 1919 award of the VC.

 

I think, more than his score, was his ability as a leader. Mannock was unquestionably, an excellent air combat leader. Bishop, on the other hand should have never been given command of a squadron. He was not suited to such a task.

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