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Flight Lieutenant McGibbons DSC


Simon_Fielding
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McGibbons proving a little elusive - I'm a bit green with the RNAS......

Any suggestions?

post-50-0-47581900-1464114668_thumb.jpg

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post-50-0-57639200-1464115170_thumb.jpg

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Probably named in error. It could be Flt Lt Desmond Fitzgerald FITZGIBBON DSC RNAS. He was an RNAS 'ace' with eight kills.

LG 30.10/1917:- Act. Flt.-Lieut. (now Flt.-Lieut.) Desmond Fitzgerald Fitzgibbon, R.N.A.S. For exceptional courage and determination in leading offensive patrols against enemy formations, although often outnumbered by them. On the 14th September, 1917, he and his patrol of seven machines attacked a hostile formation of eight enemy scouts. In the combat that ensued three hostile machines were brought down completely out of control, one of these by Flt.-Lieut. Fitzgibbon, while the patrol suffered no casualties. On the 26th September, 1917, he attacked with his patrol of eight machines fifteen hostile scouts. He himself engaged four different machines, one after the other, finally driving one down completely out of control. (10 Squadron RNAS).

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Marvellous! Thank you.

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As per "Above The Trenches", Fitzgibbon was born on 1 November 1890 and received RAeC certificate number 3529 on 14 August 1916. He was posted to No 10 Squadron RNAS on 5 May 1917 and between 5 June and 27 September he achieved eight victories, five on the Sopwith Triplane and three on the Sopwith Camel. Some records credit him with nine victories although the "extra" victory, dated 18 June 1917 would appear to be a mis-dated duplicate of one of his claims on 15 June. He relinquished his commission on 10 April 1919.

In WW2 he was commissioned as a flight lieutenant in the RAF Volunteer Reserve on 1 September 1939 and was promoted to temporary squadron leader on 1 March 1942, with seniority from 1 December 1941. He was mentioned in despatches on 1 January 1945.

Graeme

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What outstanding service thank you for the insight

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Without wishing to be greedy anybody have any leads on flight commander Cox?

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None of the three officers is wearing RNAS insignia on the cuff above their rank stripes. FITZGIBBON is wearing the stripes of a Flight Sub Lieutenant. COX and SOAR are wearing the stripes of a Flight Lieutenant but also worn by Flight Commander.

Unfortunately forename initials are not recorded because there are two men who qualify: Flight Commander George Aubrey COX and Flight Commander Alexander Robb COX.

The inscription on the photo (though perhaps not the photo itself) must date to after October 1917. The DSC's to SOAR and FITZGIBBON appear in the LG on 10 August and 30 October, respectively, of that year. You would need to compare the RNAS service records of the four officers to determine when they overlapped and which COX. When FITGIBBON was earning his DSC in No.10 Squadron, SOAR was earning his in No.8 Squadron. SOAR was an RNAS 'ace' with twelve kills, formerly an ordinary seaman and sub lieutenant RNVR.

Is the aircraft an Avro 504? Plane-spotting assistance needed.

Edited by horatio2
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Desmond Fitzgerald Fitzgibbon DSC was an instructor at Cranwell from 16th October 1917. Alexander Robb Cox AFC was an Instructor at Cranwell to the end of October 1917, so there was a 2 week overlap.

Although they nearly missed each other at Cranwell, they probably did miss each other at No 10 Squadron. Flt Cdr Cox left Naval 10 on the 5th May 1917, and FLt Fitzgibbon arrived at Naval 10 on the same day.

Fitzgibbon flew in Collishaw's so called "Black Flight" (B Flight) though you would never know that from most sources! Fitzgibbon took over as leader of B Flight on the 9th September until he was posted home on the 15th October 17.

And yes, that's a 504.

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