Lieutenant Russell Winnicott MC (24 May 1898 – 6 December 1917) was an English World War I flying ace credited with ten aerial victories.[1]

Russell Winnicot
Born(1898-05-24)24 May 1898
Plymouth, England
Died6 December 1917(1917-12-06) (aged 19)
Buried 50°03′16″N 2°31′36″E / 50.05444°N 2.52667°E / 50.05444; 2.52667
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army
Years of service1915–1917
UnitDevonshire Regiment
No. 41 Squadron RFC
Battles/warsWorld War I
 • Western Front
AwardsMilitary Cross

Early life edit

Winnicot was the youngest son of Alderman Richard Weeks Winnicott and Anne Smith Winnicott of Mannamead, Plymouth.[2][3]

World War I edit

Winnicott was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Devonshire Regiment on 2 October 1915,[4] and was appointed a temporary lieutenant on 15 October 1916.[5] He was seconded for duty with the Royal Flying Corps on 11 November 1916,[6] and was appointed a flying officer the same day.[7] He relinquished his temporary rank on 12 April 1917.[8]

Winnicott was posted No. 41 Squadron RFC to fly an Airco DH.5 single-seat fighter, and gained his first aerial victory on 6 September 1917, driving down an Albatros reconnaissance aircraft out of control. He scored three more times in September; then his fifth and sixth victories on 30 September made him an ace. He scored again in mid-October, on the 18th.[1] On 26 October 1917 Winnicott was awarded the Military Cross.[9] There was a pause in his scoring while he upgraded to a SE.5a. On 29 November, Winnicott shared a triumph with fellow ace Loudoun MacLean and two other pilots. The next day, Winnicott destroyed an Albatros D.V at 1340 hours; 20 minutes later, he teamed with MacLean, Meredith Thomas, and Frank Harold Taylor to drive a German two-seater down out of control over Rumilly to become a double ace. His final tally was two enemy aircraft destroyed, eight driven down out of control.[1][10]

Russell Winnicott was killed in a flying accident on 6 December 1917,[1][2] when he collided with another aircraft,[10] and is buried in the Military Cemetery in Varennes, Somme.[11] On 29 January 1918, he was posthumously promoted to lieutenant, effective 1 July 1917.[12]

List of aerial victories edit

Combat record[1][10]
No. Date/Time Aircraft/
Serial No.
Opponent Result Location Notes
1 6 September 1917
@ 1335
Albatros C Out of control MasnièresLesdain
2 18 September 1917
@ 1115
Albatros D.V Out of control Cambrai
3 25 September 1917
@ 1810
Albatros D.V Destroyed South-west of Cambrai
4 28 September 1917
@ 1810
Albatros D.V Out of control Bugnicourt
5 30 September 1917
@ 1600–1630
Albatros D.V Out of control Eterpigny
6 Albatros D.V Out of control East of Marquion
7 18 October 1917
@ 1530
Albatros D.V Out of control Arleux
8 29 November 1917
@ 1050
Albatros D.V Out of control Douai Shared with Captain Loudoun MacLean, and Lieutenants D. V. D. MacGregor and E. M. Essell.
9 30 November 1917
@ 1340–1400
Albatros D.V Destroyed North of Bourlon
10 C Out of control Rumilly Shared with Captains Meredith Thomas & Loudoun MacLean, and Lieutenant Frank Harold Taylor.

Honours and awards edit

Military Cross
Second Lieutenant Russell Winnicott, Devonshire Regiment & Royal Flying Corps.
"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in aerial combats. In a fight against enemy scouts; he drove down two out of control. On another occasion, he destroyed an enemy scout, and on three previous occasions, he drove down enemy machines out of control. His dash and determination were of the highest order."[2][13]

Endnotes edit

  1. ^ a b c d e "Russell Winnicott". The Aerodrome. 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Brine, M. E. (2011). "Devon Officers who Died in the Great War (W to Z)". Devon Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Personals: Casualties". Flight. IX (470): 1376. 27 December 1917. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  4. ^ "No. 29312". The London Gazette. 1 October 1915. p. 9663.
  5. ^ "No. 29784". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 October 1916. p. 9928.
  6. ^ "No. 29852". The London Gazette (Supplement). 5 December 1916. p. 11950.
  7. ^ "No. 29847". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 December 1916. p. 11826.
  8. ^ "No. 30014". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 April 1917. p. 3469.
  9. ^ "No. 30355". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 October 1917. p. 11110.
  10. ^ a b c Shores, et al, pp. 387–388.
  11. ^ "Casualty Details: Winnicott, Russell". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  12. ^ "No. 30499". The London Gazette (Supplement). 25 January 1918. p. 1418.
  13. ^ "No. 30583". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 March 1918. p. 3434.

Further reading edit

  • Shores, Christopher; Franks, Norman; Guest, Russell (1990). Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces, 1915–1920. London: Grub Street. ISBN 0-948817-19-4.