Arthur Keen (aviator)
|Arthur Willan Keen
|Born||20 March 1895
|Died||2 September 1918|
|Terlincthun British Cemetery||Wimille, France|
|Unit||No. 70 Squadron RFC, No. 40 Squadron RAF|
|Commands held||No. 40 Squadron RAF|
|Awards||Military Cross, Humane Society Award for Bravery|
Keen scored his first aerial victory while piloting a Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter for 70 Squadron. On 28 August 1916, he drove a Fokker D.II down out of control over Bapaume. He was transferred to 40 Squadron as a Flight Commander in Spring of 1917. On 1 May 1917, he used a Nieuport 17 (B1633) to destroy an Albatros D.III to score his second win near Douai. He then reeled off a string of ten more victories, which took him to 15 August 1917. His Military Cross was gazetted the following day. Keen was then withdrawn from combat for a rest.
Keen returned to command 40 Squadron in the wake of the 1 June 1918 death of its ace commanding officer, Roderic Dallas. Keen scored two more victories during his command, on 30 June and 9 August 1918. His final tally was: four German fighters set afire; three others destroyed, one of which was shared; seven enemy planes driven down out of control.
Keen was severely burned in a flying accident at around 21:30, 15 August at Bruay, 40 squadron's home airfield at the time. He died of his wounds on 2 September 1918.
He is interred in Plot III. A. 17, Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, France.
Honors and awards
Military Cross (MC)
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He has shown the greatest gallantry and skill in aerial fighting, and his daring in leading offensive patrols into favourable positions for attack has been the means of many hostile aircraft being destroyed and driven down.
Humane Society Award details pending.
Sources of information
- http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/keen.php Retrieved on 24 March 2010.
- Nieuport Aces of World War 1.. p. 26.
- (Supplement to the London Gazette, 16 August 1917) http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/30234/supplements/8373 Retrieved on 24 March 2010.
- http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/australi/dallas.php Retrieved on 24 March 2010.
- AIR/76/269 - IMAGE 150.
- http://www.cwgc.org/search/SearchResults.aspx?surname=Keen&initials=A+W&war=0&yearfrom=1900&yearto=2000&force=&nationality=&send.x=40&send.y=13 Retrieved 29 December 2011.
- (Supplement to the London Gazette, 16 August 1917) http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/30234/supplements/8373 Retrieved on 24 March 2010. Note: Major Keen's middle name is misspelled in this reference.