Charles Collet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For those of a similar name, see Charles Collett (disambiguation).
Charles Herbert Collet
Born (1888-02-04)4 February 1888
Calcutta, India
Died 19 August 1915(1915-08-19) (aged 27)
Imbros, Greece
Service/branch Royal Naval Air Service
Years of service 1905–1915
Rank Flight Commander
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Distinguished Service Order

Charles Herbert Collet DSO (4 February 1888 – 19 August 1915), was a British Naval airman during the First World War, regarded as one of the best Naval airmen of his day.[1]

Background[edit]

Charles Collet was born in India in around 1888, the son of an engineer James Francis Herbert Collet and his wife Teresa Collet (née Pilley). For a time the family lived on Guernsey. At the time of his death, Charles Collet's parents lived in Woodleigh, West End, Southampton.[2] He was educated at Dulwich College.[3]

C H Collet during World War I

Düsseldorf Air Raid, September 1914[edit]

On 22 September 1914, Flight Lieutenant Collet flew two hundred miles to Düsseldorf and bombed the Zeppelin shed there. Despite being hit, he returned safely.[4] For this act he received the Distinguished Service Order.[1]

Collet's feat was described by Frederick A. Talbot:

Flight Lieutenant Collet approached the Zeppelin shed at Düsseldorf at an altitude of 6,000 feet. There was a bank of mist below, which he encountered at 1,500 feet. He traversed the depth of this layer and emerged therefrom at a height of only 400 feet above the ground. His objective was barely a quarter of a mile ahead. Travelling at high speed he launched his bombs with what proved to be deadly precision, and disappeared into cover almost before the enemy had grasped his intentions.[5]

Other notable achievements[edit]

Collet was also the first Naval officer to loop the loop.[6] He was promoted Captain in his secondary regiment, the Royal Marine Artillery.[2][6] Apart from the Distinguished Service Order, he was also twice mentioned in despatches.[2] He achieved the rank of Flight Commander in the Royal Naval Air Service before his death.

Death[edit]

Collet died in an aircraft accident on Imbros on 19 August 1915 and is buried at the Lancashire Landing Cemetery in Turkey.[2]

Further reading[edit]

  • Flight-Lieutenant Collet's Daring: The Bomb-Dropper's Weapon; and Objectives of the British Aerial Raid into Germany, in The Illustrated War News, 30 September 1914, p. 22
  • John William Ransom Taylor, Air Facts and Feats (Two Continents Publishing Group, 1974)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Edmund Burke (editor), (1916), Annual Register, page 162, (Rivingtons)
  2. ^ a b c d Commonwealth War Graves Commission COLLET, CHARLES HERBERT
  3. ^ Hodges, S, (1981), God's Gift: A Living History of Dulwich College, page 100, (Heinemann: London)
  4. ^ Captain Logan Howard-Smith, (2005) Thrilling Stories of the Great War: Heroic Incidents and Startling Events of the World War on Land and Sea in the Air and Under the Water, page 121, (Kessinger Publishing)
  5. ^ Frederick A. Talbot, (1997), Aeroplanes and Dirigibles of War, Chapter X page 40, (The World Wide School: Seattle)
  6. ^ a b H.V. Hodson (editor), (1916), The Annual Register, page 162, (Longmans)

External links[edit]