Edward Dawson Atkinson

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Edward Dawson Atkinson
Nickname(s) "Spider"
Born (1891-11-10)November 10, 1891
Calcutta, India
Died After 29 March 1934
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Flying Corps
Royal Air Force
Rank Squadron Leader
Unit No. 1 Squadron RFC
No. 56 Squadron RAF
No. 64 Squadron RAF
Commands held No. 1 Squadron RAF
Awards Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Force Cross

Squadron Leader Edward Dawson Atkinson DFC AFC was a British First World War flying ace credited with a total of 10 aerial victories, won while serving in three different squadrons during the First World War. He would serve postwar until invalided out of the Royal Air Force. He then turned to a business career.

Early life[edit]

Atkinson was the son of Joseph Henry Atkinson and Elizabeth Mary M'Carthy[1] and was born in Calcutta, India, on 10 November 1891, when it was still part of the British Empire.[2] He became an officer in the 40th Pathans of the British Indian Army.[3][4]

World War I[edit]

On 12 December 1915, Second Lieutenant Edward Dawson Atkinson of the 40th Pathans was awarded Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate no. 2145 after training at the London and Provincial School, Hendon.[3][4]

On 25 January 1917, he was already a Pilot Officer; on that date, he was appointed Flight Commander and acting captain.[5] Two months later, on 25 March, while serving in No. 1 Squadron on the Western Front, he used a Nieuport to destroy a German observation balloon. He drove down two enemy planes in April, an Albatros D.II fighter on the 22nd and an Albatros reconnaissance craft on the 29th. He would not score again for over a year.[2]

Atkinson was reassigned to 56 Squadron, which was equipped with Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5as. On 3 May 1918, in conjunction with William Roy Irwin and Trevor Durrant, he destroyed a Rumpler in one dogfight, and drove another down out of control 20 minutes later. Atkinson was now an ace.[2]

A transfer to 64 Squadron quickly ensued. Still flying a SE.5a, Atkinson ran off a string of five more victories during the last week of May 1918. His final count came to a balloon and four enemy planes destroyed, and five more enemy planes driven down out of control while he was in France.[2]

On 2 July 1918, Atkinson was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his exploits.[6] It would be announced in the London Gazette on 3 August 1918:

A brilliant fighting pilot whose flight has proved very successful under his leadership, often in combats where the enemy formation was numerically superior. Capt. Atkinson destroyed single-handed five enemy machines during May, and previously, whilst serving with another squadron, he brought down two enemy aeroplanes and one balloon.[7]

Post-war[edit]

On 1 January 1919, Atkinson was awarded the Air Force Cross.[8] He remained in service during the postwar demobilization. On 14 September 1923, he was assigned to aviation duty in Iraq; records disagree as to whether he served with either 8 Squadron[9] or 84 Squadron.[10]

Shortly thereafter, on 1 January 1924, he was promoted to Squadron Leader.[11] On 25 May 1924, he was given command of 1 Squadron in Iraq.[12]

He then returned to England; on 2 April 1926 to he was posted to RAF Uxbridge as a transfer to Home Establishment.[13] He was still tasked as Commanding Officer of 1 Squadron before November 1926, when it was drawn down from Iraq in cadre status, and then returned to England; it is unknown whether this was a continuing appointment or a reappointment.[14]

He was the CO again (or still) on 11 April 1927,[15] in time to lead 1 Squadron for manoeuvres in late July and early August 1927.[16]

On 2 January 1928, he was again posted to RAF Uxbridge.[17] On 1 September 1928, he was posted to No. 21 Group RAF HQ, RAF West Drayton.[18]

On 1 August 1930, he was once again posted to RAF Uxbridge.[19]

On 21 October 1930, Atkinson was placed on half pay, Scale A.[20] He remained in this status until 16 March 1931, when he was restored to full pay and posted to No. 10 Group RAF HQ at RAF Lee-on-Solent.[21]

On 18 January 1932, Edward Dawson Atkinson was invalided into retirement from the Royal Air Force.[22]

On 29 March 1934, he was chairman of R. J. Barnett & Coley Limited in New Malden, Surrey, when it was voluntarily liquidated. Atkinson was one of the two appointed liquidators.[23]

Nothing is known of him after that.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Swanzy, The Rev. Henry Biddall (1908). The Families of French of Belturbet and Nixon of Fermanagh and Their Descendants. Dublin: Alex. Thom & Co. Ltd. p. 124. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Edward Dawson Atkinson". theaerodrome.com. 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Aviators Certificates - UK 1915". gracesguide.co.uk. 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2014. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b "Aviators Certificates". Flight VII (364): 988. 17 December 1915. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Royal Flying Corps: Promotions". Flight IX (426): 187. 22 February 1917. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  6. ^ "Honours for the RAF". Flight X (498): 762. 11 July 1918. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  7. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30827. p. 9198. 3 August 1918.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31098. p. 97. 1 January 1919.
  9. ^ "Royal Air Force: Intelligence". Flight XV (770): 587. 27 September 1923. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Royal Air Force: Intelligence". Flight XV (777): 705. 15 November 1923. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  11. ^ "Royal Air Force: Promotions". Flight XVI (784): 13. 3 January 1924. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  12. ^ "Royal Air Force: Appointments". Flight XVI (809): 415. 26 July 1924. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  13. ^ "Royal Air Force: Appointments". Flight. XVIII (907): 289. 13 May 1926. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  14. ^ Robertson, F. A. de V. (7 September 1933). "No.1 (Fighter) Squadron". Flight XXV (1289): 890–891. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  15. ^ "Royal Air Force: Appointments". Flight XIX (958): 283. 5 May 1927. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  16. ^ Robertson, F.A. de V. (28 July 1927). "Air Defence Manoeuvres". Flight XIX (970): 526. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  17. ^ "Royal Air Force: Intelligence". Flight XX (993): 13. 5 January 1928. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  18. ^ "Royal Air Force: Appointments". Flight XX (1030): 827. 20 September 1928. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  19. ^ "Royal Air Force: Appointments". Flight XXII (1131): 981. 29 August 1930. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  20. ^ "Royal Air Force". Flight XXII (1147): 1471. 19 December 1930. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  21. ^ "Royal Air Force: Intelligence". Flight. XXIII (1163): 325. 10 April 1931. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  22. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33791. p. 423. 19 January 1932.
  23. ^ The London Gazette: no. 34038. p. 2203. 3 April 1934.