Harry G. E. Luchford

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Harry George Ernest Luchford
Born (1894-10-28)28 October 1894
Lucknow, India
Died 2 December 1917(1917-12-02) (aged 23)
Becelaere
Allegiance British Empire
Service/branch Infantry; service corps; cavalry; aviation
Rank Captain
Unit Norfolk Regiment, Army Service Corps, Indian Cavalry Division, 20 Squadron
Awards Military Cross and bar

Captain Harry George Ernest Luchford MC (28 October 1894 - 2 December 1917) was an English World War I pilot credited with 24 victories. He was notable for scoring his first 11 victories in three months[1] while piloting an obsolete double-seated FE.2 pusher aircraft.[2][3]

Early life and service[edit]

Although born in India, Luchford was living in Bromley, Kent and working as a bank clerk when he enlisted in the military. He served successively in the Norfolk Regiment, the Army Service Corps, and the Indian Cavalry Division before his transition into the Royal Flying Corps in January 1916.[4]

Flying service[edit]

By May, Luchford had qualified to be a pilot with 20 Squadron. He scored his first win on 13 June 1917, with James Tennant as his observer. On 29 June, in a mid-day clash with Jasta 8, Luchford set an Albatros afire.[5] He then scored steadily throughout July, totting up seven more wins over enemy fighter planes in the month. Luchford scored twice more in August, then changed mounts to the two-seated Bristol F.2 Fighter. Flying with a number of different observers such as Richard Hill, Victor White, and William Benger, Luchford was credited with 13 more triumphs between 9 September and 21 October 1917.[6]

He was killed in action by Walter von Bülow-Bothkamp on 2 December 1917.[6]

Military honors[edit]

  • 27 October 1917 T./Lt. Harry George Ernest Luchford, Gen. List and R.F.C. was awarded the Military Cross (MC)

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He has carried out a great deal of extremely useful work, and has proved himself a capable and determined leader. On one occasion when on a photographic reconnaissance he and his observer shot down and destroyed two enemy scouts. He has destroyed five other hostile machines.

— London Gazette[7]

  • 26 November 1917 now Temporary Captain Luchford was awarded a bar to his Military Cross.[8]

For conspcuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When engaged on a patrol, he and his observer encountered about fifteen hostile aeroplanes, and shot one of them down in flames. Later, when engaged on a reconnaissance with three other machines, he encountered eight hostile aeroplanes and shot one of then down. On another occasion be destroyed on of three hostile scouts which were attacking one of our machines, and also shot down a hostile two-seater.

— London Gazette.[9]

References[edit]

Endnotes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/luchford.php
  2. ^ http://www.theaerodrome.com/aircraft/gbritain/raf_fe2.php
  3. ^ Pusher Aces of World War 1. p. 89. 
  4. ^ Pusher Aces of World War 1. p. 82–83. 
  5. ^ Pusher Aces of World War 1. p. 83. 
  6. ^ a b http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/luchford.php Retrieved on 13 October 2010.
  7. ^ (Supplement to the London Gazette, 18 March 1918) http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/30583/supplements/3427 Retrieved on 12 August 2010.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30399. p. 12316. 26 November 1917. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30614. p. 4203. 6 April 1918. Retrieved 13 October 2010.