Howard Saint

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For the fictional villain, see The Punisher (2004 film).
Howard John Thomas Saint
Born 20 January 1893
Ruabon, Wales
Died 1976
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Naval Air Service
Royal Air Force
Years of service 1916-1931
Rank Captain
Unit No. 5 Wing RNAS, No. 10 Squadron RNAS
Awards Distinguished Service Cross
Other work Test Pilot

Captain Howard John Thomas Saint DSC (20 January 1893 - 1976) was a First World War flying ace credited with seven aerial victories.[1] He became the chief test pilot for Gloster in the 1930s.

Early life[edit]

Saint was born in Ruabon in Debighshire on 20 January 1989, the son of Thomas and Margaret Saint, his father was a mining engineer and surveyor and later Colliery Manager. In the 1911 census of Wrexham Saint is described as a Colliery Managers Apprentice.


Saint joined the Royal Naval Air Service and served with the Armoured Car Section in France before training as a pilot. On 1 April 1918 when the RNAS was merged with the Royal Flying Corps Saint transferred to the new Royal Air Force. After the war he joined Airco as a pilot and on 1 May 1919 carried out the first civilian flight after the wartime ban was lifted. The flight in a De Havilland DH.9 carrying newspapers from Hounslow to Bournemouth did not go well as Saint made a forced landing on the Portsdown Hills and was injured.

Saint rejoined the RAF in 1922, he transferred to reserve status in 1927 when he became chief test pilot for Gloster. He officially retired from the RAF in February 1931.[2][3] He retired as chief test pilot from Gloster in 1935 and lived in Cheltenham until his death in 1976.

Honours and awards[edit]

For conspicuous bravery in attacking superior hostile formations of enemy aircraft. On the 21st September, 1917, he, with three other machines, attacked five hostile scouts. After getting to close quarters with one of them, he fired three bursts from his machine-gun and drove it down completely out of control. On the 23rd September, 1917, while leading a patrol of eight scouts, he attacked a hostile formation of ten machines. One of these he drove down, diving vertically, out of control. He has forced down other machines completely out of control, one of them in flames; and has also shown great courage in attacking enemy troops and aerodromes with machine-gun fire from very low


— London Gazette[4]


  1. ^ "Howard John Thomas Saint". 
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33244. p. 654. 1 February 1927. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33739. p. 4944. 28 July 1931. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30363. p. 11320. 2 November 1917. Retrieved 12 March 2011.