|Born||6 December 1891
|Died||21 March 1971 (aged 79)
Golders Green, Middlesex, England
|Service/branch||Infantry, Air Service|
|Years of service||1915 - 1918; also during World War II|
|Unit||Public Schools Royal Fusiliers, 45 and 66 Squadrons, 13th Company of Middlesex Home Guard|
|Awards||Distinguished Service Order, Military Cross with Bar, Italian Medal of Military Valor|
|Other work||Served during World War II.|
The elder Peter Carpenter was a ship's pilot who owned his own boat and worked the Bristol Channel and Western Approaches. Carpenter attended the National School in Grange Town, Cardiff, until age 14. He was a rugby union star at school.
He apparently worked for a printer immediately after leaving school. At age 17, he joined Spillers & Baker Company as a clerk; circa 1910, he became a representative for them at their Stockport office.
He joined the Public Schools Royal Fusiliers in 1915 and was assigned to 24 Training Battalion as an instructor. He played rugby on his battalion team. He transferred to 19 Battalion and went to France with them as a sergeant on 14 November 1915. He also played for this battalion's rugby team until he broke his leg during a match. He was then transferred to Home Establishment. From there, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps.
Peter Carpenter began his flying career with 5 Reserve Squadron; his first flight was on 21 March 1917. He soloed on 7 April after five hours dual instruction. He moved on to advanced training after accumulating another seven hours 40 minutes stick time. In this phase of training, with 34 Reserve Squadron, he crashed on 11 June after engine failure. He was unhurt. He graduated advanced training with 84 hours flying time, and was assigned to fly a Sopwith Camel with 45 Squadron on 14 September 1917.
He destroyed his next four opponents, becoming an ace on 15 November.
45 Squadron was then transferred to the Italian Front. Carpenter went with it, and destroyed three more enemy planes during January, 1918. On 29 January, three days after win number eight, he went on home leave until 20 February.
Upon his return, he was transferred to 66 Squadron as B flight leader, effective 27 February. He marked his first day as a flight leader with his ninth triumph.
On 30 March 1918 his flight, consisting of himself, Harold Ross Eycott-Martin and Alan Jerrard, was involved in the combat that resulted in the Victoria Cross award to Jerrard; Carpenter claiming one of the six Albatros fighters claimed destroyed in this fight (although Austro-Hungarian records indicate 3 aircraft were only damaged).
His 24 claims consisted of 15 destroyed, 2 shared destroyed, and 7 'out of control'.
Military Cross (MC)
T./2nd Lt. Peter Carpenter, Gen. List and R.F.C.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Within a period of the last three months he has brought down six enemy machines, four of which were observed to crash to the ground, the remaining two being shot down completely out of control. The offensive tactics pursued by this daring and skilful officer have produced most successful results.
Supplement to the London Gazette, 16 August 1918 (30845/9563)
Military Cross (MC) Bar
T./Capt. Peter Carpenter, M.C., Gen. List and R.F.C.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He led an offensive patrol against seven of the enemy; three were destroyed. Again he led a patrol of three machines against six of the enemy; two of them were destroyed and one driven down out of control. Later, with two other pilots he engaged twelve hostile machines, of which three were destroyed and one driven down out of control. He shot down several machines himself.
(M.C. gazetted 4 March 1918.)
Supplement to the London Gazette, 16 September 1918 (30901/10884)
T./Capt. Peter Carpenter, M.C., R.A.F.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He has destroyed nine enemy machines, and driven three down out of control. He has led forty-six offensive patrols. On one occasion twelve enemy aircraft were attacked, and on another he led two other machines against nineteen of the enemy, destroying six of them. He has at all times shown a magnificent example.
Supplement to the London Gazette, 16 September 1918 (30901/10864)
- Sopwith Camel Aces of World War I. p. 80.
- Above the Trenches ; Shores, Franks & Guest ( grub street 1990)