Alan Duncan Bell-Irving

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Alan Duncan Bell-Irving
Military Cross.jpg

Military cross w bar BAR.svg

Croix de guerre 1914-1918 française.jpg
Born (1894-08-28)August 28, 1894
Vancouver, Canada
Died April 24, 1965(1965-04-24) (aged 70)
West Vancouver, Canada
Allegiance Canada
Service/branch Infantry; aviation
Rank Air Commodore
Unit Gordon Highlanders, No. 7 Squadron RFC, No.60 Squadron RFC
Awards Military Cross with Bar, French Croix de Guerre
Other work Served in Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II

Air Commodore Alan Duncan Bell-Irving began his military aviation career as a Canadian flying ace in the Royal Flying Corps during World War I. He served in the RCAF during World War II.[1]

Bell-Irving was originally assigned as an observer/gunner. He was shot down during September 1915 but escaped unscathed.[2] In December, he was wounded in action.[3] After becoming a pilot, he was assigned to 60 Squadron and shot down his first enemy plane on his twenty-second birthday, 28 August 1916. He was flying a Morane for 60 Squadron[4] when he destroyed a Roland reconnaissance plane over Bapaume.[5] Re-equipped with a Nieuport 17, he followed up by destroying an observation balloon on 16 September and reeling off five more victories over enemy recon aircraft in the next month, bringing his total to a balloon and five planes destroyed, and one plane driven down out of control.[6] He was shot down again on 21 October 1916, but was unhurt.[7] Being wounded in action on 9 November 1916 removed him from combat. Bell-Irving later served at, then commanded the School of Special Flying at RAF Gosport.[8]

Honors and awards[edit]

Military Cross (MC)

2nd Lt. (temp. Lt.) Alan Duncan Bell-Irving, Gord. Highrs., Spec. Res. and R.F.C.

For gallantry and skill in attacking a hostile balloon at 1,000 feet under heavy fire and bringing it down in flames. On a previous occasion he brought down a hostile machine.[9]

Military Cross (MC) Bar

2nd Lt. (temp. Lt.) Alan Duncan Bell-Irving, M.C., Gord. Highrs., S.R. and R.F.C.

For conspicuous gallantry in action. He displayed great courage and skill when escorting a bombing raid. He engaged several enemy machines and drove them off. Afterwards, although his own machine was damaged, he continued to fight against superior numbers of the enemy.[10]

Sources of information[edit]

  1. ^ Retrieved on 20 March 2010.
  2. ^ Nieuport Aces of World War 1. pp. 10, 29. 
  3. ^ Retrieved on 20 March 2010.
  4. ^ Nieuport Aces of World War 1. pp. 10, 29. 
  5. ^ Retrieved on 20 March 2010.
  6. ^ Retrieved on 20 March 2010.
  7. ^ Nieuport Aces of World War 1. p. 29. 
  8. ^ Nieuport Aces of World War 1. pp. 10, 29. 
  9. ^ (Supplement to the London Gazette, 20 October 1916) Retrieved on 20 March 2010.
  10. ^ (Supplement to the London Gazette, 10 January 1917) Retrieved on 20 March 2010.