Alfred Brandon (RAF officer)
|Alfred de Bathe Brandon|
21 June 1883|
Wellington, New Zealand
|Died||19 June 1974
Upper Hutt, New Zealand
|Service/branch||Royal Flying Corps
Royal Air Force
|Years of service||1915–1919|
|Unit||No. 19 Reserve Aeroplane Squadron RFC
No. 39 (Home Defence) Squadron RFC
|Commands held||No. 50 Squadron|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
|Awards||Distinguished Service Order
Alfred de Bathe (Bath) Brandon DSO MC (21 July 1883 – 19 June 1974) was a New Zealand lawyer and military aviator who served in the First World War, and was credited with the destruction of two Zeppelin airships.
Brandon was born in Wellington, New Zealand, on 21 July 1883. He was the son of the Mayor of Wellington, Alfred Brandon and grandson of the Member of the House of Representatives (MHR), also called Alfred Brandon. He was educated at Wellington College and Canterbury College, Christchuch, before going to England to study law at Trinity College, Cambridge.
Brandon was practising law for his father's company 'Brandon, Hislop and Johnston' in Wellington when the war broke out in August 1914. He gave up his job and resigned his commission in the 5th (Wellington) Regiment in order to travel to England, where he learned to fly at the Hall Flying School at Hendon at his own expense, gaining Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate No. 1905 on 17 October 1915. He joined the Royal Flying Corps, receiving a commission as a probationary second lieutenant on 8 December 1915, which was confirmed on 8 March 1916.
On 1 April 1916, flying a B.E.2e fighter of No. 19 Reserve Aeroplane Squadron, he succeeded in attacking Zeppelin L 15 using Ranken darts. It subsequently came down in the sea, and although the airship had already been damaged by anti-aircraft fire, his efforts won him the Military Cross.
On 4 October 1916 he was appointed a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, "in recognition of his gallantry and distinguished service in connection with the successful attack on Enemy Airships", following the shooting down of Zeppelin L 33 by No. 39 (Home Defence) Squadron.
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- Cole, Christopher & Cheesman, E. F. (1984). The Air Defence of Great Britain 1914–1918. London: Putnam. p. 119. ISBN 0-370-30538-8.
- "The wreckage of a Zeppelin, September 1916". British Army: First World War. 2014.
- "Photograph of Alfred de Bathe Brandon in early 1916". NZHistory. 2014.