Francis Mellersh (RAF officer)
|Sir Francis Mellersh|
Air Commodore Mellersh (left), Air Commander of the Strategic Air Force, in discussion with senior officers in the War Room at Headquarters Strategic Air Force, Eastern Air Command in Calcutta
22 September 1898|
|Died||25 May 1955
|Service/branch||Royal Navy (1916–18)
Royal Air Force (1918–54)
|Years of service||1916–54|
|Rank||Air Vice Marshal|
|Commands held||RAF Regiment (1952–54)
AHQ Malaya (1949–51)
No. 21 Group (1947–48)
No. 91 Group (1946–47)
RAF Staff College, Bulstrode Park (1945–46)
No. 231 (Bomber) Group (1944)
RAF Wattisham (1941–42)
|Battles/wars||First World War
Second World War
|Awards||Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Air Force Cross
Mentioned in Despatches (2)
Air Vice Marshal Sir Francis John Williamson Mellersh, KBE, AFC (22 September 1898 – 25 May 1955) was a Royal Naval Air Service aviator and flying ace credited with five aerial victories during the First World War, and a senior commander in the Royal Air Force during the 1940s and 1950s. He was killed in a helicopter accident in 1955.
First World War
Mellersh joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1916. He trained as a fighter pilot and was posted to 9 Naval Squadron in 1917. While flying a Sopwith Triplane on 28 July 1917, he drove down an Aviatik C. He switched to flying a Sopwith Camel and scored victories 15 October 1917 and 12 April 1918; the latter win was shared with squadron-mate Roy Brown. On 21 April 1918, Mellersh was a flight commander involved in the dogfight that brought down the Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen; Mellersh claimed a Fokker Dr.I triplane destroyed on that date. His last victory came two days later.
Mellersh debarked from a helicopter onto a quay on 25 May 1955; he had been invited to cruise on a yacht belonging to the Itchenor Yacht Club. As the helicopter departed, one of its rotors hit the mast of a yacht. As the copter crashed, the main rotor killed Mellersh.
- Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915–1920. p. 280.
- http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/mellersh.php Retrieved 7 February 2010.
- Above the Trenches: a Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915–1920. Christopher F. Shores, Norman L. R. Franks, Russell Guest. Grub Street, 1990. ISBN 0-948817-19-4, ISBN 978-0-948817-19-9.
- Air of Authority – A History of RAF Organisation – Air Vice Marshal Sir Francis Mellersh
- The Aerodrome – Francis Mellersh
- King's College London – Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives – MELLERSH, Sir Francis John Williamson
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Francis Mellersh (RAF officer).|
|Officer Commanding RAF Wattisham
Howard C. Davidson
|Air Commander, Strategic Air Force, Eastern Air Command
|Commandant RAF Staff College, Bulstrode Park
|Air Officer Commanding No. 21 Group
|Commandant-General of the RAF Regiment