Herbert George Hegarty

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Herbert George Hegarty
Born (1885-10-31)31 October 1885
Clonbur, County Galway, Ireland
Died 1953 (aged 67–68)
Somerset, England
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Royal Air Force
Years of service 1911–1919
Rank Captain
Unit Hong Kong Artillery and Rifle Volunteer Corps
No. 60 Squadron RFC/RAF
Battles/wars World War I
 • Western Front
Awards Military Cross
Other work Banker

Captain Herbert George Hegarty MC (31 October 1885 – 1953) was an Irish World War I flying ace credited with eight aerial victories.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Hegarty was born in Clonbur, County Galway, and was educated at Portora Royal School, Enniskillen. He then gained a position at the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, based in Hong Kong. He also served as a second lieutenant in the Hong Kong Artillery and Rifle Volunteer Corps from October 1911.[2]

World War I[edit]

In 1917 Hegarty travelled from Hong Kong to England via North America.[1] He was commissioned as a second lieutenant (on probation) to serve in the Royal Flying Corps on 8 June,[3] and was posted to No. 5 and No. 28 Training Squadrons between July and September,[4] being confirmed in his rank on 8 September.[5]

In November 1917 Hegarty was posted to No. 60 Squadron RFC based at Sainte-Marie-Cappel, France, to fly a S.E.5a single-seat fighter.[2] He gained his first aerial victory on 28 January 1918, driving down out of control an Albatros D.V fighter over Kortemark. On 4 February he shared in the shooting down in flames of another D.V over Zonnebeke, and destroyed two more on 18 and 30 March. On 14 May he destroyed an Albatros two-seater to gain his fifth victory and ace status. Early on 16 May 1918 he shared in the destruction of an LVG two-seater over Fampoux with American ace Lieutenant John Griffith,[1] and later that day was recommended for the Military Cross, which cited his six confirmed victories and mentions several other unconfirmed ones.[2] His award was gazetted on 13 September, the citation reading:

Second Lieutenant Herbert George Hegarty, RAF.
"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on offensive patrols. During recent operations he destroyed four enemy machines and drove down two. He is a bold and fearless pilot, and has done splendid work."[6]

Hegarty was appointed a flight commander with the temporary rank of captain on 13 June,[7] and gained two more aerial victories on 30 June and 1 July.[1] He was posted to the Home Establishment on 15 July 1918 to serve as an instructor at the No. 4 Fighting School at RAF Freiston, Lincolnshire.[2] Hegarty was transferred to the RAF's unemployed list on 6 February 1919.[8]

List of aerial victories[edit]

Combat record[1]
No. Date/Time Aircraft/
Serial No.
Opponent Result Location Notes
1 28 January 1918
@ 1320
Albatros D.V Out of control Kortemark, Belgium
2 4 February 1918
@ 1125
Albatros D.V Destroyed in flames Zonnebeke, Belgium Shared with Lieutenant H. D. Crompton.
3 18 February 1918
@ 1230
Albatros D.V Out of control Staden, Belgium
4 30 March 1918
@ 1110
Albatros D.V Destroyed South of Albert, France
5 14 May 1918
@ 0730
Albatros C Destroyed Moreuil, France
6 16 May 1918
@ 0845
LVG C Destroyed Fampoux, France Shared with Lieutenant John Griffith.
7 30 June 1918
@ 0510
Albatros D.V Destroyed Rainecourt, France
8 1 July 1918
@ 0840
Halberstadt C Destroyed Bray, France


  1. ^ a b c d e "Herbert George Hegarty". The Aerodrome. 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Auction Catalogue of Orders, Decorations, Campaign Medals & Militaria". Spink & Son. 22 November 2012. pp. 222–223. Retrieved 13 May 2016. 
  3. ^ "No. 30158". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 June 1917. p. 6511. 
  4. ^ "RFC and RAF men in Warwickshire (F–L)". Midland Aircraft Recovery Group. 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2016. 
  5. ^ "No. 30320". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 October 1917. p. 10233. 
  6. ^ "No. 30901". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 September 1918. p. 10963. 
  7. ^ "No. 30781". The London Gazette. 5 July 1918. p. 7945. 
  8. ^ "No. 31255". The London Gazette. 28 March 1919. pp. 4034–4035.