James Henry Forman

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James Henry Forman
Born (1896-02-01)1 February 1896
Kirkfield, Ontario, Canada
Died 4 October 1972(1972-10-04) (aged 76)
Santa Barbara, California, USA
Allegiance King George V of the British Empire
Service/branch Aviation
Rank Captain
Unit No. 6 Naval Squadron RNAS
No. 1 Naval Squadron RNAS/No. 201 Squadron RAF
No. 70 Squadron RAF
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Distinguished Flying Cross

James Henry Forman was born in Kirkfield, Ontario, Canada on 1 February 1896. When he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 29 June 1916, he gave his profession as minister and listed his mother Mary as his next of kin. He had three months prior military experience. He was six feet tall, with medium complexion, gray eyes, and black hair. A scar on his right foot served as a distinguishing mark.[1] He was assigned Regimental Number 490828 and posted to the 3rd Training Brigade of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.[2]

World War I aerial service[edit]

Forman transferred into the Royal Naval Air Service and underwent pilot's training. His initial assignment was to 6 Naval Squadron, where he scored his first aerial victory on 27 July 1917. He was wounded in action the following day, then transferred into 1 Naval Squadron and remained with it during its transition into 201 Squadron Royal Air Force, scoring seven wins along the way. On 21 May 1918 Lieutenant J. H. Forman promoted to temporary captain.[3]

On 2 July 1918, Forman was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by his king.[4] On 7 August 1918, the DFC was officially gazetted:

"A skilful patrol leader, who has displayed on all occasions a high standard of courage, endurance, and skill. In a period of ten months he has been engaged on seventy-seven offensive patrols, and has brought down three enemy aeroplanes in flames and five out of control."[5]

Forman was reassigned to 70 Squadron as a Flight Commander. He scored one victory while leading a flight for his new unit. Then, on 4 September 1918, Forman was flying one of a dozen Sopwith Camels that engaged German fliers from Jagdgruppe III. The German opponents included aces Bruno Loerzer and Otto Fruhner. Forman was one of eight pilots downed by the Germans in the largest single loss of Camels during the war.[6]

List of aerial victories[edit]

No. Date/time Aircraft Foe Result Location Notes
1 27 July 1917 @ 1710 hours Sopwith Camel serial number N6358 Albatros D.V Set afire; destroyed Northeast of Nieuwpoort, Belgium
2 18 October 1917 @ 1030 hours Sopwith Triplane s/n N5479 DFW reconnaissance plane Driven down out of control East of Poelcappelle Victory shared with Samuel Kinkead
3 12 November 1917 @ 1545 hours Sopwith Camel s/n B5651 Pfalz D.III Set afire; destroyed Dixmude Victory shared with Samuel Kinkead
4 29 November 1917 @ 1415 hours Sopwith Camel s/n B6409 Albatros D.V Driven down out of control Middelkerke
5 12 April 1918 @ 1500 hours Sopwith Camel s/n B7280 Fokker Triplane Driven down out of control Southeast of Albert
6 9 May 1918 @ 1315 hours Sopwith Camel s/n B7280 Albatros D.V Driven down out of control Bapaume
7 15 May 1918 @ 0645 hours Sopwith Camel s/n D3393 Albatros D.V Destroyed Bapaume Victory shared with Charles Dawson Booker, Samuel Kinkead, Robert McLaughlin, Hazel Wallace, Reginald Brading, Maxwell Findlay, two other pilots
8 16 May 1918 @ 1920 hours Sopwith Camel s/n D3392 Fokker Triplane Set afire; destroyed South of Albert
9 10 August 1918 @ 2045 hours Sopwith Camel s/n E1472 LVG reconnaissance plane Driven down out of control La Creche-Bailleul [7]

Post World War I[edit]

Forman survived the war and trained pilots in navigation during World War II. In 1955, partly for health reasons, he moved to Glendora, California to become a lemon farmer. He had a wife, Jane Crawford Forman, and three children, John, Mary, and Peter. Later he moved to Goleta, California, near Santa Barbara, and continued farming lemons. He died in Santa Barbara, California, USA on 4 October 1972.[8] He is survived by his son, Peter Russell Forman.


  1. ^ http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/canada/attestation/forman.php Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  2. ^ http://canadiangreatwarproject.com/Searches/rankDetail.asp?ID=105381 Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  3. ^ (The London Gazette, 31 May 1918, p. 6383) http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/30714/pages/6383 Retrieved 10 July 2011. Note: Promotion to captain usually was accompanied by an appointment to Flight Commander.
  4. ^ (The Edinburgh Gazette, 5 July 1918, p. 2337) http://www.edinburgh-gazette.co.uk/issues/13284/pages/2337 Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  5. ^ (Supplement to the Edinburgh Gazette, 7 August 1918, p. 2814) http://www.edinburgh-gazette.co.uk/issues/13300/pages/2814 Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  6. ^ http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/canada/forman.php Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  7. ^ http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/canada/forman.php Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  8. ^ http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/canada/forman.php Retrieved 10 July 2011.