John Paynter (RAF officer)

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John De Camborne Paynter
Born (1898-05-17)17 May 1898
Southsea, Hampshire, England
Died 6 June 1918(1918-06-06) (aged 20) (DOW)
Bergues, France
Buried at Plot IV. A 78, Dunkirk Town Cemetery, Nord, France (51°01′45″N 2°23′18″E / 51.02917°N 2.38833°E / 51.02917; 2.38833Coordinates: 51°01′45″N 2°23′18″E / 51.02917°N 2.38833°E / 51.02917; 2.38833)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Navy
Royal Air Force
Years of service 1916–1918
Rank Captain
Unit No. 6 Naval Squadron RNAS
No. 10 Naval Squadron RNAS
No. 9 Naval Squadron RNAS
No. 13 Naval Squadron/No. 213 Squadron RAF
Awards Distinguished Service Cross

Captain John De Camborne Paynter DSC (17 May 1898 – 6 June 1918) was a British World War I Royal Naval Air Service flying ace credited with 10 aerial victories. He earned the Distinguished Service Cross for his valour before being killed in a bombing raid.[1]

Early life[edit]

Paynter was born in Southsea, Hampshire, on 17 May 1898. His mother was Alexandra Laura Paynter.[1]

World War I[edit]

Paynter joined the RNAS in early 1916 as a probationary temporary flight sub-lieutenant, and was confirmed in his rank on 25 June 1916.[2]

He served in both No. 6 and No. 10 Naval Squadrons, before being injured in a flying accident on 9 April 1917. After his recovery, he flew with No. 9 Naval Squadron; it was while flying with them that he scored his first aerial victory on 27 October 1917. He then transferred to No. 13 Naval Squadron; he would remain with them through their transition to No. 213 Squadron RAF. On 5 December 1917, he scored a win with them.[1]

On 1 January 1918, he was promoted to flight lieutenant.[3] He also scored three wins in the early months of 1918. After a break, he scored the remainder of his victories in May and early June 1918.[1] While doing this, he was wounded in action on two occasions.

Paynter died on 6 June 1918 from wounds suffered during a German bombing raid on his squadron's aerodrome at Bergues.[1][4][5] He is buried in Plot IV. A. 78 in Dunkirk Town Cemetery, France.[6] He is also memorialised at Saint Peter's Church, Somerstown, Portsmouth, on a plaque located under the organ loft.[7]

Distinguished Service Cross[edit]

As his award citation shows, Paynter performed admirably in air-to-ground combat as well as in the air:

For the good work performed by him during a bombing attack on Ostende Seaplane Base on the 3rd March, 1918, carried out in spite of very adverse weather conditions. He has shown great zeal and courage as a fighting pilot, having destroyed several enemy machines, and been twice wounded in aerial combats.[8]

List of aerial victories[edit]

Combat record[1]
No. Date/time Aircraft Foe Result Location Notes
No. 9 Naval Squadron RNAS
1 27 October 1917
10:40
Sopwith Camel
(B3830)
Albatros D.V fighter Driven down out of control Slijpe, Belgium Shared with Captain Stearne T. Edwards, Flight Commander Harold Stackard, Flight Lieutenant Fred E. Banbury, and Flight Sub-Lieutenants Francis Mellersh, John P. Hales, C. A. Narbeth, Arthur W. Wood, & Merrill S. Taylor.
No. 13 Naval Squadron RNAS
2 5 December 1917
15:05
Sopwith Camel
(B6391)
Albatros reconnaissance aircraft Destroyed 4 miles northwest of Wenduine Shared with Flight Sub-Lieutenants John W. Pinder, George C. MacKay, & Maurice L. Cooper
3 29 January 1918
14:00
Sopwith Camel
(B3782)
Seaplane Destroyed 100 yards from the pier at Blankenberghe, Belgium Shared with Flight Commander Leonard H. Slatter, and Flight Sub-Lieutenants John E. Greene, George C. MacKay, & Maurice L. Cooper
4 30 January 1918
14:20
Sopwith Camel
(B3782)
Albatros reconnaissance aircraft Destroyed 2 miles north of Ostend Shared with Flight Commander Miles Day
5 19 February 1918
13:55
Sopwith Camel
(B3782)
Seaplane Destroyed by fire East of Ostend Shared with Flight Commander Miles Day, and Flight Sub-Lieutenants J. C. Stovin, E. V. Bell, & G. D. Smith
No. 213 Squadron RAF
6 6 May 1918
19:50
Sopwith Camel
(B7254)
Albatros D.V fighter Destroyed Wenduine, Belgium
7 8 May 1918
19:50
Sopwith Camel
(B7254)
Albatros D.V fighter Destroyed Wenduine, Belgium
8 Albatros D.V fighter Driven down out of control
9 1 June 1918
14:20
Sopwith Camel
(B7254)
Pfalz D.III fighter Driven down out of control Bruges, Belgium Shared with Lieutenants G. D. Smith, C. H. Denny, F. L. Cuttle & P. L. Jenner
10 Pfalz D.III fighter Driven down out of control Shared with Lieutenant G. D. Smith

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "John De Camborne Paynter". The Aerodrome. 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "No. 29853". The London Gazette. 8 December 1916. p. 11969. 
  3. ^ "No. 30451". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 December 1917. pp. 88–89. 
  4. ^ "The Roll of Honour: Died of Wounds". Flight. X (496): 712. 27 June 1918. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "213 Squadron". Royal Air Force. 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "Casualty Details: Paynter, J. De C.". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  7. ^ Backhouse, Tim (2010). "St Peter's Church (WWI)". Memorials and Monuments in Portsmouth. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "No. 30635". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 April 1918. p. 4647.