Orlando Bridgeman (RAF officer)
|Orlando Clive Bridgeman|
29 November 1898|
Donnington, Shropshire, England
|Died||21 December 1931
Royal Air Force
|Years of service||1917–1919|
|Unit||No. 70 Squadron RFC
No. 80 Squadron RAF
|Battles/wars||World War I|
Bridgeman was the fourth son of Brigadier-General the Honourable Francis Charles Bridgeman, and his wife Gertrude Cecilia (née Hanbury). His father was the second son of Orlando Bridgeman, 3rd Earl of Bradford, and through his mother he was a direct descendent of King Edward III.
He was educated at Harrow School. In early 1917, soon after his 18th birthday, Bridgeman joined the army as a cadet, and on 17 March was appointed a probationary temporary second lieutenant on the General List, attached to the Royal Flying Corps, being confirmed in that rank in August.
He returned to active duty on March 1918, and was posted to No. 80 Squadron. On 16 March he gained his first aerial victory driving an Albatros D.V down out of control north-east of Le Catelet. On 28 March he was promoted to acting-captain to serve as flight commander of "B Flight", after the previous flight commander was killed. His second victory came on 11 April, setting an Albatros D.V on fire over Bois du Riez.
On 10 May Bridgeman was leading his flight on patrol, when they were engaged by between 20 to 30 enemy aircraft from Jagdstaffel 6 and 11, from Richthofen's "Flying Circus", over Morcourt. Bridgeman shot down two Fokker Dr.I, and two others were also shot down, but three of his own men were killed, one wounded and taken prisoner, and two more crash landed in British territory. Bridgeman was subsequently awarded the Military Cross, the only one received by a member of 80 Squadron. On 27 June Bridgeman gained his fifth and final victory, driving down a Fokker D.VII over Neuve-Chapelle. In July or August, he was assigned to serve as a flying instructor. Bridgeman finally left the service, being transferred to the unemployed list, on 11 April 1919.
Post-war Bridgeman graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, with a Master of Arts degree. He married Nancye Newzam Nicholson (1899–1967) on 30 April 1924 at St George's, Hanover Square, London.
Honours and awards
- Military Cross
Temporary Second Lieutenant (Temporary Captain) Orlando Clive Bridgeman, General List, attached Royal Air Force.
- For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. The patrol he was leading was attacked by twenty or thirty enemy aeroplanes, of which he destroyed two himself, and by skilful manoeuvring enabled two others to be crashed by officers of his patrol. His tactics and gallantry undoubtedly prevented what might have been a severe reverse to his patrol. On many occasions his work in attacking troops and other ground targets from low altitudes has been excellent, and his example and skilful leadership have been of great value to his squadron.
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- The London Gazette: . 18 April 1919.
- Gibson, Gordon (2010). "Nancye Newzam Nicholson". Were-Carpenter Family Tree. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- The London Gazette: . 4 March 1932.
- "Bridgeman, Orlando Clive. M.C.". Military Photos. 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- The London Gazette: . 13 September 1918.